If you had $10,000,000 would you still homeschool?
Someone emailed this question to me.
It's an interesting question. Because before I started homeschooling, I would have taken that money and hired a consultant at $10K per kid to get them both into one of those top NYC private schools. Then I would have bought a summer home in the Hamptons. It would have to be a cheap house, actually, if I only had $10 million. But whatever. I'd buy the house and spend summers there and send my kids to private NYC schools during the school year.
That's what I would have done before I started homeschooling. But now, I honestly can't imagine not having my kids with me all day. I can't imagine sending my kids away for eight hours a day. It sounds crazy to me now that I've been a family with my kids all day long. If I had ten million dollars now, I'd hire a lot more help. I'd use the money to get people to help me be better at giving the kids what they need to grow up into happy, productive adults. I would get more coaching for myself as a parent.
The photo above is my son's violin teacher at his recital. Diana Popowycz. We've been taking lessons from her for six years and I still have no idea how to pronounce her last name. But I feel very close to her. At this point, she's not just a violin teacher. She has seen me go through a divorce. She introduced me to four cello teachers before we started driving to Chicago. She was the first homeschool parent to challenge my assumption that all homeschoolers are lunatics.
She has given my son confidence, a love for music, and a deep connection with another person besides me.
When we started, I broke a thousand rules of being a Suzuki parent. Like, I participated in no group activities and I never paid on time. But the biggest rule I broke was that I didn't go to the lessons or practice with him. I couldn't handle it. I'm not sure if what I couldn't handle was that he has Asperger's and so do I and when we clash, it's bad. Or maybe I couldn't handle that I was working 120 hour weeks, and simply could not focus enough to know where he should place his fingers. So I paid her to give him extra lessons and she found someone I could pay to practice with him. And then I paid a nanny to bring him to all that.
Diana never told me I was a bad mom. Or an insane mom. She just helped my son learn to play the violin – consulting with her own Asperger's consultant to customize lessons for my son's skills.
And when I stepped down from my 120-hour work weeks as CEO and became much more involved in my kids' lives, she was right there to teach me how to practice with my son. And how to show up for lessons. And how to love the music.
If I had $10,000,000 I would fill my family's life with people like Diana. I want my kids to know that the world is full of good people who can teach us fun and interesting things. I want my kids to know how to ask for help from experts to make their days more engaging. We do that now. It's our biggest household expense. I can't imagine what I could do with $10 million.