Homeschooling is a hard gig. It is a mental strain to have complete responsibility for the education of children, especially if there are multiple students trying to learn at the same time. I have learned to get up early and get started right away because in the afternoon the rest of the household work awaits my attention. After laundry, dinner and light housework have been conquered there are activities to drive to, shopping to do and when there is a high schooler residing at home there are concerts, ballgames and parent meetings to attend. It is utterly exhausting!

I am completely grateful that I have always had a great support network; for me it has been imperative to have this in order to succeed. Most important for me is the cultivation of my faith. I rely on the strength of my God and my faith to help me through the difficult moments every single day. Without it I would be a rudderless boat in a storm!

My husband has always been my number one supporter, my cheerleader, my counsel, and best friend. He is the chief reason the kids and I have been able to take this fantastic journey. I would never have continued without his aid and love.

I have never been lucky enough to live close to my parents, but they have been an unfailing source of love and support throughout my life. They have never wavered in their acceptance of my peculiar choice. I am forever indebted to them, and I treasure their backing of my unorthodox lifestyle.

For the last ten years or so we have made a soft opening to the school year by starting our math lessons only for a week. (Credit for this idea goes to a young Annie Hayburn who very wisely suggested this to her mother when she was in the 8th grade!) This gets us warmed up and spaces the tests so that they don’t all occur on the same day. I am grateful for this ease into our studies, especially now as Kris and I begin this last year together. Kris, my youngest daughter, is starting the 8th grade. We have been working on Algebra 1, trying to shake the cobwebs from our summer soaked minds. Even though she would rather NOT be starting school yet, she has given me the gift of her willing spirit and it has been a sweet beginning.

I find myself wondering what it will be like to not be teaching at home next year. These thoughts fill me with unease. I will definitely be busy running carpool and shuttling Kris to dance, but what will steer my days? How will I define myself after this stage passes? The answer, of course, lies within the unease, the wary feelings, the quaver in the stomach. I have to go and sit there to find out where I belong next.

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