Q and A: Homeschooling Mother of Five
In today’s interview, we will hear from a mother of five about how having access to state funding has impacted her family’s homeschool journey. Read on to find out why she concludes, “Why not?"
Tell us a little about yourself.
We live in Wildomar, CA. My husband Chris and I have been married for 12 years. We have Karsten (10), Bryson (9), Christopher (6), Owen (4), and Lyla (2). I don’t officially school the younger two, but they’re definitely part of the learning experience, which I love.. I’ve homeschooled since the beginning- for 6 years. Two years hybrid – doing 2 days in school and 3 days at home. But that became too much to turn in different sets of curriculum; I couldn’t combine teach.
What is your favorite part about homeschooling?
Combine teaching! Easily. Also, one of my favorite things is that I can cater to each kid. One child is excelling really fast, and so I can push him as far as I want to. And sometimes if they get stuck on a subject, I can hang out on it for a little while and there’s not that pressure to have to turn in that work every week, or in school when they have to keep up with their class. Also, I really love the togetherness of the kids and their relationships. They all are so much closer just homeschooling all the time.
What was your biggest learning curve/hardest adjustment to homeschooling?/strong>
There are so many! I feel like after leaving the hybrid, I had to unschool myself and not just do what the classroom setting does. I had to focus on the most important, foundational things and dig really deep in those things. To not feel like I had to cover all these topics just to keep them at level with their peers. A big learning curve was to not fear. I had to think, “They don’t need to always be doing what the
classroom is doing.” I have them home for a reason so that we can develop character and help them to grow deeply in important subjects rather than have this wide understanding of things but not really going deeply in them. And the other one, this is always a struggle, is balancing everything and everyone in all of their subjects and responsibilities that it takes to run a home and we are always learning and growing, but being more organized and planned has helped. Charts. Independent learners. Balancing the different ages. I just have to let some things go that just
aren't as important – like cleaning the upstairs baseboards. I mean, we do chores, but I just let the unnecessary things go.
Have you always had access to state funding, or did you homeschool without funds before joining the Valiant family?
I did not always have funds in my homeschooling before- not with the hybrid.
What’s the best part about having funds?
The most impactful difference is getting to choose whatever curriculum I want without having to worry about the price–cater to each kid, if I need to, with different curriculum. I like the ability to just get a membership for places that I maybe wouldn’t have paid for, like Rock Fitness. And it’s a great place for exercise, but this way I just have to pay for the 4 year old, and it is so fun when we go. And field
trips like Medieval Times – places that are too expensive for a big family, but we can use those funds to go on these trips that we wouldn't usually do.
It must still be very expensive to have so many kinds in schooling- what are your favorite tips for stretching the funds?
I’m not an on-the-go Mom, we don’t do a ton of field trips, because that would make the funds go a lot faster if we were constantly doing field trips. We want the kids to have a good education so we do stay home a lot and we do a lot of schooling. We make it a priority. Also, the Homeschool Campus has been amazing. The classes there are incredible. It’s been a huge resource–gets the kids out. The things that are hard for me to teach, they can go take a class there, then I’m learning AND they’re learning. The writing class that they’re doing is so good and they’re really excelling!
What are your favorite resources or vendors?
Rainbow Resource. Amazon has been a great one too for art supplies and curriculum. Amazon is fast and has everything!
What is the one thing you would tell a new homeschool family who is just being
introduced to the world of state funding?
If you’re going to homeschool, why not have extra money to use for curriculum and field trips and the hands-on learning activities. I love to be able to have the choices because they’re my kids and I can help them in the best way possible, rather than have someone decide that for me.