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Liza Q

I've been asked to speak...

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at our Homeschool Graduation/End of the year night. My youngest is graduating so I am DONE. We have a service where we give certificates to all of the children, honor the 8th grade graduates, have the 12th graders walk in cap and gown, give gifts and diplomas, pray for the graduates, flip tassels, etc. We always have a speaker give a shortish sermon geared to the graduates and sometimes one of the graduates or parents say a few words. This year they've asked one of the pastors in our group and me. I'll have about 10 minutes.

I have no idea what to say! I'm not at all shy but....I don't want to make it all about me. I want to encourage everyone there. I find myself worrying that I will discourage some of the families if I speak to much about my approach, which has been eclectic, equal parts Charlotte Mason/SWB/whatever seemed right to me, and, honestly, a great deal of work. But many of the families in our group use a program (like ABeka or Calvert or My Father's World) and just use it with all of their children. And I am not sure that I want to emphasize a commitment to not giving up, even though I think that is something that really kept me going, as I don't want anyone to think that putting some or all of their kids in school for a time or even permanently is a bad thing. I don't want to preach - the pastor is doing that.

I guess I want to emphasize doing whatever they think is best and then trusting God and giving it their all. Really knowing themselves and their children. Being both consistent and flexible.

Any thoughts or experiences that will help me out?

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I think your last paragraph is a good point from which to start. Keeping it general, acknowledging that there will be days that are less than encouraging but persistence pays off - something along those lines. While you may not want to speak too much about your own journey I think it would be okay to mention what thoughts are going through your head as this path ends here for you. After a few sentences reflecting on the past years, you could move forward to the general, "let me encourage you" part.

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1 hour ago, Liza Q said:

at our Homeschool Graduation/End of the year night. My youngest is graduating so I am DONE. We have a service where we give certificates to all of the children, honor the 8th grade graduates, have the 12th graders walk in cap and gown, give gifts and diplomas, pray for the graduates, flip tassels, etc. We always have a speaker give a shortish sermon geared to the graduates and sometimes one of the graduates or parents say a few words. This year they've asked one of the pastors in our group and me. I'll have about 10 minutes.

I have no idea what to say! I'm not at all shy but....I don't want to make it all about me. I want to encourage everyone there. I find myself worrying that I will discourage some of the families if I speak to much about my approach, which has been eclectic, equal parts Charlotte Mason/SWB/whatever seemed right to me, and, honestly, a great deal of work. But many of the families in our group use a program (like ABeka or Calvert or My Father's World) and just use it with all of their children. And I am not sure that I want to emphasize a commitment to not giving up, even though I think that is something that really kept me going, as I don't want anyone to think that putting some or all of their kids in school for a time or even permanently is a bad thing. I don't want to preach - the pastor is doing that.

I guess I want to emphasize doing whatever they think is best and then trusting God and giving it their all. Really knowing themselves and their children. Being both consistent and flexible.

Any thoughts or experiences that will help me out?

 

 

This is not a slam and not snark - I just want to reassure you that the Calvert/ABeka/MFW crowd will identify just fine with what you want to say about diligence, high academic level, and commitment. They have more in common with us (WTM/CM/Neo-classical) than with unschoolers, not-schoolers, ACE/LIFEPACS, etc. Not that I can honestly lump the latter group all together, just if you want to talk about heavy books and a great deal of work, the former group is on board with that. 

The message about adding flexibility to consistency is not going to offend anyone, and may be taken as very encouraging!

Never giving up - it sounds like you are talking about never giving up on your child, or on doing what you know to be the best thing for them. The point about really knowing your child is so good. Who could argue with any of that, or feel unduly pressured, or fail to be encouraged...? Just make it personal, and say that what was best for your family was to stick with hsing for the long haul, and tell why you are glad that you did.

I hope this is helpful. I think you are going to give a great speech.

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19 hours ago, Tibbie Dunbar said:

 

 

This is not a slam and not snark - I just want to reassure you that the Calvert/ABeka/MFW crowd will identify just fine with what you want to say about diligence, high academic level, and commitment. They have more in common with us (WTM/CM/Neo-classical) than with unschoolers, not-schoolers, ACE/LIFEPACS, etc. Not that I can honestly lump the latter group all together, just if you want to talk about heavy books and a great deal of work, the former group is on board with that. 

 

I was thinking more of how I tailored each book/program/curriculum to each child for each subject. Even when I reused something, I used it differently. I know that the families that use all one program do a lot of work! But I don't want to emphasize the planning work I put in, even though I would like to. What you said about not giving up was very helpful - thanks!!

 

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I would talk about all of the little steps that got everyone to graduation. When you start homeschooling, the thought of doing it for 12+ years is totally daunting. No one who is homeschooling a 1st grader can really wrap their heads around homeschooling a high schooler. But it's the daily faithfulness that gets you there. If you keep moving toward the goal, eventually you will find that you've covered miles and miles.

The same is true for these graduates. The future might seem daunting to them right now. They have big goals, or some of them don't know the first place to start. It's scary! But if they just start taking steps in the direction of their goals, they can accomplish anything. 

ETA and maybe a word of encouragement to the moms who are done? Now that I'm done hsing I have new goals but they seem soooo far off. It is pretty daunting to find yourself at the bottom of a brand new mountain. But when I think about all those years of homeschooling, I know that if I just do the next thing in front of me and faithfully plod along, I will reach my new goals, too. 

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Thanks for all of the help. I asked the woman who is organizing it and she said 1. I don't have to speak that long and 2. she wants "inspirational". So I think I'll be fine. I can talk about our family without fear that it will go on too long, since I will keep it to more like 5 minutes - and I can just use some of our experiences as a good example of God's faithfulness.

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