Interview with a Homeschool Mom ~ Rachel Woodruff

Welcome to another great Interview with a Homeschool Mom!

Rachel Woodruff is a homeschool mama of 3 children, who has been homeschooling for 5 years now. Rachel was a homeschool student too!

Interview with a Homeschool Mom

How many children are you currently homeschool? How long have you been homeschooling?

I am the proud mom of three beautiful children, a nine-year-old, four years old and three years old. This
will be my first year homeschooling all three of my children. My oldest is getting ready to start third
grade, and we have homeschooled since pre-school, so we have essentially been doing this for five
years.
Have your children always been home-schooled? Why did you decide to homeschool?

We have always homeschooled. We decided to homeschool our children because I homeschooled from
Kindergarten until I went to college at sixteen. I grew up loving education, loving learning, and I want my
children to have that same love. Also, I have an incredibly close relationship with my parents and my
siblings, one that I do not believe would be possible if it weren’t for schooling at home. I want my
children to have that kind of close relationship with each other and with my husband and I.
How would you describe your style of homeschooling?

We are very relaxed in our homeschooling. We homeschool year round, going eight weeks on one week
off, with longer breaks during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ninety percent of education is hands-on
which means a lot of field trips.
What does a typical day in your homeschool look like?

Very busy. We try to start out with some reading. Usually, I read on the couch to the kids. It is fun, and
informal way for us to cuddle and get started. Once story time is over, the babies go upstairs to play,
and my son and I tackle the book work portion of the day. We eat lunch together as a family and if my
oldest still has book work left to do we work on it after lunch. If he is done, the kids get an extended
recess when they go outside and play.
What kind of tools or curriculum do you use to homeschool?

For preschool, through first grade, we found that printable homeschool curriculum off of sites like
Education.com. While there are a lot of printable websites, we found that the printables from
education.com were some of the best for our family. For second grade we used some outside
curriculum namely Rod and Staff for our math and printables off of education sites. While I am a blogger
and my husband is a computer techie we have up until this point avoided allowing our children access to
computers, we believe that they will thrive better if they learn fundamental basics first. Since our oldest
is getting ready to start third grade this year, we are going to start incorporating more computers into
our learning.
Do you have a motto, quote, or scripture for your homeschool? Why did you pick it?

Our homeschool scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”, it is through prayer we can
communicate with God, it is through the Bible he communicates with him. We pray daily, but we are
teaching our children that it is far more important to thank God than to ask for things, so our prayers
center around how we can say thank you for our day, things that we have, even thanks for our struggles.
Prayer is not about asking God to do for us or help us but rather our way of expressing our love for him.
Is your spouse or other family members involved in your homeschooling?

My husband helps with our classes. Because I work outside the home, there are times when my husband
picks up the brunt of the schooling, especially if my job hours interfere with our regular homeschooling
hours. However more importantly I have a support system set up, my Mom, who homeschooled my two
older siblings and me is an excellent person to turn to for advice and support. I have the support of my
in-laws, and of course my brothers and sisters. Sometimes being involved just means being a listening
post and offering up advice and moral support when things are tough.
What is your favorite part of homeschooling? What is your least favorite part?

Wow, this is a tough one, my favorite part of homeschooling is spending time with the kids. Better than
spending time with my children though is that sparkle they get in their eyes when something clicks. The
least favorite part is the hard days. When the kids don’t want to listen, when they don’t want to
cooperate, and we just cannot seem to find our groove. When my son doesn’t want to do school work,
or when it seems like no matter how hard he tries he just cannot understand a concept. Those are the
things that I dislike the most.
Finish this sentence: Homeschooling is….

A growing experience. Through homeschooling families grow, we learn, we develop into stronger family
units. Homeschooling is an opening into the world of lifelong learning. Homeschooling isn’t just about
getting and education but developing a love for learning that lasts forever.
Advice you would give to someone who is considering homeschooling?

Do your research, know what you are getting into, homeschooling is wonderful, but like anything else
children need stability and consistency. If you cannot give them that, then homeschooling probably isn’t
for you. I don’t want to sound like I am discouraging anyone from homeschooling. I am a big proponent
of encouraging everyone to homeschool. However, realistically speaking it is not good for children to go
through a yo-yo, some parents attempt to homeschool then decide it is not for them, so they admit
their children to public school after trying that for awhile they decide to homeschool again, and so they
withdraw the child from public school only to decide once again to readmit them to public school. Thus
the yo-yo effect, which is bad. The best advice I can give anyone considering homeschooling is once you
decide to do it you need to stick with it no matter what, it is going to be difficult, but it is going to be
worth it.
In closing:
All of these questions are great. They are questions that homeschool moms get asked every day.What is so fabulous about this virtual interview is that other moms were included, and it will give individuals who are considering homeschooling greater insight.

Rachel Lynn Woodruff never thought she would find paradise on Earth, but has settled for the closest thing, the rolling hills of the Missouri Ozarks is where she calls home. Though she has lived everywhere from Kansas to Florida, Colorado to Georgia, Indiana to Wyoming, Missouri to Mississippi, hopscotching around the country, she always thought of herself as a traveler. Rachel, lived in twelve different states before she was twelve and still managed to always attend the same school. Seeing the world through the window of a school bus is one way to grow up fast, Rachel lived two weeks in one spot and five years in another, her parents’ nomads had the desire to keep moving, and used home education to make sure Rachel and her two older siblings always got a good education. Growing up in a time before homeschooling became popular she was asked more about socialization than what her name was, and mostly by her closest friends. Books became her passion, and stories about the places she traveled filled notebooks growing up. She enjoys characters who aren’t afraid of change, who embrace challenges and find growth in the inevitable what if’s of life. While her stories are mostly about people falling in love and overcoming obstacles, she hopes that her writing will inspire others. Follow Rachel on Facebook, Twitter, and on her blog “Coffee and Common Sense.

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