A Parent’s Guide to Homeschooling by Tamra B Orr

Did you know that one third of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of the Federation, and the Constitution of the United States had no more than a few months of schooling under their belts? Isn’t that truly an awesome fact when you really sit down and think about that? Do you recognize any of these other homeschoolers? Perhaps you know these names.- Beatrix Potter, Alexander Graham Bell, Orville and Wilber Wright, Mozart, Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Hans Christian Anderson, C.S. Lewis, or how about Leann Rimes herself, and the list goes on. As Mark Twain once said, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Isn’t that an awesome statement?! Does YOUR schooling interfere with the things you really want and need to learn to get along in life?

This book covers a multitude of questions, answers, and numerous statistics. Subjects such as: How Did Homechooling Begin and Where is it going? Is Homeschooling the Right Choice for Your Family? One of the sections that I have enjoyed about this book is the section called “In the Trenches.” Throughout the book are small sections where homeschooling families tell us of their own personal homeschool stories, and each family offers advice and encouragement to others along the same path that they have been on. Those selections alone are worth reading.

Homeschooling can truly be as awesome and profound of an education as you choose to make it! Ask yourself this one question…Do you want to ‘always’ be learning something new? Or do you just want to be able to learn enough to ‘get you by?’ YOU have to choose? It’s entirely up to you!

Homeschooling With a Meek and Quiet Spirit

It’s hard to believe that another summer has passed us by, and that before long, the fall colors will begin to show us that the next season is upon us again. This be said, wouldn’t it be nice to start the new school year off with a ‘meek and quiet spirit’?

This book is written by Teri Maxwell, a homeschooling mother of eight children. She has been schooling her children since 1985. In her book, she asks, “Will your journey toward a meek and quiet spirit be completed upon finding the perfect spelling curriculum or deciding which chores your child should be doing? Or does the answer lie on a different path?”

So what causes you to not demonstrate a meek and quiet spirit? We all have times when we wish we had handled something better, in a kinder way, more calmly, more sympathetically. But what caused you to not be? Can you pinpoint exactly what it was? Possibly fear? Worry? Disorganization? Depression? “Perhaps these meek and quiet spirit robbers should be our wake-up call to the fact that homeschooling and homemaking require hard work. They are demanding and time consuming. We are called to put forth effort and to push ourselves day after day after day. There are no “free rides.” If we kick back for a day, or two, or three and ignore it all, it will still be waiting for us and more!” So what can we do about this? What can we do to bring the peace in to our home that we all desire?

Firstly, what exactly does Webster’s Dictionary define “meek” as: “mild of temper, soft, gentle, not easily provoked or irritated.” “Quiet” according to Webster, means “peaceable, not turbulent, not giving offense, mild, meek, and contented.” “So, when everything is falling in around us, we would like to be peaceable through it, just as Jesus was in the midst of the storm. When our children aren’t making the academics or character progress we are hoped for, we want to be content, waiting for them to catch on. We would like to “live out” for our children the reality of resting in the Lord.”

In Teri’s book, she offers you thoughts, suggestion, scriptures and even application projects to help you to learn how to gain a ‘meek and quiet spirit.’ It is a book well worth reading, and a great opportunity to start the new school year with. I pray that you will enjoy it and find opportunity to apply her words of wisdom as I have found.

I pray that you have a terrific school year!!



So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling

For those of us who are in our 30s or older, I’m sure you’ll remember the popular 1980s T.V. sitcom called “The Facts of Life”? Do the names Blair Warner, Jo, Tudy, Natalie and Mrs. Garrett ring a bell? Lisa Whelchel, also known to us as Blair back when we were younger, is the author of this book. She and her husband Steve, a pastor, now live in Los Angeles, CA, and are the homeschooling parents of three children named Tucker, Haven and Clancy. What Lisa does in her book is to introduce you to fifteen families in fifteen unique situations who have all chosen to homeschool for different reasons, using a variety of learning methods.

So just what does and “average” or “typical” homeschooling family look like you might ask? That is a very difficult question to answer. You may find some similar features, but like a fingerprint, no two are ever the same. There are many different philosophies, curriculum options, and teaching styles as there are reasons for homeschooling. A family may be passionate about the principle approach, the Charlotte Mason method, on-line academics, unschooling, traditional texts, classical education, eclectic homeschooling, video schooling, curriculum on a budget, the Sonlight or Robertson curriculum, and many, many more. As Lisa says, “The bottom line is, you have to find what works for your family. In order to do that, you need to find out what’s out there.”

In this book you will have the opportunity to meet a family who homeschools while traveling, a homeschooling father, a family who has a child who struggles with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), being a military family who deals often with PCS (Permanent Change of Station orders), a single homeschooling mom of two, homeschooling in a big city, an unschooling family, and even a quiver full family with 10 children, just to name to a few.

In his forward, Michael Farris, President of Patrick Henry College, and Founder and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, says this, “Lisa tells you the truth about homeschooling. She has listened to the joys and tribulations of more than a thousand home schooling families, and by taking you in to the lives of several composite families, she paints an accurate picture of the struggles you can expect and the sacrifices which may be required. But most importantly, Lisa is telling you the truth when she says that whatever the struggle, the rewards make it all worthwhile.”