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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can also find all of my previous days below. They really have added up to the most amazing homeschool years!
- 2020: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with a 14- and 17-year-old)
- 2019: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with a 13- and 16-year-old)
- 2018: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with a 12- and 15-year-old)
- 2017: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with an 11- & 14-year-old)
- 2016: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with a 10- & 13-year-old)
- 2015: Shawna’s homeschool day in the life (with an 8- & 11-year-old)
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.