Some have asked: “Why Homeschooling911?” What exactly does it mean? Does it mean that there have been incidents of curriculum spontaneously combusting in home-schooler’s homes? Does it mean that a mass exodus of children from the public schools has resulted in gangs of home-schoolers roaming the streets mowing their neighbor’s lawns while they’re not home?
Actually no. The original concept for Homeschooling911 was, in fact, a book that I began writing about 10 years ago. It didn’t get very far because I became pregnant with my fourth child and my life kind of screeched to a halt for awhile. The title of the book was going to be: Homeschooling911 – Help for Homeschooling through Life’s Big (and Small) Emergencies.
GONE WITH THE WIND
To explain how and why I came up with the idea for the book I have to take you back to August 1992. I had just started my third year of home-schooling my daughter when a little thing called “Hurricane Andrew” came along and flattened the southern half of Dade County – which was exactly where we lived. Just like that, we had no safe place to live, and I had to pack up and take my kids to my parents’ home in Central Florida. My husband stayed in Homestead and took shelter with family and friends…anyone that would offer him a bed…or who needed help protecting their home from looters!
After about a month, my children and I, along with my husband, moved in with my sister who was in Miami. We were making arrangements to rent a teeny, tiny little condo in the area when the opportunity came to purchase a damaged house not far from where we had been living before the hurricane. Granted, it needed a new roof, several ceilings, flooring…but it was a house! And we could have it on the cheap because of the damage. We bought it and moved in, with all of us sleeping in the only bedroom that had a ceiling.
It took us approximately eighteen months to completely repair the house, all while we lived in it. During that time, in addition to rebuilding the house, I was home-schooling two of my children and my husband became self-employed. And I became pregnant with our third child. It was a difficult pregnancy and recovery, with a lot of time spent in bed. I felt stressed so much of the time during this period, and even began questioning my decision to home-school. But after attending a small home-school conference (put on by home-school pioneers Gregg Harris, Michael Farris, and Cathy Duffy) I felt re-energized and ready to tackle anything! Well, sort of. 🙂
MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE…SORT OF
In 1995, feeling that we needed to find some place less expensive to raise our growing family, we decided to relocate to Tallahassee. A few months later we found a lot where we would build our new home, and about a year after that we started building it. You know how people will say they are “building a house” when what they really mean is they hired a contractor (like my husband) to build their house while they made a trip out to the site once a week to check on progress and choose paint, tile, and carpet colors?
Well, that’s not what we did. We actually BUILT our house. We cleared the lot (of dozens of 60 to 80 ft. trees) and my husband excavated, formed, and poured the foundation. We paid a framing crew to do some of the framing – and did some of it ourselves (I even hammered in some of the hurricane straps!) We paid subs to do the A/C, plumbing, and electrical work and then did… everything else!
We moved into the house on May 31, 1997 – with the house almost finished – by which I mean – we still had a good portion of the flooring to put in and it would be ten years before the outside of the house was completely painted. But we were in, and that was all that mattered.
The tasks that still needed to be completed inside the house caused our home-school schedule to get pushed back a little. Until then, I had always started our school year sometime in August. This year I was planning to start on September 29. But it would be the middle of October before we commenced home-schooling that year.
IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD
On September 27, at 6:00 a.m., our phone rang. I distinctly remember thinking that it was either a wrong number or bad news, because no one purposely calls at six a.m. unless it’s bad news. It was my father calling with the news that my brother had been killed by a drunk driver early that morning.
If you have never received that kind of tragic news, there is no way I can describe to you the devastation that it causes…and if you have gotten a call like that, I don’t need to tell you that it changes your life forever.
A few hours later I was on a plane to my parents’ home; my husband and children would drive down the next day. I spent a lot of time with my parents over the next year. One blessing that came out of that incredibly difficult time in my life was the realization that the commitment I had made to home-school my children was already bearing fruit: during the times I was away from home visiting my parents my daughter – who was 13 at the time – was not only supervising her younger brothers but also doing the cooking and laundry. I believe home-schooling is the superior academic choice, but it is also a means to prepare your children for life in ways that no other educational model can.
Less than three years after my brother died, the emotional stress resulted in my developing a chronic illness. While I was still struggling to cope with that illness, I became pregnant with our fourth child – I was 40 years old when our precious bundle came into the world!
As you can gather from this brief review of what was approximately a decade of my life, despite facing numerous challenges – including a devastating tragedy – I managed (by the grace of God, to be sure) to continue home-schooling. And that is what Homeschooling911 is all about.
I want to be a resource to not only encourage parents to home-school their children, but also to encourage them to continue home-schooling their children, even when the challenges of life intervene (as they surely will). I am no super-mom; I am simply a mom, like many home-schooling moms, who “stuck it out” regardless. And if I can do it, you can do it too.
So talk to me. Are you facing challenges that make you wonder what in the world you are doing home-schooling your children? Do you need encouragement? Share your challenges, encouragement, or random thoughts in the comments. Or if you want some personalized encouragement, go to my contact page and talk to me there. I will talk back.Print This Post