So you can see how sweet this community is, here are some comments that were written to me for my homeschooling memory book by fellow homeschooling mothers, some in excerpted bits, some complete.
- I met Polly at my very first “New Member Tea.” Her warm approach to homeschooling was in contrast to so much of the rigid advice I had gotten from others. She told me to cherish the younger years, not to let moments slip by unnoticed, and to take every opportunity to read with my kids. I can’t believe how quickly the years have gone by, but I have often stopped to think about Polly’s advice, and it gets me back on track. I know I have enjoyed and experienced my children so much more than I would have if I did not have Polly’s words of wisdom. Polly has also been a role model for me personally. She manages to take time for herself to build her heart, mind, and talents. She has shown both me and other mothers that you don’t have to lose yourself when you become a mother. Polly has been a friend to me and my family. When I find myself in need of words of wisdom, I go to Polly. But, above all this, Polly simply gives the very best hugs.
- Thank you for always being there for the newbies, for encouraging us to find the best for our kids. We so appreciated seeing you in action and your encouraging words throughout the process. Watching your kids grow up and sharing their projects was at first intimidating and then encouraging as my kids grew nearer to that age. But I knew always that the bar was set and it could be reached. I always appreciated your love of the kids and individuality, and trying to serve their needs while encouraging excellence. You are an inspiration to many …
- Polly is an unusual individual. On one hand she is the most gentle and kind soul that anybody could ever come across. She is calm with her words, tender and generous with her hugs, and kind with her criticism when she wants to teach you that you are doing something wrong. On the other hand, Polly is truly a force to be reckoned with. She is a mama bear to not only her family, but to her friends as well. If Polly has your back, you are covered and safe within this world. Even Polly’s laugh has its own superpower to take over a room and defies anyone within hearing distance to not join in on the laughter. … You are, indeed, a lucky individual if she is in your life.
- I started homeschooling my daughter 6 years ago, and one of the first veteran homeschooling moms I met was Polly. Skip forward a few years and I found myself in the situation of panic for the High School and College future of my daughter. Polly spoke of her experiences navigating the world of teenage hormones, highschool graduation requirements, testing, college admissions and scheduling…. the insight Polly provided was astonishing in its clarity of vision and all of my anxiety disappeared! Thank you, Polly, for your guidance, friendship, inspiration and warmth over all of these years. Congratulations x 3!!!
- Between schooling, field trips, dinners, and chats, an abundant willingness to share is my strongest memory of our time with them… Witnessing, before two business majors, the importance of attending to the arts has aided in developing our own creativity. Homeschooling may be coming to a close for Polly and her family, but seeing how ‘learning’ has been woven throughout their lives, I see this as a very small door that is closing. Whether it is was finding the best math curriculum, or growing the best ugly tomatoes, or solving a dietary issue, Polly and James will always be showing others how to keep learning.
- Polly …. My dear friend and soul mate. I met Polly in the early phases of homeschooling knowing very little and basically no one in the homeschool community. However, Polly immediately befriended me and loved and encouraged my children as her own. Not only did she immediately become my mentor but she also became my prayer warrior and friend. She was there whenever I needed any help, advice, or shoulder to lean on. Polly, you are an amazing woman who has given so much to her children, her family, and her community.
- Where did the time go? You’ve spent the last 20 years having fun with your kids and crafting the education that each of your kids needed. The kids had such a great time! … I also recall the salmon burgers you made for our family when our youngest was born. There is always some flair to all that you do, Polly, that makes life interesting. And it’s definitely those kind acts that built up the homeschool community. I hope you enjoy all of the memories that you hold dear as you graduate your last child. Wishing you much joy and satisfaction in the next phase of your journey.
- Polly has been encouraging and inspiring in our homeschool journey for independent homeschooling and a customized education. Polly understands that each child is unique and that there is no one right way to homeschool. The use of living books and a life rich with reading and living the life of an autodidact is something we share. Thank you Polly for listening when I needed to talk and for not judging.
- Eleven years ago as I took my girls swimming at the YMCA, I met Laura and James. I was taken aback when Laura announced to us that she was homeschooled. I had never heard of that educational option and was instantly intrigued. Laura was reciting Robin Hood tales to us as she showered in the YMCA locker room and I wanted my girls to be as fascinated with books and stories as she obviously was. I spent the rest of the weeks left in that swim session interrogating James and Laura about homeschooling. As I learned more and proceeded with my own research, it dawned on me that this was the path our family should take. I later met Polly who encouraged me, and confidently proclaimed that this lifestyle was indeed doable. She made it seem so easy. It has not always been as easy as she made it seem; but without a doubt, I have never regretted my decision. I do not think I would have taken the plunge if she had not made me feel that I could do this. I want to let the Polly’s family know how much they have meant to us throughout the years. Always willing to hear us out, always willing to lend a book or suggest one, and always offering sound advice. Your friendship is treasured and you will forever be remembered as the family that introduced us to homeschooling. Thank you and may God always be with you.
- Polly took me under her wing through my learning the ropes of homeschooling, through the illness and ultimate passing of my brother, through the changing tide of several years to come.
- We’ve admired Polly’s enthusiasm for creativity and her unflagging dedication to embody it. No doubt it’s her foundation in spirituality that engenders an open-hearted involvement in her surroundings. This has greatly enriched her children and extended to all the children she’s encountered. It’s been a privilege to know her and share the journey. Always calm, always positive…. the only homeschooling mum I can say that about… yay, Polly!
- Thank you for being a big part of our lives. I will always remember being loved and encouraged, sharing our enthusiasm with new families, exploring music and art, and finally books, books, books! It has been a pleasure to share these years together. Please stay in touch, and may God continue to bless you and your gang as you live life to the fullest!
- Polly was one of the moms I was eager to see each month. We had a lot in common: Books, Art and Life’s Blessings. Her library was pretty impressive and my whole family has her to thank for the enormous library we’ve amassed. I am also a visual artist and love Polly’s creative work. Her paintings are intriguing and her colors are so vibrant they reflect her beautifully. Looking back, I have been greatly blessed to have met Polly and the other “core group” of moms. Polly’s wisdom stood out at every meeting and I was eager to learn the ropes of homeschooling. Having older children than most of us in the “core”, Polly was always sitting tall and relaxed with a faint smile on her face as she patiently listened to us (mainly me) share our woes. She was a treasure trove of wisdom when it came to the different stages of child rearing. We didn’t always get it right, but we all had each other to share life’s journey. We laughed, we cried, we shared our frustrations and our victories together. Through the years so many moms would come and go and I would watch them fill notebooks of valuable information on getting their children into the best colleges and scholarships fit for them. I watched them be encouraged and recharged just from Polly’s giving spirit of love. She is a giver, a true giver, never expecting anything in return. I have been lightened by her quick wit and charm, ready to face another day of caregiving ailing parents and homeschooling. I love her creativity, her passion for friendships, life, and most importantly, her passion and deep love for her family. She has been an immense blessing to me and to all who have genuinely gotten to know her. I am excited to be painting with her in our new season of life now that we have both completed our homeschooling journey. She is truly precious.
- Congratulations Polly on your success in educating your children. You were and are an inspiration to me. As a young mother I looked to you for wisdom and direction. You gave it willingly and lovingly. Your peace and serenity had a major impact on me as a mom and therefore on my children and family as well. Thank you for the gift of you.
- Congratulations for making the finish line. Your kids are amazing. When I first thought about homeschooling, I came to a homeschooling support group that you used to put together to help newcomers. Following are all the reasons I feel lucky to have had you as a friend and fellow homeschooling mom.
H – H for the humor you have added.
O – Optimism, always optimistic!
M – Memorable eating class, I mean knitting class ;)
E – Energy! You must have endless energy to do everything you do.
S – Sharing all your knowledge so willingly.
C – Creative inspiration!
H – Hugs, lots of hugs for all of us.
O – Open, an open mind is so refreshing!
O – Organic gardening hubby – bonus!
L – A Loving heart.
I – Inspiring. The most inspiring person I have ever met.
N – Non-judgmental.
G – Giving so much to people around you in so many ways.
W – Willing to listen and offer support.
I – Inspiring, ok I said that already but it deserves repeating!
T – Teaching the teachers.
H – Honesty.
P – Positively knowledgeable, brilliant and creative.
O – Organized. I know because no matter what we talk about you seem to reach out from where you sit and put your hand on a book that covers the topic.
L – for Laughing out Loud. And I mean Loud! ;)
L – Loyalty. A loyal friend.
Y – Youthful.
C – Cuddling. You always say just cuddle and read.
A – Adventurous, I can’t believe the things you set out and do.
S – Sleep or curious lack of. No way you can sleep with all the things you do!
T – Thriving. As in you are proof that there will be life after homeschooling!
O – Original. You are one of a kind Polly!
R – Reap the rewards! Your kids are amazing. Probably because you are too.
- It has been a blessing to know her.
- And now look at our great kids! Pat yourself on the back for giving them the love and support and freedom to discover the joy of learning. We have life long learners who have taught us as much as we would like to think we taught them.
- Brevis a natura nobis vita data est; at memoria bene redditæ vitæ est sempiterna. “The life given us, by nature is short; but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal.” ― Cicero
- May you enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done, pause for a moment to bask in the happiness of it, and then move gracefully and eagerly into new activities.
Aren’t they so kind? I love each one of you! Please stay in touch!