Backstory: Josh

Next in our Backstory series, meet a homeschooled grad who carries on the family tradition by overseeing his own son's education. Additionally, he just happens to be a missionary, a 3rd degree Black Belt in Shotokan, a competitive body-builder and encourages me weekly as my pastor. He is also our Spanish tutor at Community!

Be encouraged and inspired.

Josh is a homeschool grad who has lived and served as a missionary around the world and most recently planted a thriving church in Maracaibo, Venezuela with his wife, Carolina and son, Community student Caleb. Josh has served as as a minister in Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Venezuela. As a teenager, he was given the body building title of Mr. Mississippi in his division. As a karate competitor, he is an All American National Champion and has competed, along with Caleb, as a member of the U.S. team. Josh answered a call 7 years ago to return to Memphis as pastor of The Love of Christ Church. He loves our city and desires to honor God by honoring the cultural diversity in Memphis. 

How would you characterize the teaching/learning style of your parent's home?
In the earlier days, I was instructed more "hands on". By 7th or 8th grade, I was making my own schedule and was a bit more self-governed with parental supervision and testing.

What was the most unique part of your homeschool experience?
Being able to travel with our karate competitions.

What do you wish had been different in your homeschooling?
I (NOW) wish my father had taken a more active role in the supervision.

How did your peers view you as a homeschooler?
My peers at the time were friends in church and colleagues in karate. There were no problems.

How do your peers view you as a former homeschooler?
Most are surprised to find out that I was homeschooled. Once they do find out, they typically express that they wish they had that on some level. 

Do you feel you missed out on anything as a homeschooler?

Around 9th grade, I wanted more social interaction and, at the time, (in the 1980s) there weren't many homeschoolers.

How did homeschooling shape you into the person you are today?
I believe I learned a lot about life, tenacity, initiative and responsibility because of my parents' choice to homeschool me. I believe that all of who I am that's positive is due to God's grace and, within that paradigm, it's much more attributed to my parents' philosophy of overall childrearing than homeschool, per se. However, as a homeschooling parent myself, I believe the best way I can have the greatest influence and shape my child is by being the chief overseer of his education.

With a determination to see students fully acquire foreign language, Josh now oversees Community's popular Spanish program. Thank you for sharing your Backstory, Josh!