This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Encouragement for Homeschool Mid-year, interview with Felice Gerwitz. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
Encouragement for Homeschool Mid-year, interview with Felice Gerwitz
One of the blessings on homeschool communities (online communities as well as IRL communities) is meeting new and fascinating people. One fascinating homeschool friend that we have been blessed some years ago to meet (at our beloved 2:1 Conference) is Felice Gerwitz. Felice is the head of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network, which may sound a bit intimidating. Felice is not intimidating (but she is a natural persuader/influencer).
We ran into Felice in the elevator a number of times at 2:1 (a conference for Christian homeschool bloggers). After we both attended the same how-to-podcast workshop, Felice approached me and said, “We need a high school podcast!”
Clearly, this had been at the back of my mind (of all the workshops I was attending that morning, I chose to attend one on podcasting by future fellow podcasters, Andy and Kendra Fletcher of Homeschooling IRL. When Felice told me a high school podcast was needed, I instantly saw that we could and should do it! Homeschool Highschool Podcast was born!
So, I finally had a chance to catch Felice, just in time for some encouragement for homeschool mid-year. (Encouraging homeschool moms is one of Felice’s many passions!)
Felice is a veteran homeschool mom, from way back in the early days of homeschooling (some of us old-timers remember those days: hard to find and obtain curriculum, lots of time with legislators and state officials working to make homeschooling laws work for homeschoolers, and more).
Felice’s five kids are all homeschool graduates now (the last two are now in college). Felice started her business career with Media Angels when she was pregnant with her third child. She was a frequent speaker at conferences as well. She published homeschool how-to’s, curriculum and faith-based inspirational books. Then she added the podcast network as podcasting became a thing. Her podcast, Vintage Homeschool Mom, was the first on the network and an all-time favorite with listeners.
Felice came from a family of immigrants. She is first generation American whose parents worked hard and wanted their children to go to college. Felice became an elementary education (with certifications for learning disabilities). When one of her children showed learning struggles, she found her local resources inadequate. Her sister-in-law was already homeschooling and encouraged Felice to use her own training to best help her child. This was life changing for Felice.
This has worked! Her kids have all learned in ways that best fit them. Here’s the encouragement for homeschool mid-year from Felice.
- Invest in your teens’ strengths and interests
- Let them explore, provide them opportunities, allow them to be who God made them to be, allow them to make mistakes and take reasonable risks
- Her kid who loved to tinker, works with their contractor dad and has a profitable side gig of buying things, fixing things and selling them
- Don’t stand in your teens’ way, even if you want something else for them
- For instance, her tinkering son was a star pitcher at high school level and was recruited by colleges. He did not want to go, but to work and be in business. This was difficult for Felice. God used her priest to encourage her to get out of God’s way and let God develop her son into the man HE wanted.
- Fixing tools and equipment became his specialty as Felice allowed him to develop his passion.
- Look for courses that will get your kids truly excited.
- Felice provided her tinkering son a business course by Carol Topp (of Homeschool CPA podcast). This helped him get excited about the business possibilities of his tinkering skills.
- Felice found dual-enrollment courses that expanded interests help by her other kids when the time was right.
- Felice allowed her son to explore and prepare for the military (even though she felt nervous about it).
- She found veterans for him to interview and be mentored by.
- No matter what you and your kids do, pray.
- Imagine: a homeschool mom’s job for homeschooling high school is to come along side her teens.
- Build relationship (as parents, do not worry about being their friend)
- Allow them to process ideas and experiences without correcting or forcing them to your will
- Ask questions, avoid expounding your personal goals.
- Help them find healthy friends (the five people they are around most will shape them)
- Remember: NO teen is perfect (nor are their parents)
Find Felice and her resources
- Felice’s free character planner
- Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network’s encouraging Facebook group
- Vintage Homeschool Moms Podcast
- Media Angels curriculum
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