Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Why I Stay Home

Fourteen years ago, when I graduated from Georgia State University with a teaching degree, I never imagined that one day I would be a stay at home mom who homeschools. But after two years teaching middle school kids, I realized this career was NOT for me, and that I would never put my children into school.

Fourteen years ago, homeschooling was somewhat a novel idea. Many years later when I finally had children of my own, the decision to stay at home was a no-brainer. When my son was two and my daughter was six months, I had become a work at home mom selling cloth diapers and other baby products. With two in diapers, that was a no-brainer as well! As they both grew and flourished, the demand on my time was pulled between my kids and my business on a daily basis like a tug-of-war that no one ever won. I quickly realized how difficult it was to have a home business as well as spend quality time with my children. I also learned how to make every moment count, by providing educational toys for my children that would help them grow and connect synapses in their brains, and by playing with them and talking to them during play.

I remember one day that I had on a t-shirt with writing on it. I don't remember what it said, but I do remember my son pointing and saying the letters. It was then that I thought that there should be an entire line of products geared just for the children of WAHM's (work at home moms) so that children could learn letters, numbers, shapes, colors, etc. in day to day life as they connect with their moms between phone calls and errands. That was over three years ago, and I still think there is a need! Maybe one day, but right now I am developing things for my own children that I hope to get into the market very soon.

We have just completed our first year of homeschooling, and I have to admit the decision was not easy. We now live in another part of the country, and in a small town. Out of selfishness, I convinced myself that this would NOT be the same situation as the school in which I taught. Somehow, it would be different. A month before school started, God began to speak to me. All of a sudden people I had never met before came into my path- all homeschoolers. Things began to happen that made me realize that school is school, no matter where you live, and if I wanted the BEST for my child, school was not an option.

Thirteen years after getting my degree, I became a member of the homeschooling community. Ironically, all those psychology courses they shoved down our throats in the teaching program convinced me that school is not a place for my children! So I stay home, and continue my business, and teach. The tug-of-war has become weaker over time, and it is my prayer that one day I will smile from ear to ear when my children say, "What can we do to help, Mom?" And I will know that I have raised a Stay At Home Child.

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