Ages of Children: 9 and 12
Why and when did you decide to homeschool your children?
We made the decision to homeschool when our oldest daughter was four years old. I had just finished my Elementary Education degree and was co-teaching a summer school class for ingoing kindergarteners. I remember listening to a speaker at one of the workshops, and she sounded very pessimistic when it came to educating the children. The thought entered my mind that I could give my daughters more than she was offering, and in that moment I made the decision to homeschool. I ran home and shared my thoughts with my husband, and he gave me the go ahead.
Describe your homeschool in three words.
Flexible, encouraging, somewhat structured
What’s your goal as a home educator?
My goal is to provide my daughters with a solid foundation emotionally, spiritually, educationally, and physically. It’s my hope they will know who they are at the core, and not just what they are capable of doing. Outside of the initial reasoning for choosing to homeschool, I have desired from the beginning for my daughters to have a sense of self that no one can take away from them.
How has homeschooling changed you?
Homeschooling has helped me to get out of my own head. I have always been content with going at things alone, but homeschooling forces you to engage with those around you. I have to be willing to learn from my daughters as I teach them. It has also helped me to be more confident in myself not only in our homeschool, but also in other aspects of my life like my blog and jewelry business.
How do you balance homeschooling and finding time for yourself?
Homeschooling is a full-time job for me. It comes first because there’s much at stake if I don’t give my daughters what they need. Over the years, I have been able to strike a balance by being honest with myself and family about what I need. I need at least 8 hours of sleep, quiet time, and time for my hobbies. Since my family knows this, they often encourage me to take time for myself. Most days I wake up early to write. On some weekends, I take time to go out alone or meet a friend while on other weekends or evenings my husband takes the girls out to do something. I don’t need 40 hours alone, but I do need a few. I also use a planner to help write down the things that I want to do so when I have free time, I focus on those things versus becoming distracted.
How has homeschooling benefited your family?
Homeschooling definitely keeps our family close. I love the relationship-building aspect of homeschooling. I didn’t grow up in a close family, and I actually didn’t feel safe sharing too many of my thoughts with adults. My daughters are not afraid to talk to each other, their father or me. We are a family that communicates well with one another even when we don’t want to, and I am sure it has to do with us spending time together.
What is your favorite subject to teach? Why?
I love teaching math and art. I wasn’t always the best math student, but when I went to college I challenged myself by actually concentrating on math. It was during this time my struggle with math slowly subsided. I can relate to my daughters when a concept takes longer which helps keep them from grabbing a hold of math anxiety because I am willing to find a way that works for them. I enjoy teaching art because it’s fun and freeing.
How do your children feel about being homeschooled?
Both of my daughters have decided that they want to homeschool through high school which makes me think that they truly enjoy it. Although I felt confident and loved homeschooling, my daughters went to school for one school year and made the decision that homeschooling fits them better. My youngest daughter actually never had the desire to give school a chance, but she gave it a try anyway. They have shared with me that they learn more by me being their teacher which is a huge compliment.
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