Homeschool Profile of Anne of Zephyr Hill Blog
Meet Anne a homeschooling mom of Zephyr Hill Blog!
Here’s her basic profile!
My husband and I have been given 7 wonderful children, including a daughter that we lost in 2007. Daddy works full time and I do some computer consulting and website design at home now and then (only as time permits) to pick up some extra money. We have four boys and two girls ranging from age 7 months to 10 years, so this year only the three oldest are homeschooling.
Have you always homeschooled?
Yes, from the beginning!
What was your “turning” point in your decision to homeschool?
I had several positive influences so the groundwork was set in motion long before we actually started. My mother taught us through high school and I loved the one-on-one learning and the comfort of home. And when my older sister started homeschooling her young daughter so they could be together during work hours (as opposed to using day care and preschool), my decision to teach my own children was really cemented. I love how flexible it can be!
What style of homeschooling do you follow?
I put together my childrens’ curriculum from different sources. Over and over again, I found that this or that curriculum had something we didn’t like, or didn’t work, and I would have to buy supplemental materials. So I just created my own curriculum and couldn’t be happier.
Has it changed or morphed over time?
Yes, definitely! Over the years, we’ve discovered what’s worked best for us in terms of learning and practicality.
What do you feel most strongly about in regard to education?
While academics are important for success in life, character and virtue take precedence in terms of shaping the whole person. That’s why it’s so vital to my husband and me that we be there for our children during those early formative years, when we can have the most impact. They ask so many questions…and the world quite often has wrong or conflicting answers. By teaching them at home, I don’t have to “un do” anything that they learned elsewhere or re-explain something that was poorly transmitted by someone else. Homeschooling also gives us more time together for learning practical stuff that will help them when they become young men and women (cooking, child-rearing, gardening, shopping, etc.).
What do you feel are any weaknesses you have in regard to teaching your children and how do you get support?
My two biggest obstacles to success are lack of time (we have 2 toddlers and a baby) and lack of motivation. When life gets in the way, and I can’t devote the time I need to a child for a particular subject, I will ask for help from my husband, a friend or family member. At one time, my mother would come over weekly to drill them in math. Last year, my mother-in-law had them read to her for extra practice. When our son fell behind in spelling, my husband did some intensive tutoring for a few weeks to get him back on track. And to keep us motivated, I give the children assignment lists, so they can check things off and work towards a goal. I also change things up to keep it fresh like doing schoolwork in the car or at a local cafe, or perhaps just throwing out the worksheets from time to time and doing oral recitation and review.
How do you keep organized?
I use Homeschool Tracker Plus. I take a few days during summer to plug in all the lessons for the coming year. And then I’m done! Each week during school I can print off a list of assignments for the children, and I save the completed lists as proof of their work for the year.
Are you affiliated with any official groups?
My church has a homeschool group which we’re very active in. The get-togethers range from educational to just plain fun. Sometimes, it’s just a lot of mothers drinking coffee while the children run around and blow steam off!
Do you have a “learning” area set up?
We have a sun porch on the back of our house that’s perfect for schooling, with a table and chairs and a whiteboard on an easel. There’s also a small bookshelf and our computer desk.
What’s your biggest support for homeschooling?
A dear friend of mine lives just down the road and is the mother of 9 children under the age of 11. She is always there when I need mentoring, encouragement, or just a shoulder to cry on.
If your child wanted to attend a public school – what would you do?
We wouldn’t be opposed to utilizing the local public school, as long as the academic standards were good and the atmosphere was wholesome and uplifting. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in our area right now. So if one of our children expressed interest in public schooling, we would certainly let them share an opinion, but our decision to homeschool would remain firm. We would encourage them to single out exactly what it was about public education that was appealing, and perhaps those elements could be incorporated with home learning in some way.
What is a mis-conception you’d like to “right?”
People often respond as if I’m “Super Woman” when I tell them we have 6 children and home school. They want to know how I “do it all,” and this seems to be a common misconception by families who have never considered teaching at home. The reality is that homeschooling families don’t do it all! There are pros and cons no matter which route parents take in terms of education. Sure, I do have the burden of teaching children while also keeping the home and tending to younger ones, but I also don’t have to pack up school lunches, get everyone out the door at a set time, hold down a 9 to 5 career or deal with nightly homework! Sometimes, just to get a laugh and really clear the air, I will ask a working mom who sends her children to public school “How do you do it all?” LOL
Visit Anne at http://www.zephyrhillblog.com/
This is part of our new homeschool profile on Attached Moms! If you’re interested in being profiled – send me a message on Facebook.