Episode 7 – Durenda Wilson Discusses Healthy, Happy Homeschool Families
Homeschooling a large family is like taking a bus ride! Just ask Durenda Wilson, a popular writer, encouraging speaker, and the homeschooling mom of eight. Join us to hear about Durenda’s belief in being the expert on your own children, her emphasis on flexible routines, and how fostering strong sibling relationships can all improve the homeschooling family life and, in fact, the culture around us.
Durenda shares about her beliefs regarding socialization. She offers advice for homeschooling through high school and much more. If you struggle with feelings of inadequacy or think it’s too late to homeschool, this is the podcast episode for you! Durenda will inspire you to bring peace and joy back into your homeschooling days, to focus on learning not only with your kids but about your kids, and she will remind you that you, the parent, are the most important person in your child’s life.
Meet The Guest
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She’s been happily married to Darryl since 1989. She is also a mom to eight, (born between 1991-2004) and a nana to six sweet grandbabies. She had visions of what a great mom she would be. After 3 decades of mothering, she has come to the conclusion that she will NEVER be that mom, but guess what? It really doesn’t matter because it really isn’t about her..it’s about living the story that God has written for their family…the one that reveals just how awesome and faithful HE really is!
She loves to encourage parents by sharing some of the clarity that comes with age, experience, and sometimes learning things the hard way. It’s less important that we look a certain way and more important that we parent and homeschool with the big picture in mind and that happens most readily when we learn to slow down. Being unhurried in our parenting and homeschooling allows us the time and space to be much more intentional and even more importantly, allow us to hear and follow God’s heart for our families.
They have homeschooled from the beginning and have graduated seven so far. The oldest two (girls) are married and their 26-year-old son graduated from college three years ago with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and 2 minor degrees. He is currently working as a software engineer. Their 23, 22, and 20-year-old sons are also gainfully employed in the trades, tech, etc. After 25+ years of homeschooling, she can tell us now more than ever that home educating is an incredible blessing, but only if we don’t let it hold us hostage to unnecessary expectations and notions of what it “should” look like. One of her favorite things is to help parents think outside the box and homeschool confidently in a way that works for their families!
Their family is far from perfect. Sometimes they disagree and say things they shouldn’t. We are all learning to give and receive grace daily, but we serve an awesome God who is good ALL THE TIME! Her prayer is simply that we will be inspired, encouraged, and free to love and enjoy the unique gift that is OUR family. God has GOOD things for us, she can guarantee it!
Show notes are below.
This episode is sponsored by Apologia. We are HUGE fans of Apologia and we both have used this curriculum throughout our homeschool journeys. This series is literally our favorite science series offered in the homeschool arena. We encourage you to spend a few minutes visiting their site to see why. Or visit our website to see the many articles we have written about it.
Notes from the podcast:
My husband and I say one of the single best decisions we ever made was to homeschool our kids.
The most important thing in the early years is our companionship with our children We are forming their character and that is such a huge part of who they become. Many people get caught up in hurrying into the book work because they think ‘Oh, they’re in kindergarten or they’re in first grade and we have to hurry up and get going on this or I’ll be a failure or people will think I’m a failure. Instead of doing what comes more naturally for our kids which is to slowly ease into that.
I think moms need to understand you have an intuition that God has put in you for your specific children. You have to learn to tune in to that and just quiet all the other voices and really just spend time getting to know your kids and praying and asking the Lord for wisdom.
Get to know your kids. Be a student of your kids…When you start doing that it really gives you a lot of insight as to how to direct their learning.
Family life is educational. Fixing sandwiches, reading with or to a younger sibling. even changing diapers. These are real-life skills and real-life needs and all of these things help our kids recognize and realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them. It teaches them to be other-oriented.
Family life is a very healthy place for our kids to get a very well-rounded education.
You are more qualified than you realize. We have to understand that we are actually the experts when it comes to our kids.
By definition, if you spend 10,000 hours doing something you are considered an expert. By the time your child is six years old you have spent 16,000 hours with them. By the time they are in kindergarten you’ve spent 13,000ish hours, that’s well over the 10,000. I love that because that does actually make you an expert on your child.
No one loves you child like you do. Parents will go to the ends of the earth to get what their children need. I can honestly say that a teacher can’t do that…their hands are tied.
Your kids are your greatest investment. God has given them to you. He’s going to give you what you need to do the job.
My experience in all these years of homeschooling is that homeschooled kids are some of the most social people I have ever met. They can talk to any age because they are out and about in real life with their parents…We teach them by example and sometimes by instruction.
In my new book, The Four-Hour School Day: How You and Your kids Can Thrive in the Homeschool Life. I take the overwhelm out of homeschooling. I try to paint a bigger picture of homeschooling. It is so much broader and deeper than just math, language, history, science.
Families are so busy and so overwhelmed. I feel so strongly that it does not have to be like that. If we can just pull back, take our children back and establish a strong family life and a strong family culture. Not only are our children going to benefit but our grandchildren and our great grandchildren and the culture around us.
We can really impact the culture by bringing our children home and teaching them well and raising people who can think for themselves. Critical thinkers. People who are wise and who don’t just have knowledge, but they have wisdom.
There are so many options to help make homeschooling through high school doable.
The benefits of being able to give our kids these experiences and help walk alongside them as they discover the things that they are passionate about and help them figure out resources and ways to move the direction that they want to go is actually one of the greatest adventures of our lives. The high school years were actually the culmination. They weren’t a drag. they were exciting because we were beginning to see what it would look like for our kids to move into adulthood.
Parents need to understand how valuable their role is in their children’s lives. You matter to your kids. Providing safety, security, and stability is something that really only you can give them. When they have that, they learn more easily and naturally.
It’s not about choosing the perfect curriculum as much as it is about raising healthy, carting, contributing adults who are critical thinkers and problem solvers. People who will be a blessing to the people around them. Who will make a difference in this world.
Links to resources mentioned in the podcast and other important links
The Four-Hour School Day: How You and Your kids Can Thrive in the Homeschool Life
Believe in Unicorns Coloring Book: 50+ Beautiful Mythical Unicorn Coloring Pages.
Diamond Painting Kits for Adults, Teens or Tweens
Our game recommendations on Amazon on how to make homeschool fun!
Homeschool Road Trips
Fun Printable Site: Only Passionate Curiosity
Our snarky irreverent view of homeschooling: Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers