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Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Father's Sacrifice

Black History Collection posted an interesting article today about African Americans increasingly turning to homeschooling (see post).  That brought a flood memories back for me and the deep gratitude I feel this Father's Day for my husband. Homeschooling takes a great deal of dedication on the part of a parent.

It was a very attractive idea to me from the start.
 My mother is an educator.  My mother and father always supplemented what I was taught in school.  I know that parents who do not homeschool can still do that.  The world had changed a lot from my youth to the time my daughter came along, and it is hard to re-teach concepts and replace falsehoods.  Principles are either right or wrong, good or bad.  There is no middle ground.  Being caught in the middle ground means being lost in the fog. Being taught wrong or untrue principles will cause you to error and bring sadness most of the time.  I did not want to have to explain that we did not evolve from apes or fish. I wanted the correct foundation for math and reading to be laid as it was for me.

I also wanted to instill the confidence early on as a parent that I could draw from as the teenage years approached. I was confident that I could do it.  Our daughter's schooling began from the womb as she listened to classical music and jazz (via headphone to my stomach).

Even at the age of one, she was not afraid to make she sure took her turn.  (Young's Dairy, Yellow Springs, Ohio)

Golfing with Dad
The hardest part of homeschooling was all the flack from other people that she would not know how to socialize with others and that she was missing vital parts of her education.  I remember the great anxiety I felt after she knew all the phonetic sounds and it was time to teach her to read. One of her primers was the scriptures, and the Lord did not fail.

Today, she is a very assertive person who knows she is the sole person responsible for her education which extends far beyond the classroom. She is a leader, and people are drawn to her. I feel very emotional when I think back and remember the great foundation that was laid. She used to gauge ideas and concepts by what I thought, not some stranger. My opinion still holds weight, but she follows her own instincts. I have no worries that she will make a favorable mark in this world.  I am happy that my husband and I will always be looked to as advisers and confidants now and with coming generations.  

I gained at lot from the experience as well.  I never became stagnant mentally.  I was able to keep abreast of new technologies, and I did not get left behind in the advancements in computer technology and the internet.  When it was time for homeschooling to end, it was a simple transition for me to find my niche online helping others and learning more.  I am still able to grasp and embrace technology as fast  as it changes today.

When I think of my daughter and myself, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the person who sacrificed so that I  could stay home through the years to fulfill my part in educating our daughter.  That would be my husband.  I remember the cost every year for books, equipment, and supplies, and I remember him having a computer built for us when Windows 95 became available.  He made sure we always had the best of what we needed.  We had ample space to run our school, and from our home, we helped other children who were struggling.

We made this decision together, and yes we did without a lot of things that do not matter in the long run. I could go on and on listing his contributions, but I will just say that my husband paved the way, and my daughter and I are where we are today because of it.


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