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22 May 2017


And then there were none.
We graduated our last high school students on Friday evening. Five graduation in five years.

It has been a rich journey, traveling this road of homeschooling. Our primary inspiriation for the very intentional decision to keep our kids home for school came from Scripture, from passages such as
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-8

We began to homeschool not as a statement against anything, only as a means to teach our kids about the Lord our God throughout our day, in our coming in and going out. In addition, we were an active-duty military family in those days, and we knew that we would face frequent moves. Homeschooling allowed us to keep that one thing constant even in the midst of change.

Over the years, we found deep community and sweet fellowship among fellow homeschoolers. Our kids have never lacked for friendships, for opportunities to socialize. They have participated in extracurricular activities and athletics. They have been challenged by other teachers and students in learning opportunities outside the walls of our home. They have read 30-50 books a year as part of their history and literature curriculum. They went searching for rocks and dissected crawdads and fish and frogs and mixed up chemicals in science labs. They are fairly well-rounded students, college-ready by the highest state standard.

But perhaps even more importantly, through the flexibility of homeschooling, we were allowed opportunity for service, and to spend parts of our days looking outside our family. For years, we delivered meals to homebound seniors and invalids. We could be the last minute drop-in care for friends needing a place to send their kids. We could serve the church and her body, together. We met many characters and we have written many stories, together.

After nearly twenty years of raising up these young people, I well know that there is no perfect educational scenario. There were many times when I thought, maybe there's another, a better, option. Yes- we missed some things- no choir or band where we live, no opportunity for varsity sport competition. Quite likely, my kids would have had higher test scores with a better and more diligent math teacher. Homeschooling is not an 8-4 job. Perhaps one of the hardest part of homeschooling is that to make an opportunity, you sometimes have to make it yourself. We found others who wanted a prom, who would participate in student council, who joined us for commencement.

And yet, I feel certain that the words and the love of the Lord are written on my kids' hearts, and for that, I have no greater joy. I know, that is not my work but all the generous grace of our God. I am grateful for these 20 years, and eager to see what the next chapter holds for all of us.

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