Hey. It’s me, Dr. Melissa Shipman, founder of Learnwell. I feel it’s important I give you the backstory to this homeschool curriculum question that I hear so much about.

When I was 26, I abruptly moved to Romania. I had never been out of the country, and spoke no second language outside of my rusty high school Spanish. I cried for the first hour on the flight, and still feel sorry for the couple that was sitting next to me.

Here’s what got me there: the plea of homeschooling family friends. They were living in Romania as missionaries, and had three kids in high school. Mom was busy with younger kids, and everyone was busy just living (at the time, it took hours of standing in line just to pay your bills, much less shop!).

It was understandably hard to find time to homeschool.

So after months of being asked and no inclination at all to go, I suddenly sensed that God was flipping a switch in my head, and I was all in.

My time in Romania was a wonderful experience, and it was also the birth of my desire to help homeschooling families and families serving overseas.

It was also my first exposure to homeschool curriculum. The family had picked out the most independent-study, do-it-yourself-kid curriculum on the planet. The chemistry textbook was, no kidding, 24 years old. I still cringe thinking about it.

BUT – I had been a high school teacher for several years at that point – and was a LOT closer to my own high school experience than I am now. We did have to use the weak curriculum that they’d picked out, but I was able to augment it myself, as well as having “electives” related to music and journalism.

Here’s what I want to say: homeschool curriculum is important, but YOU are most important in the homeschooling success equation.

The “best” curriculum in the hands of a worn-out, burned-out mom isn’t going to get kids successfully across the finish line. And a mediocre curriculum in the hands of a mom who has enough margin to be creative with how and when she uses it could be wildly successful.

In my time as an education consultant for families serving overseas, I often jump into what I think is the most important question:

How are YOU?

If you’re homeschooling, I encourage you to answer that question today. I would absolutely love it if you hit “reply” and tell me!

I get that, in these times, it’s pretty normal for a mom to feel stretched too thin. But I hope that you have enough margin to be able to enjoy your kids, enjoy homeschooling, and feel great about the good – and sometimes hard – work that you do every day at the table with your kids.

If the equation isn’t working right now, and you feel like you’re really not doing well, I would encourage you to take a hard, honest look at things. What needs to be changed so that you can homeschool out of health rather than stress?

THIS is why Learnwell Home Collective was created, my friend. For most of us, life as a mom right now is challenging. Our teachers love taking some of your burdens off your back by using their expertise to create an awesome homeschool experience for you to implement with your kids if you live outside of the North Georgia area. It’s called our Learnwell Navigator Program.

And if you live within the North Georgia area, you can send your children to our hybrid school — Learnwell North Georgia — so they get to experience the teaching of a classroom two days a week and still be under your teaching the other three days. Our hybrid school is unique to other schools because of the way our teachers partner with parents. Ready to find out more? Check out our latest Discover Learnwell event on our homepage.