Friday, April 16, 2010

Home Schooling, Minus the Home Part

Summary of a recent conversation:

So, your husband works from home?


And you home school your kids?


So, you're pretty much all home all the time? (Said with that you-poor-crazy-hermits look)

(This is the point where you know you have not met a kindred soul)

Pretty much, yes.

Only the truth is we're rarely home. When I first started home schooling I kept saying the only thing I don't really like about home schooling is the being home part. So we don't stay home much. Really who would when there are so many other things to do? Of course we're involved in all the usuals - scouts, science club, classes, youth group, piano, sports and field trips, but then we have the unique advantage of being self-employed, so we travel. This school year we've been to Yellowstone, Arizona and the Oregon Coast, tomorrow we're heading to Utah and next month we'll be in Illinois.

When people realize how much we travel they often say with longing, "I wish we could do that!" The ironic thing is, that was me five years ago. I had a husband who worked long hard hours and I was rarely brave enough to leave the house for more than a morning with my three small children in tow (and one on the way). My husband and I both felt like there had to be more to life. Taking the leap to make that happen was the hardest thing we've ever done. My husband quit his job just one year short of partnership and started his own practice. It was very stressful and scary but it was also successful and has liberated us from the rat race.

I know not everyone can make a leap like that, but I really do think most people can make choices that give them and their family more freedom to do the things they really want to do. For example, I have a friend whose husband saves up vacation time all year so they can take a long road trip each fall. Camping helps them to save money, and has allowed them to share some amazing experiences with their children. Even if you can only travel to your nearest state park, I am a believer in giving your children homeschool experiences away from home!

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