Once upon a time, there was a family of four: a husband, his wife, and 2 small children.
After they had married, they’d decided together that when the children came, the wife would stay home with them while they were young. A few years into the marriage, baby #1 came, so wife-and-mom left her corporate job (against the advice of her older, wiser colleagues) and became a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom).
It took a bit of adjusting, but she discovered the job suited her just fine (so much for “older, wiser colleagues…”)!
A few years after that, baby #2 came along and added even more fun and challenge to the mix 🙂
The family moved to a small, rural town and when the kids were old enough, mom trotted child #1 to the public school to begin the education-and-training-for-life process, as any responsible parent would. After a year or so, however, the couple decided that this school was not a good fit.
So they moved child #1 to a local private school, and by this time, child #2 was ready as well. They tried hard to make this one work, too, but at the end of the year, they both reached the same decision.
The big problem was, they had no other options. Remember how I said they’d moved to a small town? Well, as much as that’s a charming visual, it left little to be desired in the education arena. So they found themselves at a cross-roads – what to do?
The wife heard about the concept of homeschooling, and talked to some friends who were involved in it, but she was still doubtful. You see, both husband and wife came from families that were heavily-involved in traditional education – the wife’s dad went to both Yale and Harvard…the husband’s dad and mom spent their lifetimes working as a middle-school teacher and medical school administrator, respectively. After much prayer and research and discussion with those for and against it ~ and even after going through a period of being thoroughly convinced she could just never do it ~ the wife began to consider homeschooling as an option.
Said husband, however, was not sold.
The wife tried convincing the husband…appealing on a variety of levels and using different approaches…to no avail. In prayer one morning, she finally gave up the fight. Considering how it was beginning to affect the family dynamics, she realized this was not a battle in which she should be engaged. Laying the issue down, she asked the Lord to help her be the best wife and mother she could be, and handle the issue as He saw fit. As is always the case…God came though! Eventually, the husband and wife found themselves on the same page. God brought their hearts in tune with each other and the plan He had for their lives. Over the years, the family grew and experienced their share of bumps and bruises, as we all do, but weathered it all on a united front.
But what happened to the schooling issue, you ask? Well, this story could end in either of 2 ways. I could say that the kids began to blossom in public school, mom went on to be an active, vital part of their classroom, and the family thrived. OR I could say that the couple decided to educate the kids at home, enjoy learning and growing together, and the family thrived.
However, the ending doesn’t really matter to the point I’d like to make:
Your reasons for homeschooling don’t matter nearly as much as the fact that both parents need to be united in the decision.
Moms (and let’s be real, here, moms are usually doing the day-to-day work), even though you may be carrying the lion’s share, remember: you can’t homeschool in a vacuum. Even if your husband doesn’t do a THING in teaching mode, you need his support…his listening ear…his feedback knowing he loves your kids just as much as you do!
Go back and re-read all the phrases I wrote in bold: see a pattern there? When husband and wife are united in their decisions, your family
can will thrive!
So, before you jump into homeschooling, or even if you decide NOT to homeschool your brood, the ONE THING you have to do in the decision-making process is to make sure you and your spouse are on the same page.
Homeschooling is not a panacea for a bad marriage, for mis-behaving kids, for poor family communications or dynamics, and I would be doing you a great disservice if I led you to believe that. It can be a great opportunity to learn and grow as a family, and to raise great kids who can develop their special God-given talents and become confident, contributing adults.
You can only do that from a solid and united front: so make sure that’s in place first…
And I’ll be praying for you on the journey!