From the Heart of a Retired Teacher

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I enjoyed a multi-generational conversation at our church recently. The conversation included a retired school teacher (I’ll call her Eva), our daughter Mary Evelyn, our granddaughter who is six, and me. Eva is a devoted grandmother with several grandchildren. As we chatted, Eva said to our daughter and granddaughter, “I bet preschool is always going on at your house?”

“Are you going to homeschool?” she asked Mary Evelyn.

Eva learned that our granddaughter is finishing up first grade at home this week.  She learned about the upcoming exhibition where Notty and Little (for you newer readers, that’s Ray and me), Grandmother (that’s my mama), and Grandma and Grandpa (they are Mary Evelyn’s in-laws) get to see what has been happening in first grade and preschool this year.

2017 Exhibition
2017 Exhibition

Eva said, “Thirty years ago I was offended when it (meaning homeschooling) started.” She explained that it hurt for parents to think she didn’t do a good enough job teaching their children. I can see why a teacher would feel that way.

Eva feels very differently today. She said that she wouldn’t hesitate to pull her children out of school and teach them at home, especially in light of school shootings. She talked about how Mary Evelyn is able to include Christian content. She spoke of the resources available now to teach high school courses she would have not felt qualified to teach years ago.

Eva talked about how Mary Evelyn’s children can soar while going at their own pace. She spoke of the difficulty she had when she was teaching because she had to teach to the “norm.” Gifted children had to wait for the children who learned more slowly to catch up before she could go on to new material.

I share that conversation to encourage you today. Eva is a beautiful example of a woman who went from feeling hurt by homeschooling (understandably so) to being a cheerleader for homeschooling. She was kind to open her heart to us. I am grateful that our daughter and granddaughter got to hear this sweet encouragement.

Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24

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  1. Thank you. I often wonder if I had to do it over again, would I homeschool? Yes I would. I have a few regrets about our journey, but know that it was what we were led to do. In light of all that goes on within public schools, I believe children get a better education at home. So many families are homeschooling simply because of the school shootings that now seem to be increasing in frequency. Now that my last child has graduated, I have told my children I will help the homeschool if that is what they choose to do.

    • I am glad that this was encouraging, Kimberly. I think any person who is sensitive to what God wants us to do has regrets. I would love to start homeschooling again and do it now with all I have learned since I started.

      You are wise to offer to help your children homeschool. Grandparents can make such a difference. I have met many encouraging grandparents at homeschool conventions through the years.

      Congratulations on graduating your youngest child.

  2. In a perfect world we would all have an “Eva” in our lives. So many of us have more negativity than encouragement in our journey through home school. Just as it would be awesome if we could all have a Titus 2 woman in our life. Even though we may not have this, God gives us nuggets along the way to keep us encouraged, just as this post here has done for me.

    I also reached out to Notgrass last week about a concern in my own home educating of my daughter. The gentleman who answered me was so encouraging and uplifting in his explanation of the answer to my question I was immediately relieved and now have no concern..

    Thank you for your post.

    • You are so right. We all need Evas and Titus 2 women in our lives, but many, many do not. I am so very sorry for the negativity you have in your own journey through homeschool. I am thankful that this post encouraged you.

      I am so happy to know that someone in our customer service was helpful last week. That is so affirming to hear. “Relieved with no concern” is a wonderful thing for us to hear. I am thankful that happened for you.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to encourage me about the post and about the answer you got last week.

      With a grateful heart,

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