I am a homeschooler. I am a homeschooler in every sense of the word. I was homeschooled from the time my parents discovered there was such a thing, until I graduated from highschool. Even after highschool, working my way through college and graduate school, I helped out with our co-op and teaching my seven younger siblings.
While I was in my final year of law school my mother passed away. Five of my siblings still needed to finish school. My youngest sister, Darleen, was five at the time. So, with my family, I homeschooled them. Two years into this my oldest daughter was born. I knew from the moment I found out that I was pregnant that I wanted to homeschool my children.
I give an annual lecture at Joe DiMaggio Children’s hospital on homeschooling where I tell all the precious new mommies that all parents are homeschoolers. I give them all my favorite resources (coming soon to a post near you!) and remind them that their children are constantly learning and all they need to do is to be intentional about teaching them what they want to know. My heart is to encourage parents. They have been given the most important task ever – raising the next generation. You can do it – with style, parents! No one is more uniquely gifted to educate your own children than you are.
When my oldest was a preschooler I created an outline of the things that I wanted them to know, academically, and about which year I wanted to teach each subject, based on the classical model of grammar, dialectic and rhetoric stages (more on classical education here).
I was inspired by educator Renee Ellison who reiterated that old adage, “Begin with the end in mind” in the context of homeschooling. She is famous for saying that we are not raising children, we are raising adults! The 35 year old bum living in his parent’s basement is a funny movie plot, but not a funny reality.
From the beginning I set out to raise intelligent, well adjusted, well educated, well read women who loved God and others and understand their purpose and significance and set out a strategy for doing that. Now it has been tweaked quite a bit through the years! But the educational portion of that plan is what I look at every year when I begin to plan for next year. It is never too late to sketch out what you want the rest of your children’s education to look like.
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