In this series, I have had the privilege of interviewing other homeschoolers from across the country. Here to tell us how her family got started homeschooling and what her family’s homeschool style looks like is Erica, the author of the popular homeschooling blog, Confessions of a Homeschooler. She has developed her own homeschooling curriculum including the popular Letter of the Week and K4 curriculums, Expedition Earth, Road Trip USA and more.
First for those who don’t know, how old are your children?
I have 4 children — Strawberry Shortcake age 9, Turbo age 7, Tinker Bell age 6, and Teeny Tot age 3.
What did you do for school yesterday? Do most of your days look like that?
We start with breakfast, then the kids do a chore while I’m cleaning dishes. We move on to school time, and work through our workboxes (drawers containing 1 subject each). We break for lunch around noon-ish, then finish up with electives such as art in the afternoon. Yes, most days look like that.
Do you homeschool set hours/days?
Yes, we do. In our state we are required to do 172 days/year and 4 hours per day. Just to help keep me on track, we do stick to our set schedule unless an emergency or an opportunity too good to pass up comes our way. I put a priority on school, so we always do school first before running errands, etc. just to assure it gets done.
Where do you do most of your homeschooling?
Do you have a specific homeschooling room? I have a homeschooling room, we took over the “office” space in our home. Some days we’ll do school in the kitchen just for a change, but for the most part we stick to school in our school room.
Since this one has a long answer, I’ll send you to a few blog posts of mine that can answer them better!
How does homeschooling work in your family?
I am the main homeschooling parent. My husband works and so he will help if I get stuck and need a new perspective teaching a certain skill, but otherwise, I do all of the schooling in our family.
Do you school year round or do you follow your local public school schedule?
I actually follow our local public school schedule for the most part. I start a little early, and run a little later just so we can take a big break at Christmas time when things get hectic! I also take a traditional summer break. I use that time to plan ahead for the up coming year and get all my ducks in a row before beginning. I find the break is good for my children as well as myself. We take summer slow, and relax to recharge for the up coming year!
Do you have a particular style of homeschooling? Do you follow a set curriculum?
I used to think I was a traditional homeschooler, and to some extent I still am. I tend to veer towards curriculum such as Abeka and Bob Jones, however over the years I have swapped some of that out for less traditional things as needed. I try to stay flexible, if something isn’t working, then I’ll look for another approach.
What curriculum/books do you recommend most often to fellow homeschoolers?
I typically recommend All About Learning products, Math U See, Abeka, and BJU Press. These are the things that we’ve used and have worked for us.
How do you manage the school/house/work/kids’ activities/meal balance?
Again, another long winded answer is required here, and I just happen to have a post that explains how I “do it all.” :o)
What are your homeschooling plans for the future? Will you homeschool straight through high school?
We take it one year at a time here, praying before each year starts for God’s will in our homeschooling. Right now, I plan to homeschool through highschool. Just how that will look I’m not sure, my kids are still young. We may look into the DVD type lessons, or we might keep up with how we are doing things now and have me teaching. We’ll have to see what God has for us!
How much do you use technology in your homeschool–the computer, TV, iPod games, etc?
I use our iPad for some things, and we also do our foreign language and typing programs using computer based software. We also use it for additional educational games, and reading. But it’s not the primary source of our homeschooling by any means. More like a means of making certain things a little more fun.
Tell us about your most favorite homeschool project/activity/memory?
One of my favorite projects was our Great Wall of China. The kids had a wonderful time learning about that country, and the project turned out really well. Another one was learning about Brazil, and the Amazon. Here are some peeks at our projects:
How has your homeschooling changed since you first began?
I’ve gotten a little more relaxed! I started off fairly rigid, and followed my curriculum to a T! Now I take a little more laid back approach and I’m definitely more willing to try new things! If we miss a day for whatever reason, it’s okay, we just pick back up the next day! I also build in ‘catch-up days’ just so I know if we don’t get something done, it’s okay we’ll have a catch-up day coming! If we’re all caught up, we’ll either do school that day, or take a break.
Thank you, Erica! You can visit Erica at her website, Confessions of a Homeschooler. We hope you can join us next Wednesday, March 28 for another homeschool interview.
You might be interested in our other Homeschool Interviews and Guest Posts:
- An Interview with A Homeschooling Dad
- An Interview with a Christian Classical Educator (Part 1) and (Part 2)
- An Interview with a Montessori Homeschooler
- Homeschooling Through a Virtual School
- Homeschooling in Australia
- An Interview with Erica of Confessions of a Homeschooler
- Interview with a Radical Unschooling Family
- Guest Post: Working Outside the Home, Homeschooling Mom – A guest post by one of my very best friends! 🙂
- 11 Year Old Shares Her Thoughts on Homeschooling – The daughter of my friend (above) wrote this!
- Guest Post by My Homeschooling Sister: Intensity in Learning
- Homeschooling Through Spousal Deployment, a Destructive Flood and More (Another post featuring my sister’s homeschool journy. They lost their house during flooding in Nashville 5 years ago.) and Part 2 of that post–Homeschooling Through High School (My sister’s kids are Older than Mine!)
- Homeschooling Through the Teenage Years: Video by Susan Wise Bauer