Homeschooling: What About Single Moms?

There have been some interesting comments on my post about Public Schools.  In that post I laid out a case for why our family believes that Christians should not send their children to the government schools.  I know that sounds harsh, I’m honestly sorry, it is difficult to convey an unpopular position gracefully in one sentence.  Please go read the full post for a more gracious explanation of our position.  If it still rubs you the wrong way, please read disagree in love.  Feel free to believe that we are dead wrong on this one and then let’s discuss it prayerfully and learn from each other.

This is also a good place to mention that, while my name is on this blog and I do most of the typing and composition, my husband is very involved in reading and editing all the posts that are anything more than pictures and stories about our day.  He decides whether he wants me to post about a given topic, what I should or shouldn’t say and always reads before it is posted to make sure that it conveys the point properly.  This is why many times I write with the plural tense, these are not just my thoughts and words.

Here is a comment from Laurel on my post on Public schools:

If the public school system is inherently wrong, than I am wondering what you would suggest for the families that cannot teach their children at home. There are many single moms who must work outside the home to provide for their families; and many of these mothers did not choose to raise their children on their own. (Some are widowed. Some have been abandoned.)

I am so thankful that I do have the opportunity to teach my children at home, as I have for the past 18 years. However, I just cannot come up with an answer for what some families are to do if the public school system were to be abandoned (as some people would adamantly suggest).

Here is my expanded response:

We do not want the conversation to get sidetracked with difficult situations; either government education is unbiblical or it is not. Difficult situations or us not understanding how everything will work out do not change God’s law or His requirements for His people.  Those things said, we think the single mom dilemma  has several fairly simple solutions.

Biblically the extended family is the first source for help in times of need.  (see 1Timothy 5:3-8) The family may be able to supply help with the actual education of the children.  We know some grandparents who are homeschooling their grandchildren while their single daughter works.   The family may also be able to provide financial help for a private school.

If the family is unable or unwilling, the church and other Christians should be next to step up.  Biblically  Christians have a special responsibility to the widows and orphans (James 1:7).  Our family was once approached by a single mom asking if we would educate her children with ours.  There are many other ways that the Christian community can and should help single moms with the training and education of their children.

Another option is for single moms to homeschool their own children. We are amazed and blessed to know several single moms who have made this decision. It takes amazing dedication, but they have been successful and their children have been blessed.

Another option is public schools (not government schools). This is the type of system in place in early America. Private citizens got together voluntarily, hired a teacher, acquired, built or borrowed a building (sometimes using space in private homes) and provided an education for their own children.

Many Christian schools provide scholarships for families in need.  When I was a girl our family knew a single mom of four daughters.  The local Christian school educated all of her girls from kindergarten to high school in exchange for her cleaning the facilities after her regular job.  She took her children with her and cleaned a couple hours each evening while they studied or played.

The amazing thing is that God always provides and He is not limited by what we can see or understand. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, He promises to be a “father to the fatherless” and says, “let thy widow trust in me”.  He tells His people, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widow in their affliction”.    He will provide for the education of His children.

Then recently Nicki had this to say:

I was a divorced, single mother of 2 for 2 years. Putting my kids in school (or daycare) was never an option for me. I found work that fit with my goals for my children. I cleaned the church, did part-time medical transcription, and eventually opened my own retail shop. I lived in my parent’s home, and they were glad to have me. No, it was never easy, but doing what is right rarely is. I felt without a doubt that going through a divorce was one of the hardest things my daughters would ever deal with (at least in childhood) and that changing their home life for my convenience or their “education” would compound the problem. It helped them and me to have the stability of a mostly “normal” life as we dealt with this strange new world of singleness. God always makes a way.

What a testimony to God’s faithfulness.  Thank you Nicki!

Here is a link to the complete series on “Why We Homeschool.”  You may also be interested in the homeschool house category for ideas to incorporate learning into your home.

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13 Responses to Homeschooling: What About Single Moms?
  1. Sasha @ Small Town Mamma
    July 2, 2009 | 8:09 am

    This is a very interesting post, Kimberly. Lots to think about. You are right, that ultimately we must do what the Lord sets out for us, and be certain that he will provide, along the way.

    I am blessed to have a loving husband, who is great with our children. But on long days, when he is away for 13 hours working on site, and can’t be home for any of our meals, I find myself admiring single mothers and what they cope with every day!

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  2. Suzanne
    February 23, 2010 | 8:36 pm

    I am a single mom who has homeschooled for the past 6 years. Yes it is a challenge. But God has been with me every step of the way. I need to seriously bring some income into this house and continue to HS my children.Any suggestions?? I wonder about medical transcription/medical billing/coding from home. Is this a realistic way to provide for my family? Any suggestions???

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  3. 4evermomof3
    February 24, 2010 | 7:55 pm

    Perhaps this is an old issue, but I just stumbled across your blog and while I don’t tend to post on the random blogs I encounter, I strongly feel my opinion should be heard.

    I am a single mom by choice. I was single when I adopted my three children and have chosen to remain single while I raise them.

    I homeschool my children. It has not been the popular opinion of those within my extended family or many of those in my community. I have had to go without health care insurance for three years now since I am self-employed (and have a pre-existing condition due to an allergy) and I have had to work hard to make ends meet so we can have this lifestyle.

    This lifestyle is a gift and I’m blessed that we have this choice. It is in the best interest for my children. But I often hear from other parents that ask me how I survive without adult contact. I won’t like, it’s hard. The big obstacles are mine to face alone.

    But it is also very hard at times and if I felt as though I had been “guilted” into homeschooling, I could see how I would resent it.

    God calls us to BE, EXIST, and BEAR FRUIT where we are… and my children are my testimony to that. But I haven’t seen this to be true in all families that homeschool… whether they are single parent families, two-parent-families, or the worst situation, dutiful spouse following the orders of the militant spouse family.

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  4. Yvonne
    March 11, 2010 | 11:54 pm

    I am a single mom and I too do not like the public schools. That is why my children go to a Christian School. I pay lots of money for the private school, but it is worth every dime!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I am often amazed at the commitment and sacrifice of so many single moms to getting a Biblical education for their kids.

    Thank you!

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  5. Talitha
    August 10, 2010 | 9:16 pm

    I came over from Like a Warm Cup of Coffee and was interested in what you had to say about single mothers homeschooling. I am a single mom with just one 10 year old girl, and I’m choosing to homeschool this year for the first time ever.

    I was incredibly blessed that my father paid for a huge portion of her private Christian school tuition throughout elementary school. It wouldn’t have been possible without his help. Then, halfway through 5th grade, we moved from SoCal to Montana and my father was no longer able to provide this support. So I reluctantly sent her to public school, not seeing another option.

    However, the more I researched the issue, the more convicted I became that Christian parents should educate their own children. Personally, I was also convicted of the fact that I had completely abdicated my responsibility to train my daughter in Godliness to the school. It was easy to think that because she was in a Christian school, it was good enough. The truth is that it wasn’t good enough. Nothing replaces a parent’s training in this area.

    So, my little family is embarking on our homeschooling adventure this year. My daughter (after processing a bit of disappointment that she will not be going to Junior High) is thrilled. I still have no idea how God is going to provide for us financially, but I trust that He will.

    My point in sharing my story is that God’s commands do not change based upon our circumstances. If a single mother (like me) is willing to obediently step out in faith to educate her own children, our God will provide for her family’s needs according to His glorious riches. I’m counting on it!

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  6. Cheryl
    October 24, 2010 | 8:00 am

    Fantastic post. Before my son was born, I fully intended to return to my job. I wasn’t excited about it, but I THOUGHT that I didn’t have a choice. After he was born, I knew that I could never leave him in daycare or in some other professional care. And I resolved that I would do whatever it took to protect our family and our togetherness. Three years later, I have delivered newspapers (every day at 3 am for a year). I’ve been a nanny. I’ve lived in my van for a time. And each step of the way, God has blessed my decision. One of my favorite quotes is this:
    Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans.

    The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

    It’s so true. Now I have my own business doing something I love, and I just bought a 4,000 dollar house in WV. We are quite “poor,” but wonderfully rich.

    I love your blog. Keep saying unpopular things. 🙂 It’s refreshing, even if I don’t agree with everything.

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  7. Kysha
    March 18, 2011 | 3:40 am

    I’m a single mom homeschooling five. Well, one has graduated and four more at home. I started out married but unfortunately experienced divorce three years ago. Although, I’ve had moments and even experienced burn out over these seven years, the Lord called me to homeschool and has made provision. To God be the glory! He will enable you to do that He has called you to do. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We have experienced public school with my oldest and private school briefly with my other children only to return to homeschooling. I totally understood what you were conveying and agree.

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  8. Bonnie
    May 3, 2011 | 8:27 pm

    I have been a widow for almost 9 years. I was 6 months pregnant with my fourth child when my husband passed away. We had been homeschooling since the beginning and I felt the Lord wanted me to continue on this path. The Lord has faithfully provided all these years and I know I am in the center of His will. When He wants you to do something, He will make a way! 🙂

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  9. Erin
    November 11, 2011 | 1:14 pm

    Hi Kimberly,
    I’ve just come across your blog and I’m sure I will be back. I have just begun researching homeschooling my son. At first, when anyone mentioned it, I thought it wasn’t an option for me because I am a single mom. But the more I see my son’s self-confidence diminished from his experience in public school, the more I want to find a better option for him. He has been asking me to home school him for weeks now! I am reading up on it like crazy and am becoming more and more excited to find a way to home school. I have an 8-5 job right now but was already on the path to time freedom by starting a business. I am very excited about the prospect of starting home school in August of 2012. My blog is for single moms and this is just one more area that I’ll be encouraging them in. When God plants a desire in our hearts, He will open up every door for us as we step out in faith and obedience!
    Erin

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  10. janine
    July 30, 2012 | 12:14 am

    I am a single Mom by choice. When I adopted my daughter, I really didn’t think there would be any way I could homeschool her even though it is something I feel strongly about. I worked full time the first two years of her life and I knew I was missing out on so much. I made a decision to downsize my life so I could work fewer hours and spend more time with her. I’ve been working 2 and a half days a week for two years now so I can homeschool her. I think if you are committed to homeschooling, you can do it regardless of your marital situation. It is a matter of priorities.

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  11. Sharanda Palmer
    June 13, 2013 | 11:53 pm

    Hello, Thank you ladies for all the feed back. I am a 26 year old mother of five children 10,8,6,4,3months and have experienced many nigtmares with public schools. I want to homeschool my kids due the fact that I feel that God is calling me to do so. I start nursing school in the fall and dont see a way for me to be able to do so. I have a few friends who homeschool (they are married) and they love it. Is there any advise that can be shared with me so that i can begin this journey with ny kids.

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  12. Kim
    October 11, 2013 | 9:10 am

    I have recently become a single mom with two kids. My husband’s leaving was sudden, I literally didn’t have time to think. However, I, like the contributor, knew daycare/preschool was not an option. If it was, it would have been mentioned in the Bible against so many verses that hold the parent’s responsible for the teaching and instruction of their children, under biblical principles, which is purposely left out of the public school system. Thankfully, I am able to stay at my home with my extended family’s help and while they don’t agree, know that I am firm in my desire to homeschool.
    The fact is that single parenthood is difficult,in itself. Typical single parent homes are very threatened because one parent has to wear so many hats, it’s hard to remember to actually disciple the children.
    I think it’s so important, especially for single moms to homeschool.

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