Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Perusing the current Carnival of Homeschooling, I came across this article about a doctor who left her practice to homeschool her children:

“But I enjoyed my work so much, and I loved my patients. I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t see doing anything else. But God works on you.” A visitor quickly learns that a heart-to-heart conversation with Dr. Karim includes hearing how her Christian faith is the key that helped her answer the familiar, age-old question: “What is my purpose for being here?”

“I know that I wasn’t listening to God when He was telling me what I should do,” she says. “In the last few years that I was working, I just knew that I was supposed to be doing something different, as we had things happen. (For instance) we bought a new house that was supposed to be the dream house, but it was infested with fleas.”

She smiles at the memory, but the conversation returns to the serious.

“We realized we got caught up in the materialistic side of things – having the best cars, house, vacations – and we weren’t focusing on the spiritual side and ‘making yourself better for God’ side.”

While Jana was working through her dark night of the soul (to use the memorable phrase associated with St. John of the Cross), another teachable moment occurred when her eldest child – then a second grader in a public school’s accelerated program – was confined to bed due to an illness. In helping her son with his schoolwork, Jana estimates it took less than an hour to get his work completed.

“I thought, ‘What is he doing with the rest of the time?’ I loved the school, but I realized there was so much more we could do.”

I have a friend who's done the same thing. I knew her for years through a homeschooling group before she mentioned that she is a pediatrician. I couldn't believe it!

Christine Field, who's mentioned in the middle of the article, is also a friend through the same group. She's an impressive and inspiring lady who has encouraged me personally in many ways, especially as a would-be writer.

Christine Field, of Wheaton, Illinois, the author of six books about child rearing, adoption, and home education, has traveled down this road. For eight years, she practiced law and had “the typical dual-career marriage.” (Mark Field, her husband, is Wheaton’s chief of police.)

In 1991, Mrs. Field left the workforce to homeschool her brood. She has four children – three are adopted and one is biological. “Sure it can be more glamorous to go to an office and be called ‘Ma’am’ than just be a middle-aged woman in the suburbs,” she candidly remarks.

But she decided that “sub-contracting the children rearing” wasn’t for her. The prolific writer has commented honestly and cheerfully about her new life. In Home School Digest magazine, she wrote, “My house unapologetically reflects the fact that children are in residence. From the toys on the lawn to the projects scattered around the house, a visitor can readily see that this is a place of creativity and learning.”

(A favorite quote from Chris is from when she was speaking on adoption and someone asked about the expense of it. "Yes, it cost us as much as a new minivan. But you can't take a minivan to heaven with you!")

My friend the pediatrician says maybe she'll go back to it when her girls are in college. But her time with them has been so short--they're nearing high school already--that it's worth even the financial hardship they experience for now.

What an investment, though!

1 comment:

molly said...

Great post!!! I liked this line,

"But she decided that “sub-contracting the children rearing” wasn’t for her."