Whether this is your first year or your tenth year, homeschooling is an ever-evolving thing. Yes you’ll find your style and your routines, but as your kids grow… so will you! If you know us, you know we like to support homeschooling families with practical tips and tools and curricula. However, there is nothing like seeing authentic homeschooling in action. We know modeling learning for our children is important, and sometimes we as adults need the same! We crave honest inspiration and guidance from others.
So, we have reached out to a few families we know to get a peek into their homeschooling world! We are so excited to introduce you to these lovely families – each unique in their approach to homeschooling and open to sharing. Next up is the Glaros Family! Can’t wait for you all to get to know them!
How old are your kids? 9, 7, 6
Why did you originally decide to homeschool? We experienced public school with our older boys (my bonus sons) it was a daily struggle. Frustrations with homework, not understanding teaching methods, being labeled hyper, hating school, bad attitudes towards learning. There were so many things that didn’t align with what we wanted for our children mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. However we didn’t have the control to change that environment for them. When we had our oldest daughter it became very clear that we wanted more for her. We wanted her to enjoy everything that this beautiful life has to offer. We wanted to slow things down and create a love of learning! I love what author Gretchen Rubin said, “the days are long but the years are short.” Children should be aloud to play for hours and hours using their imaginations to the fullest. To have the freedom to climb trees, play in the mud, explore nature and all the beautiful things God created for us to discover and explore. Having God be in every aspect of her learning was very important to us. Homeschooling would give us all of the freedom we would need as a family to complete all of those goals.
What would you say is your homeschool style? I would say are homeschooling style is a combination of many styles, so definitely an eclectic homeschooler.
What is a typical school day like at your home? Gentle mornings of Mommy hopefully waking up before kiddos, to get my coffee and devotion time in. Kids waking up getting breakfast and meeting me at the dining room table for our pledge of Allegiance and prayer. Then we move onto our Morning Menus which consist of an Affirmation, Scripture Versus, Hymn, Poem, Folk Song, Sonnet, and calendar time. Then we read our Bible story and a chapter from whatever chapter book we are currently reading, while the kids paint, color, draw or play with Playdoh. The kids take out their journals next and copy a verse or habit down as we talk about it. Next we will get our nature journals and go outside to explore, and climb trees (and yes sometimes I climb with them) while they draw pictures of what they see around them. We will have a snack either before, during or after outside time depending on the day. After that we will work on our lesson from our curriculum that goes along with the chapter book we are currently reading. Just depending on the lesson or how the day is going we might have a handicraft, a recipe to cook or a project we are working on. The kids then will go to their computers or tablets to work on their Reading Eggs, and Mathseeds programs. The rest of the day is for whatever playing, swimming, Playdoh, games, chores, lunch etc.
What is the hardest thing about homeschooling? I would have to say the hardest part is dealing with attitudes, especially ones that trigger chaos among siblings. Sometimes the kids wake up in a bad mood, or get frustrated with themselves or their siblings, or Mommy is just having an off day. Those days are hard and often times our routine will then get thrown out the window and the day becomes something totally different. The other thing that is difficult sometimes is not having a break, I can’t say on those bad days I need a break and just leave.
What is the most rewarding part about homeschooling? I would have to say the most rewarding part is a few things, it’s the smile on your kids face when they succeed at something they thought they needed help doing. It’s the quality time, adventures and memories we get to make with one another. It’s watching your kids explore the things that interest them and then get so excited about what they just learned that they want to tell everyone all about it.
Tell a story about a homeschool win to inspire. Last summer I was beyond stressing about what curriculum or direction we would take for the new school year. There is so much out there, which is amazing but also very overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start, but knew I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money. Something I have discovered over these years of Homeschooling is that I love researching and reading, which I never liked to do when I was in school especially reading. I remembered seeing posts in my homeschool groups about a book called The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart and knew that’s where I needed to start. The 3rd chapter titled Magic Doors was exactly what I needed, it talked about taking your kids interest, which at the time was Little House on the Prairie, and opening that door to discover all the things we can learn based of that one thing. She talks about making a Continent of Learning, which helps you see your child’s learning differently. It helps you make connections between what your child is happily doing, and how that can relate to traditional school subjects. Hello light bulb, that’s exactly what I needed a visual layout of my children’s interest. That lead me to more researching and reading, and ultimately discovering The Playful Pioneers. A curriculum all built around Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. When I told my kids what I had found and all the things we would be doing, they asked if we could start their school tomorrow! That made me so happy and was so worth all of the time I spent finding what we needed. It was truly a blessing for us and our homeschool journey and we have all learned so much, even their Daddy.
Tell a story about a homeschool fail to encourage. When I first started this journey of homeschooling, I thought I needed a fancy designated homeschool room that I saw on Pinterest and needed all of the things. I bought the Ikea Shelves, had a desk set up for my oldest, had posters and preschool curriculum, and the expensive reading curriculum. I thought okay I have everything to be successful and this is going to be great! Wrong, nothing ever seemed to work the kids didn’t want to stay in the school room, the reading curriculum was boring and even I had trouble with teaching it. The Preschool curriculum was okay at first but the kids liked playing more than checking off all of the boxes for that days lesson. I was trying so hard to stick to a schedule and teach my oldest while I had a toddler and a baby running around. I was exhausted and frustrated and really didn’t know anyone that I could connect with that homeschooled too. It was just plain hard and very defeating. I thought why isn’t this working, I expected everything to just fall into place. I had family questioning if I was doing the right thing for my oldest and I was really at a breaking point. As time went on I found books, blogs lots of praying and eventually a homeschool community. That’s when these things started to fall into place. I kept going and followed my gut and what my heart yearned for, for my family. I surrounded myself with people who encouraged me and helped me. I researched and starting paying more individual attention to each kids needs. Found out that tight schedules don’t work for me or for my kids. I grew in my confidence and keep growing and learning everyday. We no longer have a designated homeschool room, it is now a part of our whole house and life it isn’t a separate thing we do in one place it’s in every aspect of our lives. Everyday isn’t a perfect Instagram post, it’s real life with lots of feelings, obstacles and road blocks, but it’s beautiful in every way good or bad.
If Target and Amazon both went out of business (God forbid) and you could only fill one little basket for the homeschool year, what would you put in it and why? I will fill that basket with a Bible, Morning Menus, markers, paper, pencils, weaving loom and our Little House on the Prairie books.
Favorite curriculums? The Playful Pioneers by The Peaceful Press – Math Lessons for a Living Education – God’s Little Explorers – Reading Eggs/Mathseeds – Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool – Gather Round Homeschool – More Than Words by Rebecca Spooner.
What do you hope your children remember when they think back on their homeschool experience? I hope they remember the adventures we went on, and the things we got to explore together. I hope they see that it was the best decision we could of made for them and was worth the sacrifices along the way.
How has homeschooling changed/shaped you and your home for good? Homeschooling has aloud us to explore more out in the world as a family. It has let me cultivate a love for reading, researching and learning for myself. It has created opportunities for me and my kids to step outside our comfort zones and have experiences we would of never had before. We have met wonderful friends, and built great relationships that we would of never otherwise had.
If you could say anything to a new Homeschool mom or a veteran homeschool mom who might be “tired”- what would it be? Oh so many things, and so many of them I have to remind myself of daily. That you don’t have to do all the things! If everyone is having melt downs and your at your wits end, that it’s okay to start again tomorrow. To give yourself grace and surround your self with people that encourage you and lift you up. To recharge and take time for yourself alone and with your friends.
Fill in the blank: Homeschool, for us, looks like…
Freedom, beautiful chaos, loving, discovering, traveling, memory making, blessing, growth and encouraging.
Which nugget of wisdom did you gain from this interview? Comment below!!