In a few short weeks, my baby graduates from our homeschool. Several of my friends are curious as to how I will handle the “closing of my homeschool”. It puzzles them that I’m not more concerned about this grand event. I’m not sure whether they’re more concerned about my reaction to the graduation ceremony or the impending school closing!
I realized a few years ago that some of my friends weren’t ready for the big change in their lives. They weren’t totally sure of who they were, now that they weren’t homeschooling moms. It occurred to me that I needed to be creating a “new identity”. I started working on some hobbies that “I’d always meant to pursue”. I started teaching at a co-op, so that I’d still be able to teach. This way, as my daughter is trying on her new identity of “Super College Student”, I have a new identity too!
Truthfully, my biggest fear with the graduation is falling on the steps as we go forward to give our daughter her diploma. I remember thinking that my high school graduation wasn’t that big a deal because I was going on to college. For that matter, my college graduation wasn’t that big a deal, because I was getting married that evening. I actually skipped my baccalaureate ceremony! I guess I still carry that philosophy today. A friend of mine pointed out that graduation is a milestone on the path of your child’s life, and it should be celebrated for that reason. My children have both wanted to celebrate their high school graduations and I always want to celebrate my kids. So here we are, on the cusp of the next scene in the play of my “little one’s“ life!
The beauty of this graduation is that my daughter is not moving away from home, she’s just changing schools. She still comes to me to proof-read her papers and to look over her shoulder as she’s studying something that doesn’t make sense. Unfortunately, we have reached the point that if it doesn’t make sense to her; I’m probably not going to be any help! But at least I can commiserate.
My son could not wait to be on his own. He moved right into the dorm, and even though he was only a few miles away. We were lucky if we saw him more than once a month. A year after he graduated from college, he moved to California. He’s actually gotten to be very good at calling or texting me once a week with an “important question” so that I still feel useful.
Our daughter was very premature, so her baby years lasted a long time. In that time, she and I developed quite a bond, which homeschooling only strengthened. We’ve spent a lot of time together. Most days were good, but there is always a bit of “trauma” when two women with similar temperaments occupy the same space. However, I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m glad I’ll be around to see her continue her education as a college student. When she leaves home to establish her own home, I’ll be sad…for me. Because the truth is…she’s ready.
by Linda Wooldridge, FPEA Relationship Ambassador. Linda has been homeschooling since 1998. She facilitates orientations for new homeschoolers in Pinellas County as well as coordinating high school activities for her support group.