We, too, have homeschooled our three children for all of their schooling. The oldest is an
EMT, with paramedic school coming up and then Fire Academy….he was eyeing city fire
work, but after working ambulance in the SF Bay area, working in forestry is being mulled
over! He’s lived out in the country all his life and being cramped in the city is proving a bit
taxing!! LOL!! Our middle finishes school this year, and works in town at a market (she’s
the social one!) and the youngest works on a ranch and is thinking about firefighting, but
at 14, it’s not high on his priority list right now…..he’d rather concentrate on the upcoming
deer season. All were taught with various curriculums over the years. It takes alot of work
some days, but we are closer for it.
As for dads…whether dad’s are home or not, whether you homeschool or not, as long
as kids KNOW that dad loves them and mom, that he cares for them and mom, that mom
and dad are a TEAM, they say the same things, the kids will flourish. I speak from
experience! Don’t think just because dad is gone, he can’t play a role. A dad who is
home, but aloof and self-absorbed can be just as damaging as a father who is never home
nor heard from. It’s up to us at home to keep him on the team (Yes, I know, one more
thing for us to do!). Send dad pictures they have drawn, school work done, pictures of the
family on a field trip, if it’s possible to do so. Make sure the children talk to dad when he
calls, keep them informed about what dad is up to out there..here we call grandma to ask
if grandpa is on a fire, where he’s at, we check on her (that gives him of peace of mind
because he can’t always call her to see), we can leave voice mail messages on his phone
and we send emails to his computer so when he gets home, he knows we have been
thinking of him, that’s he’s not alone. This helps him recover when he gets home and
helps in that transition of fire to home (oh my!).
Homeschooling is quite a job and there have been days I have thought never again.
But here we are, three weeks from school and I am getting ready once again to teach the
two at home. With fire season the way it has been, we will be getting alot of geography in,
as well as fire science. The opportunities are only as endless as you let them be! I
wholeheartedly agree with Dawn about your emotional well-being being reflected on your
children. Take it from someone who has been through this and seen the end…..your
children are definite barometers of you. Plain and simple.
Keep checking into FamilySaid for support and find support from those around you, other
fire families, and you will enjoy (really!) these years with your youngin’s!