Mother, May I?


The sounds of children squealing and the blur of colorful fall jackets whisking over the pavement of the weathered but love worn school yard can be deafening. Its recess and its as if Christmas has come early for this group of eight and nine-year-old school children. Their day has been mostly filled with addition facts and state capital memorization so this timely break has brought a joy over them they can’t contain. In the middle of the yard, you see a line of children forming with the tallest girl in the fourth grade standing on the opposite side. She’s the designated facilitator since her towering height over anyone else has secured her election as the matriarch of this school yard. And then, without warning, you hear these barely audible words bellowing from the frame of a lanky girl in a yellow sweater in the midst of giggles and shrieks from her classmates :

“Mother, may I take two huge steps?”

“No, you may not take two huge steps.” Is the response of the taller girl. “But you can take two teeny, weeny steps.”

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If you were born in the 80’s, like I was, the stakes in the game of “Mother, May I” from recesses of old were astronomically high! Many a “BFF” relationship was severed over the very crucial decision making skills of the person assuming the role of the mother when eight and nine-year-olds were involved.

Its funny how now as a thirty *cough* something year old mother myself, I can still feel the beads of sweat rolling down my neck as I have to decide the number of proverbial steps, huge leaps, twirls and any other forward motion movements my children must make in this life. What’s even more scary is that in my case, getting to the other side of the yard to win the game is no longer the goal, real life has upped the ante!

As a homeschooling mother, I also feel the residue of this recess past-time as I go about making daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly decisions on what curriculum to use, what unit studies we’ll cover and how I can avoid going for broke in paying for it all.

I started this blog with the intentions of chronicling my writing journey as I pursue becoming a published author. This is still my plan. However, as of late, I have sensed it is starting to morph into a little more. And I’m okay with that. My passion for homeschooling is impossible to ignore. Not too long ago, I created a Facebook page dedicated to showcasing how we as moms are able to teach our own children. In fact, the name of the page is a dead ringer, its called Able to Teach. Check it out when you get a chance, you won’t be disappointed! It’s my hope that any woman or mom desiring to teach their kids, no matter the capacity, will leave my page feeling uplifted and encouraged to do just that. In fact, this is why I come to you today with this post.

Mother, may I make a suggestion about what you can start doing now in order to be able to teach your children? What you’ll find refreshingly different in my list from any typical game of “Mother, May I”, is that today, you will hear what you can do!

So, without further ado…

  1. Mother, can you click?

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I’m not talking about a clique but I’m talking about a click, an actual click of your mouse. You can click to join a homeschooling Facebook group, scour Pinterest, view YouTube, search Google, or almost anything else you can think of. The beauty is it’s all from the keys of your device. There is a TON of information out there. A simple search will yield countless Facebook groups you can join dedicated to homeschooling. What’s even better is these fine ladies have gone so far as to create specialty groups highlighting almost any homeschool interest that tickles your fancy. And if you can’t find it, then YOU can be the mother who creates it. These four years of homeschooling have been so enriched by all the resources, tips, tricks and ideas I’ve stumbled upon just by simply clicking a few tiny black keys.

2. Mother, can you thrift?


I used to HATE going to the dank, dark, dreary, and some times odiferous establishment of  a thrift store in my pre-kid days. Shoot, even in my post-kid days I’ve hated it at times! But now, oooh but now that I am a full-fledged homeschooling mama on a mission to not bankrupt my family, I’ve found a sort of hidden treasure when I go to these thrift stores. I cannot begin to tell you about all the gems I’ve discovered when I’ve found my way into a used item paradise. Seriously, if you overlook the book and DVD aisle you’ll be kicking yourself. And please don’t think for one moment that the balls of yarn crammed into the back of that shelf cannot become an amazing art, science, knitting, or whatever you can imagine project. Thrifting has saved me so much money and I know you thrifty mommas will be able to say the same.

3. Mother, can you swap?


Ahhhh, swapping! It’s like music to my ears. Swapping has become one of my best used secrets in my arsenal of tricks to keep the costs of home education down. This doesn’t have to be a big production either. And I’m not just talking about books! I usually shoot out a text or an email or hit up one of those Facebook groups I mentioned earlier (the local ones) to see if anybody is interested. Who knows if your Bob Jones K-5 Math text can be valuable to a mom looking to unload her Writing Without Tears books. You’ll never know until you ask.

4. Mother, can you join?


Joining a local play group, co-op or field trip group might be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to boosting your efforts to socialize your kiddos as you homeschool. How does one find said group you may ask. Well, start with enlisting the suggestions from #1 but this time try to narrow your search for local groups in your area. Can you believe I found a pop-up archery group in my city just by reading the thread from one of my local homeschool Facebook groups? We are also apart of a homeschoolers field trip group. Believe or not, but we found ours through attending a “How to Homeschool” workshop at our local library. Trust me, there’s so much out there right under our noses. We may just need to adjust our antennas.

And lastly,

5. Mother can you form?

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The whole joining a group thing sounds great and all; but you may ask, “What if I live in an area in which the homeschooling sea has all but dried up?” Well, I would look to form my own. For instance, I’m apart of several homeschooling moms groups on Facebook. Last school year, one mom suggested starting a book club for our daughters, which was such a good idea! We would achieve this through momma-chaperoned video correspondence between our girls. For some reason or another, this never quite materialized in the way I had hoped and I was kind of bummed. But its cool, I kept it moving by not letting the lack of what was available stop us from getting what we wanted. My daughter and I decided to start a book club of our own. This way, she could enjoy the books she loves but with the added benefit of doing it with friends she already has. So, on Saturday mornings, once a month, she connects with about two to three of her friends. These girls are actually in a traditional school setting but it doesn’t matter one bit when it comes to my daughter getting to read with her friends! Through all this, I’ve learned one valuable lesson dear momma…

If you already don’t have it, you can form it!

I am convinced this is not an all inclusive list of all the things you can do as you homeschool your children. The best thing about homeschooling is that you CAN do any and everything you want in order to best educate YOUR kids. Talk about empowerment! Its so exciting to be able to create, think up, borrow, use and re-use ideas of your own and of mothers you may meet along the way. This is probably one of the main reasons why I love homeschooling so much. The possibilities you have of presenting such crucial educational material to your children in the way that works best for your family are endless!

I hope you close this browser window today feeling inspired and empowered to be the mother you can and have always been!







Published by Courtney B. Dunlap

Christ follower. Wife. Mother. Friend. Writer...and excited to grow! I believe there's a need for more down-to-earth online spaces in which moms like you and me and anyone else in-between can explore the in's and out's of homeschooling free from competition yet rich with encouragement. My hope is that all that you find here will provide just that!

4 thoughts on “Mother, May I?

  1. I used to think I have to be a masterful teacher or super crafty and creative in order to homeschool. This is truly accomplished in the beauty of connection and I hope to be able to start my children off very early with these tools. As well as help Cenea excel as she is currently being taught through traditional public school. Although we live in a Blue Ribbon district, it is nothing like being provided with rhe tools needed at home. THANKS Courtney!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Courtney. This was awesome! I often forget the power and freedom I have to educate our kids. Sometime I’m following the cookie cutter mode and don’t even realize it. You have encouraged to me to creativly see what works for our kids and just go for it. Thanks again for this! About to go start school now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad this was encouraging! That’s the whole reason why I wrote it because I need the reminder too. I often forget that with homeschooling we have many options and can tailor it to our family’s needs. It doesn’t have to look like a traditional school or anyone else’s homeschool for that matter. Thanks for the feedback my dear! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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