Back to Homeschool Week: Why We Do What We Do
Why did we choose to homeschool? My husband says it was "impressed upon him that homeschooling was God's model for the family."

I said,
Homeschooling? You are nuts. Homeschooling is for over-controlling parents attempting to live their lives through their children. It is for people who place greater importance on spelling bees and academic success than the needs of their children as they force-feed them knowledge at the expense of childhood.
So you might say we both had strong opinions on the matter. With me being the way I am, it is actually rather surprising that the discussion did not end there.

I am not quite sure exactly what brought me from my initial reaction to my dubious agreement to "try it out" for a year. For kindergarten. Because it isn't required in Nebraska, anyway. But I can say that it was the most frightening decision of my life. Much more went into it than simply figuring out what curriculum to purchase and setting a schedule. I taught pre-K and first grade in the past and had little doubt of my ability to teach my daughter. Turning in my resignation, however, made me physically ill. I was scared...terrified. It was a tremendous leap of faith, and I was not sure that it was one my marriage would survive.

I had been raised more or less "in the system." I went to daycare, public school and was a latch key kid from the third grade. My mom was a career mom, clawing her way into management at a time when there was no such thing as a "glass ceiling." "Brick wall" would have been more apt a description. She eventually gave it up...for us...but I won't pretend that latent, feminist notions did not have something to do with my fears. The real story, however, goes much deeper.

When I graduated, I was going to have a career. My children, I thought, were better off in a good school and a good daycare with a mother who was satisfied and challenged in her work to come home to. I had the degree and the earning potential. Why should children hold me back? Because I had not yet met my daughter. I hadn't held her, smelled her, marveled at the tiny miracle in my arms. I had never known a love like that, never dreamed it even possible.

But at three weeks old, that tiny miracle captivated me and I realized how silly I had been. I did not care what it meant, what kind of house we would end up living in or what kind of car we would drive. I wanted to be her mother, and my heart ached at the thought of moving into the career world where I would have to leave her behind. I was ready to make the sacrifice and it did not even seem to be such a sacrifice. More like a burden lifted.

While mulling over these thoughts, my husband came in. He had quit. Walked out. Left our sole source of income while I was on maternity leave. And did I mention we were living at my parents' house? It wasn't the first time he had done this. He suffered from depression and employment seemed to be a particular issue. But it was the first time it mattered.

In the past, I had attempted to be the supportive wife, understanding of his difficulties, taking his side, trying to make him feel better. But that day, as my dreams vanished, something snapped in me. I will spare you the details of what was said, what was threatened and just how much I really meant it. And although he went back and repaired the situation at work, I knew that I could not depend on him. I would never be able to put myself in that situation again. No, I could do it to myself. But this tiny miracle was dependent on me to give her stability. I wasn't looking as high on the career ladder anymore, but I was going to do everything in my power to ensure that she never had to worry about basic necessities.

Fast forward six years. And you understand the trepidation with which I handed in my resignation.

That was three years ago and this blog is a testament to the passion I have for homeschooling. Like my conviction to motherhood, my conviction to homeschooling came late. I had to hold it in my arms and feel it in my heart before I realized the difference between my perceptions of the task and the reality of it. But I learned, and have not looked back.

This post is part of Back to Homeschool Week hosted by Randi at I have to say..., where you can find more posts from homeschoolers discussing what led them to homeschool.

Photo credits: that beautiful little bundle of joy is actually my youngest (of four). The artwork is My Hobby by Gustav Bjorck available at