Updated: Aug 18
In reply to the article Please Don’t Quit Your Job to Home-School Your Kid summed up (by me) here:
It’s simply unwise to quit your job to stay home with your kids. You would lose money and financial security that you’ll never be able to get it back. Your retirement will take a hit. Your savings will take a hit. Quitting - or even working less hours - is “enormously expensive” and simply a dumb thing to do, thinking about the “long-term costs,” you see. Actually, it would be less expensive for you to hire someone else to "provide childcare and supervise remote learning" than quitting your job. It is just nonsensical! After all, school doesn’t just teach your kids, it provides them with meals, and after-school programs, and even dental clinics! So, it’s just much better for you to work outside the home, spending maybe 4 hours a day with your kids (add it up - that's not an exaggeration), while adults in before school/at school/after school get to spend the other 10 hours a day with them. It simply makes good fiscal sense!
A couple weeks ago, I posted an article to help you decide "Is Homeschooling for You?" (check it out here). I worked really hard to make it unbiased and present all sides. Personally, I taught in public schools for over 13 years and my own kids attended public schools until three years ago. But this Bloomberg article really burned me because it made it sound like ANY OTHER CHOICE besides working outside of the home was pointless. That's just not the full story.
At Connect Point Moms, we say that Connection is the Point and wholeheartedly believe that Connection Creates Cooperation. That means relationships are more important than your job... or money in the bank... or the kind of home you live in... or your retirement. Because, if the relationships with your spouse and kids are just "ok," then none of those other things matter anyway as none of those other things have any lasting value. It's the relationships in your life that are irreplaceable and PRICELESS.
That being said, I used to be a single mom and did not have the option to not work. Many of you may be in the same position. Some of you may even be working and teaching your kids at home (I do now; It doesn't have to be either/or). Others don’t have a desire in the world to stay at home and teach kids - it may intimidate, not interest, or you just really enjoy and/or need your job! The goal of Connect Point Moms is not to make judgements on what is best for YOU and YOUR family - as God created us with different strengths and needs and areas of growth - but to instead support you in creating more connected relationships with the children in your life as YOU decide what is best for you and your family. However, this Bloomberg article didn't leave any room for that.
Look, Moms: There is great wisdom in asking questions about your financial situation to make an informed decision before deciding to quit your job - it would simply be foolish not to! Of course you need to know ALL the information before making such a huge decision. For example, can you actually live on less money than you are bringing in right now? In our first world country, we often confuse "needs" with "wants" (as well as suffer from discontentment and the need to "Keep up with the Joneses"!) BUT, if we can give up some "luxuries" (like daily Starbucks) now for a bigger benefit later, then like Dave Ramsey says, "If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else!" Before you're tempted to see this as all giving up, check out some of the incalculable benefits of being at home with your children:
Investing your daily presence with your children will encourage a healthy attachment structure (to parents rather than peers) that will support them for life and for future generations, too.
Teaching your children at home allows you to determine what you want them to learn, using strategies that are best for your individual child.
Christ followers are called to know God and make Him known, but even if you are not a Christian, your kids were given to you and it's up to you to decide what is best for them.
Spending consistent time getting to know your children helps them navigate life and relationships naturally - with adults and other children of various ages - as you engage in family time, co-ops, play dates, or group classes.
At the end of your life are you going to wish you had more time with family or more money in the bank? Are you going to regret building the relationships that homeschooling your children fostered?
In the Facebook Group, It's Not That Hard to Homeschool High School, several moms made comments about this Bloomberg article -and their own homeschooling journey. They are included here because they encompass such a rich variety of experiences that I alone could not offer:
"For all the outcry about women being equal, why are those of us who CHOOSE to stay home with our children “less than” those who choose to work outside the home? If we are equal, then my choice to stay home and homeschool should be just as valued as if I hired a tutor while I headed off to work."
"Everyone's situation is different, and there are hidden costs with work (travel, car maintenance, child care, meals, wardrobe, increased taxes, etc). Families eat out more when both parents work, adding to the food bill. Families spend more on escapist activities, because they're tired or aren't fulfilled and need something positive in their life. Or to entertain their kids because they don't have energy to engage with them. Many families often live on one income, they just make adjustments. Often parents make very little by the time they cover these expenses. One parent may be better off to work from home, or not work at all. Better yet, start your own business, and include the kids. More chance of hands-on learning and quality time, too.
"What stood out to me the most in this article is that they think it is about parents staying home to “provide childcare and supervise remote learning” which certainly diminishes the need to a menial task. Who would give up a $100,000 job to work in childcare? What if we put it this way, “Stay home to guide, nurture, and mentor your child emotionally, physically and academically through a turbulent period in history, and invest in his or future in incalculable ways”?"
"Why is a career teaching or caring for the children of others legitimate and worthwhile, but not teaching and caring for one's own children?"
"I stayed home with the kids 15 years and have recently gone back full time. It really wasn’t as hard as they make it seem. I wasn’t a vegetable those 15 years. I still grew and learned being a stay-at-home mom. My life experiences aren’t nullified because I stayed home. If anything, it makes me a better manager now as an older lady. And those years were precious and worth every minute to me."
"It’s sad when articles make raising children (including homeschool) a negative thing. They have no idea how much of a blessing it is to invest in the formative years with our kids!"
"I quit my job to homeschool 18 years ago and would do it again in a heartbeat! My sons have thrived and soar. No prize tag on their happiness. I love being home to help them navigate life. Yes, we do just fine on one salary- living frugally and debt-free. Oldest graduated from top law school at 23 - also debt free. Homeschooling is the best gift I could give my kids - zero regrets."
"So frustrating that society wants to make this an either/or decision. It’s completely possible to do both. My husband works outside the home and I work from home and we have been homeschooling for 7 years. It’s not always easy, but it’s so rewarding AND my kids get to see how to balance life and learn how to manage a family, homeschool, and run a business. Stop making parents choose between a career and parenting and break the stigma that homeschooling is just for one income families."
"Ugh. I don’t ever regret leaving work and raising my children and homeschooling is the icing on the cake. Yes it’s been (and is) a struggle financially but we’ve always found a way. In 4 years they will have flown the nest 😩 and I can go “make money” but I will always be richer for the time we had together."
I ask that you prayerfully weigh all options, talk with your spouse, consider your financial requirements vs. desires, and decide what needs each of your children have right now. Can you best meet those needs if you or your spouse were home with them? Money in the bank seems like quite a comfort. But if it comes with the pain of sacrificed family time, it's not a blessing at all.
#ConnectPointMoms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you're in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them!