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Can I Homeschool as a Single Parent? An Interview with Aleesha Huff

October 2–6, 2017   |   Vol. 132, Week 4

Single mother Aleesha Huff wanted to homeschool her children, but she knew she couldn’t do it alone. What she didn’t realize was that the support she needed had been there all along.

Hear Aleesha’s inspiring story on this week’s Homeschool Heartbeat.

In this podcast, you’ll learn:

  • How Aleesha heard about homeschooling
  • What made her decide to make the plunge
  • How homeschooling has helped her children thrive
  • How she balances working and homeschooling
  • How she finds support from her community

“Being able to learn something together as a family and have community with other people and enjoy the process—[my kids] can tell a difference.” — Aleesha Huff

This Week’s Offer

Every year, the Home School Foundation—HSLDA’s charitable arm—helps hundreds of homeschooling parents just like Aleesha. If hard times are making homeschooling a challenge for you, HSF is here to help. Click the button to learn more.

Single mother Aleesha Huff wanted to homeschool her children, but she knew she couldn’t do it alone. What she didn’t realize was that the support she needed had been there all along. Hear Aleesha’s inspiring story on this week’s Homeschool Heartbeat.

Mike Smith: My very special guest today is Aleesha Huff. Aleesha is a homeschooling mother who works full-time and teaches her two children. Aleesha, it’s great to have you on the program.

Aleesha Huff: Hey Mike, I’m glad to be here.

Can I homeschool as a single parent? [0:31]

Mike: Aleesha, when you first heard about homeschooling, there were a number of things that could have prevented you from deciding to do it. Can you talk about those initial obstacles you had?

Aleesha: Yeah. Being a single parent and the sole provider of my two children, not knowing how I was going to teach them, not seeing where I was going to be able to provide for their curriculum, and also not knowing who would watch my children—those were very big factors in [determining] if I would be able to homeschool.

Mike: So were you the sole support of your children?

Aleesha: Yes.

Mike: So were you working at the time you were considering homeschooling?

Aleesha: Yes.

Mike: So you had to decide “How am I going to mold these two things together?” Is that right?

Aleesha: Yes, sir.

Mike: So what did you do?

Aleesha: Well, when I decided, it was kind of like I just made a jump. I had looked online at other single mothers who had done it and they were like, “You know, you can quit your job” and I’m like, “I don’t see me quitting my job.” And I just kept praying about it. And I had seen where people homeschool in the evening, people homeschool at night, people homeschool on the weekends—and I was like, “You know, this is possible. It doesn’t look like everybody else, you know?”

“They’re there for me” [1:51]

Mike: Aleesha, what made you decide to take the plunge and start teaching your children at home?

Aleesha: Well, we had two or three other homeschool families in our church and we had a guest speaker come one Sunday—Brad and Selena Holloman. I had spoken with Selena about homeschooling, and I had just casually said, “You know, but I’m a single mom so I can’t do that.” And she’s like, “No, you can.” And I was like, “Really?” And she just had confidence—she was like, “If you have a community, look to your community. You have friends and family and church and people that you do your life with—what are they saying? Don’t try to do it alone because you can’t. But with the Lord and with your community, this is possible.”

Mike: So how has the community come around and actually encouraged you and helped you and supported your family in your homeschooling?

Aleesha: Well, we’ve had a ton of support from our community—their time, being with our family, going and doing things with us, and if I need help watching my children they are teaching them something. They’re there for me.

And we’ve also had the Home School Foundation support us. Buying [my son’s] curriculum was expensive. It wasn’t something I could just go out and do on my own. And so the Home School Foundation came right beside us and helped provide for his curriculum and his educational experience—it’s just been tremendous.

Mike: So the Foundation actually gave you a grant, is that right?

Aleesha: Yes. They gave us a grant to purchase curriculum and we were able to also purchase a laptop for school.

The freedom to learn [3:29]

Mike: Aleesha, how has homeschooling worked out for your son compared to the kindergarten program he was enrolled in before?

Aleesha: It has just really helped him in several different ways. He was pushed so hard to meet a certain requirement at a certain stage. And he just wasn’t ready, and so under all that pressure he just would shut down. He wouldn’t even try, he was so discouraged and really just stressed out for a 5-year-old. Whereas [with] homeschool[ing], it’s like we’re going to learn these things but we’re going to take our time. We don’t have to rush. We’re going to learn it. And that freedom has just—he’s broke through.

Mike: So I understand you have another child, is that correct?

Aleesha: Yes.

Mike: And you’re homeschooling both of them now?

Aleesha: Yes.

Mike: What do they enjoy the most about homeschooling?

Aleesha: I believe that they enjoy the freedom that we have. We have the freedom to just enjoy it. They know what it’s like to be in public school, and it was okay, but you know, being able to learn something together as a family and have community with other people and enjoy the process—they can tell a difference and they do, they just love it.

Mike: So they’ve actually seen the difference between homeschooling and some other form of education?

Aleesha: Yes, sir.

Don’t get discouraged [4:48]

Mike: Well, Aleesha, how do you balance the time commitment of providing for your family while homeschooling your children?

Aleesha: Making a schedule was a big thing for us—throughout the week, and just telling people, “Hey we’re going to be homeschooling when I get off work so I can’t take any calls and, you know, this is important to us, we’re going to do this.” You have to change some things around and make a schedule and try to stick to it, and when you don’t, try again and seek the Lord: “Hey, what can I change? What are the things that I can cut out and try to make this work?” And it’s an ongoing thing, but I think the schedule really helps us.

Mike: Well Aleesha, what’s the biggest challenge you face on a daily basis when you’re homeschooling your children?

Aleesha: I think that comparison and a social—I don’t know if you would say, even a social media—standard of where people’s children are currently. It’s different for each person, and when you look at other people, you’re like, “Oh, well my child is behind.” But you know, your child is exceptional in other areas, and you keep working. Don’t get discouraged in those things. So everyday it’s like, “You know what? We’re going to get better at this, and then till then I’m not going to get discouraged.”

Mike: Well, you know comparison is a killer for all of us, isn’t it?

Aleesha: Yes, it is.

Mike: Well that’s terrific, Aleesha, and I think it will be encouraging for many of our listeners to hear that.

You’re not alone [6:19]

Mike: Aleesha, you’ve worked really hard to provide an exceptional education experience for your children. What encouragement do you have for parents who want to homeschool but don’t feel like they can actually do it because the tough circumstances or doubts maybe that they have?

Aleesha: The biggest thing for me is: seek the Lord, because if you have a desire to homeschool, I’m pretty sure the Lord gave you that desire. You know that Scripture where it says He gives you the desires of your heart? We can take it and say, He does give me the desire of my heart. Not everyone desires to homeschool, and so the fact that you have a desire to homeschool, that could be the Lord leading you into it. And when the Lord leads you, He will provide and He will teach you things. A thing that I pray is, “Lord, send the people that I need to meet, to listen to, to help us to do this.” Because on your own you can’t do it. But when you have family or community, He’ll lead you and He’ll guide you and He’ll help you do it. You’re not alone.

Mike: Are you actually in a support group, Aleesha?

Aleesha: We go to a church with a couple other homeschooling families and so we get to participate in that. And that really does help us.

Mike: So your church and the other homeschoolers within the church are really your support group, is that right?

Aleesha: Yes.

Mike: Well, that’s outstanding. And you know what? I could not agree with you more in that we all need help, and probably the best source of help we could ever have would be the Lord. So thanks for joining us this week, Aleesha. It’s been a pleasure getting to hear your story and have you talk about homeschooling with us. God bless you, and until next time, I’m Mike Smith.

Aleesha HuffPhoto of Aleesha Huff

Aleesha Huff is a working homeschooling single mother of two amazing children. She obtained her associate of applied science degree in business office management from Bevill State Community College in early 2014. Currently she works as a clerk for her church and as a full-time employee for Walker County Commission, collecting various data and helping to find ways to improve and streamline as many county processes possible.

Aleesha felt the calling to homeschool her children but did not think it was possible as a single parent. This changed after she listened to some friends who carry a passion to homeschool and learned she would never be alone along the journey. She decided to go for it. Homeschooling has been a tremendous blessing to her family ever since.

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