Imagine purchasing a house and not living in it, or a new car and never driving it, or a vacation and never going anywhere. We homeschool, yet we pay thousands of dollars in property and sales tax every year into the school systems we do not use. On top of all that cash, we purchase all our own curriculum and other educational supplies. My students don’t buy their own pencils, notebooks, backpacks, lunches, or Kleenex.
This post is not a persuasive essay on why we need school vouchers (no thanks to government intrusion!), nor is it a lament on the woes of homeschooling. I just offer a peek into my classroom, I mean living room. Let me just move that laundry so you can have a seat. Oh, there’s that book that’s been lost for weeks…
As a homeschool mom, I not only teach all subjects of our school, but I also serve as the nurse, counselor, bus driver, event coordinator (which might be a stretch since I’ve heard Mom, you never want to go anywhere!), cook, custodian (kids, do your chores!), IT specialist (which means I ask a kid to fix an electronic thing), librarian, referee (I haven’t tried a whistle and a striped shirt yet), discipleship program coordinator (ain’t no sermon like a mom sermon), disciplinarian (do you want me to call your dad at work?), personal tutor (I dare you to stay awake in your 40s while a small, snuggly person sounds out word after word during a reading lesson), office administrator, assistant to the superintendent (I date him, too 🙊), and playground supervisor. Just kidding on that last one. If it’s hot, cold, or snowy, you’ll find me inside the house.
This teacher’s paycheck doesn’t come in the mail, nor is it auto deposited in my bank account. My paycheck comes in the form of intangible rewards such as enjoying more time to develop relationships with my kids, the joy of being present for every milestone (except driver’s ed-Lord, help me, where is my medication?), and the blessing of knowing I am obeying my Lord. My paycheck even comes on the refereeing-fights kinds of days. (But just for the record, those days don’t fall in the My Favorite Blessings category and I don’t look good in stripes.)
The thing is, if we are going to follow Christ, it’s going to cost us something. Whatever you feel called to do, it will cost you something. The cost (and it’s not only monetary) of teaching our kids at home is a price we have been willing to pay these 19 years and counting. Because you can’t put a dollar value on things of eternal value. Oh, but if the government ever succeeded in levying a tax on such invaluable things, who could pay it?
Janice Powell 2017
*No actual photos of our living room are shown in order to protect my image of Perfectly Organized Homeschool Mom. Please don’t ask my neighbor friend who could totally shatter the image, but since I serve her tea and cookies on a fairly regular basis, maybe I’m safe.