Things I think about…
Seven years ago, few of the moms my wife and I knew worked. Today, nearly all do.
Many of the men we know make less money than they once did. And that was before enormous increases in the cost of nearly everything, so their reduced incomes buy even less.
More than 2.5 million jobs evaporated in 2008. Gone. Possibly for a long time.
Every indicator shows that more households than ever homeschool. At least that’s what the latest polls show. The problem is that most statistics run only through 2007.
So what’s been going on in the last year or so in the homeschooling ranks as the economy slipped into depression?
Truth is, I’m not really sure. Few homeschooling resources are talking about the economy. (Although I did find one, and almost could not believe what I read there. Yow. Talk about spin!)
But I have got to believe the downturn must be having some effect. With many male breadwinners succumbing to the pink slip parade, more jobs will open for moms, if the last downturn proved anything. Dads? Not so much.
Where will that leave homeschooling families when mom is forced to do full-time work to keep the family in their home? What happens when both parents are scrambling for elusive jobs? What happens to a mom forced to return to work having been out of the workforce for…well, a small eternity.
For many families, homeschooling is a badge of honor, a sign of God’s righteous blessing, and the password into that hoity-toity back room at the world’s most exclusive club.
And I say that as someone who has homeschooled and fully supports homeschooling families.
Sometimes good Christian people will talk and talk about a subject as long as that subject is working in their own lives. The second it stops, the silence is deafening. I’ve seen this so many times I may trademark a term for it.
For some families, the shame that comes from extended unemployment may lead, in their minds at least, to an even more crushing blow: the inability to continue homeschooling. (That shouldn’t be the priority, but it is for some.)
Though this post may be nothing more conjecture on my part, I know that my wife and I had to make tough decisions about homeschooling and the future of my business (along with my role as primary breadwinner). Homeschooling lost. Was that our wish? No. But sometimes you really can’t have it all.
If you’re a homeschooling family that is dealing with the kinds of situations I’ve outlined in his post, I want to extend to you something you may not find elsewhere: grace. I also want to hear your story.
Thanks for stopping by. God cares. So do I.
(I’ve writen extensively on homeschooling. Some of the best posts: The Myths of Homeschooling Series:1, 2, 3, 4; A Few Thoughts on Homeschooling, A Bag Full of Wet Tribbles, Choosing Your Canaan, and Super Christian Homeschooling Ninja Moms of Death.”)