Jay Phaup was involved with VaHomeschoolers at its inception. He and Will Shaw knew each other because Will was the lobbyist for the organization, Christian Home Educators Association of Fluvanna (CHEAF), of which Jay was president. Because both men had a love for homeschooling advocacy and shared a keen sense of humor, there was a natural tendency toward many long conversations, which led to forming the then-VHEA. First formed as an association of local homeschool organizations, its purpose was purely economical in the beginning, but as the organization unfolded, the two men saw an additional need for more advocacy for individual families, one that included all homeschoolers, not just ones of a certain kind. As the group grew and became more organized, Jay served as a board member, treasurer, and vice president. Jay says that credit for forming the organization should rightly go to Will.

Jay retired from official organization duties when his seventh (and last) child was born. Jay and his wife, Bobbie Jo, chose to homeschool because they felt it their duty under God. Their children have gone on to pursue a variety of degrees and careers including military service and massage therapy. The Phaups find that the biggest benefits in homeschooling are the relationships they have with their children and the fact that they have preserved a lifelong love of learning in each of them. The flexibility in their schedule allowed them to capture those “teaching moments” in life, many of which occur outside of a formal instruction period.

In addition to his contribution as a homeschooling dad, Jay works as professional forester in land management and wood procurement, a career that spans 29 years. He is also involved with the 4-H Shooting Education Program as a local leader, state firearms instructor, and coach.