Belinda is a homeschool veteran. When I began on my journey of searching for other African-American moms who taught their own children, she was one of the first I found. Her dedication to home educating and teaching others about the contributions of Blacks in America is noticeable at first glance.
Belinda describes herself as "I am a continual work in progress who also happens to be, with much grace from God, married to my best friend for almost 25 years. We have three beautiful children–our son (age 18) is “sandwiched” by two daughters (ages 21 and 13).I am a homeschool teacher, but I also teach “big kids” as a college instructor. Finally, I am a business owner and writer. God has anointed me to write American history curriculum and related products that feature the African-American presence in building this great nation. You can see more about this particular assignment at A Blessed Heritage, and also visit my homeschool/family blog at The Blessed Heritage Chronicles. I also blog about non-homeschool related happenings on my personal blog, Simply, Belinda."
Meet Homeschool Mom, Belinda
How many years have you homeschooled?
We are entering our 14th year.
How did your family decide to become a homeschooling family?
Our decision point was very unlike many Christian homeschoolers, who feel a ‘calling’ to minister to their families in this way. Instead, we were corporate yuppies growing increasingly frustrated with the evasive American dream. Put bluntly, the hours of travel and time away from our two small children, plus the debt involved with trying to match our realities with our middle-class suburban fantasy, were turning our dream into a nightmare. Discovering that we would have our third child was the proverbial straw, so to speak, that made us think about doing some things differently. Pulling our children out of their private, Christian school and taking on a journey with which we were only vaguely familiar—homeschooling—was one of those “things.” The fact that I was already working on securing a new job and only part-time opportunities were coming my way seemed to confirm that this was God’s direction for us at the time.
What is your favorite part about home schooling?
Having older kids at this season in our journey (ages 21-13), I would have to say that my greatest joy is seeing the intangibles of what they have learned. I absolutely love hearing their conversations and, occasionally, hearing them refer back to something they learned in school. I love seeing what they are passionate about, and how they respond to life and people around them. I learned a while ago that the fruit of a good education is not, in its entirety, a regurgitation of facts, but instead the results of setting a stage and an atmosphere where your children are free to learn and discover.
What are your struggles with being a home schooling parent?
If truth be told, there are some facets of homeschooling that I would trade away if I could:
- I don’t love the burden of being almost solely responsible of remaining [somewhat] on track at all times.
- I don’t love the fact that every now and then, I have an image of my mother, laughing from Heaven at the fact that I have kids that are just like me.
- I don’t love the uncertainties (as in, am I doing enough? Are they well prepared for life after homeschool? Did we expose them to the right things/ did we shield them from the right things)?
Belinda's encouragement for you:
Ironically, my joy at this stage comes from realizing that, as much as I might try, our time together won't always be joyous. I don't dance around while sweeping, cleaning, or cooking; my children don't enjoy every subject or every book we read. Some areas we as parents simply have to prayerfully "tough it out" because we know the benefit on the other side. I still plan and pray and get very excited about each school year, but my ultimate sense of joy and peace comes from knowing that I am in line with what I believe the Lord called me to do. He will handle the rest, I just have to wait...
Belinda's words of wisdom are a breath a fresh of air as I continue on my journey as a home educating mom. I hope that you also find comfort in her words.
Want more encouragement for other homeschooling moms? You can read previous posts from Q & A with Home School Mom series.