Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, states across the country are seeing an increase in the number of families choosing to homeschool their children. To help meet the growing need for mentorship among parents learning to become educators for their own children, Joyce McPherson founded an organization called Homeschool Inspire.
A veteran in the homeschooling world, McPherson’s knowledge and leadership are helping parents in Chattanooga, Tennessee to navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of the first-time homeschooling experience.
“We seek to be a resource to help parents reach the goals that they have for their children,” said McPherson. “We encourage them, so they know they can do this!”
McPherson homeschooled her nine children over three decades and is the author of several biographies for young people. She recently completed a PhD in Learning and Leadership.
“I had a front row seat for this approach to learning since I had homeschooled my children and coached a Shakespeare camp for 17 years using active learning principles,” said McPherson. “When the pandemic hit, another coach and I decided to see if we could help new homeschoolers. We scrambled to help as many people as possible.”
Supported by a VELA Meet the Moment grant, Homeschool Inspire currently supports 60 families who are either new to homeschooling or whose students are transitioning to college.
“Though we started Homeschool Inspire to serve new homeschoolers, we have learned that there is a particular need for mentoring homeschoolers who are beginning a new stage or transitioning to college,” McPherson said.
Homeschool Inspire offers free one-on-one coaching for those who would like to work through their homeschooling plan and ideas with a veteran homeschooler.
“We try to match people with a good fit along the lines of their approach to homeschooling,” McPherson said. “We also offer to follow-up with future phone chats if they would like to keep the conversation going.”
Through word-of-mouth and social media, Homeschool Inspire continues to connect with the growing number of new homeschoolers, helping them to get started, apply to college, and connect with others who have walked similar paths.
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