Several years back, in 2003 or 2004, I think, my oldest son, Kendall, reached a point in his homeschooling journey where I needed to send him to someone else for certain classes. Biology, mostly, as there is simply NO WAY that we are dissecting anything in my kitchen. It just ain’t happenin’! 😉 But, I soon discovered that there were other ‘tutorial’ classes available, and they freed me up for time with the younger two.
These tutorial classes were held at a Presbyterian Church in Mills River, North Carolina, called “Grace Community” and the classes, collectively, were called “Dayspring Tutorials”. Dayspring was the brainchild of two amazing women, Wendy Coleman and her friend, Deb Erbach. They gathered together a phenomenal group of teachers who were willing to teach a group of homeschooled kids from several counties, one day a week. Kendall loved it! He made lots of new friends, many of whom he is still in contact with today. Dayspring helped prepare him for the time when he would start taking ‘real’ classes at the local community college.
When the time came, I sent Alexander to Dayspring, and he, too, loved it. He is very different from Kendall, and I wasn’t sure how he would do, but it turned out so well for both of my boys. Wendy is no longer with us, having left this world after a long battle with cancer in November, 2006. Dayspring was never the same after Wendy was gone, becoming ever more rigid and legalistic, changing its name in a final, gasping attempt at staying open, and finally closing its doors in 2008 or 2009, I can’t remember which.
So why do I bring this up now? Because today, I am sending my daughter to CCPA, or “Christian College Preparatory Academy” for tutorial classes very much like Dayspring. . . sorta. She is nervous, and worried that she won’t do well. I, on the other hand, am sure she’ll do just fine. But I am grieving on several levels.
First, this is my last homeschooler. For the first time in 18 years, I am not busily creating schedules and lesson plans for my kids. Even last year, I spent time implementing the curriculum we got from Mother of Divine Grace. I was still the one doing the teaching. Not so this year. This year, she will be educated primarily by others, and my job is to give assistance when she needs it, to be supportive and to make sure she stays focused. But I am not actually teaching. Or planning. Or organizing her supplies and books. And this is very sad for me. I have LOVED homeschooling, and have done it for almost half of my life. It really is WHO and WHAT I am.
I am also grieving, because sending Abby off to classes reminds me of sending Kendall, and then Alex, off to classes, and I really do miss those days. Those were very sweet times, and I think at least Kendall would agree, that those were some of those ‘perfect’ time periods in which everything and everyone in your life seems to be just right.
All is not lost, however! For “Math” this year we are studying Geometry here at home, by way of Quilting! (Yes, it really is good to be a homeschooler!) and Abby will be getting confirmed next Spring, so we will, of course, be preparing for that wonderful event. 🙂 We will be doing the Yearbook again for our support group, and I get to help out with our monthly spiritual retreats. So, it’s not like it’s totally the end of my homeschooling career. But I can see the end, just over the horizon, and I know it’ll be here all too soon.