Then, in 2004, Chris started his consulting company which allowed him to work from home, as well. That soon resulted in a "great awakening," ironically presenting us with the ultimate paradox: Now that we schooled at home and my husband worked at home, why in the world were we staying home?
"Globeschooling" became our reality. Now in our fifth year of homeschooling while traveling, we've visited 18 states, 17 national parks & 11 countries. It's like mini semesters abroad for all four of us to share and experience together, only without the college credit or student loans. In what sometimes feels like a global game of tag, our "home base" is Texas, where we catch our breath, recover, get some work done & plot strategy for the next adventure.
Often our destinations are determined by Chris' work, but sometimes they are simply driven by our curiosity (and, if more than a couple of miles are required, we're usually also driven by our car... named Hermes. Wait, who would be so pretentious as to name their car after a Greek god, messenger to Olympus? OK, so that was just a joke. To actually believe it, you'd have to think we were capable of christening our dog 'Picasso.' And that would be ridiculous.)
Now, you ask (and you're not alone), is this globeschooling really a mid-life crisis in disguise? Well, we prefer to humbly refer to it as "our little intellectual and spiritual epiphany," but because methinks protesting too much is in vain-ity, I admit that perhaps it could be some manifestation of a mid-life crisis. But, it is one that skips the sports car, divorce and/or plastic surgery and instead opts for taking one's spouse and kids along for the ride. So, along with you, they too can discover the truths in themselves, their family and the meaning of life. Sure, all of that is trivial and superficial, but you can supplement with math workbooks & science experiments to prove you're providing them a worthwhile education.
We did have many concerns and reservations when we started. Yet, though it appears counterintuitive, so far our odyssey has built cohesion, continuity and a deep sense of stability that belies the uncertain, itinerary-shifting surface appearance. We have been welcomed in homeschool groups at home and throughout the country, the girls have made friends around the world, they experience history up close, they see the homes and hike the countryside described in the novels of their favorite writers... They find identification within their town and their state, but also see beyond themselves, as Americans among the many states and regions that have gained resonance after our visits, and as proud, appreciative Americans who are simultaneously "citizens of the world." Above all, I hope that the kids are gleaning from what we're doing that the world is an adventure to be explored and that it instills in them confidence, enthusiasm, and a sense of possibility with unlimited horizons, both physical and philosophical.
But, as good as this sounds, it still does not quell or satisfactorily answer the eternal and reverberating question of those back home: "Now, why [insert invocation of God here, either for blessing purposes or in conjunction with a colorful string of twangy expletives] would you ever want to step foot outside of Texas?" As far as they're concerned, we'll just never learn.