Sep 19, 2013

Homeschool Moms :: A Interview with Cheryl

I don't know about you, but when I venture out into uncharted territory I look to the guidance and advice of others who have gone before me and can encourage me along my journey. For instance, when I became a wife, I was desperate to talk to other Godly women who had been married longer than I had-- women who could encourage me in my new role as a wife. When I became a mom, I longed to sit and chat with other Godly moms who had already experienced the ages and stages of childhood that I was navigating my way through. Now that I am venturing into the homeschooling waters, I've been seeking encouragement from other homeschool moms who have seen success schooling their children at home. 

With the introduction of a new set of educational standards in the public school system, many parents are considering alternative schooling options for their children. From what I have seen and heard there is a growing interest in homeschooling as a viable option. The problem is, many parents don't know what to expect or where to start. For that reason, I thought a blog series on homeschooling would be timely.

I've collected several interviews from veteran homeschool moms that I'll be sharing over the course of the next several weeks. My hope is that they will be an encouragement to newbie homeschool moms or those who are considering homeschooling.

Today's interview is from my greatest mentor, example, and encourager-- my beautiful mom! My mom successfully homeschooled me and my siblings over the course of.... well, I'll let her tell you! Enjoy!

From left to right: Husband Joe, Grandson Liam, Son-in-Law Kevin, Daughter Beth, Cheryl, Grandson Silas, Son Luke, Daughter-in-Law Sarah, Daughter Sara, Son Eric, Daughter-in-Law Brittany
How many children do you have, and what are their names and current ages?
I have four children: Beth (31), Luke (28), Eric (25), and Sara (21).

Have your children always been homeschooled, or have they at some point attended a private or public school?
I began homeschooling when Beth began the fourth grade and Luke was entering Kindergarten. Beth had attended public school for grades K-3rd. My other three children were homeschooled only.

How many years of homeschooling experience do you have total?
I homeschooled for a grand total of 20 years!

Tell me a little bit about your decision to homeschool.
I decided to homeschool because of my salvation. I wanted to be the main source of influence in the lives of my children. I also wanted them to have Bible classes included in their curriculum and knowledge about the world from a Biblical perspective.

Tell me what your average homeschool day looked/looks like. 

I like routine, and I think children like it to--everyone on the same page. We tried to begin our day at the same time everyday and usually ended by lunch time. This left us plenty of time in the afternoon for seatwork, homework, or study time for a test. We followed the public school calendar so the children could have the same days off as friends. We also had the option to take days off when necessary or just for fun. 

How did/do you balance managing a home and homeschooling your children?
I think I balanced home and family fairly well. I did most major housework on Saturdays and kept things up on a daily basis. I could not do all in a day, but whatever I could do I did. Cooking and laundry could be done after everyone was in place for school. I kept lunch meals simple and planned weekly. We had TACO TUESDAYS and FISH STICK FRIDAYS, etc. My husband, Joe, was helpful to. He helped with the children whenever possible. 

What was/is your greatest joy as a homeschool mom?
My greatest joy in homeschooling was being able to spend the day with my children. Because we had our own battles as new Christian parents, we grew along with our children. There were rough times, but I believe our children knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we loved them and wanted what was best for them. 

What was/is your greatest challenge as a homeschool mom?
My greatest challenge in homeschooling was focusing so much on my children that I neglected my personal time with God. I think a lot of my harder days would have gone better had I spent time with God first.

How did/does your personality influence your homeschool?
I am a teacher at heart! I was a public school teacher before salvation. I love children, but I do know that part of loving is discipline. I balance the two well, and in return, I think I get respect.

If you could give one word of encourage to a new homeschool mom, what would it be?
Persevere in God's Word!! In due season, if you do not grow weary in well-doing, you will reap! I am reaping! Twenty years later, I am reaping!

Thanks, Mom!!


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