What would my family have missed had we not homeschooled?
I'll never fully know the answer to that question. But after our recent annual "Family Fun Week," I am as grateful as ever that we did have that time at home together.
A few weeks ago, John and I spent a week together on the East Coast with all our children, their spouses and our grandchildren. We looked around (our eldest daughter) Amy and her husband Phil's farm and marveled at the progress they've made since moving to that formerly wholly undeveloped property a year ago this July. We watched our youngest son, Justin, enthusiastically drive their riding mower. We went for nature walks and canoed in Chesapeake Bay. We attended a fascinating home gardening event at Thomas Jefferson's former estate, Monticello. My grandsons got a kick out of spinning their new LED poi balls at night. We enjoyed quiet evenings together building puzzles.
We also had the solemn but sacred experience of being together to bury Gracie Lou's body. Our precious granddaughter, Gracie Lou lived for just 10 days earlier this year before she passed away. (You can read more about her here). We placed a headstone at her grave and were grateful for God's goodness in bringing some closure to that difficult episode in life.
As I reflect on the week, one thing that strikes me again is how incredibly diverse my four children are. They have four very different personalities, four different sets of career goals, four different learning styles, four different angles of looking at the world.
If they weren't siblings, I doubt their paths would ever have crossed. But I wonder, too: what if they had all grown up attending a classroom school? Would they know each other like they do now?
My adult children, as different as they are, genuinely enjoy being together. Sure, they have their spats and heated discussions. And of course, there will always be some tensions when you bring together adult siblings, their spouses, their children and the grandparents! Especially when we haven't seen each other for months—or even a year or more.
But even so, it warmed my heart to watch my daughters making soap together and bursting into fits of laughter, having a good time. What a treat to watch my grandchildren play together.
On this side of my own homeschooling journey, I can't help but say how grateful I am that I had all that time with my kids. And what a blessing to gather as a large family, now. Praise the Lord for his goodness to us.
Whether you might be nearing the stage I'm in now, or just starting on your own journey, may God bless your family as you grow together. And may you press on in the work God has given you!