Saturday, December 4, 2010

This Feels Like a Milestone

We were so thrilled to hear that Malcolm, our eldest, received a job offer at the company where he has been interning! What a huge relief, to be employed (and actually doing something in his field that is a good starting place) just before he graduates this month.

I've had other homeschoolers ask if I had a sense of, "Whew, I did it!" at various points, like when Malcolm transitioned well to adding community college classes to his homeschool classes in 11th and 12th grade, when he was accepted with scholarship offers to the universities of his choice, when he graduated homeschool . . . even now that he's graduating with a degree and a couple of minors, the first time I felt a sense of closure, of successful launch if you will, was that news of employment doing something he will enjoy.

We are not adamant that each of our children go to college. The academic goals of our homeschool are to prepare them to do what they love and are called to, and to create lifelong learners. In the case of Malcolm, this did mean a degree. Nigel is re-taking the SAT this morning and is finishing up college apps - his dream means that he'll need a master's, but he has a really solid plan for this. Sophia wants to follow her mother's "career" and be a wife and mother at home :-). She is taking college courses now to prepare her for engaging our culture, for educating her children, and to have the underpinnings of further education if life takes her that way.

All of the children younger than that are still . . . young.

Am I proud of having homeschooled such an accomplished, kind, friendly man through high school now that he's graduating university? Well - no. I don't actually take "credit" internally. I'm just not wired that way as a mother for some reason. I mean, you know the feeling you get inside when a project you're doing comes out way better than you could have hoped? You look at it and feel that warm glow of pride? I just never feel that with the children. Homeschooling feels like taking years of tools created by others and sharing them with these wonderful people The Patriarch and I were blessed with. I've never felt like a teacher, more like a co-traveler through life, standing in delight and saying, "Look at this! Isn't this fascinating?" I am amazed by the children, in awe of their talents, but God's grace and their own work and giftings are what we see, and I don't take credit, as I just provide tools and encouragement (and a whole lotta driving around) and get out of the way.

I am thrilled and delighted and relieved at what feels like a successful launch with Malcolm, and what he does with computers is far beyond my comprehension.  I do say this, "We are so proud of you", but that means not, "Wow do I have a warm glow of personal accomplishment here", but rather, "You are amazing. You have done so well, and you have done it by long hard work. Always be thankful for what God has graced you with, and use it well for His glory. We're so glad you're in our family."

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