Our Family's Story
Hi! Thank you so much for visiting Simply Homeschool! Allow me to share a little bit about our family.
We are a family of four plus two dogs and a tankful of fish. My husband and I have been married for 16 years. Our oldest child, Elle, is 7 years old. She reads any mystery she can get her hands on, but especially likes Nancy Drew. She also loves anything American Girl or art related. Our son, Aiden, is 3. He prefers books about bugs and carries a teddy bear named Pizza and his lightsaber just about everywhere we will let him. Maximus, our pug, resembles a footstool more than the gladiator he was named after. He can usually be found within one foot of me (often leading to my tripping over him). Our greyhound, Twinkles, is the sweetest dog ever and spends the majority of her day sleeping and enjoying her retirement from the race track. Our many fish just happily swim all day...I will spare you all of their names:)
So, why did we choose to homeschool? As with most families there were academic, spiritual and emotional factors involved in our decision. A bit ironically, my husband is currently a middle school math teacher and I taught elementary school for almost a decade before we chose the homeschool route for our own two children. I cannot say enough good things about public school teachers. The majority are fantastic and pour themselves into their students. Unfortunately, the extreme focus on testing and the high stakes involved have not produced a learning environment we feel is best for our children. Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." I believe the focus on testing is producing a generation of children with heads full of knowledge rather than encouraging innovators and entrepreneurs.
Academics played quite a large part in our decision to homeschool. We work very hard during our school day, but I strive to make lessons as hands on and fun as possible. I love being able to teach them exactly where they are at. Homeschooling also allows me to really focus on math and science, both of which will be essential to a vast majority of the careers that will emerge over the next decade. It also allow them to have time to explore, to wonder and to daydream. My husband and I want them to have intrinsic motivation in regards to their learning and to develop habits of mind that will result in our children becoming life long learners as well as compassionate, productive and balanced adults.
Our faith is very important to us, but by no means do I feel that Christians should homeschool. Children of good parents who are involved in their lives and invest in their education tend to thrive wherever they are at. Each family has to look at what is best for them...and that can change from year to year! Right now homeschooling is what is best for us as a family. I make sure to teach them 'as we go' whether it is pointing out a beautiful sunset or the miracle of a caterpillar morphing into a butterfly. I try to gently point to God's hand in all things. As I mentioned before we place a strong emphasis on science, but I believe the order of the universe and the amazing science behind it point towards God rather than away from him.
Of course there are emotional reasons we homeschool as well. Most days I quite enjoy my children and I just love being a part of everything. I like the busy buzz of our day. I also know in just a blink of an eye they will be grown and the few hours I would have them if they were in school all day just didn't seem like enough. And while they are involved in lots of activities and spend a great deal of time with friends I feel like homeschooling has allowed us to keep the 'little' in our children just a bit longer.
Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. It is a balancing act and there are days I feel like I am in a three ring circus rather than in my family room. I have found my wonderful friends and online blogs have helped enormously over the past three years as I have attempted to figure all of this out. The first year with a sweet little girl in pigtails and a new baby boy in a Baby Bjorn and now with a lovely young lady in the 2nd grade (who now refuses to wear pigtails) and a curious and spirited preschool boy. My hope is this blog will make your life a little bit easier and encourage you to keep going on those days when your lessons are a flop, dinner burns and your house could be declared a national disaster area! Most of all I hope it inspires you to settle for nothing less than a homeschooling adventure that is full of joy and laughter.