Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts, Inc.

Behind the Scenes at AHEM: Sophia Sayigh

This series profiles the volunteer board members of AHEM who answer your phone calls and emails; keep the AHEM website updated; follow MA legislation; maintain the homeschool policy and practice database; and dream up and make happen events and programs like Fall Fair, Spring Fling, Getting Started Homeschooling workshops, regional coops, and the Slow Homeschooling podcast.

Sophia Sayigh, ready to get some AHEM work done, while hosting nap time for Ulysses and Stella.

Sophia lives in Arlington with her husband and pug in the two-family house they shared with her mom when they were raising their two kids. The kids, now adults, didn’t go to school until college. For many years she was a La Leche League Leader, part of what led her to explore homeschooling. Reading John Holt’s Teach Your Own provided the aha moment: simply not sending the kids to school was a choice. What continued was a life centered on family and community as she grew and learned with her kids. Part of that was co-founding AHEM in 2003. AHEM has been a great incubator and launch pad for ideas and events over the years to help sustain and support independent family-based homeschooling in Massachusetts. Volunteering for AHEM, which has included writing, web maintenance and design, phone helping, coordinating volunteers and events, and public speaking, were all featured on her resumé when she decided to reenter the workforce outside the home as a professional librarian. With the kids grown, she co-wrote a work of fiction, Unschoolers, and has indulged another long time interest in promoting death conversation, natural death care, and green burial. She enjoys reading, handwork, cooking, walking, being in nature, conversing, listening, laughing, and mostly just being with loved ones.