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Misconceptions: The Single, Working, Homeschooling Mama Part 1

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Maybe my friend Karen is a rare breed. A single, homeschooling, working mom is a role I once never thought was possible.  But with God, all things are possible.  I felt the Misconceptions Series would not be complete without a look into the life a mom who has faced hard choices some of us never dream of being faced with.

I set out to create and edit this post from a list of questions I’d asked Karen to answer but as I read them I found it heard to slim it down.  There’s such heart-felt honest in her words that I could barely edit anything out. So this part of our series is coming to you in two parts.  I felt that conveying Karen’s story honestly and clearly was more important then a nice, neat, easy read post.

Karen’s honesty and openness make this post possible. 

Danielle:  How did you find yourself in the incredible place a single mom?

Karen: When Sarah was 6 month old, we had to leave, my then husband, for safety due to physical abuse.

Danielle: How did you decide to homeshool even though you were single?

Karen: Due to leaving her father and he not really wanting to see her, I wanted to give her what quality time and love I could. I wanted to make sure that she still felt loved, I didn’t want her to fall through the cracks, and turn out like so many other girls who haven’t had a father.

When I left my then husband, I remember pleading with God, and telling him that I didn’t want to be a single mom who had to work two to three jobs just to make it by and hardly ever see my daughter, because of working so much.

I just wanted to make sure that my daughter felt loved and that she knew how loved she was and didn’t feel rejected or abandoned through the whole situation. I wanted to protect and guard her in any way I could. (And many said I was being too over protective, but this wasn’t just the regular issues of the first day of school, etc. these were issues of a lack of a father, that I was seeing in her and I so wanted to prevent that in anyway I could).

So this was one of my main reasons for continuing to homeschool. It can be rough out there, and I knew we were going through a lot of transition and struggle at that time, and I didn’t want her to get lost through the crowd. I didn’t want her to get comfortable with the wrong crowd.  I just wanted to make sure that she had a strong foundation, and to make sure that she was doing well even through all the trials we had to walk through.

So as a mom I just wanted to make sure she felt love, and I wanted to keep her near me, just to make sure she was doing good. She would talk to me a lot, and ask me a lot of questions, due to all we went through, and I wanted to be there to answer them, not a daycare worker or somebody else I wanted to be the one to answer. As I look back I am thankful for that foundation, even though it was built during very hard times for both of us.

These last two years I did preschool with Sarah, and we were part of a small great co op. This year I did kindergarten and we found another co-op to be part of and we were able to do home school soccer last fall and this spring. I’m so thankful for the homeschool community, it’s such a great, loving community to be involved in. I see how Sarah walked through struggles and situations of her own and at times she acted out in anger, but you know what, I am so thankful that they were there surrounding us. Whether they know it or not they were there to love on my daughter and myself. They were there to show us with love, and to walk beside us, and even sometimes walk through it with us. You just can’t get that in a public school setting. If Sarah would have been at public school and act out in anger she would have just been reprimanded and labeled. Then, most likely, she would have to walk through all those school years with that label.

I’m not trying to give a bad rap to public school, and I’m not trying to say that children should not be disciplined. What I am going to say, is that the homeschool co-ops took the time to learn about our situation, not in detail, but they understood and then could help love my daughter also, and steer her in the right direction and treat her appropriately. They understood and weren’t angry, they treated her as their own.

That’s one thing I love about our homeschool co-op and homeschool community. This is why I continue to do home school now, not only to make sure she’s getting a good education, but also to make sure she just has a good overall well being.

D:  What is your job that you do in addition to raising a daughter and homeschooling?

K: I am a school bus driver ( I can take my daughter long with me) and I clean churches or houses in between bus runs some days. (I am currently looking for another church or two to clean if anybody knows one in the area available.)

D: Looking back over the past several years, what has been the most challenging part of juggling work and homeschooling?

K: Wow what a question, where do I start?

I guess you could say, that it has been dealing with my daughter through all this. She has been a very strong willed child, but a precious loving and giving heart, she so tender. Its been hard to deal with her anger from the whole situation, and it’s been even harder to see how she was hurt through the situation. Not to mention dealing with her father.

But that all aside getting personal turning it to myself, it has been really hard seeing the lack in my daughter’s life due to her father not being the father he should be, present and loving and seeing her struggle with us being separate or divorced.

So here’s the next layer (because its always in layers; I couldn’t describe it to you if I couldn’t describe it to you in layers.) Being so tired and not being able to do what I want to do with Sarah or home school, and also the times when I had to deal with all the struggles we went through. Its like when you struggle with something or have a constant burden that really sure does make you really tired and stressed. So I struggled with not being able to give Sarah my best, I really struggled with that a lot.

On a next layer, due to cleaning and school bus driving, I’ve struggled with time. Just simply trying to find the time to homeschool and to make sure she’s getting the best education and staying on track. A Lot of times we’ve done homeschool in the car, or in the bus, or at a clients, or in bed, just wherever we could. I wish we could have a set schedule everyday to do home school. But everyday is different, we could have cleaning a church that day or we could have soccer practice, Senior Lunch volunteering or we could have homeschool co-op that day and the list goes on.

I have tried not to envy the family that I see that have the quality time throughout the entire day to just do nothing but homeschool. It sure has been a struggle, but God surely has helped and set His seal of approval.

For instance, one Saturday morning we learned about air / gas filing places and about solids and liquids. In one of her books it showed a science experiment with vinegar and baking soda and a drinking bottle and balloon. Most you homeschool moms know what I’m talking about right? 😉 So what you do is you fill a bottle, a drinking bottle half way with vinegar and then you take a balloon and put baking soda in it with the funnel. Then, you put the mouth of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle and then you tip the baking soda that’s in the balloon into the bottle. This causes gasses from the baking soda and vinegar mixing together in the bottle and the gases from that fills up (blows up) the balloon.

So we did that Saturday morning and then we decided to just eat cereal cause we were going somewhere that day and we needed to get going. My daughter decided to get a straw and start drinking the milk out of the bowl, she loves straws. The bubbles formed and so another example of air filling spaces. It was such a neat spontaneous discovery that I knew it was from the Lord. He was like look at this one, it was neat.

What do you think so far?  Had you even considered that a single mom could work and homeschool?  Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2 of my interview with Karen where we’ll take a peek at what she prays for the most, hurtful things people do and say and how you can encourage a women like her……

Read part two here.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing (and I read part 2 as well). I’m a single mom and my goal has been to homeschool as well. My oldest isn’t interested, but my youngest is. It’s great to see that there are people doing what I’d love to do. I lost my job 7 months ago but I still haven’t found the courage to homeschool (but I also wanted the girls to finish out the school year). Maybe one day. And thanks for sharing because about a year ago I was looking for single homeschoolers who were bloggers (so I could follow, learn, and encourage), but wasn’t able to find any.

  2. Link exchange is nothing else but it is only placing the other person’s weblog link on your page at suitable place and
    other person will also do same for you.

  3. What a terrific series! I’m so glad I saw it on Pinterest. I’ve shared it to the Homeschooling/Working Parents group on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=8190802

Trackbacks

  1. […] Today is the continuation of the interview with my friend Karen.  You can read the first part of her story here. […]

  2. […] reaches out to me with homeschool stuff for Wyatt. I regret that while she was knee-deep in working and homeschooling as a single mom I never asked how I could help her. Selfishness clouded my vision and I could not see how much I […]

  3. […] reaches out to me with homeschool stuff for Wyatt. I regret that while she was knee-deep in working and homeschooling as a single mom I never asked how I could help her. Selfishness clouded my vision and I could not see how much I […]

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