Well the time has come for our eldest child Alex to fly the nest and head off to the UK for two years of study and work. We homeschooled our girl from nine years of age when school just wasn't gelling for her, and what a journey it has been since. From those first tentative years of homeschooling when she was strongly attached, a bit quiet in groups and unsure of herself to now, a beautiful young woman, studying at university, earning her own money and ready to travel to the other side of the world to open the next chapter of her life.
The sadness I feel at losing the company of my daughter and my friend for a couple of years is (almost) compensated for by the joy I feel for her excitement and courage. What an endorsement for the potential of homeschooling a child in a close and loving environment.
At the begining of our homeschooling journey I was warned by various people that "you can't protect her from life's bumps" or "she will never develop resilience if you remove her from school" etc. After leaving school there was an initial period of anxiety created by several factors but I firmly believe this lessened because she had the time and space to find her own boundaries and utilise them. She has independently worked through the avenues required to enter brick (as opposed to online) university, study for several years and arrange a study swap to an international university, all the while working part time in hospitality as part of a team.
This does not fit with a common conception of homeschoolers as mollycoddled, over attached and lacking in motivation and social/life skills. We practised natural learning with Lex as she was a suitably curious, motivated learner, and I never did need to set an alarm for her to get up early to go to work or uni....go figure! Even our younger kids (now 8 and 12) set their own alarms for science, dance and drama class, or to feed their animals. All three kids enjoy the company of people of all ages, their friends and a laugh. We have our challenges, but overall in the 10+ years we've been homeschooling, we have resolutely decided that it works :)
Talk soon, Cynthia x