“I would love to get my child on Memoria Press, but I can’t figure out where.” That was my very first forum post three years ago. It was 3:00 a.m. in mid-August. By 10:00 a.m. Cheryl Swope had responded with a customized curriculum plan for my child.
She recommended we switch to the Simply Classical Level 1 curriculum and even gave me a subject-by-subject list of which books we needed to purchase in order to make the switch. By late September I posted this: “We’re four weeks in and loving Memoria Press! Such a blessing to find this curriculum and take a leap of faith.”
Those first few posts were my baby steps towards being an active forum member. I have no idea how long I quietly lurked before I joined and posted that first message in the middle of the night. I must have been at my wit’s end to be cruising the internet at that late hour. What I do know is how deeply meaningful the forum has been to me and my family since then.
The forum is a place to meet others walking a similar path to my own. I live in a very small town, population six hundred. Our county has a density of less than one person per square mile. We are hemmed in by ten-thousand-foot mountain passes. Meeting another family homeschooling a child with autism, anxiety, and other unspecified learning disabilities is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Enter the Memoria Press forum, where I meet people facing struggles similar to my own. We bounce ideas off each other. We talk about what worked and what didn’t. In short, I have learned that I’m not on this path alone.
There is safety in numbers and a comfort in knowing you’re not alone. The camaraderie makes the journey more bearable. The forum is a safe place to ask for guidance and for prayers, and to discuss the results from the latest round of tests and assessments.
Words for the Journey
Later, after we received our child’s diagnosis, I posted on the forum. It was a challenging time, to say the least. The best advice I received was to do nothing—literally, nothing—to just be still and internalize the results. To remember that God gave us this child for a purpose. That this child was the same now as before the test results. That this child still needed our love just the same. And still needed an education.
The forum is also a safe place to announce your latest breakthrough or milestone. It is a place to receive and give encouragement.
I posted on the forum the day my child learned to ride a bike. At the age of ten, most kids would have passed that milestone long ago. That didn’t dampen our enthusiasm or pride. My forum friends were giddy with excitement right along with us.
I posted a picture of my child with his Certificate of Completion included at the end of the New American Cursive workbook. His sense of accomplishment and pride at a difficult job well done was evident in his beaming smile.
Our family has now completed Simply Classical Levels B, C, 1, 2, and 3, and traditional cores for junior kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade. We are working through Simply Classical Level 4 and traditional cores for kindergarten and second grade this year. We are eager to begin Simply Classical Levels 5 & 6 next year.
The difference I have witnessed in my children after these years of using Memoria Press curriculum is nothing short of profound. My struggling learner has gained confidence and perseverance. I don’t question whether we’re doing enough anymore. Planning doesn’t take forever; I simply open the Curriculum Manual and do the next assigned thing.
On the forum, I am among friends. We are all trudging along together. We lift each other up. We cheer each other on. We are in a safe place.
I encourage you to join us on the forum, if you haven’t already. It’s nice to read the past and current discussions, but the largest benefit comes from being an active member of the community. You can ask questions and receive help, while at the same time help other families on their journey. Come join us. You are safe among friends here.
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Michelle Brazelton, homeschooling mom in the mountains of Colorado, has a degree in communications and is better known as Colomama on our free online forum at SimplyClassical.com, where we invite you to find that you are indeed among friends.