I have recently finished my own eBook and I can attest to the mixed emotions during the entire process. My guest today, Jennifer, shares her own roller-coaster ride to self-publishing. If you have been through self-publishing, you know. If you haven’t, then walk through with her…
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Have you ever made a decision so huge that it frightened you beyond belief?
For me, deciding to homeschool my children was such a decision. I have had to make some truly difficult decision in my life, however taking the leap into homeschooling consumed me for years.
The root of the struggle lay in the fact that all I knew was a school for education. Although I liked the concept of homeschooling, that lifestyle was completely foreign. Yellow school buses, attendance and lunch count, backpacks full of books, and bells ringing for recess…that was normal.
Homeschooling, on the other hand, was the great unknown. To add to the complexity, my husband and I had both taught in public school and came from families full of teachers.
I’ve Got Questions, They’re Multiplying!!
Setting aside the enormity of this brave, new frontier, there were the questions. I had so many questions. How did homeschooling work? How did I know if I was doing enough? How would my children make friends? How do they get grades?
So, so many questions!! It seemed every one of them led me to another set of questions. Then there were the questions from strangers if I mentioned homeschooling. I was being buried under the weight of questions that seemed to have no answers.
Where are the Answers??
I have always been a voracious reader, so I read everything I could get my hands on–which was no small feat because I quickly found getting my hands on anything was a process. I needed answers and I needed them now.
We had been deliberating on homeschooling since before we got married and now our oldest was about to turn 6. She had a late autumn birthday and had made the public school cut off by 24 hours. I used that excuse to hold her out one more year as I decided what to do.
What is a mother to do? If you are one that loves research, like me, you throw yourself into endless hours of digging deep into any subjects and taking copious notes. My research didn’t stop when my schoolroom door officially opened, because I still had so much learning to do.
This isn’t Rocket Science, You Know!
Through endless hours at my computer and pouring through my pile of books, I did make the decision to take the leap–for one year. I still had so many questions, though. I just wanted someone to tell me HOW to homeschool.
I took comfort in the fact that I had taught in public school for 5 years and held a Masters degree in the Art of Teaching. Surely, I could do this! I still was left with the nagging feeling that this just should not be so difficult to figure out.
Becoming an Expert
I have always had a dream of being an expert in something. I wanted to learn all I could on a special topic and then spend my days teaching others. Over the years, my endless research and simple searching for better answers through trial and error became a passion of mine.
I never set out to be a homeschooling expert, but it happened. Friends and neighbors came to me for help and guidance. They were searching for answers also and though my professional experience made me an expert.
However, it didn’t and I wasn’t always an expert. There was a time when I was just another mom seeking a better education for my children. I knew what I didn’t want and what truly mattered to me.
Surveying the options, the pickings were slim.
The Overwhelming Job of Making It Work
I had a passion for research and a heart to help, but that only got me so far in the moments of overwhelm. I wanted answers, I needed answers, but they were slow to come.
Why did it have to be this hard?
Why can’t I discover the secret code to the vault that held all the collected knowledge and explanations of generations of homeschooling families? I wasn’t inventing the wheel, I was just banging my head against the wall trying to reinvent it with a blindfold on.
A Mission is Born
What if I could write a manual on HOW to homeschool?
There are plenty of books out there on why or outlining specific philosophies. However, making things work day to day and building a homeschool that will last, well, that is mostly trial by fire.
With that in mind, I made my five-step outline of exactly how a homeschool is built from soup to nuts, with a little garnish in between.
If I Knew Then What I Know, Now!
If I could go back to those early days a decade ago, what did I wish I had known? What could have saved me time, stress, money, and many sleepless nights on the Internet praying I could just hit the jackpot and end my search?
This is what I wanted to bring to the world. I meet SO many moms who say, “I wish I could homeschool but..” I want to eliminate the “but”…you know why? Simply because there is never a solid reason behind that “but” other than the support and resources are too out of reach and not every mom has the time or inclination to spend literally months of her busy life figuring it out.
The yellow school bus shows up every day, easy decision.
The homeschool train…it’s all underground with no marked entrance. Homeschoolers had a time in history where flying under the radar was necessary for survival. Those days are over! Let’s throw wide the curtains, already.
No Blood, But So Much Sweat, and a Little Bit of Tears
With my master plan in hand, I managed to get my five chapters and appendices written in less than six weeks. I have never felt so accomplished in my life! I HAD WRITTEN A BOOK!
Through the editing and review process, I realized just how much I had accomplished though. What started as a project to check one more line off my bucket list grew into my life mission, the purpose of my business, and so much more.
It was all worth it. From the early years of struggling to the hair pulling hours of typing, revising, typing, revising, deleting and starting over.
In the end, I sat holding the book I kept hoping to find over a decade ago.
As a special gift, I have a sneak peek at my book as a free gift to all of you today! This is just one chapter but I hope that it will help you answer some of the questions you have about homeschooling.
What book would you write?
Jennifer is a social media and content manager for Global Learn Day. She also manages her own content marketing and copywriting business, as well as her Homeschool Resource Center website Aurelius Cabrini. When Jennifer isn’t tapping away at her laptop, she homeschools her four children. Jennifer enjoys researching all the best ways to keep her family healthy and experimenting with new recipes she finds online. Jennifer and her husband still live in their beautiful hometown in the scenic Northeast where there are always plenty of weather changes to keep life interesting!
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