I need to make something very clear before you read any farther: we are a family of incredibly outgoing personalities. The next best thing to being an audience for each other is having someone ELSE be our audience. Better still if that audience member is a stranger.

So,in a season of limited social interactions, our first inhome visit from our Home School Facilitator was a BIG DEAL.I had not anticipated a visit from our facilitator just over two months along our journey. When I got the email with proposed dates my heart started fluttering.

Have we done enough? Do the girls have enough work samples to share? Is their work reflective of the learning plan we prepared for them? Will our facilitator be easy to talk to? Are we homeschooling “right”?

We only had two weeks to prepare, so you can rest assured I became a bit more of a task master to get a few more things done.When the day of our facilitator visit arrived, the house was vacuumed, the dog walked, hair brushed (this is a big one!)and work samples ready. The only thing that wasn’t in order was the butterflies flapping in my stomach.

Within five minutes of assembling with her at the table in our learning room, all nerves and anxiousness disappeared. Our Facilitator explained that her role is to witness the work that we’re doing to make sure it’s aligned with ourEducation Program Plan (that every parent creates for their children), and to provide support as needed. She asked the girls to share a few pieces of their favourite work, and what happened next absolutely floored my husband and me.

Our girls have been in traditional school up until this point. They are currently in Grade 4 and Grade 6. We have been to COUNTLESS studentled interview. Never had we seen such enthusiasm, joy, and most of all RETENTION of information from them. The girls explained how they overcame a challenging math equation. They walked our facilitator through their blogs we created to share our adventures with family and friends. They even took their writing samples and turned them into skits, complete with costumes and accents! It was quite the show.

When the show was over, the real work needed to be done. We were sent an evaluation form in advance to score our girls on a variety of criteria related to their core subjects. I had been taking diligent daily notes and pictures, so this process was relatively straightforward. If I was unsure of how to score a subject, I shared observational notes and comments that I could talk over with our facilitator to see what score best fit their achievements to date. We discussed areas for improvement and successes, and even spoke home schooling mom to homeschooling mom about some of the gifts and grinds of the daytoday.

When our facilitator left, we were encouraged, inspired, and grateful to see that we were absolutely on the right track. The ‘right track’ is always following what you know as parents is best for your own children. Was it worth it for me to get a little wound up before our facilitator visit? Probably not. I think we all have heightened awareness when it comes to new experiences. When she left, one thing was abundantly clear; our facilitator is an ally and a teammate as we travel down our homeschooling journey.
It is my wish for everyone who homeschools, or is considering it, that you can connect with a facilitator who provides the support and alignment you need to make your journey as positive as possible.
Shawna Robinson is a rookie homeschool mom and an award-winning children’s author who starts each day knowing that there will always be a plot twist and room for magic to unfold. The best part of her homeschooling day is every moment she gets to spend with her family exploring the limits of their imaginations and not stressing out about unfolded laundry.
You can find her storybooks and collection of read-aloud stories at www.EverydayIcing.com