Keep Calm and Homeschool On, Interview with Carla Fuller

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This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Keep Calm and Homeschool On, Interview with Carla Fuller.

Keep Calm and Homeschool On, Interview with Carla Fuller

Carla Fuller: Keep Calm and Homeschool On

Do you always have calm days? I doubt it. That’s why we’re diving into the important topic to keep calm and homeschool on!

Because let’s face it, sometimes we all need a little injection. Vicki is excited to day to chat with our friend, Carla Fuller, about the topic of calm homeschooling!

Besides holding double Masters degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy as well as Child and Family Studies, Carla is a high school educational consultant for HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association). Carla’s calm and wise demeanor is truly infectious, and she shares her homeschool journey, tips for reducing anxiety, and advice for homeschooling high school with grace.

About Carla Fuller

Carla Fuller’s homeschool journey began in a serendipitous way. As a marriage and family therapist, she worked on a radio show called Teen Talk, a show that was all about providing a platform for teenagers to call in and talk about their struggles. It was a way to prevent risky behaviors and promote mental health. On the show one day, Carla met a homeschooled teenager who completely blew her away with her maturity and calmness. This encounter sparked Carla’s interest in homeschooling, and she tucked the idea away for later.

Fast forward to meeting her husband and starting a family. They decided to give homeschooling a shot. Little did they know that this decision would shape their lives in incredible ways.

Initially, they took it year by year. However, as they saw the benefits for their boys and their family, they continued homeschooling all the way through high school. Now their sons have graduated and are in college. Their oldest son is pursuing political science while their youngest is studying engineering at a Virginia University. Talk about an amazing journey!

Unfolding the Homeschool Journey

Now, let’s get down to business and talk about that sense of calm and homeschool on that Carla brings to the table. Homeschooling high school can be a nerve-wracking experience:

  • The fear of messing up our teens
  • Or the pressure to cover everything
  • And the worries about college and the future.

It’s enough to make anyone’s blood pressure skyrocket. But Carla is here to save the day with some tips to lower that blood pressure and bring back the calm.

First and foremost, Carla reminds us that our teens are still works in progress.

Carla emphasizes the importance of observing and including with our teens in planning their homeschool years. Development of their unique selves (personality, interests, gifts) takes time, and it’s a process of unfolding. 

She encourages parents to detach from the pressures of gotta’s and should’s.

Instead focus on understanding their teens’ needs and interests. Watch what’s developing in your teens, listen to what they are telling you, and partner with them in their journey. It’s all about discovery and exploration.

By cultivating a strong relationship and engaging in conversations, parents can alleviate the pressure they put on themselves and their children.

Discovering Passions

And here’s a little secret: parenting is all about discovery too. We have no idea who’s being sent to us when we become parents. It’s a wild ride of surprises and unexpected twists. 

Carla’s homeschooling approach involved exposing her sons to various activities and observing their natural interests. From tinkering with Hot Wheels tracks to creating imaginary countries on maps, her sons’ passions became apparent. (Our friend, Anita Gibson, calls this “finding their star”.)

When high school arrived, Carla and her husband focused on incorporating these interests into their curriculum. Her oldest son was interested in political science, even traveling abroad for mission work, while her youngest delved into robotics and engineering studies.

Transcripts and Resumes

When it comes to capturing these unique experiences on transcripts, Carla explains that some activities are best suited for resumes. She suggests focusing on the core academics and listing the rest on a resume. 

For instance, her son listed mission trips, robotics camps and music performances on his experiential resume, showcasing his diverse skills and interests. The resume can come in handy for college applications and even job applications down the line. 

Remember: All of life is education

Advice for Homeschooling High School

For parents starting their homeschooling journey with a 9th grader, Carla has a few sage suggestions:

  • Begin with the end in mind
  • Create a basic academic plan together with your child to help set goals and expectations 
  • Understand your state’s requirements and explore potential colleges early on to alleviate stress later

Carla emphasizes that it’s impossible to cover everything, but by focusing on the tools of learning and fostering a sense of curiosity, your teenager can continue their educational journey beyond homeschooling.

Letting Go and Enjoying the Process

But here’s the thing: you can’t do it all. Carla reminds homeschooling parents that they are not in control of the outcomes. Putting pressure on ourselves to control every aspect of our children’s education is unnecessary. Remember: All of life is education (learning takes a lifetime and there’s just no way to cover everything during high school). 

Let go of that pressure and focus on giving your teens the tools to learn for themselves. And if there are any gaps, don’t fret. Dual enrollment can be a lifesaver. Colleges often have resources that we humble homeschoolers may not, so take advantage of them. 

And remember, you’re not in control of the outcomes. Trust the unfolding process and in the plans that God has for your kids. Have faith that the plans God has for their children will come to fruition. 

Reflecting on her own life, Carla acknowledges that our trajectories are rarely straight, and unexpected detours often lead us to where we need to be.

Embracing Support and Community

Homeschooling can sometimes feel overwhelming, but Carla reassures parents that they are not alone.  Organizations like HSLDA and supportive homeschooling communities exist to provide guidance, resources, and a sense of camaraderie. 

Building a community around you, linking arms with others who understand the journey, can make all the difference.

Carla Fuller: Keep Calm and Homeschool On

Homeschooling high school can be a beautiful and rewarding experience, filled with opportunities for growth and discovery. Carla Fuller’s wisdom and calm demeanor remind us to observe, partner with our children, and trust the unfolding process. To keep calm and homeschool on!

By focusing on the tools of learning, embracing flexibility, and building strong relationships, we can navigate the homeschooling journey with confidence and joy. So take a deep breath, remember that you can do this, and enjoy the adventure of homeschooling high school!

Thank you to Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for writing this blog post and to Seth Tillman for editing the podcast.

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