Why do I homeschool?

I never thought I would homeschool. In fact, I had never heard of homeschooling while attending college. When I taught elementary school, I only knew one family that homeschooled and honestly thought that was kind of strange. It is amazing how God can instantly change your heart.

My perspective was transformed in just one night. I came home from teaching school (I had a very tough class that year) and my three-year-old sat on my lap and asked me to read a book. I told him I was too tired to read to him. In fact, engaging in any learning activities made me want to cringe. I was completely exhausted with no energy left for the person that mattered most in my life.

Then the light bulb went off, I was giving 100% of my quality time and energy to my students (not by my choice, again, it was a very tough class that year) and I had nothing left for my son. I decided to begin my homeschool journey that particular night. I discussed it with my husband and then submitted my notice to my school the next day, which stated I would not be returning the following school year. All my colleagues were stunned but I guess that mommy instinct took over because this was no longer about me, but now it was about my son.

I was providing half of my family's income (and a young couple with a teacher's salary, you can quickly figure out that we were not financially prepared for me to be at home full-time.) My husband was still in college at night and he worked during the day. We had lots of debt- car payments, school loans, and a mortgage- and zero savings.

But I was bound and determined. My son was my top priority, not my income. The money issue never worried me. That is how I know God was in control because I naturally worry about money. Not a good quality, I know. 

And we just made it work. We cut back on everything. No eating out, not even fast food. No cable. No extras, period, until we could recover from a 50% pay cut. I worked part-time during the week at a private school in the afternoons as a curriculum coordinator while my son played with the kids that attended the after-school program (for free). I tutored children on the weekends and my husband worked every part time job he could find, including remodeling and delivering pizzas (on top of working full-time and attending school full-time.)

It was a very busy time, but this time around, it was a good busy. God was faithful and provided. Looking back, we have no regrets. Over the years, we transitioned to having five children and I have not worked outside of the home for over ten years. My son is graduating high school this upcoming school year and we have so many wonderful memories together that I treasure.

I chuckle when people say they are waiting to have children until they can afford them. Well, I don't think I'd ever have any children if I had waited. I still don't think we can afford them. ☺ There would have always been something to take away any extra money that we had. I am so glad that I followed my heart and not my mind, which would have kept me filled with worry and fear.  I truly believe that I had to step out in faith to be rewarded with the blessing of being at home with my children.

So why do I homeschool?

The answer is simple. I LOVE teaching and I LOVE my children. When I combine the two, there is nothing else I'd rather be doing.

Photobucket
You can also read My Top Ten Reasons for Homeschooling for a quick laugh.

13 comments:

S. Parker said...

What a beautifulngift youngave to yourself and your children.

Dana said...

Tamara,

I commend you. It takes a lot of faith and courage to step out of "the box" and make a change. It sounds like you did for all the right reasons. You're right - it's not about "me" or "what will my friends/colleagues think?!" It's about our families and our own well-being. I'm glad you've been able to share this time and your talents with your children. :)

Dana
3rd Grade Gridiron

Tamara L. Chilver said...

Thank you Ms. Parker and Dana! ☺

Mrs. C said...

I was homeschooled in high school, and it gave me a lot of opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I was able to participate in community theater, work part-time, take classes at the local junior college (for free, since I was concurrently in high school) and develop important working/studying habits. My mom got a lot of negative feedback for her choice, but I struggled in the traditional class setting, so homeschooling was the best choice for me! Thanks for the post!

Amy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am inspired by your courage, I was just sitting here wondering why I keep teaching when I am overwhelmed and don't get to spend much time with my own kids - Money is the reason!! Your story really ignited a spark of faith in me!!

Amy

Colleen said...

That is a wonderful explanation! I commend homeschoolers, even though I am not a homeschooler and I am a public school teacher. I was blessed with the opportunity to teach a little girl in my 4th grade class this year who had been homeschooled until she entered my classroom. She was a phenomenal child.

Enjoy Teaching English said...

Such a touching story!I had tears in my eyes,maybe because this is what I want to do but don't have the courage and determination yet!

Lusine

Annie Moffatt said...

I LOVE your story! It sounds so much like mine:) We struggle to make ends meet and my husband does construction too:) I wouldn't change these precious days for anything!! You cannot put a price tag on this time in life. I am loving it! I can tell by your picture with your son that you do too! I LOVE your blog Tamara! So inspiring:) You are such a great role model.

Mrs. Saoud said...

You inspire me each day. I love your devotion to each of your passions: faith, family, and education.

Cheryl

Pam said...

Wow... what a beautiful story. Thank you for the inspiration. You are a role model for me. Your posts answer some prayers for me. I am glad I found your blog!

Marlene said...

I once thought I would never homeschool or be a stay at home mom because I wanted my own identity as a teacher working outside the home. But in the last couple of years God has changed my heart. I honestly don't know how my coworkers that are moms have the energy to do both. I have come to realize that when I have kids I don't want to be a full time teacher. It can be done on one salary and God always provides. Thanks for sharing your story.

Marlene
I Heart Teaching Elementary

Ms.M said...

Wonderful story Tamara. So many of us forget about ourselves in this profession. It is inspiring and empowering.

The only question that came to mind when I finished reading was... would you go back to the classroom when your kids are grown? Now I know you have a baby girl at home so I know that won't be for a while, but it was thought.

Ms. M
Ms.M's Blog
A Teacher's Plan

Tamara L. Chilver said...

All of your comments are so sweet. I never expected such kindness. Thank you!

And Ms. M, I will be almost 60 years old when my little girl goes off to college so I don't know about a full-time job in the classroom BUT I do teach in church classes and I have taught many times in co-op classes for homeschoolers. For instance, I taught geography in a classroom to the primary grades every Friday in my last co-op group. So when I need my group teaching fix, I go ahead and teach in a classroom, just not full-time. And I hope to have lots of grandkids in the future to spoil (and who knows, maybe even teach them someday, too) when my little girl is grown.

I will always love teaching- in a classroom and in my home.♥