Life After High School
July 13, 2022
Mercy Every Minute
Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor
Our seventh child, who graduated in June, has a hard time responding when people ask what her plans after high school are. Why? Because they are thinking she is only going to answer in one of two ways (college or career) and she has so many dreams not related to either that it is hard to make it understandable to the outside world. She is full of hopes and dreams and is praying her way through them even now. It is not that she is not prepared for life after high school; it is just that she doesn’t fit the mold of what others (who are not familiar with homeschooled children) think she should be doing next.
There have also been those children of ours who knew exactly what their next steps were to make their goals happen. And they are all well-established and upstanding adults with good jobs and a solid relationship with the LORD. A couple of them are in full-time ministry, and that certainly doesn’t fit the world’s standards of life after high school, but it certainly fits what God had planned for them. Every student is different.
These articles from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine show some of the options students explore as they consider life after high school:
Homeschooling trains a child for life by:
- Laying a Biblical foundation from the earliest years
- Providing a Biblical worldview on the big issues of the day
- Teaching children how to learn, and not just what to learn
- Providing a rich atmosphere of good and beautiful ideas
- Providing entrepreneurial opportunities
- Introducing them to the community at large and all it offers
- Providing opportunity to be in ministry with their parents
- Gaining life skills and independent living skills
- Gaining career path ideas through outside activities and electives
- Fully preparing them academically for life after high school
In the early days of homeschooling, you may feel like you are spending time doing things that cannot be quantified by worldly standards. You cannot see the outcome, so you walk in faith as you homeschool blindfolded. Knowing full well Who leads you, and Who you follow. Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life as you keep God’s children Home. Where They Belong.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 1:2-4).
The Lessons After High School
I remember when we started this whole homeschooling adventure. My wife was excited, nervous, and inexperienced. Ben and Sam were our only students, and they were excited about starting school. They got their art boxes, number-two pencils, and a few other supplies. Then they spent their morning listening to my wife read wonderful living books, coloring pictures, and painfully copying letters.
Now, they’re both graduated (along with Katherine, Ike, Abe, and Maggie). They are also working, and Ben has been married for over seven years and has three children, and Sam has one. Wow. It went so fast. During the entire process we wondered if they would be prepared to “face the future.” Would they be able to get jobs, support families, and . . . spell a simple word?!!
We plugged away, and the more we plugged, the more convinced we became that what matters most is NOT spelling, math, and “subjects.” What my children needed to know about life after school was what they were learning every day and every waking hour at HOME.
They were learning to trust God in all circumstances and to love their future spouse and children by watching how we loved each other. They were also learning how to be diligent, responsible, kind, and a bunch of other things that they were sure to need once they graduated from Wilson homeschool.
That didn’t take away the fear of “will they be prepared?”—it just redirected the fear. It seemed to compound when Ben proposed to Rissa. He had graduated and had a job, but now the fear of whether he was ready for marriage gnawed at us. He still had areas to mature in . . . to grow in . . . to learn.
The day came, and I felt happy. He walked down the aisle, kissed his bride, cut the cake, danced the first dance, and drove away for his honeymoon amidst a driveway lined with sparklers. And I felt overjoyed and HAPPY. He was ready to be married, to have his own family, to handle the financial pressures of being on his own, and for all the other things God would bring his way.
And here’s the deal, my fellow scared-to-death parents: he DIDN’T learn it all from his mom and dad or from homeschool. The truth is God has many more lessons for him after graduation and after marriage. Some of the lessons will be painful and embarrassing, but God is going to complete what he started, not only in Ben and Rissa, but also in all my children and in all of YOURS.
That takes a lot of pressure off us as parents. Yes, we need to be diligent in teaching them the things that really matter. We need to show our children how to ask forgiveness from our spouse or how to OFFER forgiveness to our spouse, because one day they’ll need to do that with their spouse. They will learn what really matters by watching you day in and day out. And as scary as that may seem, KNOW this: God is going to complete what He started in your children. And that should make you smile.
About the author
Todd Wilson is a husband, dad, grandpa, writer, homeschool conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and down to earth realness have made him a favorite speaker all across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. As founder of The Familyman and The Smiling Homeschooler, his passion and mission are to remind moms and dads of what’s most important through weekly emails, podcasts, seminars, and books that encourage parents. Todd, and his wife Debbie, homeschool four of their eight children (the other four are homeschool graduates) in northern Indiana and travel America in the Familyman Mobile. You can read more at www.familymanweb.com.
So, you’ve graduated a child from homeschooling? What does life look like for you now? Well, if you are still homeschooling younger ones, you might not think life will look very different. But there will be changes.
As we graduated each child, they went on to have very busy lives. Most stayed at home for the first year or two as they were in college and working, but their schedule was often not synced with ours.
My daily life changed as each child matured into his after-high-school role. I had more time to spend with the younger children (who often didn’t have as much Mom-time in the earlier years). And I realized something interesting.
You see, I had really struggled with feelings that I had dropped the ball with my younger children. Because I had older ones, I didn’t have the same amount of time to just cuddle with the littles on the couch as we read together. There wasn’t much time to take long, slow nature walks. We had math to do, co-op classes to attend, and more. And even though we tried to keep our away-from-home schedules fairly light, my littles didn’t have the time with me that I was able to give to our older ones.
Yet, I realized that God, in his infinite wisdom, gave me the children with personalities that needed me in the early years, first. And it turned out that my younger ones really needed more of my undivided time during their older school years.
So during the transition seasons when your children start to graduate, be excited to see how God will use the years ahead. He has gone before you and prepared a path. He perfectly formed your children and placed them in your home on a perfect timeline for them. And he even has great things ahead for YOU as he uses this amazing homeschooling journey to transform and mature us as parents for what he has in our future!
About the author
Sherri Seligson and her husband David homeschooled their four children for twenty-one years. Before being promoted to mother, Sherri worked as a published marine biologist at Walt Disney World. With an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, she has authored Apologia’s General Science, Marine Biology, and several upper-level instructional video courses. An international conference and retreat speaker, Sherri uses transparency, truth, and humor, as she encourages moms on their homeschool journey and teaches families the importance of studying God’s creation. www.facebook.com/SherriSeligsonAuthor www.sherriseligson.com
Pillar of Knowledge
Roger Smith – The Afterlife
Is there life after a high school diploma?! Of course! And it can be good, but without guarantee. Much research conducted among the education elite to assess performance of homeschoolers has attempted to quantify success (or failure). The fact remains some students do well, others not so. What makes the difference?
Opinions abound on this subject, and here is mine. It’s not the “three Rs,” but rather the “four Cs.”
A study of leadership and motivation brought me to an understanding of these four things that also apply to the parent-child relationship. If we do not grow in the four Cs, it could be a great obstacle in our child’s “after diploma” life.
Care, Competence, Character, and Consistency are the four Cs. Our care must be felt. Does your child feel you are more interested in them than in yourself?
Is competence part of your growth mindset? We must model growth in our vocation, and our avocation, if we are to promote a growth mindset in our child.
Work ethic, among other things, is character that we must train and live out with consistency. Daily practice of the four Cs can make a difference. With these things, the “after diploma” life should be meaningful, and abundant.
About the author
Dr. Roger Smith is a family doctor in rural Louisiana, where he and his wife, Jan, raised four adventurous children who are all grown, making their own mark in the world. He speaks and writes on parenting issues and produces brief videos that can be found on Facebook @ParentingMattersNow.
The Old Schoolhouse® invites homeschooled students ages 12–18 to participate in the first-ever official academic competition for homeschoolers—the NAHC! Sign up to be notified when registration for the National Academic Homeschool Competition opens this fall and receive detailed information regarding this highly anticipated event. Visit NAHCRegistration.com
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What is God’s will for my life? How can I know I am choosing the right path? What’s Next: Discovering God’s Will for Your Life is a six-session course at SchoolhouseTeachers.com in which students receive Biblical encouragement to answer questions like these as they plan their next steps. They will learn from Biblical examples, such as Ruth and Esther, to help them find God’s perfect will for their lives.
Read this article
in the summer issue of
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FAMTIMEbox: The Fruit of the Spirit & FAMTIMEbox: Adventuring with Paul
Family Time Training
My children love to learn; they love learning hands-on as much as they can. The FAMTIMEbox: The Fruit of the Spirit and FAMTIMEbox: Adventuring with Paul from Family Time Training made that happen during our family Bible time.
To use these boxes, Family Time Training recommends sitting down as a family once a week and working through the activity. Each box comes with a Family Time Training Resource, which is like a leader’s guide or teacher’s guide. This will have each activity that you will be working through laid out for you.
Both Family Time Training Resource books are similar to each other. They start with the big idea or teaching goal followed by the key Scripture for the activity. Next, they list the needed materials for the activity. The materials are in the box. They even have words in bold that the teacher/leader can use to read for the activity. We end with a memory verse for the week and a prayer.
Once again in this box, we learn these lessons with fun hands-on activities. My children take in so much more and retain so much more by getting their hands in and having fun with their lessons. The last lesson stood out to them where we learned about bad choices and why we should always make good choices to stay close to God.
My children call the FAMTIMEbox sets their Vacation Bible School in a box for at home. These sets are a fun way to bring the family together and dig deeper into your faith with fun activities. If your children like to get hands-on with their learning, I would highly recommend these fun boxes for a family Bible study.
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Like a Refiner’s Fire
Are there moments when you could you use just a little encouragement? Don’t you love it when you realize that there are others who experience the same issues you do?
Glean wisdom and refreshment from another Christian homeschooling mom as you read the WeE-book™ . . . Like a Refiner’s Fire: A Collection of Inspiring, Encouraging, (and Sometimes Convicting) Reflections from Deborah Wuehler.
Find more freebies at The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Store: Freebies Archives – The Old Schoolhouse®
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