Welcome to the next installment 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 mom of four, Cristina, from A Homeschool Mom.
1. Tell us a bit about your family.
We are a homeschooling family in Southern California. We have four children, ranging from fourteen to eight years old. We have been homeschooling for eleven years, and plan to homeschool through high school. Our family loves learning together and venturing into the great outdoors for any adventure which comes our way.
2. Who does the majority of the teaching?
Mom does the majority of the teaching, but Pop loves to lend a hand. He teaches apologetics, art, and computer technologies. He will also lend a hand with history, if available. Grandparents have also been known to assist, from time-to-time; this always adds a great deal to our studies.
3. How long have you been homeschooling?
We’ve been homeschooling a little over eleven years. We started when our kiddos were quite little, knowing our oldest was more than ready to start. We began with the basics: reading, writing, and arithmetic. It was a great decision. By five she was reading like a champ and loving it!
4. What led you to choose homeschooling?
My husband and I knew we wanted to homeschool before we were married. If I was going to be home, why not homeschool as well? My husband wanted the children to be learning with a foundation based on Christ. Homeschooling was the only option for either of us. Homeschooling is as much about building our family unit and developing relationships, as it is about learning.
5. What is your homeschooling approach? (Unschooling, eclectic, etc.)
Our homeschooling routine is very eclectic. We do not prescribe to any particular method of learning, but prefer to explore all options that best meet our children’s needs and encourage a love of learning. Some of our learning is done through literature, other subjects in workbooks. We enjoy hands-on learning, as well as exploring in the field. Whatever helps our children increase in wisdom and pursue the Lord wholeheartedly is welcome.
6. What does a typical school day look like for you?
Our routine is a well-oiled machine. We constantly tweak it and tune it to fit our needs, but have settled on a fairly standard schedule. Our days start with our morning basket, filled with wonderful reads and Biblical wisdom. Then, we move into our individual workbook time with language arts and arithmetic. After a quick break, we launch into group history and science. (Right now, our family is studying Biology and Ancient History.) After lunch, we have family chore time; with a given assignment for each day of the week. Throughout the remainder of the day, our children are free to work on their electives in their own time (music, foreign language, civics, and computer technologies). Our day typically starts around 9a.m. and finishes around 1p.m., not including the children’s electives which are done at their discretion.
7. What response did you get from friends/family when sharing your decision to homeschool?
Initially our family was a little apprehensive regarding our decision to homeschool. But, as we started before school was required, they quickly saw how our oldest was progressing and was much advanced over other children her own age. They also saw her love of learning and the respect she held for her elders. By the time school was an option, they recognized there was no need for worry. Now, they applaud our efforts and look for ways to be involved in their learning.
8. What has been most surprising and/or rewarding about homeschooling?
It always surprises me how much l learn while homeschooling my children. At times it feels as if I am receiving as much of an education as they are. This does not hinder me from teaching, but, rather, encourages all of us to keep learning no matter our age. Some areas I very clearly am doing the teaching, but in others (mainly the sciences and history) we are learning together. Education, homeschooling, has become a family endeavor. This is not something we push on our children, but something we do together; growing, maturing, and increasing in wisdom as a family.
9. What has been most challenging?
The biggest challenge in homeschooling is always attitude. Not necessarily attitude about homeschooling, but character training in general. We are constantly battling for our children’s hearts, but it is a battle well fought. We train for obedience, kindness, respect, courtesy, patience, gentleness, love, and more. When character is aligned with God’s righteousness, all else falls into place.
10. What advice would you give to parents considering or just beginning their homeschooling journey?
Pray. It’s as simple as that. If God is for you, nothing can stand against; not even your own limitations. When God leads, you cannot fail. Pray to have Him show you if this is His will, for you to homeschool. Pray for wisdom in which curriculum to choose. Pray about being involved in a homeschool support group. Pray about how to teach your children. Pray about what He wants of your homeschooling experience. Pray about your children’s attitudes. Pray. Pray constantly. Pray consistently. Pray continuously.
Thank you, Cristina, for giving us a glimpse into your homeschool life.
Find Cristina online in these places:
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.
This post was shared at Hearts For Home Blog Hop.