The Homeschooling Movement and Lifeschooling – Israel Wayne

The Homeschooling Movement and Lifeschooling - Israel WayneIsrael Wayne, regular conference speaker and author of numerous books, joins me on the show to discuss lifeschooling and the homeschooling movement in general. Having been involved in the movement since its inception, Israel has a unique perspective that is always enlightening. His personal stories will be an encouragement to other parents, as even veterans and leaders in the movement are still figuring this homeschooling thing out!

Israel Wayne is an author and conference speaker who has a passion for defending the Christian faith and promoting a Biblical worldview. He is the author of numerous books, including Homeschooling from a Biblical WorldviewFull-Time Parenting: A Guide to Family-Based Discipleship, Education: Does God Have an Opinion? and his newest book, Answers for Homeschooling: Top 25 Questions Critics Ask. He has been a regular columnist for Home School DigestHome School Enrichment and The Old Schoolhouse magazines. He is also the site editor for ChristianWorldview.net.

Israel has written articles for magazines such as Answers (Answers In Genesis), The Baptist BannerAbove RubiesHomeschooling TodaySamaritan Ministries, to name a few, as well as websites such as CrossWalk.com, ChristianPost.com, Christianity.com, and many others.

He is a frequent guest on national radio and television programs. Israel has been involved with the homeschooling movement for over 30 years, as his family began home educating in 1978. He has been featured in national and international publications including TIME MagazineWORLD Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. Israel has been featured as the keynote speaker at various conferences, with over 5,000 in attendance. He was also the keynote speaker at the 2016 Lifeschooling Conference. (Bio taken from https://www.familyrenewal.org/author-info/.)

Here is what I asked Israel on this episode:

  • As I mentioned, you were the keynote speaker at the very first Lifeschooling Conference in 2016 and I know that you were excited about the mission of our conference because you were actually homeschooled yourself in a very “lifeschooling” manner. Tell us a bit about your experience homeschooling before there was a homeschooling movement and it was even “legal” in this country.
  • So, I’m sure it was a very natural thing for you to just homeschool your own children, given your own experience. Was this just a given with your wife when you got married? I think she had been homeschooled too, right?
  • One of the things most veteran homeschoolers stress is to know your “why” with homeschooling. I think after authoring so many books, you have a pretty good handle on that. But tell us what stretches your faith most in homeschooling?
  • How do you balance the stresses of travel with lifeschooling and how do you homeschool on the road?
  • As you know, the definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you and how does your family lifeschool? What does a typical day look like for your family?
  • What are some of the gifts that you saw early on in your children and how have you tailored their education around the development of those gifts?

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to our podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

Also be sure to visit www.FamilyRenewal.org to purchase Israel’s latest book, Answers for Homeschooling – Top 25 Questions Critics Ask, and to see his current speaking schedule.

Chronic Illness and Homeschooling – Tricia Soderstrom

Chronic Illness and Homeschooling - Tricia SoderstromHave you ever felt sick and miserable, but still had to push through a homeschool day? What about every single day? Tricia Soderstrom (AboundingInHopeWithLyme.com) shared with me how she and her children survived homeschooling for many years with chronic illness (Lyme disease). Once again, we talk about the faith element in homeschooling and how when we obey His call, He provides all we need!

Tricia lives in the beautiful state of Maryland with her husband and children. She’s been married to Scott for 28 years and together they have four children who are now 23, 20, 17 and 10. Their two oldest have graduated from their homeschool and they will graduate another one this year.

Tricia decided to start a blog after much prodding and nagging, or rather encouraging from family, friends and even from people she met along the way who insisted she share her story and experience living with chronic tick-borne diseases. So in January 2015, she began Abounding in Hope with Lyme where she shares her journey with Lyme, homeschooling and her deep faith in God.

Her whole family was diagnosed with Lyme disease, Bartonella, and Babesia and a host of other things. You can read more details in My Story on her site. The purpose of her blog is to share her experience with Lyme disease in the hopes that it will be encouraging and informative. Lyme disease can be a devastating disease and Tricia’s hope is that the information on her site will help you to be educated so that you can protect yourself and your family or get the help you need. (Bio taken from https://aboundinginhopewithlyme.com/about/.)

On this episode, I ask Tricia the following questions:

  • For those of my listeners who don’t know, we have a personal knowledge of Lyme disease ourselves, as my husband has suffered with it (to varying degrees) for the past 18 years. Tell us your story and were you already homeschooling when you became sick with this chronic illness?
  • Were you ever tempted to quit homeschooling?
  • What are some of the considerations for those who may be dealing with chronic illness, but want to homeschool?
  • One thing I read in one of your aticles on deciding to homeschool was, “You can homeschool when you’re sick but make sure your children are being nourished in every area of their lives, not just educational book work.” This is so true and is what lifeschooling is about! What does that look like in your family?
  • How has Lyme shaped and influenced your educational philosophy?
  • To remind our listeners, the definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you and how does your family lifeschool?
  • What are some of the gifts that you saw early on in your children and how did you tailor their education around the development of those gifts? How did Lyme influence that?

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

Unhurried Homeschooling – Durenda Wilson

Unhurried Homeschooling - Durenda WilsonFor this episode, I had the pleasure of chatting with Durenda Wilson, author of The Unhurried Homeschooler, a mercifully short book on homeschooling, and Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart. I just love Durenda’s heart for unhurried homeschooling and her passion for helping moms learn to trust fully in the Lord with their children’s education. I know you will be blessed, too!

Durenda is a homeschooling mom of eight (born 1991-2004), five of whom have graduated. She has been married for 28 years to Darryl and they have 4 grandchildren. Durenda has written The Unhurried Homeschooler-a simple, mercifully short book on homeschooling and Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart. She is the owner/writer/host of her blog and podcast, Durenda Wilson. She is called to a ministry of encouragement and has a very special place in her heart for moms and homeschooling moms because she believes, for many reasons, that motherhood is not only a gift, but often the unseen place where God moves in very powerful ways. This is why she is convinced that Christian moms must have a working knowledge of the Word that will give them the courage to raise their children as faithful followers of Christ above all else.

Here is what I asked Durenda on the show:

  • Tell us first of all how you started homeschooling and how it became unhurried homeschooling?
  • In reading your site, so much of it resonated with me and I felt like I could have written it! In particular, you talk about today’s homeschooling parents as being bombarded with all this information about what is best for their children. You say: “In an effort to do what we think will ultimately benefit our children, we are, in fact, robbing them of the very thing they need to engage in higher learning and become well-adjusted adults. The results are that our kids are having to cope with the complexities of adulthood and losing their one chance to be a kid.” Explain to us more of what you mean by that.
  • What has had the biggest influence in shaping your educational philosophy of unhurried homeschooling? Were there any books that had a particular impact on you?
  • To remind our listeners, the definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” How does your family lifeschool? Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you?
  • Tell us about a typical day in your homeschool and has this changed over the years?
  • What are some of the gifts that you saw early on in your children and how did you tailor their education around the development of those gifts?
  • I think for many homeschoolers who have not yet seen homeschooling through to the end with any of their kids, it is very reassuring to hear veteran success stories, especially from those who have embraced unhurried homeschooling. Tell us a little bit about the children you have graduated and what they are doing now.
  • You wrote a couple books, The Unhurried Homeschooler, a mercifully short book on homeschooling and Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart. I love that… “a mercifully short book…” by the way, because I think most of us homeschoolers struggle getting through an entire book! Tell us a little bit about your books and where to find them. (You may find Unhurried Grace for a Mom’s Heart and The Unhurried Homeschooler on Amazon.)

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

Seeking God’s Leading through Fasting and Prayer

Seeking God's Leading through Fasting and PrayerOn today’s show, I will share with you my journey seeking God’s leading through fasting and prayer, and why I believe it is such an important spiritual discipline for Christians to develop. I am no spiritual giant by any means! But God has taught me much through fasting and prayer, and I started 2018 with a two-week fast in which He moved in amazing ways in our family and my life. It was a truly life-changing experience and something that I believe was crucial to changing and preventing future problems with relationships and family life.

Fasting is also an important part of lifeschooling, as you are so often teaching your children more by example than by what you say in a formal setting. We should also be constantly seeking God’s leading in lifeschooling, and fasting is a great way to do this.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I mentioned drinking salt water in a pure water fast, but I failed to clarify that this is in addition to drinking regular water. I wanted to mention that in case it isn’t obvious.

For this episode, I want to share with you about something that has made huge impact on me and my family. First of all, I am not a doctor! Please consult your health professional for advice and understand that I am just sharing my personal experience with you.

I am a bit hesitant to share about fasting. Jesus made a point about the Pharisees and their practice of drawing attention to their fasting. He said that by drawing attention to themselves, they already had their reward. So in sharing, I want to be very careful that I’m not being like the Pharisees because I certainly don’t want to lose the blessing God wants to give. But I do feel that God wants me to share as an encouragement to others who need to start practicing this discipline.

To give you some background, I started to become interested in fasting several years ago after reading “Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life.” Our pastor at that time also preached a sermon, sharing about his own experiences with fasting, including a time when God used his fast to spark a revival on the campus of his school.

It is important that we also understand that God designed fasting to not only have spiritual benefit, but also the added benefit of health.

I have had failures and successes in fasting. History of my fasts, in order:

  • 7 days – My first one and all I could think about was food! It was more about me and not eating than it was about time with God or seeking God’s leading. Focus on the end date.
  • 10 days – A little better.
  • 27 days – Really learned more how to focus on prayer and the specific focus I had in mind (abortion). But still a lot of food focus (Food Network, scanning recipes online, cooking and baking a lot for family). Also didn’t make it to 30 days. Felt God release me from that (had something I was called to do, so needed to eat for energy). Still felt a little guilty, but I think that was just because I didn’t reach my own goal.
  • 10 days – Really learned about how to focus attention on God. When felt tempted to complain or focus on food, I praised the Lord. At the end, amazing time with God! Weeping. Broken over sin, over what Jesus did for me. I was transformed…peace, love, joy, patience… Glow of being in God’s presense.
  • 2 weeks – Recent fast. I had a plan for specific focus, but God redirected. Time of starting the year with meditation, seeking God’s leading, refocusing life, cleansing. Want to do it yearly.

2 week fast has many benefits: cleansing, weight (fat) loss, breaking addictions, finding out true “appetites”

How to fast:

  • Start slowly
  • Ask the Lord to guide
  • Have a definite purpose in mind

Here are several websites with good information for learning more:

Your Personal Guide to Fasting and Prayer (from Cru.org)

7 Benefits of Fasting + the Best Types of Fasting (from Dr. Axe, a wonderful Chrsitian doctor with a large following)

Freedom You (website with a lot of helpful information about both the spiritual and physical aspects of fasting)

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

Self-Sacrifice in Lifeschooling – Dr. Jill Butryn

Self-Sacrifice in Lifeschooling - Dr. Jill ButrynHow much self-sacrifice would you be willing to practice? Would you give up a six-figure career in medicine to be “just a mom”? My friend Dr. Jill Butryn did just that. She went from a practicing MD to a present mom. Listen to one of our most popular episodes, this inspiring interview about how the Butryn family made it work and how lifeschooling and “staying out of the way” played a key part in “letting their boys be wiggly boys.”

Passionate about living and loving, Jill Butryn, MD, left a thriving medical practice to rededicate herself to faith, marriage, and family. When her verbally precocious eldest child made it very clear in no uncertain terms that being away from home all day to attend kindergarten was completely unacceptable, Jill and her reluctant husband began homeschooling and never looked back.

Bucking convention by not using a curriculum, Jill has home educated two wiggly and willful boys on a steady diet of Legos, literature, and labor, with a dash of mentoring. Committed to “staying out of the way” and allowing each child to develop at his own pace in his own way, the Butryns stress spiritual and relational development over academic achievement, where all that boy energy is channeled into meaningful activities and work projects instead of pointless busywork.

Jill believes parents ultimate responsibility is to turn out healthy adults who love and serve others, and this can only be achieved by modeling and facilitating personal growth through relationship and experience. It is an imperfect process carried out by imperfect people. Thankfully, there is grace.

Here is what I asked Jill during this episode’s interview:

  • So, you were a family doctor before you had children. Tell us what led to such self-sacrifice: the decision to leave your practice and start homeschooling?
  • What was the most difficult part about leaving your practice and did you ever doubt that decision?
  • To remind our listeners, the definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you?
  • What are some of the gifts that you saw early on in your children and how did you tailor their education around development of those gifts?
  • Tell us about a typical day in your homeschool?
  • Now that you’ve graduated and married off one child and can look back on the entire journey, what would you say you did right, and is there anything you wish you would have done differently? Was the self-sacrifice of giving up your career worth it?
  • I feel like many of us, as adults, are just now learning what our passions truly are and what we were meant to do. I think lifeschooling is such a wonderful way to allow our children to find out who they really are and what gifts God has put into them when they are young. You recently started an online business that provides life coaching in several aspects. I know that came about as a result of some self-discovery of your own, so tell us a little bit about what led you to start that.
  • You can find out more about Dr. Jill and her services by visiting her website, www.jillbutryn.com.

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

From Public School Teacher to Lifeschooler – Tina Hollenbeck

From Public School Teacher to Lifeschooler - Tina HollenbeckOn this episode, I had the privilege to talk to my new friend Tina Hollenbeck, the researcher behind The Homeschool Resource Roadmap, about her journey from public school teacher to home educator. Tina’s experience shows that even those on the tighter end of the scale when it comes to schedules and routines can successfully lifeschool their children. The lifeschooling mindset is important and relevant for all types of personalities and homeschooling styles.

Tina and her husband have been home-educating since she quit her job as a public school teacher just prior to giving birth to their older daughter, who is now 16. They also have another daughter, age 15.

Tina was blessed to find amazing homeschool mentor moms when her kids were little, and in recent years has become a outspoken advocate, endeavoring to promote home learning whenever she’s given the opportunity. She mentors prospective home educators in her local area and via her Facebook group, The Christian Homeschool Oasis, and enjoys speaking on various topics related to homeschooling and healthy parenting. She is a regular contributor to Learning Tangent Magazine, serves as the volunteer staff writer for Celebrate Kids, Inc., and has co-authored a book entitled Celebrating Children’s 12 Genius Qualities.

In 2013, Tina launched an on-going research project that culminated in the development of The Homeschool Resource Roadmap, a database of information about more than 3,000 homeschool-oriented resource providers. Though initially focused on each company’s position regarding common core, The Roadmap has now expanded to offer a more detailed “snapshot” of each provider, giving home educators a “one stop shop” for comparing and contrasting various options. (Bio taken from https://hsroadmap.org/about-2/.)

Here is what I asked Tina on this episode of the podcast:

  • Tell us first of all how you started homeschooling?
  • I’m always fascinated when a former teacher, particularly a public school teacher, leaves the profession to homeschool. What was it like making that transition? I assume you have not always been of the lifeschooling persuasion!
  • Tell us some about some of the books that made the biggest impact on your homeschooling journey.
  • To remind our listeners, the definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” How does your family lifeschool? Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you?
  • Tell us about a typical day in your homeschool?
  • I’ve been poking around on your website and your research project is pretty impressive! Tell our listeners about it and what lead you to take on this huge endeavor.
  • I heard this quote not long ago by a pastor on the radio that went something like this: “Passion is not something that you develop, but rather something that you discover as God shows you what He has already called you to do.” I love that quote because it so fits with my own experience. What would you say is your biggest passion as you carry out your mission?

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

Raising our Children in Light of their Gifts – Chris Davis

Raising our Children in Light of their Gifts - Chris DavisChris Davis without a doubt has had the biggest influence on my own homeschooling. God providentially led me to his blog years ago and I have never forgotten his analogy of the acorn in this blog post. It is what set me off in a different direction, with the necessary confidence to go against the grain and simply allow my children to pursue their gifts.

But how do we handle the high school years? Can we continue with a lifeschooling mindset and crowd out all the influences and voices around us that tell us we have to conform? Will we be successful if we simply allow our children to continue pursuing their God-given gifts? The success of Chris’ own children inspires me and should give us all courage to continue lifeschooling!

Most people know Chris Davis as owner of the former homeschool supply company, The Elijah Company or as a homeschool conference speaker. Others know him as the father of 4 awesome children, now grown, who are doing amazing things that give Chris the courage to follow God in ever new ways. Still others know him as owner of www.HomeschoolTravel.com. For many years, Chris has brought homeschooling families to tour biblical Israel.

Chris Davis’ blog, homeschoolingwisdom.com, is mostly about homeschooling. However, from time to time he shares things God has shown him in his 70 plus years on the planet and 30 plus years being involved with homeschooling families.

If you follow his blog, you may just read something that will help you raise (and educate) your own children. When Chris began homeschooling over 30 years ago, he was quite opinionated on the subject. After all these years, he has become even more opinionated. (bio taken from https://chrisdavis.wordpress.com/about/.)

And I can relate to that sentiment!

Here is what I ask Chris on the show:

  • As I mentioned, you were probably the biggest influence on my homeschooling and the vision that God put in my own heart…which has ultimately led to my starting the Lifeschooling Conference. To give our listeners a little background, I discovered your blog years ago and it made such an impact on me. I think the first article I read was the one about the acorn. You expressed the kinds of ideas that had been circling around in my head and you really helped me to to solidify my philosophy of education.
  • And then God providentially brought our paths together at one of Rhea Perry’s Home Education for Home Business conferences. My daughter Elleina had her novel with her that she had been working on for maybe a year and you were the first person she allowed to read it, so that was really special because you actually called her up and used her as an example in the presentation you gave about allowing children to pursue their gifts.
  • I have always kept that analogy about the acorn in my head and tried to raise my children to be who God has called them to be, according to the gifts He has placed in them. I think that is revolutionary…though it really shouldn’t be. Can you give us a little more insight about this idea?
  • Give us some background about your homeschooling journey and what things were like when you were a pioneer homeschooler. What led you to homeschooling and what do you see as God’s purpose in this movement?
  • What is your biggest concern about what you see happening today with the homechooling movement? What do you think needs to change?
  • I know that traveling had a huge influence on you as a child. I read your book, Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally, and I just loved the story you shared at the beginning about traveling with your grandmother. Share with us a little bit of how that impacted your education.
  • While we’re on this topic of travel and how it fits with lifeschooling, tell us about the Israel tours, because I think that helping our children to understand the Bible better and that it is actual history is one of the most important things we can do in our homeschooling.
  • A couple years ago, we actually gave away a copy of your book, Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally, at the Lifeschooling Conference because I think it’s one of those “must read” books, especially for new homeschoolers. It really helps parents to understand what education is from a Biblical standpoint and it helps to strip away all the ideas that we have grown up with, that are so ingrained in us from experience and culture. Do you want to share with our listeners a little more about that book and tell them where they can get a copy?

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

Pursuing Gifts Through Lifeschooling – Konur and Elleina Papageorgiou

Pursuing Gifts Through Lifeschooling - Konur and Elleina PapageorgiouI won’t even try to pretend that Konur and Elleina are not my favorite guests so far! A mom has a right to such bias! 🙂 What a fun interview talking with my kids about pursuing gifts and how God has allowed them to do this in lifeschooling.

How we carry out the lifeschooling vision can look a little different from family to family, but here is what lifeschooling looks like in a very relaxed setting.

Konur is our firstborn who is 16. He is amazing with computers and is currently learning to program apps. He loves math, history (particularly WW2), and grammar. He also has an interest in dog training and helps take care of the animals on our homestead.

Elleina is our middle child who is 13. She is our creative one. She loves acting, writing, and art and is also learning Welsh and Danish. She played the role of 12-year-old Kate in the movie “Like Arrows: The Art of Parenting” which will be in theaters for one weekend in May, 2018, and she also had the lead role in a play last year (2016). She just finished going through the proof copy of her first novel, which we hope will be available for purchase later this month. (Update: No Return was published in December, 2017. You may purchase it on Amazon).

 

  • Tell us about your typical day and what it pursuing gifts looks like for you.
  • Konur, how did you become interested in WW2?
  • Last year was a big year for you, Elleina. How did you begin acting and what led to your getting your first movie role?
  • Konur, how did you start coding and were you interested in this subject area or did you have some prompting?
  • Elleina, how did the novel come about? Tell us about that process.
  • Tell us how the traditional subjects (grammar, math, etc.) have come into play as you have pursued your individual interests.
  • What are some of your specific goals for this year in your education and projects you want to accomplish?
  • Tell us your favorite part of lifeschooling and pursuing gifts that God has put in you.
  • So, lifeschooling is about freedom. You can have this lifeschooling mindset with just about every approach you take with homeschooling, but we tend to look rather “unschooly” in our philosophy. What do you see as the biggest challenge with taking a more relaxed approach?
  • Tell us one thing you still want to learn.

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

Schoolhouse Rocked! Lifeschooling on the Road with the Hamptons

Schoolhouse Rocked and Lifescholing on the Road - HamptonsGarritt and Yvette Hampton talk about their unconventional lifestyle homeschooling on the road while filming a documentary called Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution. How do they homeschool in a tiny travel trailer while traveling all over the country? Find out in this episode of “Life as a Lifeschooler.”

Garritt and Yvette Hampton, along with their two daughters, Brooklyn and Lacey, are passionate about God, homeschooling, and spending time together as a family. So much so in fact that last year they sold most of their possessions, purchased an RV and are traveling full-time exploring this beautiful country while filming a feature-length documentary on homeschooling called Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution.

Garritt is a movie industry veteran with credits on some of the biggest movies of the last decade. Yvette’s greatest enjoyment is being a full-time wife and mom. Garritt and Yvette are both from Southern California and are in their seventh year of homeschooling. They have a passion for helping and encouraging those just getting started or considering homeschooling, as well as those who are in the midst of it as they are.

Their strongest desire is that Schoolhouse Rocked will encourage families to homeschool with confidence, equip them to overcome the challenges that cause many to give up, and to finish strong.

Here is what I asked Garritt and Yvette on this episode of the show:

  • Tell us first of all how you started homeschooling? I know this wasn’t the original path that you had chosen, right?
  • How did the movie come about and tell us what your mission is with it?
  • Who are some of the people you’ve been able to interview?
  • Now, I was poking around on your site this afternoon and I came across the name of your production company and the meaning behind it. I love it! The name is “Bronze Oxen.” Tell our listeners why you chose that unusual name.
  • So, how many square feet is your camper and how do you make that work?
  • We’ve talked about this before, but how did you decide what to get rid of? Have you missed anything?
  • Well, to me what you are doing with this documentary and doing it while homeschooling is the classic example of “lifeschooling”. The definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.”
  • I love that you heard God’s call for your family and that you stepped out in faith and followed. You didn’t let homeschooling stand in the way because you recognized the value of this type of learning. This is a Deuteronomy 6:4-9 learning environment. So, can you share with us some of the lifeschooling that has been happening in your family? How have your children grown both spiritually and academically? Have you seen the spark of any interests or talents they have?

That’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

Lifeschooling for the first year: Meet the Robinsons

The Robinsons on Lifeschooling for the First YearJohn and Jennifer Robinson join us at the Home Business Conference in Huntsville, AL on today’s show to talk about their first year “lifeschooling” and what they learned.

John and Jennifer attended the 2017 Lifeschooling Conference, where they learned to see home education as a freeing opportunity and felt the Lord confirm in their hearts the lifeschooling direction they wanted their homeschooling to take. They had first started seriously discussing homeschooling back in 2011 after attending a homeschooling conference. While Jennifer did not, at that time, feel a calling toward homeschooling, John decided to research further and was ready to take on the role of homeschool dad. For various reasons (including fear), the idea was put on the back burner for the time until eventually God brought things back around and they decided to finally take the leap of faith into homeschooling.

“We have learned through this process that when you are obedient in the little things,” says Jennifer, “then He will bless you with more and He will open up the windows of opportunity after you have taken that first step.” John also talks about expectations and how when we are walking in faith, we have to let go of our own expectations. “We pray for God to make things stupidly obvious,” says John, “We want to make sure we’re not taking the wheel and trying to steer the ship.”

John also talks about the realization of how quickly their children were growing up and their desire to spend time with them and build Godly character. During their first year, Jennifer noticed the stark difference time spent together can make. “Being in a school setting… You’re not spending that quality time. You’re dropping them off at a school and you’re not seeing them for several hours and then you go to pick them up and you’re like, ‘How was your day? What did you learn?’ and all you hear is ‘Fine,” or ‘Nothing.'” You don’t have any quality conversation with them. And that was so frustrating for me… I had no clue what they did all day!” Now Jennifer takes them to horseback riding lessons, with a 45 minute drive each way, and says these are some of the deepest and most philosophical conversations they have.

Another big takeaway for Jennifer from their first year lifeschooling was that when they sent their children off to school, they were basically communicating to their children, “I am not your expert. I don’t know anything, so I’m sending you off to the experts to learn.” She talks about how her own love for learning immediately rubbed off and made an impression on their kids. “You need to come to mom’s homeschool,” they would say to their dad, “She’s so smart!” Jennifer talks about how this changed perspective has impacted how the kids view them not only with regard to academics, but also when it comes to spiritual matters, as well. They see their parents as knowledgeable in all areas of life.

One way that the Robinsons also protected their time was to discipline themselves not to sign up for lots of extracurricular programs and purchase too much curricula. “We really focused on what are the giftings that God has given our children and what giftings do we need to help nurture?” Keeping the schedule somewhat freer also allowed them to be flexible enough to participate in ministry to others. Their family was able to go to a local nursing home with their church once a month and help with serving food or doing arts and crafts with the elderly.

Jon sums it up well. “It’s fun to watch how God just lays this all out and obviously hindsight is much clearer, but it’s fun to look back and see the path that He has led us down. It’s exciting to see what lies ahead.”

That’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!