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As Homeschool Days Turn Into Homeschool Years

My oldest son completed applications to five different four-year colleges last week.

He did it completely on his own, researching the various campuses and the accommodations they provide. 

It still floors me, just thinking about it. The truth is, I did not think this would be a viable option for him. I’ve spent years stressing the value of trade schools or working a part time job to allow for better health and balance.

I’ve spent years, assuming he would never want to pursue formal education, being the nontraditional learner I know and love. 

But he is determined, and that determination created a motivation that allowed him to write essays, despite his dysgraphia, push through the discomfort of asking for teacher recommendations from his hybrid school, and even convince me to take this next step with him.

I am in tears as I write this.

All of the homeschool days I’ve shared with you here – they’ve added up to homeschool years.

They’ve added up to an education and preparation for my son to pursue adulthood on his terms.


homeschool days


On our very first day of homeschooling, this 18 year old was 8.

I remember him reading a book about fish. I remember him tearing up a “dumb” worksheet. I remember worrying that I might fail him.

And I have failed him. I have failed him in about a million and one ways. 

But I think, more importantly, I kept trying, kept praying, kept showing up.

He did too.


homeschool days


As Homeschool Days Turn Into Homeschool Years

It can be so easy to see someone’s life on the internet and see the snapshot, the day in the life post, or the project they are doing with their kids and worry that you are not doing enough for your own family.

It’s why, over the years, I have tried to balance what I share – the good with the bad, the ugly with the beautiful, the joy with the pain.  

It’s strange, but I find that as we approach my son’s high school graduation, none of what I have shared and also all of what I have shared is an accurate reflection of our life.

He learned. He struggled. 

He is still learning. He is still struggling.


homeschool days


What Comes After Homeschool?

I have no idea if he will actually be accepted into any of these colleges. 

If he is, I have no idea if it will actually even be a feasible option.

But the fact that he managed the Common App and  financial aid applications, on his own, seems like an amazing measure of progress and success.

All of our homeschool days became homeschool years, and those years added up to a young man ready to take on the world. 

He will do it in his own way, of that I have no doubt. He will do it with my help. He will fail. He will succeed. He will grow. He will learn. 

But make no mistake, he will do it.


homeschool days

Simple Homeschool Day In The Life: 2021

I have been sharing our days as a part of Simple Homeschool’s Day In The Life Series for seven years now.

Please join me for my newest 2021 Homeschool Day In The Life post HERE.

homeschool day in the life

You can also find all of my previous days below. They  really have added up to the most amazing homeschool years!

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  1. I’m holding back tears as I read this. My daughter is 11, my son is 8. (And I have a five year old tag along).
    Some days my biggest accomplishment is to finally get everyone fed, and dressed. The pandemic and other events of the last year have sapped all my strength and determination and I find it hard to see a positive future ahead for these out of the box kiddos.
    Thank you! Thank you for giving us a window into your journey and hope that it can get better from here and that our kids are capable of more than it seems most days.

    1. Sarah Ochoa says:

      You’re not alone! Only 2/4 were dressed yesterday and that was literally it. My big accomplishment was we didn’t turn the tv on until 3pm. They played aaallll day. I didn’t teach math or reading or read aloud or even throw out a craft- and I’m struggling with the guilt today. But I feel better knowing I’m not alone, it’s going to get better, they will learn (and do learn) despite my many failings. Keep on keeping on!!!

    2. This means the world to me. Thank you so much, Bethany!

  2. Sarah Ochoa says:

    Shawna, this is amazing. Congratulations. So much hope and encouragement knowing the days add up into grown and capable men, despite it all.

  3. Yup. As a retired foster mom, my last and most challenged child is approaching 13. Dad and I are in our 60s. We have flashes of “Wow!” moments, often now. So much is getting easier, and then it isn’t. . . . (I still need to look for any damage to the house from this morning’s tantrum.) It’s always good to step back and look at where we’ve been, where we are now and celebrate each achievement. And always, always, always, when this part of child-rearing moves on and we stand back and look, it never seems as long as it felt at the time. Have faith.

  4. Congratulations to you BOTH! As a former financial aid director and with a lot of experience in higher Ed, completing the common app and financial aid application in his own are major accomplishments! I have helped college educated adults with those forms. Congrats again.

    1. Thank you so much, Jennifer! It really does feel like a significant accomplishment. 🙂

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