Don't Box Her In: Nance Confer's Interview

Today's interview is from Nance Confer, who blogs over at Cocking A Snook with JJ Ross.

Poor Nance had a hard time with my questions.

I think the format boxed her in too much. Maybe it seemed too much like a test. For whatever reason, she just wasn't comfortable with the box I gave her so she did what any resourceful, independent homeschooling mom would do and simply punched her way out of it.

When Nance wrote back, she apologized for tearing up the box and said she would understand if I didn't use her response. But I'm running a blog that focuses on freedom, flexibility and fun, so as long as she had fun with it, then I'm certainly flexible enough to give her the freedom to respond in her own way.

Besides, I have plenty of duct tape.

Now let's take a look at what Nance had to say about her family's homeschooling experience after she kicked that box of questions out of her way...

Enjoying Life and Each Other

We live in a very small town on the East Coast of Florida. There are four of us: DD (dear daughter), DS (dear son), DH (dear husband) and me. And the cats. And the fish. And the hermit crab. From the outside, we look like an average suburban family.

DH has his own business in construction. I help with the office side of things. I also run an umbrella school for unschoolers and other homeschoolers in Florida. And I volunteer once a week as a literacy tutor.

And I spend the rest of my time juggling kids. The fun part. :)

We started homeschooling over 10 years ago when DS, now 16, “dropped out” of Kindergarten. We lasted seven months in school. The problem was that he could already read. They were pleasant but had nothing much for him to do and no really good suggestions. So we started homeschooling and, after spending way too much time studying state standards and trying different curriculums and study programs, we discovered unschooling.

And have lived happily ever after! Well. . . close enough. :)

One of the best things about homeschooling is that we are free to come and go as we please. We have a limited budget but we aren’t on anyone else’s schedule. So we have a very easygoing lifestyle. Until one of the kids decides to join a drama camp that has five-hour rehearsals every day. Or the other one decides he needs extra workout sessions to train for a national Tae Kwon Do tournament. Then it’s a bit of hustle and bustle but all by choice.

DD, 14, and DS are each lovely, intelligent, warm human beings. They are a pleasure to be around, to talk with, to learn from. They have always had very different personalities and interests but, because we unschool, we haven’t really had to force any square pegs into round holes. We’ve just been able to follow interests as they have come up, keeping what works and discarding the rest.

I suppose I could go on about reading milestones or artsy creations. Black belts achieved and library cards melted. But I don’t feel the need to justify what we do or brag on the kids that way. They are special and wonderful children who are smart, funny and kind. Not through the magic of any particular kind of schooling but because nothing has gotten in their way. Not because of their various achievements or interests but because that’s who they are.

And that’s who we are -- your average happy suburban family next door. And, yes, we happen to be homeschoolers. :)


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Debbie, for your generous take on my response! :)

This has been a terrific series. I have enjoyed all the different essays and appreciate all the work you have put into it.


Lhennegan said...

Right on, baby!

Hey you, it's me.