Whenever I share about a great moment in one of my kids’ lives, my friend says, “Pay day!” We were homeschoolers together for years. She has 8 kids, I have 5. We have had our share of challenges and doubts, like any parent. Home education is unique in how it puts pressure on us, though. We feel every set back more deeply—after all, no one blames the “school system” when our kids are behind.
We home educators have a hard time not blaming ourselves. When our kids struggle, we assume that it is up to us to figure it out and handle any challenge. We worry—can’t remember that some years are years of struggle for a child who, with a little time and maturity, will figure it out just fine (whatever “it” is)!
Home education doesn’t always show the fruit we want to see in a single year or handful of years. Some kids who say they don’t like home education discover as adults that, in fact, they appreciate having been homeschooled.
Not only that, we don’t get paid. Not in money. Not in credible experience for a resume. Not in vacation days or bonuses. We provide this service to our families out of sheer conviction that this form of education—this method—has a shot at providing our children with a preferred environment for learning and family bonding.
Chutzpah out the wazoo!
So, on those days when a child suddenly surprises you with an achievement or a good report out in the world, THAT’S when we get paid.
Your child tests well on the Iowas? Pay day!
Your child gets into college? Pay day!
Your daughter is chosen to be the lead in a play? Pay day!
Your son builds his own computer from scratch? Pay day!
Your mother finally reports that she is amazed by your 10 year old’s vocabulary? Pay day!
The library selects your child’s poem to display on their wall? Pay day!
Your son’s soccer coach selects him to be team captain because of his maturity? Pay day!
The child who would not learn times tables with the math book suddenly knows how to calculate percentages because of online gaming? Pay day!
You’ve worked for three years to help your poor child to read, who has begged to read every day since she turned 5, and is now going on 9 and finally read her first book aloud to you? PAY DAY!!!!
Your adult child tells you that his scholarship interview went well in part because he shared about poetry teatimes? Pay day!
Your adult daughter uses your methods for appreciating art in a museum with under privileged kids as a social worker? Pay day!
Your kids know how to study when they get to college because they know how to teach themselves anything? Pay day!
Your children are bonded to each other and look out for each as adults because they are close? Pay day!
There are dozens of pay days happening all the time. What are yours? How can we help each other to call them out when we see them?
You do get paid. Pay attention. Then, take it to the bank—your emotional bank—and make a big deposit.
You’re doing it!