I’m a 42 year old mom of two (ages 23 and 5), and also an entrepreneur, community education instructor, writer, avid gardener, and homeschool advocate. I’ve spent my entire adult life actively parenting, first one daughter, and now my little one, and have found the experience exhilarating, trying, challenging, frustrating and the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
I first learned of homeschooling in 1997 and promptly asked, “Is that even legal?” It would be many more painful years of bad experiences in public school before I got up the courage to pull my daughter Danielle out of school and homeschool her through her high school years.
For Danielle I put together a rather eclectic curriculum, which you can read more about in my series Choosing A Curriculum. It worked well for us and three years later, she obtained her GED and took the SAT and entered college. Danielle is now 23 and living in California and going to college.
It was a wonderful experience, although bumpy at times, especially early on when she was still stuck in the public school mode. Read You Are Only Cheating Yourself that chronicles one such hiccup. I walked away from it empowered and ready to do it again. In 2006 my daughter Emily was born and I knew homeschooling was the best choice.
We have already begun, and I invite you to join us on our journey, as we learn each day, and our homeschooling methods adapt and change to meet the needs of our inquisitive and motivated little girl.
The Homeschool Advocate is more than just a blog about homeschool…it is also about the challenges that come from raising children, the frustrating behaviors, the amusing anecdotes, and outright hilarity that often ensues. We are not your typical homeschoolers, yet I challenge you to find a ‘typical’ homeschooler. When you do, let me know, because I’m dying to meet one!
Whether or not you are homeschooling or are thinking of homeschooling, I invite you to stick around. Parents are our children’s first teachers, we are their role models, their constant companions, and a host of other roles (friends, playmates, entertainers, rules enforcers, etc).
I talk about many of the challenges that face today’s parents. I also cover a great deal of ‘learning enhancements’ – things you can do with your children to encourage a love of learning, inside a school’s walls or without. And last but not least, I’ll make you laugh at some of the wild things we do or say around here!
I was an only child growing up, socially isolated, nervous and shy. When I gave birth to my eldest at the age of eighteen I was completely and totally unprepared for motherhood. A wonderful and very wise woman once said,
“You can’t wing child rearing despite finest attempts and I KNOW you love her. But she is little and different. Not at all like an adult…”
Long after I first learned about homeschooling and had taught my eldest, I ran across a subset of homeschooling known as unschooling and I heard this profound quote by Pat Farenga,
“Fish swim, birds fly, kids LEARN”
It confirmed what I had long suspected. We are hard-wired to learn. I hope to spend the rest of my life doing just that, learning. And along the way, I will be enjoying and blogging about the journey with you.
I challenge you to take the journey with me, and learn more about homeschooling and even unschooling, and then find a path that suits you best. There is no one size fits all, for we are all very different. It is those differences that make us so amazingly special.
p.s. Please keep in mind that the opinions and actions I express on this website are my own. How I parent, the decisions I make, and the paths I take to get to my and my family’s goals may not be the one for you or your family. I am not presuming to advise others on how or what they should do, merely share what we have done, plan to do, and the joys and even failures that occur along the way. I am an expert on my life alone – just as you are the expert for your life. So take what you will from the pages that follow.