A Letter from Monique Sullivan

It is with great pride and conviction that Jesse and I assure our homeschool community of their protective rights to homeschool their children. Whatever conviction or vocation that has called you on this journey, we will fight for you. We hope to represent all families of Illinois in our campaign and who better to represent the importance of homeschool than a family who does so themselves.

I am a teacher. So some people find it hard to understand how I could advocate for homeschool when I myself miss teaching in public schools. I miss a lot about my classroom and my students. I miss reading All Quiet on the Western Front with my 10th graders and watching even the toughest boys choke back tears at the end. I miss the students’ struggle and reconciliation of Eliezer’s faith journey during Night. I miss their brains working to sew together some of the most beautiful verses in poetry about their experiences.

And yet, as much as I miss these experiences with my students, I didn’t want to miss those same experiences with my kids. I didn’t want to miss seeing them read their first words, and which books would draw them in. I loved watching as they rapidly grasped math and as they dug deeper into science. I loved how we could sit in the pages of The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe and connect it back to God’s love; how our science books connected us back to God’s power; and how we could leave our house and revel in God’s limitless abilities in nature.

I am so grateful that I am able to see God reveal himself in my children in real time. Where their vocations take them might end up being less of a surprise when I have seen how the ‘fast moving Charley’ slows down over the words of a good book, how Scout just felt like the names of letters were pointless and just wanted to learn their sounds or when I watched Lincoln try and solve why God made thorns on roses. I feel that these little insights speak to a bigger picture of who they are- it lets me peek into the bigger person God is creating. To see His hands at work in them, through me, is a priceless gift.

There will be a season when my children are grown and out of our house. I know that there will be parts from the past that I might wish to change, but it is so reassuring that there is not one part of this experience, as mother and teacher, that I will want to alter. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” 3 John 1:4. When I read these words I know that it is not only the sentiment I have for my children, but the same sentiment that God shares when He looks at me as a mother. I know that this is the vocation He has asked of me and it brings me great joy to walk in it with this community of other homeschool families.

Monique Sullivan is the wife of gubernatorial candidate Jesse Sullivan. They have 5 children ages 2 months to 8-years-old and two older foster daughters. Monique has her masters in education and was a high school English teacher and adjunct English Professor. God planted a seed a few months before COVID that she should homeschool her children and she shares here why homeschool has become so important to her family.