We’re going to take a step our of the imminent struggle our country is in at the moment and focus on homeschooling for today’s podcast and the next. I’ve brought two friends to visit with me today, and we’ve got practical tips and resources for the moms who don’t think they can do this, but feel like it’s the best option at the moment. We’re trying to point you the right direction and help you get a good start to next year. If you’re brand new to homeschooling or a veteran mom in need of a reminder of the basics, you’ll be encouraged!
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- Esther 3:1-6, 10-11
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Hi, I’m Shannon Harrison, my husband, Roger and I have 5 children We live in a small town in northeast Wisconsin along the shore of Lake Michigan. We moved to Wisconsin about 19 years ago when my husband answered God’s call to leave his engineering career and become a Pastor. We started homeschooling in 1999 when our oldest child started kindergarten, we started using BJU Press Homeschool in 2001. After using BJU Press Homeschool curriculum with my children for several years, I became a HomeWorks Consultant. We are now down to just one child left homeschooling, with our older 4 children currently in college or working on their post graduate degrees. I am so blessed to able to share our homeschooling experience with families, and encourage them in their homeschooling journey.
Zan’s homeschool journey began in 1984 when homeschooling was illegal. The State Superintendent of Education threatened Zan with jail for insisting on homeschooling her son. For the next eight years, she and other homeschool families battled for homeschool freedom and the establishment of landmark homeschool legislation in South Carolina. To this day, her legislative success in South Carolina has spearheaded legislation to ensure homeschool freedom in other states. In 1990, she founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools and served as its president for ten years. Her fight for homeschool freedom has led her to serve as the National Grassroots Director for ParentalRights.org, to advocate for homeschooling in the media (appearing on NBC’s Today Show) and at the nation’s capital, and to write profusely about the benefits of homeschooling.
Zan’s deepest desire is to encourage parents to raise children who love the Lord, understand their callings in life, and become active citizens who understand the freedom principles undergirding our great American heritage. She is an inspirational speaker and author, a consultant for BJU Press and the Home School Legal Defense Association, and the founder of the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS). For sixteen years, Zan worked with Christian publishers to develop homeschool curriculum and resources. In 2015 she was presented with the Chris Klicka Award for her dedication and commitment to home education worldwide. She considers the twenty-one-years she and her husband, Joe, spent homeschooling their own three children from kindergarten through high school to be one of the greatest privileges of her life.
As a prolific author, Zan is best known for her classic homeschool book, 7 Tools For Cultivating Your Child’s Potential. She is currently authoring a new book to be released by BJU Press in the spring of 2019. Zan’s website, zantyler.com offers weekly inspiration through her blog ministry, lists events where homeschoolers can connect with Zan personally, and provides information on Zan’s and Joe’s speaking topics.
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Hey everybody. This is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the Heidi St. John Podcast. We’re so excited you guys are here. Today is Monday, June 8. This is episode 934 and today as promised, we are going to talk about all things homeschooling. I’ve got a couple of wonderful guests on the show with me today, and we’re going to take your questions and offer you some encouragement to help you get off the bench and onto the battlefield in the system of education. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
All right, you guys. So much going on in the culture right now. I want to say thanks to everybody who keeps sending me questions for the podcast. We always answer your questions here at the podcast on Mailbox Monday. If you have a question you’d like to see addressed, you can shoot it to us by going to my website heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday. As always, when you turn in your questions, they’re most likely to get answered if they’re short and sweet and to the point. We’d love to hear from you. Again, it’s heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday. So many things are happening right now in the culture and you guys heard me address this on Friday. The world’s on fire, but the church does not have to be, and our homes do not have to be. And so we’re going to take a step out of the cultural struggle that we’re facing on so many levels right now and we’re going to focus today on the issue of homeschooling.
I’ve been reading a lot of reports in the news about homeschooling and how so many parents are considering this option for the fall more than ever actually, in the history of the United States. I just spoke to one of my dear friends this morning on the phone and they’re public school in a little town in Oregon has canceled. You guys get this. They’ve canceled sixth grade for next year because so many parents have pulled their kids out of school. They don’t have enough students left to make up a classroom and so they’re talking about doing a five, six split and this size has not happened in the history of this particular public school. I think we’re going to see this more and more as parents say no to the CDC guidelines, no to the ridiculousness of having their kids wear face masks in school and practice social distancing and all this ridiculous stuff and they’re looking more than ever to homeschooling.
And so, as your questions have come in, we kind of been scratching our heads here at the podcast and going, “Man, what can we do to encourage you guys to answer your questions, to point you in a good direction and help you get a good start, even a headstart on next year?” And so we came up with this wonderful … We have this wonderful idea and you guys are going to be so stoked because I have one of my dearest friends in the world, Zan Tyler’s back on the show with me today and she has brought Shannon Harrison, both of them seasoned homeschool moms who are going to give you guys a shot in the arm of encouragement and hopefully set your feet kind of on the right path. If you’re not familiar with Zan, you guys are going to love her as Zan for the past 35 years, she and her husband Joe have been actively involved in the American homeschool movement.
I’ve had her on the show before. We’ve talked about the constitutionality of what’s happening around us. We’ve talked about homeschooling. We’ve talked about all kinds of things. I love Zan. She has a great way of just taking her audience beyond the demands of everyday life. You guys are going to love her. She’s going to be answering your questions here today. Also, Shannon Harrison is on the show with me today. Shannon is a seasoned homeschool mom. She has five kids. Only one of them is still homeschool age and this mom knows what she’s talking about when it comes to homeschooling. Both of them are affiliated with BJU Press and Precepts by HomeWorks. You guys are going to be so encouraged today. Shannon and Zan, welcome to the podcast.
[Shannon] Thank you Heidi.
[Zan] Yeah. It feels so good to be back with you, Heidi. I miss you. I miss everybody right now, as a matter of fact.
[Heidi] I know, right? This whole like … The rona, man, it’s ruining our lives. Can we just be honest? Everybody just wants to get on a plane and get out of Dodge. Shannon, you got out of Dodge, right? You don’t live in Florida, but that’s where you are right now. Correct?
[Shannon] Yes. I am recording from a parking lot in Florida. I came down with my daughter to visit my mother.
[Heidi] Well, everybody’s recording from parking lots right now. This is how we do it in the age of the rona, so that’s good. It’s working out good. Zan, Where are you at?
[Zan] Well, right now I’m sitting in my dining room.
[Heidi] But you’re in South Carolina, the land with that bill.
[Zan] I’m in South Carolina. Yes.
[Heidi] The actual land of the free.
[Zan] That’s right. The land of the free and the home of the brave. Yes.
[Heidi] And the home of a better governor than either Shannon or Heidi St. John happen to have at the moment.
[Zan] Yes, Henry McMaster is a wonderful governor.
[Heidi] Yeah. And Shannon, where do you live originally?
[Shannon] I live in Wisconsin.
[Heidi] Okay. You don’t have that awesome of a governor, do you?
[Shannon] No, no, no, but we have a good state representatives and they took him to court to let us be able to reopen. My husband’s a pastor and we’ve had services now. This will be our fourth or fifth Sunday back at church.
[Heidi] Praise the Lord. I love that. I hope to hear more and more of it as the days go on. By way of introduction, I’d love … And Shannon, I’ll start with you. I would love for you guys just to give the 30 second synopsis. How did you get into homeschooling, Shannon. Did you get married and just say, “Hey, I think I’ll be a homeschool mom”?
[Shannon] No, I did not. I went to public school and private school growing up. I’d never even really thought of homeschooling and my husband was an engineer for a company called Siemens in the Chicago area, and also a youth pastor, as a volunteer and through a series of a missions trip and different things, God led us to move up into Wisconsin for him to take a church as a pastor. It was a very small church, like five people, if even that many when we started and there were no options for schooling because we weren’t going to put the kids into public school. And so we’ve just prayed about it and ask God for direction and we went to a homeschool convention and that was in 1999 is when we started homeschooling. In 2001 is when we started using BJU Press homeschool, so it was …
[Shannon] I didn’t know if I’d be able to do it the whole way, but I can tell you, the Bible says: Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it (Philippians 1:6) and it’s just by the grace of God. He’s helped us. I have one getting a PhD, one getting a master’s, two more in college, and one still homeschooling.
[Heidi] Wow. That’s great and I love that you said that you never plan on homeschooling. I think that’s the vast majority, including myself. And I know Zan is going to say the same thing because we all just wanted to put our children in school because that’s what we did and really what woman in her right mind would choose not to let the little yellow school bus pick her kids up and let her take a shower in relative peace. And so when the Lord gets a hold of you, you know that it’s Him and he also gives you the grace that’s equal to the task.
[Heidi] So Zan, what’s your story? I know about you girl. You did not plan on homeschooling either, right?
[Zan] No. As a matter of fact, I used to say there were two things I would never do in life. One was teach and the other was have kids. And so here I am, a testimony to just not putting parameters on what the Lord wants to do in your life. I’ve got a lot of other lessons like that from negative responses I’ve had to things in life, but we got into homeschooling. I really identify with all these coronavirus moms who are getting into homeschooling, kicking and screaming, because that’s how I came into homeschooling.
I just want to say that there is hope and you get past that moment of disbelief that you’re actually doing this. You settle down and all of a sudden, you have this entire beautiful landscape that opens up to you of life in journey with your children. I was threatened with jail, everybody, it seemed like I was threatened with lawsuits. I was persecuted. I was prosecuted and I kept telling the Lord, “This wasn’t my idea. I didn’t want to do this.” And yet once we started homeschooling, there was such a unique quality to our class. My boys were just four and six. I’d been a stay at home mom. They had been in preschool and kindergarten. Just that little bit of change from those three hours every morning revolutionized our family life, our spiritual journey. It is really an amazing thing to behold.
[Heidi] It is amazing and I think we’ve had this conversation for years here at the podcast, about the importance of instilling in our children a biblical worldview. One of the things that’s absolutely being highlighted right in our culture is that we are in a culture in spiritual crisis. Absolutely in spiritual crisis, we are in a moral crisis, and it’s giving parents an opportunity. I think this was like an unintended benefit, I would say, that I think the Lord is using it to turn the hearts of parents back to their children. For the first time, I mean, I’ve been doing this podcast for almost eight years. This is the first time that I’ve ever had this number of questions come in from people who are saying, “I never considered homeschooling and now, I’m looking at doing it.” And so I kind of like to hit on some nitty gritty with you guys because you’ve been around the block a few times and I want to start here.
For the person who says that they are interested, they’re kind of tiptoeing into this homeschool thing. Some of them are being shoved into it, but when they look at what’s in front of them, Shannon, when you hear from a mom who didn’t necessarily want to homeschool, and now she sees, “There’s no way I’m going to put my kid back to a classroom with a mask and plastic partitions and a teacher who says, ‘I’m so sorry, I can’t peel your banana for you because the rona might get me.'” What do you say to that, mom? What’s the best way? I want to kind of focus on moms for just a minute, because we can talk about their kids after that, but I want to talk about the mom who was going, “I can’t do this. I don’t have the patience for this. I wasn’t cut out for this. I liked that my kids are gone all day long at school.” And now she’s going, “All right, something’s got to change.” Can you talk directly to her?
[Shannon] Yes. I was actually in the grocery store the other day and ran into a lady in town that knew I homeschooled, she’s like, “I think I’m going to homeschool this in the fall. I can’t put my kid back in school with what’s going on and I have a young one, he’s never going to school.” This is a person who had never even considered homeschooling before, so it’s everywhere that people are considering this.
What I told her was, “There’s resources in your community that you can pretty much go on Facebook and find homeschooling groups all over the country, so you can find one in your state. There’s many there. As HomeWorks consultants, we are available all year long. I have people calling, even that are coming out of Christian school that are going to be homeschooling now because of schools closing or schools implementing government standards that the parents aren’t comfortable with. You can do this. It’s a day by day thing. Don’t look at this giant picture that you have to plan everything out and all the pressure is on you. It’s not. There’s so many resources available to help you with lesson plans and scope and sequences to help you know what you should be teaching. That’s when the things that parents are like, ‘I don’t even know what to teach.’ And there’s so many resources available from people who have been doing this for years that are happy to help you.”
[Heidi] One of the things I love what you do and what Zan does also, is that when you are working with these moms, because you’re doing this through BJU Press and through HomeWorks, but you’re actually like moms who were in the trenches, moms who’ve been there and done that, and you can pick up the phone and say, “Here’s where you start.” I think that’s a lot of it, because the moms are like, “I have no idea.” And actually, I pulled my own daughter out of public school and I remember going to her teacher and feeling rather kind of foolish because I honestly didn’t know where she was. I didn’t know where she was with math or where she was with reading. I had to sit down and have somebody tell me where she was, and then I had to figure it out on my own like, “Okay, so you said she’s here now. How do I pick this up? What do I use?” One of the things I love about what you’re doing is you guys are really just, you’re a phone call away, right? You’re there all the time.
[Shannon] Yes. I get calls in the morning. I’ve been on the phone at 10 o’clock at night. It just depends on when people need help. We don’t charge people to be on the phone with them. We’re just there. Really, it’s a ministry and we are really just wanting to help homeschooling moms because we’re helping the future of our country, and it really is. It’s a ministry and I love being able to hang up the phone and feel like I was able to encourage someone and help their family.
[Heidi] Yeah. It’s so true. Zan, one of the questions that, one of the comments actually, that we got the other day, I thought that this was so funny. A woman wrote in and she said that homeschoolers cringe, usually, at combining the two words homeschool and expert. She said, “This is one of the reasons I homeschool, is to get away from people who think they’re experts on how to raise and educate my children.” And she’s saying, “How can we get hooked up with people who literally …” They see the parent as the expert and they want to help the parent become even better at what they’re doing with their own children.
[Zan] That’s exactly right, Heidi. One thing before we lose Shannon’s comments, if you want to get in touch with a consultant, you can go to homeschoolhelp.com/map and find a consultant in your area. When you get off the phone today, you have somebody you know you can go to.
[Heidi] That’s homeschoolhelp … Wait, say it again because it’s homeschoolhelp.
[Zan] Okay, homeschoolhelp.com/map, and that will give you a map of the United States and you can click on where you live to find consultants in your area.
[Heidi] I love it. I love it. I have a feeling that’s going to be on fire after this. When you talk about … Let’s talk about this for a second because there are parents who are … I think people have been homeschooling for a long time, kind of swimming up against the current. They’re used to doing that and they are like, “No, I don’t need no help. I got this,” but I think there are a whole lot more people right now who are saying, “Oh my goodness, I’m not even sure I can do this and I need someone who’s going to come along and help me actually get up.” Because once we can kind of help you get started, it really does. And I think people who’ve never done it before, when you’ve never done it, it’s kind of scary but it’s amazing what you realize like, “Oh my goodness. I just accomplished in an hour and a half what it took the public school system eight hours a day to do.” Right?
[Zan] Amen. And I think one thing that puts us at a disadvantage in this country is really, for most of us, the limit, the amount of planning we do for our kids in school is figuring out which school district we live in. Then we’ve been trained to turn everything else over to the experts. The good news is that the homeschooling movement now has been around for 35 or 40 years and there are a lot of people, a lot of organizations that have done the dirty work for you, created the laws, won the lawsuits, published the curriculum, those types of things, so you’re really walking as a new homeschooling mom into a well oiled machine in a lot of ways. If I could tell people one thing, I was talking to one mom who said, “I just feel like now, all of a sudden, I’ve got to be an expert on every subject.”
No. You really just need to be an expert on your own children. When you bring your kids home, take a deep breath, relax, enjoy the relationship, and start to study them. What makes them tick? What did they like about school? What did they hate about school? How do they learn? Are they visual learners or auditory or kinesthetic? I had one child who has learned by talking and moving and neither one of those were ever acceptable in a classroom, so get outside, but study your children, become experts on and cheerleaders for your kids. Then as you look into curriculum, as you look into co-ops, as you look into extracurricular things, you’re lining up a path or a course for your kids that suits them particularly and will really be a catalyst in their lives for learning, loving to learn, and pursuing life.
[Heidi] Yeah. It’s so important. As you become more confident, I think one of the things the school system has done effectively is to make parents feel like they can’t do it. Right?
[Zan] Yeah, absolutely.
[Heidi] Oh, you guys can’t do this. Send your kids over here to the experts and the experts can do it for you. What you’re saying is, “No, you are the expert. You are the expert on your child. No one loves your child more than you do.”
[Zan] That’s exactly right.
[Heidi] “And this is an opportunity for you to actually grow, to grow in that,” and I love it because it’s empowering, especially for the mom who’s shaking in her boots right now. Shannon, I got a question from another listener. She said that they had enrolled their daughter in a public charter school for kindergarten, and now they’ve decided to homeschool. She is anxious about helping her child adjust from being in a school that she actually enjoyed, to loving being at home. I know this is a huge question, parents who … They don’t want their kids to be angry. They’re afraid about bringing them home. How can we help these parents who are trying to help their children make an adjustment from public school or charter school or even private school to homeschooling?
[Shannon] Well, one of the things that homeschooling gives you is freedom. You now have that freedom that you can go to the zoo on Tuesday, instead of waiting until Saturday when it’s really crowded. You can spend that time and plan activities. You can do things together that maybe you couldn’t have done before, visiting an elderly person at church and taking them something, cooking together and then taking them some bread and just doing things to where that time that you have together. It’s investing in someone else that always when … Little kids love to do things for other people. When you can incorporate your schooling into service of others, it’s going to grow them and they’re going to enjoy it.
[Heidi] Yeah, and maybe taking the fear out of it. I think so much of it, especially for students who are coming home from being in … Can you guys agree? Pandemic schooling and homeschooling are not the same thing. Am I right?
[Shannon] No, they’re not the same.
[Zan] Absolutely. It’s really, they have been at home doing school work that’s been furnished by the public school, so they’re still fitting into that structure. With homeschooling, where you’re in charge of the curriculum and the decisions and the schedule, as Shannon said, you really do have a lot more freedom.
[Heidi] Yeah. That freedom is really important because the freedom is what kind of helps you, I think, adjust and Shannon made a good point. You were saying, when you take your … You can go to the zoo on … I mean, hello, homeschoolers know we don’t actually go to the zoo on the weekend because ain’t nobody got time for the crowds. We like to go when it’s a little bit quieter and we can actually see the animals without standing in line that’s 15 people deep, which now I guess is going to be 30 people deep with the rona. I don’t know how we’re going to do that. Anyway, you talked to the mom who’s saying, “I want my child, I want the adjustment to be a good one.”
What I hear you say and correct me if I’m wrong, you guys, but what I’m hearing you guys say is focus on the relationship. Don’t be afraid to have a hard conversation with your child. If you get pushback, “Why don’t you want to homeschool?” Let them talk to you about their own fears in homeschooling so that it will solidify that relationship so that they know you’re on their side. You’re not going to try to keep them locked in the basement and never see anybody, am I right?
[Shannon] Correct. I’ve learned asking your kids questions rather than just telling them, but asking questions that direct them to the right answer, the biblical answer, is really a good way for them to figure it out. They feel like they’ve drawn that conclusion rather than just you telling them. Although, there’s times you have to just tell them, but what are you going to miss? Well, how can we have those same things outside of school? You can have them at church. You can have them in different places and asking them those questions might be a little harder with a kindergartener but older kids, they pretty much can see, “Yeah, you’re right mom,” when you ask those right questions.
[Heidi] Yeah. That’s totally right and Zan, for the mom who’s working, I get a lot of questions from moms who are saying, “Hey, I’m a working mom. Is this even possible?” Can you talk directly to that right now for the mom who’s just like, “Well, I work so what about me?”
[Zan] Right. Absolutely. I think one of the things, Heidi, is when you make a commitment to homeschooling, or if you’re a believer, you have a calling to homeschool your kids, then somehow you have that in front of you and everything else falls into place, but with working moms now, there’s so many avenues available for homeschooling that never had been before. BJU Press offers a full line of video courses that are online or DVDs.
[Heidi] They don’t have to do the whole thing, right?
[Heidi] Let’s say that you’re like, “I can totally do reading and history, but I don’t really want to do science.” They could pick that one course and do that on video or do that online, right?
[Zan] Absolutely. There’s all kinds of help and alleviation there and now with job sharing, a lot of people are going to be working Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can be home. Sometimes a husband works at home now. There are all types of ways to make this work. I started and ran a homeschooling organization in South Carolina for 10 years and we have a law in place that says only the parents can teach. Well, we’ve had a lot of working parents come through our organization and a lot of times, an aunt or a neighbor or a grandmother will take the kid’s assignments, help them get their assignments completed. In the evenings or the mornings, if the mother works the night shift, the mom is there to supervise the schoolwork and make sure everything is progressing and that the child is learning. We really live in a society where most women are working.
Is it hard? Yes. It’s hard. I’ve probably worked most of my homeschool life. Now my work has always been at home, lobbying for homeschooling legislation, running a homeschooling organization, working with homeschool publishers. And so when it’s home, at least you’re in the same geographic setting, but there’s still a matter of organization, pulling your kids in, making them a part of your life in ministry, but also teaching them to be in charge of their own education. Robert Frost says, “Education is nothing if it’s not self-education.” We really want our kids to be independent learners, and so sometimes the things that throw us off the most, like we have to work, become the greatest asset in our kids’ lives, because then they have to take responsibility for their own education in many regards.
[Heidi] Yeah, that’s right. Some of the moms I think and the dads, there’s a lot of dads, I think that are helping now more and more than ever with homeschooling. I hear from people who say, “I’m feeling pretty stretched thin.” When you say that there are lots of resources out there, you’re not kidding. You and I have both been, and Shannon too, we’ve been in the homeschool movement now for 25 years at least. Zan, you’re a few years ahead of me but 25, 30 years ago, it was nothing compared to what it is now and there are a plethora of wonderful things. I don’t want to focus on it for this particular episode because I got so many more questions here, we’re going to have to do two of these.
I want to spend maybe the second one really talking about curriculum, how to choose curriculum, what does it look like, to figure out how your child would do best, but I thought this would be a great question for you because we have learned, the three of us, over all these years of homeschooling, you really need to understand what makes your child tick, what’s interesting to your child, and really figure out their learning style. Shannon, can you talk that for just a minute because a mom who’s thinking about homeschooling her child and has never considered it before, this is a good place to start, to kind of figure out— How does my child process information?— and so, how can she figure that out?
[Shannon] A lot of it is going to be trial and error for myself. My kids are all different. My son really struggled with, getting frustrated with writing in first and second grade. He was drained with it and I don’t know if he had a problem with it. I’m a young mom and I don’t know what to do. That’s how I was and that’s how a lot of these moms are. I would do things like, “Okay, you write the first sentence. I’ll write the second sentence.” There’s no certain thing that everybody has to do everything the exact way. Sometimes you can just read the questions to your kids and then let them read and let them tell you the answer, rather than have them write out every single thing.
Then you work on building up those skills as they grow because some of them are really good at … My oldest was reading American Girl books in kindergarten and my middle daughter was in second grade before she was a fluid reader. They were all different. As a mom, I would just want to encourage you, don’t take that pressure on yourself that my kid is in this grade, so they should be doing this because every kid is different, and just stepping back. Honestly, prayer is asking God to give you direction and to help you, to show you, to reveal things to you, what your kids strengths are and what their weaknesses are.
[Heidi] I love that reminder that the Lord is going to help us, that we can come to Him in prayer and we can say, “Lord, help us. We need your direction.” That’s another thing I think is front and center. I’m going to ask one more question for today and I’ve got like two pages of other questions I want to get to, so I’m going to end with this one today, but Zan, I’m wondering if you can tackle it for me. There’s a mom who wrote in and she said, “Heidi, I have no idea what kind of a time commitment I’m looking at. I’m so used to putting my child on a school bus. We’ve done this for seven or eight years now. We get up in the morning. We know our routine. We’re up at 6:00 AM. She’s on the bus by 7:30. She’s home by 3:30 or 4:00 PM. What kind of a time commitment am I looking for my child right now?” She’s got, looks like a 9 year old and a 15 year old and a 5 year old, so she’s got quite a little age spread in there.
[Zan] Right, so she’s got kindergarten, elementary, and high school. I would say let’s start with the elementary age child and especially grades one through three or four. You should be able to be through you with your schoolwork, first and second grade, hour and a half. Third and fourth grade, maybe two hours, and they may have a few assignments they work on, on their own, but we are talking about such an efficiency in homeschooling. You don’t have lines. You don’t have homeroom. You don’t have 20 other kids who need your attention. You’re not teaching to the middle when you have a child who’s special needs or gifted. You have what’s called engaged instruction, not anything else peripheral going on. And so what it takes eight hours in a public school to do, you can do in an hour and a half to two hours with your children.
Now, as your kids get into high school, that is of course going to become more and more of an educational commitment. I think that’s where these video courses come in. That’s where co-ops may come in, dual enrollment, those types of things. Then your child is going to have all kinds of interest and passions they’re pursuing, in addition to their academic work. The high school years become a lot richer and fuller and may include three to four to five hours of work, depending on your student. I just have to tell you this. I had this plaque in my office that I found at Hobby Lobby and it says, “A worried mom does better research than the FBI.”
[Heidi] Yeah, you’re right.
[Zan] Love that, because somehow love compels you and propels you to figure out what is the absolute best for your child. Nothing can take the place of that unconditional love and total commitment to your children in providing them an education.
[Heidi] Yeah, that’s right. I think I just heard a whole lot of chains fall off when you said you got a first or a second or a third grader, you’re looking at an hour and a half a day. Really, as somebody who was homeschooled seven children, you’re absolutely right. Shannon, would you agree with that?
[Shannon] Yes. You can be done before lunch. That’s not a hard goal.
[Heidi] Yeah. And so I hope this is encouraging for everyone who’s listening because I think people think homeschooling and they think, “I’ve got to turn my home into what my kids have been doing in a public or private school for the last however many years.” And what we’re saying is, “No, you can do it in a fraction of the time” You’re right, Zan. It’s because we’re not doing crowd control. We’re not standing in line. We’re not having to do the homeroom thing. None of those things are happening and so we’re able to really take advantage of the time that we have. Then it opens your day up for other things and so I love it. One of the things I love about what you guys are doing, and the reason I asked you to come on the show and talk about this is because you guys are working specifically with BJU Press and Precepts by HomeWorks.
And so Zan, can you give us the 30 second introduction to how they can get ahold of you? I know you said homeschoolhelp.com and I’ve been working with you guys at this because I think it’s such a great opportunity for the parents who are going, “Okay. I got to get my feet on the ground.” Tell us a little bit about HomeWorks and why it’s such an exciting opportunity, particularly right now.
[Zan] Okay. Right now, when you’re getting into homeschooling and you’re like this mom. You’re totally disoriented. This is new for you. You’ve got consultants who can help walk you through everything. Again, you can find the consultants at homeschoolhelp.com/map, and you will be able to find consultants in your area. Remember that most of these are veteran. All of them are homeschool moms. Most of them are veteran homeschool moms who’ve homeschooled for many, many years, and the support you get will be mom to mom, and it will be year-round. It’s not just helping you choose curriculum, but it’s helping you learn how to use it, and it’s just support for your homeschooling lifestyle. You can make it through the first year or two. You become much more independent, but the consultants I know have developed relationships with some of their moms they work with, that have lasted for 12 and 14 years.
[Heidi] I love that. So Shannon, a mom who is working with HomeWorks, can she just call you and cry? Be honest.
[Shannon] Yes. I’ve had them call me on Christmas Eve and she said, “Shan, this isn’t about homeschool but …” She knew I was a pastor’s wife and she was a pastor’s wife, and she was struggling with something. I said, “Yep, I’m available,” and I went in the other room. I was at my brother’s house for Christmas and I spent about 45 minutes on the phone with her and talked. Yes, you can call and you can cry. I won’t be able to give you any tissues, but …
[Heidi] Bring your own tissues. It’s the rona, anyway. We don’t share tissue anymore, Shannon.
[Shannon] That’s right. Yes, we are happy to help and besides just the listening ear, we also give discounts, so amazing discounts sometimes.
[Heidi] I love it.
[Shannon] Which I like that because I like helping homeschooling families and saving money is a good way.
[Heidi] I love it. You guys, I was hoping to get through more, but we’re going to have to extend it. Would you guys mind come back on Wednesday? We can finish this conversation because I have questions about how to choose curriculum, the legalities of homeschooling, well is it legal, what do I have to do for testing, that kind of thing, co-ops. I got a myriad of other questions. Would you guys mind coming back on Wednesday? We can pick this conversation up and answer more questions.
[Heidi] I want to say thanks to everybody who’s listening today. For more information, if you’re sitting there going, “How do I do this?” This is how, go to homeschoolhelp.com and check it out, tons of information there. If you are interested in that map to find someone who can call you that actually lives in your area, knows the legalities because every state is different. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 States, but every state has different requirements, different benchmarks that they want you to kind of look at and those moms can help you, homeschoolhelp.com/map.
I want to say thanks to everybody for listening today. As usual, if you’ve got questions, you can send them to me at heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday. We appreciate you leaving reviews for the podcast. I hope that you guys will share this and the encouragement is going to go a whole long way when people realize, “Oh my goodness, I can do it,” and that’s really the hope. We’re going to finish this conversation on Wednesday. In the meantime, you guys have a fantastic Monday and we’ll see you back here in a couple of days.