Ages/Grades of Children: 2nd grade, 1st grade, Pre-K5 and a 17 month old baby
Location: Southeast USA
Why and when did you decide to homeschool your children?
The idea of homeschooling goes all the way back to when I (Jennifer) was just a student assistant at my local library. There is just something about libraries and homeschoolers that go hand in hand. Don’t you agree? I had the privilege of getting to know several homeschooling families, and I loved seeing the close family ties within each family. I remember thinking that one day when I had a family of my own I wanted more than anything to homeschool my future children. I started praying about it then. Fast forward about five years to when I was teaching in a small private school, married for less than two years, and expecting my first baby. I loved teaching. I loved seeing when a student had an “Ah-ha” moment. I loved inspiring young people to be and do their best. While I was teaching, my why for homeschooling also became about being the one to teach my little one, being there for the “Ah-ha” moments, and to inspire greatness in my baby. My husband and I also wanted to pass on our faith and traditions to our children. We started homeschooling our oldest in 2011 and haven’t looked back. As of this year I am teaching 3 of my 4 children.
What’s your proudest homeschool moment?
My proudest homeschool moment was when my oldest read by herself for the first time. I still have three more to share the gift of reading with.
What do you find most difficult about homeschooling?
Balancing it all! Sometimes it is difficult to get everything done. I have learned that I need sleep to be the best version of myself and not to fall asleep during read-aloud time. It is a learning process of letting go of certain extras that would be great to do, but there are only 24-hours in a day.
What is your favorite subject to teach? Why?
Science. I have always been fascinated with science, especially science experiments. It is one of the easiest subjects for me to provide hands-on learning for my children which they love too. When I asked them recently what their favorite subject was, they all responded with science. They love animals, collecting rocks, and looking at the stars which fuels their curiosity. I am also learning more about nature studies, and it has really been keeping them excited about going outside to explore their world.
Name three resources or curricula that have been most beneficial to your homeschool.
Wow! How can I narrow it down to just 3, but I will try. At the very top of my list for resources is a book by Clay and Sally Clarkson titled, “Educating the WholeHearted Child”. I like to reread parts of this book every summer while making plans for the upcoming school year. Since my children are still young my top two curriculum choices that we have used and enjoyed are Character Concepts for Preschoolers by Marilyn Boyer and The Heart of Dakota by Carrie Austin.
What’s the best homeschooling advice you’ve ever received?
The best homeschooling advice that I have ever received is to “Trust God”. I have received this advice numerous times and by many people. When I start to think that I can’t go on one more day or one of the children is struggling to understand a concept, I turn to God in prayer asking for help. I have learned to trust Him more every day with our homeschooling journey. I am reminded of this verse in Philippians 1:6 (KJV), “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”. We are trusting God to provide what we need as we endeavor to educate our children and to lead them to Him. In the end when it is all said and done, we are praying that each of our children make the decision to trust God and to accept the gift of salvation.