Tag Archives: homeschool

“I can learn stuff on my own!”

A penguin drawn recently (in about a minute or so) by my artistic daughter.

Those were the words my daughter said to me this morning that made me think. They made me realize that we have strayed far from the path on which we originally began our homeschool journey a few years ago. “We are unschoolers!” I proudly proclaimed a few years ago to another homeschooling mom. (See my article: Yes, I am an Unschooler) As a young momma working with a then five year old, I felt perfectly happy to proclaim our unschooling ways. After all, my ‘kindergartner’ was happy to explore bugs and  ancient Egyptian mummies at will and I was happy to let her do so, confident that her reading skills would continue to improve from their rudimentary beginnings. I felt sure that within a few months, the ‘need to read’ would set in and she would see the benefit of reading, begin to love words and word meanings (just like I do) and be reading chapter books for fun by age six.

I was confusing my own journey with hers. As we went on, I began to be concerned that her reading skills didn’t seem to improve as rapidly as I expected. Why was she struggling with symbol recognition? Why is it still hard for her to understand that the word she read on the last page is still the same word on this page?

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Got Support?

Some of my homeschool mom friendsI’ve been a member of a couple of online communities of homeschoolers for about a year now and one recurring theme I hear spoken of in the forums is the lack of support felt by homeschooling families. As the daughter of a couple who began homeschooling when it was still fairly unheard of, I have seen firsthand how tough it can be to step out into the unknown and defy the words of both friends and family.

I don’t feel the same pressures or fear the same unknowns that my parents did. My husband and I agree completely about our homeschooling philosophy. My parents are 100% on board with our decision (obviously,) my husband’s family are supportive and believe in our heartfelt care for our children enough to set aside any doubts they may have. That alone is very freeing and uplifting. Knowing that you have the support and understanding of those closest to you is so important. My heart aches when I read on certain forums of moms who want to homeschool, but don’t have the support of their husbands. Or families who have made the decision and stepped out in faith only to be slammed by their immediate family members.

That is one reason why I am a big advocate of finding a local group of homeschoolers with whom you can connect and on whom you can lean. Many of them have been in the same boat as you when they first made their decision. Continue reading

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How to Go From Public School to Home School in 12 Easy Years

Yvonne and Tonya 1998

Mom and I in the year that I graduated

As the holidays approach and traditions and family time are often the topic of discussion, I am so excited to be able to introduce my very first guest blogger. This blogger is particularly close to my heart. As a homeschooling wife and mom and loving daughter to two beautiful people (including one with multiple health issues,) this woman juggled various responsibilities with aplomb for many years in her homeschooling days. These days, she keeps up her busy schedule with a full time ‘day job’ as she works overtime to make her latest business venture successful. The truth is that this pioneering homeschooling mom taught me pretty much everything I know about how to homeschool successfully. You may have guessed by now that I am talking about my own dear Mama! Now, without further ado, here is the blog by Yvonne Root:

Somewhere around here we probably have the video supplied to us by the television station that sent a reporter into our home to discuss the then new idea of home school. We were in our first year of playing school at home. Notice the wording – playing school – I’ll get back to that.

We were in the news!

What an exciting day that was for us. We had answered yes to the reporter’s request to come see our school, to see the one and only student and to see the teacher. The room that had once been our family room had morphed (seemingly overnight) into the school room. The student’s desk and the teacher’s desk, the shelves filled with books, the bric-a-brac of a well stocked school room were all there awaiting the reporter. The one and only student and the teacher were dressed for school. The principle had been called away (poor guy had to work his day job) and was unavailable.

The reporter asked the usual questions concerning – hum, I don’t remember most of what she asked. The only thing I do remember with certainty was the question concerning how we went from being at home as a family to being at school. I could have shown her the door frame and said, “That way is the kitchen and that is home, this way is the school room and this is school.” Instead I offered an even more disgustingly silly answer. I told her that I changed hats. In one hat I was the mom and in the other hat I was the teacher.

This is one of those moments I look back on and think, “Could I have really been that naive? Could I have really been so clueless?”

The education begins

Because I absolutely love the process of learning, (there is a bit of irony here) I borrowed or purchased every book I could get my hands on concerning home school. Not only the why of home school but the how of home school, the what, where and when of home school became my major focus, became the one concept about which I was determined to learn. (Remember this was before the internet was available to the likes of me and mine – books were where I turned.) Also we were blessed to find a home school support group within a few months of our adventure into playing school and I began to get an education.

But the school sputters

Perhaps because I had only one student I wasn’t as bad as a friend of mine who confessed that in her early days of home school her children students, all 3 of them, were required to raise their hands if they desired to ask a question or add a comment. Yet, in so many other ways I brought my experience of public school into the setting which would be our home school. Continue reading

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Yes, I Am An Unschooler

The other day a friend and fellow homeschooling mom asked me if I had mentioned that our family unschooled our children. “Yes, we do,” I told her.

“And, did you also say that you were homeschooled?” she asked.

“Yep, that’s true, too,” I smiled, aware of what her next question would be.

True to what I thought, she asked, “Were you unschooled?”

As a thirty-one year old mom of two young children, I often face a lot of bewildered looks when I state that I am an autodidactic unschooler who plans to raise her children to be the same.

Many in our local homeschooling group give me strange looks or simply change the subject when I mention that we unschool. One even laughed and said, “Oh, so you can help plan a lot of things because you never teach at all!” I don’t think she was joking. There is a lot of confusion out there amongst traditional homeschooling families as to what exactly happens in the home of…GASP…unschoolers.

Unschoolers! Aren’t those the folks that give us all a rotten name? The parents whose kids get kicked out of school for something and who then let their kids sit and watch soap operas and MTV all day while they eat processed cheese product on tortilla chips and three Hershey bars a day?

Many people see the word unschooling in this negative, passive light. But, for those of us who actually call ourselves unschoolers (I doubt the mom of the child described above would ever have heard of the word unschool,) the word is in fact positive and active.

To truly unschool you can’t sit back and relax; you have to get in and begin to know your children on a very fundamental level. Continue reading


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