When we started homeschooling, I knew that it was a decision that would see us through until all of my children are grown. I had visions of being with my children and raising them, while being at home. However, job situations change, finances change, and needs change; sometimes the picture in our head needs to change in order to match the current needs.
For our family, it came in the form of a job loss several years ago for my husband. Our income dropped 65 percent. And now our family of seven needed to survive on a less than meager income. I have done many things in the last several years to try to help make ends meet while remaining in the home for the children. And we have done alright. I have started an at-home business, and I have reviewed curriculum and entertainment products which allowed us access to items we would have otherwise would not have been able to afford. I have also been a virtual assistant of sorts, which allowed me to bring in an hourly wage, while staying at home. However, that position was only a temporary position.
As my children have gotten older ( and with 2 preparing to enter college), we have seen that the financial needs have become much larger and we need to make some changes. And those changes have included me getting a job outside of the house.
What is this going to look like? How are we going to manage? Well, those are good questions, both of which I plan on dealing with in this column. I am sure that I am not alone in this predicament. In fact, while at a homeschool convention last month, I heard a speaker say that many homeschool families are finding that moms need to go to work in order to make ends meet.
This is a new venture for me, so I surely do not have all the answers, and while I will talk about other aspects of homeschooling in this column, I would like to periodically touch base on how we are doing, in our new venture!
So here are our plans. Our goal is to have my husband swap his shift to be the opposite of mine, that way the kids will not be alone at all. I will have prewritten lesson plans made up for everyone, and all he will need to do is keep them on task, an answer questions as they arise. Then each evening when I return we will go over any loose ends from the day, and do any ‘teaching’ that needs to be done for the upcoming day’s assignments. This will take due diligence for the whole family. We can do it; it will simply take some practice as we adjust to our new schedule.
Thankfully it is summer time, and we can ease our way into it, and I have a couple of months to get my lesson plans in order!
I am thankful that my kids are older – they are old enough to understand why we need to make these changes, and also have the ability to step it up and help out. My teenage daughters will be a real blessing helping with the cooking. The boys can help in the kitchen if need be, but I will need them to help out with chores around the house. We will definitely need to adopt even more of a team mentality.
But the one aspect that we are going to need to be sure to not lose sight of is the fact the God brought us through the hard times to this new time. And He will see us through this new adventure. And for that I am thankful. We, as a family with our new busy schedule, will need to purpose to keep our eyes focused on the Lord and not allow the busyness of our life to pull us away from the Lord.
The kids and I often use the saying, “Live life on purpose”. That is what will get us through this new stage… we must live life on purpose, and that purpose must remain, to live for Christ!
I will check in, in a couple of months and let you know how we are doing. And if we have needed to alter any of our plans!