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Q&A with Leah, from As We Walk Along the Road

 

What style of homeschooling does your family follow?

We are definitely eclectic homeschoolers. We primarily use a Charlotte Mason, literature-based homeschool. But I also like to choose materials that fit for each child. So we aren’t all doing the same thing. The way our homeschooling has usually worked is that in eighth grade and under, we tend to do the majority of subjects together. I do a good bit of reading aloud in different subject areas. As the kids get older, they take on more independent work in subjects such as math and language arts. By the time they hit high school, I turn over the responsibility for all school to the students. I’m there as a helper, tutor, coordinator and record keeper. My high school students have both taken a few classes online or through our local high school co-op. We’ve also been a part of a more fun and social homeschool co-op for the whole family.

What state do you homeschool in, and what are the laws like there for homeschoolers? How does this affect the way you homeschool (if at all)?

We homeschool in South Carolina which is a very homeschool friendly state. In South Carolina we have three options for homeschooling- through the school district, through our state legal homeschool group, or through a small third-option homeschool group. We homeschool through a third-option group because that is the option with least control from outside. We are required to submit our general curriculum for math, language arts, history, and science each year. We’re required to keep a record of progress. We’re required to have a high school diploma on file. And we’re required to have 180 days of school. That’s it. We have no standardized tests requirements. We don’t have to give grades (just a record of progress). It’s pretty flexible. I definitely think that being in a homeschool friendly state has encouraged us to homeschool long term.

Why did your family begin homeschooling?

My husband and I knew that we wanted to homeschool from the beginning. I had friends from high school that ended up homeschooling. And my husband’s younger brother had been homeschooled through middle and high school. At first homeschooling was going to be short term- until all the kids were school aged. But we saw the benefits and blessings of homeschooling, and we kept in it.

What do you wish you knew when you first began homeschooling?

I was a teacher before I had kids and began to homeschool. People often think this is a good thing. “Ahh, you could homeschool because you were a teacher.” But…no. That was actually more of a roadblock to good homeschooling. I went into this homeschooling thing thinking that I needed to do school at home. I tried to have a structured curriculum, make the kids sit at desks, and even start the day with pledges and songs (like we’d done in school). This DID NOT work. Once I loosened up and started using more flexible and child-friendly curricula, things were much much better. And I wish I had done that earlier.

What are the hardest and easiest, parts of homeschooling?

Sometimes it’s difficult being everybody- mom, teacher, cook, housekeeper. I just want to turn off and have everybody go away. I’m an introvert too, which makes it even more difficult to be with my kids 24 hours a day, every day. On the other hand, I love, love, love that I have so much time with my kids. I love that I’ve been here to see all that they’re learning and to have awesome conversations with them.

leahI started blogging because reading blogs and finding resources online was invaluable to me as a new homeschooling mom.  I know what it’s like to be knee deep in lessons with your six-year old while the toddler runs wild and the baby is screaming because she’s hungry.” {Read more here}

To visit As We Walk along the Road, follow this link!

And to see interviews with other homeschooling mamas, click here!

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