A school assignment changed a life.

The teacher’s. Orson Scott Card, a favorite author in our family, assigned a paper in a Contemporary American Novel class for the students to write about their interaction with American culture.

As I read these fascinating papers, however, I began to synthesize something from the things they had written about. Student after student inadvertently told stories about decisions their parents had made.

A surprising number of them had been home schooled, and the experiences they described suggested parents who wanted to raise open-minded children who were not afraid of learning anything.

And an even more surprising number of them told of choices their parents had made which, as children, my students had simply taken for granted.

Of course their father had taken a relatively low-paying job and sacrificed any thought of a prominent career, in order that his kids could grow up in a small town.

Of course the parents had moved, not to a richer neighborhood, but to a more family-friendly one. Or from one town to another to get them away from negative influences.

Above all, many of these parents had chosen to accept a lower standard of living so that their children could grow up with at least one parent always in the home, and both parents easily accessible to their children all the time.

They had seen what they believed was good for their children, and they had done it, seemingly without regard for society’s expectations.

He decided to give up teaching college three days a week because he was not home for his teenage daughter during those days.

It’s at the end of this page.

May I just say that it is sometimes hard to choose to stay home. I’ve been wrestling with the weight of debt relief versus at-home parenting. I will say that God took the decision out of my hands. Someone else got the jobs I was applying for.

Article on Card found at Happy Catholic.

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