written in April of 2010
I graduated from homeschool high school today.
After I closed my last textbook, I realized that I will never again sit at the kitchen table and vie with my two brothers for my mom’s attention for help with long division.
I will never again sit and watch Mom write out “…phylum, class, order…” during science class on the makeshift “chalkboard” she constructed. I won’t ever again see Mom at the head of the kitchen table helping us recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I will never have to bring Daddy my algebra work again, in utter despair of ever getting it right, only to discover he can help me understand.
Or maybe that will happen, only it will be college algebra, and it will make me oh-so-homesick for homeschool.
And to think, I used to dream about going to “real school!” How many memories I would never have known! How many advantages I would have missed out on!
Throughout my school years, I often chose to study in bed or outside. Watching the green things grow in the yard from my back porch helped me tremendously when it came to finishing my assignments. Well, maybe not, but these times did instill in me a love for admiring Creation, which grew into a love for the Creator!
The time spent contemplating the flight of a butterfly didn’t get me into too much trouble, anyway, because I had the freedom to spend as much or as little time in each subject as I needed. The personalization of my school day that homeschooling afforded, I now esteem to be of the utmost importance.
Would I ever have learned algebra if Mom hadn’t been able to devote hours upon hours Monday morning to helping me get through the lesson?
Would I ever have loved history as much if I hadn’t had the opportunity to read through the entire textbook as if it were a novel?
It really was more like “unschooling,” as Everly eloquently put it.
My school day was not only more relaxed but much shorter than those of my public school peers. Because of this, in addition to providing me with a quality education, my parents took the time to teach me many life-skills that so many learn late or not at all, like how to budget, how to patch a hole in the wall, how to repair a rip in a pair of jeans, and how to pump gas.
I was also able to spend a lot of leisure time reading good books and writing.
I am so thankful for those afternoons I was able to devote to letting my imagination run wild!
I wonder, would I have ever stumbled upon my love of writing if my childhood had been different?
I think my writing journey would have been much different had I not had so much time to revel in the stories authored by others (and eventually author my own stories on that clunky computer in the closet).
I am so thankful that I have been homeschooled my entire life—so thankful I have the many sweet and funny memories I treasure, so thankful I have the discipline instilled in me after many years of being an independent learner, so thankful I enjoyed a childhood in which I could explore the world around me both in person and through other’s eyes in books and my own imagination.
Most of all, I am so thankful to my parents and the wealth of patience, love, and hard work they invested in me, and to my Savior and Lord, who has proven over and over in my life that He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
I graduated on June 5th, two days before my eighteenth birthday. On June 26th, my family and friends threw me a party. Peach dress. Country music and Southern gospel songs playing in the background. The most beautiful white cake you ever did see. And peach roses…