The Collision: When homeschool meets family relationships (Part 1 of 2) // Jan Smith

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SUMMARY

Today, we look at the surprisingly transformative power of homeschooling and its remarkable effect on family dynamics. Jan Smith shares her remarkable journey, offering insights into the unique benefits and challenges of homeschooling in today’s society. 

Discover how homeschooling fosters deep family connections and empowers parents to tailor education to their children’s individual needs. From navigating the demands of career to challenging societal norms, Jan’s story sheds light on the profound impact of personalized learning and the invaluable role of family in shaping our lives. We explore the intersection of homeschooling, family relationships, and societal expectations, inviting listeners to rethink traditional education paradigms and embrace the transformative journey of family-centered learning.

TAKE-AWAYS

  • Women are often told they can do whatever they want, but being a wife and mother is not given the same value.
  • Homeschooling provides a unique opportunity to invest in children and build close relationships with them.
  • State organizations play a crucial role in protecting homeschooling rights and keeping track of legislation that may impact homeschooling.
  • Society puts pressure on women to have a career, but it’s important to prioritize motherhood and recognize the value of raising children.
  • After the homeschooling season, there are opportunities to pursue other interests and dreams.

ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST

Jan Smith plays a vital role in organizing, supporting and encouraging homeschooling on a global level. She has successfully coached hundreds of wives and mothers to reach their full potential in marriage and motherhood. From overcoming obstacles to embracing life changes, Jan helps families navigate it all. Visit Homeschool Freedom for information on Jan’s work in support of state organizations here: https://homeschoolfreedom.com/

TRANSCRIPT

Women in today's society have been sold a false bill of good and one we're told all our lives that we can do whatever we want to do and I say yay yay that's wonderful but the deception comes in that being a wife and mother is not fair game on the table welcome to the Christy Faith show where we share game changing ideas with intentional parents like you I'm your host Christy Faith experienced educational adviser and homeschool Enthusiast together we'll explore ways to enrich and transform both your life and the lives of your children hello hello everybody Welcome to the Christy Faith Show podcast today I am honored to have Jan Smith as a guest today and normally I read everyone's bios but she is so well spoken and I love hearing her own story out of her own mouth I want you Jan to share your story this podcast today is going to be such a wealth of wisdom we're going to cover quite a few topics from parenting maybe we'll even dive into marriage I know we plan on talking a little bit about even some feminism and raising our adolescent boys now talk about a wide range of topics but hey if you're in for the roller coaster today it's going to be a great ride so saddle up and we're gonna have a really great time because Jan Smith is somebody that you should know and I'm excited to have you here today Jan will you please start out our podcast today was sharing with everybody how you got into homeschooling and you have a prominent role in the homeschooling movement would you tack that on to the end of your homeschooling story sure so I'm married to Dr Roger Smith and he we we have four children they are now between the ages of 32 and 40 and we homeschooled them from the very beginning now we had never heard of homeschooling until we were in Medical School newly married before we had our first child and a a couple moved down a family moved from Oregon down to Louisiana and started something in our church and we were blown away by these children because they were so they were bright and they were open and eager and confident and love God knew the word and right now that time were teaching fifth grade fifth and sixth grade Sunday School and they were just they were so openhearted is the way I would describe them and I always believe that the product is our greatest advocate for homeschooling as and those children we saw in them what we wanted in our own children to be able to be confident enough to care about others and equipped enough to be able to do that in tangible ways so we committed to homeschooling at that time and and it just fit for Roger's medical practice and as our children started the need for being educated in a formal way at the time when Roger was opening his practice and had very high demands so we were able to conron our schedule current with his schedule and not the school schedule and that was a real Freedom we homeschooled them all the way until they went to college and even though it's been was a very hard commitment that it it was it required a lot of both of us it's one that we've never regretted and that has yielded real fruit in the close relationships we have with our adult children and that they have with one another it was a wonderful ride when we started homeschooling we didn't know anybody else that was currently homeschooling and yet we it grew a lot we our oldest son was born in 1983 so when we started homeschooling 5 years later and moved back to Louisiana we didn't know anybody else that was currently homeschooling they were out there we just weren't organized in a way to know each other and eventually some of our friends started homeschooling and we did all of our local things like field trips we did a 4 club we did service projects together but later we joined the little city organization that had been formed and went started going to our state Homeschool Convention now it was legalized in Louisiana in 1983 this year homeschool Louisiana is for the first time addressing the complicated bill that passed back then and so when we were raising our children we were mostly involved in leadership things that had to do straight up with their activities but later we did 4 and we did Scouts and we did speech and debate for homeschooling so we were in leadership roles but not directly in the state or national organizations but when our youngest graduated we started being involved in homeschool Louisiana and helped run the conventions and then later as we went to the National Alliance we realized wow this is this is something all across the country that's being done and we were asked to help join that effort of coordinating that those State networking opportunities by being on the board of the National Alliance of home education and so we currently serve in that role as well as on our state board and God is doing exciting things if you're enjoying the show and you don't want to miss out on future episodes hit that like And subscribe button and show us some love with your comments those five star reviews really do make a difference I love interviewing mamas who were homeschooling when not many people were I want to ask you when you started homeschooling did you feel pressure at all to keep your kids inside until 3 p.m. or were you questioned when you were out in public and I know your husband's a a doctor so you didn't have to worry about going to the pediatrician and being scrutinized there but what was it like today we're still worried about socialization but I actually think you had more challenges than we have regarding quote unquote socializing our children what was it like well we were blessed in Louisiana in that we were one of the earliest states to be legal in Louisiana and it was a sheer Miracle the way it happened somebody had been put in jail and a young legislator heard about it and said this isn't right families should be able to determine what they want to do with their children and so I knew that I was legally protected but nobody else had ever heard homeschooling and so the number one question that I got when I was out and about with my children when I was brave enough to go out and do that was is homeschooling legal and that was usually when they would ask me what school they go to and when I would say we were homeschooling that's when the first question I would to get was is that legal so you don't get that question anymore everybody knows homeschooling is legal because the state organizations fought for those rights and today we safeguard guard that right now we participate every state is assigned an attorney through hsld that we consult with and work in association with so but the state organization they're the boots on the ground and every state has one and 42 of those states are affiliated together and stay in touch with one another through the National Alliance in the past they were very quiet about the fact that there was a National Organization but it was all about the state organization but as homeschooling has grown and the movement has grown up now it gets national attention and we are becoming more visible on the national scale to say hey we are the ones with the right to speak about homeschooling because we represent the entire country and the history from the very beginning of the homeschool movement but it was it was strange it was in fact now Roger and I we love speaking internationally like we just went to the Ukraine and Romania this past fall even with war going on the Lord just gave us the peace to go ahead and do that because those families are so needy and we can relate to them when nobody else that they know is homeschooling and their families don't understand why would you do this and is it is it legal no it's not in Ukraine and in many places in the United States it was not when families started homeschooling but now we have the confidence to know that it can be done in terms of pressure I actually felt less pressure then than I think a lot of moms do now because there wasn't anything to prove to other people that it was a grand experiment that I felt like that by faith with the Lord's help my kids my first two were very easy and I thought I was a great homeschooler and then my third one was quite challenging and it made me really take a step back and a humility peel it showed me though the value of homeschooling whether you have a child that's academically Advanced or one that's a struggling learner that homeschooling is equally good for both of those kids because I think often that kids that are very very smart it's easy for them to have pride and almost condescension to other kids that it's not so easy for it's like come on dude why can't you get this this is so obvious I felt that way most of my educational experience that this is so easy why are you having trouble with this and why do I have to listen to it again and again and again and so I had I had both of those extremes and you know what they're all doing great in their lives now now and it works now we know it works it works on every level that it can work I'm not saying that it works for every single family but in the right circumstances with the right commitments and the the right openness that homeschooling works it it really does but I didn't know that at that time I just knew it had to be better than what I had experienced in school and what Roger had experienced that we surely could do at least that well before we continue I want to share with you a program that has been a GameChanger for our family at our Learning Center we instructed and helped kids through pretty much every program on the market so we know firsthand just how important a solid math Foundation is for our kids Futures finding the right homeschool math curriculum that didn't compromise academic Excellence but also didn't put me and my kids through the ringer was a challenge until one day I found CTC math you guys the rest was history first off it's a Mastery based program which means your child gets a full grasp of the material it's also loaded with mixed reviews ensuring your kids don't forget anything they've learned the questions are adaptive too which keep students confident and progressing at their own pace but the best part all the teaching grading and testing done for you with CTC math there is no compromise on Excellence your child gets a top notot to education and you just made your homeschool life easier visit CTC math to get your free trial today whether you're newer to homeschooling or you've been homeschooling over a decade the fact is creating a streamlineed successful homeschool is hard the pressure is high and the weight of responsibility often leads to self-doubt second guessing and feeling completely overwhelmed with the excessive amounts of opinions and curricula options out there we love our kids and at the same time the stakes are high we don't want to mess this up so how do we build a homeschool that our kids will thank us for when they're adults and one that you have 100% confidence in the first step to pulling all of that off is joining Thrive homeschool Community Thrive homeschool Community is where you learn The eight-step Homeschool success framework to build an undeniably successful home school each year and each kid presents us with Uncharted Territory but when you have a good plan the right plan you can rest in the security and confidence that you are doing a great job the path is easy join Thrive say a quick hello to your new friends start The eight-step Homeschool success framework and kiss anxiety goodbye it's risk-free no contracts you can cancel any time no questions asked go to christie-front-drive enter promo code podcast for $10 off your first month see you inside I am so encouraged by that and I shared this with you earlier and I have shared this with other people when I meet people like you these amazing women who have come before us many of whom in your generation which is not that long ago I hope you don't think I'm calling you old because I'm not it's not that long ago it was very different in terms of homeschooling though yes where where right now our biggest concern is what curriculum do I buy and it wasn't that long ago that your biggest concern was is CPS gonna come to my door or am I gonna be thrown in jail and so that's one of the reasons why I wanted to have you on so that we could appreciate our history and that we are we have these amazing freedoms today because of women like you and families like you who have stood up and asserted parents rights to homeschool are children I want to that brings me to the state organizations and I think that a lot of us don't truly grasp I know I didn't when I first began how vital the state organizations are and the way I view the alliance and you can correct me if I'm wrong is you're basically the the state organizations need to be working together they're all separate but they need to be communicating and working together and so what you guys are on the board of the Alliance which is the organization above them that they are in so that we can all have all the states can have a unified front so if you're wondering who's fighting for homeschooling rights in our country it's the alliance the state orgs and hsld da is that right absolutely absolutely and there are influencers like you that encourage people and and assist them in the day in the day out but you're not at the legislature and watching all the bills that are coming through and making sure because it's amazing people do not realize how many times that bills come to across the country that would actually threaten sometimes unintentionally but that it would have a real impact on homeschoolers and so that is what the state organizations are doing in conjunction with hsld and what alliance is able to do is like if something comes and starts in California then you can bet eventually it's going to sweep the country and get to Louisiana eventually that's uh like when K12 started the public school at home and other things like that they were targeting homeschool families big time as well as other kids that would come out but all across the country we we help helped people become aware of that we made a video we sent it out to all the state organizations and said hey this is what California is dealing with watch for this be aware of this and so all sorts of things like right now there's the the esas or educational savings accounts and we are uh sharing resources like if we have some good articles that we found or written about that then we share it amongst all the states so just helping equip them to do a better job being able to safeguard our freedoms across the country so the alliance equips and connects and encourages State Leaders with best practices for example right now there are two different Zoom opportunities for any state leader that is a state board member a state organization like Czech in Colorado or homeschool Louisiana so those people who are dealing with marketing then once a month there's a marketing Zoom call that everybody sharing this is what we've got going hey this has really worked well or the same thing there's another opportunity that's available right now through Alliance about fundraising and things that they've tried and so it's kind of the best practices in a way of encouraging people and keeping them from feeling like they're doing it all alone yes because all of our state organizations there are employees to these and staff members but these are ran by volunteers you guys and they are nonprofits and in every state there are people assigned to literally their only job is to watch the Bills I want to talk about another topic but before we transition I want to say that if you are not aware that your state has a state Organization for homeschooling we're going to put a link in the show notes to the Alliance because there is a list of all the state organizations on their website homeschool freedom.com and we're going to put a link in the show note so that you can at the very least go know what your state organization know what it is called know what they are doing and get on their mailing list and by the way these orgs have awesome conventions and things like that some of which I will be speaking at myself so it's a wonderful resource but I have to transition although I could talk about homeschool law all day long it interests me very much I know you have a heart for women and for mothering and we live in a society today that sends us messages that women aren't worthy unless we have a career and a lot of us give up parts of our career or maybe our entire career because we are choosing our kids and our family I know you feel it's important to meet fire with fire on this issue can I give you a soap box box moment on there you know that is my Soap Box absolutely it just lights my fire I'll just grab my coffee and let you go girl well women in today's society have been sold a false bill of goods and one we're told all our lives that we can do whatever we want to do and I say yay yay that's wonderful but the Deception comes in that being a wife and mother is not fair game on the table for any time it's like yeah but what do you want to do in addition to that besides that it's not given the Credence that I feel like that the scriptures and that the very part of being a woman is being a wife and a mother that those are innate desires at some point it's not the only thing about who we are and it's not the only defining thing in our lives but it is a part of who we are and it does deserve it's going to be our chief Joy or our chief heartache and it deserves our effort and I feel like that women who are trying to do it all that they either feel like a failure at home or a failure at work because it's an impossible feat that were given and the fact is is that there's a season of life where it's okay to give your children your whole heart and your whole attention now we're always as women going to be doing things that we keep growing and learning but what I'm saying is that most of the moms that I meet actually feel guilty if they're not contributing financially to the life of the family and I just think that that is an unnecessary pressure to put on ourselves because we are contributing in a very significant way as we invest in the lives of our children if you think about the 10 to $20,000 that You' be spending in sending these children to a private education then per child then you're making a significant contribution in home educating your children because you're giving them an education that has that kind of value but even if you're not homeschooling then those young children the first five years of their life it is proven the importance of the nurturing and the bonding the caregiving that we are doing that someone cannot and will not do in a daycare that's a drop off the very best they care cannot compare to the true nurturing that a mother is going to give and the opportunities to be out and about and doing exciting and fun things with that child it makes me upset what Society has done to women in the in the name of giving us freedom we have become Enslaved the show will resume in just a minute but first I want to share with you an incredible resource that is totally free to homeschooling families everywhere have you ever felt like you were on trial for your homeschooling Choice when visiting a doctor or another service provider it's unsettling especially when someone misinformed has the power to threaten your family unfortunately we have heard countless stories of parents who have felt trapped in offices and met with suspicion rather than support simply because they were homeschoolers I've been profiled and interrogated myself and I'm sure many of you have as well enough is enough it's time we proactively vet service providers before giving them our business and our money enter Christy faith list a directory 100% free to homeschooling families connecting you with homeschool friendly service providers who promise to support you in your homeschooling choice we want every homecho schol ER in America to know about and be using this list so here's how to make Christy Faith's list a household name one tell all your friends about it let's show the market just how powerful The Homeschool movement is number two check Christy facelist website before stepping foot into any service provider's office to make sure they are on there and number three if your favorite service provider isn't on the list make sure to refer them there's a button on the homepage of the website it takes only 30 seconds and and that way we can send them a lovely invite if you're listening and you are a homeschool friendly professional we want you on the list we're eager to connect homeschooling families with you shout your name from the rooftops and bring you tons and tons of business we have plans for every type of business both small local Nationwide and worldwide check out christyi list.com today hi mama if you like my social media content and my show I'm pretty sure you will love my book homeschool Rising shattering myths finding courage and opting out of the school system my book is for homeschool parents both veteran and new and the perfect book to hand any homeschool Skeptics in your life so they can better understand why you've chosen this amazing lifestyle this book will challenge you Empower you encourage you and give you solid Mindful Answers to all those questions you get about your homeschooling Choice grab your copy and maybe an extra one for your mother-in-law today homeschool Rising is available wherever books are sold I agree with that so much and as a trained historian I see and I have studied the waves of feminism that have come through and quite frankly I think our generation we like you said earlier we have been given a rotten bill of goods because we are coming out of uh a generation where in the 1950s for example the post-war era women primarily stayed home and the husbands earned the living and then we have the 60s 70s and 80s where no you need to get an education you can't depend on a man and so great we can do it all we can reach our dreams but the problem is there hasn't been a full mindset shift so what we have now are women who are carrying the entire mental and physical load of their households and trying to work full-time and I think it's a really complicated time so we really have to be thoughtful which you are and you are so encouraging and we have to say you know what I can choose my kids I can choose my kids right now and that is that has honor and that has dignity and that has purpose because I was given these kids and I love these kids and does that involve sacrifice absolutely homeschooling involves sacrifice but I have never done anything that sacrificed anything that I felt was worthy and regretted it not once so for those mamas who feel that tug I have talked to mamas who literally say have told me I can't homeschool because I can't throw away my career it's like it's not throwing it away let's transition to life after homeschooling because you have shared with me you were a bright bright college student you could have done anything and and you chose to homeschool your children and I want you to speak to after that season was done now you have an empty nest and talk a little bit about that well we are writing and speaking and doing a lot of things that I could have done at an earlier age but I wanted to invest in my children because in doing that you're multiplying yourself and they are doing things that exponentially increase my influence in the world and the good that I Do by the good that they are doing in their lives and that is that's a Wonder to behold I have so many friends that have continued their career as Physicians lawyers veterinarians one of my best friends is a veterinarian who was married to a pastor and chose to live on a country pastor's salary and she would work one day a week doing surgery for veterinarians in the AA that had gotten older and and when so she made as much in a day a week as a lot of people make anyway and by doing those Vetinarian surgeries and they pretty much gave her their practices after they retired and she's a full-time vent now and a grandmother and she's going to do that for a while before they retire to Arkansas and have this whole other new type of ministry so there is time in your life after raising your children to do so many things that it feels like it's going to be forever but it's really not that 15 years or that 20 years that you're homeschooling is is a small portion of your actual full Lifetime and you're not going to be worn out completely you may think you are but you're not there's so much fun to be had I was sharing with chrisy that one of the first things that I did was join the Garden Club and I joined a a jazz band and we started playing gigs I had fun after my children were grown and we we were able to travel to something besides a horse show or a speech tournament and camping vacations that we did and we traveled with our children with our adult children and their schedules were much less complicated when they got out of college and some time there is time in your life life to do many things and you are growing in ways as a homeschool mom that you don't realize that you're growing as you are ministering and ministra with your children in the home and in their activities you are growing and being equipped for the next phase of life that God has for you and so even if you've got the seed in your heart of a dream of something that you want to do it doesn't mean that that's not going to happen if you choose to homeschool you were not throwing away your life opportunities by choosing to home educate your children because it doesn't work like that we feel like it is that if I step out of the workforce in the same way that like quitting the position that you're currently in it doesn't mean that you will be that you've lost that opportunity forever it's just not true and also while you were saying that I was thinking and let's not mince words this message that is being fed to Americans ultimately what it is it is it is a devaluing of children it is a message that children are not good enough for you to sacrifice for really truthfully Charlotte Mason that children are born persons they have value and they are worth they are worth the investment to raise them thanks for joining us for part one we hope you gain some valuable insight be sure to catch part two where we're going to continue this great conversation we run to where we belong I told you you are the one you're my site won't you take me higher than the S we can go all night till we find our light and show everyone nobody doesn't like us