When I had my first child, I never thought I’d be a homeschooling mom. My goal back then was to get a medical degree, work diligently to help provide a financially stable life for my family, and give my daughter a life full of possibilities. That meant I had to go to school full-time with extra courses during the day, work the graveyard shift at the hospital for some experience, and sleep for a few solid hours in the morning while my daughter spent the day at her preschool. My husband usually picked her up after work so I could see her before I left for work until the following morning. It was difficult. I missed my daughter, and I barely saw her when she was only so little. But I was so determined to give her everything she deserved-the best life possible-that I was willing to sacrifice our time together.
How quickly things changed after I found out I was pregnant with my son, only seven short months after I gave birth to my daughter. In another nine months after that, I was to have another child. The thought of it troubled me so deeply. How was I to mother another child when I’d barely known my first? There was a complete mental shift in my perception of motherhood. It was so palpable; I knew something had to give. To me, it never felt as if I gave up a career path. It always felt as if I gave up on an opportunity to provide for my family, to be better off financially. This was because I didn’t know then what I know now about money. But that’s a discussion for another time.
Regardless, it was a clear sacrifice in so many ways. Living on a single income is not easy, but it is possible. After a while, it became clear to us that there were many families who not only thrived on a single income but actually lived life the way we envisioned it should be: full of travel, discoveries, opportunities, and just full of time and moments spent with each other. Now, after being inspired by so many other families out there living a similar lifestyle, we’ve expanded our dream to one day allow my husband to work remotely just as I do now. Hopefully one day we can slow travel and really find ourselves and our children immersed in other cultures. For now, traveling in bouts and as often as possible will make do.
Homeschooling happened to us not by accident or because we didn’t have any other choice. My husband and I made the conscious decision to become the primary caregivers of our kids all day, everyday. There are many, many, MANY reasons why we choose to do our learning from home. That’s also a discussion for another time. But ever since we decided we wanted to be our children’s educators, the research has been nonstop! The amount of information available to those who are looking to go down the homeschooling path is unbelievable. There are hundreds upon hundreds of curriculums to choose from, a number of philosophies you can adapt or combine, and a multitude of resources at your reach-both free or not. It only makes sense because once you take learning outside the box of an institution, you can really see how high the sky is and how far the horizon stretches.
If it’s ever crossed your mind to homeschool and are faced with so much doubt, let me tell you that you’re not alone. Our children are still young, and we’re already asking ourselves if we can really pursue this for the long haul. We’ve already faced the usual judgments and criticisms from our small circle, and we expect there will be more as we go. That’s okay because people generally judge what they don’t know or understand. But you know what? The more we travel, the more we are convinced that this is absolutely the lifestyle for us. We want the world to be our classroom. I really can’t explain that any other way.
So if you’re thinking about homeschooling or are struggling with homeschooling, don’t give up on it-whatever point you’re at with your children. We understand your plight and commend you for what you do. If homeschooling is just an idea you keep playing in your head, I suggest you read up on what it is about and the opportunities you and your family can have with home learning. I promise you’ll be inspired whichever way you decide to go afterwards with your kids’ education.