Hi, my name is Christina and I’m happy to have the chance to share with you a bit about my homeschooling experience in celebration of American Education Week!
How We Decided to Homeschool
I grew up homeschooled by a certified teacher, my mom. My dad was an entrepreneur and our family was in small business since I was 5, so I had what I feel was a very well-rounded childhood, answering the phone and taking messages in my best business voice, working my first real job – at my parents’ convenience store – from age 13, and even living in China for part of my teenage years.
My husband, the son of a pastor, was also used to his parents both being around more than average, so we wanted to both be able to work at home and give our kids a childhood similar to how we were raised.
David grew up in Costa Rica and went to a private school, but he feels like my school years went better than his did, over all, so he was eager for us to homeschool our children.
What Homeschooling Means to Us
We want our kids to have a great education, but we also don’t want them to miss out on a creative, full childhood. Our school day is only about an hour long right now at this age, which leaves plenty of room for lots of imaginative play, art projects, chores, and family time.
Homeschooling is very flexible, which is helpful for us as we work from home and sometimes have to work around client meetings and projects on tight deadlines.
The flexibility is also key for our goal of raising our kids in many cultures and environments. This winter, Lord willing, we’ll be taking them to visit their grandparents in Mexico. A couple of winters ago it was David’s family in Costa Rica. Last summer it was a 9 week road trip around the US, coast to coast.
Being part of our local homeschooling co-op enables us to give our kids the best of both worlds, still tapping into fieldtrips, weekly enrichment classes like choir, and a resource library. There was nothing like this when I was growing up and homeschooling was still barely legal.
Our Homeschooling Philosophy and Methods
Learning should be a lifelong pursuit – we want it to just be a natural lifestyle for our kids, not something that starts at 8:00am and that they rush away quickly from at 3:00pm. Our goal is for much of the learning our kids do to be a natural part of their day, rather than strictly scheduled. We also aim to make it fun, with more games than worksheets.
I feel like current school systems tend to over-complicate the learning process, trying to crowd too many things into a child’s brain at once, and adding a lot of busy work.
The cornerstone of a good education is a very good foundation in reading and math + understanding HOW to learn. Right now while our daughter is in 1st grade that’s almost exclusively what we’re focusing on, and just for short periods of time each day. I’m confident that if she is able to read very well and understands how to figure things out in math, she’ll be able to learn anything else with little difficulty.
A Real Look Into Our Schooling
We are nearing the halfway point on a 365 project called Celebrate365, where we celebrate a different random holiday every day and log it, and several of the holidays recently were school-related, which is handy for this post 🙂
This video is just more of Maeve reading, but at the end it illustrates a rather realistic sibling moment in our day… oh the joys 😉
If you’d like to check out some of the resources we use, visit my homeschooling Pinterest board, where I’ll continue to add things as I come across favorites.
Thanks for letting us share a little glimpse into our life. Feel free to connect with us on Twitter and ask any questions you might have!
Special thanks to Christina for sharing her insights as a guest blogger today!
Christina has lived in Iowa since she was 5, managing to lure her Costa Rican husband, David, here as well. She is a designer, working from home alongside David in their branding & web design small business. Christina enjoys creating and sharing content about pursuing an uncommon life on their personal blog www.ticoandtina.com, where she’d love to connect with you!