Tomorrow officially begins my daughter’s senior year of homeschooling. When I say “officially”, I mean that she begins classes and independent studies toward her high school diploma. In truth, Audrey is always learning. This summer she played the piano, read, watched classic films, took Spanish lessons, wrote a film script, and created a screenwriting program.
Friends have said to me, “Now you can see the light at the end of the tunnel !”
Yes, we are on the homestretch toward graduation, but as I think more about that expression I realize it doesn’t quite fit. I wouldn’t describe our homeschooling years as a tunnel. There was nothing dark or long about it. It was a multi-year journey that took us to all kinds of interesting places. Along the way, I sometimes had doubts that we were not on the right (or best) path, that something would be missed. Gradually, I let go of these uncertainties. My daughter’s happiness and engagement in learning was what mattered most.
Audrey and I both miss the early carefree days of this journey, when we weren’t thinking about transcripts, standardized tests, and college admissions. In the elementary years, Audrey had lots of time to play, explore, create, imagine, dance, and think. (Not to mention, sleep.) We took so many wonderful field trips to art and science museums, historical places, nature centers, plays, concerts, and dance performances. Audrey joined other homeschoolers at zoo school, MIT science workshops, wilderness training, drama class, community service and Jewish holiday activities.
She spent a lot of time outdoors.
No homework, no grades.
And the time flew by! I really can’t believe we’ve already arrived at this place.
Now she’s finishing up her subject tests, visiting colleges, preparing her portfolio, and writing application essays. She is passionate about her career plans. She knows what she wants to study in college. Keeping her goal in mind makes taking high school calculus more palatable. As busy as she will be this senior year, there will still be time time for adventure and hanging out with friends.
We kick off the year with a college biology class and then the annual Not-Back-To-School picnic.
It’s all part of the journey. I want to enjoy every moment.
Yes, next June there will be light and joy mixed with sadness. One long journey ending—a new one beginning.