While you’re out there presenting your I am a confident homeschool mom and my kids will excel! face to the world, do you ever get the what-if jitters when you’re alone — especially when your head hits the pillow?
~ What if the socialization accusers turn out to be right after all, and the kids end up social misfits?
~ What if they can’t get jobs after high school because I didn’t do something right?
~ What if one or more of them never figures out what to do with him/herself and ends up toasting French fries at Burger King for the rest of his/her life?
~ What if I missed teaching something, or I messed up on my record keeping, and they can’t go on to college because of it?
~ How will we ever afford college in the first place?
In other words, WILL MY CHILDREN BE ABLE TO FUNCTION IN THE REAL WORLD WHEN I GET DONE WITH THEM?
Maybe you don’t worry about such things, but I sure did — especially once the girls hit junior high. It was a little better with Daughter #2. She is nearly twelve years younger than Child #1, so we’d had a little time to see the first one turn out all right. But, they were so different, and so was the schooling style we had chosen for each of them.
While our early homeschool years were extremely structured, by the time we got around to Round #2, I had slowed down to the point of making The Relaxed Homeschool lady look like a drill sergeant! Hence, new insecurities about the second child turning out all right.
But the punch line is this: They did turn out all right, and if you do a fairly responsible job, your kids will too.
Yes, we had some blind spots, and yes, we probably missed preparing them for the “real world” in some areas. But they can’t learn absolutely everything through textbooks and family experiences anyway. Life throws curve balls at all of us right up until the day we die, and we keep learning along the way. It is no different with our children. Whatever we miss teaching them, they will learn some other way.
I found out that, although my children were not very eager beavers at home, once they got off to college, they learned to motivate themselves pretty fast. I have a theory that for some (probably most), the thirst for learning kicks in only in adulthood. And some thrive in a sink-or-swim environment.
I tried to give the girls a well-rounded education at home, including making sure they did high school courses which at least made them eligible for college. They both ended up attending Bible schools which insisted on a certified high school diploma (as in, not something Mama artistically crafted on beautiful parchment paper). We had not used a correspondence school, and neither of the colleges the girls chose accepted unofficial transcripts or SAT/ACT test scores, either. They did, however, accept GED diplomas, so that was our work-around.
GED exams are not a piece of cake, but if you do your homeschool mom job reasonably well, your kids will do all right on them. Even if you find you didn’t do your job as well as you should have, the local library can help your children out with books that prep them for the exams. There are online sites that will do that as well. There is usually a way to fix most messes we’ve made, but if you’ve taken homeschooling seriously (and I think most of us do), you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well your kids really do on those tests!
So, yes, the kids will be functional. It’s not all on our shoulders anyway. They have to do their part, too. But most importantly, we who are believers have the Lord to make sure all turns out well. If we ask Him to help us do the best we can, and we commit the results to Him, He will make up for our weaknesses and our children’s. As we stay dependent on Him, He watches over our homeschooling process. He cares even more than we do about our children’s future, and He will infuse His grace wherever we have lacked.