When Monica Guerra and her family began their homeschool adventure 12 years ago, they had a few things to figure out. “We had the ‘why’ for choosing homeschooling,” the St. Petersburg resident explains, “but we needed the ‘how.’ We had decided to homeschool because we believe that God had called us not only to be the primary caregivers to our children, but to teach them about Him and the world we live in from a biblical worldview. With God’s help, we set out to build a strong family that brings Him glory.”
During that scary yet exciting time, the Guerras turned a spare bedroom into a schoolroom, setting up an American flag and hanging the ABCs all around the top border of the walls. “We put our hands over our chests and recited the Pledge of Allegiance every morning,” Monica recalls. “As if that was not funny enough I even taped name tags to the school desks like they did in public school. As if I wouldn’t know the names of my two students! I had no frame of reference except the way I was schooled.”
Monica laughs when she remembers those early days, recalling how unsure she was of her abilities. The turning point for her when a family at the Guerras’ church gave her a volume of a specific homeschool curriculum that fit her vision and gave her a “how” that matched the “why.”
Some time later a friend gave Monica some recordings of FPEA Florida Homeschool Convention workshops. “After hearing them we knew we had to attend to learn more,” the mother of four explains, “so we registered for the following year. My husband and I were awestruck to see that we were part of a group of thousands of parents who have the same passion for their kids and families as we did. The Convention is the vaccine to immunize against any doubts or fears you may have.”
Now a veteran homeschooler who says, “I have no regrets,” Monica has also drawn encouragement from being part of a vibrant homeschool community in Pinellas County. “I love to encourage homeschool moms,” she declares. To that end she has served on the board of directors of a local homeschool support group and as an FPEA Facebook Ambassador.
Even as Monica graduates her oldest child in May (“Boy, how time flies,” she observes), she still has insecurities, but according to her, “the core vision has never changed, and I am trusting God with the outcome. Whenever I start daydreaming of the shiny yellow bus pulling up to my house, I listen to some workshops, and it gives me the inspiration and motivation to press on and inject some fun into our learning together.”