As any parent can attest, results of child rearing are often difficult to measure and take years to achieve. This may be especially true for the homeschool mom and dad. In many ways, the decision to home educate is a leap of faith and we may feel unsure and inadequate at times. You may not have the ability to look into your child's future and be assured that he will not forever be struggling to memorize multiplication tables or mispronouncing "crayon" or wearing pajamas to work or scarred for life because you messed up her symbiosis lesson but you can see examples set before you of successful, well-adjusted homeschool graduates who made it all the way into adulthood, therapy-free. Our new blog series, Backstory, features homeschool graduates telling it like it was.
We kick off this series with Heather, who unwittingly encouraged me during one of my own seasons of homeschool insecurity. Her charm, wit and the gracious stories of her experience gave me hope that there was a lighter day ahead.
Be encouraged and inspired.
Heather is a homeschool grad transplanted from Michigan and now living in Memphis with her true loves: husband Trevor, son Judah, 20 months, and baby girl Eleanor, 3 months. "I'm a stay-at-home mom and I love it. We plan to homeschool our children when the time comes." You can read Heather's often hilarious and always insightful blog here.
How would you characterize the teaching/learning style of your parent's home?
My mom is pretty even keel in general, so that flowed into her homeschool style for sure. One thing that was awesome was that she was able to explore different curriculum and tailor it a bit for each of us.
What was the most unique part of your homeschool experience?
My mom tried as much as possible to seize opportunities to make things fun. There were days when we may be studying something in history, like Greece for example, and we would take the day and eat Greek food, wear togas, play games etc. That was a blast.
What do you wish had been different in your homeschooling?
I wish that my mom would have given us more tests. She was much more concerned about us actually learning the material and so many of our tests were given orally or were essay based. This left me a bit ill prepared when I entered college and so much of my grade was based on a test system. I ended up earning good grades in my classes, but it was done mostly through all the extras.
How do your peers view you as a former homeschooler?
Most of them take it in stride since many of them have known other homeschoolers, but occasionally you get a comment about how they would have never thought that I had been homeschooled since I’m not socially awkward, which I think is pretty funny.
How did homeschooling shape you into the person you are today?
Oh, it shaped me in so many ways. I believe that I received good teaching academically, but more importantly, there were so many conversations that happened in our family organically because you are living so much life together. I truly knew the ins and outs of how my parents lived life, what and who they valued. They valued us. They sacrificed a LOT to be able to homeschool us, believing that stewarding the blessing of their children was more than just providing physically for us. We didn’t have a lot of extras. We wore thrift shop clothes before it was cool to do so. But they poured their time into us. So many aspects of our faith were incorporated naturally into our teaching. I truly believe this set a foundation for my identity being found in Christ.
Thank you for sharing your Backstory, Heather!