Betsy Sproger Schools Moms In Homeschooling
Right out of the gate, I have to say that "my hat is off" to moms who homeschool their kids. As a prior educator, myself, as well as a mother of five, the idea of homeschooling as an option has always appealed to me...but it has also overwhelmed me.
"Where does one begin?"
"Can I really do it and not fail my children in their academic or social educations?"
"Where do I even go to find the proper curriculum?"
Even moreso, "IS there a proper curriculum?"
These were some of the many questions looming in my head when considering bringing my kids' schooling in-house. I am sure I am not alone, which is why mom bloggers like Betsy Sproger are needed. Betsy and her homeschooling blog, BJ's Homeschool - Our Journey towards College, help to ease the concerns of any mom who is considering or in the midst of homeschooling her kids. She provides the necessary advice and direction to get started and keep going. And she does so with the experience, commitment, and understanding of both teacher and mother combined.
I, daresay, had I know about Betsy and BJ's Homeschool earlier, I might just have taken the plunge. Unfortunately, I did not, but now you do. If you are considering homeschooling your children in the least or, merely, a tad bit curious about it, I suggest you read Betsy Sproger's interview below. She is sure to educate you to the opportunity -- making it a whole lot less scary and much more fun than you could have ever imagined.
What is your full name?
Where do you live?
We live in Washington State - in the Puget Sound area - and love going to the beach and taking road trips.
How many children do you have?
We adopted our daughter, internationally, and flew to China to meet her, when she was just an infant. She was so meant to be with us; we felt that from the start and we are very blessed to have her in our lives. The waiting was hard -- over two years of paperwork, etc.
If you were asked to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be?
A mom. Raising our daughter has been the most important thing in my life. I just wish I had, had more children, but I hear that grandkids are a lot of fun, too. Not yet.
What is your personal mantra?
Follow your heart. Whenever I listened to that small voice inside, it never steered me wrong. It led me to try new things that I thought I would be afraid to do, but I did them anyway.
Do you believe you have a “life’s purpose?” If so, share it.
To stand up for the little ones -- the children in our society. All children deserve a nurturing family.
Tell us about you and your life.
I grew up in Washington State - in a small town just outside of Seattle. I was always into 'arts and crafts' as a kid. As a teen, I went on to college and studied Occupational Therapy. I worked in that field after graduating. Then I met my husband, who is also my best friend. We live in a small house on a large lot -- that’s so we have lots of space to garden (including veggies in the front yard). I love kids and taught preschool for a while -- such a great age! When my husband and I built our family through adoption, I had my dream come true (of being a mom).
We chose to homeschool when our kiddo was ready for kindergarten but was too young to go. I loved teaching her, and it worked out well. So, we continued all the way through. It was a privilege to do that, and now I get to hear about her adventures in college, as she spreads her wings.
Finish this sentence, “The best part about being a mom is _____.”
To watch them grow.
How long have you been blogging for? Do you blog for any group blogs or websites beyond your own?
I didn’t start blogging until my daughter was in high school. I was too busy teaching her, running to dance classes, gymnastics, etc. It was when my hubby and I starting thinking about college for her, that I launched my blog.
I also write for a group blog at The Curriculum Choice, where I get to share my favorite resources or books that we used in our homeschool. And there are so many new ones coming out for homeschoolers, apps, online live courses, sites, new books, etc.
What is the name of your blog? When was it launched?
BJ's Homeschool - Our Journey towards College. I began it four years ago.
Share with us the significance of the name of your blog to you. How did you come up with it?
BJ is just a nickname of mine from high school. As I helped my daughter to apply to college, I learned a lot. I wanted to share our story to encourage other families so I added “Our Journey Towards College” to my blog name.
What is the primary focus of your blog?
I blog to share top resources as well as day-by-day inspiration and support with homeschooling moms (who are in the trenches of parenting and educating their precious kids). I also am an advocate for homeschoolers to go on to college, and I blog about that to make the whole process easier for them.
What do you hope to accomplish?
Most homeschoolers go the ‘community college’ route for higher education, as the process is much easier there. You know, it can be intimidating to knock on a college’s door as an individual who was educated through homeschooling. But when my daughter was thirteen, I thought, “Why limit her to that choice, alone?” So I researched, prepared and helped her gain acceptance to multiple colleges. She is now, happily, a junior at her top choice U.
“Homeschooling High School with College in Mind” is my newly released e-book on the subject, available on Amazon and Create Space. It lays out ten steps which are helpful in moving homeschooled kids from high school to college and provides encouragement for parents who are helping them get there. My goal is to help other families take this leap, so that all types of colleges and universities can become a viable goal for any homeschooler who wants to go there.
List any awards you have won.
Well no trophies lately (lol). I have been invited into a dynamic network of homeschool bloggers, called the iHomeschool Network. It is a fantastic group of women who are all veteran homeschoolers who blog, write e-books, and support each other’s efforts.
Are you a Brand Ambassador and if so, for which companies?
I am one for Oak Meadow Publications. They offer a great hands-on, project oriented and creative homeschool curriculum in my opinion.
Beyond your blog, do you engage in other social media outlets such as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc.?
That is the best way to reach moms, who are busy with their families and only have a little time to ‘log on’ and get some fresh ideas or encouragement. I use Pinterest, G+, Twitter, and Facebook.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to moms who may be interested in beginning a blog?
Write what you love. Connecting with other moms online has been a thrill for me. I have even met homeschooling moms in the middle east and in Africa, where educational resources are scarce (especially for girls).
Are you an entrepreneur or professional beyond your blog (and outside of being a mom)? Please share.
Well, I am a writer! So happy to get my e-book published on Amazon. I also have written children’s stories for magazines. In addition, I offer consulting to homeschool families @ BJ's Consulting and free messaging on my Facebook page.
Do you support – either formally or informally – a particular social cause?
Yes. International Adoption and Special Olympics.
When all is said and done, what is the one thing you hope your loved ones and those who knew you remember about you?
That I love children and stood up for those who had no voice.
We've all heard the stories of how numerous homeschooled kids are excelling -- some, well beyond, children who are obtaining their educations through our nation's more routine approach. Those, alone, provide compelling arguments for the increased adoption of the practice. And homeschool educators and resources like Betsy Sproger offer a means to accomplish the goal in a way that works. With the option now proving to be a more viable one for you...the only thing left to decide is whether or not to do it -- a very personal and, possibly, complex decision but one that you can now make in a much more educated capacity than ever before. A+ knowledge from an A+ homeschooling blog. Brilliant Betsy!