Welcome to the 8th Interview with a Homeschool Mom!
I would like to introduce Christina Schul from There’s Just One Mommy. Christina and her two children are just finishing up their second year of homeschooling.
How many children are you currently homeschooling? How long have you been homeschooling?
I have an 8 year-old daughter and a 7 year-old son, and I homeschool both of them. We are wrapping up our second year of homeschooling this
Have your children always been homeschooled? Why did you decide to homeschool?
My daughter went to public school for kindergarten. There are so many reasons I feel blessed to be able to homeschool; it’s hard to narrow it
down to just one reason. Before our daughter started school I briefly mentioned that I wouldn’t hesitate to homeschool if there was a
situation where she was being bullied or I felt school was unsafe. My husband was very against the idea, saying there would have to be another
option that would work. Nothing more was said about the topic until she started coming home from school upset because her card was moved to the
yellow or red spot again. There were tears during the hour of homework she seemed to have each night, and she hated school. It was hard to see
that excitement she originally had for learning being sucked out of her. I remember when he asked me if I was still interested in
homeschooling. I wasn’t sure he was serious, but I started gathering information and planning right away. Homeschooling has also been a huge
blessing for our son. With his sensory and anxiety issues I would have considered holding him back another year. Homeschooling allows him to
learn in a setting he feels comfortable.
How would you describe your style of homeschooling?
Relaxed. If the day isn’t going well, I don’t push it. There are days when the kids are grumpy and regular lessons aren’t going smoothly.
Those days we’ll switch gears and I will snuggle them on the couch and read instead, or we’ll pack lunch and have a picnic and impromptu nature
study at the pond. One reason I love homeschooling is the freedom we have. School doesn’t have to be just Monday-Friday. We’ve done math
during the weekend, and lessons while traveling.
What does a typical day in your homeschool look like?
After breakfast the kids have time to play while I get a bit of work done around the house. We usually try to start our school day between
10 and 10:30. We break for lunch. Some days the kids continue lessons with computer time. Other days we head outside for a trip to the pond
or to help my father-in-law with the garden. They also have a church school program and homeschool gymnastics they go to one day a week.
What kinds of tools or curriculum do you use to homeschool?
This year we have been using All About Reading. My son loves the hands-on activities it includes. The rest of our curriculum I have
pieced together from the wonderful curriculum selection at our library and materials I’ve found online. I also like coming up with activities
that get them up and moving, like using Nerf guns to practice math facts.
While I like the freedom (and the price) of creating much of our own curriculum, I am leaning towards purchasing the U.S. Edition of Singapore Math for next year. I think as the kids get older I am going to need that extra bit of structure to ensure we are covering all the different areas in
Do you have a motto, quote, or scripture for your homeschool? Why did you choose that one?
When we started homeschooling I typed up a short list of rules, things like “try your best” and “respect the classroom materials.” On the
bottom of the list I wrote: Love. Laugh. Learn. I included it because as a family we love one another. I want the kids to have fun learning
and to laugh. And, of course I want them to learn.
Is your spouse or other family members involved in your homeschooling?
I would love my husband to become more involved in our homeschooling. The kids are always excited to tell him what we have been doing at
school, and we have actually had a “parent-teacher conference” a few times, mostly as a way for me to really look at what the kids have
learned and what we need to cover still.
What is your favorite part of homeschooling? What is your least favorite part?
That is a tough one! There are just so many reasons I love homeschooling. If I had to sum it up in one word I would say “freedom.”
We have the freedom to go out of town and can take school with us. We have the freedom to skip school on Monday if we need to and the ability
to have school on Saturday just because the kids are asking if we can. They have the freedom to learn in the ways that work best for them,
even if it means my daughter is hanging upside down off the couch while free reading, and my son is driving trucks over sight words. They have
the freedom to learn at the level they are, not the grade they are in. They have the freedom to be themselves and not feel like they have to
fit some mold. And throughout it all I get to see them growing, smiling, and being excited to learn.
Honestly, I don’t have a least favorite part. I like trying to find creative ways to teach them something new. I love being with them each
day. Even on our very hardest days I wouldn’t change our decision to homeschool for the world.
What is the best piece of advice you were given about homeschooling? What advice would you give to someone who is considering homeschooling?
I don’t think I’ve ever really been given advice about homeschooling. I actually waited until the school year started before telling people we
were going to homeschool because I didn’t want to hear the advice. (I was pretty sure a few family members would think we were crazy.)
If you are thinking about homeschooling, I would say make sure you give yourself plenty of grace that first year. You are probably doing a much
better job than you will give yourself credit for. There will be days where you question why you thought you could do this. Days where you
feel you aren’t doing enough writing, or enough math, or you really should start science. Remember on those days that your children are
learning every day. Even if you didn’t get to teaching fractions, they probably have learned many more things that they wouldn’t have learned
in public school.
Finish this sentence: Homeschooling is…..
Homeschooling is one of the best decisions we have ever made.
Christina blogs at There’s Just One Mommy, where she shares her homeschooling adventures through crafts and learning activities you can easily do at home. Be sure to subscribe to her newsletter for more hands-on learning activities the kids will love. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.