Monday, June 2, 2014

Graduation Day: A Homeschooling Mom's Pièce de Résistance

Many of you know I am a homeschooling mom.  My two older children graduated high school several years ago.  I have three more years to go with my youngest.  High school graduation is exciting for us home school families too, but I am talking about college graduation here.

Last year my daughter graduated from Western Michigan University with honors in biology with two minors: math and chemistry.  She is back working with one of her professors on a bird research project. She plans to get her masters in biology and wants to do some type of research involving animals.

This year my son graduated from our local community college with an associates in applied science and a certificate in Computer Aided Design (CAD).  He also graduated with magna cum laude honors, as well as the top student in his program. He has been working for the past year for a company in CAD design.  He plans to go on to university this fall to get a bachelor's in Product Design and possibly get an Engineering degree.

Our college is the Home of the Lumberjacks!  Go Lumberjacks!

Of course he can only be serious for so long.  He is our "class clown."

Dad had to work that night, so we drove over to his work place after the ceremony to get a picture with him.
Of course I am always behind the camera and didn't get in any of these.  Never mind that I was his home school teacher for 12 years! :P

We are proud of both of them and their accomplishments  As a home school mom, we were among the first few to start homeschooling in our area.  Although not true pioneers of the movement, it was still a subject that often raised eyebrows and sometimes concerned well meaning family members.  We were blessed in that most of our family was supportive, and those who we "heard" had voiced concerns, did not openly oppose us.  Of course, now we get lots of congratulations from friends and family, and homeschooling is a widely excepted means of education for millions of kids.

I do not say all this to brag. Today my older kids are smarter than I am, especially in math...not my strong suit. My hope is to encourage mom's who are considering or are already homeschooling. Early on, I was terrified that I was not going to do a good job, that my kids would not do well...and on, and on.  Relax mom, your child is an amazing learning machine.  They will learn, sometimes despite you ;)  Use good curriculum for math and science, and I encourage phonics for teaching reading and spelling.  After that, have them read and read and read.  Read to them and let them read themselves.  Read all kinds of books from comics to classics.  Find magazines about subjects that interest them.

Most other people's concern was "socializing."  I won't get into all the argument about how public school "socializing," is not normal social activity in our society, other than to state that as adults we work and mingle with people of all ages.  All the 45 year olds don't sit together apart from the 38 year olds :)  My kids are and have always been as comfortable with most teens and adults as they are with kids their own age.

They had multiple social activities from church on Sundays and Wednesday nights, home school group every week, girl and boy scouts, dance (my daughter), soccer (my boys), and many, many other avenues through the years.

So to all you home school moms out there, my hat is off to you.  It is not always an easy road, but the rewards are so worth it.  My kids are my Pièce de Résistance.  They are worth every sacrifice I have made to stay at home and school them.  Love you Jamie, Tyler and Jared!


  1. Big congratulations! You are an amazing mom and a great teacher. Three well educated, successful students to your credit. Worth every sacrifice!!!

  2. Congratulations! Not only to your son but to you---you are the educator and I am sure you learned a lot right along with them. I love home-schooled kids-I have never met one that was socially awkward yet. You have done a great job and your kids will thank you for it their whole lives- xo Diana

  3. We've done both homeschool, and public school and although there are benefits to both, I can honestly say my son learned a lot more when he was homeschooled. He was also happier and a calmer kid. Unfortunately, sometimes other necessities win out and life forces you to make decisions, but now that he's back in public school, we still have a homeschool mentality, that it is our job to educate him and supplement where his school fails.
    Congratulations on your awesome graduates!

  4. Hi Deborah, Congrats to your son on his graduation. Your son has an amazing start to life and you are behind that achievement. You have done a wonderful job as a mother and teacher. Homeschooling gives an advantage to life and I think socializing comes easy for home schooled kids.
    Love your pics and the happiness of a path well traveled to this point. I wish for your son all the best as he goes forward.
    God Bless!!

  5. Congratulations on a job well done, Deborah! I'm so impressed by your children's accomplishments and especially with your accomplishments as their teacher. Your pride in them is well earned and well deserved. If I was a young mother again, I'd definitely home school. I can't think of anything more important and rewarding.


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