The Blessing of Sharing Life With All Ages
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that my children are “socialized” in a real world setting, interacting with people of all ages rather than spending the majority of their time with one adult and 30 people born within the same 12-month span. I love going to the park with other families and watching Ian play with older boys who don’t look down on him for being six but instead teach him to play the games they like with more patience than I ever imagine pre-adolescent boys could show. All my children have been blessed by getting to spend time with other children both younger and older than themselves (as well as adults) on a regular basis.
Today, however, I realized that I have experienced a similar blessing. Our homeschool group ranges from moms who been teaching their children for decades down to those just starting the preschool phase. Some are still homeschooling their youngest children, while the older ones are now starting to teach their own children.
As we evaluate the year we’ve just wrapped up and get our smaller support groups settled for the coming year, I’ve realized how important it is to stay connected with moms in all stages of this journey. Just as Ian learns from those older boys at the park, I gain so much from hanging out with moms whose children may be graduated or in high school. They’ve been where I am now and can offer so much in the way of encouragement and advice.
Similarly, I love getting to encourage the moms who may be only a year or two behind me. I have friends who look forward to homeschooling but right now just have a houseful of preschoolers and are overwhelmed by the thought of actually trying to find time to “do school” when their older one reaches the age for Kindergarten or 1st grade. That season is still fresh for me, so I’m able to share what’s worked for us (and what hasn’t) and point them to things that have helped me.
Sometimes it’s tempting to only spend time with moms in the same stage of life that I am in myself, but I’d be missing out on so much if I did so. I am so blessed by all the women in my life, both at church and in our school group, who are a different stages of their homeschooling journey, and I’m thankful that God has brought us together to teach, inspire, lift up, and encourage one another.
“Older women… are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Titus 2:3-5