August 20, 2008
Did you every notice that we all love to talk about who we are and what we do until someone asks us to do it? OK, here it goes…
Heather Shanks, aka Professor Mom, is an author and researcher specializing in education and family life issues. Much of her work centers on creating a positive home environment and the affect of character on educational success. Her website and blog, AskProfessorMom.com, offers moms a productivity and renewal resource to help them maximize their time and energy, as well as business curriculum, education planning and coaching. Heather believes that children have huge hearts and huge brains and are capable of great things when given the right foundation. Her goal is to unite American parents in recognizing that character and academics are the twin supports of that foundation. You can find the rest here.
Now, here is the "real me":
Now, here is the "real me":
I came from a lucrative job in corporate, but I always knew that I wanted to stay home with my children. However, I was of the mind that I could never homeschool because I was so used to the thrill of the business deal, and I didn’t think that I had enough patience to be home all day, every day with my kids “just being a mom.” (Don't you hate that expression!) So, my husband and I looked for schools and came up short everywhere. There was just nothing out there that combined really challenging academics with the solid Christian character foundation that I was looking for. So I started working with a group to form a private academy in our community based on the Hillsdale Academy (MI) model. Unfortunately, my partner needed to drop the project and then I was struck with an unknown illness (it turned out to be celiac disease). By the time I was healthy enough to ramp back up, I could not justify the time away from my family that such a commitment (starting a school) would involve. It was a dark time for me, both disappointing and physically taxing. But, it was during this time that I sought after the Lord with much more depth than I ever had before. I have had my faith throughout my life, however it was always more broad than deep. For the first time, I sat back and tried to listen to His leading instead of pushing for what I wanted. While I was analyzing my options, I really felt a call to homeschooling. By this point, I was an expert in education, curriculum, etc. and I realized that this was really an even better option for our family. We realized that we could give our own children what I had been looking for, with the added benefit of lots of family time, flexibility, opportunities for service, etc. As time went by and I started speaking with other homeschooling moms, I heard some frustration about the lack of business offerings out there for the homeschooling community. I finally felt that this is what God gave me all of my experience for… I could share it with young people who were just getting started. And, I could do it without detracting from my own family priorities. Anyway, I know this has been a lot of sharing, however, I want to really make myself known to any parent who is considering trusting me to educate their children.
This is such an important undertaking for me… something I really believe in. Luckily, I have a husband who has really been on board, with both homeschooling our own kids and offering business courses to others. I am hoping to launch the courses in January… we'll see.
Kudos to all of you as well… Being home with the kids and homeschooling on top of that involves a ton of sacrifice, and it is so great to meet others who are giving so much of themselves to their children! Looking forward to hearing from you!