Our Homeschool Journey Ends Today and It's Been Wonderful!

After being sad last night I am much improved this morning.

Last night I had already gone to bed when Olivia came in and laid her sweet little head down with me and said, "Mom, tomorrow is my last day of school."

Suddenly the last twenty years of my life flashed before my eyes.

It had been almost twenty years ago I had started to home school Heidi and now here was my baby girl telling me only one more day.

Maybe it was because it was late or because it was dark or because Liv was there beside me but I was surprised to be so emotional.

You see, I've dreamed of this day.

Heidi Joi, Jessica Joi, Lucas Marshall and Olivia Joi
I dreamed of it on those days when the last thing I wanted to do was to have school and the last thing they wanted to do was to have school.

I dreamed of it on those days when they just couldn't get it either because I couldn't get it or I wasn't explaining in their language.

I dreamed of it on those days when we got on each others nerves and I was about to go over the emotional abyss.

The days I wanted to pull in front of West Washington School and say, "Here you take them!" It was days like that I dreamed of a day like today.

While everyone who has ever attempted to school their own children knows there are days like that the truth is they are the exception.

I can honestly say I would never and I mean never trade a single day of the last twenty years of my motherhood for anything.

I remember when they each one started to read, I can still see the look in their eyes when something clicked.

I remember all the projects and crafts and stories.

I remember one day a week weather permitting we would go to the park, sometimes the Salem Park, sometimes Spring Mill and sometimes just that over look pull off on 135 south of Salem.

Then I thought about going to the nursing home to read to the residents. We would go to the living room area and I would read Little House on the Prairie while the kids sat with the residents who came to listen.

We went on field trips,local of course. They played soccer at the Y.

There were piano lessons, swim lessons, 4-H projects, violin lessons, karate and crocheting lessons.

They worked here on the farm with their dad everyday after school was over.
They picked tomatoes, packed tomatoes and sold tomatoes.

They raised feeder pigs, calves, and chickens.

They sold eggs and had ducks.

We ate together lived together, worked together and learned together.

I know there were things my children didn't get like they might have got if they went to a public or private school.

I also know they got a lot they wouldn't have got had they gone.

Heidi has decided to make her home her career. She is a wonderful cook, terrific with money, and an encouraging, helpful, loving wife.

Lucas is beginning his last year at Indiana State in Terre Haute and is doing wonderful.

Jessica completed her cosmetology school and has been working for two years now building up a great clientele.

Olivia will start school in the fall and her course is undecided but she is leaning toward the medical field.

While I''m pleased with all of that my real joy is in the kind of people they are.

They are not perfect, mistakes have been made and more will be.

They didn't have perfect parents, our mistakes were many.

When they were little I didn't realize how great my mistakes, now I do.

I ask as every mother does for mercy on my failures.

How many nights have I stayed awake asking God to please have mercy and fix what I had hurt. To restore what I had broken, either with a harsh impatient word or response.

When I survery my children now, I have to say God is faithful, He did step in, He did raise them up in spite of me.

I bow before Him and give Him all the praise, the honor and the glory for my children and I thank Him for giving me such a wonderful gift and for opening my eyes so that I could taste it to the fullest.

So today finds me at the end of a road.

I'll have to take one of the many turns I see, I'm thinking it will be the one with Mark standing at the end of it.

I'm sure he thinks it's about time.


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