Self-Sacrifice in Lifeschooling – Dr. Jill Butryn

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Self-Sacrifice in Lifeschooling - Dr. Jill ButrynHow much self-sacrifice would you be willing to practice? Would you give up a six-figure career in medicine to be “just a mom”? My friend Dr. Jill Butryn did just that. She went from a practicing MD to a present mom. Listen to one of our most popular episodes, this inspiring interview about how the Butryn family made it work and how lifeschooling and “staying out of the way” played a key part in “letting their boys be wiggly boys.”

Passionate about living and loving, Jill Butryn, MD, left a thriving medical practice to rededicate herself to faith, marriage, and family. When her verbally precocious eldest child made it very clear in no uncertain terms that being away from home all day to attend kindergarten was completely unacceptable, Jill and her reluctant husband began homeschooling and never looked back.

Bucking convention by not using a curriculum, Jill has home educated two wiggly and willful boys on a steady diet of Legos, literature, and labor, with a dash of mentoring. Committed to “staying out of the way” and allowing each child to develop at his own pace in his own way, the Butryns stress spiritual and relational development over academic achievement, where all that boy energy is channeled into meaningful activities and work projects instead of pointless busywork.

Jill believes parents ultimate responsibility is to turn out healthy adults who love and serve others, and this can only be achieved by modeling and facilitating personal growth through relationship and experience. It is an imperfect process carried out by imperfect people. Thankfully, there is grace.

Here is what I asked Jill during this episode’s interview:

  • So, you were a family doctor before you had children. Tell us what led to such self-sacrifice: the decision to leave your practice and start homeschooling?
  • What was the most difficult part about leaving your practice and did you ever doubt that decision?
  • To remind our listeners, the definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you?
  • What are some of the gifts that you saw early on in your children and how did you tailor their education around development of those gifts?
  • Tell us about a typical day in your homeschool?
  • Now that you’ve graduated and married off one child and can look back on the entire journey, what would you say you did right, and is there anything you wish you would have done differently? Was the self-sacrifice of giving up your career worth it?
  • I feel like many of us, as adults, are just now learning what our passions truly are and what we were meant to do. I think lifeschooling is such a wonderful way to allow our children to find out who they really are and what gifts God has put into them when they are young. You recently started an online business that provides life coaching in several aspects. I know that came about as a result of some self-discovery of your own, so tell us a little bit about what led you to start that.
  • You can find out more about Dr. Jill and her services by visiting her website,

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!


  1. This seems to be mislabeled. The podcast is with Schoolhouse Rocked founders, not Jill Butryn

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