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
Mike: So were you the sole support of your children?
Mike: So were you working at the time you were considering
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
Mike: So the Foundation actually gave you a grant, is that
Aleesha: Yes. They gave us a grant to purchase curriculum and
we were able to also purchase a laptop for school.
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
Mike: So I understand you have another child, is that
Mike: And you’re homeschooling both of them now?
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,
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?
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.