I almost didn’t homeschool. I believed God had called me to use my Ph.D. in clinical psychology to write and speak for His glory. How could I possibly homeschool and do those things, too? I wondered.
Then there was the issue of my education. I had invested many years and thousands of dollars in getting my degree.
Would homeschooling be doing what some suggested–wasting my education?
Seventeen years ago I decided that I would trust God to make homeschooling, writing, and speaking work for me. But honestly, I didn’t expect to do much writing and speaking. I thought I was giving up my dream to do what I knew was best for my children.
At first, homeschooling was definitely not part of my dream. It didn’t go well homeschooling just one preschooler. I was a hot mess! But with some help from FLYLady, I found some peace and organization amidst the chaos. I started to believe I could keep homeschooling and even have more children.
Homeschooling, Writing, and Speaking Too
Not long after finding the power of routines in my homeschool, I was stunned to learn that I would be traveling to New York City to see Woman’s Day magazine give my friend an award. I would also have the opportunity to meet the First Lady and to pitch an article idea to the Woman’s Day editors. Everything went well and I had a high-paying writing gig with a top magazine, writing about none other than the woman who had changed my life — Marla Cilley, the FLYLady.
That wasn’t the only opportunity I had to write while I was homeschooling. I also authored a number of booklets for a ministry with a very flexible timeline and had articles published in other newspapers and magazines.
I somehow had the time to write while raising young children and homeschooling, and I also had time to speak. I accepted a limited number of speaking engagements at women’s retreats and eventually at a homeschool conference. I was a frequent radio guest via the phone, which was much easier than traveling for me.
I went on to create several blogs, settling on Psychowith6.com. I’ve also written the books So You’re Not Wonder Woman, The Organized Homeschool Life, and Grammar Galaxy. I even have a weekly podcast called The Homeschool Sanity Show. God has made it possible for me to write, speak, and homeschool, too.
Homeschooling Meets My Need for Fulfillment in a Career
But as happy as I am being the writer and speaker I dreamed of being, I would give it all up to continue homeschooling my children. Homeschooling has met my needs:
- My need to learn. I learn something new every day with my kids and I love it — especially world history, which I had never studied before.
- My need to teach. I taught a college course before I had children and cried when I had to quit. I loved it that much. Homeschooling has allowed me to enjoy teaching not only my own children but my friends’ children as well.
- My need to love. One of the things I’ve learned about myself is how important relationships are to me. The relationships homeschooling has allowed me to develop with my children, my husband, and my homeschooling friends are precious to me.
What’s funny to me is that at one time I thought homeschooling would take me away from the fulfillment I craved. Instead, homeschooling has been the most fulfilling career I could have imagined! Homeschooling alone would have been more than enough to satisfy my needs, but God in His mercy has given me opportunities to write and speak, too.
If you are afraid that homeschooling won’t replace your career in its ability to fulfill you, I hope my experience has encouraged you. Homeschooling is the best career! If you want more proof, be sure to read the other posts in the 31 Reasons We Love Homeschooling series.
Melanie, thank you for sharing such a refreshing perspective on the personal fulfillment that homeschooling can bring. Your story is such an inspiration of how God can lead us to great balance and bless us in ways that we cannot even comprehend. Thank again for both encouraging homeschoolers and providing such great resources to help us all find that balance.
Melanie, I admire you, because you have succesfully balanced it all while staying humble. I connect with all you wrote in this article, and even though I’m still working in my career, while homeschooling, I have definitely learned and continue to learn along side with my children. All for the glory of God.
Melanie, I’m so grateful that you followed His calling & became a homeschooler. I can not imagine my life without you as a source of inspiration and encouragement. I felt called to stay at home with my boys from the moment my oldest was born. Homeschooling, however, also came as a surprise to me. I have never felt more fulfilled or challenged in my life. Isn’t God so great in how He gently guides us to nurture and develop our innate talents with previously unimaginble tasks? Love your #1 fan girl!
Love this Melanie! You are a true inspiration to sooooo many! Homeschooling IS the most fulfilling career EVER! So blessed to be called to it!
Oh, thank-you! I really connected with the three needs you have that are being filled by homeschooling. I was a nurse for 6 years before staying home with my kids – and I was feeling ready to leave that workplace, so I had no feelings of ‘missing out’ or ‘wasting my education’ when I left. But now 6+ years in, I do sometimes miss the mental challenge and constant learning of that environment. I forget that this parenting/schooling job *is* a constant learning environment!
I have appreciated what you have had to say on many platforms – podcast, blog, FB, periscope…. thank-you for the way you give so much into the homeschooling community! 🙂
Melanie you are truly an inspiration! One of my favorite parts of being a HS mom is learning alongside my littles. Being able to write on top of it is just an added perk! Thank you so much for sharing this..