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Encouragement

Sustainable Homeschooling Includes Rest!

When I began homeschooling in 1985, I was naively oblivious of the time commitment I was taking on—twenty years! But I immediately discovered that being a homeschool mom tends to be a full-time career. Our kids are always there, always needing something to be fixed, explained, picked up or cooked. Now, don’t get me wrong—there are amazing benefits to this job that money can’t begin to buy. But there are a few things that can make a real difference in whether you are able to finish what you have started.

Celebrating the Teachable Moments

What is your favorite thing about a to-do list? Is it the calming pursuit of listing; all the necessary tasks to be accomplished; the knowledge that you will not forget something important; or maybe the sheer symmetry of the bullet points? My favorite part of making a to-do list is crossing off items. In fact, I like that so much that I sometimes add things to my list that I have already done, just so that I can cross them off.

Thoughts from a Mom New to Homeschooling

Now that the decision to homeschool had been made, I was ready to fully embrace this new adventure. I decided I would attend the state homeschool conference. This was definitely new territory for me. My teen daughter and I went and knew absolutely nobody. I felt many new things, but as a former educator, lack of confidence was not one of them, nor was loneliness, boredom or lack of fun. I enjoyed all of it!

The Power of Gifts

Imagine a beautifully-wrapped box lovingly set in front of you. Carefully pick up and examine this mysterious gift. Here are the clues: Your name is on the label; the person who has given it loves you deeply; whoever wrapped it did such a marvelous job that you are certain that the gift contained inside must be even more spectacular. Now, wait. Stop and consider the kind of anticipation this would create inside of you. Would it bring a warm rush of delight, an awe of being the recipient of not only a gift but of the love that motivated it in the first place? Are you with me?

What if the Art Teacher Taught Math?

My thirteen-year-old daughter Ellie was participating in a mock trial event, so we took a field trip, along with several moms and teenagers, to visit a courthouse and watch a real trial. As we waited for the trial to begin, the sheriff talked with the students. He was very enthusiastic about the justice system and was happy to answer any questions we asked. At one point, however, he turned to the moms and asked us if we had been teachers before we started homeschooling our children. (This did not feel like small talk anymore.

A Letter to Me—Circa 2009

I’ve been homeschooling since 2009 when my oldest daughter was in the second grade, my middle daughter was three years old, and I was pregnant with my third daughter. I wish I had known then what I know now. If I could go back to 2009, here’s what I’d tell myself.

Hey there, you. So you are thinking about homeschooling, huh? Well before you make such a huge decision, you need to know the truth about homeschooling.

Why Homeschool?

Why would anybody in their right mind homeschool their children? Why would a person with a good education not work at a job that pays? Why would an adult do without the nice things that money can buy: the fun vacation, the in style clothes, the better automobile? Why would a mom stay home all day (and night) preparing, teaching, grading, planning, studying, recording, etc., instead of visiting, calling and enjoying friends? Why would a person devote all of her life to teaching her own children instead of letting someone who is trained do it?

The Freedom of Simplicity

Each year I look forward to attending NCHE’s homeschool conference in Winston-Salem. From all over the state we steadily roll in, building like a rising tide. For three days, we homeschoolers descend upon the city by the thousands, pushing strollers, pulling totes, packing sessions and perusing vendor booths. If I'm not careful, I can find myself drifting aimlessly over the sea of curricula, drowning in the waves of possibility. Look at the shiny new science book I've always wanted to try!

Upon a Life I Have Not Lived

Upon a life I have not lived,
Upon a death I did not die,
Another’s life, Another’s death,
I stake my whole eternity.

God’s Plan for My Homeschooling Journey

We started this journey eighteen years ago. Through a series of circumstances, we found ourselves in a situation we never could have predicted. The system had failed us, and we had pulled our oldest son out of public school.

The ensuing years have been bumpy and blessed. Some of the bumps have been more like huge mountains, seemingly insurmountable. Some days have been too short and others too long. But the blessings have been more than anything I could have imagined.

I am officially ready to confess the following:

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