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!

Entrepreneurship and Homeschooling – Rhea Perry

Entrepreneurship and Homeschooling - Rhea PerrySome children are better suited for a path in entrepreneurship that does not necessarily require a college degree. On today’s show, Rhea Perry (speaker at our 2016 and 2017 Lifeschooling Conferences) shares the wisdom she applied in homeschooling her son, who became a millionaire entrepreneur by early adulthood and brought his father home from corporate America.

Rhea (pronounced Ray) Perry has educated 7 children since 1987. As a stay-at-home mom, her main goal in life is to encourage women to become the best homemakers they can be. She believes that includes helping their children discover their gifts and find their calling in life as early as possible. The family should also support the children until they enter their own personal journey on the road to financial security.

Yet how can we do that when we haven’t been educated or trained? We find ourselves learning as we are doing it with them. Sometimes we feel like the burden is too heavy. That’s why Rhea created a community called Educating for Success so those on this journey can encourage each other and share secrets along the way.

Whether you desire to have a job or a home business for your children or yourself, the greatest country that has ever existed economically – America – offers unlimited opportunities, especially since the Internet has changed the rules for entrepreneurship.

So many mothers struggle with a fear of failure, but how can we fail when God is for us and desires to help each of us fulfill the purpose He put us here to achieve? (Bio taken from http://www.educatingforsuccess.com/public/department13.cfm.)

I have personally known Rhea and been involved with her Protege entrepreneurship program for the past five or six years. Our family has made friends and business connections with people from all over the country who “do school” similar to the way we do it, with an emphasis on our children’s individual gifts and how they can be applied to entrepreneurship. And my own children are on their way to having successful businesses.

Here are the questions we ask Rhea on today’s show:

  • We talked to your friend Dr. Mary Hood on our last episode about the early days of homeschooling. How have you seen homeschooling change over the years since you started?
  • How has the internet, with so many entrepreneurial opportunities, potentially changed the way we educate our children?
  • With the rise of the internet, there are more opportunities than ever for entrepreneurs to make money. However, the internet has also impacted the homeschooling community. Many support groups are shutting down and the real life community aspect seems to be dying. What are your thoughts on that?
  • Tell us where we can go to find out more information about Educating for Success and the entrepreneur course you offer?

You can hear more from Rhea by purchasing the Lifeschooling Conference video sets from our website and visiting her site at www.EducatingforSuccess.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!

The Philosophy of Lifeschooling

Danielle and Christi - The Philosophy of LifeschoolingDanielle Papageorgiou and Christi Deason discuss the homeschooling philosophy of lifeschooling and share some real life experiences of what that has looked like in their individual families.

Lifeschooling is the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents, primarily through real life experiences that happen in the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.

It is about freedom.

Faith is an integral part of homeschooling, but many of us struggle with fear and search for “security blankets” in the curriculum we choose and the way we homeschool. We struggle with allowing God to lead our homeschools and trusting the process. As all homeschoolers, Christi and I both faced this battle in our own ways. And I still face it as I continue on this homeschooling journey!

But Christi, having successfully graduated two children, has already accomplished the task and has much wisdom to share about her experience. “I just knew that the Lord was saying to me, ‘You’re not going to know the outcome if you put them in school, either,” she says, “Leave it with me and let me with my sovereignty control the outcome.’ Once I really realized that, it was very freeing and it became exciting at that point.” Today, Christi’s son works as a successful engineer, and her daughter, while she is currently focused on her role as wife and mother, is working towards opening her own martial arts studio in the future.

Over the years, Christi has seen plenty of changes within the homeschooling community. While the early pioneers had to create their own curriculum and use the resources and experiences at hand, as homeschooling evolved, curriculum companies saw an opportunity to market to homeschoolers. While we are blessed today to have more options and resources than ever, there were some pitfalls that came with the options. Christi talks about how she watched the homeschooling community go from a “creative community to a consumer community,” becoming more and more reliant on boxed curriculum and trusting in someone else’s packaged plan for their unique children, rather than the Lord’s individualized plan.

Lifeschooling is about getting back to the roots of homeschooling. It is about the “ancient paths.” What should a real education look like? What is most effective for your own child? We believe lifeschooling, with its focus on relationships and finding our children’s unique gifts, is the answer.

To learn more about lifeschooling, visit www.LifeschoolingConference.com.

(Note: This is our first podcast, so please excuse the inferior sound quality. We will improve as we learn!)