Although it may seem to many that this all happened overnight, it didn't. We didn't wake up on the "crazy" side of the bed and say 'Let's turn our life upside down today." We had known for awhile that God had been calling us to make some changes. (And he still is!) We began by making little changes over the last few years, but the changes were never enough. There was always something lacking, something missing.
I had always felt a desire to home-school our kids. Being a teacher, I knew the benefits of one-on-one education. It was frustrating to see my child struggle with something that I knew he/she knew, but needed a little extra time on or to be shown a different way. It was also frustrating to see my child understand something right from the start and have to sit and wait for everyone else before they could move on. I also knew what was happening and being discussed on the playgrounds and in the cafeterias from the earliest ages. Even the best teachers out there, can't completely control what is done on the playground or in the classroom for that matter. I knew that my kids could learn and grow so much more if we, as the primary educators of our children, took charge of what and when and how they learned.
But as with every situation, you doubt yourself, you doubt your spouse, you even doubt if this is really what God is calling you to do. Remember, my last post? You can reason yourself into or out of just about anything if you aren't careful. And for awhile we did. We came up with reasons why home-schooling would not work in our lives. The top reason every year was money! We couldn't "afford" for me to quit my job. This was the most ridiculous excuse ever since I worked at a Catholic school for basically nothing and then gave most of my paycheck back to the school in the form of tuition, lunch bills, field trips, fees, classroom supplies, etc.
Then we had friends and family that already thought we were crazy and depriving our kids of so much with just the minor changes we had been making. They would really think we'd flipped our lid especially when we knew what they thought about home-schooling families. So, we continued to put our kids lives into the hands of others again and again for basically two reasons: (1) fear of not having "stuff" which we really didn't want or have anyway and (2) fear of what others would think of us.
Our big "epiphany" finally came when our son fell off of a horse and broke his elbow. He had to have surgery which meant he was out of school for a while and so was I. It didn't take long to realize that this is where I needed to be---home with my kids, all of them, everyday! What normally took an entire school day he completed and mastered in about two hours. The supper that was normally thrown together at 5:00 pm was simmering on the stove by 2:00. We actually had time for the family time we kept trying to squeeze in everyday with our kids. The household chores Travis and I did after 10 pm were done by 10 am, so we could actually have real adult time after the kids went to bed every night.
During those two months, we had to learn to live off of one salary instead of two. Remember, this was what we had always considered as our biggest obstacle. We had to look at our budget very closely and decide what was really necessary and what we could do without. That's when we began to "see" that it just might be possible to do this full-time! At that point we began doing some heavy duty praying for God to give us the strength, knowledge, and courage to follow His lead. From that moment on, things just kept falling into place for us. Every person we met, every place we went, every thing that happened lead us one step closer to this life. It was as if He was dropping a line of bread crumbs for us to follow. That line eventually led us to the end of a rope. The next step was to let go of the rope and jump! And so we jumped and as always He caught us!