Mommy Talks is back for its second season! This year, we are starting off by featuring different homeschooling parents. Our guest for today is someone who I look up to. I am thrilled that she agreed to be featured over my blog! Without further ado, let me introduce our guest for today, Ms. Joy T. Mendoza.
I am a wife, mother, homeschool parent, newbie blogger, and consultant to a homeschool program called, The Master’s Academy. Edric and I are blessed with four children – three sons and a daughter. After giving birth to my fourth child, Edric and I decided that it was best for me to be at home with the children and to focus on homeschooling full-time. (Prior to this, I was helping out part-time with TMA Homeschool’s preschool department.)
Motivated by the desire to help young families with their homeschooling, and with the extra time I had on my hands as a homemaker, I decided to start a blog last year called “Teach with Joy.” It offers a 360 degree perspective on homeschooling. As a once-upon-a-time homeschooled kid, a home school program consultant, a homeschool parent, and someone who also went to a conventional school, I have seen homeschooling from all sides. But one thing I don’t claim to be is an expert at parenting or homeschooling. My journey as a parent is in its early stages, and I invite people to learn from my mistakes, failures, comical moments, and triumphs. At the end of the day, I want people to discover the joys of parenting and homeschooling with me. Most of all, I want to bring glory to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HOMESCHOOLING?
I started homeschooling our eldest son, Elijah, when he was just a baby. Coming from a family who homeschooled taught me a couple of things about education. For one thing, homeschooling is a lifestyle. Based on that definition, I have been teaching for the past nine years.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO HOMESCHOOL?
When Edric and I decided to homeschool, it was in response to our God-given responsibility that we must teach them to love, know, serve, obey, and worship God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5-7) and to train up our children in the way that they should go (Proverbs 22:6). First and foremost, it was an act of obedience. Everything else was secondary – time, effort, ability, materials, sacrifices, etc. God supplied the answers to our secondary concerns. But to be honest, I was sold on homeschooling even before I became a mom. Since I had grown up in a homeschooling family, it was the same lifestyle I hoped to have for my own children. I praise God that Edric was all for it.
HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO STOP HOMESCHOOLING? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Not yet. We take it one year at a time. As our family grows closer to one another and our children grow in wisdom, stature and favor with God and man (Luke 2:52), homeschooling remains our lifestyle of choice. Since God told us to homeschool, he will also tell us when it is time to stop.
COMING FROM A FAMILY WHO HOMESCHOOLED, WHAT DID YOU LIKE THE MOST? AND WHAT DIDN’T YOU LIKE?
I liked the family bonding, quality time together and quantity time, the closeness and security of family, and most of all, being taught to love Jesus and live for him. I didn’t have anything I disliked about homeschooling.
DID YOU EVER FELT LIKE YOU “MISSED” OUT SINCE OTHER KIDS ARE GOING TO A CONVENTIONAL SCHOOL?
I didn’t feel like I missed out on being in a conventional school. When I did go into a conventional school, I was surprised at the values of people and the things they talked about. A lot of focus on boys, talking about others, “fun”, and how the cool people were the slackers and rebellious kids. I wish I could have been homeschooled longer. I don’t think I was spiritually ready for the peer pressure.
SHARE SOME TIPS ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING YOUR KIDS
Tip # 1: Begin with a goal for your children and then align what you do as a homeschool parent with that goal. Head in that direction.
Tip # 2: Don’t focus on what you cannot give or do not have. Parents sometimes tell me, “I’m not patient enough. I don’t know if I can do that. I still have to work…” If God calls you to homeschool, he will supply the grace, ability, wisdom, creativity, and provision for you to do so. He will sustain you.
Tip # 3: Get connected to other homeschoolers. Community is important to homeschooling families. A support group helps you go the distance. Sharing your experiences, challenges, and best practices with other homeschool moms or dads gives you weekly encouragement.
Tip # 4: Have an out-of-the-box perspective on education. Homeschooling is a way of life, it’s not sitting a child at a desk for four hours every day and taking the conventional school system into your home. There are many homeschooling methods that work for each type of child and family, and many different learning styles that need to be accommodated. Once you let go of the “conventional school mindset,” homeschooling becomes fun and enjoyable for both you and your child.
Tip # 5: Focus on character first before academics. The academics part is easier when children are attentive, obedient, responsible, trustworthy, diligent, etc.
Tip # 6: Be a Christ-centered parent. Issues like impatience, anger, frustration, lack of motivation, stress and the like are manifestations of me-centered parenting. The key is to walk intimately with God.
Tip # 7: Pray for your children. Ask God to give them a teachable and responsive heart to your instruction and training.
You can follow Joy at her blog Teach With Joy. Discover the joys of homeschooling and parenting!