Homeschool freedom.

A Full Circle

A Story of A Mom Inspired to Help Others Homeschool

by T.W.

I attended my first HEAV convention more than 20 years ago when my oldest was just turning four. Curious to see what homeschooling was all about, I was both scared and excited. I can remember slipping into the back row of the graduation ceremony, watching each parent walk across the stage to place a diploma in their student’s hand. I couldn’t help but cry. I felt overwhelmed and yet empowered by what these parents were doing. Thinking of the years ahead of me, I knew that—with the Lord’s help, and by taking one day at time—I could homeschool my children.  

With that first introduction to homeschooling, I was hooked. There was something about gathering together at the convention that made me feel like I was a part of something bigger. That I wasn’t alone. I took attendance very seriously and always went prepared by highlighting my convention schedule and having my curriculum list ready to go. I approached it like it was a business trip. I felt equipped, encouraged, and challenged as I attended each seminar and heard each keynote speaker.  

My children grew up at the HEAV convention. Each year I attended, I would remember what ages my children were in different locations of the convention center. From tag-teaming with my husband to keep our new toddler happy in the back of the room, to enrolling our children in the children’s program, to taking our teens with us to hear the speakers, my children have just as many memories as I do. It always felt a little bit like going home.

HEAV has a very important ministry role toward homeschool group leaders. Having started a local support group, I was invited to attend the HEAV Leadership Luncheon. This physical, tangible expression of love and gratitude toward all the homeschool group leaders in Virginia was always a highlight of my convention experience.

About  seven years ago, after having soaked up all that the HEAV convention had provided to me, I felt a tug on my heart to offer something in return. I had read an article by Yvonne Bunn about serving with HEAV and felt compelled to volunteer to help answer phone calls that would come in from all over the state. Five years—and more than 1,000 phone calls—later, I had the privilege to help answer questions from scared, excited new homeschooling families.

I felt like my HEAV convention experience had come full circle when Yvonne asked me to help her answer questions at her “How-to-Begin-Homeschooling seminars at the convention two years in a row.  From sitting in the back row at a HEAV graduation, to helping hundreds of others in their journey of homeschooling, I have seen how the Lord takes us where we are, equips us, empowers us, and then takes us to a place we would have never imagined.

Now, all these years later, with four high school graduates, I am so thankful for the ministry of HEAV and all that it has provided for our family. God has raised up HEAV to help equip and empower the homeschooling community.  May those of you who are just beginning to run the race be faithful. The finish line is amazing!

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