MADISON, Ala. – Many students are heading back to school this fall, but not all are heading back inside school doors. Some students are learning inside their own homes.
And with so many new homeschooling parents, a Madison homeschooling coach wants to help them navigate the experience. Though it may seem overwhelming to most parents, Tiffany Jefferson says it’s actually freeing.
“Parents have been doing this thing called homeschooling for a long time and producing productive, educated citizens,” she said.
Tiffany Jefferson is a wife to one, a mom to ten, and a homeschool teacher to seven.
“I’m schooling everyone except for the youngest three,” she said. “We have a 4 year old, a 3 year old, and a 9 month old, but everyone else is being homeschooled. 10 minus 3, that’s 7.”
Currently, Jefferson has four active homeschool students. Her three oldest have graduated from the homeschooling program and have gone on to succeed in college.
Jefferson has fifteen years of homeschooling experience, and is the founder of Your Homeschool Helper, which helps parents eliminate curriculum confusion and information overload.
“We are seeing clients who are overwhelmed with the amount of information that’s out there,” said Jefferson. “Get on Google and you type in how to homeschool and it’s like drinking water out of a firehose.”
She says many new homeschool parents try to follow a specific schedule model for the children, but they don’t have to do that: “It’s not a cookie cutter. You don’t have to follow anybody else’s model. You can look at what’s going on in your own life and schedule it accordingly.”
Jefferson said if the teacher’s manual that the parents are following has 5 things to cover, but they only get to three, it’s okay!
“Call it a day,” she said. “You got to three!”
When asked about the biggest question she gets from parents, Jefferson said it’s the question: How am I going to know if my child is doing enough?
“If that is a parents’ concern, they probably are doing enough,” she responds.
Another big question Jefferson is asked: Can homeschool children go on to succeed in college?
“We have graduated three children and they successfully gone on to college and have excelled there, so yes!” said Jefferson. “Homeschoolers can go to college.”
Jefferson says her tops three homeschool necessities include joining a community, finding support, and embracing freedom.
“When we started 15 years ago, being able to lean on the support of veteran moms was critical,” she said. Jefferson recommends getting to know people who know your situation and then coach the family.
“Parents are looking for some kind of hand rail like: Am I doing this right? So I just want to say loud and clear — that if you are doing what works best for your child and your family, you are doing what is necessary,” Jefferson said.
The question everyone is asking, her holy grail classroom items are a laminator, a dry erase board, and a planner.
“Being a home educator doesn’t mean that I know all of the answers because I do not,” said Jefferson. “It means I have the ability and the opportunity to learn alongside my children.”
For extra assistance this school year, you can contact Tiffany Jefferson, Your Homeschool Helper. She helps with 1-on-1 coaching, creating a personal schedule, and creating strategies for you and your student.