Being Part of the Helping Team

Last night…

“Thank you, Imogen for helping me today,” I said. “I could never have sorted out my new book cover without your help.”

Imogen looked up from her computer and said, “That’s okay, Mum! I was happy to help.”

Then Charlotte wandered into the family room with my husband Andy. “Have you finished your Power Point presentation?” I asked her

“Nearly,” she replied, and then added, “Thank you, Dad, for showing me how to put it together.”

“I enjoyed helping,” said Andy. “And thank you for helping me with my school posters.” He held up a huge picture of a lobster reading a book. (A lobster reading a book? He’s a year 2 teacher!) “Doesn’t this look good? Charlotte helped me paint it.”

We all admired Andy’s and Charlotte’s work before I remembered someone else who needed thanking.

“Thank you for helping with my washing today,” I said to Gemma-Rose. “I was running out of things to wear.”

Gemma-Rose grinned. “Isn’t it awful when you look in your drawer and all you can see is that one horrible jumper you hate wearing?”

“Oh yes!” I grinned back. “You’ve saved me from that. I’ve now got plenty of things to wear. Thank you!”

“We seem to be doing a lot of thanking,” someone observed.

“Yes,” I agreed. “Everyone did lots of helping today. Except me.”

“You walked the dog,” said Imogen. “That helped.”

“But I didn’t even have to hold the leash,” I objected. “You volunteered to come with me and did that.”

I then remembered another helpful volunteer. “Thank you, Sophie, for helping me with the images for Suzie Andres’ new blog page. You didn’t get any time to yourself this evening. You probably hoped to get your new blog design up and running. I’m sorry about that.”

“That’s okay. Plenty of time to do that tomorrow,” said Sophie. “Anyway, you did more work on Suzie’s page than me.”

“I did do some helping today,” I said. “I helped Suzie Andres.”

Do you know Suzie? She’s the author of the homeschooling books Homeschooling with Gentleness and A Little Way of Homeschooling. She has also just published her first novel, The Paradise Project. Suzie needs a place on the web, somewhere she can share her books and other treasures, so I invited her to join me here on my blog. And that’s why I’m putting together a page for her.

The page is ‘under construction’. It’s in a bit of a mess at the moment. I need to work on the design (with Sophie’s help) and add additional images and information. But we’re hoping the page will look good when it’s finished. So please keep watch!

Do unschooling children like to help each other?

I used to think if we allowed our children to follow their own interests they’d focus only on themselves. They would go off down their own pathways and never interact or care about anyone else, becoming selfish and self-absorbed. But that’s not true. Unschoolers love sharing their talents, their ideas, their help. 

I guess we all like to be needed. We all want to feel a valued part of the team.

I wonder who I’ll help today. And who I’ll thank this evening.

Image: This photo was taken by Sophie. Gemma-Rose often helps Sophie out by agreeing to be her model when Sophie wants to practise her photography.

And Sophie just helped me out: “Do you have a photo I can add to my blog post? You do? Thank you!” 

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  1. Reply

    My turn, my turn, my turn! I get to THANK YOU for writing such an uplifting post!

    1. Reply


      And can I thank you for your encouragement? I've really appreciated your recent comments. They've brightened up a difficult week. THANK YOU!

  2. Reply

    I'm very excited to hear Suzie will be joining you here (and that she has a new book!)

    1. Reply


      I read the draft copy of Suzie's novel, but I'm still anticipating the pleasure of reading the published edition! Suzie and I have been swapping lots of long emails about her page (and other things). I'm also excited she will have a small space here on my blog!

  3. Reply

    Aw, lovely way took at things SUe. And of course when you think about Sophie would be gracious about not getting any time to herself or time to be productive, bc she learned from you about giving!

    Well I look forward to the page for Suzie! Sounds wonderful…and Sophie is amazing, just like you!

    THANK YOU for writing such a post….it was refreshing as always Sue. I look fwd to getting your posts and then I save it for when I can really enjoy.


    1. Reply


      It's so lovely to see you back in the blogosphere after your recent vacation!

      Sometimes I think giving up our time is the hardest thing to do. It doesn't take much to put down a book, say, and listen to someone, but oh my! how difficult that is to do! However, Sophie is good at doing this. She's been spending a lot of time working on Suzie's page with me. It's fun to work together! The page is coming together. This morning I added an email subscription button so readers can keep up with Suzie and her books.

      Chris, you are always a very kind and generous friend. Thank you so much for reading my posts!

  4. Reply

    Oh, that's too funny! Do you remember that I found your blog when I was looking for Susie's several years ago? I guess I just needed to stick around, and I'm very glad I did!! You have been a tremendous source of encouragement and ideas, and I have learned so much and enjoyed "meeting" you and your family.

    What a lovely post about living together in love and gratitude- thank you so much!

    1. Reply


      I do remember how you found me when you were actually looking for Suzie. I shared this story with Suzie and we giggled and decided we might as well join forces. Now readers can find both of us at this one address!

      Wendy, I'm so glad you read some of my posts and didn't immediately click off and go somewhere else. I'd have missed out on your beautiful friendship if you hadn't stuck around. I've also enjoyed meeting you and your family. Many times I've laughed at your wonderful sense of humour and felt uplifted. Thank you!

  5. Reply

    Sue Elvis, I love you. What a great post and what a lovely thing you are doing to help Suzie! I am almost finished with Suzie's book. I'll probably finish it tonight. I love how funny it is. A great whimsical combination of P&P, The Happiness Project with a little You've Got Mail sprinkled in there . . . . and a lot of chocolate!

    1. Reply


      It's so good to have friends like you and Suzie to love. And it's wonderful we can help each other. I enjoyed your review of Suzie's book. It sounds like I need to have a huge bar of chocolate handy when I settle down to read it! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words!

  6. Reply

    A huge thank you to Sue and Sophie — I am so excited about my page here!
    And thank you to the dear ladies who have commented above.
    How delightful that Sue is welcoming us all in!
    And how delightful too that you ladies are here to welcome me!

    I've been super excited lately about my novel, The Paradise Project — oh Faith, I'm so glad you like it!
    And now that I'm about to have a (web)page as well as a novel – my cup overfloweth!

    I'm saying a prayer that the angels will guide us all on our way to Jesus — and thank you, angels, for guiding us — and those to come — to Sue's blog!.

    Oh, and thank you to Sue's family for being such dear people and helping each other so much!
    (and helping me! thanks again, Sophie!!)

    with love,

    p.s. I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up being "nobody" but you have all made me feel like "somebody" so I won't fret…and soon I'll learn how to sign in as me!

    1. Reply


      You know Sophie and I are very happy to work on your page. It's exciting having you here on my blog. Thank you for joining me!

      You can't stay 'nobody' forever. No, you definitely need to become somebody. You used to comment on this blog as 'Suzie Andres'. Did you change your profile name? If you go to your Google account, you should be able to change your name again. xx

  7. Reply

    This post made my heart sing! Thank you for your writing you are an epic weaver of tales!

    I have finally been catching up with your podcasts, your lovely voice and that radiant smile ( I know, I can't see your smile but I can hear it in your voice!!!!) keep me company whilst cooking, cleaning and sewing!

    I have been very brave and have joined the periscope crowd, which essentially is live broadcasting via your phone!! I have joined an awesome craft community and they are a whole heap of fun and support!

    Love to you

    San xx

    1. Reply


      Made your heart sing? Oh my! I'm so glad. My heart is singing too!

      I only heard about periscope the other day. It sounds like lots of fun! I haven't got a smart phone so can't join in. I hardly ever use my mobile phone so it doesn't seem worth upgrading to a snazzy new one. But sometimes it would be nice to have the latest in phone technology!

      Thank you so much for listening to my podcasts. I just posted this week's one. I hope you can see my smile as you listen!

      Love to you too, dear San. xxx

  8. Reply

    Life has been so crazy that I haven't had a chance to pop in lately, I'm glad I did tonight, it was a bright spot! Great post, if more people in the world focused on helping, it would sure change the world. A series of minor miracles would occur, I am sure 🙂 You are so inspiring, I would just love to pop in for a chat. Finished Adoption paperwork for criminal background checks and home-study application. Whew! What a nerve-wracking time. God bless from the other side of the world!

    1. Reply


      I can imagine how busy you are with the adoptions coming up! I am keeping you all in my prayers as you prepare for your next wonderful loving adventure. You certainly know all about helping. Yes, if only more people were generous and kind, miracles would indeed occur.

      Oh, how I would love to chat in person! Inspiring? Oh no! Karla that person is you!

      God bless you too. Sending you love from this side of the world!

    2. Reply

      Sue, thanks for your kind words! It is through the help of others that we're even able to contemplate adopting again…please share our adoption blog, anyone can help us by donating through the Paypal button on the blog…there are many fees in adoption, and by God's help and the generous hearts of those who are able to contribute, miracles are born 🙂

    3. Reply


      I hope you get many donations. I will share the link. Oh yes, I hope miracles will be born! God bless you!

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