SMHEA Homeschool Expo

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Every June, my local homeschool support organization, the Smoky Mountain Home Educators Association, puts on a free mini-convention. There are vendors and local organizations who cater to homeschoolers, like the Knoxville Zoo, the Titanic Museum, and Ripley’s Aquarium. There are seminars, too. I am one of the speakers.

Adriana Zoder, Claiborne and Lana Thornton

With THEA President, Claiborne Thornton, and his wife Lana

This year, I spoke about Preschool and Kindergarten in one seminar. The other one was about different homeschool approaches. Education can be done in a myriad of ways. By the way, you can find the slides of my PowerPoint presentations under the tab called Workshops on this blog. Continue reading »

Homeschool Parent Support Night

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Once a month, homeschooling moms in Sevier County get together in a hospitable home in Pigeon Forge. We bring something to munch on and we have a good time talking.

Sometimes there are 15 of us and the room gets noisy. Other times there are only four of us. That’s when the conversations get deeper and trouble spots work their way into the conversation. “How do you know you are doing enough?” “What if my son is two grades behind?” “How can I make myself stop from worrying?” and many other similar questions come up.

What strikes me is that homeschooling moms really have the same questions as public or private school moms. Sure, we have a few additional questions about curriculum choices, umbrella schools and dealing with negative people in our lives. Besides that, it all goes back to parenting.

“Are you already praying for your son’s future wife?” somebody asked me. I answered in the affirmative. “Since he was born.”

We don’t see each other between meetings. We are all too busy and scattered across our county to get together. Maybe we should make an effort. Maybe not. I find that many homeschooling families uphold standards they are proud of. But they are all different. While we respect each other’s freedom of choice, we just don’t want to impose our standards on others. And getting to know what somebody wants to do with their children takes time. Who’s got any extra these days?

“Who is your best girl friend and does she support your decision to homeschool?” I was relieved to find out other moms confessed they did not have a “best friend.” Neither do I. When you are married with children, there’s no time for a BFF. There, I said it. But my close friends do support my decision to homeschool. They even homeschool themselves. They just don’t live nearby. I wish they did. But life has spread us all over the world after college and now we stay in touch as well as we can.

The friendship of my local homeschooling support group means a lot to me. I get refreshed and encouraged every time. I am thankful to the hostess and the group leader who keep us all going.