What is the method of schooling that you use and when did you start?
We started with our oldest daughter. We were not pleased with the school environment that she was in. That was the third grade. We pulled her out during the year and finished that yearhomeschooling. We had felt for many years that God was urging us to home school. I have to admit I pushed back, thinking I could not get everything done and home school too. Now looking back I wish I had done it all along. Once we pulled our daughter from the publi charter school that she was in, we began to “see our daughter again.” With the stress of school she had begun to change and morph into what she thought she needed to be for that atmosphere. It was a blessing to see her true self again.
What made you decide to homeschool rather than to continue to utilize the public school?
With the other 2, we prayed long and hard. Our second child was a 1st grader at the time and the public charter school was working well for him. (the youngest was still in preschool) We finally decided in the summer that we should bring the second one home as well and put him in the Coop. That turned out fabulously also. With the youngest I began doing Kindergarten even though she really was too young for that. But she made it through the entire kindergarten year. SO the following year we started all three of them in the Coop.
How many kids (and what are their ages) that you are currently homeschooling?
3 kids – 11, 9, 6 – 6th grade, 4th grade, 2nd grade.
Do you have any resources [online or otherwise] that you utilize to plan lessons or a curriculum?
We follow the curriculum that the coop uses and then follow that at home. The older 2 are in the coop both Tuesday and Thursday for all of their core classes except history. We do history at home through Sonlight curriculum. The younger one does 2nd grade at home and takes extra classes at the coop. We use the Abeka curriculum for second grade. It is a complete curriculum and worked very well for our middle child as well.
How do you balance typical wife/mom duties with also being a teacher?
Ha…most days it don’t get a shower until 4 pm, or there are dishes still on the counter, or the laundry just didn’t get done. It isn’t possible to get it all done. The blessings far out weigh the “getting things done” part. The time we get to interact with our kids is an incredible blessing. We get to answer those intriguing questions, we get to make sure that Christ is the center of their lives, we get to watch be so confident in who they are becoming. I guess all of those “other” tasks will get done later. My husband is used to the fact that I always have a project started and not finished (because I never have time to finish a project the same day) sitting somewhere in the house until it gets done. We are more purposeful about our time as husband and wife together. We have set aside time after dinner to sit and talk just the 2 of us. And make specific times for date nights.
How long do you think you will homeschool [up to what age]?
I would like to make it through Jr high school. I am open though if the kids have a different thought. Right now they love it and wouldn’t choose anything else. My husband travels some, so home schooling also gives us the opportunity to travel with him. Honestly I think my oldest will stay home all the way through by her choice. I think the middle one may go to a high school of some sort. The education opportunities are immense now and continuing to become better and better. So many home school kids are able to do High school online and complete a bachelors degree at the same time before high school is over. We will look at all options when the time comes.
Any tips or tricks you can suggest to moms who are thinking about homeschooling (or who already do)?
I can’t imagine doing it without a Coop of some sort. Our coop sets the pace for curriculum. We also are blessed with a teacher who loves science, and a teacher who loves math and so on. SO they develop the syllabus for that subject and they bring in some unique things that I may not be able to do if I were handling all the subjects for all three kids. So first I would definitely find a coop. There are many coops you can find if you Google that in your area. With most Coops, each mom has to teach something or help with a class. Ours is a little different in that we pay each teacher that we choose to use. So anyone looking for Coops should look at several different ones and weigh the options. Seek out other HS moms and ask lots of questions. home schooling is becoming so popular that it is not hard to find a HS mom to talk to these days. Online there are also several Home school forums to ask questions. Also begin calling some of the Home school curriculum companies. They can answer lots of questions and many times they have a FAQ section on their websites.
Thanks for sharing, Christina!