first up, i have one of my bloggy-land friends, kim. she is the author of the inadvertent farmer (and host of kinderGARDENS). her blog is full of so much great stuff - kiddos, food, crafts, house projects, photos, gardening. . . all with a dash of fun humor.
tell us about your family.
We are a long time married couple with 5 kids. Our three oldest sons are either in college or finished and on their own. We have a 7 year old girl and a 3 year old baby boy still at home. We live on an organic farm in SW WA state where we homeschool, garden, and try to keep a camel out of the tomatoes!why have you chosen a home based education?
I was raised in a private Christian school system (including boarding school for highschool) and hubby was raised in the public school system. After using a combination of private/public/home for the oldest three we have come to the realization that homeschooling is what fits our lifestyle and goals for our kids the best. So for the youngest two it will be homeschooling throughout.
When I first started, a homeschooling friend wisely said that each homeschool looks different...some are formal and scheduled, some more relaxed, some are unschooling...what matters is that you do what is best for your family.what advice would you give to someone starting out?
I would advise that if you have a heart to homeschool your kids talk to others that are veterans. They are a wealth of knowledge and always enthusiastic to help newbies. Remember that no one in the world loves your kids as much as you do so no one will want them to learn and succeed as much as you, so take a deep breath and enjoy the rollercoaster ride that is homeschooling!
what are your favorite tools/supplies for teaching?
Books...not just the textbooks or workbooks, but books that we read for fun. I am amazed every day all that my kids learn from reading on a wide variety of subjects. When we built our home we actually put in a library...I'm crazy for books.any final thoughts?
Nature....living on a farm nature is one of our all time most important teachers. Taking a walk outside will spark so many ideas and questions that I think our whole science curriculum could be based just on nature walks!
Kitchen...we cook all of our food from scratch so spend hours together in the kitchen each week. You can learn math, nutrition, art, chemistry, biology, and all kinds of great things in the kitchen...but they will never learn if you don't let them into you kitchen!
Homeschooling is not easy, not every day will be an ideal day. Some days your kids will drive you crazy and your house will be a wreck. BUT the good days will always outnumber the stressful ones. You will have the privilege of seeing your kids grow and learn every day...you will get to share intimately with each of their triumphs and be there to help them when its hard.
Besides you will get to go on vacation when all the other families are having to be in town due to school...which means shorter lines at Disneyland and more campsites at the campground!!!
Yep...homeschooling ROCKS!go check out kim's blog, the inadvertent farmer. and say hi to gizmo.