I can’t believe I’m writing my very last Homeschool Day in the Life. My youngest is a senior this year. So here it is, my Homeschool Day in the Life with a senior in high school.
I can’t help but reflect back on the phases of our homeschooling as I set out to write this. There are such shifts not only in terms of the activities our children are engaged in, but also in our role as the homeschooling parent as the years go by. I have three children, the first two are boys very close in age, then quite a gap in years before our daughter was born.
I think back to those early years when I was mostly holding the space and being fully present without directly teaching much. It felt like such hard work without much to show for it! I found my job was mostly setting up the environment, and often helping my very busy boys to redirect their energy!
Then were the elementary years when we were engaged in main lesson blocks while at the same time I was helping my kindergarten daughter find ways of redirecting her energy that weren’t disruptive to the learning going on!
Then came the high school years. Twice. My oldest went to the local public high school. The next two homeschooled through those years.
And now this is it. My last year as a homeschooling Mom. My daughter turns 18 next week and I’m still not quite sure how we got here!
What are our days like now? I’d say that last year was really more like my last year homeschooling although I didn’t know it at the time. I taught two classes for teens last year. This year is the first in 29 years that I haven’t been teaching young people. I tell everyone I’m taking a sabbatical. To work with Moms as a mentor. (If you’re curious, you can find details on Mentor Sessions with Jean here.)
Now on to this year. This senior year of high school for Lila has three main components: her classes that are all taken for dual credit (both high school and college credit) at a community college, her work as a supervisor at a café, and speedskating.
So really, to describe a Day in the Life with a senior, I’m not sure which day of the week I’d choose because they all different.
If it’s a Monday, you’d find Lila off to work at a little café where she’s a supervisor. Then she comes home to eat and heads to speedskating practice.
If it’s a Tuesday, you’d find her off to classes at the community college. Her classes are all taken for dual credit, both high school and college. All three of my children have participated in some version of dual credit classes in high school and it’s a great way to go. Every state in the U.S. has some version of this program. And it gives students a taste of college while at the same time fulfilling their high school requirements as well. Personally, I recommend starting this in tenth or eleventh grade, but some students may be ready earlier. The cost savings for college is another real benefit!
On Wednesdays, Lila is back at work and has the evening to do homework.
Thursdays are back at community college classes and then off to the skating rink.
Fridays are work. Saturdays skating. Sundays work.
As you can see, I’m no longer preparing for classes. My main role is providing a car! And helping in the process of thinking through what comes next.
We’ve been engaged in the college search process all this year and it takes a lot of time and energy. I had an older friend ask me if my daughter had a good guidance counselor to help us through this. And I replied, “Oh, I’m the guidance counselor, too!” Mostly my role has been to encourage the exploration, remind of deadlines, and ask incisive questions. We just got back from a college overnight and we’re both exhausted. It’s a lot to add to an already packed schedule.
My daughter turns 18 next week (whoa!) and I’m feeling so nostalgic. It’s also her spring break. And while I’m not sure that I’m ready to do the letting go that’s in process (are we ever ready?), I’m very excited for her and what’s to come.
For her break, she’s choosing to go visit one of her older brothers in California. I find it heartwarming to hear about older brother’s plans: a whale-watching trip, hiking, biking, and a day in San Francisco.
These two siblings are seven years apart in age, but to see them so close is a joy to me. Is it the result of years of homeschooling? I’ll never know. But I like to think so.
I have to remind myself over and over that this is our goal. Right? To give our children the foundation they need to venture off and share their gifts with the world. As I write this, my eyes are welling up with tears. And all I can say is I am ever so grateful to have had all the time and closeness with each of my children that homeschooling has brought.
You can read my previous reflections here:
Looking for more ideas for homeschooling high school? Check out the books below.
And it’s a wrap. My very last reflection on a Homeschool Day in the Life with a senior in high school.