Gradually Graduating

So…we’ve graduated…my daughter and I.  She has graduated from high school, and I have graduated from home schooling.  She is off to college, and I am off to writing conferences and to a wonderful adventure in my new job with Love, INC.  Never did I see this for my future.  I often thought I might go to school, perhaps tutor or sit around sipping tea in long gypsy skirts and writing poetry.  But God….He had other plans.

As a wife and mother our lives are laid on the altar every day, taking care of the needs of others before our own.  Our dreams and desires often take a back seat to those of our husband and children.  It makes me think of a scripture that I’ve often quoted around here,

John 12:24:  I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

I kept reminding myself that I was producing fruit through my efforts in the lives of my children and multiplying and advancing the kingdom of God in possibly the greatest way possible: in making disciples.  There were days when I found myself dreaming about what I would do when I had more time in the future.  But there were also days when I lamented the end of an era.  I never, NEVER expected the plans God had for me.  Although, it shouldn’t have come as such a huge surprise, because now that hindsight is 20/20 I can see the proverbial handwriting on the wall.

Someone that I dearly love gave me a prophesy over thirteen years ago:

You are called to the ministry, You will be full-time in the ministry…I have prepared you for this since you were born. The Salvation Army was boot camp. The seed your parents sowed in you will not return void. Continue to prepare yourself so you re ready when I call.


I hid this in my heart for so many years…and now I know that I can have the confidence that I was prepared by His loving hands for such a time as this.  When I get butterflies in my tummy about the future, I can remember this prophecy as well as other pieces of evidence that even through trials and tribulations He was all the while tenderly grooming me for what I am about to embark on.  

The very things that I hated enduring most, are the very things that strengthened me for the tasks at hand.  John Bevere was speaking at our church last night, and he reminded us that many times hardships are part of our endurance training for the plans that God has for us.  If I were to start weight lifting, I certainly would not be able to lift 150 pounds the first time I tried.  It would seriously injure me.  The same is true in our lives.  We forget that the triasl of a broken refrigerator or a broken relationship are the very trials that we are to take joy in, because they produce endurance and endurance produces strength and health!

It is in the everyday trials that we are preparing for the extraordinary plans that He has for us.

When we learn to trust Him in these we learn to trust Him with greater things.    When we are faithful over the little things, He will make us faithful over much.

Giving thanks with Ann today:

#276 – Amazing grace wind chimes accompanied by birds.

#277 – Flowers everywhere

#278 – Dune grass Yankee Candle

#279 – Finally my lilac tree

#280 – 2 peony buds

#281 – An abundance of vehicles

#282 – Perfect weather

#283 – That my refrigerator waited to break until AFTER the graduation party!

#284 – The laughter of good kids outside my bedroom window at 1:30 a.m.


The High School Home School Adventure


I haven’t had time to write in a while…my son is graduating from high school.  Home educating high school is a lot of work.  A LOT of work!!  But I’ve found that it’s well worth the effort.  One of the greatest advantages I’ve found is that apart from the core subjects, you can really create a curriculum based on your child’s gifts and talents. The curriculum I use is called Tapestry of Grace.  It is a literature based unit study program that stresses what is known as a classical education.  I highly recommend it.

My oldest is entering his junior year in college.  His major is business and finance.  His education was the most “normal”.  We (he and I, together) identified that his interests were in business and finding different ways to make, save and invest money.  Therefore we set out a very rigorous program in the basics.  Math, literature, writing and history especially.  We also concentrated on prep work for his ACT.  He graduated a year early, got a very decent 26 on his ACT (even though he had a terrible head cold), and won a full ride scholarship with the Evans Scholarship program.

One down, two to go…

My second son is an artist.  His high school experience was completely different.  I gave him very basic courses with as many creative evaluation assignments as possible.  For instance, when we were studying the 1920’s, and Charlie Chaplin, I had him write, film and produce a short movie.  As soon as I recognized him as an art student, I did my homework and found that most art schools did not emphasize standardized testing.  Therefore, we didn’t do the ACT prep work that my first student did.  Instead, we concentrated on building his portfolio so that he would not only be accepted to the school of his choice, but so that he could apply for as many art based scholarships as he could.  He will be attending the Illinois Institute of Art in October.

Two down, one to go…

My daughter is a junior in high school.  She sings like an angel, albeit a very soulful sometimes rather rocky angel, writes like a poet and is all about literature and Shakespeare.  She thrives on being in a production.  The way she and I have plugged through the high school years has been to do the minimal amount of math and science, be in as many plays and productions as possible, write a fifty page literary analysis and allow her to lead worship in two bands and sing backup in another.  In addition, she carries a very full  literature, writing and history load as well as philosophy and art history.  Whew!

My journey as a high school, home school mother has led me down three different paths, for three different individuals.  I am blessed that my children have come to the realization at an early age what it is that they long to do.  Because of this, we have been able to tailor make their high school experience to be as beneficial as possible in order to help them on their path to the future God has for them.

I’m really not sure why I’m writing this post, except that maybe someone reading has wondered about the benefits of home schooling a high schooler.  Or perhaps you are a home school mom who gets bogged down with details and loses sight of the “main thing”.  What is the main thing?  My husband and I decided long ago, that the main thing for our household, was to use the high school years to prepare our children in the best way possible so that they are able to tackle the challenges ahead.  Have we done that?  NO!!  We’ve definitely made some mistakes, but I wouldn’t say that they were academic mistakes.  Academically, our children have been prepared for the plans God has for them and God gets the glory for that, because it was his mercy and grace that He revealed to our children His plans, and that He showed us how to guide them to their destination.

Now the scary part…what do I do when I’m done?  Yikes!  I have a whole year to think and pray about it…