This is an open letter to you mothers who are graduating a
child from your homeschool. You’ve been working toward this day for YEARS. Now
the cap and gown are purchased, the transcript is polished, and perhaps the college
applications are complete. Congratulations are in order for your student,
Not so fast. This is a congratulations for YOU. For years
you have not only been Mom, you’ve taught every subject in every grade level. Letters
and numbers, math and reading, writing and grammar, spelling and vocabulary,
science, history, and everything else.
You agonized over curriculum catalogs to determine the best
history curriculum. You filled out pages and pages of notes and ideas. You
debated which timeline to purchase. You researched the most exciting way to
construct a pyramid. Maybe you made Pilgrim costumes, and you definitely went
on more field trips than in your own elementary career!
You dreaded high school math and as you helped your little
guy with basic addition. You explained long division for weeks and wiped tears
of math frustration. You may have even cried your own tears of math
frustration. You hired a math tutor when it came time for Algebra and Geometry,
dutifully driving to lessons each week and thanking your lucky stars that there
are other moms out there who actually love math.
You taught every letter sound, checked every spelling test,
corrected every math problem, discussed every era of history, explained more
parts of speech than you thought possible, explored all the scientific theories
and inventions, discussed all the literary classics, and stayed up late looking
for answers when there was something your child “just didn’t get.”
You joined co-op classes and park days and teams and clubs. You put untold miles on your car to take your child to their
homeschool basketball practices and games (because there is no school bus for
homeschoolers). You organized a book club and held it in your home. You
paid for lessons in violin, piano, tuba, and drums until your child found their
true calling. You’ve started groups and teams when you couldn’t find the one
your kids needed.
You were not only the teacher, you were the school
counselor, nurse, lunch lady, PE coach, driving instructor, secretary, and
janitor. On top of that were probably a church member, wife, neighbor, and
You encouraged your child when they said, “I can’t do math,”
and secretly wondered if it was true. You cried and prayed when you were so
exhausted that you felt like giving up and sending them back to school.
Graduation day seemed to be hundreds of years in the future,
until one day you’re placing the order for a cap and gown, scheduling senior
pictures, and signing your name on that beautiful diploma. How did you get
here? You probably had a few days in there when you though it would never
You have finally discovered what other veteran moms, seminar
speakers, bloggers, and authors told you: slow and steady wins the race.
Homeschooling, like parenting, is a lengthy commitment, but the rewards are
astounding. And you have completed the race!
Normally, we look down our noses when participation trophies
are awarded because, hey, that’s now how life works, right? But in this race,
everyone wins. Schooling your own children is not for the faint of heart, and a
very small percentage of parents dare attempt it. But YOU did. And YOU
So, consider this YOUR ribbon, your trophy, and your participation
t-shirt, because mama, you earned it! Well done, good and faithful servant!
Now, take a day off, get a latte, a pedicure, and a nap! And then tell the world IT CAN BE DONE.