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Suddenly Single: Single Parent #Homeschooling @TheHomeScholar

March 2011

by Lee Binz

The HomeScholar

Find a New Normal

Are you suddenly single?  Death, divorce, and even deployment can happen. Even to homeschool parents.  It may happen suddenly, and unexpectedly.  Even a long-anticipated deployment can seem sudden when they day actually arrives, and while temporary it can still be difficult.  When you are faced with single parenting, know that you are NOT alone!

Mary Jo Tate of SingleParentsAtHome.com explained what happened to her.  “I never expected to be a single mother. When my husband left me for another woman, I was shocked, angry, and scared. I was embarrassed to be divorced; for a while I felt as though I wore a scarlet D emblazoned on my dress. Our four sons were bewildered, and their world was turned upside down. I was deeply committed to remaining at home with my children and continuing to homeschool them, yet I wondered how I could support us all financially.”

 

When a parent becomes suddenly single, homeschooling may seem an even more daunting task.  Now what? How can you continue in this challenging lifestyle you love?  The trick is to adapt, and find a new “normal” for your family.  Find resources and achieve a balance that works for you.


Find Financial Income and Emotional Support

The problem is two-fold.  As Mary Jo explains, “In many two-parent homeschooling families, the dad takes primary responsibility for earning the living and the mom takes primary responsibility for educating the children. The labor is divided and the support is multiplied. Although there are also many two-parent families where both parents contribute to the education and the finances—often through a family business—a single parent is often solely responsible for both. The labor is multiplied and the support is subtracted.”  The single parent must find the solution to two problems: financial income and emotional support.

 

When I was homeschooling, our group had two suddenly single parents who joined forces.  Sally and Kate each continued to homeschool, and both had to work to support their single-parent households.    They each had two children.  They decided to share the load.  Sally worked as an office assistant three days a week while her friend homeschooled  the four children.  Kate worked as a dental assistant three days a week while Sally homeschooled the four children.  Together they functioned as a co-op.  Each one would create assignments for their own children, but their friend would supervise when they had to go to work.  It was a great arrangement that was unique and worked for them.  Each family will find a path that will work in their own situation.

 

If you have been homeschooling, you can continue to homeschool your children.  If you are single, you can begin homeschool your children.  Whether faced with death, divorce or deployment, there are resources available to assist you.

Suddenly Single: Single Parent #Homeschooling @TheHomeScholar


Deal with pressureHomeschooling single parent Alice Birchfield in Virginia was eager to share her experience so others could be encouraged.  She said, "Single moms get pressure from every side, that is for sure.  Single parents have many challenges and compassionate, no-nonsense help is what we need.   People will put pressure on a single parent in all sorts of ways.  They will pick at many different areas, and a homeschooling single parent has to know and believe in their heart that they are doing what God has directed them to do.  I have many years under my belt as a single parent, and there were many times when I would cry over my budget, and feel so alone wondering how I was going to raise my children.  God never left me.  We never went hungry, and I always paid my mortgage on time. Having a support system helps, but it takes time to build that too.  Talk to people and ask for help."

 

She had to find a way that worked for her family.  She found that she had to change her strategies over time. She said, "Praying and seeking God is the first thing to do.  I do whatever I need to do to survive financially.  I have had jobs where I have taken my son when he was small.  Right now, I clean houses.  I have tried working part-time and full-time jobs and that works too, if you can find a schedule that is flexible.  Trading with other single moms/dads can work.  Even bartering services can fill in areas.  I have done so many different things at different times. God has always provided for my children and myself.  Part of the key is to keep faith and to only listen to sources that edify and enforce what God says.  Guard your heart and your mind from naysayers!  Even the ones that mean well."


Resources for the Single Homeschool Parent

I’ve compiled a list of resources to help you face homeschooling with confidence. Start with this short article: Homeschooling as a Single Parent

 

Single Parent Homeschool is a ministry equipping and encouraging single parents to homeschool. Visit http://singleparenthomeschool.christianhomeeducation.org/

Mark Gregston of Heartlight Ministries has an article for single parents.  It’s not specific for homeschoolers, but it’s very good:  Help For Single Parents With Teenagers

 

There are over 100 resources for Christian single moms here : http://singleparenthomeschool.christianhomeeducation.org/resources.html

 

Ann Zeise of A to Z Home’s Cool Homeschooling has a section on Working and Single Parents http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/weblinks/working.htm

 

Janet’s Country Home has a section of her blog called: Single Parent Homeschooling that includes even more “I did that” first-person encouragement

 

Barb Shelton has a section on her website for single parent homeschooling. She shares the lives of  three homeschooling moms who are single, who homeschool, and who are not only living to tell about it, but are doing it WELL. http://www.homeschooloasis.com/art_single_mom_hs.htm.

 

Teri Brown has an article about Single and Homeschooling in the Home Educator’s Family Times: http://www.homeeducator.com/familytimes/articles/9-2article15.htm

 

Vegsource has a discussion board just for single parents that are homeschooling.  It could be a great anonymous source for emotional support http://www.vegsource.com/homeschool/singleparent/index.html

 

The Homeschool Diner has an article titled, “What if Both Parents Work or I Am a Single Parent?  Can We Still Homeschool?”  Rather than personal stories, this article provides lists additional resources. http://www.homeschooldiner.com/basics/teaching/working_parents.html

 

Mary-Jo-TateSingle Parents At Home is a blog by Mary Jo Tate, who shared her story with me. Her mission is “Encouragement and resources for single parents, especially those who homeschool or who would like to.”  Her website provides a wealth of information and resources.  Make sure you see her resources for Working at Home. http://singleparentsathome.com/blog/2010/08/15/resources-for-working-at-home/

 

My article on homeschooling through trauma may help. Remember that your difficulties and family trauma will still be present even if you make a change, and public school will not solve those things.  Read “What If? Homeschool High School Without Fear

 

It’s important to remember that God’s promises have not changed, even if your situation has changed.  Watch my Scripturally based YouTube called How you know you can homeschool high school?


Minimize Change

motherAside from the homeschool issues, I can suggest one other thing.  Limit the amount of change as much as you can.  Something very dramatic has happened in your children’s lives.  Try to prevent any other change from happening if you can.  Keep their school the same, their home the same, and their schedule the same, as much as possible.  Experts suggest limiting the stresses you can control, especially during the first year. You may not have control over some things, but you will be in charge of other things.  Obviously something will have to change, but if housing and child support are provided, then perhaps some of the other changes can wait.   Visit your church (or a large church in your area) and ask to speak to the pastor for advice and resources.

 

Finally, if you have a friend who is a single parent, particularly if they are homeschooling, there are specific ways you can help.  Mary Jo says “If you are a single parent, don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for the help you need. Others are blessed by ministering to you. If you want to help single parents, however, don’t wait for them to ask. Volunteer your assistance, or ask what they need.”  Read her wonderful article Looking after Widows and Orphans: How You Can Help Single-Parent Families

 

Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, specializes in helping parents homeschool high school. Get Lee's Free Resource Guide, "The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make Homeschooling High School." You can find her at www.HomeHighSchoolHelp.com

 

Get more homeschool high school help on our Facebook Fan Page

 

 

Happy Homeschooling Customers

I followed the principles that you teach and our son has received selection to the Air Force Academy! He also received full scholarships for his second and third choice. Thank you for your passion and for making the information you share available to everyone! We are very grateful!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions at the conference. I’ve been praying for an answer to my unique needs in homeschooling my oldest son. I believe God answered my prayers by sending me to you. A huge weight was lifted after speaking with you and your husband. It’s hard for me to let go and let God have complete control of our homeschool, but I’m learning and it’s getting easier. I will definitely let you know when I need help. You and your family have been such a blessing to me and mine.

Janel in North Dakota
Janel in North Dakota

Seven years ago, when my daughter was nearing the end of sixth grade, I attended a presentation for homeschool moms on how to keep records in high school. Your resources were highly recommended, and I researched them soon after returning home. I purchased your Comprehensive Records Solution, attended a few of your webinars, and practiced keeping records during the middle school years. Your newsletter came to my inbox regularly, and I rarely missed reading it. Thanks to you, when high school rolled around, I was prepared, and started keeping records. No, they weren’t neat, and I didn’t keep completely up-to-date on writing course descriptions, but the information was there. When it came... Read More

Dear Lee,

I attended the North Carolina Homeschool Conference several years ago when you were speaking. My daughter was just beginning High School and I felt lost. You were wonderful! I left the conference feeling energized and encouraged. I read your books, watched your Youtube videos and your DVDs. I can't tell you how often we used your advise in Dual Enrollment, college visits, transcripts, applying for scholarships, etc. I felt like you were walking beside us through it all.

My daughter applied early her Junior summer (last year) to her #1 college choice (Liberty University) and was accepted right away. Then she applied to the Honor's Program early and was accepted right... Read More

Tracy in North Carolina
Tracy in North Carolina

You guys on the support staff are really fantastic, I have never had better customer service. It is a rarity in this day and age sometimes.

I am so so so thankful to God for you. I spent the morning becoming confused and in despair over math and science next year. I was reading a homeschool forum trying to decide what to do for science next year. Some of the moms had the idea that you HAD to do certain things or your child's college career, not to mention life, would be ruined if you didn't do things a certain way. I finally remembered many of your encouraging, reassuring words regarding individuality and turned off that silly forum. I'm serious, I was nearly in tears. And the Lord brought your words so clearly to my thoughts.

Lee!!!!!! You don't even realize what a blessing your blog post was to me today... SERIOUSLY! I was actually talking to the Lord about this yesterday; then you post this! Amazing! Thank you so much! May God continue to bless all you do for Him and us home schoolers! You're awesome!

I am done with my homeschooling journey and I still have lots of moms coming to me for advice and I always send them to you for transcript advice. I just want to tell you your email couldn’t be better for a mom who is overwhelmed and experiencing guilt and embarrassment over what she has not done with her lesson plans/records/transcripts. Purchasing several packages from you gave me clarity and understanding. It also gave me confidence to talk to people at the university level for my other son who will be a freshman this year at a local state college. The transition was successful for both of my sons.

The counselor at the local high took our transcript out of my file, placed it on her... Read More

The support and information The HomeScholar provided helped me confidently perform that task, and now my son has been accepted into the college of his choice! Believe it or not, his smile was even bigger than in the picture when he got that acceptance letter! Thank you, HomeScholar!

Kelly and her son, Cole
Kelly and her son, Cole

I needed to email you because... MY SON WON THE FULL-TUITION SCHOLARSHIP AT THE SCHOLARS DAY COMPETITION!!! They only gave out one, and he got it! They told him his interview clinched the deal, and I had him prepare by practicing the questions you listed in your article. He said the practice helped him. I also had him practice a timed essay - in pencil - which could only have helped too. I just had to share. This is for the small, private, Christian school that is ABET accredited for Computer Science. It's his first choice. The scholarship is worth approximately $100k over four years. We still kind of can't believe it. THANK YOU for all you do and all the help you've given me. Now - on to... Read More

Jennifer in the Midwest
Jennifer in the Midwest

I love Lee Binz!!!! So full of valuable information, support and inspiration! The Gold Club was very worthwhile! I appreciated the opportunity to have those weekly phone calls with her when I had specific questions. She is awesome! Everything I have bought through her program has been a worthwhile and valuable purchase.

Robin in California
Robin in California

Thank you so much for the wealth of information that you share! You have given me the knowledge and courage to do more than I ever felt possible, especially the ability to maneuver the high school transcript and college application process. Our daughter was accepted to all six schools to which she applied. She was offered various scholarships to each of them, and she received a full four-year scholarship at the best school of all. This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition, room and board... for all four years. Needless to say, we could not be happier! You gave me the courage to guide my daughter to write letters to admissions, scholarship and financial aid offices at each... Read More

Lori in New Hampshire
Lori in New Hampshire

I have purchased all Lee’s solutions and am a Gold Care Club member. I am so appreciative of the quality and caliber of the recommendations from the HomeScholar! I recommend Lee Binz and The HomeScholar to all my friends planning on homeschooling through high school.

Angela in South Carolina
Angela in South Carolina

Hi Lee,

Thank you so much for all the help you have given me over the past years. I really appreciate you and your advice. On Saturday, I graduated my youngest child who will be heading off to Liberty University in the fall. What a blessed journey it has been and you have been a big part of the success we have experienced.

I am an organized person but your help in staying on top of deadlines was invaluable as well as advice about testing, college credits and transcripts. My daughter completed her 3rd year at Liberty this year and has been on a full tuition scholarship. What a blessing it will be for her to graduate with no student debt! And she will be graduating in December, a... Read More

Kathleen in North Carolina
Kathleen in North Carolina

I just wanted to say 'thank you SO much' once again for all your help and input. I don't know if this adequately expresses how appreciated your wise counsel is and what a help it's been to me. I would be fumbling and procrastinating if I had not ordered your transcript e-book and become a member of your Gold Care Club. I'm so glad my husband said OK to letting me stay on as a member. It's funny that you would be impressed that we are visiting colleges, because, really, without your training, I'd probably be going along with our day-to-day homeschool business, with college in the back of my mind, but not proactively preparing.

I cannot tell you how much I have learned from you and your... Read More

Ann in Connecticut
Ann in Connecticut

I ran across a story in an article that referenced how much Lee Binz had helped the author with homeschooling high school, so I decided to give her a call. She had a special “Gold Club” membership which included access to her resources, a special email address, and a 20-minute phone consultation with her once a week to pick her brain about any questions or concerns I might have. I decided to take advantage of that since I could not rely on myself to remember anything about what I read in her articles or heard on her webinars. I downloaded everything she offered regarding high school credits, transcripts, extra curricular activities, etc., and I organized them in folders on my computer... Read More

Jean in North Carolina
Jean in North Carolina

Thank you so much for sharing your personal journey, expertise, and encouragement! Our family knows that homeschooling is exactly where God wants us, but sometimes, while it seems we're trudging through the trenches, your advice is exactly what God uses to keep me focused and productive. Homeschooling 3 high schoolers and having two preschoolers, keeps me pretty much permanently logged in to your site!

Your presentation was FABULOUS and fills a GAPING need in the homeschooling community. You teach people how to take their unique homeschooling experience and translate it into a college-prep program. What a gift!! You helped bring clarity and focus to areas that needed attention. I absolutely can't wait to get my hands on your college series. I will buy anything you produce!

I thought I would have to convince my husband that we wanted to spend this amount, but he is fully convinced that your materials are an investment in my daughter's education. That, my friend, is a compliment in the highest! He is very picky as to what he calls an investment in education! We've been talking about it, and I told him that not only am I impressed with your materials, and not only was I impressed with your session through the conference, but my true respect for you has grown over the years. Your posts and answers are just so genuine that you can tell that you just have such a passion for this. You've had all too many opportunities to show that you were just in it for the dime by... Read More

Thank you so, so much for all that you are doing. I have needed support like you offer for a number of years now. It has felt like we've been going on to the end all alone. Now I feel supported. I am just nervous to call or email you for help. One of these days I will be brave. Thank you, again. You are one of my heroes.

I seriously thank you both as you have made all the difference for our son. I was prepared to send him away next year for high school because I had lost hope, was so scared and my vision had become cloudy. But I have praising God that I found your site a few days ago and now I know I can do this.

I found Lee Binz while searching the internet. My husband and I set up an appointment with Lee.  Talk about hand holding! It was just what I needed. She answered all my questions about SAT, ACT, CLEP, AP, and PSAT testing. She helped me set up a plan for the next four years. It was wonderful. The best part? My husband and I left the meeting as a team. Even today I still feel 100% better about all of this.

Tressa in Washington
Tressa in Washington
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