When we started this homeschooling journey in 2003, I had no idea we’d still be doing it 10 years later. We committed to one year at a time for the first several, and I think it took close to 6 years before we admitted we were never going back.

I also had no idea that there would be something, deep in the recesses of my mind, hidden away from myself, upon which I hinged the marker of our “success.” You’d think it would have been when she got into Running Start at 16. You’d think it would have been when she took a full load and only didn’t bomb the quarter, but ended up on the President’s Honor Roll. You’d think it would have been after 5 more terms of the same, but you’d be wrong.

It was on this date, in 2014, when Alaetheia got her acceptance letter to her first choice uni that I felt a rush stress leave my neck and shoulders, and I thought, aloud, for the first time, “This homeschooling thing worked.”

(I hope you realize how ridiculous this is; I know you’re too kind to ridicule me for it, but relish this moment of sublime silliness with me: FAR in advance of 13 February 2014 there were MANY signs, completely objective, scientifically measurable, obvious, culturally shared signs that our homeschooling had not only “worked” but had “worked really well”).

But somewhere, deep in the recesses of my mind, I’d tied my own assessment of this homeschooling thing “working” on her acceptance to university. And I mention this because you have, too. You might not have the same marker (headed off to be a bachelor’s degree), but I suspect you’ve hung this great homeschooling experiment on some goal post, and that goal may or may not be something in your consciousness. If it’s in your subconsciousness, you may be able to root around for it and find it using questions like, “I really hope my child will be able to ________.” Or, “I hope my child ________.” Or “I see my child at 18 doing _______.” (Then again, you might not — on 12 February 2014, I would have told you that “of course this homeschooling thing worked,” and I would have told you about her success as a RS student when, just two years before, we really didn’t think she would go to college at all . . . so I’ve got no hard and fast answers for accessing your homeschool goal/dream. My one consolation is this: you’re probably working toward it, even if you don’t know that it’s there.

~Jen GS