Welcome to the second of my series in which we meet real-life homeschoolers who give us a glimpse into their families and school lives. I’ve had this series on my heart for a while, and the more I find myself telling people that we’ve started homeschooling, that I’m not a super-patient person, and that I’m not at all phased by socialisation, the more I want to show what homeschooling really looks like.
Today, we meet Irina who blogs at Homegrown Adventures and homeschools her four children.
1. Tell us a bit about your family.
There is six of us in the house. I feel sorry for my neighbors because our house tends to be loud. I am married to a wonderful man (known as …The Man Of The House) who loves to spend time with us and take us on many adventures. I have four children who I adore and who make my life so colorful. I am so thankful to be a stay at home mommy.
2. Who does the majority of the teaching?
My husband and I both do the teaching. I teach our children English, math, and science. My husband teaches history and geography. I do more of the academic teaching and my husband teaches more of the life skills. He does the fun part. 🙂
3. How long have you been homeschooling?
I have been homeschooling for 8 years. My son is in 7th grade right now.
4. What led you to choose homeschooling?
I chose homeschooling because I could not think of being apart from my children. My son was growing up so fast and I did not want to spend hours away from him. I enjoyed being with him and did not want to miss any part of his life. I am so blessed to have a supportive husband who let me decide what kind of schooling our children would have.
5. What is your homeschooling approach? (Unschooling, eclectic, etc.)
I call it relaxed homeschooling. 🙂 I do a combination of unschooling and homeschooling. I think the best kind of learning happens when a person wants to learn something themselves. However, English and math have to be practiced on a daily basis even if my children do not like doing these subjects.
6. What does a typical school day look like for you?
We start our schooling with a bible verse. I then work with my older two (7th and 5th graders) on an English lesson. While I am working with them I give my younger two (preschooler and 1st grader) worksheets that they can work on their own. Then when my older two are working on their spelling words and essays, I have my 1st grader write, read, and do math. Once my older two are done with English work, I have them work on their math. Science, history, geography, Russian, Bible lessons, and cursive happen throughout the week.
7. What response did you get from friends/family when sharing your decision to homeschool?
My family was not supportive at first. I do not blame them. After all they had no idea what homeschooling looked like and they knew no one that homeschooled so it seemed very foreign to them. Now my family is very supportive of my decision to homeschool because they see that my children are actually learning.
8. What has been most surprising and/or rewarding about homeschooling?
That I actually taught them something. I love watching them succeed. My children actually correct me when I teach a lesson wrong. I love that my children are smarter than I am. Peter can write a poem in 10 minutes. It takes me 30 minutes and mine still does not sound good. Esther can do math in her head. I have to write out every step on paper. Elizabeth has such a great memory and can memorize her bible verse after hearing it a couple of times. I have to read a bible verse many times throughout the day until I actually have it memorized.
9. What has been most challenging?
I was not a confident homeschool mom for the first few years. I thought I was not teaching them enough. I was very hard on myself. There just came a point where I realized that my children will be alright. I realized that if by the end of their schooling my children left as confident students then I did my job well.
10. What advice would you give to parents considering or just beginning their homeschooling journey?
Give homeschooling a try. If it does not work for your family you could always put them back in school. If your child is in preschool, teach him or her at home for that year. If you like homeschooling keep doing it. Be excited about learning and your child will want to learn as well. You do not have to know it all to homeschool. You just have to love to learn and to be with your children. Homeschooling is so rewarding. It is the best decision I have made.
Thank you, Irina, for giving us a glimpse into your homeschool life.
Find Irina online in these places:
Homegrown Adventures – blog
If you would like to be featured in this series, please contact me by leaving a comment or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.