SummaryTwo homeschool moms – friends and podcast hosts – share surprises from their first year of podcasting and what’s coming in the new year.
Once upon a time, a few very smart people at Seton Home Study School thought that homeschool moms might enjoy a podcast geared specifically to them. Something to encourage and inspire them and help give them a boost on the hard days. They mulled this over for a little while and then, at a meeting, sprung it on veteran homeschooling mom Ginny Seuffert and me. We immediately thought this was a crazy idea.
Both of us thought we were not what moms wanted to hear, but after some persuasion, we decided to try it. “How hard can it be,” we said. “We talk all the time. This is no different.”
What We Didn’t Know
We were very naïve. Running a podcast is a lot of work, especially when your technology depends on iffy internet connections and you live in a house with a bunch of other people, dogs, neighbors with lawnmowers, and the occasional fire engine roaring past.
To give you an idea of what is involved, I live on Long Island, New York. Ginny lives in rural Kentucky and occasionally in Chicago at her son’s house. I have a work-at-home husband, seven kids, and a dog. Ginny has a dog and husband and, in Chicago, six grandchildren.
When we have tech troubles, which happens, we both shout for my daughter Bridget, a rising senior who wishes to have a career in Information Technology. Bridget comes running and usually solves the problem by being patient with what I’m sure she thinks is my complete inadequacy. I need to schedule us when my husband works in his office in Manhattan so I can have our shared office to myself, or I use my daughters Bridget or Erin’s room because the both have hardwired connections to the internet. I am a roaming podcaster.
We are getting better since we have developed some routines, but we still run into the occasional wall.
Behind the Scenes
For example, we once got through a whole episode and were complimenting each other profusely when I discovered I hadn’t hit record.
Another time, Ginny’s microphone stopped working, so I called her and held my phone up against my microphone. These behind-the-scenes views are why you need to pray for our incredible engineer and producer Jason Loughry; the man is earning heaven every time I send him a recording.
This may sound chaotic, sometimes it is, but we are having a lot of fun, addressing important topics, and interviewing great guests. We are learning a lot along the way, mostly never to fear new things.
I know I speak for Ginny when I say how grateful I am for all the support from our listeners and the staff at Seton. If you have not yet checked out the podcast, my favorite episodes are Enrichment, How to Fit it in, and Coping with Burnout. I cannot pick a favorite guest because they have all been great, so please check them out.
Sharing Friendships and Conversations
I have known Ginny for almost twenty years and as a good friend for almost ten. In that time, we have had many, many conversations about homeschooling: how to do it, the culture of it, its effect on society, and the changes that have occurred in the movement since she started in 1989.
The Stay-at-Homeschool Mom Podcast is an outgrowth of that friendship and those conversations. With the support of Seton Home Study School and many other generous sponsors we have been blessed to bring to our listeners those conversations and host so many enjoyable guests, from Father Mark Mary Ames, Colleen Billings, Emily Malloy, to everyone’s favorite therapist Dr. Ray Guarendi.
As we passed our one-year anniversary we thought it fitting to review how it is going and how we will proceed. Having written and recorded about sixty episodes to date we were feeling a need to step back and recharge creatively. In other words, we needed a short break.
So, we asked a few key Seton employees who interact daily with parents and students to share their wisdom. These recordings will become season two episodes, which we hope you will tune in to hear.
Insider News from Seton Staff
John Thorp is the Director of Guidance at Seton and assists with the entire college application process. From helping parents get the transcript together, to advising students about recommendations, Mr. Thorp is a wealth of information about what can be a grueling process. Draper Warren is Seton’s Director of Admissions and the founder of Catholic Harbor, Seton’s online community for the thirteen-year-old and up student. Mr. Warren shared his experience of having a similar message board as a Seton student and how that experience inspired him to create a safe place where students could interact and form lifelong friendships. Over three million posts in six years have proven his instincts about this need were correct.
Patty Graham is the Director of Seton Testing and an expert in all the standardized tests available to parents who need to provide such things to their school district or who merely want to check their student’s progress. Mrs. Graham shares information about assessment and diagnostic testing and even I, old homeschooler that I am, was surprised at what I did not know.
Finally, two of Seton’s counselors, Laura Fusto and Mary Connolly, joined us to share tips for getting reluctant students to write. This is often a homeschool mom’s Waterloo and Mrs. Fusto and Miss Connolly have such good advice.
Ginny and I have been blessed in this crazy endeavor, and are looking forward to sharing more with you on the podcast so look for us the first week of March 2024.