Bottle Garden
Encouraging Thoughts

I Have Graduated


The girls were always acting out something. You can learn while you play!

    Well this is a hard post for me to write but I want to reflect these moments on my blog. I have graduated!! Chloe, my youngest has graduated, therefor I am officially no longer a homeschooling mom. I can remember 24 years ago being pregnant, only a month along with Auberne` and reading about HSing (& breastfeeding) and being scared to death (when my sis pointed out I had 8 months to learn all this, I had a HUGE melt down on her. Poor thing!!). Having severe dyslexia and not even knowing it until I was 10, school was hell. I truly can only remember a handful of happy days. So I really was not wanting to put my daughters in that system. (Do not get me wrong, PS is great for some, just not all. I do not want to trash talk PS). I started going to HS support group when Auberne` was 1. Co-leading that group, when Auberne` was 4. By the time we hit school age, I had already be in the HS community a long time. I am glad I started learning and meeting other HSers when Auberne` was little because it saved me from making a lot of the same mistakes most HSers do.

Chloe brace

Chloe 18 and just got braces!!

    I wish I had the words to explain how HSing all these years have changed me. It is very similar to motherhood. It has stretched me, gave me the education I never got as a child, bonded me with my girls and gave me a whole new view on learning. Really life is learning and it never ends. Because of HSing, I now like to read (it is still difficult for me but I enjoy it now), I view nature in a whole new light and I have discovered there are a million ways to learn something. One does not need to be boxed in by a certain “way” of learning.

Sweet girl

Both the girls are working at the local tea shop and LOVE it!!

    All the goals for my girls have been met. They love learning, life, each other and us, David and I. Kindness is more important than anything else. Creativity and learning will be the hallmark of their lives. They do not give one rip about fitting in, what others think or doing things the “normal” way. They deeply know themselves and their day to day walk with God guides them in everything.

C dance

Chloe is still serious about her dancing & plans on doing more teaching.

    I had days where I felt I was not enough for my girls, when I did not know how to help them overcome problems BUT I have never had a day I wished I was not HSing. To do something for basically 22 years and love it that whole time is pretty amazing. I leaned on God, I prayed every morning for Him to show me what my girls needed, also how I needed to change. There were days (even weeks) where the focus was on character, more than math.


Auberne` & I enjoying high tea. For the first 6 years of her life, I was her playmate!!

    What I think I am most grateful for besides having these amazing years with my daughters, is my view on learning. Before HSing I felt stupid, lazy and really ... unable to learn. I view learning so different now. It is a joy and has helped me to be more fearless (for one canNOT HS and be in fear. It will not work long term). I have writen a novel, am a food editor and gosh who know what else will happen ;-) It is sad to see this season of my life end. I know in my gut those years will be my favorite time in life. Wonderful things are in store but nothing will ever replace these past years. Thank you for letting me twattle on about all of this. Yes I have graduated and I think I get a fine education indeed! Now it is time to learn something new!!!

We are always laughing, always!!


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I taught in public school for only a year and that was many years ago but I have to say that all of us, my 36 6th graders and I, learned so much together. If only I had had only two for that year ---- wow! how much we all would have learned. Teaching is such an honor and privilege. Congratulations.


♥ Wonderful words. Your lovely daughters are a credit to a great accomplishment of the Richest kind.....the ability to learn and never stop their curiosity of new things. You have instilled that in them.
I only wish my dear son could meet your daughters and know that young women with confidence and kindness do exist in our culture. Thank you for your inspiration toward all that is good, true, pure and positive.


It was a let-down when we finished our homeschooling 14 years ago. I wondered what I would do with all the time! But then I went back to work so Elsie wouldn't have tuition debt, she graduated from the UW and got married and our lives have filled up again with little ones. Malachi starts kindergarten in the fall. Time passes so quickly. You just have to embrace every season of life and know how quickly they pass. Blessings to you and your girls. I know I wouldn't have traded my homeschooling years for any others.

Terrie McPhee

Clarice - what a bittersweet moment for you! You raised two beautiful daughters with love and creativity and that is more than most achieve in a lifetime. Can't wait to see what new adventures you embark on...


Congratulations Dear Clarice. It has ben such a privilegert to share something of your journey along the way. Thank you. Gill


What a beautiful and moving post. Congratulations on this big milestone. I am sure the next chapter of your life will be wonderful too.


What a feeling, huh? :)
Here's to your next 22+ years!

Tracy A.

Congratulations Clarice! As a public school teacher for 30 years, I know only too well that it is not a good fit for many of our youth. What an accomplishment for all of you, but especially you!


Reading this post I can see why it would be difficult to say goodbye to this time in your life. It sounds like it was all consuming and joyful too. Congratulations to you for doing such a wonderful job. Congratulations to Chloe on graduating. Best wishes on moving on for all of you.


I'm thankful for all the great people that you learned from. It was interesting for me to. I learned a lot from the process. I think the girls learned things of value that they wouldn't have gotten in a public school setting. It's not for everyone, but it's good you had a choice.


Congratulations to YOU, Clarice. What a wonderful post, showing how much determination to learn can motivate one to accomplish great things. You are a life-long learner. This is inspirational!

Thyme (Sarah)

Congratulations to you! I am going through the same phases. Riley, my son, has one more final year. I seriously cannot believe I took on this task and that I am actually almost at the end of it. I'm afraid I am a bit more eager than you to move on. My patience level for the high school years was not terrific but I still think my kids benefited from a homeschooling lifestyle rather than a public school one. You are is child led and the fit isn't right for all...but it worked out well for us! Congratulations again!


You did a great job, Clarice. You've also backed your curriculum with a lot of creativity that stimulates the brain to approach problem solving in different ways. You've brought forth a new generation of fine and creative citizens.


Helena said "What an absolutely beautiful post Clarice! Thank you for sharing that with us all. The next chapters of your life will no doubt be just as wonderful because that is how you view life - through "glittering eyes". Bravo on doing such a wonderful job with your beautiful girls!!! XOXO"

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