Mary Hood, Ph.D.
What is a
Our organization has run a homeschooling resource cen- ter in the Atlanta area for many ears. Beginning in the ’90s, we
started out in a small strip mall. At first,
there were only a few families involved. We
had a small store in the front where we sold
selected books and materials, a “used curriculum closet” in the back, and one classroom area. The first algebra class I taught
there had three students, and one of them
was my own son!
That first year we didn’t even have a sign
outside. The business was run as a “dba”
(doing business as), and was an outgrowth
of my own publishing efforts, starting with
the first book I wrote called, The Relaxed
Home School. We quickly found two teachers who wanted to join in the effort. In the
beginning, these teachers simply paid me
rent and ran their own businesses. One
taught art and the other writing. We had a
harder time finding a science teacher, and
went through several of them before one
showed up that fit our style of teaching.
For five years, we grew gradually in that
location, until we outgrew it. I wrote out
a list of all the things we needed in a new
facility and asked God to help me find the
right place. Within a week, we were guided
to a new location, and continued the resource center for several more years. The
new location was an older home, with two
classroom areas, a converted porch for the
sales area, and even a “student lounge”
complete with lockers.
Some of the programs we ran there included curriculum counseling, standardized testing, an unaccredited diploma program, field trips, support groups, classes
for teenagers, a middle school program,
and “Mom’s University” where moms took
classes during the summer months.
After about ten years of continuous
growth, my own children grew up, and we
shut down the resource center for a time.
During those years, I explored other arenas,
becoming a certified residential appraiser
and getting a broker’s license. We main-
tained our website, and I was still writing
about homeschooling on a regular basis, and
occasionally speaking at fairs or workshops,
but it became a minor part of my life. How-
ever, about two years ago, I started feeling
God nudging me back into the homeschool-
ing arena. In 2015, I began to teach classes
for teenagers in someone’s dining room and
testing the waters to see if there was interest
in starting another resource center.
For several months, I contacted realtors,
looked at strip malls, and searched for a new
place, without success. Up to that point, I
hadn’t really considered using a church as
a location, but suddenly God opened up
an opportunity to move into an underused
building that was the former location of a
large church in our area.
We re-opened in fall of 2016, with several changes in the basics of our operation.
At this point, we no longer have any sales.
However, we do have a homeschooling library, five classrooms at our disposal, and
a large room for a sanctuary/auditorium.
We are currently sharing the space with
a Hispanic church that meets there on
Starting a resource center has tremendous rewards,
but it is a major commitment that should not be taken lightly.