Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Homeschooling R.O.C.K.S - Meet Angela

Homeschooling R.O.C.K.S!

Real Moms, who face different Obstacles and Challenges as they homeschool their kids, yet put their trust in their King, Jesus Christ, and Stand firm in what the Lord has called them too!

I'm so excited to introduce you to this homeschooling mom today because she has been at it a long time and I look up to and admire all "seasoned" homeschool moms!! 

Me: "Hey, Angela. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me interview you about your homeschooling experience"

Angela: You are very welcome, Andrea. :o)

Me: "So tell me a little about yourself and your kids"

Angela: I am a work-at-home, homeschooling mom of four kids. I’ve been married to my sweet husband, Dave, for nearly 20 years. Our children are 18 years, almost 17 years, 13.5 years, and almost 9 years old. My two oldest are graduating next year. We live in Minnesota.

Me: "Have you always known you wanted to homeschool or are you what they call an 'accidental' homeschooler?"

Angela: I never really thought about it before I had kids, but I did know that I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom, and I wanted to spend as much time with my children as possible. I didn’t have that time with my mom when I was growing up, and that was the most important issue for me. 

Me: "What made you decide to homeschool and how long have you been doing it for?

Angela: I started homeschooling when I realized that the public school system really was not the place for my son who deals with processing delays. We just finished up our 12th year together.

Me: "You are definitely a "seasoned" homeschool mom! Did you have confidence and passion about homeschooling your kids initially or is that something that has grown and developed over the years?"

Angela: Oh my, Andrea. I was scared stiff to begin with! I have to say that God has homeschooled me right along with my kids. I have grown, changed, and matured over the years. I have always been passionate about homeschooling because it meant I could spend time with my kids, but I was far from confident. More than anything, God has taught me to trust that HE has the plan for my children, and that I need to believe that He is their real teacher.

Me: What would you say has been the hardest aspects or obstacles to overcome in having your kids home with you?

Angela: Well, when they were all little, I really struggled with the noise and the mess. I know, it’s sounds really trivial, but compared to the way I grew up with no noise, no toys, and no mess, it was something I had to get used to. Now I’m fine (to a certain degree!) with a little clutter, and noise doesn’t bother me at all. I also dealt with feeling really overwhelmed with having to raise children when I really didn’t know how and had nothing to pull from in my childhood. I very much felt like an alien trying to live and raise kids on earth when it wasn’t my home. :o) I have come to the place where I depend on God for that. He has taught me how to be a parent. Overall, I would say that having my children home with me has been one of God’s biggest healing tools. Our relationship is one of my most prized possession.

Me: "What are some of your fondest memories or things that stand out the most to you as you look back over your years of homeschooling?"

Angela: Reading together. The everyday, mundane events that have wrapped my heart and soul in security. Sitting together and studying the Bible. Watching the light go on in their eyes when they “get” something. Praying for understanding when they didn’t. Putting away our books at the end of the year, which always leads to digging into the tubs of school memorabilia... which always leads to the “Oh my gosh! Remember this?! I remember making this!” Which, of course, leads to tears on my cheeks, and an ache in my heart, as I realize one more precious year has gone by. I see in my mind’s eye three little kids (and a baby) standing all lined up, holding their books by a belt hung over their shoulders... we were studying “Lentil” in FIAR, and that’s how he carried his books. Those delicious, rainy days that end up being the magical, dreams-come-true type of days. Those are the days when they used to make a “tent city” in our family room and enthrone me right in the middle with our read aloud book. There are too many to tell, and if I don’t stop, I’ll be a puddle. :o)

Me: "What have you learned the most about yourself during this homeschooling journey?"

Angela: That I can’t do anything worthwhile in my own strength, but I can do all things when I find out what He wants me to do, then use His strength to do it. I’ve also learned that I really LOVE kids, and not just my own! :o) I love to learn right along with them. I also have learned that I love the Word of God. 

Me: "Have there been days/times you felt like throwing in the towel with homeschooling? What encouragement would you give to any mom out there who is feeling discouraged or not excited in homeschooling her children?"

Angela: There have been days that I felt like throwing in the towel. In the last 6 years I have not had one of those days. I learned to pray each day for God to order my day. I pray that it is not my agenda that is the driving force in the home but His will being done in ALL of our lives. I learned to apologize when my mouth hurt someone. What I would say to a mom who is dealing with burnout or not feeling excited about schooling is quite simple. You need to find out what is going on in your own relationship with God. You cannot give something you don’t have. You have to go and ask for His love, His knowledge, and His strength. Then you will have something to give to those around you. Also, you need to schedule time for yourself. Even if it’s only 2 hours on a weekend. You need to take down time. If you don’t take time for yourself, no one else will. Another piece of advice that I have for all homeschooling moms... DO NOT make homeschooling your hobby. It is fun to look and dream about curriculum, but be careful not to get sucked into the “always looking but never satisfied” frame of mind.

Me: "Thank you so much for your time today, I really appreciate it so much"

Angela: You are very welcome, Andrea. :o) God bless!

Just in case you missed it, here are the first seven in the series:
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