I spent several days at the Convention in The Woodlands and was privileged to meet many dedicated home school group leaders at the Texas Leader’s Conference on Jul. 21, 2016. Afterward, I spent the evening and the next two days at the THSC booth. Although my feet were tired, I was constantly refreshed as I enjoyed the stories that so many shared. I love meeting people, and through these encounters this weekend, it was evident that most homeschool parents seek community. New moms and dads came seeking answers about the right curriculum, but during the conversations they expressed a great need for connection, guidance, and wisdom. I strongly believe local homeschool groups can meet these needs.
Thinking about my own homeschool group, I sometimes get frustrated with the responsibilities. However, we sometimes joke that if it all fell apart, we could just get together for coffee. I am so glad it never fell apart and our group is thriving!
In reality, we sometimes focus on the work and fatigue of our homeschooling group. We think about all the equipment we have to carry and set up once a week in a facility we are graciously allowed to use. We lament over those emails and phone calls from a member who doesn’t like the way something was changed or who doesn’t agree with a group policy. We want to change things to suit those who complain, but there are reasons for those rules and we have to tell the member (who is often a dear friend) something he or she doesn’t want to hear.
Yet in the midst of all this, I realize I have changed. I am no longer the mom who is nervous that I am going to mess up my kids or fail to teach them everything they really need to be successful. In fact, I would even admit that I know my kids will come away still needing things that I can’t teach them. They will have to learn a few things they missed, as I did. Every new thing requires learning something. Even as I teach my children I learn new things that I don’t remember studying before. So, I’ve come to accept that my homeschool isn’t perfect. I don’t sit up at night anymore trying to make the most comprehensive lesson plan or reading everything I can about the next best curriculum. I trust that our Father has equipped me to do what He called me to do, and I feel more calm now about these things.
Why the change? Prayer is vital and experience helps, of course. But I think being connected with my home school group has been extremely important. I watched friend’s children grow up with mine. I saw the child who struggled to read, snuggled up with a book in the corner of our fellowship hall. I marveled as shy children stood up to give compelling arguments in a voting campaign we held in our group. I enjoyed displays of art and photography that took my breath away. I witnessed active, young boys take a break from their scooters at the park to excitedly gather around a book that one had in his backpack! I watched slide shows of our graduates, crying as if the child in the cap and gown was my own. All the while, I was transforming. I no longer feel nervous and edgy about doing it wrong. I feel confident that my children will have life experiences, coupled with our homeschool experiences, that will prepare them for whatever God has in store. I know this is largely because of the families in my group with whom I am surrounded. In looking at the faces of the new home school moms and dads, I realize that they crave that connection with a group. I want to embrace them all and tell them it will be all right, but I can’t do that alone. Texas is a big place!
The Texas Leader’s Conference is a great event to meet leaders in Texas. THSC is here to help us lead our groups. The families in Texas need groups and we know that God placed us in each other’s lives. Every day, we are called to love each other and build our homeschooling community to encourage and support each other. THSC supports you as you form and strengthen your board members and serve each other faithfully. Your leadership board is an important part of your support system. THSC is also committed to praying for your group because your group is meeting a need in families that you may not even realize.
That nervous, scared mom who has too many questions just might be the board member you will entrust your group with down the road. Her family will be transformed, as mine has been. Be strong leaders; you are not alone. “The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
Did you know that THSC is committed to supporting your homeschool and your homeschool group leaders? Your membership is helping THSC accomplish so much in the lives of Texas families. Join THSC today! We are committed to Keeping Texas Families Free!
Have you added or updated your group with THSC? Submit your application today. If your group hasn’t updated this year, the deadline to remain affiliated is October 31, 2016!
If you have already updated this year, did you know that a benefit of THSC group affiliation is an offer to send THSC speakers to your group? You can see our dedicated home school group presenters and find out if a group near you is already hosting a presentation. If you haven’t requested a presentation, these dates are filling quickly so submit your request today by logging in to your Leader Resources page and selecting the form to request a group presenter.
Are you a member, or a veteran home school parent, and want to come alongside THSC? Your donation can help THSC continue to perpetuate the fire that ignited the original modern home school movement as we continue to defend, protect, and promote home schooling and the requisite parental rights in Texas?