Friday, July 22, 2011

Homeschool Portrait- Laura

Laura is a friend of mine from New York.  I met her on an online forum, and she was the friend who first told me to take a look at Sonlight, which we now use for our "school."   Her character shines through so much to me as she gently proclaims Jesus wherever she is.  She has so much experience from homeschooling when it wasn't so popular, and is still so current as to what is out there now.

She has two kids that she homeschooled all the way through high school.  When her kids were teenagers, she and her husband decided they actually didn't want to be near the end of having kids at home. So now she has a little bitty toddler and a little bitty infant.  Starting all over again, she's headed into this round 2 of parenting and schooling with a bit of wisdom under her belt.


Tell us about your family. How many kids do you have, and what are their ages.
I have 4 children..so far. A daughter, Stephanie, 20. A Son Robert Jr., 19. A daughter , Sarah 2-1/2 and a new son, David 5 weeks old.
 

Are all of your children home educated?
Yes, my older two children were home schooled through high school and both are in college now. My younger two, I'm planning on home schooling, if it's in God's plan for me.
 

Do you or your husband work? What work are you into?

My husband works, he's an Applications Specialist. He works on computers. I am a SAHM who is now a WAHM. I have a small business making cloth diapers, but I'm now expanding that to include diaper making supplies. Specifically laminated minky for diapers.

How much education do you have? If you went to college, what did you major in?

I have some college, although no degree. My major was Accounting. 


Which curriculum, and/or homeschool philosophy do you follow?
I don't follow a certain curriculum, although I like and plan on using My Father's World with my younger two. I guess if I had to describe my style it would be "Charlotte Mason" type.
 

I know it’s a loaded question, so answer as briefly or detailed as you like. Why did you decide to homeschool?

When my older daughter started kindergarten, I saw many things I didn't like. We teach our children from birth and then when they turn 5, we drop them off at school and all of sudden we become idiots? I remember her kindergarten teacher saying, "ok Mommies and Daddies, you'll see them later." in a very condescending voice and I remember thinking, "When did I become an idiot?". I didn't like what was being taught and at that time there were some very controversial subjects being introduced to our district. At that point, I started getting more involved in our local school board. One thing led to another (This is the short version), I ended up running and being elected onto our local school board. As I was on this board, I realized that there was very little power and it was just another political stepping stone for the other people on the board. Once I realized that it was a joke, I resigned and at that point wasn't sure what we were going to do about educating out children. We moved out of the city and upstate and that is when I decided to home school. I really felt the Lord leading me and as scared as I was...I took a chance and I'm so glad I did. I never looked back.

What does a typical school day look like in your home?
This depends on the ages I'm teaching. With my older kids when I taught them, I had them up at a certain time and we started at a certain time. With my younger ones, we've not started any formal education but I am teaching them sign language and as a result my 2-1/2 y/o knows colors, shapes, ABC's , 123's and other preschool lessons. She will be three in August and now what I'm doing is keeping us busy with coloring, arts and crafts, reading to her and we are still learning ASL together. We also work a lot on our character, Bible and learning about and worshiping the Lord.

What do you find is the hardest part about home educating?
I would say the hardest part is staying focused and making them finish projects. I'm terrible about starting a project with them and not finishing it. I love Science projects but if it's something they know or they picked up on quickly.  I'll let the project go.

What do you, personally, do for fun? Do you have any guilty pleasures?

I love sewing...I love buying fabric. Finding time to sew with a new baby is tough, but this is a short season however, anytime I can steal away to my sewing room, it's like heaven on earth for me.

What are some of your favorite resources? (e.g websites, stores, books, programs)

I love all the free preschool sites on the web. All you have to do is "google" Free Preschool curriculum and you'll get tons of great websites with printables and projects. This was not around with my older two children. Even if you don't home school, you can still use these sites to help with your children's weak area's. There's a great wealth on the internet.


Any advice for those just starting out homeschooling?
My advice would be to remember that home schooling isn't "Schooling at home". Focus on Character and enjoying your children. Focus on them enjoying the learning process. If your child loves learning then you'll never have a problem teaching them. One of the biggest problems I see parents having is getting their children to honor them...teach your children respect, obedience and focus on character..the rest is just gravy after that...Oh. And don't worry about your children measuring up with tests. They're going to do great.

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