Monday, May 23

Finishing Year 9

In two days we'll be done with our ninth year of homeschooling. 

We'll finish up our study of the American Civil War.  We'll sum up our notebooks, play a fun review game, explore a DVD and check off a few more skills on our annual evaluation.  And the next day we'll pile into the van and take off for the great outdoors.  But we must finish.

After all these years it's still very hard for me to finish the year well.  We want to be outside.  We want to be done with formal learning and move on to the enjoyment of watching our perennials bloom, weeding their beds, shooting hoops an constructing things.  We want to move into summer learning, summer reading, summer math quizzes (at my children's requests!) and summer squirt gun wars.

We want to pile in the van and take off for the great outdoors.  This Saturday we'll be in the Grand Tetons and then Yellowstone.   Later in the season we'll explore Colorado Springs, Keystone, and Grand Lake.  We'll take in a Rockies Game, camp with our church, meet friends at the pool.  My oldest is working his first job this summer volunteering at our recreation center, my middle is going to enjoy baseball in the evenings, my youngest will move up a level in swim class.

How do we finish with all of these enticements ahead of us?  

By putting one foot in front of the other if for no other reason but for closure and encouragement.  To affirm my sons with the knowledge and character they've attained.  I want to sit back and look at my nine year old son, no longer a third grader, and tell him that this was worth the effort, that he is worth my effort.  I want to look again at my now-Kindergartener and be reminded that some things, some people are just beginning.   And I want to finish the story of Joseph with my boys, the redemption that came through family helping family, brother forgiving brother, and the years of togetherness they shared, establishing it as our backdrop for the summer days that lay ahead.

Almost there, sisters.  We're almost there.  But rather than the ending being so enticing, I think it's the beginning of what comes next that enthralls and draws me.  I can't wait to see what this next season brings for all of us.

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