The Savage’s are enjoying a much-needed Spring Break. But when it’s over, I’ll be returning to something that I thought I’d never do again: homeschool.

Many years ago I homeschooled Anne in 7th grade and Evan in 5th and 6th grade. We made the homeschooling choice because quite honestly, Anne desired to be home and because Evan needed it from an academic perspective. It was for a season and for a reason.

This year has been an incredibly hard year for our 17-year-old. The fall was difficult emotionally and relationally. She even struggled academically—a first for her in the high school years. Throughout the fall she kept saying, “I need to get out of the high school environment. It’s not a good place for me.” Of course we did what all parents would do—we encouraged her to persevere. “Life get’s hard sometimes. You have to stick with it. It build’s character when you push through the hard stuff…” we encouraged.

Over Christmas break Erica became lethargic. She slept more than she was awake. This continued into January and we didn’t know if there was something physical causing this (all tests were coming up negative) or if the emotional was causing the physical. It was a very hard season for her and for us. By the end of January, Erica was asking me to finish out her highschool by homeschooling her. My initial response was no because she was so close to being finished (she was set to graduate in Dec 2008).

The physical exhaustion continued into February and finally on a third set of blood tests we had our answer—she tested positive for Epstein-Barr virus which is a marker for Mono. Now we had an answer!

After much prayer and discussion, Mark and I decided that the best thing for Erica emotionally, academically, and physically was to bring her home. The school has let us keep her textbooks for the remainder of the semester and she will finish up next fall with a mix of homeschooling and as a dual enrolled student at Heartland Community College earning both high school and college credit.

She made the transition about three weeks before Spring Break (and two weeks before the Hearts at Home conference!), so we’ve just started into our new routine, but we’ll really transition fully next week.

But the difference we’ve already experienced has been amazing. Erica is as relaxed as she’s been in a long time. She’s self-motivated to learn and has been very receptive to my leadership and teaching. She’s been pleasant to be around. It’s like the weight of the world has been lifted off her shoulders.

One of the reasons I value being home is because it affords us options. No, not the kind of options that money buys, but the kind of options that time buys. I honestly never thought I’d homeschool again but I guess it is again for a season and a reason.

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