An Economic Homeschool Meltdown?


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. A vanishing scene?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.”)


Grace, No Grace


If a man and woman have sex, and that union produces a baby, they’re responsible for their tryst and for the baby.

If a man goes on the down low, picks up HIV, and infects his wife, he’s responsible for his actions.

If a college student cheats on a test and gets expelled, she’s responsible for her actions.

If a guy decides to score some blow on a dimly lit corner and it stops his heart forever, he’s responsible—and dead.

If a bunch of financial institutions decide to cavalierly play a no-win game that Poor Gordon...could ruin the lives of millions of people, they’re not only NOT held responsible, they get the government to bail them out, even if the American people DO NOT WANT the bailout, a bailout that may STILL bring down the American financial system.

Jesus Christ extends grace to those who turn to Him. He paid our penalty, one we could not pay ourselves. As a result, we will not suffer the torment we deserve.

The questions we face daily are ones of grace and no grace.

Should a maniac destroy the life of someone we love, we can offer grace to the perpetrator of the crime, but all the grace in the world will not return the one we lost. Someone pays.

Does the extension of grace to the one who shattered our life mean that he will never see a day of jail, never face the government’s social responsibility to prosecute the crime?

I look at this sordid investment bank meltdown, the lust for a quick, no-fault buck, and the filth shoveled around so that everyone gets dirty. Doesn’t someone at some point have to be responsible?

What does grace look like in this case?

I contacted my government representatives and asked them to reject any bailout. I wonder if the only way for us to understand what God is trying to say to this country is to man up and let the consequences fall.