My Reluctant Homeschool Launch
I was a reluctant homeschooler. I said I would not be a homeschooler the night before I yanked our older son out of traditional school. We began our journey in 1997 when my older son was in first grade. My younger son graduated in 2015.
My sons were educational handfuls. Learning issues impacted everything from handwriting to the ability to remember math facts.
Each year I thought, “This will be the last year we do this.” I thought that on a daily basis when the going was hard! By the end of the year, I’d think, “Well, what’s one more year?” The wheels on our bus kept turning till both sons graduated me right out of my day job!
My Passion Today
When my older son graduated from high school, I realized I had only four years to figure out what the next chapter of my life would include. I enjoyed mentoring homeschooling families. Seeing confusion clear as new homeschoolers find clarity and direction gives me an endorphin high!
It is all so overwhelming when you start out. Who wouldn’t feel intimidated? So many issues whirl around in your head and heart:
- fear of failure
- curriculum confusion
- transitioning to educating at home
- figuring out routines
- understanding what the law requires of you
- wondering about <gasp> socialization
- what to do about a child with learning issues
- how to homeschool and keep the house and life moving along
- deciding what your homeschool day should look like, etc., etc., etc.
Even seasoned homeschoolers go through times of change and stress:
- shifting from one age and stage of schooling to the next
- children deciding they want to transition to public or private schooling
- prepping for college entry tests and college applications
- helping students learn to manage academic days independently
- understanding transcripts and credit requirements
- coping with children in crisis – yes, even homeschool kids can have them!
- helping students who are gifted in the arts and athletics pursue passions outside of traditional school environments, etc., etc., etc.
The more I helped families in my community and online, the more I wanted to create a web-based homeschool community when the time was right.
Why I Am Building This Community
Even tho’ my sons are adults with professional careers, homeschoolers reach out to me for advice and encouragement. I am a homeschooler who will always be an educator and homeschooling advocate.
I have a ba-jillion how-to questions and answers filed in my brain. Well, maybe not a bajillion but close to it! I created HSAM as a place to point inquiring minds who are interested in all things homeschooling.
My larger goal is to create a a virtual support group offering as much warmth, encouragement, and direction as my IRL support groups.
Wonder how our journey turned out?
My husband and I are getting used to an empty nest. Were it not for his support, the boys and I would not have enjoyed the freedom homeschooling gave us.
My older son is already 29. How did that happen? He is a UX designer working for a large insurance company’s HQ. Websites are easier for non-techie folks like you and me to use because of folks like him.
My younger son is 23 and an EMT. He passed the registry exam to become a sleep technologist and will begin Advanced EMT classes in the summer of 2020.
Why Did We Succeed?
I do not attribute their successes to my skill as a home educator. I attribute it to opportunities they each had to learn, stretch, grow, and pursue their own interests. They were able to succeed outside the pressure cooker of traditional schooling. They are lifelong learners who astound me with new interests they are pursuing and mastering. My older one has completed bumper to bumper repairs on his SUV. My younger one has a popular podcast. He and his guests discuss issues affecting the Orthodox Christian community. (He converted to Greek Orthodoxy when he was 19-years-old.) Both are great cooks and wonderful musicians.
Partner With Me?
Are you homeschool curious or a brand new homeschooler? Have you been at it a while and need encouragement or direction? Are middle or high school barreling toward you leaving you wobbly-kneed? I’m here for you!
Subscribe to my weekly newsletter and become part of HSAM’s private Facebook group.
Feel free to ask the questions keeping you awake at night. I’ll be there for you! Don’t miss an answer that will help you sleep better!
I’ll be looking for ya! I’ll even have answers for all those folks who want to know what you’ll do about socialization!
Carol Anne Swett
the HomeSchool Answer Mom