by Randi Flynn
This is a busy time of year for all of us: end of year activities, graduation, preparing for vacations. It’s a hectic time, and we may find ourselves running in circles trying to get everything done—and that doesn’t include the pressure of our responsibility to homeschool our children.
When you think about all you have to do, remember your leader. Her life throughout the year may be as hectic as yours is right now. In addition to caring for her husband and family, homeschooling her children, tending to household chores, running the unending list of errands, driving children to their various sports, church, and school activities, she invariably spends a great deal of her time fulfilling her responsibilities as leader of your group.
Many times leaders are so busy supporting those around them that they don’t have the opportunity to get support and refreshment themselves. This is a perfect time of year to look for ways to encourage and thank her for all her labors. Here are a few suggestions for saying “Thanks.” Some are simple. Others take more time, effort, and money to coordinate.
Those in your group could coordinate sending your leader to the CHEA Leadership Conference at the Disneyland® Hotel. This event is a time of encouragement to leaders. They have the opportunity to meet with others leaders from around the state, to attend workshops to help them in their ministry to you, and to rejuvenate their spirits.
Your group can take donations or have a fundraiser to cover the expense of the trip and conference. This is not only an investment in your leader, but also an investment in your homeschooling. The better equipped, prepared, and refreshed your leader is, the more you will benefit.
Perhaps your leader and spouse would benefit greatly from a night out. Imagine a time to enjoy each other over dinner at a special restaurant—or, in some cases, any restaurant at all—a time to not worry about the children (because they are being cared for by someone in the group), no meal to fix, no dishes to wash.
A weekend trip out of town may be a real blessing. Perhaps someone would watch the children, while others would have planned a weekend, or even an overnight at a lovely hotel or bed and breakfast.
Getting the shopping done with a car full of children can make the chore unbearable. She might appreciate a day or afternoon of shopping, while you watch her children. For some just a quiet trip to the grocery is a pleasure. Other ideas include a trip to the beauty shop or having her nails done.
Sometimes housecleaning chores get set aside and after a while facing the mounting piles, dirt, and dust can be overwhelming. Several of you might join forces to help clean house one day or treat her to a day’s professional housecleaning service.
There are times when having a meal to pull from the freezer and heat in the oven or microwave is a lifesaver. When you fix a meal for your family, you might fix extra, freeze it, and take it to your leader for just such an occasion. If several of you coordinate your efforts, she will have a supply of meals on hand for the extra-hectic days when there’s no time to plan or prepare dinner.
When your children are attending a field trip, class, or sporting event, you can volunteer to take her children. You can also volunteer to help with paper or computer work or phone calls. Having someone volunteer for even the smallest task is a help and boost for a tired leader.
You leader might enjoy a subscription, or even a single issue, to a special magazine.
Last, but certainly not least, a note or word of thanks is always in order. Even leaders have times of discouragement and doubt. You never know when your words will bring a ray of light in time of darkness.
You might think of something else that will encourage your leader. The most important idea is that you, your group, and your leader will benefit when your leader is inspired and refreshed. Look for ways to foster times of refreshment for your leader, so that you all will be blessed.
How do you encourage, bless, and thank your homeschool group leader?
CHEA Annual Leadership Conference, May 29, 2014.
Copyright 1996. Used by permission of the author. Originally published in the Parent Educator, December/January 1996.
Randi and her husband, Mike, have two grown sons and six grandchildren. They have been involved with the homeschool movement since 1985. Randi and a friend administer a private school satellite program (PSP) in El Cajon in which four of her grandchildren are enrolled.