Thursday, August 15, 2013

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When homeschooling ends

By the time most of you read this, my kids will already be settling into college life.  I am writing this especially for the homeschool carnival to be posted by Homeschool Dad, or as you will soon come to know him... The dad formerly known as Homeschool Dad.  I thought it was important to contribute to this carnival in particular, as like Homeschool Dad, my homeschooling days have also come to an end. If you look back over my blog the last year, you will see our transition to graduating our last homeschooler.

I spent the last summer pretty much in post homeschool mode. I required no assignments of them. I introduced no new material, but like in those pre-homeschool days - from birth to when we started homeschooling, I observed that we are STILL forever teaching our children.

We didn't teach them to walk, talk, or eat with a utensil like when they were small, but like when they were young, I mostly sat back and watched them reach new milestones and prepare for the time when we would not always be present.

While my son has already spent one year at college, we witnessed him question the effectiveness of his first year and make the decision to start fresh at a new school. This process was nothing like when he applied for college the first time... where you pick a handful of colleges you think are cool, apply and hope for the best.  This time he chose to apply to a single college based on his goal, what he had learned from his previous experiences, and a completely different and evolved set of financial values than he had before.

My daughter, leaving home, just weeks after turning 17, is toddling in very much the same way as her brother did a year ago. She is building communication habits that will serve her with her professors.  She is listening to the advice of her brother who went out before her. She is anxious, but excited, and attacking this new adventure just like she did when she practically ran before walking so many years ago.

Yes, homeschooling days are over, but parenting, whether actively, or passively will never end.  I wish Homeschool Dad all the best in his new journey and will remind him that he will probably more important to his kids as a former homeschooler than he was as a hands-on everyday dad.


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