Welcome back to my homeschool interview series!
Jessie was the first one to fill out my interview questions so hers is the first interview I’m going to share (mine the one where I interviewed myself, but I don’t know if that legitimately counts . . .).
I hope you enjoy getting a little peek into the lives of another homeschooling family. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming interview you can fill out your answers to the questions here!
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY.
My husband and I have been married for ten years and we have three little adventurers- Sonic is 7 and in 2nd grade, Sidewinder is 5 and in Kindergarten and Little Lady is 3 and destroys the house while I homeschool the boys. We live in the upper Midwest on a quaint little acre plot and are hoping to turn it into a little farmstead of sorts. We love Jesus, each other, nature, movies, travel and laughing… a lot.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START HOMESCHOOLING?
We were actually the people who made fun of homeschool. Every kid we had ever known that was homeschooled was so, so incredibly awkward. Once we started having kids, our plan was still to send them off to public school (because, HELLO actual free time!) and our circle of friends was pretty against homeschool. Well, God has a sense of humor. We just went on ahead and stuck our foot in our mouth when we sold our entire “American dream life” and took our family on the road… homeschool was the only option we had if we wanted to take the adventure of a lifetime. After we purged and packed up all of our worldly possessions, we traveled for a year in our 30’ RV. It was a trip! It changed our lives completely. We loved the time we spent together so much that homeschool has just become the natural thing for us to do! So, let me say it straight… Dearest Homeschool Community, we humbly apologize for all of the things we said about you three years ago. You are our people and we love you.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR HOMESCHOOL?
We are pretty eclectic. Like, a mix of CM, unit study, unschool and panic-because-I-accidentally-compared-my-kid-to-public-school-kids (pretty sure that’s a thing, right?) Mostly, I have no idea what I’m doing but we are having a blast! We learn through life, books, Lego, crafts, nature and pbsKids.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST BENEFIT OF HOMESCHOOLING FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?
The flexibility. 100% that is why we started in the first place and why we continue. I love that we can have rigorous learning days and relaxing learning days. I love that we can travel or vacation without having to worry about school attendance and homework. I just really really love what homeschooling has given us.
WHAT IS A COMMON REACTION YOU GET FROM PEOPLE WHEN THEY FIND OUT THAT YOU HOMESCHOOL? AND HOW DO YOU RESPOND?
“Oh, so you must have an education for teaching then right?”
– Answer: “In a past life, I was a preschool teacher.” What they don’t know is that I was a preschool teacher who achieved that position using my life experience, hard work ethic and love for kids… I have no formal “education for teaching”, no degree, nada. I’m just good at what I do.
“What about socializing your kids?”
– Answer: “We get to see grandparents, cousins, neighbor kids, and church friends on a regular basis. AND my kids are, literally, best buds. We good.”
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THE PARENT THAT REALLY WANTS TO HOMESCHOOL BUT FEELS THEY AREN’T SMART ENOUGH, PATIENT ENOUGH, FILL IN EXCUSE HERE?
Yep… neither am I. I doubt myself CONSTANTLY. My doubt is relentless. But, for this chapter in our lives, homeschool fits like a comfy sweater.
Define your vision for your family, if you feel like homeschool is a part of that- just try it already! I went into this saying, “One year. Just one year.” and that was two and a half years ago. Take it one step at a time… any rate, after a year (or six months or a week) if it doesn’t work for you- Public school is perfectly acceptable, it is not the enemy.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THE PARENT THAT IS WORRIED ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S “SOCIALIZATION OPPORTUNITIES” AS A HOMESCHOOLER? (YES, IT’S A RIDICULOUS AND ANNOYING QUESTION BUT IT IS OFTEN ASKED.)
I briefly touched on that up there ^^^ but, something else is that my kids ARE weird. They are so quirky and so cute. I would hate for them to have to perform or not be their true selves because other kids at school help define them. Socialization is huge, but who do you want your kids to model after? In these formative young years, I’d rather them not be stuck with 28 kids of their age but have access to the world and all the cool people we meet in the grocery line, hiking at the park or even just the family that is so near and dear to us.
WHAT IS ONE AREA OR SUBJECT YOU FEEL YOU DO REALLY WELL?
I feel like I do really well at just letting my kids be kids. I say “yes” a lot and there is a ton of play that happens here. I’ve gotten better about letting them learn at their own pace and not shoving it down their throats, it’s made for much more peace in our day. Don’t get me wrong- I still hit panic mode if google and I get too friendly and I start searching common core standards… but overall, we’ve become a more relaxed homeschool in the past several months.
WHAT DO YOU DO ON THE HARD DAYS WHEN ATTITUDES ARE NOT WHAT THEY SHOULD BE OR YOU JUST DON’T FEEL MOTIVATED?
Movies. That is the cure all in our house. An incredibly close second is nature and getting our bodies moving outside. I suppose that nature should be the FIRST thing we opt for on nonsense days when our little corner of the world is falling apart, but I gotta be honest… we really love movies.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCES?
The Peaceful Press – Playful Pioneers (sooo many fun projects!)
Master Books- Math Lessons for a Living Education
PBSKids Video App
Art supplies (but, no glitter)
I’m 94% sure that’s all you need to homeschool successfully.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE READ ALOUD PICTURE BOOKS AND/OR CHAPTER BOOKS?
Anything by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little Bear Books
Magic Tree House Books
Any book that has been made into a kids movie
Really though, we just go to the Library and check out 33+ books at a time. Just go pick out a ton of books and read them all
AS A HOMESCHOOLING MOM HOW DO YOU MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF TO LEARN AND RECHARGE?
I’m definitely still working on this one.
I recharge by reading books and going grocery shopping by myself. That’s what I’ve got for now and it’s just *nearly* enough.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOU ONLINE?
A Tale of Ten Feet << The blog we kept during our travels for a year. We have since settled back down in a new state and are building our dream life. @ataleoftenfeetfamily << The Instagram account that I use to follow homeschool mommas at. I mostly gawk at the beautiful homeschool pictures and wonder if they have any peanut butter toast smashed into their carpet like I do? And I sometimes post pics/stories of our day to day life.
Thank you so much to Jessie for sharing a little about their homeschool with us!