My homeschooling journey actually began when I was teaching middle school in Southern California. I had just earned my MA in Math Education and began teaching part-time as an Adjunct Professor at a local university. One of my middle schoolers decided they were going to leave our traditional, state-ranked school to homeschool. This was my first experience with the educational option of homeschooling and frankly, I thought his mom was crazy! How arrogant this mother was to think she could successfully do what I did every day. How dare she think she could do what I was trained to do? When that student left my science class and our school to homeschool, little did I know God was planting the seeds of homeschooling in my mind and in my heart.
Over twenty years later, I can proudly say I am now one of those homeschooling moms! When I was pregnant with my firstborn, I must have met over a dozen homeschooling moms. I met them in the grocery, at Bible study, at the gym. They were everywhere! Looking back, it was obvious the Lord placed each of those women in my path and for a reason. My curiosity was peaked. By the time my daughter was two years old, I began to actively research homeschooling while actively seeking out homeschooling families to “interview”. I read every homeschooling book I could get my hands on. I visited local parks and hid behind trees as I eased dropped on homeschoolers at park day. I even joined several homeschool online discussion forums so I could ask my many questions. Every step of the way, the Lord softened my heart and kept placing homeschooling families in my path. By the time my daughter was five, my husband and I had decided we would not send her off to Kindergarten but that we would homeschool.
By the time my youngest came along, we were in full swing of homeschooling and loving every minute of it. After many years of messy projects, field trips, park days, tons of read alouds, manipulatives, workbooks, outside classes and dance lessons, my daughter graduated high school early with honors, graduated with honors from her first-choice college with a major in psychology and a minor in music and began her graduate program in clinical psychology. She also travels to a different part of the world each summer in search of the next great adventure. My son played varsity baseball while homeschooling high school, is now playing collegiate baseball while earning a degree in Business on both academic and athletic scholarships, is the life of any party he attends, pursues his many athletic and musical passions in his free time, creates mouth-watering culinary delights in the kitchen, and teaches himself photography and how to play musical instruments through YouTube. After all of these years, I can honestly say homeschooling has been an adventure and a blessing for our family.
Mistakenly, many of my friends insist because I am a teacher, my kids have been successful while on this homeschooling journey. Just like the arrogant attitude I had as a young teacher, this statement could not be farther from the truth! I have learned many valuable lessons as a homeschooling mom (which is what our Mom Events are about) but three lessons stand out the most. First, anyone can homeschool if one is called to do so and if she relies on God for strength and guidance. Second, you must have a sense of humor to be a wife, a mom, and a homeschooling mom. And finally, no one can teach their child better than the student’s mom (or primary caregiver). No one will love the student like his mother. No one will have more invested in the student’s well being and success than his mother. No one will pray for and over the student more than his mother. No one understands the student’s strengths and weaknesses like his mother. These are things no college degree or teaching credential can teach a person. Some of my fondest memories are witnessing my daughter finally master that math concept that bewildered her for months or listening to my son finally and successfully sounds out his first words. Twenty years later my opinion has changed from “that mom was crazy to homeschool” to “any mom who has the desire to homeschool is crazy if she doesn’t!”
The most important credential on my resume is not my BA in Education, my Minor in Science, my MA in Education or my CA teaching credential. It isn’t that I am an author, a certified IEW writing instructor, or former adjunct professor. It isn’t that my husband and I co-founded and ran a successful homeschool support group or that we currently direct homeschool co-op classes for over 175 families on a weekly basis. In the grand scheme of life and homeschooling, none of those things really matter. My most important credential is that through the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of Jesus Christ, I am a homeschooling mom for almost 20 years. When I am asked what I do for a living, I humbly respond, “I homeschool my kids and help others do the same.”
I look forward to meeting you at one of our special homeschooling weekends. May God richly bless you and shine His face upon you, Carrie