Logo Homeschool World ® Official Web Site of Practical Homeschooling Magazine Practical Homeschooling Magazine
Practical Homeschooling® :

It’s a Wonderful Second Life

By Bill Pride
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #85, 2008.

Pin It

Bill Pride


All you video game players, relax. This article is not about the popular online game Second Life. In fact, all I know about that game was gleaned from watching one TV episode of CSI on iTunes!

I want to tell you about my second life—how I’m applying lessons learned in our homeschool to my own career.

You’re Never Too Old to Learn New Things

How many times have you found yourself “teaching” the kids stuff that was brand new to you as well? I’m sure you were able to learn right along with your kids, whether the new skill was piano or physics.

In spite of what some of us were told in our youth, our brains do not turn into slabs of concrete when we hit 30. If anything, it’s easier to learn new things as time goes on . . . provided you haven’t ever stopped learning.

Homeschooling keeps our brains fresh and active. It also breeds increased confidence that we can learn anything we want. Finally, since we homeschoolers are already on a different path from most people, it’s easier to consider branching out into previously unexplored life paths.

It’s Not Just a Job If It’s an Adventure

In my case, my first career was chosen with hardly any thought. I liked math, I was accepted to MIT, so lo and behold, I became a math major. As the first member of my family to graduate from college, grad school and professional school (law, medicine, etc.) never came up as options in family conversation. Since my mom had gone back to work to pay for my tuition, and two younger siblings also needed college tuition, the message I heard loud and clear was, “Get a job!” I had discovered I enjoyed computer programming and this was (at the time) a highly employable and respected area. So I took my first post-college job at Raytheon as a systems programmer.

Many years and two seminary degrees later (but that’s another story), my wife, Mary, and I transformed our passion for homeschooling into a home business that has supported us all these years.

A few years ago I realized that my kids would not be living with us forever. This meant that my contribution on the home front would be less needed as time went by. Thinking outside the box, as homeschoolers so often do, I decided it might be fun to go back to college and get a graduate degree.

Since mothers have taken to warning their kids against going into my former profession of computer programming, because millions of jobs in that field have been outsourced to other countries or transferred to H–1B visa holders in this country, I enrolled in a math graduate program. After a year or so of this, I finally realized I didn’t need to limit myself to the few careers I had considered 30 years ago. When pondering what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life, a medical career rose to the top of the list. Now I am working on my math Ph.D., finishing my pre-med program on the side, and hoping to become the oldest medical student in the country in a couple years.

Two Can Live Way More Cheaply Than Eleven

It may be impossible to consider a career change, or a “retirement” of unpaid community or church service (another great option) while two, four, six, or more children are depending on your paycheck.

However, once they grow up and graduate, even the most responsible dad can consider options that don’t result in immediate financial gain.

So let me ask you . . . What do you really want to do with the rest of your life? Don’t assume anything is impossible because the training will take too long, or you’re too old. Start “pecking away” bit by bit at your future dream, and someday you may be living it.

Bill Pride is the father of nine totally homeschooled children. The last three are poised to graduate from homeschool this spring.


Was this article helpful to you?
Subscribe to Practical Homeschooling today, and you'll get this quality of information and encouragement five times per year, delivered to your door. To start, click on the link below that describes you:

USA Individual
USA Librarian (purchasing for a library)
Outside USA Individual
Outside USA Library

Time4Learning University of Nebraska High School

Articles by Bill Pride

Yes, I Am a Religious Homeschooler

Slackers Need Heroes

You've Got a Friend

Revenge of the Nerds

Getting Ready for (Gasp!) Algebra & Beyond

Teaching Algebra: The Search for X

Teaching Geometry: Measuring Up, Proving Yourself

Advanced Math: Trig, PreCalc, and more!

Calculus: The Bridge to College Math and Science

High School Science

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

Teaching Physics at Home

Calculate This!

Graph This

The Foundations of Science

Why You Need Lab Science

Middle School Science

How to Get into Medical School

The Great Probeware Scam

What College Math Majors Don't Know

Math Wars

Statistics Can Be Sweet

Getting Ready for Algebra

The National Bible Bee

It's a Wonderful Second Life

Our Children's Inheritance

Popular Articles

Can Homeschoolers Participate In Public School Programs?

Joyce Swann's Homeschool Tips

Narration Beats Tests

The Charlote Mason Approach to Poetry

Columbus and the Flat Earth...

Getting Organized Part 3

Classical Education

Don't Give Up on Your Late Bloomers

Top Tips for Teaching Toddlers

What Does My Preschooler Need to Know?

The History of Public Education

The Gift of a Mentor

Top Jobs for the College Graduate

University Model Schools

Teach Your Children to Work

Character Matters for Kids

The Benefits of Debate

Myth of the Teenager

AP Courses At Home

Combining Work and Homeschool

Patriarchy, Meet Matriarchy

Discover Your Child's Learning Style

Bears in the House

Interview with John Taylor Gatto

Critical Thinking and Logic

Phonics the Montessori Way

How to Win the Geography Bee

How to "Bee" a Spelling Success

Teaching Blends

Getting Started in Homeschooling: The First Ten Steps

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books

Give Yourself a "CLEP Scholarship"

I Was an Accelerated Child

A Reason for Reading

Whole-Language Boondoggle

Art Appreciation the Charlotte Mason Way

Montessori Math

Shakespeare Camp

Montessori Language Arts at Home, Part 1

Getting Organized Part 1 - Tips & Tricks

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

Who Needs the Prom?

Advanced Math: Trig, PreCalc, and more!

The Charlotte Mason Method

The Equal Sign - Symbol, Name, Meaning

Laptop Homeschool

Saxon Math: Facts vs. Rumors

Start a Nature Notebook

What We Can Learn from the Homeschooled 2002 National Geography Bee Winners

A Homeschooler Wins the Heisman