By Karen D. Koch

In my early days of homeschooling, I remember thinking that once my youngest child was out of diapers that the school part would be easier, or when the kids could take baths alone, or make their own beds, or cook their own meals. . .No one actually told me this, but it was an assumption I made.

Now that I have two teens, a tween, and one in kindergarten, things are easier in some ways than when they are little, but then again, things are harder, too.

YES, my sons can mow the lawn and run the weed whacker with aplomb. But I have to drive them to a lot more things than when they were little and we have to wrestle through high school science and math together.

YES, they can cook for themselves (they called learning to cook a matter of survival when I was busy with baby #4 when they were pre-teens), but we have to navigate the College Board website and get them signed up for the SAT.

YES, they can take out the trash, vacuum the carpet, make their beds, clean the garage, and many more things I dreamed they could one day do, but all this driver’s ed and youth group, and missions trip fundraising, and band practice, and golf tournaments, and CLEP tests, and online college classes. . .I thought things were supposed to get easier!

YES they know how to make phone calls, babysit their younger siblings, and know how to deal with the washing machine when it starts thumping around, but now I have to think about their online access, Facebook accounts, and online privacy concerns.

YES they can troubleshoot my computer problems for me, can reach things on high shelves for me, and can wash the car. But know we’re trying to figure out college plans, and transcripts, and financial aid, and coordinating overnight golf tournaments. . .

All this said, I guess no one actually ever told me that it would be easier homeschooling when they were older. That was just my perception. Now I know it’s not easier, just different. The stakes seem so much higher now. Did we do enough literature? Will they perform well on college entrance tests? Do they have enough discernment to go into the world wise as serpents but innocent as doves? Will they be safe drivers?

Some days I long to go back to those distant days when I read with my little ones in my lap, interrupted constantly by The Baby (we called him that until he was four!) needing something or other. The days where our field trips were to the fire department and post office and zoo. Those days of macaroni and cheese, learning ABCs, playing in the park and eating goldfish in the car. The days of potty training, three car seats, and tee ball. I didn’t think I’d miss those tiring days, but I do.

I guess the main point to all this is that homeschooling will never be easy. There will be different seasons, different struggles, different circumstances, but we should strive to enjoy every moment to its fullest, and rejoice in each new life’s accomplishment for our children. As a friend once told me, “The days are long but the years are short.”

Some high school resources for you:
The High School Handbook
Driver’s Education/Driver’s Training booklet
Free list of high school resources
Free fillable, downloadable forms
Transcript creator for CHEA Members

CHEA hosts a homeschool high school graduation and Teen Convention at its Annual Convention.

Update: I wrote this in 2013. I now have one child who has completed his BA, another halfway through college, and two still at home. It’s definitely easier with fewer kids to homeschool, but life is still busy. Blessings to you on your homeschool journey!