Last night, Chelsea and I went to serve at our local soup kitchen. It is open once a week and our church does a rotation once a quarter preparing the food, serving, and cleaning up. There were several volunteers (isn't it a great problem to have more than enough!!!) so we had a bit of down time and I ended up in a conversation with one of the coordinators once he found out not only that I homeschooled , but that we had seven children. He really was very sweet and absolutely amazed at the sacrifice that homeschooling families are willing to make. That conversation really got me thinking and I just new I had to write a blog post about it.
When people think of homeschooling sacrifices, they usually focus on the mom. Yes we are the ones in the day to day raising and educating our children. I do not think of it much in the way of a sacrifice. I adore being home with my children (even though it can at times be very challenging!!!) and wouldn't want it any other way. For me, it's kind of like having babies. Being sick for months on end, childbirth, recovering, is all so worth it when you get to hold that beautiful baby for the first time. All the work and effort I put in to raising my children is so worth the effort. We only have a short time to prepare them for eternity!!!
But really I wanted to talk about the amazing dad behind the homeschool mom. Though he may not be involved in all of the nitty gritty homeschool work, or even have the faintest idea which math curriculum we are using this year (although since he reads this blog, he should!) he is the one who makes the amazing sacrifices so we can homeschool. It is not easy to raise and support a family of nine on one income! He could have easily said no to my desire to homeschool and sent me to work or even decided to not have the children at all due to increased costs and financial strain. There have been many times he has taken jobs on the side or even sold his prized possessions in order to provide for this family. This homeschool dad has put aside his own desires to finish a car and motorcycle he wants to builds because the money is always needed somewhere else. He works 10 hours or more a day while his wife and family get to go on field trips to museums, zoos, take Art Classes, and have play dates at the park. He has NEVER once questioned anything I have thought I needed for school supplies. Whether it has been a new curriculum, mp3 player for Alex to listen to stories, an aquatic frog friend, or even an iPad, the educational needs of our family has always come first. This homeschool dad drives all the way home from work to pick up a child and drive all the way back to town and not get supper until 9:00 pm at night because his daughter had a community service that she wanted to take part in. He even takes it well when it has been a rotten day and he is fed pancakes for supper (again!) because his wife forgot to take meat out of the freezer. Instead of fixing things that are broken or building things by himself he takes the time to teach and involve his sons so they too will know how to fix things for their own families. This homeschool dad is teaching his sons by his example how to grow up and raise a family of their own someday, even though they don't know that yet. Our homeschool could not exist without his love, support, encouragement, and sacrifices.