My New Career
Unfortunately, it doesn't pay at all, if you are thinking in terms of monetary rewards. I have no pension, health benefits, or unemployment insurance from it. Nor is it really a new job -- it is an old one I have had for many years but never really enjoyed. What is it? Homeschool mother.
This is one of those instances where you know that a change for the better is not because of any intrinsic wonderfulness on your own part, but rather a work of grace in the heart by God.
I think one of the means that God used for the change of heart was the switch to E-Bus last year. We decided to stay with the program and this year I started off with confidence, thanks to the kudos that I got from the distance ed teachers I worked with last year. As another mother I was talking to recently said, the passing years don't necessarily engender more confidence, and may even begin to weigh on you. It is a scary thing to have the educational and vocational future of your children resting solely on your own nonprofessional teaching shoulders. Sure, dads may help out a bit, but let's face it: most homeschools are run completely by the moms who buy the curriculum and implement it. It is a constant worry as to whether or not you are doing an adequate job, wondering if you have missed something, etc.
When the burden is shared by someone else, like a distance ed teacher, then all of a sudden, there are standards outside of that of Mom that the kids answer to, and Mom gets an indirect grade that shows her whether she is being adequate in her teaching.
Last year was a bit of a learning curve for all of us and things were not done to my satisfaction -- mostly due to my own weaknesses, a pregnant brain, and not as much organization as we could have used. This year I got off to a good start, we are in a routine, and there is room to add in a few other things that I wanted to cover. I am pretty certain that if we can maintain what we have started, I will be very satisfied with what we have accomplished this year.
So now I am treating homeschooling as a career into which I am pouring all my efforts and brain power, rather than just a painful duty to get through. I have the feeling that this will be our most satisfying and productive year yet.