Erica is the homeschool mom behind My Busy Bees and Me, a YouTube channel where she shares loads of resources and her family's home educating journey. I "met" Erica through her YouTube channel and was drawn to her because of her genuineness and willingness to help others on their homeschooling journey.
Meet Homeschool Mom, Erica
How long have you home educated?
We started off part-time for 17 years and have been full-time for the past 4 years.
How did your family decide to become a homeschooling family?
That's a great question! I was actually homeschooling my younger brother (who we later legally adopted) before I even knew what homeschooling was by supplementing his public school education. I loved teaching him and watching him soak up the world around him. My very first "taste" of homeschooling left me longing for more thus leading to a passion for educating others. I set out on my "teach the world" journey and held positions as both a public school science teacher and a public health educator. Fast forward about ten years when our son was diagnosed with autism, a diagnosis that literally rocked our family to the core. Many suggestions from doctors and public school officials regarding his education started rolling in, mostly centering around placing him in a special education environment. Special education was not an option. I had experienced special education environments and I knew deep within my heart that our son only needed a structured environment that was conducive to his learning style in order to thrive. After much prayer and with God ordering our steps, we decided to give him and his younger siblings just that! We set off on our homeschooling adventure and we've never looked back!
What is your favorite part about home schooling? What helps you to keep going?
"Aha!" moments are my absolute favorite part about homeschooling! The joy that I feel while watching our kiddos realize that they are learning and retaining information is beyond words! Knowing that I am playing a huge role in their academic, emotional, and mental development definitely keeps me going. God has given me the responsibility of cultivating their hearts and minds, to pack them full of wisdom and understanding before sending them out to leave their very own footprints on the surface of our great planet.
What are your struggles with being a home schooling parent?
"Am I enough?" "Did I encourage our kiddos enough?" "Did I hug enough?" "Did I teach everything that I could've possibly taught?" "Did I touch each one of their hearts?" These are the thoughts that I struggle with daily as a homeschooling parent. After whispering my prayers at the end of each day, a calming presence fills my heart and I realize that my struggles are not struggles at all but are mental barriers that I have constructed and only I have the power to bring each one tumbling to the ground.
Share a few words of encouragement with other moms who home school. What is your tip for keeping atmosphere joyous in your home?
"You are enough!" Don't try to compare yourself to other homeschool moms or your kiddos to their kiddos! Always remember that homeschooling is a journey, not a competition. As a homeschool mom, I realize that with good days come bad days. A joyous atmosphere is maintained in our home by approaching each day with a renewed heart and spirit. Leave the bad days in the past and focus on the good days that are sure to come.
Erica is a globetrotting, military spouse and mother to five equally awesome kiddos! She is currently homeschooling her four youngest children! For more homeschool help (curriculum choices, homeschool schedules, homeschool transcripts) or if you just need a few encouraging words, visit her blog at www.gra8ful8.com. You can also find her sharing her large family living homeschool journey over on YouTube at My Busy Bees and Me, Instagram at @mybusybeesandme and Facebook at @mybusybeesandme.