Category Archives: Life After Homeschooling

Question For My Readers

So far so good with my transition. Homeschooling is officially over and I have no trouble keeping busy, still managing the lives and schedules of my family amongst other things. However, I have been pondering my blog and wondering what direction I should take it in. Originally, this blog was little bit about homeschooling teens and a lot about some of the fun activities my kids and their friends were involved in. My purpose was to show people that kids could make a choice to live against the norm of the world  (ie. drinking, partying, dating recreationally). Now that my son is in university and my daughter who has recently graduated and has one foot out the door,  I am thinking I may change the direction of this blog a little bit.

A wise fellow writer suggested that I ask the opinion of my readers. I have 174 followers and I am thinking I may know about 50 of you. Most of you follow because you are wonderful friends and family that support my writing. The other 124, I really have no idea who you are. I am wondering if I could kindly ask readers to engage in a little survey to help me take this blog into a direction that would be enjoyable and maybe even helpful for some of my readers? Here are some new ideas for this blog:

  1. Life after homeschooling: focussing more on the kids and their endeavors
  2. Life of change: the pre-empty nest syndrome. The focus would be more on my journey of what comes next for me personally as a middle-aged former homeschooling mom
  3. Lessons learned from home educating older kids

I would really value your opinion. I know I do have some young people following. I would love to hear from you! I am also open to suggestions that are not on the above list! Please comment below or you can find me on facebook if you prefer to message me privately.

Thanks for your input!

Change With the Seasons

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Today I feel grateful. Sitting on my porch, looking out over the expanse of my yard, my flower pots are still in bloom and yet the fall colours are in the background. The view signifies change.

I love the change of seasons  in Northern British Columbia. Sometimes, I fantasize about living in a warm climate where there are only two seasons: sunny/hot and warm/rainy. But really, as I look out at my flowers against the background of the golden trees, there is something inside me that feels excited about the fall. On the horizon awaits a youth conference with my teens, my oldest son returns home for thanksgiving, and of course, the Christmas season follows sooner than we think after Thanksgiving.

At the same time I fight some sadness and a bit of fear as a season of my life comes to an end. My 16 year homeschool career is coming to a close. I struggle to let go. I struggle to re-establish my identity which was that of a “homeschooling mom”. My youngest is in grade 11 at our local school, and my daughter who has just graduated has gone back for one semester to do two extra courses. So now what?

I plan to get serious about my writing. Write every day. Take this blog in a new direction (that will be another blogpost). Get that children’s book published. Write more magazine articles. Work on my novel.

I have been hired as a “teacher on call” at the school. Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself teaching at a school especially after “retirement”!  However, I was asked if I would be interested and after thinking and praying about it I felt to give it a try. If I think about it, I am a bit terrified. But if I don’t think about it and relax in the peace, that God brought the position to me, then I’m okay. I haven’t been called to work yet, so perhaps that is another blogpost as well 🙂

I do have a burning desire to get my house in order (literally). Purge, purge, purge! Sixteen years of homeschooling tends to accumulate a lot of stuff. I want to organize those cupboards that have needed tending to for years. Unpack those boxes from our last move six years ago! Things like that.

I would like to make time to travel a little with my husband on business and also go visit my oldest son at university. There are lots of other commitments I could get busy with. Kid’s extra-cirricular committees, church involvement, mentoring younger homeschooling families….all of those things are good. However, I need to trust God to arrange my schedule and be mindful about seeking Him.

Now is a time for reflection. Homeschooling was a gift. Not everyone can do it or wants to do it. It worked for us as a family for many years. It allowed us to be together, for my kids to become best friends, to travel as a family during the school year, and to study what made us happy. It was much more than academics (although homeschooling had many advantages that way as well). It was my calling for awhile and I grew as a person. It is time to smile at the memories, to let the flock fly and step into the next chapter of my life.

Change. It can be a good thing. Without God it can be scary and overwhelming. Therefore I will look to Him for guidance each day and trust that He also wants the very best for me.

The Ugly Brown Quilt

Well he’s gone. As a good friend reminded me, I am not the first mother to take her oldest child to university. We drove to University of Northern British Columbia, about a four-hour drive, however it took us five with stops. It was a family affair…moving Maxx into his residence. It was exciting, chaotic and bittersweet all at the same time.

“Mom, don’t make my bed, I’ll do it.” Now, he just didn’t understand. I reserved that right as his mother to make his bed in residence. Previously, had thought out the whole bed-making process in great detail! I had planned for this moment. I researched the size of mattress ahead of time. Good thing as it was an odd size (twin extra long). Fortunately, I checked or the fitted sheet I was going to bring wouldn’t fit. I spent a coffee break perusing the Sear’s catalogue until I found the perfect, flannel, extra long bed-in-a bag (sheet set and duvet..all matching) for his new bed in residence. “But, mom I want to take the quilt off my bed to residence.” That old ugly brown thing? Plus, it was queen size….

So, I returned the lovely bed-in-a bag set and ordered a simple flannel, brown, fitted extra long sheet to match the hideous brown quilt that Maxx was so fondly attached to. I knew the top sheet was a waste of money as he wouldn’t use it. Too complicated with the bed-making process. It had to be simple. Pull up the quilt and voila! Bed made. Done.

I went through all the pillows in the house and selected two of the best. I found his old flannel hockey player pillow case that his sister had made him when they were younger. I packed up all the bedding plus one more cozy blanket for good measure and felt  satisfied that his bed would be acceptable. SOOOOO, when we got to his residence and he said, “Mom, don’t make my bed,” I exercised my motherly rights and said, “I’m saying goodbye to you, let me have this small pleasure.” He smiled. I made the bed. Cozy, perfect, I was satisfied. I also unpacked his kitchen (chuckling to myself as I imagined him grabbing his “to go” mug noticing the “Maxx loves his awesome mom” written in permanent ink in my hand-writing.)

We parted for the evening while Maxx went to his orientation meetings and we went to the parent/family information night. We met up later to go eat in the brand new cafeteria with a fabulous new meal plan (sushi included!).

Maxx slept in his residence that night and we went to our hotel. The next day we picked him up after his morning and we all went to lunch with some of his friend and parents, a kind of good bye celebration. I didn’t actually get to talk to him much to see how his orientation went. I also, didn’t really get a chance to say goodbye properly as he suddenly realized that he had to get back to another orientation meeting and rush away. The parting felt chaotic and undone. It was an abrupt hug goodbye. I was strong up until that point but I cracked about then. I let a few tears fall, pulled myself together and proceeded to Starbucks for a double shot of espresso.

I am not the first mother to let her child move on to the next chapter of his life. I have two more children to say goodbye to eventually. I don’t expect it to get easier. But one thing I do know. They were never mine in the first place. They were on loan, entrusted to me by God, my loving Father to raise for His purpose. I think Him for that privilege.