Friday, September 25, 2015

Get to Know Tracy!



Happy Friday!

Hello everyone! I gave you the opportunity to get to know my homeschoolers, but do you really know me? I thought that I would take this opportunity to tell you all about myself. 

My name is Tracy Nicole Smith-Kelly (that's a mouth full). I am an only child who was born in College Park, Georgia. My mom owned her own home daycare, and did floral arrangements on the side. My dad worked at AT&T for over 18 years, and later worked in Reservations for Delta Airlines. At an early age, I loved writing and education. I started writing short stories at the age of 9, and later poetry. Growing up, I loved Leave it to Beaver and I Love Lucy. I loved the idea of being a stay-at-home-mom, but I thought I was too independent to ever do that (Ha!). 

In high school, I wrote for our school literary magazine, and continued to play in the orchestra. Playing the violin taught me so much, and gave me a love for classical music that I still have to this day. It was my love of education however, that led me to exactly where I am now. I graduated high school as an honor student, and went on to attend Georgia State University where I majored in just about everything (Early Childhood Education, English, Journalism)...lol. However, I would always come back to Early Childhood Education. In college, I worked as a 7th grade, after school tutor and mentor for "at-risk" kids, and also as an infant/toddler teacher for Sheltering Arms. During my college years, I also rededicated my life to Christ, and became active in the Single's Ministry and Intercessory Prayer Ministry. Later, I went on to work for the Contracts and Purchasing Division for the State of Georgia's, Georgia Building Authority. After a heartbreaking layoff,  I began working as a 911 Dispatcher for Clayton County Georgia. I passed my certifications at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, Georgia, and went on to dispatch emergency 911 calls for police, fire, and sheriff departments. 

It was my love for education that completely changed my life. While driving past this cute little daycare center, I was led (directed) in. I had passed this daycare everyday, and never took notice until this particular day. I went in for an interview, and came out with a job as a lead infant teacher. I gave my notice on my job, and the rest is history. Two weeks after starting, I would meet my now husband of 9 years, Dwayne Kelly. The next year we would be married and expecting our first child, my oldest DJ (not exactly in that order, but I digress). It was then that we (it was a mutual decision) decided that we would make the sacrifice, and I would be a stay-at-home mom. Believe me living on one income is a huge sacrifice! It wasn't an easy transition for someone who had been so independent, but it has been the best decision of my life. Our daughter Alani was born in 2009, and our youngest son Christian would follow in 2013.

After trying to find a Pre-K program that met our standards (and not really finding any), I was led to homeschooling. I didn't know anything about homeschooling, and didn't even know if it was legal, but every where I turned there it was! So, I prayerfully considered it, and it turned out to be the path that worked best for our family. Homeschooling opened my eyes to so many wonderful experiences, and being able to witness my kids blossom and learn has been the greatest gift. 

If you ever meet me, and ask me about homeschooling, I will probably talk for hours about it. It truly is something that I am passionate about. However, I know that it is not the path for every family, so I am also passionate about school choice. I don't know why God chose homeschooling for our family, but I am going to continue to follow this path until he directs us in another direction. Aside from homeschooling, I also have a goal to open my own daycare in the next few years. I plan to incorporate all of the lessons that I have taught my own kids into the daycare curriculum. I love reading, writing, HGTV, old school music, and anything Shakespeare. I have watched the 1960's Romeo and Juliet more times than I care to share. I am an introvert, so if you don't get many phone calls or visits from me, don't take it personal. I love people, but I love my own company just as much.

So, that's me! I love being a wife, mom, and homeschool teacher. I have also had many wonderful life experiences that I get to bring with me and share with my kids. I get asked often if I feel that I am missing out by dedicating my life to my family? I did so much, and experienced so much before I became a wife and a mom, that I truly don't. My life may not look very exciting from the outside, but it is a beautiful one. I love being me, I love my life, and I love all of the people that God has given me to share it with. 

I hope that you have enjoyed reading and learning about me!

As always, Blessings on your journey!