I looked anxiously around the bus terminal, eyeing every entrance. Would he show up for one final goodbye? Part of me wanted a scene a la Bogart/Bacall, the one with the long looks and the even longer embraces. I had told him of my plans to relocate and although he was not exactly thrilled, he did not object. Later, I would learn he did not believe I would go through with it.
The older boys sensed my anxiety and began to squirm in their seats, while my youngest son, fourteen months at the time, drank his bottle and squeezed my hand. Destinations were being announced on the PA system until finally, I heard ours.
I took one last look and saw no sign of him. Sigh.
I gathered our luggage, slung a diaper bag onto my shoulder, balanced a stroller and put backpacks onto my little ones. There would be no Bogart/Bacall ending today.
“Come on, boys. Let’s go.” I held onto the baby and told the boys to hold each others’ hands. I walked through the door with my boys, leaving behind twenty years of memories.
“Okay, boys, time to get ready.”
One by one, my rowdy boys ran down the stairs, shaking the house with their footsteps. Three years had made a noticeable difference in their physical appearances but they were different in other ways as well.
Big J had ceased stuttering and hiding his face in the crook of his arm when he talked. The sadness in Little D had all but diminished and the nightmares had disappeared completely. Big D, having transferred from public school to our home school, had confidence that he was well on his way to college and not destined to be just another forgotten child in a sea of faces in the classroom. After a trip to a neurological specialist, I received a diagnosis of autism for Little J. I am proud to announce he is beginning to read on his own.
Prior to our packing up and moving over 400 miles away, not knowing a soul, we were living in a cramped apartment. The public school system was troubled, to say the least. School board corruption and low-performing schools dotted the county. Classes were overcrowded and troubled children disturbed learning for the others. Fights and bullying were commonplace. In short, the learning environment was not ideal.
I was in the library one Saturday, not looking for anything in particular, when I made a turn into a life-changing aisle. The title of a very thick book caught my attention: “Mary Pride’s Complete Guide to Getting Started in Homeschooling.” Curious, I added the book to the ones I had already selected and I ended up reading the entire book in a weekend. Home schooling sounded wonderful! There was only one problem – I was a single parent, working outside of the home and living in an area well-known for its high-cost of living.
|The book that started it all, complete with Post-It notes|
The only way I could make home schooling happen was to leave behind everything I knew.
So we did.
Home schooling has opened many doors for us, afforded me opportunities I would not have had in my prior life. It has brought us together, through good and not-so-good times, taught the boys to be independent. I am living a lifestyle that allows me to make a living working from home and minister to others looking to do the same, all while educating the boys.
Sometimes, you just gotta make a change, take a chance. You never know until you try.
About the Author
A homeschooling parent since 2005, Regina enjoys life as a mother and grandmother. Known online as “The Single Homeschool Mom” , she is a home school speaker, freelance writer and a social media community manager. When time permits, Regina enjoys reading, watching British sitcoms and trying to make homemade bread just like her Mom