Welcome to our Homeschooling Parent Interview Series, where we invite you to peek into the lives of extraordinary families who have embraced the homeschooling adventure! 🏡✨
In this heartwarming series, we’re diving deep into the stories of homeschooling parents from diverse backgrounds, exploring their innovative teaching methods, daily routines, and the magical moments that make homeschooling a truly transformative experience. Each interview is a window into the personalized, creative, and nurturing learning environments these parents have crafted for their children.
Prepare to be inspired by their passion, dedication, and the incredible love they infuse into every lesson. From homeschooling veterans to newcomers, these parents share their triumphs, challenges, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Whether you’re a seasoned homeschooler, considering this educational path, or simply curious about the homeschooling lifestyle, these interviews offer a wealth of wisdom and inspiration.
So, join us on this enlightening journey as we celebrate the diverse tapestry of homeschooling families. We hope these stories fill your heart with inspiration and ignite your own homeschooling dreams. Let’s dive into the world of personalized education, where each family’s unique journey becomes a beacon of creativity, resilience, and the boundless possibilities of learning! 📚❤️
Interview with Bekka
What inspired your family to choose homeschooling over traditional education?
Initially, we were concerned that the rural community we lived in would not be able to provide the kind of education we had hoped for. There were funding concerns, staffing shortages, and evidence to suggest that the quality of education was not what we expected.
How did you prepare yourselves and your child emotionally for the transition to homeschooling?
We began to talk about home learning options before our first child was school-aged. My partner had hesitations due to his own learning experiences as a child, and so we explored a home learning option that was available in our region that gave us teacher oversight. This allowed us to ensure we were meeting intended outcomes of the regional curriculum by submitting regular work samples — and most importantly, set my partner at ease about the process, ensuring that we would have our biases regularly checked.
While there was some initial sadness at not attending the brick and mortar school with friends, we had lots of conversations about the expectations in a classroom, the longer days, managing behaviour so as not to impede the other students in the classroom, potentially having to wait while other disruptions were managed and so on. As we had laid a foundation for critical thinking even before school-aged, our kids used their skills to determine that the benefits of home learning outweighed brick and mortar or traditional classroom learning.
This is a conversation we had at some point with each of our 4 kids as they approached school-age. Since the older siblings were already learning at home, it was simpler for them to embrace home learning.
Can you describe your homeschooling approach, whether it’s structured, unschooling, or a combination of methods?
Our home learning approach has changed over the years. Initially we opted for a home learning option that had us submit regular work samples to a teacher, helping to ensure we were meeting intended outcomes each year.
At one point, we opted for a blended program that had our eldest in a small group setting 2 days per week and combined that with an outdoor nature program. During this time, our eldest was the only school-aged child.
When we relocated back to a rural community, we had fewer options available. At one point, my partner took over primary education duties, and due to limitations related to neurodivergence in our family, found it burdensome to continuously provide work samples to a teacher. The extra effort was causing distress and limiting the enjoyment of learning, so we left that program a couple of years ago.
At present, our strategy is to take learning opportunities as they come, to foster the joy of learning however we can, and encourage life-long learning.
How do you tailor the curriculum to meet your child’s individual learning needs and interests?
We do a great deal of listening — what is everyone interested in? What did they watch or read recently that they might like to learn more about? What current events are an opportunity to foster learning?
We also aim to make learning fun where possible. At times, we’ve invested in game curriculum, workbooks, software — whatever was of interest to each child. Thankfully, they’ve often had similar interests!
How do you handle subjects or topics that you might not be an expert in yourself?
As parents, we believe that we need to model the attitudes toward learning that we want our kids to have. When we come across topics that neither of us is particularly knowledgeable about, we:
- Model how to find reliable information;
- Practice critical thinking by asking questions about the information to determine what biases may have influenced the source;
- Look for opportunities to learn more via hands-on opportunities if there’s enough interest in the topic.
Are there homeschooling support groups, co-ops, or community activities your family participates in?
At times, we’ve participated in home learning groups. Currently, our rural location doesn’t have a very strong community of home learners. We spend time at the local library, extra curricular activities, and seasonal activities like skating in the winter, instead.
How has the parent-child relationship evolved through the homeschooling journey for you if at all?
What role do you play in your child’s learning process, and how do you encourage their independence?
Can you share an instance where your child taught you something valuable through homeschooling?
(It feels easier to sort of answer these as a single response)
My partner comes from a culture where children are seen as full human beings with autonomy and insight, rather than possessions to be controlled and molded. Approaching home learning with this belief has allowed us to recognize the gifts and natural inclinations of our children, to encourage their interests, and provide opportunities for them to learn about the things they are passionate about—together and separately.
As they have gotten older, they have had the confidence to branch out and try new things. Just this year, our second child decided to give hockey a try for the first time ever. His coaches and others repeatedly tell us that he is learning very quickly, and he is improving dramatically over the course of just a few weeks. They regularly tell us that they admire his positive attitude toward learning and practicing. And he gets so much joy and happiness out of playing!
We used to be surprised at how quickly our kids could learn, pick up patterns, and predict outcomes. Yet, after 10 years of home learning with four kids, we now know just how capable kids can be—not just ours. We’ve learned to trust that they know themselves, and recognize when they just need a little encouragement or space to figure it out on their own.
What advice would you give to parents who are considering homeschooling their children?
There are many different reasons to pursue home learning, and home learning can be done in so many different ways. It’s important to consider what your most important values are so that you can check-in regularly and make sure you’re sticking to them, or reassess and identify new values as the journey unfolds.
It’s ok if home learning is just for a season of time, and not forever. And it’s ok if it’s lasting longer than you intended. It’s ok if it’s worksheets and schedules one day, and free play and games the next.
For many home learners, our family included, we want our kids to have safe learning environments and to learn how to function as adults in their communities and the broader world around them. Sometimes, this means the learning environment and process is different than we expected or envisioned. And that’s ok, too.
As we wrap up this inspiring glimpse into Bekka’s families journey, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our incredible interviewees. Your stories will continue to illuminate the path for countless others, showcasing the beauty of personalized education and the unwavering dedication of homeschooling parents. Thank you for sharing your experiences, challenges, and triumphs, turning each interview into a source of inspiration for all.
To our readers and fellow homeschooling enthusiasts, we invite you to join our series! If you’re a homeschooling parent with a story to share or insights to offer, we’d love to hear from you. Your unique perspective could be the encouragement someone else needs to embark on their homeschooling adventure.
How to Get Involved: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Homeschool Interviews: [YOUR NAME]. We can’t wait to hear from you and continue this wonderful journey of exploring the vibrant world of homeschooling together.
Thank you once again for being a part of this enriching series. Let’s keep celebrating the spirit of homeschooling and nurturing a community where every child’s educational journey is celebrated and cherished! 🌟🏡❤️