I’m Amber Marie. I’m so excited to share my story with you because I hope that it may encourage you in your own homeschooling journey.
In April 2011, my husband and I tied the knot; in this season of life – as young newlyweds – we focused on growing together in Christ, and our lives as young professionals, of which I dedicated much time and energy to my career as a teacher. Interestingly, I even had ambitions to start a school/education center (umm…foreshadowing?). Long story short, I seldom gave much thought to our future children and the refinement process to ensure – as best as possible – that they become intelligent, strong, and compassionate.
In early 2012, we discovered I was pregnant with our first born, despite taking certain control measures, but I wouldn’t change a thing. My emotions ran the full gamot from excitement to disbelief and fear, and back to excitement. I’m sure some of you reading this have experienced this very phenomenon. As the saying goes, “Having kids changes everything.” As I carried my first born to term, I became conflicted about continuing my career as a professional educator. And so, I began exploring options that involved staying at home, for the foreseeable future. I live in the Washington, DC metro area, and like everything else here, childcare expenses are outrageous (umm…second mortgage anyone?).
After the birth, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take three months of maternity leave. I coveted those special moments with our first born, but the time elapsed too quickly, and I returned to the classroom (my darling husband considers this my “emotional period”).
This period of time solidified my desire to someday become a “stay-at-home” mom. After returning to the classroom, I had longed for the one-on-one bonding and teaching rituals with my firstborn; the opportunity to directly influence him with my virtues (more on this topic later).
After my second son was born, we had made some headway in our finances, and with minor cutbacks, I was able to permanently stay home. To supplement our income, I continued to tutor (fyi…tutoring pays really well in the D.C. area for those qualified), and I opened an in-home childcare business, where I cared for a friend’s daughter, the same age as my oldest son (umm…playmates). I was enthusiastic to have an opportunity to stay home and directly influence/raise my sons aka my little men. I have been home with my little men since 2016.
It wasn’t until Christmas 2016 that I gave serious consideration to homeschooling. My mother-in-law had introduced the idea after I had shown an interest in the academic/social achievements and opportunities of my husband’s much younger biological and adopted siblings (and…there are eight of them).
I began researching the concept of homeschooling, and also engaging my mother-in-law and other homeschool moms; the more I learned, the more I became comfortable with this type of education. For what it’s worth, there is a vast network of homeschoolers throughout the United States.
In June 2017, I began collecting and using affordable curricula for my oldest son (then 4.5 years old). In August 2017, I joined a Classical Conversations (CC) homeschool co-op, and began leading a classroom as the tutor or teacher. Committing to CC made everything real, and I realized that I truly wanted to homeschool. Now, here I am, homeschooling my oldest son using CC materials, in addition to a few different curricula for reading, writing and math.
Check out more about why I homeschool and some of my recent blog posts by clicking the images below.
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