It’s official, another year of homeschooling is over! I started homeschooling Ian and Tim when they were in second grade, Dan was in third grade and Andy was bald and wearing a diaper most of the time. Mike and I were pretty clueless when we started, but, in case you haven’t noticed here, we’re pretty hands-on about everything so homeschooling seemed like something worth trying.
That was back in 2001. I stuck giant pieces of butcher paper on the walls and we started timelines and Andy had his own to scribble on when he wanted to be included. I still have those timelines. I keep them because all the boys drew pictures of something about 9/11 the day it happened. That was the same year we mummified our first chicken and built a pretty awesome volcano in the back yard. It feels like just yesterday and also like a million years ago.
Homeschooling is not easy. It’s certainly not for everyone. In fact, it’s kind of scary sometimes. It’s also a lot of fun and worth the work and the worry. I feel like the boys are closer than they ever would have been had they attended traditional school. They’ve had so many opportunities to do and try things that would not have have happened either. And, I feel like Mike and I have really had a chance to get to know our sons and enjoy them (well, mostly enjoy them).
Today marked the official end of Tim and Ian’s high school days. The wonderful husband of my once-imaginary friend, Claire, did their last evaluation. We talked about the years when Tim was still kind of a vowel-optional kid and how I despaired about him ever figuring out the world of words. Tim earned straight A’s this past semester at the local college. His usage of vowels has improved dramatically. Ian, who used to keep a stash of ziploc bags under his bed that comprised his smell collection (seriously), also managed straight A’s and has fortunately moved on to other, more socially acceptable hobbies.
Because they love me, well not really, because they are practical and still undecided about their futures, Ian and Tim will be home for another semester (and maybe one more class) to finish up their two years at the local college. Ian’s waiting tables at Chili’s and saving his money so he can do some traveling (I think). Tim is still working at Rebounderz (I try to overlook the spelling – figures vowel-optional boy would end up there!). He’s been there over a year and has saved diligently. In fact, he saved enough to buy his first car!!! He paid cash for an adorable (in a manly way) 2002 Ford Focus – it’s yellow with black stripes (his has an extra swirly stripe on the side), very Tim. He even learned to drive a stick shift without him or Mike crying once.
Waaahhhh . . . The Baker Academy for Wayward Boys is down to one student. I am so proud of my three graduates!!!! The next few years will be spent with me trying very hard not to smother and cling to Andy. I wonder if he has any interest in mummifying another chicken?