Welcome to Family-Style Schooling.
My name is Betsy Strauss. I'm an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. Our kids, Andy (2000), Alyssa (2004), and Audrey (2006) keep us learning and growing (their names have been changed for their protection). In 2009 we combined households with my widowed mother, and we've stumbled across the immense blessings of a multi-generational household.
My husband and I both grew up in the public school system. We had great expectations for what life looked like with a kids attending the school down the street. As the youngest child in my family growing up, my mom was completely involved at my school from serving in the library to being the room mom. Often she came to eat lunch with me, and I always knew she was just a phone call away if I ever needed anything during the day. When Will started school, I was surprised by the difficulties I faced being involved with a toddler and a baby on the way.
Needless to say, the reality didn't match our vision, and we found ourselves three years later with a kid in competitive gymnastics and only seeing him a couple of hours a day. This wasn't the dream.
In 2008, my husband started seminary, and it was almost as if we woke up. God had given us three sweet children to shepherd and nurture. We took a step back and asked ourselves, "Why are we giving away the majority of our kid's day to others?" It seems we needed to adjust our course. C. S. Lewis eloquently explains:
"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."
So when the opportunity arose in 2009 to serve my mother by moving in with her, we seized it, along with the opportunity to transition into homeschooling our children. That first year was an adventure for my husband and I along with my mother. Since then, we have all grown to love having the kids home, learning and growing together.
In 2010, we found Classical Conversations, and slowly both my husband and my mother have become actively involved in our local community. We are far from perfect and still so new to the process, but we are thankful to be on the journey together.