Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! I am excited to share with you the second Interview with a Homeschool Mom!
I would like to introduce you to Deana Hipwell from The Frugal Homeschooling Mom. Deana is a former public school teacher who knew that homeschooling was the way that she would educate her children.
1. How many children are you currently homeschooling? How long have you been homeschooling?
I’ve been homeschooling since my oldest was two. Laynie is 9 now (4th grade), and I have two other preschoolers at home now as well. Lily is 4, and Liam is 2.
2. Have your children always been homeschooled? Why did you decide to homeschool?
Not one of my children has ever stepped foot into a childcare or institutionalized setting. Even when Laynie was an infant, and I was still working, we had our neighbor babysit her during the day. I knew a large group setting wasn’t what I desired for my child from the very beginning. I have been a preschool teacher, an elementary school teacher, and a middle school teacher in the past. I knew from the moment my first child was born that I couldn’t put her into the types of settings in which I worked, and ironically, I worked in some of the “best” preschools and public schools in the area! Still, I had seen too much. Just too much.
3. How would you describe your style of homeschooling?
Eclectic. We are a mixture of traditional, Classical, Charlotte Mason, and even unschooling at times. When people ask me this question, I never truly know what to say. Currently, we’re traditional, but next week, I’m changing things up again to suit my children’s needs. We can’t easily be defined, honestly.
4. What does a typical day in your homeschool look like?
Currently, my 4th grader follows our own “Work Ticket” homeschool planning system, which has worked extremely well for her for the past two years. It gives her a lot of control over when and how she completes her tasks. I give her tasks to complete that must be finished by week’s end. She likes to tackle the “worst tasks” first, and saves her favorite subjects for Thursday and Friday. Most weeks, she tries her best to complete all or most assignments by Thursday so she can “take Friday off.” It’s motivating for her and freeing for me. We love it.
5. What kinds of tools or curriculum do you use to homeschool?
I purchase new or used A Beka, Horizons, and other consumable workbooks and texts, printables and online learning curriculum from various sites and resources (if you follow my website, you’ll see the variety of resources I recommend, it’s really unlimited). I founded a resource for homeschoolers on a limited budget called Homeschool Curriculum Free for Shipping where I’ve even been the recipient of some generous donors for my A Beka and Horizons materials. The “meat and bones” of our curriculum is through A Beka and Horizons publishers, in good used condition. I use my own homeschool planning calendar for A Beka K4 and my homeschool monthly planner. I also use many of these free homeschool printables to supplement and make things fun (which I enjoy sharing with others too, obviously).
6. Do you have a motto, quote, or scripture for your homeschool? Why did you choose that one?
“Lux et Veritas” is our school motto. We study every subject within the light of a Biblical worldview. We enjoy being able to train our children with the truth of God’s Word and belief in Jesus Christ as a framework for everything we do.
7. Is your spouse or other family members involved in your homeschooling?
My husband serves as the head of our homeschool although I do most of the teaching. He serves as substitute teacher occasionally!
8. What is your favorite part of homeschooling? What is your least favorite part?
I am one of those moms who really enjoys being at home. I am content and happy not working outside the home. I really love being with my children all day. However, I’m certainly not saying that we don’t have difficult days or that I’ve never wanted to quit! My favorite part of homeschooling is seeing them all day long, every single day. However, that’s also my least favorite part – it is very draining and I often need to escape for a while, to be alone or have some grown-up social time, to gain a bit of sanity!
9. What is the best piece of advice you were given about homeschooling? What advice would you give to someone who is considering homeschooling?
It’s a piece of advice I didn’t listen to when I first began homeschooling Laynie. I thought at age two I should be doing structured learning time every day with her. A friend told me “just wait – let her play!” Turns out, that advice was true and doing “school” with Laynie at age two didn’t help one bit! With my two younger children, I relaxed a bit and didn’t even start any “schoolwork” with Lily, my second child, until just this year, at age 4. Still, she learned her letters, numbers, colors, etc… on her own, much earlier, without any real prompting or planning from me! So much better for both of us!
10. Finish this sentence: Homeschooling is…..
what I was meant to do. I grew up in public school, and as a smart student was encouraged to pursue a career, working outside the home. Never was I taught to even consider being a stay at home wife and mommy to be a respectable goal, and I wasted so much time trying to figure out my identity in career goals. So I reluctantly picked a college major and paid way too much for a private college education, because that’s what I thought I was “supposed” to do. But it turns out, my heart wasn’t into it, and I learned that being a wife and mommy is truly my calling. I encourage parents to listen to their little girls’ desires, and help them achieve their goals or dreams, not discounting their dreams of being a wife and mommy. Encourage them to go to school and have a career to fall back on, but also teach them that being a wife and mommy is a wonderful thing to aspire to be, and a rewarding ambition for those who are called to it.