I remember the tone of the voices well. In our early and mid-years of homeschooling, so many asked me, “What about high school?” In hindsight, I wish I would have answered, “What about it?” and worked through why they were asking me about high school when my kids were in 4th grade, 2nd grade, and preschool. Instead, I internalized the accusatory tones I heard and played those questions over and over in my mind.
I also remember the sense of relief I felt when Eric entered public school halfway through 8th grade. For a moment, the questions ceased while we acclimated. It was during that semester that I learned a lot about myself, what I believed I was capable of accomplishing, and what public education actually offered.
Over the eight and a half years of Eric’s homeschool journey I had internalized the homeschool questions:
“What about high school?”
“What about socialization?”
“How can you homeschool if you aren’t a trained teacher?”
“What about Prom?”
I had allowed those questions to fester in my mind and infect my heart. Some asked with genuine curiosity and others asked with judgment and I let them all stew together. I doubted my own ability in relation to what I perceived the public school offered. It wasn’t until my son was actually a student in the public school system that I recognized that there are pros and cons of both educational choices. Neither is as perfect as it’s presented to be.
Eric went on to public high school and excelled. However, there was a monumental shift in my thinking. Suddenly, homeschooling high school didn’t seem insurmountable. I knew something the naysayers and the public school didn’t know. I knew that I could educate my children in high school just as well as the public school. It would look and feel different. Some things would be sacrificed and other things would be gained. And, yet, the end result would be the same… a well-rounded education.
I also knew that providing a homeschool high school education happens the same way it does in a public school… one day at a time and one class at a time. High school is not a mountain that is scaled in a single day, but rather an adventure that takes most students four years to accomplish.
With high school education put in its proper perspective, I simply needed to choose the path best for Emme. There were times we realized we had to change our direction or step over an obstacle but together we scaled the mountain. One step at a time, one day at a time, one class at a time, she proceeded through high school at home.
Now I have another one scaling her own mountain. We’ve just about finished 9th grade. We’re learning what works for her and what doesn’t. Her high school path is different than the path her brother took and it looks different than the path her sister walked. Thankfully, she and I both know it’s not insurmountable.
Along this homeschooling journey, I’ve learned one fundamental truth.
God always supplies what my kids need academically, socially, and spiritually.
I simply need to trust Him and follow where He leads, whether it’s at the public school, Christian school, community college, or here at home. His is the only voice that matters.
I no longer listen to the other voices. I know that the mountain is simply that, a mountain to climb. And, I know that the joy is in the journey.