Dear Sonja,

Dear  Sonya Shafer,

You made me cry tonight. You made me cry tears of sadness AND tears of joy.

I have always had a love for learning.  I have always wanted and loved children.  Once upon a time I was told I would never have children of my own so, I went and completed a degree in Early Childhood Development. Thankfully, I WAS blessed with children and I homeschool them.

Or so I thought that’s what we have been doing, homeschooling for the last 11 years.  I realize now that we were just plowing through, just learning facts and just checking off boxes.   We’ve read classics and read alouds.  We have tried to learn art and a foreign language.  Something has always been off.

This weekend I attended AFHE Conference 2018 for the 11thtime.  This year was different in many ways.  My husband went with me for the first time.  My oldest son, 14, also attended for the first time.  I am now a mother of 4.  I attended all of your Simply Charlotte Mason workshops.  I mean this year is so different from years that I spent the whole conference in the exhibit hall shopping and socializing.

I came home tonight after the conference was over.  I cried as I went over my notes, the simplycm website and the simply cm ebooks. Tears of sadness of the last 11 years that I can not get back for my children.  Tears of sadness over the fights with my oldest over his schoolwork. Tears of sadness over the stressful days full of lists to be completed.  Tears of sadness over all the crazy calls to my husband while he’s at work because I was at my wits end.  But then, my sadness turned to joy.  Tears of joy because it doesn’t have to be the same any more.  Tears of joy because now, the way I’ve always known homeschool days were suppose to be, are about to be.  Tears of joy because I commit to the next 11 years being different than the last 11 years.

The next 11 years of homeschooling is going to be the way I always thought it was suppose to be. They are going to be what I envisioned but couldn’t grasp.  They are going to be filled with Art Appreciation, Music Appreciation, a Foreign Language, nature walks, copy work completed the correct way, Living Books and GOOD habits!  Will there be obstacles, challenges and struggles ahead? YES!  But also new way of thinking!

I can not wait to start our new year with new goals and new method of living not just schooling.  We will take it slowly, simply and one thing at a time.  I’m excited and I needed to tell you.  Thank you for being at the AFHE Convention.  I already know you have forever changed my life and my whole family’s life.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.



Stephanie Sackrider

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