As a single mom, what kind of support system do you have?
I could not do this without the support of my homeschooling friends. When I first started this adventure, it was just Kei and I. I knew a few people who homeschooled just from a ‘friend of a friend’ but no one to share ideas and information with. The first week we went to a homeschool event and I met women who would become the tapestry of my life. These women are my lifeline and their children are Kei’s best friends. I can honestly not imagine our lives without them.
My Mom died in 2008 and she was very supportive of my homeschooling. My father has remarried and while they are supportive they don’t really ‘support’ us. However they are both always there if we need them.
What advice would you offer to other single moms who are thinking about homeschooling?
I am truly blessed because I work from home. I did this before I started homeschooling. The down side of this is that my job isn’t steady. I sometimes go 3 months with no work. But you know what? I have always made it. I pray and God answers. I have such a commitment to homeschooling. I love it. I LOVE it. It isn’t always easy. There is no one to ask to take out the garbage, run to the store for milk if your child is sick, help pick up the never ending mess that multiplies, bring in another income, and do the little things that a spouse does every day, but my rewards are so great. I am here when she learns a new word, a new math concept, discovers a history era that fascinates her, looks through a microscope and sees something that blows her away, makes a bunny from clay, and builds a fairy house.
The internet is full of advice, lesson plans, ideas, pictures and more. Homeschool Moms are some of the most creative people in the world. When I Google, I always type ‘homeschool’ with my search. I know if a homeschool Mom posts it, it will be a great resource. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on curriculum. Ideas abound all around you.
What are some awesome ways that you’ve seen God bless your homeschool?
God is at the center of everything we do. He hasn’t always been. The more I make Him so, the easier my life gets.
One year there was very little money for Christmas. We were at church and I was writing a check to tithe. I didn’t have any extra money, hadn’t bought one thing for Kei’s Christmas. I closed my eyes, prayed and wrote the check. The next day my best friend called from California and said she had read Kei’s Christmas list in her blog and was sending almost everything on it to me!!! The other things on her list my awesome Homeschool Moms pitched in and bought.
God blesses us every day. The closer we stay to Him, the more wondrous he works in our lives. I have always wanted to volunteer with Kei. Since she was 3 I have tried to find volunteering opportunities. We weren’t attending church when she was small. I prayed to find a church that fit us just perfectly. I got a flyer on my door about a new church where, “No perfect people allowed”. Well I fit that description to a tee! That church has been our home for almost 4 years and its main goal is to serve others. WE have had so many opportunities to volunteer. We have paid it forward, given away free gas, prayer walked for our city, volunteered at the 4th of July celebration, gave out cocoa and cookies at the Christmas parade, visited retirement homes, played Easter Bunny for our entire city, held FREE huge yard sales, and bought 22 trailers for families who lost their homes in the horrible April tornadoes. We volunteered at a local Dream Center serving food, we serve food on Thanksgiving, we have gone to the homeless “Tent City” in a nearby city to minister to the men and women living there, and provided Christmas for children.
With God life is just easier, more amazing. He wants the best for all of us. If that is homeschooling, He will help you find the way. We pray about everything. It is as second nature to us a taking a breath.
Anything else you’d like to share?
You CAN do this! Find something you can do at home. Live simpler. Kei and I have talked about this many times. I could put her in public school and get a better paying job, we could have more ‘things’ but that isn’t what either of us want. We don’t get to do big trips, Disney, the beach, but the memories, the simple trips, the laughter, the learning are priceless to me. We chase butterflies, we dance in the rain, we have picnics in the yard, we read together, we meander, we explore, we giggle in the dark, we learn together. There is no expensive car, no huge house, no designer clothes or shoes in the world more important than that.
I wrote the following the first year of our homeschooling journey:
I could send her to school,
And from 8:00-3:00 have no clue…
How many times she laughed,
How many times she learned,
How many times she questioned,
How many times she understood,
How many times she wanted more information,
How many times she bounced in her chair from excitement,
How many times she was proud of something she did.
I could send her to school and she could get her exercise and sunshine,
In 20 minute doses, if…she had on the right shoes, and no one misbehaved and everyone was quiet.
I could send her to school
And let her eat the processed high fat, low nutrition fare they feed millions of children a day,
if she had enough time to eat and didn’t talk too loud and if no one grabbed her food.
I could homeschool her
When it is all said and done, I want Kei to look back on this and say, “I had the greatest, most delightful childhood. We had such fun.”
Karen Cagle | HomeschoolGirls.net