Friday, November 13, 2009

Interviewing a Homeschool Mom

Please join us in welcoming Becky Saylors for an interview!

Homeschool Soul Mates: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Becky: My name is Becky Saylors. This fall I began my seventh year of homeschooling. My husband Larry and I have been blessed with three children: Charity is a seventh grader, Destiny is in fifth grade, and Christian is now in second grade.

Homeschool Soul Mates: What do you do to keep your sanity while doing this?

Becky: To keep my sanity I make sure my calendar is clear so that I can attend our homeschool moms' fellowships twice a month. It's so great to hear others share of God's work in their lives and to have the opportunity to share His work in mine too. It usually ends with some good laughs, and we all know that laughter is the best medicine.

Homeschool Soul Mates: I agree that laughter is a great stress-reliever. What did you love the most about it?

Becky: I can't say that I've always loved homeschooling. Honestly, we started homeschooling out of necessity. Our oldest was in a small Christian school for PreK and Kinder. We were barely able to afford it. It was because of finances that my husband suggested we homeschool. I struggled through the first year with my daughter (a first grader at the time). She and I shed buckets of tears that year. I selfishly resented giving up my "freedom". When summer arrived, I began praying about God's will for school that fall. I asked God to give me a love for homeschooling if He was calling me to that. He answered my prayer, and I can honestly say I love homeschooling. Don't get me wrong, we have our days . . . but when it comes right down to it, I wouldn't trade this privilege for the world! I've had the privilege of being there when my youngest announced in the middle of classes that he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart. We got down on our knees in the front yard (yes, our school room was the great out of doors that day) and prayed together. I've been blessed to be able to be the one to answer my kids' questions on the important things in life. I'm there every day to correct those attitude problems that arise, to encourage one of my children through a difficult day, to train them in godly character, to get and give all those hugs and kisses and to share those precious moments. I can't imagine giving that away!

Homeschool Soul Mates: Wow, thanks for the honest answer. How awesome that your son actually got saved at his homeschool class! What advice would you give to new homeschool moms?

Becky: My advice to a new homeschooling mom would be to cut yourself (and your kids!) some slack. You don't have to be a perfect mom, teacher, wife, etc., etc., etc. Be careful not to make your home a carbon copy of school. You have lots of freedom and choices. Get on your knees and seek God's wisdom. He has promised to give it to you if you ask. He will do some awesome things in your life as He does some amazing things in your family's life. He's there for you through each day. Then don't forget to take time out to be refreshed! For me that means a daily quiet time with the Lord every morning before everyone else gets up and then time out with other homeschooling moms.

Homeschool Soul Mates: What method did you use?

Becky: My homeschool philosophy has changed over the years. Because I began homeschooling "out of necessity", I didn't really take time to sit down and figure out what my goals were. I chose a curriculum based on what my daughter had been using in her Christian school. It had worked for her so I figured "why change it if it's working". I could not have seen the work that God was going to begin in my life personally. Day by day, month by month, year by year God was revealing to me that homeschooling was way bigger than educating. Even though education is important, I began to see the bigger picture. I realized that we all homeschool for various reasons, and we all have different "visions" for our children's lives. My husband and I are missionaries. Serving is VERY important to us! That caused us to make choices to steer our "extracurricular" activities more toward serving. We started asking ourselves questions when opportunities for activities arose. Understanding God's direction for homeschooling in our family has set us free to say "no" to the things that will fill time but keep us from being the servants God has called us to be. This direction has also led us to make changes in our curriculum. I started feeling "married" to the curriculum. I found myself thinking, "we really need to bring this in, but we just don't have time". That began weighing on me. I was seeking God's direction for our 2009-2010 school year. I would now have a seventh grader, fifth grader, and second grader. How was I going to fit it all in? Thanks to a friend who passed me some info on a curriculum I had never heard of, God led us to make a change in our adventure. I thank God often. I'm loving teaching and my kids are loving learning for the first time. It is so exciting . . . many of those things that I would often think I would like to incorporate if I just had the time, were actually part of this new curriculum. God is sooooo faithful. I'm thankful for His patience with me. He's there ready to teach you too!

Homeschool Soul Mates: Thanks for sharing this with us, Becky. We pray that your wisdom will bless and encourage others.

If you have questions for us or for Becky, please ask them in the comment section.

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