I feel poignant as my eldest child graduates from our homeschool.
I won’t say I’ve done my best. We all have regrets and would love to make changes.
You’re my firstborn and I made many, many mistakes. I am trying to make amends for those mistakes. I think I’m doing better now.
I was amazed by the precocious little girl you were.
I am amazed by the woman you are becoming.
I still remember you as you were the day you were born, with your angry lower lip.
I remember when you bravely went to day care.
I remember when you were bored at preschool.
I remember that first year of homeschooling.
I remember with trepidation as you went for one whole month to third grade at the DoD school on base.
I remember the awkward middle school years.
I remember when I wasn’t there for you.
I remember when I was harsh and hard.
I remember the tears, scrapes, eye rolls, slammed doors, cuddles, and snuggles.
I remember the arguments over my trying to control you.
I remember the struggles over math and bullies.
I remember when you wanted to be an artist, a dentist, a veterinarian, and more.
I can hardly wait to see what you decide.
I’ve seen you shine as a leader at Civil Air Patrol.
I’ve tried to nurture your dreams and offer you experiences to shape your ideas.
I’ve watched you shine on stage and become another person from another time and place.
I’ve watched in awe as you go off to volunteer at the hospital – in the laboratories, maternity ward, pediatrics.
I’ve listened to you sing and play piano.
We’ve looked at amazing art and history in Europe‘s museums.
You’re a great big sister.
We drank Champagne in Paris while viewing the twinkling Eiffel Tower.
You’re so much more than a test score.
The PSAT and SAT are just numbers that mean so very little.
Grades mean nothing.
You’ve learned so much – about the world, history, current events, yourself.
That can’t be measured on a Scan-Tron.
Never stop learning.
We hiked up Diamond Head in Hawaii. I think I’m still sore, years later!
We’ve had a lot of fun in so many beautiful places.
I’d give you the world if I could. And the sun and moon and stars.
We’ve flown over oceans and lived in so many different places.
We’ve endured the stress of moving five times and survived.
I’m proud of you, my daughter, as an strong individual – with original thoughts, dreams, and views.
I’m excited for this new stage in your life and in our relationship.
It’s been awkward for you as a teenager living in Europe.
The rules and laws are different here than in the USA.
On one hand, you have more freedoms, but on the other hand, you have fewer freedoms. At age sixteen, teens in Europe can drink beer and wine, but cannot get a license to drive until age eighteen. As an American, you still cannot get a paying job on or off base until over age eighteen.
So, we have some catching up to do as we move back to the States.
This next year will be busy – finishing up some history and literature studies, applying for college and scholarships, getting a part-time job, learning how to drive and getting a driver’s license.
So many changes and responsibilities, so quickly.
We all have fears for the future.
It’s scary to have so many options and have to make hard decisions.
Homeschooling prepares teens to make decisions and think critically.
I pray that I have prepared you adequately.
Many military families don’t have the luxury of oodles of family members or friends to commemorate the occasion.
Sending out announcements seems like just begging for money and gifts.
Many homeschool students are already earning college credits. Lots have jobs already.
Some graduates don’t want a lot of fuss for various reasons.
Like we’ve done for the past however many years, we can customize a graduation for our needs and desires.
How to celebrate this milestone:
- graduation ceremony with homeschool group, co-op, church, or family
- nice dinner out
- fun trip – for the day, weekend, or whatever is within your means
- luggage set
- money for a gap year
- party with friends
- evening in or out with immediate family
- photo shoot – with or without a graduation cap and gown
- flowers, gifts, photo collage or scrapbook
- framed diploma
Michele Morin says
Just graduated my third son. I’m not sure it gets easier.
One thing I know for sure is that I’m thankful for all the hours that homeschooling gave me with my boys. Some of them were hard hours and many times I did not live up to my own standards for teaching OR for parenting, but I”m thankful for all four of my boys and am wondering what it will be like to be teaching only one child this fall.
Blessings to you, Jennifer!
I’m thankful for all the time I have with my kids. Homeschooling is so awesome!
Donna Reidland says
She sounds like an amazingly beautiful (inside and out) young woman! Another of my granddaughters just graduated from homeschooling, as well! I’m so thankful to my children and the willingness to parent and homeschool even when it’s challenging. Congratulations to her and to you! Thanks for linking up at Mondays @ Soul Survival. Have a wonderful June!
Such a legacy you have, Grandma!
Angela Howard says
Such a milestone for both of you! Sweet memories. Thank you for sharing your story as I’ll be watching my first born graduate this time next year. Visiting from #mommymoments
Enjoy that last year!
Ifeoma Samuel says
A big congratulations to your daughter!
It is amazing seeing your labour fruitful.
God bless Jennifer
It makes everything worth it!
Lisa (mummascribbles) says
This is a lovely post and your daughter is just beautiful. Congratulations on such a momentous occasion:) thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday
Thank you so much!
Maree Dee says
Congratulations to both of you. What a beautiful post and tribute to your relationship with your daughter.
Mother of 3 says
Aw, what a sweet look back.
five little doves says
Ahh this is so lovely! Well done to your beautiful daughter! It sounds as though she has had such a great start in life, lovely photos! #twinklytuesdays
She’s beautiful, Jennifer. Congratulations to you both. We graduated our two oldest from homeschool in 2014 and 2016. Oh the sweet memories. Prayers for her as she spreads her wings and flies. And prayers for her mama, too. ((Hug))
This is so sweet, Jennifer. As a homeschool mom myself, I’m encouraged to know that we can mess up and our kids still make it through. Thanks for sharing today on #QuietlyThroughThursday.
Debbie Kitterman says
Such a beautiful post, Jennifer! Congratulations to your daughter! Both of my children have graduated high school, enjoy the celebration! I’m visiting you today from #warriorlinkup.
Linda S says
What a beautiful post! Congratulations on your graduate! That is so exciting, amazing, mind-boggling, right? We’ve graduated four from our homeschool so far and each time I am filled with awe. I love how you list the beauty and joy and realizations in your letter to your daughter. As I read through I found myself saying, “Yes! Yes!”
Prayers for your graduate as she moves into the next steps on Life’s Journey.
Brandi Raae says
So beautiful. I love your transparency.
I’ve been wanting to blog something similar about my firstborn who also graduated this May. (Homeschooling from Kindergarten – 10th grade and Arizona Virtual Academy his last 2 years.) You’ve inspired me to think on it some more. :)
Brandi Raae says
Choosing this as my favorite Literacy Musing Mondays post! Will be featured tomorrow. :)
Congratulations! Your pride in your beautiful daughter shines in the text. Thanks for sharing with us at Creatively Crafty #ccbg