I have teased out some hints for over a month now and the day to reveal titles and covers is finally here! A great deal of prayer poured into determining what our first books would be under the Faith and Home Publishing moniker. I'm not quite ready to dive into the long list of fiction and children's book ideas I have been keeping notes on over the years. I would love to begin pulling together my logs for a series on homemaking but, like Paul desperately seeking to share about Jesus with the Jews, we felt like God was simply saying "no" - not now anyway. Instead, the more we lent our hearts in praying and looking, the more we saw HOMESCHOOLING.
With preschool years added in, we spent more than 15 years homeschooling our children from pre-K thru high school graduation. Even though we handed our youngest her diploma back in 2020, I miss it and think often of the many experiences - ups, downs, ins, outs. I find that homeschool vibe alive and well when I'm still approached by homeschooling moms (and occasionally their concerned parents) for tips and encouragement....and reassurance. I love these opportunities and conversations! So, yes, everywhere I turned God was showing me a need to speak into this thing called homeschooling. The message I feel called to share?
Be encouraged in this homeschooling journey - you've got this!
To prepare, I began thumbing through years of blog posts from our homeschool experiences, revisiting memories both vibrant and faded. Teaching my children was such a bittersweet journey… with an emphasis on the sweet. It is surreal to make the choice to homeschool - especially in the beginning as your children sit at home to review ABCs or decipher math. For those of us who grew up in public school, it is just odd to see this school thing happening anywhere other than the cold tiled floor of a classroom surrounded by 20-30 squirming kiddos.
You doubt yourself.
You wonder, “Did I make the right choice - can my kids really learn from me - will they really turn out weird and unsocialized....”. I've seen parents broken by this doubt and discouragement. It hurts my heart every time. How can we be encouraged and assured, walking forward without the temptation to give up?
What I have found is how encouragement mixed with some realism is essential to peace of mind and endurance in home educating. If more parents understood how their struggles are not exclusive to their own experiences...and that success is most definately assured because the path they walk is well worn by others, perhaps they wouldn't feel so isolated and, on occasion, end up giving up. If they only had tools equipping them to combat the trials they face, able to see how their choice IS solid.
We have to find hope: some days this homeschooling thing are hard, while other days it is absolutely wonderful, but ALL days are worth the journey.
With this call on my heart to share and encourage, a series was birthed. This fall I will be releasing the first 2 books in a set of parallel series....
The long-book series:
"This Homeschool Life: Faithfully and Confidently Walking Out a Call to Homeschooling" is written as an honest conversation over a cup of tea. It is a piece of my mama heart from journaled experiences over the years. Key elements include:
- Assurance about the choice to teach your children at home despite personal discouragement or second-guessing
- What to do when people doubt, criticize or flat-out think you are crazy?
- Facing the piles of curriculum choice which seem to accumulate and breed like the pet bunnies you bought to observe as "class" pets!
- Discussions on time management and finding peace in the process... and perhaps even that illusive "10 minutes" to yourself!
- Working out educating when trials to the household or health come
- Raw admissions and mommy encouragement for pushing through and coming out on top
My hope is for This Homeschool Life to become a friend and cheerleader to moms who need reminding of how important their job as teacher-mom is, how even their worst day is still better for their kids than the alternative and the fact that this journey in homeschooling really is worth-it.
The short-book series:
"Lessons in This Homeschool Life: If I Knew Then What I Know Now" is a shorter-book, launching a series of shorts which will precede each release of longer books. Intended for quick information, these smaller installments will still pack a big punch! "Lessons", as I have generically dubbed this fun manuscript, was a quickly realized MUST as I began to outline and write This Homeschool Life. I couldn't get away from those re-occurring thoughts: If I only knew then what I know now and how imperative it seemed to share these experiences, so they found their own place in the publishing line!
Key topics covered in completing the statement of "If I knew then what I know now...." are about:
- learning styles
- homeschooling methods
- having a schedule
- resting and living well
- worrying what others think
- simple grace for self in the process
It may seem as though there is some overlap with This Homeschool Life, however, each point in the short is considered from more of an anecdote + analytical point of view where I review each section with lessons learned and what we did well contrasted by what we could have done better in our homeschool journey. My hope is that others may be able to glean and learn from my mistakes and find encouragement! I know these tips would have helped me a great deal throughout my years of teaching!
Lessons In This Homeschool Life, the short-book, is projected to go live on September 23rd! (Please pray busy home life does NOT bump this intended deadline!)
Other installments coming in the short-book series:
- Devotions for This Homeschool Life: Quiet Reflections for Homeschooling Moms
- Don't Give Up on This Homeschooling Life: The joy and ease of teaching middling school through high school
(Releasing in December and February.... hopefully!)
This Homeschool Life, is currently slated for the first week of November. Much more is entailed with a larger book release and navigating is still on a wait-and-see scale!
Other installments coming in the long-book series:
- This Homeschool Journey: Snapshots from Homeschooling
- This Homeschool Decision: The choice to begin homeschooling
(Releasing in Winter and Spring respectively, sub-titles may undergo some adjustments)
Many details remain a bit fluid as we work through learning the process of this publishing business. Please bear with us! I know school, home and otherwise, is most likely in full-swing for the year by the time our first installment comes out. One thing I do remember from our days of educating our kids is how those first weeks of school were filled more with optimism even if trials began. As fall slips towards winter though, the doubt monster begins to nag. My hope is, with an early to late fall release on our series, we will be hitting shelves right about the time moms are realizing how real the struggle can be at times and looking for some much needed encouragement!
One final point....
We will be looking for reviewers!
Detailed information on the reviewer process is coming soon, along with some fun promotions! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being part of either book's launch team.
Lastly, if you know a homeschool family, it would be a mutual blessing if you could share about this book series and get the word out! Our heart and hope is to see them encouraged to stand strong for the long-haul in their home education journey!
Blessings and happy reading!