I am married with 4 children. I remember when I was pregnant with my firstborn son and I wanted to homeschool. By the time he was a toddler, I had decided I would not be able to. I thought it would be too difficult. I continued to have 3 more children and with each child I continued to believe I would not be able to homeschool. I decided to put my children in Christian school. For me, I never wanted to put my children in public school. That choice would have been a very bad choice, especially in NY, where I lived up to 6 years ago. The tuition to have all 4 children in Christian school would end up costing me more than my mortgage, but I did not see an alternative at the time! I began to work in the Christian school my children attended when my 4th child was just 2 years old. I began to really enjoy seeing them during the day and being able to eat lunch with them. The following year the school enrollment had dropped and my position was no longer needed. I dropped my children off each day and did not see them until the end of the day. I did not like that much, but it seemed to be the best choice. As my husband started back to school, finances began to be an issue. My husband came to me and asked me to try homeschooling! My response, “NO WAY, YOU HOMESCHOOL.” After that day, the Lord began to put the thought in my head more and more. My husband asked me to just try it and if it did not work out, we would need to put them all in public school. I agreed to try! I hoped for someone to allow me to be a part of her daily co-op. I had no idea what to do. I knew the curiculums I wanted to use and was confident in that area, but I was so unsure about everything else. There was no room in the small co-op for my children and I needed to try it alone. I started homeschooling my 2 daughters that December (2007). I also had my 3 year old son home still. I joined HEAC (Home Educators Association of the Cumberlands). I was desperate for support and encouragement. The group only did field trips and the leaders were fantastic and sat with me and encouraged me. I desired something more consistent. I hoped for something on a weekly basis. That first semester was difficult for me with a toddler, kindergartener, and 2nd grader. I wanted to bring my oldest home that fall. I was not sure how I could handle having 4 home. I decided to put my youngest (almost 4) in the pre-k program at the Christian school and bring my oldest son home. In the summer, I received word from the leaders of HEAC that they were all stepping down from leadership with the group. They had not found anyone to step forward to take their place. They asked for volunteers to step up. They said if no one stepped up to lead the group, HEAC would be no more. The field trips were only once a month, but it was something; some support and friendship. There was a weekly karate class that I decided I would put my oldest son in, in the fall. I knew I did not want the only support I had to end. I offered to “help” lead the group. We had a group meeting that July. Two other women came forward to help me. We started planning classes for the fall semester to meet on a weekly basis, centered around the karate class. By October of 2008 we were ready to start! We had many moms volunteer to teach and soon had way more classes and students then I expected! We had over 54 students our first semester! In the beginning we called our group, “Crossville Homeschool Group.” We met at a few different churches that first year. Homeschooling 3 was difficult, but I wanted, and my youngest son wanted me to bring him home the following year.
The following year, the fall of 2009, we moved to Memorial Baptist Church, and changed our name to Crossville HEARTS (Home Educators Always Ready To Serve). I was co-leading a large homeschool group and homeschooling my 4 children. HEARTS continued to grow and started offering many opportunities for homeschoolers. This past year we had over 100 students register for each semester and we offered between 40-50 classes for children 2 years – 12th grade each semester. We do field trips, concerts, proms, graduations, have a curriculum website, regular website, yahoo groups, and much more. I am looking forward to a new year of classes beginning in September at our new location, Abundant Life Baptist Church.
Homeschooling is still a challenge to me, but it is a far greater blessing and joy than I ever imagined. Now, I cannot imagine doing anything else. Over the years I have met and worked with many homeschool parents. I have been able to advise and encourage many. I have seen many parents new to homeschooling with the same concerns I had when I first began. I have had people to my home, helped many find cheap books, and helped many find the right curriculums for their children. I have come to realize that it is a gift the Lord has blessed me with. I find great joy in being able to help others find the many blessings at home with their families! In January of 2011 I stepped down from leadership with Crossville HEARTS. I am still on their support staff and run their yahoo groups, curriculum website, yahoo email account, and provide general support to the leaders. I stepped down knowing that the Lord has something else he is calling me to do. I believe that in stepping down from leadership with HEARTS, I have been given an opportunity to work with even more homeschoolers through this ministry. I want to be able to help each family find the many joys there are in homeschooling their children. I am so thankful for all the experience leading HEARTS has given me! It was a real blessing to be a founding leader of the group. HEARTS will always be dear to my heart. I still enjoy all the benefits of weekly participation with all their activities. I love watching the children play and the parents ministered to. One of my favorite things to do is discuss different curriculums and publishers. I have learned much over the years and I am confident that I will be able to help your family as well.
There is no school where your child can have an education worked around them and their abilities. Please contact me to find out if homeschooling is right for your family and what the advantages of homeschooling are. I am thankful for a husband who got me to “give it a try.” I pray you will too!
Email me for an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org