What To Do When Homeschooling Is Over (Part 2)
In my last post HERE, I introduced some general ideas to begin thinking about what we moms will do once we have completed our homeschool journey. I remember for me, the realization that I had less than five years left was a huge wake-up call. I could count my remaining number of homeschooling years ON ONE HAND! And I knew that meant things would go quickly. What was I going to do with all that extra time?
Before we get into that, I want to encourage you to not wish away those last few years. Remember we want to finish well! We need to stay engaged with our students, helping them to navigate their way through the high school years and plan THEIR future as well. That should be a given.
I’m writing this series because I think we, as moms, tend to do that at the expense of forgetting what we will be doing when that last child closes the last book on the last day of class. Now what?
Well, if you have been keeping a list of activities you would like to do, it is time to revisit it. Many moms share with me that they are interested in a part time or full time job. But they are a bit concerned that a decade or two gap in their “career” might be a challenge to overcome.
The problem with that last sentence is what you call the time raising and educating your children. It is not a gap…you didn’t sit on the couch for the last 18+ years and stare at the wall. You were busy. And believe it or not, you were gaining skills.
Most homeschool moms I know are excellent at organizational skills. Some of us got it by default. In order for our household to SURVIVE, we had to have some semblance of organization. Add to that our ability to multitask. With two eyes, two arms, and two legs, we moms can keep one child busy with his math, another on task with her reading, have a load of clothes in the wash and another one in the dryer, dinner in the crock pot, and cleaning bathrooms and a short trip to the farmer’s market planned for the afternoon before nap time.
So, whether you are hoping to work or not, I want you to put together a skills resumeˊ for yourself. You see, you are so much more than “just a mom,” and I want you to see that. You have a great deal to offer.
Think about what you have been doing during the course of your children’s education. Have you been in charge of any co-op classes? Were you involved in any leadership of a homeschool group, field trip planning or science fair?
During the education of your children, was there a subject you suddenly fell in love with? I know for me, history became something I was fascinated learning. Regrettably, I had a poor history education when I was growing up, and I really didn’t like history because of that. But because I was required (literally forced) to teach this subject to my kids, I developed a new love for understanding the stories and accounts of people long ago. I could see the unfolding of God’s amazing plan throughout history as it opened up before our eyes. So now, I enjoy reading historical books in my free time!
Perhaps you have a new love for a subject, or you have enhanced an original love for one. Is there a desire to continue that education? Or do you love teaching others about it? Maybe you might want to start a co-op class of your own for other home school families. You may look into continuing education online or at a local college to get a certification or degree in one of these areas.
It boils down to this. The time you spent home educating your children was not wasted time when it comes to you and your life plan. You were using that time to the best of your abilities, training and raising your children to be productive young men and women. I think that is the best endeavor we, as moms, can do.
But the fringe benefit was that we gained so much through this process. We were exposed to ideas and information that round out who we are. We learned skills of planning, organizing, coordinating, communicating, and so many more.
So as your children enter their high school years, and your time becomes more and more available, embrace this transition process as a new adventure that lies ahead for you. Prayerfully consider what your practical options are. Do you need to work for financial reasons? Should it be full or part time? Or do you have absolutely no idea what you can do? For those looking for employment, consider your gained skills from your homeschool endeavors. Don’t look at that time as a gap away from practical work. And make sure prospective employers see that, too. Fill in your resume with activities, accomplishments, and leadership/organizational skills that you utilized.
If you are not looking for employment, consider what opportunities are around you. Are there areas within your church where you can engage? You are certainly skilled at teaching and training children. Maybe you can play a major part in organizing a Vacation Bible School each year. Perhaps you can begin a Bible study for young moms in order to encourage them. Look to the homeschool community, too. Can you be involved in your state or local organization? Can you offer a co-op class or two? Can you be a “guidance counselor” of sorts for younger moms who aren’t really sure where to begin?
If you have multiple children, often by the time you are done teaching your youngest, you will have older, married children, some even with children of their own. What a blessing!
You can use available time to bless and encourage your married children and grandchildren. That may be a time filler in itself! They will benefit from financial counsel, organizational counsel, spiritual counsel, and, of course, babysitting!
Believe me. You have much to offer! Over the last decade or two, you have been not only training your children, you have been building a unique skill set that God can use to bless and encourage others.
No, it was not a wasted gap within your career path. It was a valuable task…one of the best ones you could have done.
And when you are on the other side, you are equipped to do so much more. Activities that you could not have done if you didn’t experience the journey of homeschooling.
So be excited about the new season in your future. Spend time in prayer, looking forward to what else God has for you!
And if you need help brainstorming, let me know in the comments below, or we can talk about it over on my Facebook page HERE.