Toward the end of homeschooling, you start to wonder about the next stage of life. What will you do when you aren’t homeschooling?
I can suggest what NOT to do. I saw a woman at the store who was talking about how bored she was with her life. She had attended FOUR weight watchers meetings during the week, not because she was overweight, but because she was BORED! Although I’m a big fan of weight watchers, I wondered about that. Is that all there is to life?
Give Yourself Away
The first thing I did was become a Board Member of our state homeschool group. That’s a busy job that really benefits a lot of homeschoolers! I also began helping other homeschoolers with my business, beginning almost immediately with my newsletter. How can YOU support other homeschoolers? What can you do to make it easier for the next mother who is stressed out about homeschooling high school?
Give yourself away in new ways, too! I began volunteering regularly at our local clothing bank. It’s a wonderful feeling to do something so concrete and physical that will help truly needy people. And there is nothing that can take your mind away from your own problems more than helping people with even BIGGER troubles!
Get What You Wish For
When I was homeschooling, so many times I had to say “No” to fun things. I had kids at home, I had to get dinner on the table, and there were 13 soccer practices to attend each week! When the kids are gone, now is your time to say “YES!” to the fun things you have put off! My husband and I started singing in our church choir. Evening practices aren’t a hassle at all when you don’t have to find a babysitter!
Make a List
List all the things you wish you could have done over the past few years, because your turn is coming soon. Make a list of things volunteer positions that sound like fun. Make a list of homeschool organizations that you would like to help. Make a list of fun ways you would like to serve your community and your church. After years of serving your family, soon it will be your turn to take care of yourself.
Exercise and Aesthetics
Do you have a box of photos and no time for scrapbooking? Clutter around the house, with no time to organize? Think of all the great crafts you’ll have time for! And when you retire from homeschooling, you can take care of yourself and finally be able to exercise. Just think, you can take a walk AND stop to smell the roses! Here in Seattle, it doesn’t rain all day long, just some of the day. Now I’m able to take walks between raindrops, when it fits my schedule.
You hear about the empty nest feeling when your children go to college. It’s true – and it’s probably unavoidable. But you can lessen the affects by being active in your community, and giving yourself away! Soon it will be your turn to volunteer, serve, and have fun!
Junior and Senior year of high school are extremely busy times. When you get frustrated, start writing your list. Because your turn is coming, and you can make the best of it!
Lee Binz is a veteran homeschooling mom of two and the owner of The HomeScholar, “Helping parents homeschool through high school.” She has a new free minicourse called “The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make When Homeschooling High School”. You can sign up for her free email homeschool newsletter, The HomeScholar Record and get your daily dose of wisdom via e-mail from her homeschool blog, The HomeScholar Helper. Get homeschool transcript help with her Total Transcript Solution. Get comprehensive homeschool support as a member of her Gold Care Club.