HLA Counselor since 2013
Transcript Reviews, Reporting Issues, Records Emails, High School Approvals, Returning Students
Hi, I’m Phyllis Lerro and I am proud to say that my most rewarding career has been being “my kids’ mom”. My husband and I have two sons and a daughter who all graduated from Homelife Academy. It took a lot of sacrifice and faith for us to decide for me to step out of the workforce in 1994 leaving a successful career with lots of pats on the back, job security, and great benefits, to stay home and be a full-time mom. In 1998 we began homeschooling “for just a couple of years” and then we blinked! The next thing we knew it was 17 years later and we were graduating our last student from HomeLife Academy!
I was a very “traditional school-minded” person when we first began, and although that style suited ME very well it was the last thing that was needed by our students at the time. I became extremely discouraged and frustrated within just a couple of months, and was just about to give up when I received some great advice from a veteran homeschool mom who encouraged me to spend some time just “learning to be together again”. Thus began my REAL education about learning styles, different philosophies of homeschooling, and figuring out what was going to be the main focus and purpose for our homeschool. I did lots of reading and spent lots of time on homeschooling message boards figuring out what principles resonated with me until I felt like I had the answer to the most basic question of “Why are we doing what we are doing?”.
For our family, we decided that the MOST important thing in our homeschool was the relationships…..our individual relationships with Christ, with each other within our family, and with the community around us. Although we worked hard on academics when we sat down with pencil & paper, they were secondary, and we made activity and curriculum choices that would allow us to keep our relationship priorities in tact. For us, that meant using a lot of Unit Study type curriculum where we could all be learning the same topics together but at different levels (and when I say “we” I do mean me too!). We had read-aloud time pretty much every day and it became a favorite time of day for all of us. We took advantage of every real-life learning opportunity that we could find and did lots of field trips and outings, even when they weren’t really relevant to what we were learning about in our studies. We balanced the more structured subjects like Math with the subjects that lent themselves to a more holistic approach and could be intertwined with each other instead of separated out and unrelated to each other. As the kids got older and into high school we used a local tutorial for some of their classes that we didn’t want to do at home. Every one of the kids even spent at least a year in regular school, but the flexibility of homeschooling called us back every time.
Homeschooling has been one of the most important and rewarding experiences of my life, and my kids’ lives. When you are in the midst of it, sometimes it is difficult to be able to see if you are doing the right thing and to figure out how this “big experiment” is going to end. I would always think about how Abraham went into a far land because God called him to do so. He didn’t really know what was ahead but he trusted and followed that call. Looking back now, I can say that we made the right choice to follow what we felt we were being urged to do by God. Now, I am honored to be in a position to help other families who are also trying to find their way along this journey! If I can help you in any way, please let me know. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.