This weeks interview is with Lori Tullis, a mama of one who was NEVER going to homeschool!
How many children are you currently homeschooling? How long have you been homeschooling?
I have an only child who is 16 years of age. I’m a little shocked when I think about how long we have been on this journey because we started our 12th year last month. It seems like yesterday we were sitting at the table with Abeka Basic Phonics Readers sounding out letters.
Have your children always been homeschooled? Why did you decide to homeschool?
My son attended preschool where I taught school. We started kindergarten at home and while we were in the process of moving across country, he attended first grade for several months. I filled in at the school where I taught previously for a month at the beginning of his 5th grade so he attended school for that month. Other than those few months, he has been taught at home.
I was NEVER going to homeschool! After being pulled from high school my junior year in the 80’s to be homeschooled, I was determined to never touch the homeschool road again. After seeing the effects of children fall through the cracks, teachers not doing their job and administrators pushing children through the system, we began praying about this journey. All the years of seeing the “behind” the scenes in the school I knew I could do better; I wanted better for my son.
How would you describe your style of homeschooling?
School at home/eclectic. Over the years I’ve become more eclectic. Traditional teaching and learning was nice in the beginning, but the world of home school curriculum opened up with a force. I knew at the beginning I would be working towards having an independent learner so we worked towards independence.
What does a typical day in your homeschool look like?
In the early days, I had a set routine we worked with because I liked knowing what was going on every minute of the school hours. Now that we are on the downhill side of our journey, our days are not as typical as in the past. If my husband has to work at night during the winter, we do our school while he is away.
We work on chores before starting study time which usually starts at 9-9:30 and lasts about 5-6 hours a day. We begin every morning with prayer and Bible reading and Bible study and then my son works on the subjects in the order he chooses. Once school is over, there’s free time before working on outside chores. Within the last few years, my son has worked to clear snow for some of our elderly neighbors and he was pulled from school work to help one of ranchers during a snow storm.
What kinds of tools or curriculum do you use to homeschool?
We use a lot of different curricula. Teaching Textbooks for math is my son’s favorite because he doesn’t have to rely on me to teach it. 🙂 Over the years we have used Abeka, Postive Action for Christ, Spelling Power, Teaching Textbooks, and All American History to name a few.
Do you have a motto, quote, or scripture for your homeschool? Why did you choose that one?
We have three Bible verses that we use for our school.
Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
The Lord led our family on this journey and He has been with us from the very beginning. He knows the ins and outs of our days before we even begin them. I can trust Him to be there through it all.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
We can only do this with the help of Christ.
Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
We are not promised tomorrow and because of that we need to focus on things of the Lord.
Is your spouse or other family members involved in your homeschooling?
I am the sole teacher and if he needs to be, my husband is the principal. He loves that position and tells everyone is the principal of a school! He does help with math and science when needed. He puts his official stamp of approval on field trips and enjoys being the school chauffeur.
What is your favorite part of homeschooling? What is your least favorite part?
Watching my son learn and knowing he is being grounded in his faith. Allowing him to learn according to his interest for his future education and work field. The hardest part is watching your child struggle with a concept even after you’ve done everything you can to explain it. But the day when the light bulb comes on, that sadness quickly ends.
What is the best piece of advice you were given about homeschooling? What advice would you give to someone who is considering homeschooling?
I was told to think outside the box. Being a former classroom teacher, it was hard for me in the beginning to get out of the mindset I had created for myself as a teacher. I eventually stepped outside the box and it wasn’t so bad.
The advice I always give is Pray, pray, and pray some more. Do your research on laws and follow them. We’ve had thousands of people across this nation to fight for this liberty and when you don’t follow the laws, you put all of our liberty in jeopardy. Find a local mentor who can answer your questions and help encourage you. Be flexible, because you will experience bumps in your day that will throw things off. This journey is about your child, do what is best for them.
Finish this sentence: Homeschooling is… worth it!
The rewards we have and will have from this journey outweighs the sacrifices we’ve made over the years.