Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Working In Work - for Working It In Wednesday

Two parent families, living on one income, are not the norm in our local community. A family of five, like ours, living on one income in the Chicago-land area can severely limit a family's financial resources. My husband and I made the choice for me to be an at home mom long before we even considered homeschooling. Once we headed down that road, a second parent income became less likely. I have heard comments from other moms about what a luxury it is to be with one's children on a daily basis. Others say they couldn't do it. Sometimes, I reply that it is a sacrifice we have made more that a luxury.

As parents, I think we all have the inclination to provide as much as possible for our children, both the needs and the wants. The clothes, toys or technology they want, the very best education and opportunities are a constant consideration and temptation. Our own desires, plus the pressure of seeing what is available to others can be a serious distraction from our own determined goals and priorities. The choice to live on only my husband's income has limited our our ability to give into every request. I have come to view that limitation as a blessing. By the fact of our financial limitations, we have had to teach our children more about setting goals, the value of resources, work and earning some of their own money.

Being home schooled has provided my children with the opportunity to do their academic subjects, pursue extra curriculum interests plus take on small jobs in our community to earn their own money. Being available during daytime hours has made small local jobs more accessible and doable. For example, a small weekly newspaper is provided free to residents. At one time it was delivered door to door by local teens. That newspaper delivery job was our oldest son's first job. It was the vehicle that taught him how a job well done can lead to more lucrative opportunities. He was asked by his newspaper costumers to do small jobs of yard work, snow shoveling and dog walking in the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, the delivery service was ended by the newspaper just about the time our oldest son was ready to hand the job down, to his younger brother. Fortunately, that was after our younger son had at least been able to assist with that weekly endeavor. The small jobs of babysitting, dog walking, pet care and yard work that came from connections made in the neighborhood, while delivering newspapers, were still options for each of them to do.

The skills they have acquired pursuing extracurricular activities have also provided them with opportunities to work. Our second son assists with training and coaching of younger baseball players on a travel team. Our daughter coaches at a gym teaching basic gymnastic skills to little ones.

If we had been a two income family, it may have been easier to simply hand our children the extras they wanted, but they have learned so much because we weren't able to or didn't. That wonderful new baseball bat, pair of shoes or outfit isn't nearly as desirable if it has to be purchased with one's own hard earned money. The ability to work in opportunities for actual paid work, for each of our home schooled children has been one of the benefits of choosing a one income, homeschooling family lifestyle. My Work It In Wednesday Homeschool Encouragement is the recognition that more opportunities for our young people to contribute increases their financial resources and their understanding of work.


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