We recently had some new neighbors move in next door, and we were thrilled when we were able to meet them. It’s always fun to hear people’s stories. Come to find out we are both originally from California! Crazy!
Anyway, we chatted for a few minutes asking all of the fun first questions. And it came up that I home school our children. Our neighbor said they had tried it, and it just didn’t work. At that point, I was standing there a little bit awkwardly not quite sure what to say. (When this is said to me, I always feel like they’re implying I’ve reached sainthood, but they were unable to attain such a lofty status.) We quickly moved on and finished our chat. He left for his errands, and we continued our walk to the park.
However, I’ve been thinking about that conversation ever since then. I think I know now what I would say.
Every parent sacrifices and works hard to educate their children. The necessary homework, the reading and writing practice, math homework (I feel that math homework totally deserves it’s own honorable mention given how much time it takes. Algebra 1 is what’s going down in my home this year!), social interaction, teaching and training how to be a good upstanding citizen, problem solving, and so much more! Being a parent to an elementary student is an honor and privilege…and hard work. Being a parent to a middle school and junior high student is an honor and a privilege…and hard work. And as we are just now about to enter high school, I’m finding that once again this season of life is an honor and a privilege…and hard work.
As I look back over the nine years I’ve homeschooled my children, I see how quickly the years passed. I look back over how each one of my kids has grown and matured. I’m so excited to see the young adults that they are becoming. And I cannot wait to see the path their futures take.
Each season of parenting and schooling (no matter the type of schooling!) is an honor and privilege because, as the parent, you are watching and encouraging and seeing the birth of an adult before your very eyes. And that is the honor and privilege of every parent.
That is what I would say to my neighbor today.
~ Carrie ~