Blog

Homeschool 4 Real Life H4RL / Our Story  / How it began…

How it began…

A couple years ago, we were standing in the kitchen talking about how we wished there were more opportunities for the kids to share their work with peers. We had seen how much they enjoyed sharing their writings, drawings, presentations, and marble roller coasters with our co-op (we had started our own that year). It just wasn’t practical for us to meet with people in person more often, though. Wouldn’t it be nice, we thought, if there was a safe space on-line for our kids to post their work and see the work of other homeschooling peers?


At the same time, we began to notice that choosing a career and mapping a route to get there is a challenging process that most people don’t have the time or resources to figure out how to do well. So many of our friends, then in their thirties, were mentioning that they weren’t really content in their jobs. We just kept hearing “I wish I had known…” There were aspects of their jobs they enjoyed, but so much about the day-to-day reality of what they did that they hadn’t known before making a career choice. We also began hearing from friends who were parents of high school students and recent graduates about their teens’ struggle to choose a college major. Some couldn’t find direction and were in limbo after graduation, trying to figure it out. Others headed confidently off to college and then came back home when they realized that the major they thought was a perfect fit…wasn’t. At least they didn’t continue accumulating debt from classes, room & board, and books while they took time to figure it out. Their parents were definitely experiencing some anxiety as the clock kept ticking and their teen floundered without direction, while they felt confused about how to help them and didn’t really have time to figure it all out. Wouldn’t it be great, we thought, if there was something to help teens figure out which jobs would be a good fit for them and how to enter those fields – before they picked a major and went to college?


During our time as homeschoolers, we also had noticed that a lot of people wondered how homeschooling works, how to start homeschooling, and how to homeschool in a way that would be a better fit for their families. Over and over, Jill heard, “Wow, it must be so nice for you. Since you’re a teacher, you know how to teach your kids. I feel like we have to buy a curriculum so we know what to teach.” These families were buying expensive curriculums, then finding they didn’t work for them and buying another, and wishing they could have more freedom and find a way to homeschool that would inspire curiosity. They needed the confidence to leave behind the anxiety that came from doing all the workbook pages they had purchased and completing all the lessons someone else had decided should be covered; they wanted to know how to homeschool without the battles while still being certain their kids were learning enough and would be ready for high school, college, and life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, we thought, if there was a way we could show them how to teach and help them know what to teach so they could enjoy learning with their kids and feel confident that they know how to homeschool well in a way that fits their families?


We also found ourselves being asked about our parenting methods. “How do you get your kids to listen so well?” “Your kids sure are nice to be around. How did you do it?” We’d hear other parents yelling and see their frustration and embarrassment. Now, let me be clear: our kids are not perfect and we don’t parent perfectly and all families face different challenges and some are tougher than others. We would never assume that our methods are better than yours or that our kids are better. However, we have had some great support, we know about some helpful resources, and we’ve seen the look of desperation in the eyes of parents who are trying to figure it all out themselves. Wouldn’t it be a relief, we thought, if those parents could get some support and knowledge regarding parenting practices that use love and wisdom to create peace and joy in the home, especially when homeschooling makes it all more intense?


Eventually, a vision began to come together of how all of these things could be accomplished in one place for homeschooling families. Instead of wishing for it, we decided to create it. At the time, we didn’t realize how much work it would be and how long it would take, but we are so excited by what it has become.
COVID-19 has only increased the urgency of what we’re doing. So many families are jumping into homeschooling in order to provide stability and safety for their children, and they really need support. We are working hard to prepare information on how to homeschool – how to prepare for homeschooling, how to get started with homeschooling, how to teach reading, how to teach kindergarten and first grade math (with more to come!), and how to tackle parenting challenges that come with homeschooling. We’re creating content to show families how to homeschool in their own way while incorporating standards that will help their children be ready to go back to school if that becomes the best option in the future.
We are thankful for the opportunity to create this site and offer support and community to homeschooling families. We are passionate about families and life-long learning, and this gives us a chance to encourage others who share those values.


Welcome to our site!

Follow Our Story