One of the unique things about me is that I’m a second-generation homeschooling momma. That means I was homeschooled and now homeschool my kiddos. Yesterday morning, my heart was in my throat as I watched my baby girl board the school bus. She may be 13, almost 14, but this was the first time she’s stepped outside our homeschool to take classes. Let me tell you, it’s a big step.
And for this mom who went from homeschooling to a community college a lot smaller than her high school, it’s a wee bit daunting. So why are we taking this step?
1) I try to hold homeschooling with an open hand. It’s not who I am but part of what I do.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re still very much a homeschooling family. Our daughter is taking two classes at the high school and the rest at home. But about three or four years ago, a trusted friend asked why we homeschool if our lives were bordering on chaotic? That’s when I realized I needed to make sure my identity wasn’t wrapped up in homeschooling. My identity should be firmly rooted in who I am as God’s daughter, not one of my roles here on earth. That’s impacted how I walk this journey — even though we still homeschool.
2) Each child is different. Our daughter wants to be a flight nurse (think life flight helicopters). This takes a certain set of science skills I can’t necessarily give her. The high school has a 4 year bio-med program for students who want to go into medical fields. So for her, this makes total and complete sense. And…
3) This fills in my weaknesses with another’s strengths. There are many reasons I went to law school instead of medical school. Science is a leading one. Don’t get me wrong — I do well in science — but I made it through undergrad without dissecting anything that had blood pumping through its veins at any point in time. Shudder. Last semester our babysitter dissected all kinds of “fun” things with the kids while I taught at Purdue. I came home to a cleaned up house and candles burning. Of course my oldest two are headed into STEM fields. Yet God has provided avenues to shore up my weaknesses. And I’m willing to ask for the help. I’m so excited our daughter gets to take classes with the bio-med teacher. That woman is passionate and enthusiastic about science. The perfect antidote for me!
4) Stretching is a good thing. My husband and I asked our 13 year old if she was excited or nervous. She said she’d been nervous all week, but was a good actress. I know she’ll do great. We wouldn’t let her go if we didn’t think she’d thrive. So this is a good time to let her stretch and learn that those stretching times are good and healthy.
As school starts all over the country, what tips do you have for kids that are launching into a new endeavor? What’s your favorite back-to-school advice?