Community is holding a planning meeting for those interested in helping launch a homeschool support group. All homeschool families are welcome. This group will not be exclusive to current Community families and will operate autonomously from the Community tutorial. The goal is to provide opportunities for homeschool families to come together for field trips, service projects, special interest clubs and youth events. Possibly most important and #1 on the agenda will be to provide homeschooling moms an opportunity to get together at least once a month without an agenda other than to just relax and encourage one another!
We are looking for volunteers and leadership. If you are interested in learning more, please join us:
March 19th • 1pm
400 N. Houston Levee
Learn more about our tutorial here! See our 2014-2015 class offerings here!
This blog has several articles in a series called Backstory, written to encourage current homeschool moms and dads. We also have a series called Homeschool Beginners because Community gets many questions from folks in both categories. When we say our heart is to encourage homeschool families, we really mean it. And, when I hear moms say that they want to homeschool but they are afraid, I know she is likely the best candidate for homeschooling because she is the mom who will find a way. I have 4 kids from 10 to 20. I could write a blog series on all the mistakes I've made over the years but, I probably won't go that route. In spite of a faulty self, I have always tried my best to do what I felt was best for each of my kids, just like any other mom, homeschooler or not. My kids are home educated but I have been doing plenty of learning myself. Here's my Backstory.
Most of us begin our homeschool journey with optimism and enthusiasm. We picture ourselves coming alongside our children with a firm but loving hand to guide them into becoming life-long learners. Diligent study skills, extraordinary projects, family reading time, and the joy of togetherness motivate us to say "yes" to a homeschool lifestyle of learning. We love them enough to make the sacrifices that educating at home entails and they will love us for it! Right? Well, sort of.
I know, for me, that lasted about a week.
By Day 1, YOU may learn that they learn in a style much different from yours. By Week 2, YOU may learn that their intentions are much different from yours as well. After Month 3, YOU may learn that distractions are real life and, sometimes, can not be avoided because you are not running an institution but nurturing a home and family. As the school year drags determinedly along, you may learn that you're too hard, too soft, not quite as disciplined as you imagined you'd be, or maybe you just need to chill out because a crying student is not a learning student. The first days and weeks of homeschooling can make or break your plan over the next few years.
When the real work of learning starts, it starts with you, homeschool mom.
Go ahead and make your plans. Do it joyfully and obsessively because that's part of the process! Pore over books and new curriculum until your eyes cross because that's necessary. Join a support group, have long talks over endless cups of coffee with other homeschool moms, enroll your kids in too many extracurricular activities at church and in your community. Buy a how-to-homeschool book or two or dozens. Educate yourself on your favorite subject of all: your child.
Then, as you begin your homeschool season, remember that "a mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled". The responsibility you've undertaken is as innate in you today as it was when you guided them through eating, talking, walking and training. Just like then, you will learn that every scenario will not go as planned. You will learn to become flexible so you will not break.
Know this: There will be days you want to quit. Don't give up just yet. Determination and Perseverance will be called upon daily to play a huge role if you are to continue to fulfill the call to home educate.
There's a reason, along with so many others, I'm still here after 15 hard-fought seasons of homeschooling.I honestly believe it's worth it.Don't let fear keep you from doing what you feel like you are called to do for as long as you are called to do it. That's no way to live! Posting this transparent article is scary to me, but, if it helps encourage other homeschool moms, I can and will. If I can overcome my insecurities, misguided intentions, failures and all my fears, so can you!
Armed with determination, perseverance and lots of flexibility, you can succeed, homeschool mom. Your results will not come in yearly testing or grade point averages but, kindled carefully over time, you will learn that the rewards of homeschooling are immeasurable. At some point, the seemingly endless hours that you dedicated to your child's education will become a glimpse of a moment but will reflect forever in the person your child will become. And, you'll never regret the investment.
Someday, like my grown sons have, your child may even say, 'thank you, Mom'.
Come tour our facility, meet our tutors, learn more about 2014-2015 class offerings, and sign up for community-wide spring field trips and our spring workshops. Plus, visit Homelife Academy, Faith Heritageand MHEA sports representatives. Our Open House is a low pressure opportunity to learn more about home education and the homeschool community in the Memphis area. We'd love to meet you and answer any questions! • See our class offerings for 2014-2015 by clicking here. • See spring field trips open to all homeschool families! Details here. • Learn more about our workshops here.
If you already know you'd like to join us next year, go ahead and contact tutors to reserve your student's place! You can find out more by clicking directly on the class via the schedule or clicking the links on the menu to the left.
Feel free to check out the labels at the bottom to for encouraging posts about homeschooling and more info about Community. You never know what inspiration you might find. Just start clicking! Follow us onfacebook and Twitter to stay updated and encouraged!
Community's inclement weather policy is to close when Shelby County and Memphis city schools close. However, since we have received multiple reports regarding icy road conditions, particularly on Walnut Grove and Houston Levee, Community WILL NOT be having classes today.
Over the past year, Community has received multiple requests for art class offerings for all ages. Since we begin our planning process early, we had considered several options, hoping to be able to offer a quality art program at Community beginning in the fall 2014. Having exhausted all leads up to the last minute before announcing our new schedule, we were discouraged. No art tutor we interviewed was panning out. We were resigned to putting a Community art program on the back burner for another season when we casually sent out several more messages as a final effort. Almost immediately, we had one name recommended to us by 4 different, unconnected folks as well as the endorsement of a highly respected art tutor in the homeschool community. Upon such great recommendations, we put in a call to Paul Miller. We knew he was a perfect fit when, during that first conversation, he placed us on hold to explain to his young son that he needed to play quietly because "Mommy is making a person and needs her nap". If he gets that, he definitely gets homeschool families! Paul is not just a family man but a talented and accomplished artist as well as a gifted teacher. He credits his wife, Lisa (also a teacher), with recognizing that he had it in him all along to teach. His passion for art expression traces back to his childhood when he begin drawing and painting. As the only artist in his family, he understands how to encourage that expression in his students while guiding them through a variety of media and techniques. He currently runs an after school art program at the U of M Campus School and is pursuing his freelance career. You can see more of his personal art work here or catch the upcoming reception featuring his pieces at Gallery Fifty Six. A gallery of past and present students' art pieces can be viewed on his website and, while you're at it, check out the fantastic testimonials for Paul by students and parents alike. In addition to his class offerings with Community for 2014-2015, Paul is offering an upcoming Visual Art workshop with Community this spring. The registration fee for spring workshops is free for new families and you can find out more about all of them at our Open House on February 27th. See Paul's 2014-2015 class offerings here.
While we are genuinely sorry to lose Ms. Liz when our spring semester ends, we know family comes first and she's in a season that calls for more time at home. Community will miss her, especially her students!
We are, however, proud to introduce Becky Ballard who will be teaching elementary and middle school sciences as well as our Elementary Foundations class. Becky is a second generation teacher who is as enthusiastic as she is experienced. She has lived all over the world and boasts teaching certifications in states from sea to shining sea but her biggest influence as a teacher is her father who passed along his passion for teaching. She is a devoted mom, an energetic Pilates instructor, and, guess what? She LOVES science experiments. We are so excited to have all of Becky's seemingly unending energy to pour into our students in 2014-2015!
Want to know a little more about Becky? We did, too, so we asked her!
What's your favorite dessert?
"Hot, ooey, gooey chocolate chip cookies!"
What's your idea of a perfect vacation?
"Me, with my toes in the sand, watching my kids play in the ocean."
If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be?
"I'm excited to one day hug Jesus and say "Thank you!".
What's one thing people don't know about you but you wish they did? "I love to sing but I can't very well...I wish I was the next American Idol!"
What a wonderful addition to our Community! See more on Becky's science classes here. Becky's Elementary Foundations class is for students who need to review and sharpen up those fundamental elementary skills. Learn more about this class, starting in 2014-2015 for 3rd - 6th graders, here.
Community is offering 3 workshops coming this spring, designed to engage and inspire your creative student and prepare your college bound teen for the ACT test. You can register for all of our workshops at Open House or by contacting tutors via email.
Visual Art Workshop
We will be hosting Easel Town's Paul Millerin a workshop for ages 9 and up. We know you will be impressed with his skill as an artist and talent as a teacher. Community kids are are looking forward to having him as our resident art tutor for 2014-2015! The younger students will meet on Wednesdays from 9:30a to 11a while high school aged students will meet on Mondays from 9:30a to 11a. His workshops will be offered from March 17 through April 7. Register with Paul here!
ACT Math Prep Workshop
Our resident math tutor, Jenny Radmer, is offering her ACT workshop again this spring just in time for April ACT testing. Since math mastery is a huge component of college entrance exams, Jenny is focusing solely on math skills specific to the ACT for the college bound student. Jenny is a popular tutor at Community. Students appreciate her laid back style while parents have been impressed with her thorough attention to detail andintegrity as a tutor. Her workshop will be offered Mondays from 1:15p - 2:45p from March 17 through April 7. Register with Jenny here and learn more about her workshop here.
Guitar Heroes with Memphis Jones
Finally, don't miss the exclusive opportunity to have your aspiring musician experience this one! Memphis Jones is passionate about Memphis music and its roots as well as a sought after entertainer. He travels extensively as a performer and personality as well as working closely with Graceland, Elvis Radio, and the Tupelo and Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureaus. As a worship leader at TLC Memphis and frontman with his CCM band, he has a unique insight into youth culture. He mentors and equips young players, encouraging them to find purpose in their talents. This workshop will focus on different eras of guitar music, the historic impact of each and include hands-on technique and practical theory. This workshop, geared for players who are ready to advance to the next level, will be offered on Mondays from 11:30a - 12:30p from March 17 through April 7. Memphis Jones is on Twitterand facebook. Register for Guitar Heroes with Memphis Jones by contacting him here.
Community Spring Workshops
March 17 through April 7
Mondays or Wednesdays; Times Vary
$100 per student for each workshop
including FREE REGISTRATIONfor new families! Paid directly to tutor. Minimum 6 students per workshop. Limited space.
We are so thrilled to introduce Emily Ford, who has graciously agreed to tutor our upper high school students for Advanced English with British Literature.
Emily is well known among many homeschool families as the instructor at Southwest Tennessee Community College who is "homeschool friendly". She has unwittingly become an asset to our community and now we get to sing her praises as a Community tutor!
Emily has a passion forteaching, writing and literaturewhich eventually led her to pursue her master's degree at University of Central Arkansas and become a college professor and a freelance writer as well as editorialist. She enjoys literature of all kinds but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Joyce Carol Oates are among her favorites.
Emily will tell you that she did not earn her degrees with the intention of teaching but because she loves language and learning and these are what she excels in. She explains best in her own words how she came to teaching:
"When I was expecting my first child, I knew that I did not
want to work full time. So, I quit and took freelance writing jobs in the
Features department at The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. This was a nice
way for me to continue writing, this time about much more interesting topics,
on a part-time basis which allowed for me to enjoy raising my son. At the time,
my husband and I were still living in the town where we went to college. In
what I now recognize as not merely coincidence, but rather Divine Intervention,
I ran into a professor of mine whom I had worked for in the writing lab during
graduate school. She asked if I had ever considered teaching a class since I
had my Master’s. I decided that might be a nice fit for me and my family.
Now, picture this. I breeze into the English department
offices of the University of Central Arkansas pushing my one-year-old son in a
stroller with my resume in hand. I am just planning on handing it to the
secretary and going on about my day. I clearly remember being in shorts. The
secretary tells me that the dean of the department may have time to see me
right then. Uhhhh. I believe his intention was to check off that he had seen me
and then dismiss me because the rumor was that UCA tended not to hire graduates
as their adjuncts. So in I go with Jacob, stroller, and all. For some reason, Dr.
Harvey was, I think, pleasantly surprised by me and liked that I had writing
experience. I was hired. Teaching two classes that semester while a good friend
took care of my son gave me my first taste in the classroom and I was hooked. I
enjoyed the students and the reading and writing we did together. It felt more
like a calling than any job I’d had before."
Learn more about Emily's teaching style as well as information about her exclusive Community class offering for 2014-2015 here. We know you and your student will appreciate Emily as much as we do when you see her in action doing what she was called to do!
"She made my first college level class way less intimidating than I expected. She wanted us to develop our own voices but gave us structure and help along the way."
- Sarah, Current Southwest student in our graduating homeschool class of 2014
Calling all Early Birds and Super Planners! Community is holding an open house and early registration on Thursday, February 27th from 11a to 1p. We'd love for you to come see us at our shiny, new location and learn what we're all about! Current homeschool families, new homeschool families and those considering entering into the home education community will find Community's open house and early registration a helpful and valuable resource. This year, Community will host Homelife Academy and Faith Heritage Academy. While you're here, be sure to drop by these tables to get info on umbrella schools, homeschool-related opportunities, sports programs and more. These folks are homeschool veterans who have blazed the home education trail for the rest of us. You've got questions? They've got answers! Accessible and enthusiastic, all of our Community tutors will also be on-hand and in their classrooms with info about our 2014-2015 schedule of classes. Community is excited to introduce the 3 new tutors we have for 2014-2015 as well as offer plenty of new classes! Be sure to contact them via email before registration if you'd like to hold your student's spot.
If you have a burgeoning musician or artist or a college student in the making, come register for our spring workshops, including Guitar Heroes with Memphis Jones, Easel Town Art and ACT Math Prep. These unique opportunities will be available only at Community and spring camps will have NO REGISTRATION FEE! (Tuition will vary according to workshops.) We are also offering four new field trip opportunities this spring that will be open to all the homeschool community. We'll have all the details and sign-ups available at our Open House. If you are curious about us or homeschooling in general, this is your chance to learn more with no obligation or high pressure. If you are anxious to get your plans in place, we will be registering for all 2014-2015 classes.Contact individual tutors to learn more about how to hold your student's spot. FYI, our tutors are not equipped to take credit cards so please plan accordingly! We're anticipating an extraordinary day and would love for you to come be a part of it so consider this your official invitation...