When a Widow Wants to Homeschool

When a Widow Wants to Homeschool

“Hi Lori, Long time follower of your blog. I feel called to homeschool my two children, but don’t feel that I can at this time, and was hoping you would have some sage advice for my situation. My husband passed away when the kids were quite young and we need to live with my mom to help with the childcare since I have to work to bring some money into our home for food, utilities, and mounting healthcare bill since my mom is ailing and my health insurance doesn’t cover her. I know that often you advocate for a church to provide for a widow, but our church doesn’t have that kind of money to allow me to homeschool the kids and not work – our pastor is only paid part-time as it is! What would you recommend in our situation to avoid the public schools? My kids’ faith are challenged daily by being in that environment and I don’t want them to be educated in sin, but I can’t figure out a way out of our situation.”

I asked the women in the chat room what there advice to you would be and here is what some of them said:

“Is there a way for her to make money from home? Is her mom in a position to care for the children all day and she can work on formal lessons when she is not working? Homeschooling does not need to duplicate school at home. A couple hours a day of ‘lessons’ is really all that is needed for formal education. They learn what they need to learn through every day life. If this is not an option due to her mother’s failing health I would suggest seeking out a scholarship at her local Christian school. Most religious schools have scholarships.”

“No one is called to homeschool. We ARE all called to bring up and instruct our children in our faith daily and fully in all that we do. To me personally this seems impossible to do when children attend a public school. I know there are exceptions (like very small towns) but for the most part so much being taught in public schools directly counters the Bible. We can’t tell our children that the Bible is infallible and then send them somewhere that teaches them evolution, the Big Bang and wrong, scientifically incorrect and biblically abominable alternative biological ‘facts’. At some point that child is going to question which of these voices is right and let me tell you… a child in PS will absolutely choose wrong because they’re in school longer than they’re at home and awake. I believe wholeheartedly that parents will be held accountable for allowing their children to be led astray. It’s unfortunate that churches don’t support widows, especially in a situation where you’re clearly living frugally. However, you can’t let their failure or your circumstances keep you from doing the right thing.”

“I’d pull those kids like yesterday, then would find a good self taught curriculum. ACE is what we use, and though I am able to be proactive, the whole pretense of it was self-teaching to accommodate the children of missionaries. It’s about $30 a subject. We do Math, English, Word Building and Literature with them. I use answersingenesis.org for science and YouTube and Netflix/Hulu for history because we can’t afford the $60 more per child to do these subjects with ACE. This is absolutely something a kid who can read and write could execute themselves, leaving you able to work (which is its own issue, but I’m addressing homeschooling specifically).”

“See if they have a web academy/charter school where she lives. If her kids are a bit older they can be pretty independent and it’s free.”

“There are numerous programs online that she could look into it for actually being home is not an option. The curriculum BJU Press has a distance-learning program. Abeka has an online Academy, as does Liberty University. Also, Alpha and Omega mega has an online Academy as well. That would allow the children, if they’re home with grandma, to maybe get some of their schoolwork done before mom comes home in the evening. I know with BJU press, you can do distance-learning for some subjects and parent lead with others. Another thing to consider is that homeschooling generally does not take as many hours per day as going to a public school does. I can get through all of the normal subjects plus Bible with my kids in about 2 1/2 – 3 hours on a good day (and the curriculum I’m using is ahead of my state’s public schools).”

“I have known women who homeschooled their children even when working full time. That may be something she can do, but it is difficult. The children can be given assignments to complete when she is gone, with instruction and assessment being given when she is home. This works better for older children who can work independently. So if she wants to homeschool, it can be done this way as long as there is someone to supervise the children while she is away or if they are old enough to stay home without supervision.”

“If homeschooling is just not an option, Christian school is an option to explore. It can be very expensive, but not always. Many Christian schools have sponsorships for children from needy families or perhaps the mother could work at the school to offset tuition and perhaps even take money home as well.”

“When my children were school age I worked in the kitchen at the local Christian school for free tuition. You might want to look into that.”

The Home School Foundation offers all sorts of grants to help homeschoolers, including one for widows.”

“Do what she has to do for now and pray for a godly man to marry her!”

“I homeschooled as a single mom (admittedly a younger child, though I imagine older ones would be even easier). I worked 50 hours a week and had a 2 hour a day commute for most the time.”

“School doesn’t need to take 8+ hours. As far as I’m concerned that is one of the many benefits of homeschooling. At his age I used bits and pieces of different curriculums and supplemented with ABCmouse. He did some stuff with my mom and other things on my days off. Since he thought it was fun we got to do some stuff together before/after work, too.”

“Pull your kids out of school and determine you are going to figure it out. If it takes you a year to ‘get it right’ – so be it. It’s still better than public school. Let them read books and play math games online for a while (coolmathgames is a good site if you pay the yearly $25 to block the ads). You CAN do it!”

“I would remind her of Luke 6:33: ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.’ Although we are to owe no man anything, it can be easy to make paying bills our top priority over training our children. We can prioritize going into financial debt or spiritual debt in poor/ inadequate training of our children’s souls. Our Lord is Jehovah Jireh- which means the Lord will provide. I would tell this mother to determine to homeschool her children, however that schedule looks like. Cry out to the Lord for specific wisdom on how to do this. Then, watch the Lord come through. He is an amazing provider! Sometimes, He requires us to lay our ‘Isaac’ on the altar of sacrifice. Then, and only then, we will discover a ‘ram in the bush.’ This will show your children what is really important to you; that God’s Word and His ways come first, and the faithfulness of the Lord!”

…with God all things are possible.
Matthew 19:26

13 thoughts on “When a Widow Wants to Homeschool

  1. Pray and seek God’s advice – sometimes there are friends, family or even someone you don’t know yet that God might put in your life to teach your children. Especially someone who is a bit older and would enjoy the company or a retired Christian school teacher – those are other option – just pray and be open to God’s leading. While they are in public school cover them daily with prayer lots of it

  2. HSLDA has financial assistance for widows. She may also look into one of the Christian medical bill sharing companies that is an alternative to insurance. This way her medical bills can be taken care of. She should definitely look into working from home. I mentioned VIPKID was a good company to consider but even cleaning houses where she can bring her kids with her would be fine.

    There are a lot of free or almost free resources for home education so that won’t be a problem.

    If all else fails I would look to move with her mother to an area of the country that is either cheaper or has a church that is able to help financially.

    1. It’s exactly what God tells women to do in 1 Timothy 5:
      “11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;

      12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.

      13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

      14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

      15 For some are already turned aside after Satan.

      16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.”

      God’s instructions are better than any of ours, that’s for sure! Plus, a wise woman isn’t going to marry a “strange” man. She will seek the Lord and marry a godly man who will be a father to her children and provide for her. This happened to my best friend and they have all been extremely blessed!

    2. Michelle, do you filter your comments through the wisdom of the world? I’ve noticed on a couple of you posts you seem to lean more heavily on popular wisdom of the day. I ask this because I would never make the jump in equating asking someone to pray for a Godly husband (which indicates the husband is sent by God) to it being the same as allowing “strange” men around my children (which is of course always unwise). Right away I thought of the scripture where young widows are called by God to remarry (which Lori quoted). I feel like either you didn’t know that scripture (which as a Christian school teacher would be quite odd) or (more likely) you explain away any scripture (including this one) that you don’t agree with for whatever reason. From what I have been taught, one either believes the whole of scripture or they are subjecting it to their own fallible mind. Which means they are putting their wisdom in place of God’s wisdom (which is living by the world’s standard) and are doing what scripture repeatedly says throughout the Old Testament that “each man doing what was right in their own eyes”. Living by one’s own wisdom (or the standards of the world/modern society/culture) is not what we as Christians are called to do. We are called to be a “peculiar people” and walk by faith (which is faith in the Word of God).

      1. M ♥️ that comment. Ive noticed that as well. But to be fair to Michelle, no one is perfect. We all tend to err on the side of what we have been taught/ the flesh. Thats why we need to stay in the word and weigh up everything we have been taught against it. And seek Godly counsel.

  3. I am not ignoring or explaining away scripture. It is perfectly fine for a widowed person to remarry. That is clear.
    What I was saying was I don’t think one should jump into a second marriage for the sake of having a provider. The grieving process alone can take up to a year. Then it can take time to find another Godly man and develop a relationship that leads to marriage.
    Being careful with who you bring around your children is not worldly wisdom. I don’t think Christ would have a problem with mothers being cautious.

  4. Thanks for posting this, Lori. These quotes from the chat room are great advice for anyone seeking advice on educating and training their children. I homeschool, and had to drop more than half of our income to do so; even when things get dicey (financially or otherwise), God always provides a way to continue it.

    I really enjoyed reading the various posts in that they really encourage my conviction to keeping our children out of the public education system, reminding me that there is always a way, and that God can provide even when the situation seems utterly hopeless – in fact, that’s when He really shines! 🙂 The last quote in particular was illuminating for me – I never read the story of Isaac and the ram that way before, but now it’s like a brick over the head! God is truly great, and I encourage any mother who feels the pull in her heart to keep her children home to jump in with both feet and trust that God will be there to make sure she doesn’t fall – instead, she can expect amazing things ahead!

    God bless!

  5. Such a great article. I’m glad that you opened the reader’s concerns to the chat group. I believe two (+) heads are better than one when addressing a dilemma. But, to remember that ultimately God will have the answer. My best advice would have been for your reader to pray and to approach her pastor. He may have had resources that she may have not known of or thought of, no matter the size of her home church 🙂

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