Meet an eclectic homeschooling family!
Welcome to Our Homeschool Life. This is a new series to introduce you to real homeschoolers in our community. I’m so excited about this series because as 30Ways We Homeschool, it will give you a sneak peek at other homeschool families.
In this first post, I want to introduce you to my dear friend Amber and her family. This family has a very special place in my heart, they were our first friends when we moved to British Columbia. This amazing family reflects the love and light of Jesus in all they do and you will love to learn about their homeschool life.
1. Tell us about you and your family.
I’ve been married to the love of my life (aka “my best friend”) for almost 11 years & am a blessed mama to 3 great kiddos. Our little lady is 9 3/4, little man is almost 8 & our little guy is 6. They’re in grade 4, grade 2 & kindergarten this year. I’ve had a long journey dealing with a chronic illness & also am the joyful owner of a home health & wellness business so I’m a work-at-home mama too!
2. How long have you been homeschooling? And why did you start homeschooling?
This is our 5th year homeschooling & we’re thankful to have been schooling from home from the beginning. From day one it was my desire but for a season I thought that God had closed that door to us because of how debilitating my illness was at that time. Then we were in awe of how God provided for us to go ahead with it even though much of my schooling that first year with a little table beside my bed or with a lap desk sitting beside me as I was partially bedridden at that time.
We started for many reasons. For one because my daughter was sensitive & finding the idea of being away from home difficult. Also, I had been teaching my kids since they were toddlers through books & educational toys so my girl went into kindergarten reading fluently. She was ahead & it was nice to be able to customize our curriculum to teach her at her exact level.
But truly the biggest reason is that we wanted to be able to bring our children up in the nurture of our home while they were still little & God had put it on our heart to follow that path. We’re really thankful for how well it’s gone & how our kids have thrived!
3. What are the rules and regulation concerning homeschooling where do you live?
Here in my province in Canada, you can either choose to register with a school as a homeschooler (total freedom in curriculum & limited funding) or as a DL (Distance Learning) homeschooler (regular reporting of learning to a support teacher, greater funding & options for community classes/group learning.)
We have prayerfully chosen the DL approach since day 1. We started out enrolled in a Christian school where my daughter went to class there twice a week but had to follow their curriculum. I love to follow my own vision so I enrolled with a local Christian online school instead to have more freedom in that regard. It’s been a good fit for us for the past 4 years & my kiddos enjoy the weekly community class with some of their other homeschooling friends.
4. Tell us about your homeschooling approach.
I’d say that we’re fairly eclectic with a mix of everything. We dabble in classical education with some classical memory work as well as some Charlotte Mason for our science. We love living books & I bring in a ton of great books from the thrift stores so we have a pretty extensive library!
5. Year-round homeschooling or traditional calendar homeschooling?
We do year-round homeschooling with a really light, laid-back schedule during the summer as we like to cover social studies & map skills during the summer break a couple days a week so we can cover world history throughout the “traditional” school year!
I find it helps the kids to keep up a small amount to have a bit of routine & they don’t move backward in their handwriting/writing skills over the break!
6. Tell us about your homeschooling routine.
We start our school mid-morning. I put on some relaxing music & I read our current read aloud to them while they start their handwriting/cursive writing.
Next, I sit with my boys while we do language arts & help them while my girl works independently on her work other than some dictation exercises where I dictate to her. I also do “reading school” with my youngest, which alternates between helping him work through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons & Alphaphonics.
Before lunch, we do math. The boys are doing Singapore Math & my for my oldest does Teaching Textbooks on the computer. Once they’re done the kids enjoy going back to their interests like building Lego creations or drawing, reading or playing together.
Usually one or more of the kiddos help me with putting together a simple lunch & lately I’ve been playing songs on Spotify that teach/quiz the multiplication tables while we prepare. While we eat I read the Bible & our current kid’s theology or character book. We enjoy some good conversations during our lunchtime devotions together!
After lunch, the kids watch their classical memory work songs/video online (Claritas Classical Academy & Cross Seven videos) & focus on memorizing the Scripture portion particularly! Then we alternate between science (106 Days of Creation by Simply Charlotte Mason) or Art (Artistic Pursuits – Vol. 1). We are really enjoying the simple way that the book gives some picture study, teaches techniques simply & features a variety of eras! Some days the kids request both so we do that or others the afternoon gets busy so we skip it depending on the day!
If we’re out & about we listen to Story of the World – Vol. 3 for our history or we all curl up together while I read it aloud.
All the day’s home learning combined takes about 1 ½ – 2 hours. The kids are ALL working above grade level & this relaxed but efficient schedule is a good fit for us!
7. Complete the sentence: Our homeschooling happens mostly at…
The kitchen table! I love being able to have great classical or instrumental music playing with our desktop computer which is right there as well as be able to start lunch, etc. easily with the kitchen right there!
8. What are your favorite homeschool curricula and resources?
* Learning Language Arts Through Literature
* A Reason for Handwriting
* Singapore Math
* Teaching Textbooks
* Artistic Pursuits
9. List your favorite books about homeschooling.
I have been so blessed by Sally Clarkson’s book, Seasons of a Mother’s Heart” & For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay.
10. If you had the chance to start homeschooling all over again today with the knowledge and experience you have now, what would you do differently?
I would take more time to do fun learning & not worry so much about getting things completed on the timelines that I thought were important. I always want to foster a love of learning & to help my kids see how God has made wisdom/knowledge for His glory. I want them to be in awe of Him!!!
Meet Amber, the eclectic homeschool mama.
Amber is a stay-at-home mama on a journey to inspire & make a difference! As a homeschooling mama to 3 sweet kiddos who’s walked through chronic illness, she has a passion to help others get better naturally & move forward through her work-at-home health & wellness business! Her passions are many & include being a blessing to others, healthy living, good music, exploring God’s beautiful creation (especially the ocean!!), thrift store finds & quality time with family! Amber shares encouragement about making healthy choices, pursuing joy, recipes, & natural health wins/testimonies in her private Facebook group Pursuing Abundance. Also all of the above plus mommy chronicles & homeschooling life on Instagram.
Want to peek into more homeschool families’ lives? Download my free ebook: 30 Ways We Homeschool!
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