Mystie Winckler Homemaking Homeschooling Interview

Vision, Attitudes, and Expectations: Faithful, Repentant Homemaking and Homeschooling (a conversation with Mystie Winckler)

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Sometimes the hardest part of homeschooling isn’t actually the “school” part. Sometimes our biggest challenge is adjusting our attitudes (and expectations) when it comes to our parenting and our homemaking. Mystie Winckler, a 2nd-generation homeschooling mom of 5 like me, shared some important mindset shifts that will enable us to faithfully pursue our vocations. This was a fabulous interview that will challenge and encourage!

Be sure to check out all the other interviews in our Homeschool Conversations series!

Watch the video, read the show notes, and share with your friends!

Mystie Winckler, homemaking and homeschooling interview

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Who is Mystie Winckler?

Mystie Winckler is a 2nd -generation homeschooling mom of 5, married to her high school sweetheart. She helps homemakers organize their attitudes (and their lives) at SimplyConvivial.com. She’s also a co-host for one of my favorite podcasts, Scholé Sisters.

Mystie Winckler, homemaking and homeschooling interview

Watch my interview with Mystie Winckler

Show Notes {with video time stamps}

Mystie Winckler’s family and homeschool {1:00}

Both Mystie and her husband were homeschooled through high school. They got married at 19, had their first son at 21, and they were not planning on homeschooling. Instead, they planned to help establish a local classical school. That school did not last, however, so they thought they’d move to what they considered at the time to be Plan B. (Isn’t it funny how we think we have it all figured out, and then God graciously humbles, sanctifies, and leads us?)

Mystie began reading everything she could about education, because she wanted to do it well. In her childhood, the homeschool community seemed to either be Bob Jones, Abeka, or unschoolers. Now, so many more resources were available.

As firstborn 20-somethings, Mystie and her husband initially came into homeschooling very aware of things they thought could have been better about their own homeschool years. They were going to do it right. (Right?)

Now, Mystie sees that the process of home education is a multi-generational process:

“It’s a long road of sanctification. It’s a work that’s going to be carried on for generations. It’s not about us figuring it all out before we get started so we can do it right from here on out. It’s really all about growth, which is slow and takes a long time.”

(You may also enjoy this post where I describe some of the homeschool lessons I’ve learned from my mom and my mother-in-law, both of whom were homeschooling in that first generation of innovators.)

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Homeschool philosophy {6:04}

“I’ve definitely come to value the advice I received from older homeschool moms much more,” instead of discounting their opinions, Mystie said. She heard over and over “don’t expect what you don’t inspect” and “any curriculum will work if you do.” Now she sees the wisdom in those universal statements that are much bigger than any one homeschool philosophy or approach.

One thing Mystie and her husband loved about their own homeschool education was the wide reading. There were books on the shelves, and trips to the library. It wasn’t assigned, it wasn’t part of the curriculum. There were just lots of books and lots of time.

Free time reading had been the most significant part of their education, and they wanted their own children to become readers. They see this bearing fruit again in the lives of their children.

Liberal Arts, Great Books, and Classical Christian Education Wes Callihan

Delights and challenges of homeschooling {10:15}

Mystie has been pleasantly surprised by how much she has continued to learn as she teaches her kids. Before homeschooling, she had written off certain topics as not interesting to her. But over time she has learned to grow her own curiosity and interest in other topics, exploring the fullness of God’s creation. She realized,

“Because God made it all, it was really irreverent of me to say I wasn’t interested in it. It took many years of internal struggling to admit that there was something wrong with not being interested and curious.”

The more you’re educated, the more you realize how much you still have to learn. We have the opportunity to be a part of the wonder and exploration alongside our children.

Mystie Winckler, homemaking and homeschooling interview

Changing mindsets about homemaking {15:11}

Moving into her own home, Mystie realized that the chaos around the house wasn’t just from younger siblings. This new house got messy, too… and it was only Mystie and her husband at home! She had to take responsibility for that, but she still struggled to want to do the homemaking. There were many other things she would rather be doing.

“I got pretty good at letting myself off the hook,” she admitted.

God began doing work in her heart about the importance of  her homemaking duties. “All my reasons were really just excuses. [Homemaking] really did matter.

Two key things impacted her mindset during this time of growth:

This Elisabeth Elliot quote had a huge impact on Mystie’s mindset about homemaking:

“The way you keep your house, the way you organize your time, the care you take in your personal appearance, the things you spend your money on, all speak loudly about what you believe. The beauty of thy peace shines forth in an ordered life. A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul.”

She also began reading Bleak House by Charles Dickens and realized that the way the characters keep house in that book is a metaphor for their inner character. As you read what their homes look like, you’re being told something about who they are.

It was something more than just the dirt and the dishes,” Mystie realized. Keeping an orderly home wasn’t just an external thing; it was reflecting something in her heart.

Mystie Winckler, homemaking and homeschooling interview

Vision {21:50}

No system is going to save us, although we continue to search for “systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.”

Mystie read many business and productivity books over the years. But she came to realize that you don’t really need a bigger mission statement than the Westminster Catechism Question One.

What is man’s chief end? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

Mystie explained:

“Instead of making up my own vision for my life, it’s about remembering that every decision we make really does come down to glorifying and enjoying God or not. One of the ways we can work that out is by noticing the vocations we have been given…we have a hard time filtering out what we ought to do or not do.”

The exercise Mystie encouraged us to implement is to identify our vocations by “looking at what your life actually is right now and naming those callings that God has placed on your life.” The callings and duties God has given to us come with particular roles.

Achieving a perfect state isn’t the goal. Instead, we need to talk about “faithfulness, growth, and sanctification.”

Mystie Winckler, homemaking and homeschooling interview

Adjusting our attitudes {27:45}

Our attitude is where we see our heart problems,” Mystie said.

“The attitude adjustment comes primarily from repentance and the humility of admitting you need to repent of it in the first place.”

A bad attitude is not just a little thing that we can ignore. Normal, daily repentance is necessary. This repentance is part of our sanctification, the work of God in our heart. It can be as simple as a prayer under your breath while you deal with a situation.

Setting realistic expectations {31:05}

We aren’t going to get it right the first time, Mystie reminded us. And things aren’t going to happen without hard work. Part of being realistic, Mystie said, is to be aware and expectant that we are finite, imperfect humans. The same is true of our children. “No system is going to change that.”

Real life challenges don’t prevent faithfulness. They don’t prevent the work of God in our lives. In fact, because they show us our need, they can be a good thing in our life.

Mystie Mentors Moms with Simply Convivial Continuing Education {35:37}

Simply Convivial Continuing Education provides courses for all the areas of homemaking (including organizing your attitude). “The focus is not on accomplishment as much as sanctification, growth, and maturity,” one small change at a time.

The private community that is part of Simply Convivial Continuing Education also provides support and wisdom from like-minded women.

What Mystie is reading lately {39:35}

It was fun to chat books briefly with Mystie Winckler. After all, the Scholé Every Day segment is one of my favorite parts of the Scholé Sisters podcast! You’ll just have to watch the full video, though, to hear all we discussed.

The Short History of the World, J. M. Roberts

Modern Times, Paul Johnson (audiobook)

Find Mystie Winckler Online

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Check out all the other interviews in my Homeschool Conversations series!

Homeschool Conversations Video Interviews


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