Monday, May 14, 2012

5 Days of FUN: Graduating a Homeschooler


Long Leaf Academy has its very FIRST GRADUATE!  {I'd love for you to read my graduation charge to my daughter and see her memory video.}  And what a JOURNEY it has been!  I'd be humbled to share a little of it with you this week.  As a home educating mom of 4, there were days when I wasn't sure we'd be faithful to complete the task at hand.  BUT now that we've graduated our first, I KNOW we can do this.  :)

When Claire was born, we lived in the very best school district in the state.  The MainMost actually worked as Technology Director for the school system and we could have had our pick of teachers.  Both products of the public education system (and fairly successful as those measurements go), it seemed we were sitting in the educational sweet spot for our Claire and any other children GOD would bless us with.  We only knew two other people that had even attempted to home educate and NONE of our friends would even discuss it.  My sister-in-love was homeschooling her two children (and catching much grief from friends and family) and one family in our church homeschooled their daughter.  It was the "weird" thing to do, if you know what I mean?

And GOD begin to speak to my heart and HE began to call me into the wilderness that was homeschooling. As HE began to work on me, the MainMost and I began to pray.  I knew that IF we were to take on something so big, so challenging, we would HAVE to know that GOD was in the lead.  And as HE always does, GOD began to make a way.

Way back in the day, there were not so many options for curriculum and support.  (My goodness, the internet was really just beginning to become something that "ordinary" folks could use -- and we had the s.l.o.w.e.s.t dial-up ever.)  I talked to the ONE family in our church that home educated and picked the brain of the mom.  I wanted to know WHY she had chosen to homeschool and what her long-term plan was.  I looked for validation of what GOD had placed on our hearts, and I began to gather things I thought we would need.

There were obstacles -- even my family wasn't so sure -- and there was prayer.  LOTS of prayer.  We began "school" and made plans.  Joined a local support group and looked for opportunities to gather with like-hearted people.  I remember thinking then that we would homeschool through elementary and maybe enroll in "real" school for junior high or high school. {That's what I thought -- but I was forgetting to ask for GOD'S PLAN.}

That was then.  This is now.

We weren't very far into the home education process, when GOD made it perfectly clear that HE didn't call me to homeschool for just a short term.  HE had called me for the long haul and I needed to get my heart in tune with HIS because that's the only way this would work.

We named our school, picked school colors and selected a Bible verse to keep our focus.  And I learned to embrace the fact that learning comes in seasons -- just like life does.  Over the past 13 years, there have been seasons when we accomplished lots and there have been seasons when we accomplished little.  Through birth, death, sickness and disaster, GOD has covered us with HIS GRACE to see us through.  This Senior year has been a growth period for me.  I've worried that maybe I didn't prepare Claire enough for what she'll find when she hits the "real world" and I've wondered if we covered all the basics of the heart to keep her grounded in the LOVE of her DADDY.  But I know that in ALL things GOD works for the good of those who love HIM -- and she loves HIM.  Where I have failed, HE never fails.

My sweet Claire is headed to college next year -- on full scholarship.  Yes!  It CAN be done.  She will be living in the Honors Apartments ON CAMPUS and will have 2 roommates.  She hasn't met them yet, but I'm praying for the three girls to mesh well already.  She has a good head on her shoulders and a heart to serve GOD.  She has an idea of what HE'd have her do with her life (although I realize that can change as HE grows her) and she's a good kid.  She has "socialization" skills and has held a job for years.  She loves JESUS with all of her heart, all of her soul, all of her strength and all of her mind.  What more could I ask?

Are there things I would have done differently?  Most definitely.
Are there changes I will make for my 3 that follow?  Sure.
Have we been faithful to the call?  Yes!
Do I have any regrets as I look back over this season?  Absolutely not.  HIS GRACE is sufficient for me.

Thank you so much for reading today.  I promise to delve into more of the mechanics of "graduating" tomorrow and to answer ANY questions you may have of me.  I'd be happy to share Claire's Graduation Announcement with you and tell you all about the Ceremony as well.

Please leave any questions in the comment section below.  I'd be honored if you'd follow me through Google Friend Connect, Linky Followers, Networked Blogs or by e-mail.  You'll find all of those options to the right of this post.  Now hop right back to the Crew Blog Hop for MORE FUN and encouragement.  (Just click on the blinking banner below.) You'll be glad you did!


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  1. I graduated my first student in 2010, and no one was more amazed that I was that we did it! Congrats to you and to your daughter! I'll be looking forward to reading the rest of your 5 Days posts!

  2. Congratulations!! We have 2 graduates from our homeschool & it went by fast.

  3. I'll have my first graduate next year. Looking forward to the rest of the week with you on this subject. I don't worry about the school aspect of it.....I don't know what to do for the graduating aspect of it. Celebration? Ceremony? I'm not sure what to do there.

  4. HI! Hopping with the Crew today, and I did add you on GFC and Networked BLogs ;). Amy B

  5. What a beautiful story! I am nor sure my first comment was accepted. I am just stopping by from the crew to add you on GFC and NEtworked blogs. Looking forward to getting to know you!

  6. Love reading your story. We are starting our high school homeschool adventure with our oldest this coming "school" year and are already thinking about transcripts, scholarships and other high school stuff! Can;t wait to hear more of your experiences!

  7. I can't wait to read more! We are just headed into the high school years next year and I am extremely nervous!

  8. You inspire me! I'm proud of Claire and you for helping her get to this point.


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart with me!