My dear husband and I recently found ourselves with a whole evening of time out for a date. Just the two of us. We had a nice dinner, which cost us $3 after a gift card from friends, then walked around a big local mall(a place that we RARELY spend time in). While we walked I was amazed by the amount of money being spent around us. I thought of how much it must have cost for one small family to each be carrying bags of their newly purchased goodies. As we chatted about the fact that there was not only nothing we could really afford to buy there, there was also nothing we needed, it hit us. The sacrifices we have made in order for me to be home, fulfilling my vocation as a stay-at-home mom/homeschool teacher are pretty major–depending on how you look at it.
If our kids were in school all day, I would likely be working at least part-time and the amount of income we would bring in would be over and above what we really need to live on. We learned to live on one income long ago and have never known any different. We never allowed ourselves to grow into needing 2 incomes just to survive. Stretching our income is all we have ever known.
Things we do without so that we can homeschool:
::a second income.
::owning a truck.
::buying a camper, ATV, and other toys.
::fancy(sometimes any kind of) vacations.
::new anything really.
::extra activities for the kids.
::a bigger tractor.
::shopping at the mall.
::extra spending money.
Things we have gained by homeschooling our kids:
::LOTS of snuggle time.
::endless hours spent together.
::time to volunteer in the community and our church.
::exposure to many, many, great books read together.
::mid-week field trips.
::mid-week/mid-day grocery shopping!
::a closer relationship with Christ.
::daily devotion and bible time.
::close family relationships.
::more time to PLAY.
::learning and re-learning things we missed the first time around when we were kids.
::naps when needed.
::kids holding onto their childhood innocence.
::time to visit grandparents just for fun-in the middle of the day.
::3 meals/day together.
::witnessing a love for learning grow and blossom every day.
::seeing the world through the eyes of children.
I could go on on with this list and add to it nearly every day.
When it really comes down to it, the things we “sacrifice” for me to be home to teach the kids everyday, are really not sacrifices at all.
Just as the things we have gained are absolutely priceless.