Proudly Raising Little Geeklings: Christy's Interview

Christy, mom of the two children pictured above, blogs about her family at Growing Urban Wildflowers.

Because Christy loves crafts and her husband, Jeff, is a mechanical engineer, she claims her children are doomed. Doomed to be geeks.

Well, I certainly hope she's right, because in my experience geeks are the most interesting people on the planet...

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

Like most families where the kids have never been to school, we've been "homeschooling since birth." However, we made the conscious decision to homeschool when our oldest daughter, K, turned 5 and we had to choose whether to sign her up for kindergarten or not. We went with "or not!" K will be 8 this winter, and her little sister G will be 4.

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, wow, there are so many benefits to homeschooling I don't know where to start.

Early on, when I was researching homeschooling, I read somewhere not to be worried if one of your reasons for homeschooling is to let your kids sleep in... and that was one of my big benefits, with my kids never up before 8! Truly, having well-rested kids is half any battle, and the benefits just stack up from there.

Like many homeschoolers, we do most of our traveling in the "off-season" - trips around here mostly happen in the fall; we just got back from 14 days tent camping in Colorado and South Dakota. Last spring we were able to take a week long trip to a Caribbean island - talk about learning culture differences and making friends from all over!

On a more kid-personal level, there isn't a benefit much greater than being able to tailor your children's education exactly to them. K was a completely self-taught reader at age 5, and was reading Boxcar Children books by the time her school-mates would have been on to "Hop on Pop."

We were able to feed her love of reading easily with unschooling for the first few years (where she spends hours and hours a day reading until I kick her outside regularly); now, she's been asking "when do we start school?," so we're going to do what I'll call "structured unschooling" very slightly based on Charlotte Mason's methods. We'll see how that goes and adjust from there! (Oh, look! Another benefit!!)

One last benefit is that our girls get to see the reasons behind how we live and the choices we make as a family. They've met the farmer and visited the farm from where we get our grass-fed beef locally, they come with me each week to pick up our CSA box and love to see what's inside. They attend church and Sunday School regularly and know why they do. They know why we shop local, and meet the merchants, because they come with us.

I think just as important as knowing how to do something, is knowing why you are doing it.

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?

The local park system does homeschool days, and we've had a wonderful time with other homeschooled kids of all ages learning about maple syrup, rivers, local geology, farming in the 1850's, and astronomy, just to name a few.

On the trip we just completed, on our way home we stopped at Mitchell SD's Corn Palace... and wandered around to the side where it looked like they had been working on affixing the corn to the wall. A guy poked his head out a side door and we started asking him questions about the process, and he was extremely friendly and happy to chat with us - even told the girls to pick out corn cobs to take with them! (Bet they don't do that with all the school kids who come through!)

We're looking forward to making many more fun memories!

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

Haven't had a real "funny situation" yet, but we're sort of "funny" people." ;)

As kids of a mechanical engineer dad and a crafty-geek mom, our kids are doomed!

They have a strange but wonderful wind-turbine fascination (which we have been known to pull off the road to visit), K loves Think Geek catalogs (who doesn't?), knitting and embroidery, paging through Wired magazines (while watched over by me), and assumes her dad can build or fix anything (mostly true).

G knows her own way around an embroidery needle and sharp sewing scissors (again, watched by me!), and has an infatuation with putting things in lines or compartments by category. We are proudly raising little geeklings!

1 comment:

Dawn said...

"I think just as important as knowing how to do something, is knowing why you are doing it."
So true! Thanks for sharing your experience Christy!