May 26, 2011

My Next Chapter

Both Meg and Peter are in college and Melissa has only one more year of high school (in public school). So what's an education nerd supposed to do with the rest of her life? I've decided to pursue a masters degree in elementary education, focusing on reading instruction. I love the idea of helping kids of all ages overcome their reading difficulties.

So now I'm a student! I started my first class last night and loved it. We even got to spend an hour in the hallway during a tornado warning. Bonding time.

This summer I have three classes, but the other two won't start for a few more weeks. That's good because I need time to get my student mind back in gear. It's been 23 years since I took notes in a classroom. :)

Meg and I are both students at the same school. She finished her first year of college with no problem at all, loving (most of) her classes and doing very well. She is even contemplating a minor in English. Her early reading difficulties inspired me to jump into this field and get my credentials. 

I probably won't be blogging much during this chapter of my life, but in the end, I look forward to translating what I learn into helping the homeschooling community.

As always, please ask questions. That gives me ideas for posts.

Happy Summer, Everyone!


Heather said...

Wonderful Jena! Go you!

Penny said...

Good for you! I am absolutely sure you will be brilliant at this, and I'm thrilled you are sharing your "what now". We all wonder about that for ourselves, and it's nice to see you carry on so beautifully. Gives me hope for my own post-homeschooling future!

Thank you SO much for leaving your blog up Jena, you wouldn't believe how often I refer to it, and refer it to others. I'm grateful beyond measure, especially now that I have a high schooler.

Best of luck! (and congrats to Meg for a successful freshman year :))

Erin J said...

I echo what Penny said. You are a great encouragement, and I hope you have a blast in your new chapter :)

Sarah_Joy said...

Good for you! I'm sure you will help inspire your fellow students to think outside the box! I graduated with my masters in Special Ed. two years ago and you've certainly opened my eyes to a different way of how school can be. There is nothing I love more than teaching a child to read and love reading. I think you've chosen the perfect calling : )

JoVE said...

Great news. Glad you are enjoying it so far.

One of my newer friends (local but met online) is someone who is a literacy consultant.

Hannah said...

Very inspiring, Jena. Go for it! You will have a whole perspective that many of your classmates will not.

Post idea: how did you help your daughter overcome her early reading difficulties? I am a little worried that mine might have a vision or learning problem.

Unknown said...

Good to hear! I wish you the best one this decision! I would love hints on helping a struggling reader. My 7 year old has a tough time.

Jena said...

Thanks everyone! I appreciate all your encouragement. :)

Hannah, I've written about Meg's early reading issues in these posts:

After you have her vision checked, you could go to and look at their section on struggling learners.

Hope that helps and thanks for giving me an idea for a post. :)

Catherine said...

Jena, this is great!! My son didn't read till he was almost 10, and that was with a private tutor to help me and my husband teach him. A course of vision therapy last fall also helped. Being able to help kids learn such a pivotal skill sounds just wonderful. It sounds like it's just up your alley!

G.Dowell said...

Hi Jena! So exciting to hear you will be starting this next chapter in your life. We are life long learners, are we not? You will be a great reading teacher as you were to your children. I've just begun to think about the next step for me and going back to school is on my list.

Homeschool Scrapbook said...

Congratulations Jena! Your blog has been such an inspiration to me as we are finishing our first year homeschooling. Please do update us with your learning ah-ha moments. Take care! Michelle :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I think this is great. Sending prayers and blessings your way.

~ Jenn

Karen said...

Happy Summer to you as well :-) I applaud your plans, if anyone can bridge the gap between learning at home and teaching in school, that person is you.

Fanny Harville said...

It's great to hear about your next step. I am curious about whether you see yourself integrating your experiences as a homeschool teacher with your new training in conventional teaching, and also about whether your experiences with homeschool have affected how you approach being a student yourself now in your graduate classes.

Jena said...

Fanny, What a great question! One of my first classes was in middle school education and I was amazed at how much the research backs up the interest-led, low-stress approach to education. My professor was very open to homeschooling, so I was able to talk and write freely about my own experience with my three kids. In fact, all the research I've come across so far agrees that kids do best if they are interested in the topic and are allowed to experience things in a "real life" sort of way. But even though they agree this is the best way to educate children, the reality is testing. The law requires every child to be tested and to perform at grade level, no matter what. If they don't, the pressure is on the teacher to provide extra instruction to get that kid to do better on the tests. So that means everyone is in a cycle of testing and test prep all year long.

As far as how I will integrate my experiences, I tend to write my papers on student motivation because I think that is the heart of the education issue. In the future, I think I want to be a resource to the homeschooling community, work at an alternative school, or start one myself! I might look for a job in the public sector, but I think it would be very hard to reconcile my heart with that reality.

Copyright Information

All of the written content and photographs on yarns of the heart are protected under copyright. But feel free to link my content to your blog anytime. I love connecting around the net! And if you have any questions, just contact me at yarnsoftheheart [at] gmail [dot] com. Thank you!
Clip art courtesy of and Pure Clip Art