Interview with Jocelin J. Thomas

Age: 30
Ages of Children: 11, 9, 6, and 5

Why and when did you decide to homeschool your children?

My husband and I made the decision to start homeschooling our children in 2012 after our middle daughter began to struggle in school. Being a military family that moves a lot, we got tired of putting our children’s education in the hands of other people. One year they would have a great teacher and the next a not so good one. It was that year we decided to pull our two oldest out of public school and begin to homeschool. If I had to sum up why we homeschool, I would say it is because we want to give our children the ability to learn at their own pace with one on one attention, teach them from a Godly perspective, and foster a love for learning.

Describe your homeschool in three words.

Joyful, Spontaneous, and Flexible.

What’s your proudest homeschool moment?

My proudest moment so far is teaching my youngest daughter how to read. I was a wreck and so worried that I wouldn’t be able to help her grasp the concept of reading. But she learned and she is reading so well. I am so proud of her and our family because we worked together to teach her how to read. It was truly the moment that made me feel like I could really homeschool my children. Next year I’ll begin working with my youngest, our son, and I’m excited!

Which Bible verse helps you most with homeschooling? How?

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6. This verse puts the reason why we homeschool into perspective and is the gentle reminder of my why. When days are crazy and I’m ready to line them up and march them to the nearest school to enroll them, I think of this verse. As a mother it is my job to train my children, to teach them, and nurture them. It is a privilege to be here with my children watching them grow, helping them to learn and encouraging their creativity.

What’s your goal as a home educator?

My number one goal is to cultivate a joy for learning so they will always yearn to learn more. Once you have learned how to read, write and mastered basic math concepts you have the tools to learn anything.

Who or what has had the greatest impact on you as a home educator? How?

My mother had the greatest impact on me as a home educator. I remember when I told her we had made the decision to homeschool the children and she was more excited than I was! She was always giving me advice and resources to help me with any challenges I faced. My mother pushed me when I wanted to give up. She helped me to believe I could do it and when so many people thought I was crazy, my mother reminded me that I was doing what we thought was best for our family.

How has your homeschooling approach changed since you began?

When we first began I made the same mistake most moms make and tried to recreate public school. That only lasted for a few months before me and the kids were burnt out. The same was true with our curriculum in the beginning. I was bored to tears and they were too. Now we go with the flow and enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling. I pick a curriculum that teaches them what they need to know without overwhelming them or keeping them stuck at the table all day.

What would you say to someone who may be contemplating homeschooling?

If you are unsure and on the fence, pray about it. You’re going to have to decide but remember your decision doesn’t have to be permanent. If it doesn’t work out you can always put your children back in school. It is your decision to choose what is best for your family!

How do you balance a work schedule and homeschooling?

I own my own business and I work from home around my family. My business does not come first, so the time I get to work on my business I make it count. I usually get the most work done in the evenings and on the weekends. If my husband is home he takes over while I get work done. It’s all a part of my juggling act!

How do you balance homeschooling and finding time for yourself?

It really is a juggling act. Efficiently managing my time is the only way I find time for myself and that doesn’t mean I find it every day! My children are old enough to have chores and responsibilities which means I have help, I’m not doing it all on my own. My husband is also a big help. We work together so that I don’t have it all on my shoulders – making it easy to take time when I need it.

How can we connect with you?

Instagram: @JocelinJThomas

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