Homeschooling Family Interview: Tammy

Today's interview is with Tammy, who homeschools her two children in the Myrtle Beach area. She's a writer and avid blogger who obviously has a lot in common with me because one of her blogs is titled The Ramblings Of A Crazy Woman and another is Crazy Homeschool Adventures. This is one crazy mama. I wonder if she takes after her father?....

1. How long have you been homeschooling (or if finished, how long did you homeschool)?

This is our first year homeschooling. Our daughter is 10 and our son is 4. We did de-school for quite a bit before starting any real studies. Now we are leaning more towards unschooling.

2. One of the main benefits of homeschooling is the freedom and flexibility it allows. Can you give us a few examples of how this freedom and flexibility benefited you (your family)?

There are days when we seem to do nothing at all and yet those are the days the kids seem to learn the most. If we want to go some place, any place, we can do so when it is the least crowded. The best example is the fact we do not have to get up and rush to get on the bus in the morning, then make sure we are home before the bus gets home in the afternoon. Ok that is one of the best examples.

I felt like I was losing my daughter to the public before I was ready to let her go. I was seeing unacceptable behavior from her, she was tired and sick all the time. Worst of all this child so loved learning that when she all of a sudden didn't want to anymore it broke my heart. She had to wait to start school because of her birthday, then she started and it was wonderful.

But there was a problem. She moved through the repetitive material faster than her classmates. She would get up to help them finish their work since she had to wait for new work. This was considered disruptive and it was suggested we get her tested for ADD. Now, dyslexia I could see, and she was tested for that and hers is so mild they felt she didn't need any extra help because her IQ is so high.

I could actually write tons on all of this. But we have created an environment in our home that allows her to move where her interests take her. As for our son he is learning all the time, the world is still so new to him that he learns something almost every minute. Right now we are working on inside voice vs outside voice. LOL We gave up on him learning not to run through the house. He has two modes of movement, stop and go. Mostly go.

3. Another benefit of homeschooling is the fun factor. Can you give us a few examples of some especially fun times you had as a result of homeschooling?

Going to the park or some other place in the middle of the week and having the place to ourselves. The aquarium in the middle of the week, when there are not a lot of other people there, the kids get one on one attention from the staff. They had a blast holding horseshoe crabs, petting sting rays, guitar fish and watching all the shows. We were completely unfettered by anything and had an absolute blast exploring.

Building a fort inside or out has been absolutely awesome. Playing games, family tournaments of online games, puzzles, the list goes on. We are simply enjoying life.

4. We all have funny experiences while homeschooling. Can you share one of yours with us?

I don't know if this fits in with what you are looking for but will give it a shot. My son came up to me the other day and wanted to know when were we going to play in the mud and dirt. Now, this is something my children do almost every day.

His descriptions became more and more in-depth. His next question to attempt to convey his concern was, "When are we going to throw the smelly dirt out on the yard?"

It dawned on me, we hadn't had a garden last year because of circumstances. But the "smelly dirt" had to mean either compost or manure. So I asked him where the smelly dirt came from.

"From a horses butt mom."

AAhhh..manure. "Do you want to plant a garden this spring?"

"Yeah a garden, that's the ticket. But do we have to use the horse poop?"

"No, but it really helps the plants grow."

"Well just make sure they don't eat beans like Pa-Pa does."

He is being so serious and I am trying so hard not to laugh. "Horses don't technically eat the same things that Pa-Pa does."

"Oh, good, and mommy, I don't want to grow roses."

Here I thought we were talking strictly veggies. "Why not?"

"Because Pa-Pa said his poop smells just like them."

I couldn't help it at this point I laughed until I cried. My son looked at me like I lost my mind. We made a field trip to the local nursery so he could smell roses.

"Pa-Pa made a joke didn't he?"

"Yes, baby he did."

"His jokes stink."

The rest of the day was spent in such a way. He was so serious but everything regarding the topic of gardening and my father that the little man put together just came out this way. I don't think I had laughed so much in years.

Tammy Curry, Director of Chaos

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