I listen to the pod-cast "Homeschool Snapshots" and on each episode, the hostess (Pam Barnhill), asks the guests a series of questions. I love hearing other people's answers as it gives insight to their homeschooling, and thought it would be fun to answer the questions myself.
How did you start homeschooling?
We have homeschooled from the start. My girls have never been to any formal school setting. I really don't remember our first conversations about homeschooling, but my husband knew I wanted to give it a try and has always been supportive. Before we had kids of our own, I taught violin in the public school and got a glimpse of what that really looks like (plus my own memory of attending public school). Also, as a private violin teacher, my working hours have always occuppied the afternoon and evening. I knew that if my own kids went to school all day, I would likely begin working when they got out of school leaving very little time for us to share as a family.
Your homeschool days look most like which literary classic: The Odyssey, Little Women, Swiss Family Robinson or Lord of the Flies?
Well, I do have two little women and often our days at home include reading and music and baking. But we are also a pretty adventurous family so there is a little bit of Swiss Family Robinson mixed in. Of course, when it's time for math it might look a little bit like Lord of the Flies....
If you ran into a younger version of yourself in a vendor hall (at a homeschool convention), what advice would you give?
Just read a lot. Read good books and use the teaching opportunities that every day life poses. Then read more good books.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you want for homeschooling?
1) Bible (read aloud, theology, grammar, spelling, writing, geography, history and more!)
2) a violin (music, skill mastery, improvisation, entertainment)
3) something to write on - a chalkboard (with chalk) or an unlimited supply of paper (and pencils/pens) - for drawing, writing, math, games and more
What is your biggest challenge in homeschooling?
Giving each child enough individual attention (and I only have two children!). I tend to teach them together at the same level and it's not always fair to them.
What is the most influential homeschool book you've read?
The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. I've read quite a few good books on homeschooling, but this one gave me a direction in terms of choosing a homeschooling style. After reading this book, I knew I wanted to mostly follow in the classical method. I go back to it year after year and use The Well Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer to guide me in my own reading.
What is your favorite read-aloud ever?
I loved A Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop. I had never heard of it and loved reading it with my girls.
What is your pet-peeve about homeschooling?
The high expectations others have of homeschoolers- good grades, perfect behavior, etc. I often embrace these expectations myself - thinking that because I homeschool my children, they should act and perform above average. But the reality is that they are still kids - sinful human beings, just like everyone else.
Fill in the blank: If my grown child __________I will have suceeded as a homeschooling mom.
If my grown children know how to find information, solve problems and live responsibly...
(I always cringe a little when moms answer this along the lines of "if my grown children love God and follow Him and serve Him..." This is my biggest hope for my children - that they would have a personal relationship with their Creator - that they would love Him and joyfully and obediently follow Him in all they do. But that decision is up to them, and the outcome of their decision does not determine my success as a parent. If I am teaching them and modeling to them what abundant life in Christ looks like, then I am living in obedience. I am not, however, responsible for how they respond.)
What is 1 thing in your Amazon cart right now?
Song School Latin - just trying to decide if we want to add Latin to our studies.
When do you start planning for the next year?
Right about this time of year...when we can see the end in sight for the current year, I start thinking about whether or not we will continue with our current curriculum choices.
....and now a quick pop quiz
coffee or tea? coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon
a little bit country or a little bit rock-n-roll? a little bit rock-n-roll
Well-trained mind or unschoolers anonymous? well-trained mind
early bird or night owl? early bird
craft or read aloud? read aloud
lapbook or workbook? workbook
co-op or stay home? stay home
bed made or unmade? bed made
bookmark or dog ear? book mark
sonnet or haiku? sonnet