Homeschool Chronicles: the story ends

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It really wasn’t sudden, only a gradual fading away. The end of our homeschool journey came softly, subtly.

*The kids transitioned to doing more and more independent work and online classes.

*Their needs outgrew my energies as a part-time working mother.

*Our social connections withered as older kids became too busy with extracurriculars or their guardians too busy with growing families.

*We tried public education.

*We decided to move for a myriad of reasons, quality of public education being one of them.

In our new home country, homeschooling is illegal. And so surely the story ends.

Of course, the best stories don’t end; they transform. And transform we will.

In The Netherlands, Aria and Liam will be attending Dutch transition school for immigrant children. In this publicly funded program, new arrivals learn the Dutch language and culture for about two years, prior to being placed in regular school. I have hopes of getting Elora into a bilingual preschool, where she can practice her English with other kids and meet her rapidly growing social needs (while mama works).

Today feels like a good day to mark the end of an era for the Hauser family. Today I brought Aria to the local high school, where she sat for the AP Biology final exam. Today Liam prepares for finals at the local public school, which he attended full time this year for the first time.

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How was our school year? Pretty good. At public school Liam benefitted from social learning and began to see himself as the “smart” kid that he is. He often doubted my assessments of his skills in our homeschool. Earning good grades at school (6th grade) gives him a new measure of his capabilities.

At home Aria took a bunch of online classes as well as Middle Eastern history and World Religions with me. That was just enough for her and I to feel in touch. She's a fiercely independent learner and wildly successful, so my best roll since about 4th grade has been to give her space! She’s completing her 8th grade year with lots of high school credit, impressive math abilities and hopefully college credit for AP Biology. Oh, and she’s been studying Dutch this year. She's always one to work ahead!

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When I look back at our time homeschooling, I know it will be one of the most precious memories of my life. Spending these days with my children was amazing, particularly in the early grades. It filled our hearts, our memories and stretched our minds - all of us! I can’t imagine a better way to have spent our time. And, I can proudly say they have been well-educated. Together, we did it.

Thank you for allowing me to share snapshots of my homeschooling journey in this space. Let’s finish with a directory of all homeschool-related posts!


the Homeschool Chronicles

And if you only read one of those posts, read this one: Make Something Better. It’s the spirit in which I chose to homeschool and the same spirit that sends me to explore a new life overseas. It’s the spirit of creatives everywhere.

If it’s not working, change it. Re-imagine what you have to create something better. Mess around on the design wall. Cut in a new color. Cut out what’s not working, even when it costs you. Because why would you choose the lesser path, even just this season, even just this year?
— 2013


Rachel Hauser