The End is the Beginning

Today is significant. Very significant. Today we declared an end to our first year of homeschooling. I wish I could say that we FINISHED all the books but we didn’t. But we started this particular school year exactly 379 days ago, and that is more than one year, so we declared an end. It is necessary because in exactly 28 days, we will be declaring a new beginning- the first day of school for our second year of homeschooling.

A second year signifies that the first wasn’t an utter complete failure in my book. It means we still like each other enough that we want to continue this “all day, every day” togetherness. It means that God is still leading us on the path of schooling our kids, both academically and in life, at home.

To celebrate, we partied it up. We pulled out the ‘ole sharpies and poster board and made non-Pinterest-worthy signs. And took pictures for posterity.

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Then we headed out to a local importer of American candy to redeem our tickets earned throughout the year, in exchange for good attitudes and hard work.

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We grabbed some FroYo, because that sweetens every occasion (ha!)

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And the boy’s mother was super sweet- her gift to me as their teacher (yes, the mother and teacher are one and the same) was a gift certificate for a much-needed massage. Ahhhh, thanks, me.

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I also wanted to reward myself with a few minutes of reflection on this year, this very significant year. So you can stop reading if you aren’t interested. But as this has been one of the biggest undertakings of my life, and so completely opposite from anything I ever planned to do, then I feel it deserves a place in my writing-world.

I look back to a blog I wrote right before I started this whole thing. I knew this would be a year of bending, molding, and maybe a little necessary breaking of ME to make me better.

I got rid of my list of “I am nots” and asked God to help me be whatever was needed.

I successfully worked longer at this project than I ever have on anything else (closest next thing lasted 2 weeks).

My kids and I talked about life and Jesus and scientific stuff and stuff I didn’t even know about. So we looked up things together. We did this life schooling at home, in other countries, on long road trips, in restaurants, with friends, with tears and with laughter.

We learned to push ourselves. We learned to encourage each other. We learned what we love and what we don’t. We learned to create things. We learned that we love flexibility but need more routine. We made changes. Many, many changes.

My kids never fight anymore. Just kidding.

So this end is the beginning. A new start for our very first post-homeschool summer vacation, and a new chance to do this life school thing for another year. We’ve all got some new lessons to learn, some in books and most not. Most lessons will be learned in the heart, and in our character, pulling out strength and resolve we didn’t know existed, refining the good and turning the potential into actual.

And just like last year, I’m excited to see what adventures that will bring. But first, summer vacation has started! I’m going to enjoy it.

6 thoughts on “The End is the Beginning

  1. Bravo! Bravo for finishing what you started, for doing what needed to be done to educate your children, and bravo that you all survived!! For a brief millisecond I considered homeschooling since I thought it would end fighting among my kids. Rats!!! That would have been worth it!

  2. What a great occasion to celebrate! It’s so fun to see the pictures of the boys because I know them now and can just hear their voices and can imagine how much fun it was for them. God has carried you all through this adventure. If it was me He would of been dragging me through but again it’s His strength that gets us through each day no matter if it’s a challenge for us or not! Enjoy your summer vacation!! Micky

  3. I have been a homeschool mom/teacher for 24 years, and still hanging in there. The years that we finished every subject =0. And still my grown kids are excellent grown-ups and my remaining kids are healthy, happy, and learning. This is what counts, right? Even without the completion of subjects, neither I nor my kids would trade this life. So, so worth it!

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