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How I Became a Homeschooling Dad

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  • How I Became a Homeschooling Dad

    For decades, I had a traditional notion of how a Christian family should work: mom at home caring for the children, and dad at work bringing home the bacon. Like a lot of men of faith, I claimed that family was my highest priority, but my self-worth was wrapped up too strongly in my job. I had worked hard to earn a job on the Math faculty of a prominent institution, and I was proud of it. (Pride is a sin.) At the same time, I under appreciated my wifeís abilities to contribute to her profession. With a PhD from a top ten school, she has as many scientific publications as I do and nearly twice the citations. Yet most of her time was spent caring for and home schooling our children while also spending 20 hours a week working from home in our scientific consulting business.

    As our children approached high school, it became clear that the landscape was quickly changing in our adopted home state out west. They passed more restrictive regulations on gun ownership. They legalized marijuana. They persecuted Christians for upholding their consciences regarding gay marriage. Schools were closing their eyes to all kinds of evil and destructive behaviors among their students. We began to experience increasing negative feedback for our faith and home schooling efforts. Sure, we could shelter our children through the high school years, but if we remained out west much longer, the state in which our children would qualify for in-state tuition would have all its colleges filled with dope smoking public school graduates discipled for years in the destructive behaviors and justifying it all with atheistic naturalism. The legalization of marijuana was the last straw. We would move to a state that was not descending so rapidly into the moral and godless abyss.

    It didnít take long to recognize a short list of states in the southeast that would be friendliest to home schooling people of faith and least likely to legalize marijuana before our children graduated from college. We were not in a big hurry, but needed to move soon enough to establish residency so our children could go to college at a good school paying in-state tuition rates. After some discussion, we determined the best approach would be for us both to apply for applicable jobs in the designated list of states. The parent who got the more desirable job would accept it; the other parent would home school the children and play the main role in our consulting business.

    It seems to have been the Lordís will that my wife got the great job, and I got the privilege of becoming the primary home schooling parent. It has given my wife the opportunity to pursue and expand in her career that had largely been on hold for almost 20 years while she took care of our home and raised our children. It has given me the opportunity to repent more fully from finding too much belonging in my career teaching others and giving too little direct attention to the education of my own children. I also believe that the children needed a bit of a change during their high school years. My sons certainly benefit from a male voice, and all our children are benefiting more from my style which tends more toward the kind of independence that is necessary for success as our children go to college.

    I am finding my own children are the best students Iíve ever had.
    ďWhich of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?" - The Messiah

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing. You do what you have to to make sure your kids are raised properly.
    -----------------------

    "The less Holy Spirit we have, the more cake and coffee we need to keep the church going." - Reinhard Bonnke

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    • #3
      Thanks for sharing.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LittleDrummerBoy View Post
        For decades, I had a traditional notion of how a Christian family should work: mom at home caring for the children, and dad at work bringing home the bacon. Like a lot of men of faith, I claimed that family was my highest priority, but my self-worth was wrapped up too strongly in my job. I had worked hard to earn a job on the Math faculty of a prominent institution, and I was proud of it. (Pride is a sin.) At the same time, I under appreciated my wife’s abilities to contribute to her profession. With a PhD from a top ten school, she has as many scientific publications as I do and nearly twice the citations. Yet most of her time was spent caring for and home schooling our children while also spending 20 hours a week working from home in our scientific consulting business.

        As our children approached high school, it became clear that the landscape was quickly changing in our adopted home state out west. They passed more restrictive regulations on gun ownership. They legalized marijuana. They persecuted Christians for upholding their consciences regarding gay marriage. Schools were closing their eyes to all kinds of evil and destructive behaviors among their students. We began to experience increasing negative feedback for our faith and home schooling efforts. Sure, we could shelter our children through the high school years, but if we remained out west much longer, the state in which our children would qualify for in-state tuition would have all its colleges filled with dope smoking public school graduates discipled for years in the destructive behaviors and justifying it all with atheistic naturalism. The legalization of marijuana was the last straw. We would move to a state that was not descending so rapidly into the moral and godless abyss.

        It didn’t take long to recognize a short list of states in the southeast that would be friendliest to home schooling people of faith and least likely to legalize marijuana before our children graduated from college. We were not in a big hurry, but needed to move soon enough to establish residency so our children could go to college at a good school paying in-state tuition rates. After some discussion, we determined the best approach would be for us both to apply for applicable jobs in the designated list of states. The parent who got the more desirable job would accept it; the other parent would home school the children and play the main role in our consulting business.

        It seems to have been the Lord’s will that my wife got the great job, and I got the privilege of becoming the primary home schooling parent. It has given my wife the opportunity to pursue and expand in her career that had largely been on hold for almost 20 years while she took care of our home and raised our children. It has given me the opportunity to repent more fully from finding too much belonging in my career teaching others and giving too little direct attention to the education of my own children. I also believe that the children needed a bit of a change during their high school years. My sons certainly benefit from a male voice, and all our children are benefiting more from my style which tends more toward the kind of independence that is necessary for success as our children go to college.

        I am finding my own children are the best students I’ve ever had.
        Thank you for sharing your story! I would like to share some of mine as there are some interesting contrasts. I was homeschooled through 6th grade and went to a private K-12 school (that happened to exist in a church) from 7th through 12th. My life felt very much like how you describe the dynamic of your brilliant wife staying at home while you pursue your career. As my spouses health declined (for several reasons I will not get into right now) my work life felt constantly pressured. Prioritizing 9 hours a day away from the one who needs you most in the world was really hard. Our 2 kids had done some homeschool but we decided to see how they would fair at our local public schools. The results were mixed to awful and when our 3rd child was born in 2009 (weighing only 14oz) we quickly realized that homeschool would be our best option. The brief time of having them come home from school only to essentially be quarantined from their baby sister (for fear that a cold could cause her to return to the hospital) convinced us that their education would continue at home.

        But this was no easy task. I had to work full time+ and my wife's bad health in the face of caring for a micro preemie, while recovering from the major surgery it took to remove our baby from her necessitated we find a curriculum that required very little parental interaction. At this point we also began reassessing our belief system. None of the 5 local church communities we had been involved with did anything more that send prayers, tell us we should have more kids, and asked us to return to their congregations. During the long lonely times my wife spent tube feeding our tiny infant she researched the origin of the doctrine of hell, and found that all the disparate words that get lumped into the modern concept of eternal torment do not support the concept of post mortem torture.

        While our religious structure was disintegrating, our minds began to open to other possibilities. Our state legalized marijuana and my wife found it to be most effective and least destructive way to combat pain and insomnia. I found it a great way to relax. I was able find a job that allows me to work from home, help with the kids, help with the house, and still make almost a living wage! Our middle daughter had been struggling with conflicting feeling regarding her place in society until a few months ago when she bravely came out as a "he." This kind of realization would is generally extremely difficult to live out when you are surrounded by peers who are taught that this is some kind of "sin." Even before we deconstructed our past beliefs, that same child dealt with kids bullying them about believing in God. I understand this type of thing happens both ways but receiving violent threats from another 6th grader on the bus because my child expressed religious doubts will leave a mark. Unfortunately for any kind of religious group, their advocates are often the strongest argument against religion.

        So now we spend most days all together, my recently discovered son has a girlfriend, pot has become an extremely useful natural medicine, and no one in the house has any desire to purchase a gun. The joy and self discovery that ensued following the burial of our past beliefs led us to our local Unitarian Universalist community where love and understanding of all people regardless of belief system. What I absolutely love about this mode of thinking is that I can genuinely celebrate your joy with you, even though our paths have led us in dramatically different directions.
        I want to hear it from your lips;
        What's it worth shining for?

        Rishloo - Scissorlips

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        • #5
          There have been a lot better and legal and natural ways to battle pain and insomnia without side effects and without addiction and without being expensive.

          The current money changers are reaping in the cash , aren't they ! ? (that's the only reason that stuff was made 'legal' - money, control, money, control ......)

          Oh, back before it was illegal, it was used with perhaps as many as 50%l of all medicines dispensed by the doctors, and was effective many time, but not the best, of course.

          The other ways that did not suit the money changers were made illegal (to use in place of expensive drugs that are man-made and have side effects every which way) ....

          But , as they have worked for thousands of years, even for 'cooking', etc , (spices , herbs, oils) .... they are still somewhat available , maybe in most places - only few find out what they are good for and when to use them for good life without illness.

          Remember back around 1902 ? The number of people needing a drug from the docs was only about 1 per 100. Now it is or seems closer to 60 or 70 ! (and even higher(sic- pun inteneded) for young people without a choice unless their guardians know the truth and stand up for them) ....

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