I received a letter this week. My husband read it and said, “That is the type of letter you have to save!” I immediately thought of my blog and I thought many of you could benefit from it. It comes from a now post-homeschooling mom of 4, who started one of the homeschooling co-ops that I am blessed to be a part of. Below are the excerpts of the letter that I thought you would
like NEED to read.
June 5, 2011
My years of home schooling may have come to an end, but my involvement in education has not. I am currently working on my master’s degree in education and have a private practice as an educational therapist. This is a fancy way of saying that I work with kiddos (and adults) that learn differently. I absolutely love this new chapter of my life to which God has so graciously directed me. Educational therapy is a no nonsense, extremely effective intervention that has the potential to change a student’s life and I find this to be very rewarding besides a lot of fun. In addition, I will be writing, consulting, and intend to stay connected to home schoolers.
After being a public school teacher for a short time after college, I began 24 of the most fabulous years of my life: being a mom. My husband allowed me to pursue my dream of being a stay-at-home, home schooling mom. Yes, it was a financial sacrifice, but one that we made gladly. The years have gone all too quickly which makes me even more thankful that I had a husband willing to allow me to raise our kids, in our own home, with our own values. I implore all of you moms, if there is any way to make it possible for you to stay home with your kiddos and home school rather than heading off to work, do it! Make the sacrifices. Give up the vacation or the newer car. Make home cooked meals in your own kitchens and forgo the restaurants. Whatever you have to do to make ends meet so that your kids can have you at home, do it. They need you and you won’t regret it. And believe me, if my husband and I made it through 24 years on one modest income, so can you. Raising your kids yourself is the greatest privilege ever. Ever. And it goes so quickly.
Allow me a moment to “introduce” my kids to you. Luke at 24, is a retired U.S. Marine and Iraq War veteran, and will be heading back to college this fall. Linnea is 22, has a bachelor’s degree in music with high honors, and will begin work on her master’s degree this fall. Libby is almost 20, a senior in college, and is studying art. She will complete her bachelor’s degree in 3 years with high honors. Lexi, who is about to turn 18, completed almost a year’s worth of college while still in high school and will head to Olivet Nazarene University on scholarship this fall with her sister, Libby. These four incredible young adults were home schooled from beginning to end and are my four “case studies” in home schooling. In summary: Home schooling works. While my home and home school were far from perfect, it was fertile ground to grow kids into responsible adults. I did my part as best I could so that my kids had the best springboard for launching into adulthood, but believe me, I made a lot of mistakes. A favorite quote of mine by Dr. James Dobson is, “As a parent you don’t have to do everything right, you just have to do a lot of things right.” What a relief! I am no different than you, so if I can do it, you can do it. If you doubt yourself and find yourself wanting to throw in the towel, contact me, and I will talk you off the ledge.
I have often suggested to many of you that it is a worthy exercise to write down your home schooling/parenting goals and periodically take that list out, evaluate your progress, and tweak your lifestyle accordingly. Written goals give you a target at which to aim. If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. Some of you have requested the list of goals that I established years ago for my home school. So for whatever it’s worth, here goes:
- Encourage my children’s walk with God.
- Develop healthy family relationships.
- Build Godly character.
- Enhance academic development.
- Instill a love of learning in my children and the tools they need to continue to educate themselves for the rest of their lives.
Your kiddos only have so many years left with you in your home- then they are gone. You can hope that they will still come to you for friendship and counsel- but your years of influence while they are still “wet clay” will end soon. Be wise with the time you have left.
For my recent birthday my sweet Linnea gave me a beautiful silver box. For an inscription on the lid she chose the following quote by Helen Keller: “I will not just live my life. I will not just spend my time. I will invest my life.” That’s what I look at the past 24 years of parenting as- an investment for the future. That’s what I look at my years with Potter’s Hand as- an investment for the future. That’s what I hope you all look at your home schooling as- an invaluable investment for the future.
It is difficult to stop doing something that I love to do, but necessity dictates. As I open the next chapter of my life and place the home schooling baton firmly into the hands of those of you who are privileged to continue in this extraordinary task, keep in mind the words of Og Mandino: “Take the baton, now. Run with it! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be [gone] at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster. And do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same.”
I think Jesus would agree.
It’s me again….I wanted to post this because I think it is important to see someone on the “other side” of homeschooling. She did it, her kids did it! It is always great to see that it works and what advice someone from the “other side” has to offer us in the middle of it, or even just starting. This is posted with her permission and blessing. For more info on what Lorri does see below: (She would love to hear from you if you have any questions about her next step)
Licensed Educational Therapist
Educational Therapy for Learning Disabilities
Educational Therapy for Learning Differences
Search & Teach for Early Intervention