Expanding The Social Circle: Ellen's Interview

Ellen and her family live in Wisconsin where it can get really cold. Yeah, yeah, I know the kids look nice and warm in the photo above, but that's summer! I'm pretty sure Ellen couldn't find a good picture taken during winter because the kids were buried up to their hair in the snow.

Ellen says one of the biggest benefits for her family in regards to homeschooling is the ability to hang out and learn from lots of different familes but it looks like her kids are starting off quite well in helping others learn too as you can see here.

She runs a homeschooling website called Homeschool Recess and I noticed her slogan is right up my alley because it says
"Where homeschoolers come when it's time for fun."

It makes me feel better to know that they are expanding their social circle because they're going to need that extra body heat in a few months when the snow comes.

More from Ellen...

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

My oldest would be going into 3rd grade this year if she were in school, so we've been "real" homeschoolers for 3 years.

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)?

My favorite everyday benefit of the flexibility of homeschooling is that it means that my kids can stay up late reading and still get the sleep they need, because they don't have to get up early to catch a bus. I also love that we can drop everything and spend all our time outside when spring comes after our loooong Wisconsin winter, or for the first good snowfall.

We also like the way homeschooling makes it easy for us expand our social circle beyond our immediate neighborhood. We live in a town right on the border between farm country and the Twin Cities metro. Because we have time, we are involved in activities with city folks, suburbanites and farm families, and we love learning from and with all of them.

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?

We like to go on normal family outings at times school families typically can't, because it lets us avoid crowds (we aren't fans of crowds). We've been to a large resort in the Wisconsin Dells, and had it almost to ourselves, and have made a study of when local museums have a lull in school field trips (the first couple weeks of school & immediately after winter break). Disney World is much more fun at a slow time of year. :)

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

I'm not sure how funny it is, but it's interesting to me to see the little things my kids don't know because they are homeschooled that I once considered standard knowledge for a child.

Standing in line is no problem-- we do that at the grocery store, but opening little school-sized cartons of milk is tough.

Raising hands to ask a question? No problem.

Figuring out and remembering what grade they would be in school, or even exactly when in the year kids change grades? Baffling. :P


Ruralmama said...

Hey! It's not that bad in the Winter!

Sometimes we freeze our toes off, but not EVERY day. Just most days. :-)

Alison Kerr said...

Yes, that whole "Which grade are you in?" It baffles even my 8th and 11th grader!

momto5minnies said...

Great interview. I'm not a fan of crowds either ;)