Homeschoolers are Amazing – What I Learned from Working for a Homeschool Curriculum Company

Ryan Egan —  October 21, 2011 — 20 Comments

I spent the last three years working as the social media specialist for a prominent homeschool curriculum publisher.  I expected to have rewarding work.  I expected to do well at the job.  What I didn’t expect, was the immense amount of respect I would gain toward homeschool families and the immense amount of encouragement I would receive from them.

Let me tell you what homeschoolers aren’t:

  • Unsocialized – Kill this stereotype immediately.  The majority of homeschoolers I interacted with were easy to talk to, easy to work with, and had kids that could hold intelligent conversations with adults while still being able to play with infants and toddlers.
  • Behind the times – There are some incredibly tech and web-savvy people homeschooling their children.  To be honest, many were utilizing way more technology than the average family does.
  • Boring – In a word….no.  Many of these families do more in one year than many families do in an entire lifetime.
  • Lazy – Many people think that homeschoolers don’t work hard and just want to let their kids slide through education.  That is SO far from the case.  You would not believe the organizational skills everyone has and the immense concern for making sure their children are properly educated.

Let me tell you what homeschoolers are:

  • Smart, educated, and well-rounded.
  • No-holds-barred passionate about their family’s core values.
  • Hilarious
  • Resourceful
  • Pioneers
  • Loyal

I am so thankful that my eyes were opened to the benefits, values, and highlights of homeschooling.  If it’s something you’re considering, while it might be a fearful leap, you will not be disappointed and there is a vast support community available to you.

And, since I’m no longer with the company and I can say with integrity that this is a true shout-out to these people I’ve met and not a tactic to drive business, I wanted to thank some specific people for some specific things that they did for me while in the homeschool community:

  • Kris – Thank you for being brave and asking me to support you from the very beginning.  You paved the way for many good things to happen.
  • Amber – Thank you for showing me just how important real relationships with people, not customers, are.
  • Jenn – Thank you for your friendship, your support, your vision, your innovation, and your confidence.  Your friendship means more than you know.
  • Stef – Thank you for your no-nonsense approach to everything.  Don’t back down.  Ever.  (And thanks for constantly making me laugh!)
  • Jolanthe – Thank you for being a pioneer in the homeschool world and showing people what is possible for one single mom to do.
  • Erin – Thank you for your constant inspiration to raise your boys with godly values in a mostly God-less world.
  • Cheryl – Thank you for your patience and the stress you endured because of trying to get the 2:1 conference off the ground.  I truly hope you succeed beyond your imagination.
  • Linda – Thank you for your friendship, advice, joy, and being one of the best co-workers I’ve ever had (even though we were hours away!)
  • Ashley – Thank you for showing me what investing into a relationship can do.
  • Jamie – Thanks for your quiet, encouraging spirit and incredibly inspiring photography!
  • Meghan – Thank you for your confidence and trust in me during the early Hip Homeschool Moms days.  I’m so glad your efforts and reaping such immense benefits!
  • Samantha – Thank you for being so patient with me during technical glitches and vague communication during a homeschool contest!

Truly, homeschool moms and dads (and there are MANY more of you), thank you for teaching me.  You’ll never fully know the difference you made in my life.

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Ryan Egan

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Ryan is a follower of Christ, husband, father, worship leader, & creative. He is heavily involved in the Association of Free Lutheran Churches and desires to teach others to live a life of worship in everything they do.
  • Linda

    I came over to your Twitter feed to say “hey” and ask how things were going and found your link to this wonderful post, Ryan!  I’m honored to be included on your list…both as a coworker and a friend!!  Working with you was a privilege!    Working with you was definitely my privilege…in many ways I feel I am equipped to do what I am now doing because of the things I learned from you!!  Thanks! 

    I hope all is going well!!  Praying for you, my friend!

    (btw…I plan to share this post on my blog!)

  • Linda

    Weird…I left a comment a little while ago.  It appeared to post properly, but now it’s gone!  I’ll try again!! If the first one shows up again…feel free to delete one of the comments! :-)

    What a wonderful post…thanks!  I feel very honored to be on your list…as a homeschooler, a co-worker, and a friend!  God truly blessed me by allowing me to work with you at AOP!  I believe that I am much better equipped to do what I’m doing now because of all I learned from you!  God bless you in your new endeavor…the homeschool community will miss you!!

  • Cheryl_SomewhatCrunchy

    What an amazing post Ryan!  Thank you for dispelling so many homeschool myths with first hand knowledge!  It was a pleasure to get to know you and work with you, your honesty, kindness and selfless ambition shine through.  You’re very good at what you do too!  Best of luck in your new journey and let’s not be strangers ((HUGS)) #seeyaround :)

  • Brooke Stark

    Thank you for this post. It gives encouragement to those of us in the homeschool trenches who can be quite scrutinized, although each year of this, I am encountering less criticism and more support. Very nice comments in your post.

  • iamanoffering

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Cheryl! I enjoyed working directly with you as well. You’re all phenomenal!

  • iamanoffering

    Be encouraged and keep it up!

  • iamanoffering

    Thanks so much, Linda and same to you!

  • Ashley Pichea

    I’ll miss having you behind the tweets of AOP, but I’m so glad that we aren’t losing you as a friend!

  • Jamie Worley

    Gosh! Thanks for the shout out, Ryan, and thanks for this post. I really do think homeschoolers are amazing, but not because I am one; just because I know so doggone many amazing homeschool moms and families!

    I’m glad you’re not gone from the social media world, or I’d miss you!

  • Samantha

    Great post Ryan! A friend shared the link with me, thank you for all you have done. Maybe the awards will go more smoothly next year!! I appreciate all of your work to get fixed, and miss having you around!

  • Amber

    Thank you, Ryan! I *will* miss reading your tweets for AOP but I’m glad you’re still on Twitter. Thank you SO MUCH for stepping in to offer advice when I was blogging questions out into the blogosphere and hoping someone would answer. =) I was beside myself when A REAL PERSON FROM THE COMPANY left a comment on my blog. =p We have not regretted the math decision we’ve made with our 8 year old and we’re going to keep using this as long as we can! Thanks, again, and God bless you at your new job. =)

  • Kris

    Thanks so much, Ryan. I treasure the friendship that was forged over the last couple of years and wish you and your family the best. It’s so encouraging hearing such positive comments from someone who isn’t (at least not yet) homeschooling. Thank you!

  • Tabatha McDonald

    What a great post!  I saw this on my Facebook and I love it!  This is our first year homeschooling (3rd grade and Pre-K) and it is def scary sometimes I feel like I’m not sure what I’m doing but everything you stated is so true!  It is so rewarding and the myths and stereotypes surrounding homeschooling just don’t hold true!  Thank you for spreading the word!! 

  • iamanoffering

    Yes, for sure!

  • iamanoffering

    Definitely amazing! I didn’t want to miss you ladies as friends either.

  • iamanoffering

    Feel free to reach out any time!

  • iamanoffering

    So glad I could help you in your journey!

  • iamanoffering

    Gladly! Thanks for your friendship as well!

  • iamanoffering

    My pleasure!

  • Jolanthe

    Ryan ~ You were MUCH fun to work {and tweet} with and I was sad to see that you were leaving…but so happy for you and your new opportunity as well. :) Thanks so much for the shout out and glad that we can still be in touch.