or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › homeschooling and being a SAHM when low income
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

homeschooling and being a SAHM when low income - Page 3

post #41 of 46


Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post



Sometimes when reading your posts, even though I so enjoy the descriptions of your life and your passion for complete integrity in living out your ideals, I feel frustrated by your not being able to imagine how it might really be different for someone else, without it being their fault/the result of their choices.  


On a different note, one other thing that is different for some of the posters here, is that the ones in Canada have the health services (as I wish we did here).  I have to work for health insurance. (If you buy health insurance but are not getting it through work, not only does it cost twice as much, but pre-existing conditions like dh's are not covered).  Even though I had my second child at home and paid out of pocket for my midwife, dh had testicular cancer several years ago and then he had a recurrence with five tumors in his lungs.  If we didn't have health insurance, he would be dead.  It's not a risk I'm willing to take.  You could say it's a choice, but I'm not sure that it really is!


Dancianna, I genuinely appreciate you expressing your concern about how you perceive my attitude. I mean that sincerely. I have a very uncommon personality type period (2.1% of the population), but especially for a woman (only 25% of 2.1%), and I know that the way that I express myself is often confusing to others, and most especially women. I have experimented with not sharing my gender, written full-out my thoughts without prefacing, and found that most people assume I am male, and enjoy my writing and expression; I am given much more respect for having the opinions I do, and expressing them forthrightly, as well, when assumed male. I have literally had the exact opposite experience when assumed a man, than when it is known that I am woman.


This is not in any way to discredit women, of course. I am one, and love femininity; it's just that mine is expressed less through words and thoughts than through other ways. I am by no means a raging feminist or disparaging either gender. It is of interest to me personally that this divide is so starkly expressed toward me; my dp has found this to be equally shocking, but now encourages me to keep my gender unknown if I want to be taken seriously and enjoyed, because that has been my experience. It may help you to see my genuine care and concern for others, if you imagined my posts as having been written in a male voice. Maybe not, but when I've asked others to do this, they have found a tone of gentleness that oddly, they found nurturing, whereas when they read it in the female voice, they found it harsh or demanding. I don't pretend to understand this, but there you have it: a piece of my puzzle. Thank you for extending to me the opportunity to give a personal context to my expression. :)


About choices, I have had a lot of life experience with those. I am keenly attuned to the assumption that one's life is happening to him/her. I do not take that perspective because short of natural disasters and unknown, unpreventable, underlying conditions, results come from choices. My parents spent my childhood telling me they "had to" this or that, and that they had no choice. We were desperately poor, moving every six months to a year, eating from food banks and living in motels and homeless shelters. My parents have always believed that it was the choices of others that brought this upon them. By the time I was eight years old, having this very unusual personality, my parents were fed up with my insistence that the present situation could be tracked regressively to a choice they made- that it was not something that just suddenly happened. I thought this information would excite them, encourage them to make choices that had the potential for better results, but it didn't. It infuriated them. Consequently, I have spent the time since I left their domicile (when I was 17 years old), raising myself. They forgot to do that in the midst of their self-delusional chaos and crazy-making.


Most children do not live this way, thankfully. In any case, since I began the journey to making my own life (I'm now 33), it has been evident over, and over again, that poor results have come from poor choices. I have become better at recognising the scope of options and foreseeing the logical and natural results. I am presently mitigating damage from poor choices, still. I can blame my circumstances for the reality that I didn't know at the time that I was making a poor choice, but it makes more sense to me to look at that as a time that I was ignorant, and I can make better and even great choices now.


I read and hear all the time in people's language choices, an underlying false belief that they are in fact helpless to affect change, to choose better for themselves due to something that they perceive is just happening to them. My life as it is is only philosophically great in my opinion. The realities of my daily life are oftentimes hard, because I must make up for lost time and mitigate the damage of my previous poor, albeit ignorant, choices on my children, marriage and ultimately, myself. Even if where I am now is just ground level, I came from a thousand feet underground, so I am proud of my accomplishment, even if it looks paltry to others. I have worked very hard to be the person I am, and to offer what I do. I know that most people do not have the drive to personal challenge and modification that I do. Nothing could be more obvious to me, actually. BUT, I do know that anyone- really, anyone- can make just one choice today that will bring them one step closer to their ideal life. I do not perceive the expressed limitations of others as whining; I have a lot of limitations myself, of course. I do think that limitations can evoke creativity instead of resignation, though, with a positive, progressive attitude toward one's life.


This is why I cannot accept that some people are just doomed to not live the way they want to. A person having trouble making ends meet in a city can move to another. Maybe not immediately, but that person can take one step today that makes that possible later on. Each step builds on the one before, and at a point, she can accomplish her goal. I have a hard time being in progress all the time. It is exhausting, but as I wrote earlier, I have the work of today with the work that should have been done years ago all happening at once. Eventually, the two will align, but not if I don't continue to work toward my goals. My life isn't going to just happen to me. I absolutely will not let it.


I am the author of my life, even though my childhood was a serious setback, so I take responsibility. Even my health is my responsibility. I don't have health care paid for because I have n use for healthcare services. I choose to work with hcps who happen to not be covered by our system, so I pay out of pocket any time I need assistance. I would use emergency care if I needed it. I have had breast cancer owing to growing up in a smoke-filled house (more than one type of smoke, but that's another subject), and having my health deteriorated through stress and poor diet as a child. I dealt with the cancer myself, and it was not easy, and the risk of death was very real to me. I basically fell off the face of the earth for a year while I took care of my body. That cancer came from my parents' choices, and in a way happened to me, but I made choices to restore my health. I could have died, no doubt. Thankfully, I didn't. I know that nobody else could have been as attentive to my need for survival than myself, so I have no regrets in my d-i-y approach and accomplishment of healing from a potentially fatal illness. 


I could have chosen differently. I could have accepted chemo, and then if I survived, I could be crediting others with my survival. That would be fine and acceptable to others, I know. I also know that the underlying false belief that we cannot survive without interference/help from others, that life happens to us, prevents people from seeing just how capable they are. I also know that telling people this is not usually polite or accepted, raises people's ire, and alienates them from me. My difficulty is that I cannot unsee what I've seen. I don't know anyone else's life, but I do know that human beings are immensely capable, that many/most have erroneously accepted a passive role in their own lives, citing the security they think they have from gov'ts or others' work. The closest we can come to actual, not just perceived, security, is to take back the responsibilities we've unknowingly delegated to people who by necessity must be less concerned with our survival/life than their own, and act with bold confidence in our own abilities. We can all learn self-reliance. We do not have to sacrifice community and relationship for that. We can have and be both.


I have never, ever, come across a life situation that could not be improved- ever. Courageous people demonstrate this reality over and over again. Some think they couldn't muster that courage, but that too, is a choice. I choose courage. It is often very hard. It may kill me. But I would not live in any other way.

Preggie, I find what you've written here very exciting!  Honestly, your strength and courage are inspirational.  I really appreciate reading about what you've done with your life.  I don't really know how to express what I feel reading it - so much respect and also compassion for the vulnerability you express.  Thank you for sharing this.


The part about how if one reads you as a man they don't find it as harsh is interesting too, although I think for me, I really want everyone to have empathy - to really be able to imagine what it's like for another person.  We all have a need for understanding and compassion, and I think because I want those so badly for myself, I am always looking for them for others as well.  I'm guessing that you value integrity even a little more than empathy.  (I value integrity so much also - valuing one doesn't mean you don't value the other immensely as well.)


I am learning more about choices from my Non-Violent Communication practice.  Marshall Rosenberg teaches that we really do have a choice in every situation and that we make the choices we do in order to meet needs that are universal.  The key is to be aware of what needs we are trying to meet with our choices, rather than feeling we are trapped and have no choice.





Edited by Dancianna - 1/2/11 at 9:37am
post #42 of 46
Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post

Off topic:


Leah, I love your girls' names! They're beautiful!

thank you! :D

post #43 of 46

Preggie:  Have you been to Sharon Astyks blog?  She does this with her husband, and writes about the economy, teaches online classes ect.  It is very hard for her, but it is the life she chooses.  I have taken two of her online classes, fortunately she offers scholarships.  : )

post #44 of 46


Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post

I have a different perspective. In my experience, even with very little income, or even none, children can still learn. If they do not have enough food, that is a different issue, and one that isn't mitigated by public schooling anyway. I'm an autodidact, and my children are mostly that way as well, since dp is too, and we do not hinder our children from exploring their interests. In any case, I guess I'm not sure what sort of scenario you're referring to wherein the children would have access to absolutely nothing. If the situation is that a family cannot pay rent without sending their dc to gov't funded schools, then, imo, an examination of values is definitely in order, with quick and diligent action to follow.


I don't share this from any ivory tower! I consider the children being with their parents as the default position, so at base, this is not only possible, but preferable as long as there are not competing values that are yet undecided in hierarchy. There's just no way my family could have stayed where my first three children were born, because we just couldn't sustain an income commensurate with the cost of living and jobs there. It wasn't a matter of whether we could if we sent our dc away, because our values were in order that demonstrated that we had no desire to contravene the natural law. Certainly it was well within our right to do so, if we wanted to, but we didn't.


So, for us, the choices were never between sending our dc away so we could have more income, or keeping them home and starving! The choice was: where is the best location to achieve a family life the way we want it? This necessitated finding a location with a lower cost of living and jobs that paid enough on one income to meet the bills, so there also had to be much less competition for those jobs.


It took two moves to end up where we are now, but we moved the second time for the same reason. Our income is presently triple what it was when we had three babies in the city, our cost of living is now the same as then, but we have a seven-person family, so percentage-wise, it's much less than what it would be there, now. Even still, we are in the process of unjobbing in order to further align our life with our values. So not only will our dc be home, but so will we. The amount of income we need and/or want dictates how much and what types of work we'll do to earn it. Our dc being home is just a given. The two issues are not in conflict. At all.


We have friends from our old city who have given up their plan to hs because of finances and the recession there (which never hit here, and won't- another reason we moved here; it's in a bubble); their actions show that they value paying for their house and thereby keeping it as a higher priority than homeschooling or having their children close with them on a daily basis. Fine. But it is not the only option; it's the one they choose, mostly out of fear, but obviously it could have been chosen under better circumstances as well. But it is a choice, not a necessity or a requirement of some unchosen greater ideal than the ones they hold. 


To me, income generation and living my daily life alongside my children just cannot come into conflict. It just isn't possible because my hierarchy of values is firm, well-examined, and informs how I think and thereby, live. 


I'm looking forward to a further explanation of this:


I'm very surprised that homeschooling families would risk their child's long term education by homeschooling no matter how dire their finances.


I do not have any partnership with the gov't or its agents in the education or raising of my dc. There will never be a time when I weigh my decisions about my family by considering whether or not gov't programs and hirelings could do a better job than me. From my perspective, such a thought process is completely antithetical to being a mother, an adult, and an autonomous being. Obviously not everyone would agree, but I'm surprised that anyone would assume that all parents of children would consider themselves beholden to even consider worth consideration what the gov't "offers" their children.


It wouldn't matter to me if they offered space camp one week, an archeological dig the next, a trip around the world, fifteen languages and pastured goat stew for lunch. It's completely irrelevant to me. My only concern about the gov't in this regard, is that its agents not interfere with the loving, healthy family life that I have worked so hard to provide. That's it. You suggest that I should consider whether I can do better than the school system or not, but my calculated involvement with it is to comply with regulations in order to reduce to the greatest possible extent, its influence and hindrance to my family's peace.


This would be my perspective no matter where I lived, no matter what my income, because my underlying philosophical position/thought is that the well-being and education of my dc is my own responsibility. Period. This means that if I see that my dc need someone to show them something, I seek that person out, evaluate their character and expertise, and decide if s/he will meet the need. If so, I hire him/her, or better yet, work out a mutually beneficial arrangement that allows for relationship with this person beyond the formality of employment.


A school system is as relevant to my life as fast-food and tv programming: when contact is unavoidable by unforeseen circumstance, I make my best attempt to disengage quickly and politely, then mitigate the damage, if any, with care and tact, and resume life as usual (for us).


post #45 of 46

Hi Rosebud


I realize I'm a little late answering your question, but here goes.  I'm a SAHM and my husband is a farmer, so most years we are below the poverty line.  We homeschool our 6 year old daughter and wouldn't want it any other way.  Besides the usual complaints about public school, I just don't think we could afford to send her to PUBLIC school.  I hear from my friends about having to fork out money for this and that, not to mention the 2 pages of supplies expected every year -and expected to be brought to school for EVERYONE to use.  Public education isn't free like it used to be.  Curriculum has a wide range of prices, have a good look around.  And if you live near a descent library you could use Ambleside Online and do it more or less free.



post #46 of 46

Danica. Canadians still have a lot of health related expenses that come out of pocket unless they buy health insurance.  Yes, doctor visits and the hospital are free (and thank God for that), but drugs, physio, dentist, eye doctors and all sorts of tests are all out of pocket.


Just thought I'd mention it.  Some Americans seem to think we get everything free.  And believe me, it can get expensive if you have a chronic condition -like my asthma.



New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › homeschooling and being a SAHM when low income