Today I am happy to welcome Abigail Giuffre as a guest blogger. She has an interesting perspective to share on one mother’s journey to provide the best education she can for her children.
I am so blessed to be able to write a guest post here. It is so nice to share a bit about us and our journey as a family with like-minded moms. I am a mom of 3 boys. I am homeschooling two of them and the other is still one month old. I have been trying to write this blog post for a whole week but I’ve just been stuck which usually never happens to me, I always have something to say. It comes with Mediterranean blood I guess.
My family and I live in a tiny island in the Mediterranean called Malta. When I say tiny…I mean tiny…you can cross over from one side to the other by car in 45 minutes. It’s got it’s perks like always living close to the beach which is something we love. Nothing is ever far away here. Visiting family, meeting our homeschool friends, soccer practice…it’s very comfortable. However, my heart has a hard time with being here. You see, I believe God put it on our hearts to homeschool our kids. When our oldest son was a baby we felt this conviction and we were so blessed by this.
Unfortunately, homeschooling is illegal in my country as well as several other countries in Europe. In the countries where is legal, the homeschool community is still very small. I thought, God must have put this on our hearts so early for a reason. I started to send out emails to the Education Department . I set up meetings and went with so much hope knowing that God would intervene. I started a Facebook group in order to find more families with similar ideas. I thought I was the only one at the time but, I was not. Within a year this homeschool group grew from just me …to 500 people. Families who were struggling with the school system. Families who had somehow read about homeschooling or met families who did it and were inspired by the freedom it brings to children and families in general.
I met with the Minister of Education. I was on the newspaper and on national Tv advocating for this right that is being taken away from parents. I eventually did my best to build a core team and an association. This was not Abigail’s fight anymore, this was the fight of many families who are being failed by the education system in my country.
I never registered my kids in school believing in my heart that things would sort themselves out before our sons reached compulsory school age. They didn’t. We homeschooled for a year under the radar…but we were found. Social workers turned up on our door step questioning our intentions. We basically said we were leaving the country as we couldn’t live in a place were our rights as parents are being denied.
Thankfully, my kids have a dual nationality. We moved away temporarily, but registered our kids as residents abroad and we are now able to homeschool in “peace”. We do back and forth between the two counties and till now we are very blessed to have this solution.
However, my heart aches. My oldest son became very aware that we are living under the radar. He worries if his brother makes a lot of noise and he doesn’t want to play outside in the yard during the day. He is always concerned that the neighbors would call the police. We have learnt to limit our time outdoors, especially in our neighborhood in order not to raise suspicions. Let’s just say it’s not much fun. Also, because of the situation being like it is. It is very hard for the kids to connect with homeschool friends. There are very few other homeschool families and usually they are here for a year and then move to somewhere else.
We have been praying for God to move us to somewhere else but my husband has the job he always dreamt of here so we can’t uproot completely and just leave. Perhaps someday a door will open for us but till now it hasn’t.
I haven’t given up on seeing homeschooling legalized in this island and in the rest of Europe though. I believe that God spoke to me very clearly and I believe none of this will be in vein.
Today, I really want to encourage you to look at how truly blessed you are to have the freedom that others don’t have. I would also love it if you could join with me in praying for homeschooling to be legalized in Malta. If anyone can do it, God can, right?
BIO: Abigail Giuffre is a Christian homeschool Mompreneur living in Malta. She and her husband have been married for nine years and have three very lively boys. Abigail founded her own business as a Virtual Assistant and Social Media Manager in 2017 and she works hard at finding balance between all the aspects in her life while making sure to have some fun on the way. www.wofvirtualservices.com