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
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
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
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
However, once they grow up and graduate, even the most responsible dad
can consider options that don’t result in immediate financial
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 Librarian (purchasing for a library)
Outside USA Individual
Outside USA Library