What have I learned from twenty-one years of homeschooling? Just this: the Spirit is my most important resource (and it’s free!). Repeatedly it has been the Spirit that has showed me how when I didn’t know how. It was the Spirit that turned obstacles into beautiful opportunities, tears into triumphs, exhaustion into exhilaration. Where I couldn’t see a way, the Spirit opened my eyes to ways I had never even considered. Over the years I have learned that this help is more readily available when I apply three principles, ask clear questions, and am willing to act on the impressions that come. I’d like to share these with you and show the impact they have had on me and my family. No matter where you are in your homeschool journey and no matter what you are struggling with, come. The Spirit has the answer for you.
Angela Baker is the mother of seven and the grandmother of three. When she started homeschooling, she had a 1st grader, a preschooler, and a toddler. She thought homeschooling was going to be a temporary fix. However God had something else in mind. 26 years later she is still homeschooling. Her youngest is now sixteen and Angela has already started her “grandma school.” As a mother, she has homeschooled through all of the phases and stages including the teen years. What motivated Angela to keep going? She says, “The reasons I started homeschooling were not the reasons that kept me going. I had to find a much deeper vision for what I wanted for my children’s education.” She admits that homeschooling can be very hard. The hardest thing for her has been the feelings of self- doubt. She often grappled with the haunting question, “Can I give them enough?” At times, she felt confused about which of the many resources, curriculums, and methods she should use to be successful and she longed to have more hours and energy in a day to meet the needs of her children. Then she changed her question. Instead of asking “Can I give them enough?” she started asking, “What does God want the education in our home to be?” Motivated by this question, and like Nephi trying to build a boat, she went to God seeking for the HOW. This changed everything! Taking the challenges and the frustrations about her children’s education to God was the answer. Time after time, she received God’s guidance and help. Angela found that when she looked to “the manner of men” for her HOW, she felt stressed and confused. But when she looked to God for her HOW, He taught her principles, gave her tools, and blessed her with clarity and peace. He turned the burnout into renewed energy, the discouragement into hope, and the frustration into inspiration. This is what has kept her going. Looking for an uplifting and rigorous learning environment for her teens, Angela was inspired to start Erda Academy. Now in its twelfth year, Erda Academy teaches youth how to get a great education. Through reading, writing, and discussing classic literature, teens learn life-changing principles and are inspired to take responsibility for their own education. Angela also mentors parents in the process of learning HOW to create an inspiring educational environment in their homes. She does this one-on-one, in small weekly groups, and in monthly workshops. She believes every home can be an inspiring learning center and every parent CAN learn how to create this in their home.