Me: If something suddenly changed, you couldn’t work, I had to go back to work for much less than I should theoretically make–and you had to be the one to stay home and homeschool–would you still be committed to it?
Husband: Yes. I think so. (Pause.) But I’d have to work on my patience and short temper.
Me: Yes. Right. But it’s that important to you now?
Me: I thought so. But I wanted to be sure.
My husband and I have had a successful homeschooling experience so far. Based on that experience, we would make a lot of changes and sacrifices to keep homeschooling our kids, even if our world drastically changed now. We can say this in hindsight. I don’t know if we would have had the courage, however, to leap into homeschooling had we not started this way or if we would have had great barriers facing us originally. I’d like to think we would have, but we’re pretty practical people and it just may not have seemed like the right decision at that time.
We have had some barriers, don’t get me wrong. I worked part-time originally. We had a slow reader, and I was secretly worried I wasn’t doing enough. We had a couple of pregnancies and babies. We had a sick family member. We moved half-way across the United States. I had to decide how important working was to my self-identity. There are always barriers, I guess.
But I think what I’m trying to say today to you, is that knowing what I know now, both my husband and I agree that homeschooling provides benefits and opportunities for our family which we would be willing to drastically change our lifestyle for. However, in saying that, I am well aware of the self-journey it would take even for us committed homeschoolers. Having two cars is nice. Having one parent stay home is nice. Having cable TV and wireless internet is nice. Keeping my heat at 72 degrees is nice. Having earned my degrees and worked. These things are nice. The Terri Now knows, for us, it’s all worth giving up. The Terri Then would be scared. Maybe too scared.
What do I like best about our homeschooling family? I like it when my husband gets home early, the kids are here to see him. I like it that my kids are forced to get along, and that I am forced to find ways to make that happen. I like it that we have much, much more time to pursue subjects earlier and incorporate them into school, like music, Spanish, sewing, astronomy, and typing. I like it that we dictate our schedule; it doesn’t feel so frantic–and with kids of all ages, I know that they’d most likely be in three different schools. I like teaching my kids how to cook and do laundry. I like that they don’t eat processed foods. I like it that we’re not sick so often. I like so many things about it. My husband obviously does too. And with a driven, perfectionistic surgeon’s mentality, yeah, he’d have to work on his temper. It says a lot that he’d be willing to.
Lately, I’ve received some e-mails about homeschooling. I offer what I can from my point of view. But, I am only one. If you homeschool and have any thoughts to offer those contemplating changing their whole lives to do this–basically turning their families’ lives upside-down, what would you say? Would you share and say it in the comments?
Have a good rest of the week. Effect positive change somewhere, in your own way.