Sunday, October 14, 2007

Homeschooling No Matter What

One of the ironies of homeschooling is that, as overwhelming as it appears at first, it becomes such an integral part of your family's life that you pursue it no matter what obstacles get in your way.

I've known families that kept homeschooling despite financial difficulties that would cause most other families to send Mom to work full-time and the kids to school. I've also known families, including mine, that continued to homeschool even after the birth of a child with disabilities and/or medical problems. (It still amazes me that I used to interrupt math to ask one of my kids to check and make sure the baby's lips weren't blue and that he hadn't stopped breathing again; our average homeschooling day sometimes included hearing his apnea alarm go off.)

Perhaps one of the most challenging situations that I've seen is the family that continues to homeschool even after Mom has fallen ill with something more than just the flu. One recent example of that kind of dedication is Pamela Berthume. She and her husband are the creators of Homeschoolopoly. I met Pam last winter when she had a booth across the aisle from mine at the InHome Conference in suburban Chicago. I was inspired to witness her positive attitude as she described her life as a homeschooling mom and businesswoman who just happens to have multiple sclerosis.

More recently, however, I was alarmed to hear that her MS had progressed to the point that she became paralyzed from the waist down this past August. Yet despite that difficult news and the financial problems resulting from expensive testing and treatment, Pamela continues to homeschool her teenage daughter and two younger children (her eldest is a young adult now) and is hoping to retrofit her car so she can drive her children to regular activities like Awanas.

I find her resolve inspiring but not surprising. Once a mom begins to see the fruits of her homeschooling labor, she wants to keep at it, no matter what. Pam is a great example of a dedicated homeschooling mom.

(Pam's family is going through some tough financial times because of her illness. If you'd like to help them out, you might want to check out something her friend Lorrie Flem of TEACH Magazine has set up. You'll find it here. Even if you can't help Pam and her family out at this time, please keep them all in your prayers. )


Janet said...

That IS an inspiration, for sure. The strength that God gives people constantly amazes me.

christinemm said...

Thank you for submitting this article to the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Wow, this is an amazing story. My petty complaints seem ridiculous in light of this mother's story!!