Encouragement for the Homeschool Mom

For most of you, the school year has either already begun or is just about to begin. For us, the start of this year is, oh, I guess we'll call it bittersweet. Particularly for my dear wife.

It's only natural, but we've been building to this point for the last few years. As our children grow older, (and we have more of them) homeschooling has become more and more difficult. We now have 5 school age children and of course our older children's studies have become more varied and demanding with each passing year. Add to this the challenges of running home based businesses and you can hopefully see what I'm getting at.

There are many days where (the dream of happily educated, well behaved children) feels like it’s nothing more than a fanciful notion conjured up by artfully staged photographs or youthful naivety or both.

Caroline is an optimist at heart. She formed idyllic scenes of happily educated and well behaved children in her mind long before she met me. However, anyone who has schooled their children at home for any length of time knows you have to fight for those dreams and they can often feel nearly impossible to realize. To be sure, it's an ideal and striving for, but there will be many days where it feels like it's nothing more than a fanciful notion conjured up by artfully staged photographs or youthful naivety or both.

On those days, the dream can seem cruel. "I didn't expect it to be like this," or, "I never imagined it would be this hard," are phrases that come to mind; And if the letdown is too much, you might also be thinking, "I can't do this anymore," or, "I'm done..."

My wife and I have had these discussions. We honesty want what's best for our children and stand convinced that homeschooling is, at the present, the very best option for their education and the molding of their character; but what happens when one (or both) of the parents is just worn out? What happens when the divide between expectations and reality has grown so wide that you feel like your homeschool is a failure?

You need a fresh breath of encouragement. We all do. Even the parents who seem to have it all together need to step back, take a deep breath, and gather strength for the (unexpected) challenges of homeschooling. This is one of the main reasons Caroline and I (along with our friends Jami and Jason Balmet) have been working hard the past few months to bring you "Encouragement for the Homeschool Mom - The 2016 Online Conference"!

We've lined up 12 excellent speakers who are at all stages of the homeschool journey to bring you hope, helpful tips, and even a little humor for the new school year. Take a look below at some of the names along with the title of their message.

MacKenzie Monroe (boldturquoise.com) - "Jesus Through Our Days"

Amy Roberts (raisingarrows.net) - "Large Family Homeschooling"

Jamerill Stewart (theencouraginghomeschoolmom.com)  - "7 Sanity Saving Hacks for Real Life Homeschool Moms to Keep Their Family Fed"

Hal and Melanie Young (raisingrealmen.com)  - "Parenting Preteens"

Jennifer Ross (thefocusedhomemaker.com)  - "Practical Solutions: Teaching Toddlers Through Teens"

There's even a session by yours truly. :) The title of my message is "Consistency: A Key to Happy Homeschooling"; and there are many more. Each and every one of these speakers knows what its like soldier on through the ups and downs of educating children at home. They represent many, many years of collective wisdom and insight into what it takes to meet the everyday challenges of homeschooling head on with not only determination, but also grace.

Oh! And one other thing I'm really excited about this conference - if you register for the sessions you'll receive a custom designed homeschool planner! I designed the planner with input from my wife and I spent a lot of time tweaking and refining it to ensure it simply gets out of your way and allows you to settle down and focus on what's most important. The space on each page has been maximized to accommodate as much writing area as possible and the design is clean and light. This planner retails for $14.99, but it's included for FREE with your registration to the conference! 

There are a lot of other great bonuses included with your registration, but suffice it to say, if you could use a little encouragement for the year ahead, we would be delighted if you registered for this year's "Encouragement for the Homeschool Mom Online Conference." I don't think you'll regret it.