I would be remiss to end this series with a post--like #3--about paperwork and requirements.
Why did we start the homeschooling journey? Did we start because we wanted stellar transcripts or ten pages of course descriptions outlining literature pieces and grading scales?
Honestly, when I began researching college admissions for homeschooling high school learners fifteen years ago, I did start with boxes I thought needed to be checked. I really did think that my success as a homeschool mom would be--in part--determined by whether our young adults could go to college (their first choice of course) or hold down a fantastic career. Truth be told, I had a very limited idea about what it meant to homeschool high school and the potential of those years. It wasn't until my first son was well into his college years, my second son graduated high school, and my third began her high school journey that I could understand the value of those years at home; what really mattered in the years we had together. Each one was headed down a unique path. Each one had strengths. Each one needed a different approach.
There is perspective one gains from being far enough through a situation to be able to look back, ponder, and glean from experience.
As we have turned the tassel for several graduates, I have come to realize there are many more things to celebrate than grades and scholarships. Though those are important, and we did celebrate them, they are not the only reason to homeschool through the high school years. Indeed, there are academic abilities and special interests to foster, assignment deadlines to meet, foreign languages to learn, and a final transcript to send to universities. But an unbalanced focus can be detrimental.
There is much to celebrate!
In the Bastian home, we tried our best to allow the young adult to pursue interests, talents, and giftings. If our young adult had aspirations of attending a specific university or starting a business, we walked alongside he or she the best we could, dependent upon the seasons and circumstances of our home at the time. I wrestled with "am I doing enough" and "will he or she look competitive on paper."
Mike, a gifted guidance counselor and life coach, helped me see the bigger picture, reminding me of the real reasons we began homeschooling. Staying focused in the midst of the noise and clamor of blog posts and publication pressures proved difficult for me at times. I was balanced by Mike's ability to see a bigger picture, his ability to see beyond high school, to life down the road. The big picture, not solely the day-to-day and the immediate results. He reminded me there was a person behind the assignments, the grades, and the transcript.
Celebrating high school was the completion of what began the moment our children entered our home and the launching of what would be carried forth to life, to the beginnings of new homes and families.
When our children graduated high school we celebrated the effort put forth by parents and young adults but also the people who poured into the lives of our graduates--grandparents, mentors, aunts, uncles, pastors. These people helped to shape our young adults.
Celebrating high school was less about the knowledge stored up in the minds of our young adults and more about who the young adult was and how they could impact the world.
As you walk through the years of your high schooler's journey, remember the final celebration is less about the knowledge stored up int he student's mind and more about whether the young adult understands his or her strengths and how those strengths will bring value to wherever he or she has an opportunity to impact. The celebration is also about a graduate with a willing open heart, eager to make a difference while contributing to his or her future home, family, community, and the world. Will your young adult have courage and the soft skills to take risks for the sake of other people or important causes? Will he or she have the forbearance to withstand the challenges and opposition of daily life?
When I began researching homeschooling through high school, these questions were rarely, if ever, asked. Perhaps it was because no one could tell us how to prepare for these answers or how to produce the answers we sought. Yet, the answers to these questions were essential to the lives our children led after the tassel was turned, Pomp and Circumstance faded, and the final transcript was printed.
Those answers, my friend, were worth celebrating!
Mike and I would like to invite you to continue the high school journey with us. We publish Celebrate High School newsletter for families considering or currently walking the high school journey. You can subscribe to that newsletter below.
This blog post is intended to offer an example of personal experience. It is in no way intended to be legal advice and should not be taken as such. Parents own the sole responsibility for the training and education of their children.