Looking Backward: My Twenty-Five Years as a Homeschooling Mother
If you have ever considered teaching your children at home, this book is for you.
In 1975, armed with only a high school education, Joyce Swann made the decision to homeschool her children. Twenty-five years later all ten Swann children had received their master’s degrees by age sixteen, although none had ever been enrolled in a traditional classroom.
In this must-read for anyone considering homeschooling, Swann shares not only her teaching methods, tips, and advice, she also discusses the illnesses, financial difficulties, and lack of emotional support that made every day a challenge. Ultimately, however, it is her faith and God’s grace that kept Swann going when the obstacles seemed insurmountable.
"I do not regret any of the difficulties that I personally endured because through each of them I was able to experience God in a way that I might never have under better circumstances. It is a sad truth that most of us do not experience God until we have a need in our own lives.
If John had not lost his job and we had not gone through those thirteen agonizing years, I might never have known God as El Shaddai, the all-sufficient one. When everything was gone, I had to recognize that He and He alone is sufficient to meet all our needs. I discovered that whether those needs are physical, spiritual, or emotional, He is always the all-sufficient one.
Desperate circumstances brought me face to face with Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord who provides. Whether I needed the money to pay school expenses or a plane ticket to see my sick mother, He worked miracles on my behalf. If money had not been a consideration, I would have sent the tuition to the school and bought the plane ticket without ever considering that everything that we have comes from the hand of the Lord who provides. Thus, I would never have experienced the joy of knowing that Jesus Christ not only sees my present circumstances, He looks ahead and makes provision years in advance for the day when those needs will occur.
If Israel had not suffered the intussusception and I had not been run over by my own van, I might never have met Jehovah-Rophe, the Lord who heals. I have never doubted that only the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ kept us both alive and returned us to perfect health.
When John lost his job, we were cut off from nearly everyone we knew. People we thought were our friends quickly distanced themselves from us. One day we were sought after; the next we were avoided. That is when I met Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord who is there. He never deserts us, is never embarrassed by us, and never looks the other way. He is Immanuel, the God who is with us, always and forever."
READ THE REVIEWS:
"Not every home-school mom can teach 10 kids from preK-12 and graduate them by the age of 12, followed by bachelor's and master's degrees by the age of 16. Former Practical Homeschooling columnist Joyce Swann did just that. But her new book, Looking Backward, isn't mostly about Joyce's academic program (though she does explain how she did it)....Her words of wisdom about handling preschoolers, kids who love to write on the walls, housework, and homework are helpful, encouraging and relevant...An instant homeschool classic. Most highly recommended...." Mary Pride, Practical Homeschooling Issue # 100
"An enjoyable, inspiring read, and I would recommend it to other homeschool moms." Tiffany Orthman Home Educating Family.
"I was...inspired by this sweet success story...I never felt pressured to accelerate my own children's progress or to switch to the programs the Swanns used. Instead, learning of the family's deep commitment to God's plan for them simply encouraged and empowered me to continue on the path He has given my family." Tina Hollenbeck's review on her blog Being Made New