A Graduation...

Victoria Rule

An exciting event occurred last weekend, our eldest daughter graduated from high school.   Both Josh and I were the first generation of kids that were homeschooled which makes our family second generation homeschoolers.  When it came to the subject of the education choice for our children, there was no question, we were going to homeschool and walk the next 20 years of education together as a family.  As a homeschooling mother, I was blessed that both Josh and I felt so strongly about our decision that we were willing to make the financial sacrifices that came with my staying home to do the majority of the teaching while Josh worked so very hard to allow me to do so.

I can still remember ordering the first set of preschool curriculum for Victoria.  I was so excited to just hold it in my hands and couldn't wait to start our first lesson.  Josh and I had been in 'teaching' mode with all our children since the day they were born so homeschooling was simply the next step for us.  For 13 years there was joy, laughter, tears, frustration and utter pleasure at seeing all our children grow not only physically but in knowledge as well.  
Presenting Victoria her Diploma.

We loved being the ones who saw the light come on and the satisfaction in Victoria's eyes when she finally figured out a concept with which she had been struggling.  I can remember the sense of satisfaction we felt when Victoria began reading the complete unabridged works of Jane Austen in the Old English at age 9 and realizing she knew how to read because of the hours of sitting on the couch together, side by side, learning and practicing.  

I think the greatest compliment as homeschooling parents we ever had was when Victoria was working at the Science Center and the Department of NJ Education was doing a spot check on the knowledge of the Exhibit Associates.  Victoria was one of the few Associates given a Kudos by the group to her supervisor due to Victoria's in-depth knowledge of not only the exhibits but also her general knowledge.  When they learned she was homeschooled they asked Victoria to give their regards to her parents.  They wanted to commend us on our efforts with our children.  For a homeschooling parent, that is a huge accolade.  It was also refreshing to know that the Department of Education valued the efforts of homeschooling and supported our decision.

Graduation Ceremony

The seasons are changing now.  In the last part of 2011, Victoria graduated high school with a 3.8 GPA, we just had the ceremony a bit later.  After all the years Josh and I spent teaching Victoria, there is a special feeling knowing you were the major factor in your children's education.  We loved every second of homeschooling and considered it a privilege to be given so much time with our children.  Having them with us each and every day gives us so many memories.  We could never stand the thought of standing at a door or driveway and waving our children off each morning, we wanted to be a part of each area of their lives and then, slowly, as they matured, introduce to them to all the different experiences that would mold them into who God wanted them to become.
Donna, our Pastor, praying a Blessing on Victoria.

Josh and I never felt like we should project an imagine on our children but to let God develop them and mold them into what He wanted.  We felt like our children were to be treated like new sprouts.  In the seedling stages, they are grown indoors to give them protection during the vulnerable beginnings of their lives, then, as they grow and gain strength they begin the 'hardening off' process in a protected environment so they are soon ready to handle the harsh realities of life.  By the time they are ready to step into their own lives, they have had many experiences, been able to experiment in life with our protective hands ready to catch them as they learn and finally, slowly introduced them to the world at large so they have a solid foundation with which to tackle the world.
Victoria and Mama at Luncheon after service. 

Josh and I have been reflecting on the last 13 years and still look forward the remaining 6 years left until we graduate our youngest.  For us, this was a calling on our lives.  Homeschooling isn't just an educational choice, done right, it is a complete lifestyle.  Every area of life is geared for our homeschooling and it has been a joy.  We have one down, Benjamin is not far behind and Samuel is making good progress.  One day it will just be Josh and I working on our little business and when that time comes, we will have memories of wonderful years and days and days of teaching to keep us warm in the winter of our lives.

May God Bless and Keep You in His Grace,

Victoria's Life As Yet...