I wanted to tell you of something exciting that I have done for a little more than two years. Over two years ago, I was working outside the home. I had finished my degree and worked diligently to find a job. My reasons for doing so were less than what they needed to be–I did it for money.
As many of you know, my husband left us over seven years ago when our youngest son was just a day old. I knew that I needed to return to school and finish my Bachelor’s degree and had intended on going through the Teaching Program. I did finish my degree, thanks to my mom who helped me move kids from place to place or babysat my youngest sons, but I decided to wait on the licensure part and go for a job just to make money.
For seven months, my life turned absolutely crazy! I was in a whirlwind of work, dinner, short sleep, work…with no time to be with my boys and no reserve energy. What that was doing to them became quite apparent. My oldest son became very angry and started acting out. My second son started doing worse than poorly in school, and my other two boys didn’t seem sure how to be around me. I realized that my working outside the home was even more devastating because their father had already left them. I, in many ways, had left them, too.
So, I began to pray about this over two years ago: I quit my job within two weeks and decided to homeschool. Scary? Yes. Especially because I had put some conditions on myself so that I would remember what and who I was doing this for. Our income would be small, but I did not ever want to use any government money to support this new project. And after two years, we have made it without any government money. We are poor, but wow! are things different than they were just two years ago.
My oldest son smiles, talks to other people, has lots of friends, and is doing so well academically. In fact, when I decided to homeschool, I knew he was smart, but I could see how he was trying to use that for evil rather than good. That was one thing I wanted to change. We started attending daily Mass and became consistent with Reconciliation, and I made sure that he had positive male role models in his life. His grandpa, my dad, has also done a lot to help turn his direction. To be able to joke with my son, that is a beautiful thing!
My second son, after he had finished Fourth Grade, was two years below grade level in Math. In Third Grade he had been a little advanced. Those seven months of me not being available were devastating to him academically. So over the past two years, we have been working hard, and now he has made up for that loss and gained new ground besides. That has been such a blessing!
My other two sons are doing very well academically and emotionally, and my boys they love each other tremendously. I am so glad that I took the necessary steps to homeschool my boys for these past two years. They mean so much to me.
My homeschool is not what you typically hear about homeschools. I did a part-time homeschool, so that the boys could be involved in extra-curricular things like band, video class, or computers. I was so happy that our district would work with me on this project. I covered all the basics and aimed to give them a Classical education, which included authentic history searches and also religion. Daily Mass was and still is a large part of that education. With part-time homeschool, too, I could teach the two older ones in the morning and the two younger ones in the afternoon. This served them better academically and also helped keep the distractions down as well.
The Lame Housewife project was my attempt to be a stay-at-home mom on an extremely limited income. It has had wonderful results, but I would not have been able to do it without the support of my benefactors and my faith community. I know many, many single moms do not have this choice. I also would never recommend that any woman should have to raise a family with so little financial support. It makes the thankless job of motherhood and even harsher force when she has an entire family to raise on her own. There is only so much time and energy that can be spent by one person. I do not know what I would have done if I didn’t have my family. My boys, who knows how they would be today? And of course, there is no way I would have been able to get from there to here without daily strength from our God. He helped me to remember time and time again what is truly important. Love.
Now, I will be sending my boys back to school full-time this year so that I can finish the Teaching program. Life is changing for us once again, so I need to look at new ways to support my family. We have been able to benefit from a tremendous amount of healing over the past two years, and I am more aware now how my presence or lack thereof affects my family. I think we are ready, but please pray for us.
I have shared this with you because I will be posting more things on education and will have less time to blog, so my blog frequency and topic choices may seem different in the coming weeks.
I need your prayers. I need you to pray for my boys.
I thank you all, dear readers, for going this far with me.