And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6 ESV
For some of us parents, our homeschooling journey is about to come to an end. How do we “empty-nest” well? He is not finished with us yet. Our birds are leaving the nest, but a new season is underway. Our classical, Christian model of learning in community is no joke! Our children mature and launch so well and so quickly into adulthood, that we can feel blindsided by our next season. How are we here already?
Parents, take heart. We simply keep living a lifestyle of lead learning. In many ways, we are just getting started. Jesus has not returned yet. We are still living and breathing on this earth. Clearly “He who began a good work in” us is still working!
So, parents, what are we to do when our homeschool students leave the home?
To begin, we feel…
As seasons end, waves of grief sweep over us. It’s hard. I get it. Feel the grief. Embrace it. It’s necessary for the next season.
But we can celebrate, too! Home education is really hard. We live life-on-life hard as a family and in community. It’s beautifully broken, rich in relationship, and an amazing accomplishment to see through to graduation. However, life and living does not stop there. This is life as a Christian. This lifestyle is not confined to our season of raising and launching our young adults. It’s a way of living that transcends all seasons in our lifetime. So we feel…
…and we pray…
While we feel all the things, it’s essential that we pray. We must go deep into the depths of our hearts and souls in Christ. We must feel and remember the faithfulness of God in our lives and in our families. Like fresh graduates launching into adulthood, behold! Homeschool parents, our own new season is beginning! Lead learning keeps going and going. As lead learners, we feel, we pray…
…and we ask questions…
That’s right, friends! What do we do when we are wrestling with an issue? We default to the Five Common Topics of Dialectic, of course! This is nothing new. We keep trusting the classical process and doing what we have been doing with our children for years. Do you see how the classical model truly applies to all of life’s circumstances? Even we, as homeschool parents, need the tools of learning right here and now.
Look around. Survey the scene of your life’s landscape. Ask questions. Where is Jesus leading you? Are you dialoguing with Him in prayer and looking for Him as you move throughout your day? Who is He placing in your sphere of influence? How has your family dynamic shifted? How is your schedule changing? Are there open doors of opportunity around you? How is your heart? How is your marriage? Do you have any particular relationships that need attending in any domain of your life? What are your new rhythms for such a time as this?
Classical Conversations communities always need leaders. Is there a place for you to serve in leadership as a seasoned parent? Should you prayerfully consider how you might help raise up new leadership, or encourage and develop current leadership? Should you become a Director, a Tutor, or Support Representative? Should you pursue a Classical Conversations job opportunity? There are plenty of families in need of mentorship and encouragement from those who have traversed the journey ahead of them. Do you need to step aside for a new leader to enter into his or her season? If so, is there a new door open to you that you had never considered before now?
What about furthering your own education? Is CC Plus something for you to consider for yourself in this season? Have you considered pursuing the master’s degree offered to parents of students in the Challenge program? Perhaps you could even look into being an assessor for our CC Plus students in their dual credit classes. Maybe CC Plus opportunities could help you to build a bridge to something entirely new.
Of course, God may not be calling you to take a role with Classical Conversations. And that’s ok! What are other ways you can use your talents in this new season? Is there some new opportunity developing for you to consider at church? In your neighborhood? In your family? In ministry? In business as a ministry? Do you have a role in any of these new developments? Lead-learners always take the time to ask the questions…
…and we keep trusting the process as we follow Him.
Personally, I am in the beginning stages of considering life after my students graduate. However, I am watching those who go before me. As a woman, my sight is set on the homeschool moms ahead of me on the journey. I have watched women graduate their students and continue to live committed to the mission to know God and to make Him known. I have watched how the entire family dynamic shifts and I have carefully observed how family members navigate deep grief while simultaneously sharing great joy. I have learned the best way means having open hands, open hearts, and a prayerful posture of obedience. Context may change, but the mission is the same.
Vocationally, I have witnessed former homeschool parents continue to serve in Classical Conversations as Support Representatives, Area Representatives, and in various corporate positions. Other parents have taken their skills, tools, and experiences from their homeschooling journey and launched businesses or entered into various new opportunities. I see them pouring into their marriages, their adult children, and their grandchildren. They inspire me. They encourage me. And I am grateful for their example.
Parents, in true Classical Conversations fashion, let us continue to trust the process as He leads us through all of our seasons according to His purpose and for His glory. His purpose prevails, and His love never fails. There will come a day when our nests may feel empty, but in Christ, our hearts and lives are always full.
This post was written by Abby DuBois, a Classical Conversations Support Representative.