Margaret Shaw became involved with The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers (then Virginia Home Education Association—VHEA) because she saw there was no place for “relaxed” homeschoolers or those who were not religiously motivated, and she believed that a statewide organization should be all inclusive. As the organization formed, the Shaw house became the home office for the organization, and she spent countless hours on the phone advocating for homeschooling and answering questions from new homeschoolers. Her patience and kindness are widely known and appreciated. She also helped with the first conferences sponsored by the organization, and she was especially proud of the diversity offered at these events. Shay Seaborne quotes her in a post on About.com’s homeschooling forum that there was “No lockstep mindset on the part of presenters,” who offered “something for everyone to disagree with!”
Margaret successfully homeschooled four children and she is most satisfied with the experience because all of her children have become independent learners and thinkers. When their small daughter faced a three-hour bus ride each day while a new elementary school was being completed, the Shaws began their homeschooling adventure, and they became “infected.” They continued homeschooling all their children all the way through high school. More than two decades later, they have homeschooled four children. Leah is a professor of applied sciences at William & Mary. Benjamin was a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps but now lives in Charlottesville where he completed EMT training. Elizabeth works for a family medical practice in Charlottesville. Mary Anna, works for the Albemarle County Police Department and does language translation on the side. In 2003, Margaret officially finished homeschooling her last daughter, and she returned to the workforce. She spends her time counseling for a nonprofit center in Charlottesville.