Welcome!  
I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Titus 2 Homeschooling


Titus 2 Homeschooling-The Unlikely Homeschool

"Thank you so much for your kindness.  You have NO IDEA how much it helped!" came the hand-written gratitude from a momma-friend embarking on her first year of homeschooling.

My kindness?

At the risk of sounding ungrateful for her gratefulness, my instant response was "How could a few minutes sitting over coffee have helped her so much? All I did was chat and point her to a few resources."


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And then it hit me...

These scribblings of thankfulness were the SAME ones I had written only a few years ago, when I, too, sought the listening ear and life-giving words of a veteran homeschool mom. At the time, I'm sure she did not think much of it, but her sacrifice of time to hold my hand for a few steps along the journey still springs an overflow of gratitude in my heart.


thank you note


So, as we near THAT TIME OF YEAR...when so many moms are coming face to face with 
THE DECISION

You know the one...
the one that requires the Decider to go against the grain, to ensure a few raised eyebrows from family and friends, to sentence her household to being the "weird" ones in the neighborhood...

Dare I say it...the decision to HOMESCHOOL! {gulp!}

As we near that time when state and local officials are demanding an ANSWER about little Johnny's school status for the coming year, we, veteran homeschooling moms...or moms who are a few steps ahead on the journey...need to come along side those soon-to-be first year mommas and show them the way.

Let's circle the wagons of protection around these Newbies and give them some tools to equip them for their task. Because in truth, didn't someone...somewhere...do that for us?  

Titus 2:1-3 compels the "older women" to be "teachers of good things".

Now, at nearly 34-years-old, I don't really consider myself "older." I've still got much growing up to do! But, in the realm of homeschooling, "older" often just means "been-there, done that!"

I remember a few years ago, after surviving my first official year of homeschooling, a sweet friend asked if she could come over some time and get some homeschooling advice. Advice...from me?! Need I repeat...I had only just wrapped up my FIRST YEAR of homeschooling...and that only happened through MUCH prayer and gallons of coffee!

"Ummm...sure?!" came my reply.

A few days before the scheduled date, another friend got word of the meeting and asked to join us...and then another...and another...and before I knew it, I was sitting in my teeny-tiny living room with 13 eager faces all desperate to share thoughts and ideas of what this thing called HOMESCHOOLING is suppose to look like. They wanted to learn about all those "good things." (Quick Aside: Most of that original motley crew still meets every-other-month and have been joined by a handful of others as we all seek to uphold each other with encouragement.)

Right about now, some of you might be thinking, But, I don't have the time or space to host a CROWD of women.  

Never fear! That was a ONE TIME event that just happened to explode into something bigger than I had planned. But, Titus 2 Homeschooling doesn't HAVE to look that way. It is really just one mom reaching back to another mom who's walking just a step or two behind.

What that looks like will be different for everyone. It can be as simple as a phone call to remind her to send in her "letter of intent to homeschool" to the school district, an email to give her the addresses of some great curriculum websites, or an evening over for coffee to let her peruse your bookshelves and borrow your dog-eared copy of The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling.

Lately, my in-box has been flooded with nervous mommas who are desperate to DO IT RIGHT but aren't sure where to begin. Anyone have any encouraging words to share with these sweet soon-to-be homeschoolers?

Veterans, now's your chance. I've already shared my best advice to the newbie homeschooler. I invite you to leave a comment here with YOUR sage words of wisdom.

Please share your best piece of homeschooling advice!  Inquiring minds want to know.

13 comments:

  1. Hello Jamie! I have 4 children, 3 daughters, 20, 19, 19, and a son, 17; the girls have all graduated from our homeschool and our son is graduating in May. This is such a bittersweet moment for me, but I will say homeschooling has been the best thing we have EVER done! I would not take anything for having my children at home. We were on our way to church last night and passed my old elementary school and I made the comment, "I wonder if you missed out on anything by not 'going' to school?" It was kind of a sarcastic remark, but they all yelled, "NO!" Then, we went on to mention well, yes, they did miss out on ALL the bad things they would have come into contact with. The blessings our God has bestowed on us through homeschooling has been amazing! My young adults are some of the most respectful, helpful, loving, kind, well-rounded, wise, discerning, wonderful young people you could ever meet, and I promise I am not just saying this, we here it constantly. I am trying to stay humble...but they literally are called on for everything, not to mention their musical skills. They have had the opportunities to learn many, many skills they would never have had the time for otherwise. They have wired houses, been mechanics for our farm machinery, went with my dad, the "head" farmer to help neighbors repair their machinery, had landscaping jobs, which they still do, worked in the church office, been oh, so successful in learning to be keepers of the home, we make everything from scratch, even making our own bread from wheat, and then their gardening and herbal knowledge. They have been able to help others in our church whenever called on, not to mention spending soooo much time with their grandparents. They love the same things my parents love, when you have that generation gap with the school system because of age segregation, you don't get that; there is always some division. Ok, I will stop, but know if you are considering homeschooling, or home education, you will NOT regret it! It is the single best thing for training your children to love the Lord their God, and their families. If you are IN home schooling, be encouraged and continue on! It is hard, and it isn't all fun, and you will get tired, but the benefits are well worth it! So, in closing, know you are doing the best that God has called you, to do and to be, and lean on His strength to carry you. This, from a "little older" mom, 42. :)
    If you want to see how my children have made it, go to our blogs, mine at farmfaithfamily.blogspot.com or the girls at threemaidens.blogspot.com and sarah-plainandaverage.blogspot.com

    In His Grace,
    Jody

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    Replies
    1. What a wonderful testament of how God has used this calling in not just your life, but your children's. Thank you so much for showing us all a glimpse of the finish line!

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    2. Thank you so much for taking a moment to write about your families experience with homeschooling. My little guy turns four this month and we are just embarking on this journey. It's nice to see what beautiful fruit we can hope to see if we endure and love God and our family in this way.

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  2. Be patient and flexible. And be willing to throw out your plans.

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  3. Set up a schedule (just a rough plan for your day, not planned by the minute) that works for your and your family, not what "the school" does. For example, we do most of our school in the afternoon, not the morning, because we are not morning people. I have also learned that without at least a rough plan, we won't do anything though.

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  4. Your story sounds all so familiar ;)
    I still remember being new to the idea myself. Lol! The way my attention immediately was focused to any person who even uttered the word "Homeschool". I was always so eager and thankful to get a veteran homeschool mom to discuss the topic with me. Today, now that I am the veteran Homeschool mom, 8 years under my belt and counting, I now see those "Excited" newbie momma's eager to learn what they can from me now.
    So, what advice do I give? Breath, Relax, and don't copy me! Why do I say this? Well, first off we veteran momma's all know, that the first year or so is about trial and error. Unless your lucky, you will not get it right just out of the gate. Figuring out what learning style, method, curriculum, etc. that works not only for you, but your children, can take time. That is why I say, "don't try and copy me". The truth is, what I use and what I do, may or may not work 100% for you. I mean, Yes, please try it out for size, but don't force my ways if they are not working. For instance, we use a secular online program called Time4Learning, we love it, but you may or may not. We also are Big on Unit Studies. My kids really enjoy being able to pick out the topics we learn. This may be perfect for your family, but it may be too time consuming for you.
    So, these are my words of wisdom and don't for get to Enjoy your Homeschooling Journey!

    ~Keri
    Homeschooling Mom to my 2 little Learners <3

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    Replies
    1. "Don't try and copy me." Perfect advice...for newbies AND veterans!

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  6. One piece of homeschooling advice I can give is that you need to think outside the box. Homeschooling is not the same as school-at-home! Curricula and resources that are intended to educate the masses may work in your homeschool, but that is not what they were designed for. It is important to use resources that will allow your child the individualized education that homeschooling is able to provide. We love using educational games, like the games we found at www.LearningGamesforKids.com, and other resources that are target to individual students like Vocabulary and Spelling City. The other piece of advice I would offer is that a support system is so very important. These are the other homeschooling parents you will meet on your journey, and they will be the ones who have the few minutes to share with you, or hold your hand, or pat you on the back, or give you a shoulder to cry on. Thank you so much for sharing this post, it made me smile and remember when we started our homeschooling adventure over 6 years ago.

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    1. I think the "school at home" thought is a great piece of advice for all homeschoolers but especially to those who are transitioning from traditional schools. School doesn't have to look like a classroom of desks where everyone raises their hands.

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  7. The thing I have learned as a military wife and a homeschool mom is to SEEK out SUPPORT. We chose to homeschool 6 years ago, for many reasons. I found friends who had done it and sought support through them. I went to homes and looked through their books. I asked a lot of questions. One mom, started a Mom's night to give support to the local homeschooling mommas. This was a child free night to have good food, and laugh, cry, and support each other.

    When we found out we would be moving, yet again, with the military. I began to research the area I was headed to. Finding groups and activities. I was determined not to let me or the kids fall through any cracks as we made this transition to a new state and new people. Within days of moving into our new house, we were at a pot luck for the local homeschool group, meeting great people. I also decided that I NEEDED the monthly Mom's Night like we had in our previous community. I was going to start one if there wasn't already one going. So, within a couple of months, we were having our first Mom's Night, in my tiny little dinning room. A hand full of ladies and an unsure heart if these ladies would see my vision and my need for this. Now, two years later, we have not missed a month for Mom's Night...not through the holidays or the summers! I have gotten those "Thank Yous" and not known how to take it. I started these selfishly....I needed them!! But, I have since seen how this was a blessing to many in this area and that has been my blessing to see it grow and help others. I thank God that I stepped out of my comfort zone to first, Homeschool and then to start things here as a support to others, who in turn, support me.

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