UPDATE: Since this post was published, Linda has moved her activity to a wonderful new blog, Parent at the Helm. This site is loaded with education information for all parents, not just homeschoolers. Check it out!
I had to smile when today's interviewee said she "could fill a book" in answer to one of my questions because that's just the sort of comment I'd expect from Linda Dobson. After all, she's already filled quite a few books of her own. Just go to Amazon and search under her name and you'll see what I mean. Linda has contributed several wonderful books for the homeschooling community.
Linda also recently started Homeschool Crones Cafe, an online social networking site. It's a great place to meet with many experienced homeschoolers, either to ask questions and pick their brains if you are still homeschooling, or to just hang out and talk with others who've been through the experience and are now moving on to new adventures.
But before you head on over there, let's see how Linda managed to answered my questions since she couldn't write a book here...
1. How long have you been homeschooling (or if finished, how long did you homeschool)?
My eldest of three children went to public school kindergarten. After that, all three were homeschooled; all together it was 1985 to 2001 (or thereabouts).
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)?
Oh my, I could fill a book in answer to this question!
I think we were healthier as individuals and as a family because of freedom and flexibility.
The kids - and I - were able to pursue interests, or spend quiet time, or travel, or go on a picnic, or visit friends, or volunteer, or serve an apprenticeship, or entertain guests, or a million other things at just the right time because we were in charge of the calendar and the flow of days, weeks, months and years.
Growing up and learning in an environment of freedom and flexibility played a role, I'm sure, in helping the kids make choices which exercised their muscles in critical thinking, planning, prioritizing, and experimenting with a variety of roles as they moved toward adulthood.
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?
Mmm, the kids aren't here to say, but from my perspective the field trips and travel were the most fun. We were just starting a support group, and it was a wonderful little group of families who were always ready to seize opportunities as they presented themselves.
A local Girl Scout camp offered a Family week late in the summer, and one family took advantage of it, inviting many of us to come out and visit them while they were there.
The next summer, a few more of us spent the week camping. It grew and grew until, finally, all cabins were rented by homeschoolers, and for a week we experienced a little homeschool town. (Those really were "the days!")
We were fortunate to also do some additional traveling with my folks, including my first trip to Florida where I ultimately resettled.
4. We all have funny experiences while homeschooling. Can you share one of yours with us?
When we first began homeschooling, we were doing so "underground," so early on I tried to be careful of the timing of our public excursions (though the youngsters weren't at all aware of this).
One day, however, we were in need of a gift, so I went into town with all three children to get it. While in the store, a dear senior woman spoke with my then first-grade son, asking "Why aren't you in school today?"
He put on a great big smile and proudly announced, "Because I get teached at home!"
We talked about irregular verbs all the way home.