Here on the blog, I love to share, not only our family’s life homeschooling, but “our life” collectively as homeschoolers. That is why I regularly post interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you! I hope you will be encouraged by reading this interview with Euree as she shares her story of changing directions from working as a General Dentist to being a homeschool mom. You may also enjoy following her family on their homeschooling YouTube Channel @TheChan7.
To see more interviews from other homeschool moms, see the Our Life Homeschooling Gallery of Homeschool Mom Interviews.
Welcome. I’m so thankful you’re here. I’m Euree Chan, a general dentist turned unexpected homeschool mom to 5 precious gifts from God. We’ve been homeschooling for 8 years now and can’t believe how much time has passed. And because of the desire to document these short years, within the past year, we had decided to start a YouTube channel mainly about homeschooling, read alouds, and our God-given hobbies and interests.
More About Euree and Allen
I grew up in Mississippi while my husband, Allen, grew up in Virginia. We met in a Bible study group in our dental school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Growing up in the mundane state of Mississippi, I’ve always wanted to explore the world and little did I know that my adventure would start thanks to marrying a military man. This Disney music loving gal got her adventure in the great white somewhere. It’s definitely been a whole new world!
Allen and I have been married for 14 years. This is Allen’s 20th year serving in the military—14 of those years as a dentist in the Air Force and 6 of those years as an electrician in the navy. Before children and homeschooling, I worked in various private dental practices wherever we were located—New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
After a couple of years in Texas, the Air Force sent us to Japan. At the time, we had an 18 month old and decided I would step down from dentistry to be present for our 1 year old. While in Japan, we had 2 more children. From there we moved to Germany and added on one more child while having the opportunity to explore Europe.
During Covid 2020, we returned to the great USA pregnant with our last child. So our youngest, Susanna, who is almost 3 years old, is fun and silly, and keeps us on our toes. Deborah is our next oldest. She is 5 years old and loves anything to do with focusing on a task whether it is coloring, sorting, copywork, and crafting. Next oldest is Joanna, who is almost 8 years old, and is dependable and working on discovering her voice as she learns more about what brings her joy. Next is Isaiah, who is 10 years old, and is our only son. He loves anything to do with strategy, math, and logic. Lastly Elizabeth, who is 12 years old, is our oldest. She’s definitely the leader of the clan—reliable, goal driven, crafty, and bossy (according to her siblings).
How did we stumble into homeschooling?
In the back of our minds, we have always felt the need and call for one of us to be present for the kids, which is totally unlike how we were raised. We both came from immigrant families who worked long hours including weekends. Most nights, I didn’t see a parent until after 8pm, sometimes 10pm. We didn’t want that for our own children and after meeting our babies, I already knew I couldn’t part with them.
When we had moved to Japan, my only option for practicing dentistry was to volunteer for the Red Cross and put our kids in childcare. That’s when I was sure God was reminding me this is the time to be a mom. So I committed my energy towards our kids.
When we found that we were moving to Germany, with multiple kids (at the time 3 kids), it wasn’t worth the time and energy for me to practice dentistry. So with the idea of me staying home with the kids, we stumbled into homeschooling. However I did grow up believing homeschoolers were weird and shy. In the early 1980s and 90s, homeschooling definitely was not the mainstream.
In Texas, we befriended an Air Force dentist whose mother homeschooled her along with her 3 brothers. What really resonated with me was that her mother worked while homeschooling. So when faced with the educational decision for our children while we were in Germany, God made it crystal clear for us that we would be homeschooling.
What was your biggest challenge then?
We had no idea where to start with the homeschooling journey. Neither of us grew up with it nor were we surrounded by homeschooling families. Actually my parents were completely against it. My father is an university educator and both of my parents believe that learning comes from attending school and being taught by others. Home educating was a foreign concept to them and actually pretty shunned. For years, they didn’t fully understand our choice and didn’t even think we were homeschooling. The kids have been asked “how is school?” Fortunately, we were always too far away for them to know what was actually going on. But after Covid and numerous news reports about school shootings, my parents started to see the fruit of homeschooling being a better option than public or private schools.
There also weren’t very many resources available for homeschoolers just yet. And I had a hard time adjusting to the idea of not working. Coming from a culture where independence and success are so highly valued, and when your own mother keeps urging you to send the kids to daycare and get back to work, made it hard to accept that my current calling was to be a homeschooling mother and a wife. I had so many countless thoughts of doubt and voices telling me to give up homeschooling especially during those rough school days. But in faith not knowing where we would go with the idea of homeschooling, I chose homeschooling over career.
What is your biggest challenge now?
My biggest challenge now is trying to juggle toddlers while homeschooling our older three. Looking back to when we first started homeschooling, I can’t believe that I had found homeschooling to be so challenging then when it should be so much harder now. I finally feel like we have figured out what works for the younger years. The early years can be so much fun even though at the time when we had first started out, even the early elementary years were stressful and aimless. I can’t say we have it nearly all figured out, but we have come to have peace with where we are. I have to remind myself that God has a plan and purpose for each child and we can only do what we can with the love we were given. He has it all planned out and that gives me peace.
What have you learned over the years?
I have learned to take it easy and enjoy the present. As humans, we are always living for the future and thinking of the if’s and when’s, but I have learned how important it is to remember that life is happening now and we need to slow down.
Coming from a public school background, I had to reprogram myself to understand that cramming tons of information or finishing a homeschool program isn’t going to make a difference in the end. What actually matters are the progress in learning how to learn and the relationships that we build.
We pray to produce humans who strive to be lifelong learners rather than memorize for a good grade or strive for a prestigious profession, which is pretty much what had happened for me growing up. I was trained to cram a bunch of information in order to take a test, and then to soon forget most of the information. Ultimately what is lasting and more important is whether we have grown closer to the heart of God and to each other.
At the end of each year, I try to ask our family whether our character has developed more like God’s, did our relationships with each other grow richer, and did we have fun learning?
Why do you homeschool?
There are so many reasons we chose to homeschool. Our main reason for homeschooling is relationship building. When I was growing up, my sister and I rarely saw our parents since they were so preoccupied with work. And because I was in school, I rarely had a chance to get to even know my sister especially since we had a bit of an age gap of almost 7 years. How sad that the school system unknowingly is breaking up the family unit.
We also love that homeschooling allows us to customize the education for each child rather than follow the school’s timeline. It’s hard to really say which grade our kids are in because some of their materials may be above or below their recommended age level; and we love that we can work with the gifts and strengths that God has given each child.
Some other reasons we chose to homeschool are to give our kids real life experiences, to have the chance to disciple them, to delay cultural influences and peer pressure, to allow for our kids to discover their gifts, become lifelong learners, to give us time and flexibility to do the things we enjoy, and finally to give consistency and normalcy to a military child who is always having to readjust. If you’re interested in hearing our reasons more in depth, please check out our YouTube video on Should I Homeschool. It was one of our very first videos, so sorry for the quality.
What was your favorite reasons for homeschooling as a military family?
Some of our favorite reasons for homeschooling as a military family were the opportunity to make all sorts of friends from many walks of life and the chance to explore more parts of the world. The kids may not fully appreciate it yet, but they have had countless field trips that textbook pictures can’t do much justice to. And although we are frequently far from family, the people we have met along the way have become our family, with whom we have done life with. Many times, we have had to trust our military families even those we had just met. For instance, situations when we arrive at a new assignment expecting a new baby, we’ve had to trust new friends with our kids while babies were being born. Military families have definitely been big support networks. We have loved the community aspects for sure.
Was it worth giving up your career to homeschool your kids?
100% yes, it was worth it. The time and memories you get from witnessing your children’s youth and getting to disciple them are priceless. Work will always be available but the short time we get to raise our children is fleeting. And since I am able and have a good support system, my husband, we are financially able for me to enjoy and invest in this precious time that will be gone before we know it.
Some Read Alouds We Would Read Again
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Has Euree’s story resonated with you? Leave a comment to let her know! And don’t forget to check out their YouTube Channel @TheChan7!
Hi, I’m Sheri! I am a Christian saved by grace, married to my high school sweetheart, and a thankful mom to ten incredible kids. I’m a former public school teacher who never thought I would someday be a homeschool mom! Drawing on 13+ years of homeschooling experience, follow along to find help for getting started, tried and true homeschooling advice, life skills learning, simple Morning Time ideas, and interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you!