I’m a daughter of the one true King, wife to Mark and mom to Anastasia and Wyatt. I attended St Pete College and the University of South Florida where I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Exceptional Student Education. I worked for nearly a decade as a public school teacher for students with special needs in a wide array of roles, but my favorite position was as a homeschool mama to my two children.
When time came for our daughter to enter Kindergarten, excitement arose about being involved in public school again. Although Mark thought homeschooling would be an obvious and more suitable choice, I confidently corrected him with my love and nostalgia for the entire school setting. Besides, I had a one-year old boy to play with! But, as the school year started, it found us…you guessed it…. homeschooling as we waited for a spot to open at a stellar magnet school program for which we had applied.
We continued our fun adventures and added in “real school” experiences daily. A few weeks went by, and I was thrilled that a spot at the school opened up. She started in without a hitch, and I quickly signed on as a volunteer. By the end of the school year, I was at that school a few times a week working with them in their garden and in the classroom with students who needed additional help. It was one particular day that I realized what I was doing. I was finishing up with a student as the class was filing out to lunch. My girl walked by and excitedly asked me when it was her turn to work with me. My heart dropped with the realization that my baby wanted me to be her teacher, and there I was giving my time away to her classmates. It was apparent that Mark was correct, and we all were incredibly excited to begin our homeschool journey that next school year. We made an official classroom in our kitchen, student desk and all and actually began in July.
I look back on how much our journey changed over the years and can now laugh at how we started. I was filled with anxiety as I looked at the clock and knew the public school had started already. Gradually, I learned to let go, take advantage of our new found freedom, and I connected with a like-minded community in which we thrived.
It was in this homeschool community where we planted roots and created experiences and friendships foundational to the support of our school and life in general. My kids found that social outlet, and I cherished the relationships with my new friends and fellow leaders in the group as we worked together to create rich learning experiences for our kids. We just thought we were teaching our kids alongside each other and we sure had fun. What we didn't fully realized at the time was that, in the process, we were making wonderful memories and a beautiful legacy.
As my own family's homeschool journey ends, I’m drawn to help others as I continue to see the great need for support and community that made the difference for me. Thank God I can and will!
- AmbassadorHEF Ambassador
- Pinellas County