Welcome to another family profile at attachedmoms.com. Today we hear from Autumn, a homeschooling mom of 6 children. Rather than a Q&A, Autumn has taken some time to share her story with the readers here. She helps us understand who, in her view, can homeschool – and I love her answer. As part of our goal to show you more real life Attachment parenting, we present this series of family profiles.
I always struggle with how to open up an introduction without making it sound like a group counseling session.
Hi. I’m Autumn.
I am a Christian. The totally committed, Gospel sharing, evangelical, Lord of my life kind of Christian. I have been married for 15 years and we have 6 children so far! Our children are 11, 9, 6, 4, 2, and 8m.
We are so grateful to be living in a country where homeschooling is legal. Add to that we live in a state(s) where it is relatively easy to homeschool.
Currently, we are living in California while my husband attends seminary at The Master’s Seminary. California weather is amazing and there is an abundance of activities to do but we are Texans through and through.
We have a home in the Texas Hill Country and we love it. We even love the heat.
Whether in Texas or California our homeschool looks pretty much the same.
Let me back up a minute.
You’d probably like to know when and how we began homeschooling?
In 2005, my husband was driving home from his chiropractic practice and heard a Focus on the Family radio program. I remember every detail of that night he arrived home. Michael said, “We have to homeschool. Boys don’t do well in public school. Actually it’s bad for them.” That’s sort of a very loose quote but you get the gist.
Pretty much from that day forward we knew we would homeschool. At the time we had Haley who was 3 and Haven (boy) who was 1.
Knowing you will do something and wanting to do it are two very different things.
It wasn’t until 2009, after we had been homeschooling for 2 years that I actually wanted to homeschool. I was a tough nut to crack.
It was the whole idea of relaxing at home and baking cookies for my kids while they were off at school that held me back all those years. Now I clearly realize that I can do both and homeschool my children
What homeschooling looks like in the Beck house.
We have a table. An adjustable one that I purchased online along with 4 Virco chairs. 4 years later we still only have 4 chairs. This causes some major problems for child #5 who is 2 and by golly he wants to sit at the table.
Our first year of homeschooling (2007) we used My Father’s World. Praise the Lord for this curriculum! Remember I wasn’t gung ho about homeschooling yet but MFW completely took away those fears of not being able to do it. It took very little brain power from me to use with my 5 year old and we had fun!
Meanwhile, my husband read Teaching the Trivium by Harvey Bluedorn (our #1 most recommended book to families asking about homeschooling). Teaching the Trivium spelled out everything we already believed about education, we just didn’t realize there was a name for it.
We then could say we were Classical homeschoolers and know what that meant. Michael created a curriculum for us to use and it worked great for 2 years. It consisted of well-chosen books, chatechism and copywork.
In 2009, we discovered Tapestry of Grace and have been using it since as our main curriculum. We love ToG.
Tapestry of Grace is a 4 year program that you cycle through every four years. As with any Classical system there is a Grammar (Lower and Upper), Dialectic and Rhetoric stage. This year we are in our 4th year and we have children in the Lower, Upper and Dialectic stages.
As you can imagine, I’ve got this homeschooling thing completely figured out.
I have a secret to my very low stress approach to homeschooling.
Other people are not my standards. I don’t care that this family does 8 subjects in a day or that my friend’s 9 yo boy is reading Beowulf.
My husband and I have placed God’s standards as the goal in our homeschool. I strive to meet His standards in everything I teach. Does this mean that I perfectly do this every day? Well, you know the answer to that. I mess up often but I quickly ask God to help me get back on track.
What does all this homeschooling look like though?
First, my husband and I sat down and wrote out the 10 things we wanted our children to know by the time they graduate. We wrote our own lists and saw there were many similarities.
Then, we worked backwards and figured out how we would incorporate the teaching of these things throughout the years. Some of the things on our lists include:
- a love of reading,
- knowledge of the Bible,
- healthy understanding of finances,
- foreign language mastery,
- complete meal preparation…
We also understand that when you educate by the Classical education premises elementary children will appear to be “behind.” But, that’s okay because remember we aren’t looking at other families to gauge our success.
Aside from a deep desire for our children to know and love the Lord we want them to be LOGICAL thinkers. Sadly, logic is a forgotten subject.
That’s a broad overview of our homeschool set up. I don’t have a strong desire to be in a support group or regularly interact with other homeschooling moms. The reason has nothing to do with pride and everything to do with the fact that I have a very involved, super supportive husband.
Michael has always chosen the curriculum and set up a daily schedule for us. He also teaches the children Greek.
I am blessed <3
If I could correct one major fallacy about homeschooling (how do I choose just one!?) it’s that you have to be extraordinary to homeschool. Anyone can homeschool. It doesn’t take a super mom. You don’t have to have perfect kids. You don’t have to be a stay-at-home mom or dad. You don’t have to be financial secure. You don’t need a “school area” in your home. You don’t need approval from friends and family. You don’t even have to want to homeschool.
All it takes is the knowledge that homeschooling is the best for your family and a commitment to the investment and sacrifice it will require of you.
I know every homeschooling mom says this but TRUST me. If I can do it, so can you.
Thank you to Autumn for taking the time to share her family’s homeschooling journey For a glimpse at another side of my Autumn’s family, check out her cloth diaper blog http://allaboutclothdiapers.com.