Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: Homeschool support is all about changing lives

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Homeschool support is all about changing lives

Good Sunday morning, readers! Today, I would like to share some good news and some gratitude.

I've been one of the leaders of my local homeschool group since it was founded, nearly five years ago. And although I have interacted with scores of homeschoolers, and helped dozens of families begin their homeschooling journey in those years, the magnitude of what I've been helping to do as a volunteer didn't truly hit me until recently.

Recently, I realized that I have perhaps not been as thankful as I should have been for the work that God has done through our little group in northeastern Oklahoma, and for the good things He has allowed me to witness through His grace.

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You see, homeschool support really is all about changing lives. Becoming a homeschooling family isn't always an easy step. Just making the decision to take full responsibility for your child's education, then getting through the adjustment period of those first months is hard. But with the right support, homeschooling can completely transform your family in some pretty fantastic ways!

Amazing life changes


Some of the changes I have seen in the lives of the homeschoolers I know have been nothing short of amazing:

A little boy who often cried because he was bullied and had no friends at school now greets friends of all ages enthusiastically with hugs and high fives and looks forward to getting together to learn and play.

A mother who felt isolated and alone, homeschooling her child with medical issues, now feels connected and empowered as she and her daughter make new friends.

Kids who were lost in the the cracks in public school, falling behind academically or bored to the point of distraction in the classroom, are able to learn at their own pace and indulge their interests at home.

The role of a support


Homeschool groups, and especially leaders, are vitally important to the success of many homeschooling families. As someone who has been part of the support network for many families on the local level, and who has relied just as much on the care and support of others, I have seen what a difference caring, acceptance and encouragement can make.

I've also seen how damaging bad leadership within a homeschool community can be. In my own personal growth as a support leader, I know I have sometimes put my trust in the wrong places and made mistakes that I can't go back and change, but I have learned valuable lessons.

Our efforts, magnified


An unexpected situation forced me to really take stock of my own role as a leader in my local homeschooling community this summer. When I did, I realized that the role of a homeschool support leader is much akin to a ministry, reaching out to others to help effect a positive change in their lives. I also realized that with God's help, I could be a much better, more effective and more loving leader than I could ever hope to be on my own.

Leaning on God, and trying to follow His guidance rather than acquiescing to others, I started to see wonderful changes, not just in my homeschool group, but in my own family. My kids were happier than they'd ever been, our school schedule ran more smoothly than it had in months, and good people started to surround me and lift me up.

Our local group began to blossom like never before. We grew to nearly double our previous size in a matter of weeks and welcomed new families whose lives were a testimony to the good work God was accomplishing through our members. Other area groups began working cooperatively with ours and the number of expected attendees at our upcoming events climbed to unprecedented numbers.

Yes, our efforts at outreach and support seem to be magnified as we work to honor God rather than to satisfy others. So it is with gratitude that I acknowledge the strongest support any homeschooling family could hope to have, and with sincerity that I hope to keep putting His will first as I continue to work to support other homeschoolers locally and around the world.