Homeschool Hints
Homeschool Hints Podcast
Women's Encouragement Day: Jordan Gabler
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Women's Encouragement Day: Jordan Gabler

Homeschooling can get hard in the cold, winter months. Our Encouragement Day on Feb. 3 will help refresh you for the rest of the school year!
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TRANSCRIPT

Shanxi: Hello, this is Shanxi Omoniyi, host of MPE's Homeschool Hints podcast to encourage you wherever you may be on your homeschool journey.

Today I have with me Jordan Gabler. Jordan, would you like to say a few words about yourself and your homeschool journey? 

Jordan: Hi. Yes, I'm Jordan. And so we have been homeschooling since my littlest was about kindergarten, and I had felt the call to homeschool. And then gradually, my husband did through going to the conference, which was super helpful because we both were public school and had no idea like, much about homeschooling. We didn't know many homeschoolers, and we kept meeting them when we were called to, and so it was really neat to see God's vision in that and change of hearts. And I have 4 littles. They are 8, and 6, and 4, and 6 months. 

Shanxi: Wow, congratulations!

Jordan: Yeah. So it's a busy house. (laughs)

Shanxi: That is awesome. For people who don't know about the conference, what was the year that you attended? Do you remember? 

Jordan: So Heidi St. John … You know you have this stereotype in your head of, like, homeschooling, or how it might go, but I feel like the conference kind of helps see that it's different for each family, you know, and it can look different ways. And yeah, it was encouraging to hear people’s stories that have done it for a while too.

Shanxi: Yes, that's so neat. I'm so glad to hear that. So then how did you hear about Women's Encouragement Day? 

Jordan: Yeah, I can't remember exactly how I heard about it. Maybe it was conference or Facebook. I think it was one of those because I went and they didn't – I knew people that were going, but I wasn't going with anyone, particularly that first year. 

Shanxi: OK. That's awesome. And what was your first experience like? Just, you know, what is Women's Encouragement Day? You know, what did it look like to you? Was it what you were expecting? Surprising?

Jordan: Yeah, I mean, I was expected to be encouraged and I felt like it was encouraging and I was so excited to come back again the next year.

So Women's Encouragement Day is kind of what it is, like it says it is. It is a time of encouragement, and we specifically picked that time of year, from what I'm aware of, is because people are weary and worn down at that time, and because we usually have it in – we've had it in the past, in January, and then now we moved it to the beginning of February.

And it's kind of, you're coming off of that Christmas time getting bigger thing of things and maybe hitting a little worn-down spot before, you know, spring. You're like, “Come on, spring. Come on.”

Shanxi: That's right. (laughs)

Jordan: And summer's not quite there, so that's what it basically is. And so it's a time of encouragement and refreshing the weary mother and also to spur her on and to finish out well.

And with like the two of the best things, like, you know, time of like, being with God and also like the community aspect of it too, like we're not meant to do this alone. The reminder, you know, you kind of try to go back to, you know, white-knuckling it. But you know, like we are meant to be in community, and yeah. So it's kind of that encompassing day. 

Shanxi: What have you enjoyed most? You know, personally from attending? 

Jordan: Yeah, probably the speakers. I've loved the speakers so much. I always feel strengthened and encouraged after their talks. And also lunch time. I love sitting down to a nice meal that it's actually really nicely cooked. It's not like, you know they're bringing in drive - fast food and yeah, and it's, I feel like you get that time of connecting during that time too, yeah. 

Shanxi: Yeah, that's great to know. I've heard so many stories about Women's Encouragement Day, like some people will, you know, come their very first year of homeschooling. Some are like, more veteran homeschool moms. And they're like, “Oh, I wish I had known about this event earlier.” Did you start right at the get go, or was it something that you attended like more as you were into your homeschool journey?

Jordan: I would say I've been there about 5 times. So it was kind of at the beginning. Yeah. So it was pretty soon after I was like, “Oh, I want to homeschool, and I'm just going to dive into everything.” And, you know, your poor first kid – you know, he takes everything where you're trying out all the things on him. (laughs)

Shanxi: Is there anything you want first-time attendees to know? Like for example, they've never attended a Women's Encouragement Day. They're kind of wondering, “Is it for me?” That kind of thing?

Jordan: Yeah, I would say yes. I mean, I didn't really go with specific people. But if you have friends to go with, definitely invite them to come with.

So I went solo, but I knew some people there, and I was able to kind of try to find them and meet new friends. And that's what I would encourage first-timers, if you’re sitting by someone you don't know, then reach out and say hi and connect that way. And wherever you're sitting with at lunch, yeah. I feel like people are so welcoming there that they will welcome you. And if someone doesn't, then just move on to the next person. (laughs) But I feel like they are so welcoming. I experienced that. 

Shanxi: Another thing that came to me is about this year. Do you want to talk a little bit about the speaker for this year and kind of the lineup plan?

Jordan: Yes. So that's why I'm on the team. I kind of speak with the speaker right now and help with content. And so the speaker this year is Zan Tyler, and I actually didn't know much about her at all before asking her, and stuff, to be our speaker, I listened to a few of her podcasts. But after, she sent me her book that she's kind of going over with Encouragement Day, and I was just so excited for her.

Zan Tyler (podcast) – it’s just her name, and then she usually has some people on, and it's really practically good. Like, I don't know, I feel like we always need that wisdom from, like, the older homeschool mom, you know? Like, “Please tell me how to do this thing.” So much wisdom on there. Yeah. So her talk for the day is going to be on “Refined: A homeschool mom’s call to trust.”

And do you want me to read the back? The little bit back of it?

Shanxi: Sure, yeah. That would be great.

Jordan: Yeah. I feel like it's helpful. “Are you overwhelmed in your homeschool journey? Burnt out? Hopeless? Just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s faith brought them through the fiery furnace unharmed, so your faith can bring you through the furnaces of your journey unharmed and refined for the work of God. Let Zan Tyler's experience from 21 years of homeschooling encourage you on your way. Zan Tyler began homeschooling in 1984. The state Superintendent threatened her with jail for refusing to send her kids to school. She loves to tell people about the faithfulness of God and how he uses ordinary people to accomplish his extraordinary plans.”

So yeah, I just didn't know her back story and she was homeschooling 6-7 years before it was legal, which I was like, surprised how – I didn't know, really, the history behind homeschooling and it was so soon that it wasn't even legal here, which is crazy. You know? You remember, like, the freedom you have here and you're like, “Wow, you really take it for granted.” So she's been through it all. 

Shanxi: Wow, that's amazing. Thank you so much. Is there anything else you wanted to add or anything else you wanted to touch on for Women’s Encouragement Day?

Jordan: Oh yes, would you like me to walk through, like the what the day would look like, I guess?

Shanxi: Sure, yeah. That would be fine.

Jordan: Yeah, so as you arrive there's refreshments and breakfast time and you would get your name tag. And you can connect with some women before it starts. And then as you go in, there's worship and then the speaker comes up. And then we have some more time of worship and sometimes we have testimonies or a panel up there talking about, like, generational homeschooling or –

Then we have lunch and it's a really beautiful lunch, and then we have some more speaker times and more worship and there's giveaways. Lots of breaks in between with chocolate and hot drinks, and yeah, but there's a lot of time to connect and to be encouraged. 

Shanxi: Yeah. Well, that's so exciting. I can't wait to see you there and everybody else who comes.

Shanxi: Thanks so much for listening. We hope you are encouraged in your homeschool journey.

Our Facebook Live with Zan Tyler is January 9. We are so excited to hear her at both our Women's Encouragement Day in February and Home school conference and curriculum fair in April.

Please continue the conversation with us on our website, midwesthomeschoolers.org, or email us at podcast@midwestparenteducators.org. We're also active on social media if you'd like to connect with us there. Thanks to Kevin McLeod of incompetech.com for providing this royalty-free song Wholesome, which is licensed under creativecommons.org.

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