Joann has been married for 40 years to Paul, and they have 6 adult children, who have been home-schooled their entire lives. We began our journey in 1985 and have enjoyed the trip thoroughly. Back in the Stone Age, there were few resources and many critics. We learned to be very creative. Drawing from my experience as a private school teacher and my years growing up in Holland and Switzerland, I was able to piece together my children’s education, making it hands-on and fun whenever possible. Taking advantage of the less stringent homeschooling schedule, we were able to take field trips, a few even to France and other parts of Europe for several 3-6 month stays on a true shoestring. Many of my students have won national gold or silver medals for French. Today, my husband and I have a son who is a marine JAG, a son who is an army reservist and police detective, a daughter who is a teacher, a son who is a nurse, a daughter who studied exercise science and works at a church, and a son attending NC State in Industrial Design. We are very blessed.
Creating a love of Learning in the Early Years:
Homeschooling is widely accepted with many resources available. Choosing curriculum can be overwhelming to those who are just embarking on this journey. My goal is to encourage parents to make learning fun and educative all at the same time. I hope this will help new homeschoolers who may not feel creative at the outset or those who have been doing it for a while and need a creativity boost after a year or two. Much of what can be taught in the early years does not require a formal curriculum. Creative ideas will be shared; there will be suggestions on parenting books, read-aloud books, games, age-appropriate field trips, and more.
Opening doors with Foreign Language
Foreign language is not just for high schoolers to take for 2 years and forget. It is a door that can open the world. Government schools advocate 2 years with very little gain to show afterwards. Imagine studying music or math for 2 years and expecting proficiency. With the internet and the accessibility of our world, those who know a second and third language can practically write their own ticket to success. Our two oldest sons get 10% higher pay for knowing languages. Don’t be nervous; come hear how you can teach a language without losing your mind, using the many resources available.
Penny Pinching Made Easy
On a tight budget? Need some encouragement on how to save money, get things for less, barter, know where to look for bargains, budgeting, finding curriculum needs for free, or at a discount, and much more. Living on one salary for many home-school families is a challenge, but there are ways to rise to that challenge without feeling deprived. We have 6 children; when out oldest was 6, our financial situation changed and my husband had to go back to school. For the next 6 years our income fluctuated, but the average monthly income for our family of 7 (at that time) was about $600/month.
Gap Year, Yes or No?
Would you encourage your teen to take a gap year? Are they ready for college? Do they have a curious and adventurous spirit? Colleges will often seek out those students who have taken a gap year, because it adds to their diversity, realizing that a student who has spent a year learning out in the world will likely be more mature and equipped for college life. There are many gap year programs available. You will learn how to select a program, and what the benefits to taking a year off can be.