Homeschooling is a big undertaking especially when paired with managing a home. I am only 5 years into this journey, but I would tell myself to make time for fun and enjoy the successes and failures. Being able to laugh at the failed attempts and things that didn't work out keeps our homeschool real. I also remember walking into other active homeschools and thinking, "Gosh it seems like the school stuff takes over the house!" YES, yes it does...and that's OK!
Dayna (3 kids, 5th year of homeschooling)
I’ve attended the Conference the last three years and am looking forward to this year’s with much anticipation!
My favorite memory was my first year attending and getting to hear Sarah MacKenzie from Read Aloud Revival. She spoke to the goals on my heart for my children in our homeschool. It was so empowering to have my feelings acknowledged and put into words. That Conference experience has shaped our homeschool in the following years.
-Brigid (4 children - and one on the way, 5 years homeschooling)
If I could send a letter back to my younger self in 2014 when I started to homeschool, here’s what I’d write:
First off, you’re going to be saying that a lot, “Dear me!” as you journey to your place in homeschooling over the next dozen years and that’s okay (all of us have and still do!)
Please take a deep breath and do these few things first before reading through Rainbow Resource’s Catalog or studying Mother of Divine Grace’s course objectives (good things in their time!) (All advice we’ve received and practiced from seasoned homeschooling families):
Find joy, place God first and you will reap abundant rewards no matter where this journey takes you!
Sincerely, a Still Very Young and Learning Mother
Metro United offers 7th-12th graders an opportunity to compete with other homeschooled players during the fall high school season.
Metro United is founded on and guided by Christian principles as we seek to provide an excellent, competitive high school homeschool soccer program at a reasonable price that helps boys and girls become men and women of integrity and character who will lead, work hard, and practice good sportsmanship.
I remember the first year I went, I was encouraged by a few older mothers to bring a suitcase and plan to spend the whole evening at the Used Book sale. In my naivety, I thought I couldn’t possibly need that big of a book carrier and that many hours. I was wrong! I spent the whole evening chatting with friends I hadn’t seen recently, meeting new homeschooling mothers, and perusing (and buying!) many excellent books at great prices! My arms ached and they had the red marks from carrying too many heavy bags for so long.
The Conference is a huge boost to our homeschooling year, mainly from the encouraging fellowship of the attendees and the speakers. My husband and I look forward to attending each year!
Visit their site and visit their Conference vendor booth to learn more about how your kids can participate.
For me, each time I join my fellow homeschooling parents for the opening talk I am in awe at the large group! It gives me strength and encouragement just seeing so many smiling faces all excited about this call to educate our children. It's just the boost I need to start planning for the next year of the journey.
The Patriotic Heritage Honor Guard is an instructional organization that trains young ladies, known as Patriotic Heritage Allegiant Honor Guard with the skills to be an Honor Guard.
The Patriotic Heritage Allegiant Honor Guard has been training young ladies since 2014, and has had the honor of performing in a variety of ceremonies, ranging from the Minnesota Peace Officers Memorial to the 9-11 Tribute Memorial Concert.
We would be honored to participate in your upcoming event or invite your young lady to join our group.
Learn more here and visit their booth at the Conference for more information.
Ten years ago, while visiting 2 of my college children who were both studying in Italy, a heart-changing conversation took place: “Mom when I introduce you to my friends, and they ask what you do, you talk about giving workshops. Why don’t you tell them what you really do?” my daughter wondered.
What I really do! It’s true I give workshops but only a couple times a year. What I do is homeschool, try to manage a household, sort, clean, pick-up… constantly pick-up, carpool, and try to figure out what’s for supper.
“Would they want to hear what I really do?” I asked. But as we continued to talk I realized a deeper problem had set in, a weariness, a lack of fervor in being a mother, a pulling away from my responsibilities at home. Many women I know are at a new stage in life, empty nesters and they seem to be on interesting ventures, and here I am after 18 years of home educating about to start teaching little Emma kindergarten.
While the school year had been a full and beautiful one, it was almost over, and I was tired. Raising children is demanding with sacrifice and cost. But still, the problem went deeper; could it be I was shying away from my vocation? Could it be the grass looked not only greener on the other side, but immaculately mowed and weed free? As my husband and two oldest children shared this conversation in the restaurant, I began to cry.
“Guys, I’ve been homeschooling a long time, maybe I want to do something else, maybe Emma and Margaret will just go to school.” Recognizing my state, Pete, Jim and Beth spoke words of affirmation that brought my tears down full force, “Mom do you know how much we love you? Do you know how grateful we are for what you gave us? Do you know how proud we are of you and the work you do? Mom, don’t give up! What you do is so important, it is so important for Emma and Margaret, John, Phil and Nick. Mom, keep going! You are doing the most important work. Mom tell me any work you could do that would be more important?”
Wow, I was not expecting our Italian restaurant experience to take the kind of turn it was taking and I was also not anticipating that we would make the kind of scene we were making!
Their words of affirmation were like a sword that pierced my heart allowing weariness to exit and truth and healing to enter in. I was stirred to persevere, to press on, and to continue home educating with new vigor.
Looking back, I think of the day when I was leaving Mass with six of the kids in tow. The time at Mass had been a struggle. Some of my boys were teasing their sister. Margaret fell off the pew and wailed. I was discouraged and embarrassed by the kid's behavior. As I headed to the car, Evie Bedard, a woman in her 80’s must have sensed my discouragement. She stopped me with a prophetic word.
“Marcie, you will look back at these days as some of the happiest in your life.”
At home I pondered her words, they helped me relax and enjoy my children in a new way.I put up yellow post-it notes to remind myself to laugh each day with each child. It was for my own sake. These were happy days and I wanted to enjoy them.
The years go fast; children don’t stay little long. Embrace each day that is given, and one day, sooner than you realize, you will look back with fondness on those happy days when you had the privilege to homeschool.
- Marcie Stokman
You are home so much during the school day, doesn't it make sense to make your home into a place of beauty and inspiration? Make that goal a priority by stopping at Pacem Studio's booth at this year's Conference.
The mission of Pacem Studio is to provide affordable Christian art to a broad audience and, through these images, inspire people to recognize the real presence of God in their lives.