To the Defeated Homeschool Mama.

For the 14 years that I have been encouraging and strengthening homeschoolers in Maine, one topic always seems to come up many times in a year.

Thoughtswhere you assess yourself at the end of the year, and you feel pretty small and as though you just can’t quite do and be enough. Where your shortcomings in regards to schooling your kids at home are leaving you feeling defeated.” (actual quote homeschooling mom)

Defeated

My reply is “From what I can see you are doing an awesome job. I have done the same thing and now that my children are all moving on into the adult world, they have strength and confidence that I never had! Do they make all the perfect choices? NO, unfortunately, but they are level headed, use common sense, have great jobs and are complimented often about their work ethics and I now know that I have done a pretty good job, Jim and I both, even with all our short comings. God is good all the time, even when we beat our self up, he is lifting us up. Please know that your children are going to get much more out of being home educated than you may see in your lifetime. It is a hard and demanding, draining, emotional, rewarding, and tiring job but it is such a blessing to be able to be with your children everyday all day and to walk with them through the tough times, teaching them how to react to situations, not only by talking to them about things but by how we handle things. I commend you for the great job you are doing.”

As the conversation went on the Mom comes to the reality that – “I think a lot of home schooling parents let their guard down and quit because it’s the easier option than struggling with the guilt of their own imperfections, or even worse, from listening to the societal lie that we just aren’t doing right by our children.” “…especially as our children get older and are on the cusp of their schooling years coming to an end. It’s terrible. Sometimes I lay awake with insomnia at night wondering if I’m doing right by them!”

Why are we so hard on our selves?

Our middle child is at boot camp right now, we couldn’t be more proud of him. He had a rough two 11692786_851590198229371_8536860830521206588_nyears and has come back to what he knows is right. We just got a letter from him, (he was never a writer so we are always excited to get one) he thanked Jim for teaching him to never give up. That is what it is about. Too many just give up because it is too hard or we have to go with out or …. you can always come up with a reason to not do something. 

So when the day is done and the homeschooling is completed you will have done the best for your children. We may not do it perfectly but no one is perfect. They will have fond memories of their mom or dad being there for them everyday of their childhood. It may take them a while to appreciate the sacrifice that you have given for them, but, it will come.

As I am preparing Guilford Christian Academy for another year of helping families to home educate I reflect on all the lives we have been part of. The fond memories I have of graduations, field trips, events, and just great conversations are all coming back to me. I love each and everyone of these families and I am so thankful for the Lord leading me to do this job he has for me.

Are you interested in homeschooling and would like to know the way to get started, the options you have, the resources that are available? Give me a call, stop into the office or send me an email. I would love to talk with you. If you are too far away we can always Skype as well, for a face to face discussion.

Happy Homeschooling!

Visit my blog on the Bangor Daily News at The Homeschool Hub.

*Photo credit Rachael Darrah and Kimberly Whitton

Guilford Christian Academy 2015-2016

Jim and I have carried Guilford Christian Academy every year since we have started in 2002.

We have been honored to help many families over the years. The time has come when our children have now completed their schooling and we needed to make a decision on the direction of the school.

There are over 350 students that we serve this year (2015) and it would be with great uneasiness to just send them off in all directions for the assistance that we have given for over a decade.

The experiences we have had assisting hundreds of families help encourage and strengthen those that desire to educate their students at home.

Guilford Christian Academy would like to remain operating and in order to do that we need to start looking at a sustainable plan. We desire to continue doing what we have done for most of our children’s growing up. In order to keep Guilford Christian Academy operating we need to make some changes to its structure. We need to charge a fair price for the services we offer whichGuilford include reporting all students to the local superintendent in the districts that they reside, supervise all work, request previous records from public and private institutions and maintain those records while updating with current records. Being available for advice and help on a daily basis, monitoring and testifying at public hearings for legislation that will/could affect your ability to home educate and to offer field trips, classes and workshops that will enrich your child’s education are a very important part of what we do. Reclaiming credits when needed and providing transcripts and diplomas for all students, offering some discounted offers as a school and look for more every year are some options that are available as well. In order to do this effectively we need to lease an office space and pay for utilities that we have not had in the past. We have gained a lot of credibility with colleges and military accepting our diplomas and transcripts. Our prayer is that you would continue along this journey with us and allow us to continue serving your needs as a home educating family.

We would like to thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives and we look forward to many more years of assisting those families that want to education their children and enjoy that freedom.

Please remember to talk to your older children about the fact that they are private schoolers and not homeschoolers when they talk to colleges and military. It will eliminate confusion and maintain our credibility.

Sincerely,

Jim and Trisha White

Guilford Christian Academy

Do You Have Cabin Fever?

So, it is almost the end of January, do you have cabin fever? Are you ready for spring? One of the fun things we did with our students this time of year was to take some tempura paints and paint spring on our windows? We painted flowers and butterflies etc on the windows and when spring finally got here we washed it off. Those were the days! WeHomeschooling did so many interesting things like that to keep us sane in the winter. We would sometimes take a break and just go snow shoeing, although I did not do as well as the kids at it and they sometimes had to help me get up it was fun and the fresh air was really good for us.

Some other things you can do to help with spring fever is to visit Housing a Forest. They have lots of really cool and fun things to do from Observing Ladybugs ( they seem to last all winter here in Maine ) that gives you information and crafts to do in regards to the little red and polka dotted beetle. There is much more on the site as well but I don’t want to give it all away. I will say that she has art and experiments on there that will make any day fun.

Staying active is most helpful during the winter months so get out there and build a snowman, “do you want to build a snowman”, oh sorry, just couldn’t refrain. Other winter activities that do not break the bank is snow shoeing, snow ball fights and snow forts. Go sledding, in our area we have a lot of great sledding hills, ice skating is also offered at many parks.

Visit local (and not so local here in the big state of Maine) museums and aquariums etc. There are some places that offer free days or discounted days for homeschoolers, give them a call and ask and set up a day for other homeschoolers to go with you to get a discounted rate.

Over at Ihomeschool Network there is a list of articles all on “Surviving the Winter Blahs”. I have only read a few of them, feel free to comment on some that you have peeked at.

Have a game day! There are lots of great games out there that make learning fun and break up the monotony of the winter days. Most of all have fun and enjoy this time with your children. Remember that learning is not all from a book, there are many things that can be “learned” by doing and having fun doing it.

Please comment with your cabin fever preventives. There are many that will benefit from your ideas. :)

Happy Homeschooling.

Guilford Christian Academy is a private school that allows the students to be taught in their own homes by the parents.