Managers of Their Schools Preface
Twelve years after starting to homeschool and having tried various methods for our homeschooling, the Lord led us to a homeschool method that has now worked well for eleven years. Being in the homeschool community, speaking to homeschool families, and receiving e-mails from them, we know their struggles. Some of those difficulties could very well be generated by the homeschool method they are using or the need for organizational help as they home educate.
As our hearts have gone out to those homeschool families, we have wanted to be able to share the details of how we home educate, because we thought that information might help some of them. We have tried, in this book, to present what we do, why we do it, and how we do it, without condemning other methods or families who make different choices than we have made. Those who previewed the book affirmed that we have been nonjudgmental as we shared our experiences. This information is designed to be practical and beneficial not only for those who choose our way of homeschooling but also for others.
We have done some degree of experimentation with homeschool products through our home educating years, but what we document in this book are the products that we have used, liked, and continued to use. This book is not an exhaustive review of all textbooks or all the materials we have ever used.
As always when we write, we begin by having a direction from the Lord Jesus. This book has been on our hearts for several years, but we were waiting for the Lord’s timing. Last year as we traveled, we started working on the outline during all those hours spent on the road. At one point, we stopped completely because we weren’t sure how to proceed, and then, with more time, the Lord gave us clear direction. It is our prayer that the results are what He would want, and that if we have listened to Him, we have been able to communicate the journey of one homeschool family.
This book is not just Steve and Teri’s effort. Many others help with various aspects of the project. When each new writing project is presented to the family, our children are a tremendous encouragement with a resounding, “Yes! Do it!” We discuss a new book with them because we know it takes a commitment from every family member for it to be completed.
One day as summer approached, which meant Teri’s days would be free of school time, Steve asked Teri to write down all the daily tasks that she does. He took her list to our family Bible time, discussed the writing project, and asked the children if they would be willing to divide up Teri’s jobs so she could write during the summer. The girls had more time available since the boys were working on building our house, so they took on the bulk of Teri’s daily responsibilities. We love how our children desire to see the body of Christ built up and encouraged.
Not only did Sarah invest many hours in Teri’s normal cooking and cleaning jobs, but she also worked diligently proofreading and formatting the book, which is a big task particularly when there is an appendix and index. Christopher provided the cover design and photography. Joseph gave us a chapter title layout.
The Lord sent us seven families, just at the needed time, who represented a cross section of homeschoolers, to read and give feedback concerning Managers of Their Schools. In addition, Teri’s sister, an empty-nester-homeschooling mom, agreed to read and comment on the book. We have a professional proofreader, whom we love, and who has worked with us on all our books except the first one, often fitting us into her tight schedule. Finally, Abigail Klein, the daughter of dear family friends, supplied us with her artistic talents to add some extra life to a pretty intensive book.
Our earnest prayer is that this book would help many homeschool families to ease their homeschool burden, to stay on the homeschool path, and to provide a solid education for their children.
In Christ Jesus,
Steve & Teri Maxwell