Spotlight on the Crew ~ An Experienced Homeschool Mom

{This week’s Spotlight on the Crew article is brought to you from Penny, at Knee Deep In Grace.}

Not long ago, a friend introduced me to her mother-in-law, saying, “This is the woman I was telling you about.  She’s an experienced homeschool mom.”  Often, the focus is on the fact that I’m the mother of a large family, and what that entails on any given day; so, later I actually pondered the title of “Experienced Homeschool Mom.”

Mother/Mom – being defined as a woman who is pregnant with or gives birth to a child; a female parent – is easy for me to enthusiastically embrace.  I have been pregnant, giving birth, breast-feeding, and generally parenting for well over half of my lifetime!  I have “mothered” twelve, with 7 still living at home.  I love motherhood!

I define homeschool as home based education, rather than teaching/learning in a public or private school environment.  I have been “homeschooling” our children, exclusively educating them at home, with my husband’s support, for nearly 30 years.  I would go so far as to say, “this ‘shoe’ fits,” quite comfortably, in fact.

When examining the word, experienced, I realize I correlate responsibility nearly in direct proportion to the level of experience one has obtained.  I tend to shy away from sharing my experience with others, because I don’t want the responsibility of how it might affect their life, if they should choose to apply it to their own situation.  I am an advocate for homeschooling, and the right to choose to home educate one’s children, but I don’t believe it is for everyone.  Merriam-Webster defines experience as practical knowledge, skill, or practice derived from direct observation of or participation in events or in a particular activity.  Therefore, I can’t wiggle out of being an experienced homeschool mom, but I can clarify that I don’t claim to be a foremost voice of authority on the subject, either.  I think of myself as a mother, who’s chosen to homeschool.

For lack of a better word, I bow to those that have gone before me.  Yes, to many, I have been homeschooling since the beginning of time, but there were actual pioneers before me.  In the beginning, I had a desire to homeschool our child, but I didn’t know what to do with it.  I wasn’t even sure it was legal.  In some states, in the ‘80’s, your child would be considered truant if you kept them out of public school.  Once I discovered it was legal, I began with what I knew; so, I brought school, home.  The confines of timed classes, allotted recess, and standardized testing, made us miserable.  It is with thanks to Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, and their books, Better Late Than Early, 1975, and Home Grown Kids, 1981, that I found my direction and sure footing to pursue homeschooling, the way I imagined it could be.

Oh, the joy of Unit Studies, relating several areas of study around one common, chosen, theme of interest, or subject!  The Moore’s reassurance that “learning should not be stressful for either the parent or the child and that children need lots of love; and discipline, real-life experiences, and time to explore and learn,” was invaluable to me.  Dr. Moore recommended that parents focus on “reading good literature [including The Bible] and developing good habits, routines, and responsibility.”

He was an advocate for delaying formal education, waiting for a child to mature, and display a “readiness” to learn academics.  He believed children catch up on learning, in a brief period of time, once they are “ready” to learn. The Moore’s Formula is still foundational to how I teach

Through the years, according to the “bent” of each child, I have changed methods, approaches, and whole curriculums, while always attempting to maintain our center – that of raising our children in the “instruction and discipline of The Lord;”  [Ephesians 6:4] earnestly counseling them to “love The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” [Mark 12:30] acknowledging that our life is only whole and complete when it is lived with God..

One of my discoveries, in recent years, is Educating the WholeHearted Child,  by Clay and Sally Clarkson.  It is my number one, all-time favorite homeschool resource to use, gift, and recommend!  Inevitably, I find a word, phrase or paragraph that ministers to me like it’s the first time I’ve read it, or I re-read a highlighted favorite and find encouragement, and refreshment anew.

As an Experienced Homeschool Mom, I would tell you to first pray, then, seek to be sure in the why; flexible in the how, and consistent in the what, you teach your children.


It is my hope that you will be as blessed in your journey as we have been in ours.


Penny loves The Lord, and is ever grateful for His Grace.  She is the wife of a devoted husband, and a momma to many.  Her children include homeschool graduates, and those presently home educated, from college bound through early elementary ages.  She counts her blessings, daily, and is thankful to be Nana to seven grandchildren, already!  You can find her blogging at Knee Deep In Grace.


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