Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/29/4232629/html/index.php:3) in /home/content/29/4232629/html/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/wp-cache-phase2.php on line 62
Circle of Stones: The Homeschooling Group - Shivaya Naturals

Circle of Stones: The Homeschooling Group

March 5, 2010

All photography by Ginny

After a lot of thought, I decided last week to try and put together a group of families who would be interested in sitting down and talking about the joys and challenges of choosing to homeschool or unschool their children.

I know that it might seem strange to do a series on homeschooling, when only a small number of people who stop by here homeschool their families, but the fact is that all of us educate our kids in some way. While today is about introductions, the rest of this series will focus on more specific topics, and I think that they can benefit anyone who homeschools full time, or is just simply looking for a way to supplement or enhance their child’s education. I also think that many of us, at one time or another, will question how our children are being educated. That may have nothing to do with homeschooling, but I think that it can help to know that we all have questions, or concerns, no matter how we choose to educate our little ones.

The decision for Joel and I to homeschool our children was not an easy one, but it was one that we felt was necessary due to our son’s severe gluten intolerance. My assumption is that many families experience a need to connect with others who are choosing this path, to ask questions, bounce ideas off of, share resources, etc.

My goal is to have a twice monthly discussion on a range of topics. This series is going to be done in a round robin fashion, and there will be three main questions that will always be posed to each family contributing. we welcome any questions that you have, simply leave them in the comment section, or email me, and we will post them in a future discussion.

I am sure that this series will evolve as we go, and I am looking forward to seeing what will come in the future.

Here are the three questions for today
1. What made you decide to homeschool/unschool your children?
2. What matters most to you in what your children gain by being at home?
3. What do you believe is the biggest benefit for your child (and your family) by being educated at home?
There is not editing to anyone’s answers. I feel that it is important for everyone to be able to express their full felt opinion on this subject.

The Circle opens. Welcome everyone


~ I have always wanted to homeschool, but we did try preschool. However, our child who is hearing impaired began being bullied at school and we immediately took her out of school and began to homeschool.

~ What matters most about what my children gain from being home is that they gain, safety, peace, confidence, and love from being home. Also being able to really learn and love learning
creating a wonderful foundation for their souls and learning spirits.

~ The biggest benefit for learning at home for my children and my family is that homeschooling has brought our family closer together.My children seem closer than ever before. It has helped us create our own rhythm and retreat from a very fast pace life. We have gained peace.


~I’ve wanted to homeschool (and unschool) for as long as I’ve thought about having children. I feel that traditional schools prepare us for more school, but not for living meaningful lives. Especially now with the testing frenzy, I feel that it’s very important to examine our schooling choices.

~ A chance to see how adults live – building community, doing real work, even doing simple tasks like making a bank deposit or cooking a meal- the things we all need to be able to do, but which are rarely taught in school(and definitely aren’t required learning)!

~ Learning how to be in the world from adults instead of from other children. Don’t get me wrong, I think interacting with children is very important, too, but who do we really want setting the examples of proper behavior, by the very fact of constant exposure? A class full of antsy kids? Or adults working and living together?


~ Really, we began homeschooling because we had a 3 year old who wasn’t potty trained, but now I’m ready to sign on for the long haul. We love the time together, and the freedom it allows us!

~ The one thing is the time we have together as a family. Beyond that, we really like being more in control of what they are exposed too, both in terms of tv (characters etc.), and in terms of the larger culture of consumerism, materialism, and waste. It is also important to us to have more control over what they eat.

~ I think the biggest benefit for our kids is growing up more grounded in faith and better adjusted to handle the things they will encounter in their lives.

All Photography by Ginny


~For me there are many answers to this question. Each of my children is so unique, and their needs and learning styles are all so varied. These differences made homeschooling a natural choice for us. All that aside, for me, one of the deciding reasons that I finally decided to make a commitment to keep them home with us was simply a strong desire to raise children who aren’t afraid to go against the grain; members of a counterculture of sorts. I want to raise free thinkers; children with a strong sense of identity and a strong sense of home. And ultimately? I missed them when they went to school. The school day was too long and we missed too much as a family.

~ They gain so much time to pursue their own interests and learn skills that aren’t taught in a traditional classroom. My children know how to raise and care for chickens, how to catch a fish, how to cultivate strawberry plants and plant potatoes, how to make a bow and arrows from a sapling, and how to build a fire, in addition to knowing how to read, write, and crunch numbers. They spend most of their days breathing fresh air, and a limited amount of time at the table doing lessons. As they grow older, I know that the time spent studying will increase and their playtime will have to decrease, but they will still have the opportunity to focus their studies on subjects they love and one day we will send them out into the world with a wealth of knowledge.

~ Freedom! There is so much freedom in homeschooling. As our children’s teachers we have the opportunity to pick and choose those materials that best suit their learning needs. But, almost more importantly to us, we have the freedom to drop everything and go for a hike or a fossil hunt without having to answer to anyone.


~ We homeschool for a number of reasons but what made us initially decide was when my oldest was 4, getting ready to turn 5, we began receiving “Kindergarten Round-up” papers in the mail. I had never thought about homeschooling before, nor had I even really heard about homeschooling for that matter, but when these papers started coming I just could not fathom sending my precious little one off to be with complete strangers for so many hours a day. It felt wrong to me. She was only 4 for heaven’s sake! My husband and I felt strongly that our children were our responsibility, including their education. We began a little research and found out that in our state kindergarten wasn’t mandatory so we didn’t send her. From there we took the plunge into homeschooling and haven’t looked back since!

~ That’s a tough one for me. I believe there is so much, so many things they gain by being home. One of the things that matters to me is that they gain self confidence and self esteem without all of the peer pressure and negative influences that are out there in schools. We as parents can provide a safe environment and a good foundation for our children to build upon as they learn, develop and mature at their own pace without having to “deal” with or handle things before they’re ready.

~ Our biggest benefit of educating at home for our children and us as a family is being a family. We have time to be a family. Our children are here when Dad goes to work. They’re here when Dad comes home. When Dad has days off our children are here to enjoy it too. If the garden needs to be worked on then we can work on it. If it’s a beautiful day that calls for playing outside then we can play outside. If we need to get some studies done then we can get some studies done. If we’re sick then we can rest and get well. If we want to go visit or help Grandpa then we can. It doesn’t matter what time it is. Our children are involved in real life happenings and decisions. Our family life doesn’t start in the afternoon when the children get home from school. Our family is 24/7 and that’s what is important to us. Being a family with all of the ups, downs and all arounds included. Plain and simple.


~ My mom was a homeschooling pioneer, and in a time and area where homeschooling was considered fanatical, she chose to homeschool my siblings and I. While I greatly respected her and her decision, it wasn’t until I taught in the public school system for a year that I fully comprehended and appreciated her reasons for homeschooling.

The best way I can explain my aversion to the classroom setting is using a gardening analogy. There are so many different plants and flowers, each beautiful and useful in their own way. You cannot force a seed to grow, you can only give it warmth, light, water, and a place to root. Each unique plant has different needs for sun, soil pH, temperature, and water. Not all plants will thrive in the same environment, and they definitely do not bloom and produce at the same time. A classroom is too much like throwing seeds with various requirements together in the same garden bed, and telling them what and when to produce. A few plants will thrive, and most will struggle.The nature of a classroom makes it so difficult for creativity, imagination, and true love of learning to be cultivated.

I decided home was the best place for my children to be nurtured, accepted, and loved, for who they are. Home provides a climate that is ever temperate so have plenty of time to blossom in their individual time tables.

P.S. I highly recommend the book Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. I had already decided to homeschool when I read his books, but his views have provided me with a great support as his research and writing reinforce what I’ve always believed.

~ The biggest thing I want my children to gain is confidence. I want my children to grow up with a feeling of unconditional love and acceptance. I want them to be confident in their creativity. I want them, and their opinions, to be listened to and respected. I want them to be confident enough to challenge their beliefs. I want them to be uninhibited by banal conformities. I want them to have the confidence to be true to themselves.

~ I believe the biggest benefit for my children and me, is the sense of calm that prevails when we can establish our own daily rhythms. We’re able to do what we truly enjoy, and really be in the moment… most moments, everyday.


~ Schooling at home has always been a deep desire of mine. My K-8 education was spent at a rural, two-room schoolhouse with one other child in my grade, and anywhere from twelve to twenty-five students in the entire school. Homeschooling was not an unusual practice, either. Many of my friends were homeschooled and I never thought of learning at home as anything different. Now I have children, and priorities shift. You begin to realize that they are little for such a short amount of time and that the window of opportunity flies by so quickly. And you crave the goodness that you knew as a child. We just really want to be involved in everything that is part of raising creative, independent and caring adults.

~ I want to know that every moment counts. From unstructured play, to creating, to academics, I want to know that every experience is building upon another. As an elementary teacher and professional development consultant, I’ve watched too much creativity being squelched, and too many children sitting through lessons that were not appropriate – on one end of the spectrum to the other. I want to to take into account my children’s talents and interests as well as basic needs.

~ I think that no matter where else my children may get an education, no one is as vested in their successes or interests like we are. And no one knows our children quite like we do. It just seems like it fits for us to help design the learning journey. Maybe that will play out in a variety of settings, but right now, it is starting at home. We believe that many children often are over-stimulated and pushed at the preschool age and for us, it makes sense for ‘preschool’ to be a part of our family unit. Besides, it’s just darn fun and totally amazing to watch your children learn, think and develop!


~ To me, homeschooling /unschooling feels like a natural extension of parenting. We assist our children in learning to nurse, eat, walk and talk. No one argues that parents and families are naturally equipped to raise babies and toddlers. When I was expecting my first baby my sister in-law introduced me to attachment parenting. I sought out to learn everything I could about natural childbirth, nursing and attachment parenting, and read everything I could get my hands on, yet most of what I learned about raising and caring for my babies was really and truly learned after the birth of my children, through the experience of motherhood. When I needed guidance, I prayed and I turned to parents that I trusted who were more experienced than I was in that area, and I scoured the internet and bookshelves for what I needed. As my children grow older, I do the same. A fellow homeschooler once said that we should view “school” as a resource. I am thankful that we have wonderful resources, such as waldorf and montessori schools and others if I should ever need them, but I believe that our home is the most natural place for our family to thrive.

~ Time. Time together and time for themselves. It means so much to me that our family is able to live and learn and grow along side each other at a pace that allows us to stop and listen and be. They have time for themselves to pursue their own interests, to be still and to reflect. I also believe it gives us more time for extra activites without feeling so rushed and isolated from each other.


~ Preschool. Seriously. When our eldest child was three he started in a church preschool program. We chose this one program because their focus seemed to be on play and learning through play; not early academics. I was pregnant with our second child at the time and while I enjoyed the chance to take a break twice a week, I didn’t want his time away from me to be stressed and focused. I wanted him to have a chance to make friends and have fun.

Halfway through the year, however, things changed. The teacher and administrator asked to meet with me to discuss their concerns that my child was not ‘kindergarten ready.’ I was floored. He wasn’t even 3 1/2 and they were already evaluating him for kindergarten readiness. Because of his birthday and the state’s cutoff for kindergarten entry, he wouldn’t be enrolling until he was 6. Were they really serious? Yes, unfortunately they were.

That night at home my husband and I discussed the situation. He shared my disbelief that ‘it’ had already begun. The pressure to start pushing and evaluating and stressing had begun. The focus on performance had begun. It was time for our family to opt out.

When May of that year came we faded away from the ‘school crowd’ and began our homeschooling journey. July found us the proud parents of a second boy. In September I started a ‘homeschool preschool’ group in our area and we started down this long and wonderful road to meeting other homeschooling families.

~ Our time together as a family is at the top of my list for both of these. I believe the children benefit from having real relationships with one another. What matters to me most, and what benefits them the most is this family focus. The boys, for example, have a real relationship; they are best friends. They don’t just see one another for a few hours in the evening and on the weekends.

Beyond this family focus the greatest thing that home education gives us is the ability to look at life as a whole. Life is not, as I am fond of saying, a series of segmented curricular nuggets. We look at life as a whole and approach learning as interrelated and interconnected.


~ We knew the kind of education we wanted our children to have, and we couldn’t find it at any school in our area. We wanted them to learn holistically and through the arts, and we did not want to force them into a setting where their strengths and individuality would be ignored. After researching many different schools of thought and curriculums, my husband and I leaned toward unschooling and the Waldorf method–unschooling because it gave our children the opportunity to learn based on their natural desires and Waldorf because it immediately appealed to us as a type of education that cherished the child’s beauty and imagination, and we knew we did not want to stifle our children’s natural creativity by pushing them too quickly into analytical thinking.

~ That my children are pursuing their interests and desires, learning with the capacities specifically given to them, and their strengths are able to shine in whatever they do. Essentially, I want to provide an environment where learning is always for them as it is now–an innate desire to dream, discover, and design, always exciting and never a bore. There is too much awe in this world for anything to ever be a bore.

~ Togetherness. I think building successful relationships will help my children excel in whatever they choose in life. When I look back at my life, I see how my family relationships, whether they were healthy or otherwise, have strongly impacted my character traits and what I choose to do in life. I think building a strong, healthy foundation in the early years will foster confidence, compassion, dedication, and perseverance, all of which will see them through anything they might pursue now and in the future.


~ My husband and I always walked on the unconventional path. We took our time after highschool searching for self (not together, yet in a parallel sense) – and during that time we found that we truly learned by living life fully. By traveling, meeting diverse people, and keeping the heart and mind open to the unknown – we discovered many truths… The way we live, eat, and play have all come about from our past travels and experiences. When we became parents and as we are watching our children grow, we keep an on-going discussion on how to sustain an unconventional lifestyle in this tough materialistic conventional world. The irony of our decision is that we are both state certified teachers. I was a kindergarten
teacher in the inner-city school district for close to 10 years and my husband is a highschool English teacher. I don’t question whether my children are learning the “standards” – what I constantly struggle with is whether, as they mature and become more and more aware of how society lives, they will feel that they missed out on something?

~ I think the most important relationship is that between sisters and brothers. While I remember having friends in elementary school, I also remember a lot of stress and turmoil between these relations – that don’t even exist today (I have denounced facebook as a “catch-up with your past life” tool). The most important element of being home/unschooled for my children is that they grow up learning together and developing a tight bond
that exists because they are fortunate to be side-by-side on this amazing journey.

~ The biggest benefit is that my children are free to discover their own interests and to expand on those interests as much or as little as they like! We get to go out into the world and explore this tangible environment. The classroom is extremely superficial – I just cringe at the thought of my children sitting in a classroom that is decorated with paper trees, posters of animals, and so much waste! And to live their days by the bell… I think our society (the masses) has forgotten about our freedom, our choices, and overall, that our life here can be very limited – we don’t NEED to walk the same line that everyone else is on. We can create new lines – squiggles and swirls even!


~I decided to homeschool because I feel my kids would get the best education that way. Deciding to unschool was easy, as it was just continuing what I have been doing since my kids’ birth: responding to their needs, creating a bond, earning their trust.

~ Trusting that my kids are getting their needs met, that I am capable of helping them pursue their interests, and that they will gain what they need to survive when they are adults matters above everything else.

~ Freedom. Freedom for our family by not being confined to the school day and school year to vacation, run errands, or do activities. Freedom for the kids to wake up, eat, play, use the restroom, and sleep when they decide.

All photography by Ginny

Thank you everyone for sharing with us. I look forward to learning and discussing so much more. This series is about discussion, so please feel free to leave any comments and questions for the contributors.

Wishing you a very a very happy weekend. See you on Sunday

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Catherine March 5, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Yah! I'm so excited about this new series! I have a 3 year old and a 7 month old and I plan on homeschooling. I do have a few questions…at what age did you start "officially" homeschooling your children? How do you structure your day as a homeschooling family? What has been one of the most valuable resources in learning about homeschooling your children (i.e. books, websites, organizations, etc.)?


AG Ambroult March 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm

SO much food for thought. I don't homeschool my kids, though I have teetered on the edge of doing so for a few years now. I am already a big fan of this series, because we still consider ourselves our girls' biggest teachers, even though they attend public school. Looking forward to all the resources, opinions, and stories. thanks heather!


kmberrien March 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I am so excited about this series you are doing. I have been giving a lot of thought to the possibility of homeschooling my kids lately and am so interested to hear from other parents who are in the thick of it. It is a very daunting proposition to me.


Cindy March 5, 2010 at 3:23 pm

This is so inspiring. My heart is drawn to un-/home- schooling, but I can't quite figure out how to create a working life for myself that will accommodate it all. My husband also needs some persuading, so I am planning to share excerpts with him that are particularly relevant to his concerns. I see myself as the leader of our family and this series will be a great boost for my resolve! Thank you.


Genevieve March 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm

What an inspiring series! As an unschooling family, We are always on the lookout for more inspiration and support! Thank you.


Annie March 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Hi there,

I found this blog recently while looking for blogs on creativity and gratitude. I am starting a personal blog for myself on those subjects, but my main blog is on homeschooling. We are secular, eclectic and go through a charter.

My husband and I have been homeschooling our three boys (8, 7 and 3) pretty much since we came home from the hospital. By that I mean, that we have always been open to opportunities to open the world to them, especially if they showed any interest.

We decided to homeschool when my oldest was born with a personality that favors my side of the family. Throughout my family tree, you can spot individuals that combine great intelligence with inordinate energy. They make terrificly passionate, creative adults, but that personality does not mesh well with a traditional classroom setting. By the time my oldest was chronologically ready for kindergarten, he was academically ready for first grade. At the same time, he was socially and emotionally, a little boy and deserved to be just that. Advancing him a grade didn't make sense. Homeschooling gave us the ability to let him work at his own pace, get plenty of exercise, and play with children his own age. We've been a homeschooling family ever since.

As for what we want from homeschooling, we want our children to develop the same passion for learning that my husband and I have. We don't want learning to be a drudge that you do for six or eight hours a day. Rather, we want them to see that opportunities to learn exist at all times and make life fun!

I think it is interesting that you ask what you think the greatest benefit of homeschooling is for our family. I've done this for years now and know well that not every day is the picturesque one that we want it to be. Some days, it does feel like I'm living in the trenches, and it can be exhausting. And yet, I would not change. I see moments when it is obvious that my boys are learning with enthusiasm things that would probably not be open to them in a traditional setting. Best of all, we don't miss a minute of it.

Anyway, I look forward to watching this thread evolve!


CeCe March 5, 2010 at 6:16 pm

As a family just embarking (officially) on the homeschooling journey — although I'd like to think we've been learning all along 😉 — I am looking to glean as much info, wisdom, and inspiration as I can! Much thanks for providing a platform for just such a series.


Valarie March 5, 2010 at 6:38 pm

This is a wonderful circle and topic. We have done it all. We've sent our children to schools, we've home-schooled, we've unschooled and the thing that works the best for us is a combination platter. Each child has different educational needs and learning styles and we've stayed very open and flexible to what each child is needing at the moment. We are very blessed to have a dynamic school learning system in our town, which is based on Susan Kovalik's Integrated Thematic Approach. We learn in themes for 9 weeks with interactive and creative learning. When they are at school they are taught at the level they work at. There are many projects and each child is to choose what inspires them at the moment. Part 1


Valarie March 5, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Part 2: There was a time when one of my children, who is truly a genius, felt the school was not meeting her academic needs and went off to high school online at Indiana University. After a year away, she opened up a dialog with her school to work with what she was needing and they have. She will go to Vanderbilt University next year. So part of our day is school and part of our day is unschooling or homeschooling. We are, all of us here, life long learners. Thanks to everyone for their great contributions. It's just wonderful.


Michelle March 5, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I love this new series. Love it. We are going to homeschool our little one in the fall. I homeschooled our first three children for a time and now they are grown. I would like to know how these family choose thier curriculum and if they choose the unschooling method, how do they know that the kids are learning what they need to know.


Joy March 5, 2010 at 6:42 pm

What a fantastic group of women, families and perspectives. Thanks for sharing them with us! I often say that we don't homeschool, but the truth is that we do; ours just happens in the evenings and on weekends. We were very specific and thought-out in the schools we chose to send our kids to, but we spend much time supplementing and enhancing their educations at home through play, crafting and outdoor exploration.


Amy Krueger March 5, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Thank you so much, Heather, for this series. It is exactly what I need right now as I have decided not to enroll my oldest daughter into kindergarten next year.
I wrote my answers to the three questions, but didn't get them submitted in time. It was such a valuable exercise for me, though!
Thank you, again! Loved reading some really great answers.


Stephanie March 5, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Thank you so much for starting this series. My daughter is only 20 months old, but we are already thinking about her education. Already I have new things to consider and things to research, this is going to be a wonderful resource.


Emma March 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Thanks for this great series – we've just started homeschooling this year – it's fantastic to read about other homeschooling families 🙂


Casey March 5, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Years ago a friend of mine was very interested in homeschooling – this was when our first babies were still in the toddler, not yet pre-school stage. I was very decidedly in the opposite direction – believing we needed to put them in a school to have the opportunity to meet new friends and just be mainstream. When my son was three years old, he was diagnosed with Autism – and that changed everything. While he is high functioning, he has no self-advocacy skills and to be blunt, I was terrified of him being bullied. After a nightmare preschool experience, homeschooling became the best option. Now I am a firm advocate of it. I still question myself all the time if I am qualified to do this, but who better? We get to do some amazing things and he truly is passionate about learning at age 5. Our science experiment this week was blobs in water – a.k.a. a lava lamp. The shrieks and giggles when we plopped in an Alka Seltzer to make the bubbles was just another one of those experiences that made me realize how fortunate we are to do this. My son is reading, while other peers in kindergarden are just beginning literacy programs; he creates wonderful stories and is well on the path of becoming a story teller. One of my neighbors is a teacher and she spends about 75% of her time on classroom management. That leaves 25% for learning? Wow.

We just started homeschooling this year and thanks for everyone sharing their stories. Love this series.


Brooke March 5, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I. LOVE. THIS. I am in the beginning process of deciding whether to homeschool or send them to school (3.5 and 2.5 years old)… we are a military family, and I don't look forward to having them switch schools every couple years, and I am not a fan of the public system in general. I basically unschool them right now by just letting them take the lead and building on their interests. So I heading in that direction. I just love this discussion, and read every one of the entries! Thank you!


nicola March 5, 2010 at 11:10 pm

i don't homeschool and am SO very grateful for this circle of stones and series. why is exactly what you said…we all educate or are interested in educating our children, whether it is full time or supplementally. i never considered homeschooling. but since my daughter began kindergarten, i realized that i never considered for local social reasons. it just isn't generally done here. i was progressive enough just insisting on public school over private! now that she in school (somewhere we all love), i am so interested in other methods and forms of educate and would be open to homeschooling (but not up to the task). i hope reading will dispel some of those feeling for me, regardless of whether or not we keep going the path we are on.
i have to come back to read when i have time, but am excited to see a number of names i don't recognize.
thank you everyone!


Mamawild March 6, 2010 at 2:23 am

Heather, Thank you for having such an open discussion about homeschooling. The questions and answers have really made me think about my own answers and belief system. It is often so difficult to explain to others (outside of those who know me personally) why this is the best choice for us and our children. This wasn't always a difficult decision for our family, but we have had to re-evaluate at different times along the way. Thanks for initiating a round table where we can challenge ourselves, and continue making the best choices for our family.


Emily March 6, 2010 at 4:14 am

We are also beginning our homeschool journey but I am having trouble finding other homeschoolers in our area. Any ideas on socializing my children with other children? I also worry that my daughter who is currently LOVING a public school kindergarten will be less than enthusiastic about grade 1 homeschooling next year. I totally understand the mother who worries that her kids might feel they are missing out on somthing. Anyways-great topic of conversation-Thanks!


Roxy March 6, 2010 at 9:32 pm

This series is going to be awesome, Heather! Thanks so much for thinking of this great idea and for putting it together. I'm excited to both share and learn . . . mostly the latter!


kyndale March 7, 2010 at 2:00 am

Thank you for starting this Heather. and..sorry I didn't respond in time. You are an amazing Mama who knows how important connection and information is. xo Kyndale


Iris March 7, 2010 at 3:42 am

What a great idea to get a group of homeschooling families together to share their experiences – thank you, Heather! I'm a mama of two beautiful children, a four-year-old daughter and a 6-month-old son. Our daughter goes to a regular preschool two mornings a week, but it's not the ideal solution for me. I'm very drawn to alternative school models, especially Waldorf, but there's no such school close enough to where we live. I have started to think about homeschooling, but I'm not sure if I'm quite ready to do that. I do like the fact that I have some time for my son alone when my daughter goes to school, and I also think the social aspect of her learning to deal with other children is an important one. On the other hand, she often comes home all hyped up and tells me about all the "bad things" the boys in her classroom were doing.
My questions to all of you participating in this would be: How do you find balance in your life when you have your children at home the whole day (I love my children, but sometimes I feel they take all the energy I have if I don't get some quiet time for me)? How do you make sure that you meet the needs of younger and older children at the same time, especially if the age gap between your children is a bit bigger? What are some good resources to use with preschool aged children?


Anushka March 8, 2010 at 12:05 am

Thank you for this! I loved hearing all the great reasons for homeschooling. I too am considering homeschooling our 3 year old son – and have already begun at the preschool level. I taught first grade for 8 years in the public school system of California and found myself in complete opposition to the factory-based model of education that is still being touted in most of our schools across America. I know I will not be putting my son in public school and am looking forward to using this resource if I do indeed continue to homeschool my child.


Adrie March 8, 2010 at 3:37 am

This was so fun – I can't wait to see how this evolves!


Jen March 8, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Thanks for this! It was so inspiring to read what everyone has to say, both in the posts and the comments. So much to think about. I have an almost-3-year-old daughter and I'm planning to homeschool (I guess I already am!) but want to really clarify to myself and other concerned people (my husband, my parents, etc) exactly WHY this feels so important. The questions you posed seem like a great starting point and I'm hoping to respond to them in a blog post of my own. I resonate so much with so many of the points raised here, plus I have a few additional reasons I want to explore, mostly having to do with preparing for a very different future than most people anticipate.


homeschoolmentormom March 9, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Catherine,__ If you have questions about homepreschooling, I hope you'll visit my blog ” target=”_blank”>http://www.susanlemons.wordpress.com I have lots of information there about homepreschooling and making the decision to homeschool.__ As to your question: We started doing a light routine of "homepreschool" when my children were 3. I have sample schedules on my blog.__ I think the most important thing to remember is that there is a lot more to the preschool years than just "getting them ready for Kindergarten". Many parents focus on this goal while overlooking other, more important activities/learning such as reading aloud, art, music, and play. My goals are to address the whole child in a more balanced way. __ Blessings,__ Susan Lemons, homeschooling mom of 4 __ ~Bachelor's Degree in Child Development/former preschool teacher__ ~Author, Homepreschool and Beyond: A Comprehensive Guide to Early Home Education


homeschoolmentormom March 9, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Great series! I look forward to seeing future posts.
~Susan Lemons ” target=”_blank”>http://www.susanlemons.wordpress.com


Shivayamama March 10, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Thank you Susan. Just checked out your site, and what an amazing resource!



maddy March 14, 2010 at 1:23 am

i am a single mom who works full time with a four year old son. I would some advice on how to homeschool or supplement his public/montesorri education that i am thinking of enrolling him in. Are there any other single moms who have done this?


Lissa June 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I don't home school, my 5 yr old very shy loved being at home with me blossomed socially when he started jr kindergarten. My soon to be 4 yr old daughter can't wait to go to school. I spend all my time with both of my kids and love being with them. I also stopped working to be with them these years. I think I have done my job up to now and will continue having a tight knit family. I think what gets me the most is that most Mothers that home school and blog seem to have a husbands who makes a good amount of money. I look at the organic name brand food/ fabrics for instance. As a sewer and a chef I know how much all of it costs, and I also know the majority of people can't afford it.
I am also reading the fear of having your children bullied. How are you going to protect your children when they are teenagers or better yet adults if you are cocooning them? Does there come a point when your children will go to school, and if they want to will you be open minded to allow them to make their own choice?


erika November 20, 2010 at 4:07 am

I wish my husband made alot of money! But far from it. We have had financial struggles our entire marriage, but my commitment to what I wanted for my kids has been unwavering, difficult as hell sometimes, but my decision nonetheless. While it may sometimes be true that families who homeschool and blog make alot of money, I know it is not always the case! Off the top of my head, I know alot of moms who blog and homeschool either make money from their blog, have home-based businesses, are freelance writers, and sacrifice in many ways. I know alot of families who do it regardless of the money because it's the decision they've made for their family.


erika November 20, 2010 at 4:08 am

Also, I do not believe I am completely cocooning my children. They have exposure to many life experiences other children, schooled or not, might never get. Because of our financial struggles yet our willingness to give, they know what it means to sacrifice, to give to others in need, to put others before yourself, to be content with what you have and so on. And they have life outside of my home. They have friends who go to public school, and they are involved in outside activities, currently ballet (which we don't pay for by the way but have bartered for. I clean the studio, my kids dance). And there may come a time where my kids go to school, and I would definitely allow them to if they want to when they are older. However, now they are 6, 4, 3, and 8 mos. And I believe kids especially under seven do need a certain amount of "cocooning" and protecting. They have their entire lives to see the ugly brutality of the world, and as I continue to expose them to life outside of home they will quickly learn it, but I am very happy to shelter them from alot of it for now. They need a time where they can just be kids.


erika November 20, 2010 at 4:09 am

My six year old thought she wanted to go to school because her closest friends do, but she went to VBS for a week during the summer and told me after the week, "Mommy, I don't want to go after all. That time is just too long to be away from your family!" Presently, I agree.

(Sorry, I had to split up the posts because it wouldn't let me fit it all in one!)


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: