My three children have all graduated now from high school and homeschooling. My husband and I are officially “empty nesters” after 28 years! And I will tell you that the adage “the days are long but the years are short” is oh so true.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and thinking about both the joys and the challenges of homeschooling.
Here’s what I miss the most. And what I don’t miss.
What I Miss the Most
Going on a hike with friends and calling it school.
Reading books aloud on the couch. My friend, Alison, calls this “couch time.” Some of our favorites were the entire Little House on the Prairie series. At least three times through! One winter, we discovered that our living room was exactly the same size and Ma and Pa’s log house in Peppin. So we made our living room into the little house and lived in it for 24 hours. Eye opening.
Seeing my children every day. Making eye contact, hugging them (when they’d let me), eating with them, hearing their voices.
Gathering around the family table. For meals, drawing and painting, projects. Our dining room was the hub of our homeschooling and life. And I miss all the activity.
Going on family trips and calling it school.
Witnessing the learning all the time. Watching my children make discoveries and connections. Watching them be curious about things.
What I Don’t Miss
The arguing and whining. About who gets to sit in the front seat in the car, who gets to choose the game to play, who gets to serve dessert, why one gets to do something the other never did at their age…
The fatigue from not getting enough sleep, lying awake worrying, or just being so busy all the time.
The lack of brain space for my own thoughts.
How much I always underestimated how long things will take!
What Would I Change If I Were to Do It All Over Again?
I think the only thing I’d change is to relax more and stop worrying so much.
To know deep in my heart that it’s not about perfection, it’s all about connection.
To give myself a little more space and grace.
To be more lighthearted and confident, knowing that it all works out just fine no matter what we chose to do on any given day.
Because the days are long and the years are short, my friend.
What you choose to do with your children matters.
But it also doesn’t matter as much as you think!
The relationship definitely matters more than anything else.
The end goal is children who can recognize their gifts and go out into the world to share those gifts with others.
And there’s no better way than the Waldorf approach that I know of to get there.
What I Get To Do Now
My biggest joy these days is getting to connect with Moms like you!
I feel so honored and grateful to now spend my days helping others on the Waldorf homeschooling journey. I am committed to helping parents find their own way, to create a homeschooling plan that is just right for them.
As for my own family, we are all spread out geographically too far for this Mama’s taste!
But I savor the moments when our whole family is back together again at holidays, family events, and summer camping trips.
And I love seeing my children navigating the world as young adults in ways that bring them joy.
It’s been an amazing journey.