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Homeschool Chat with Rhythms and Rivers

 

Let children alone… the education of habit is successful in so far as it enables the mother to let her children alone, not teasing them with perpetual commands and directions – a running fire of Do and Don’t ; but letting them go their own way and grow, having first secured that they will go the right way and grow to fruitful purpose. ~ Charlotte Mason

Today’s Homeschool Chat is with Katy, an American homeschooling mama of 2 boys (Mikel and Marc). They also have two dogs- Zeppelin and Gypsy, who complete their family. She also has a blog – http://rhythmsandrivers.blogspot.com/ , where she writes about her adventures, Classical, Charlotte Mason and Waldorf education, homeschooling, finding balance, building a strong foundation, parenting and co-parenting, the Army, marriage, love, essential oils, recipes, and  their overall family dynamic.

1) Tell us a bit about your family and your child/ children 

I am Katy @rhythmsandrivers, wife to JD, and mother of two boys. My husband is in the United States Army, so home changes for us every few years. We are believers, lovers of nature and music, and seekers of adventures. If you are ever interested in our life outside of homeschool, which includes lots of photos of our dogs, you can follow my personal account @misskatyyyyy

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2)What was your main reason for choosing to home educate your children ?

When we lived in Colorado, our kids started out in a public school. For 2 years, our oldest attended public school (preschool and kindergarten). Our little completed a year of preschool in the public school system. We moved to a new house right before our kids were set to start kindergarten and first grade, thus making a switch in schools for them to a different public school. That school ended up being a complete nightmare for our family, so we made the decision to unenroll our boys and start taking them to a local charter school that just happened to be a Waldorf school after a friend recommended it to us.  Switching to Waldorf Education is something that changed our lives in such a positive way that I am forever thankful for the year that our family had in the school and community prior to our move. The change in schools led to an overhaul of our home. We changed their methods of play, exposure to media, involvement in the arts and music and doing this drastically changed their overall well-being.

 

These big changes led to some serious soul-searching as parents. We discovered that our children were thriving as a result of the changes that we had made in our lives. We knew we had an upcoming move that would take us to a new state and away from the school, so we had some big decisions to make in regards to our children and their schooling, which really effects their entire lives.Ultimately, we decided that homeschool was the best option for our family upon moving to Louisiana. We are now in Georgia, in our fifth year of homeschooling, and we are absolutely loving it.

 

3) What does a “typical”  home school day look like for your family ?

We begin our day with breakfast followed by morning basket time. From there, the boys work on math and then the rest of their school work. We are at the point in their education where we are working on time management, so they have a large part in planning out their school days. We eat lunch together, finish school work and then either read aloud or free read in the afternoons. Once all school work is done, we do chores and start our afternoon and evening activities.

4) What type of a home educator are you ( structured , semi structured , unschooling , classical , Charlotte Mason , Steiner , Montessori etc ) 

We have had an interesting homeschool journey, which began with public school, followed by a Waldorf charter school, which led us to homeschool. I have documented our journey in the first few posts on our Instagram account, @rhythmsandrivers. Our overall approach is a combination of the things we find beautiful. We use a Charlotte Mason inspired approach with a little bit of Waldorf, a little bit of Classical, and as many adventures as possible. Our overall goal through homeschooling is to build a strong educational foundation while raising men of God in the modern world.

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5) What do you love the most about home schooling ?

I absolutely love homeschooling. I love the freedom that comes with it, the time I get with our kids, and the ability to meet each of their needs exactly how they need to be met. The best part for me is that I am redeeming my own education as I educate our boys, and I have the ability to instill scripture and Godly values in them as they grow, which is very important to us.

6) What is your favourite subject to teach and what is your  least one ?

I teach Bible, history, geography, science, maths, citizenship, language arts, literature, foreign language, culinary and agricultural arts, music, arts, handwork, and typing. We have a rhythm that we follow, rather than a timetable, to ensure we cover everything each week without overloading our days. The only thing set in stone is our morning routine. We eat breakfast as a family then dive into morning basket work (https://www.instagram.com/p/BqY3ulxhN0j/) at our dining room table.  From there, our formal school day starts off with math followed by reading and other activities. All of that being said, I don’t have a favourite or a least favourite subject to teach. Some days are more rewarding than others, and some days are a struggle, but in the end, my favourite thing watching my kids learn and learning alongside them.

 

7) What do you find challenging when it comes to home schooling your children

In every season of homeschooling for us, something has been most difficult. When we first started, the most difficult thing was feeling like I was doing enough. The self doubt was really tough to overcome the first year for me. During the next few years, the most difficult thing was feeling like I was doing too much at one time, but looking back that season is where we really found what works best for us. Right now, the most difficult thing for me is not overloading our outside of school schedules. As the boys get older and we get more involved in sports, church, and community, we can tend to overload our schedules and that definitely puts stress on the beauty of our homeschool days.

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8)How do you deal with unsupportive family , relatives and friends ?

When we made the decision to homeschool, our families understood our reasoning, but had some reservations about it. Fortunately, as the years have passed, our families have been very supportive in every decision we have made in regards to homeschooling.

9) Where do you see your home schooling journey in 5 years time ?

In five years, our children will both be approaching graduation. Our plan is to homeschool through high school and have our children dual enrolled so they graduate with college credits. Our hope is to have raised and educated well-rounded men of faith with hearts for the Lord.

10) What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start home educating their children ?

You CAN do this!
There are many methods to choose from, but you will find what works best for you and your children.
You don’t have to be a purist in the method you choose.
Make sure you take time to pour into yourself. One cannot pour from an empty cup.
You are not failing. I repeat, you are not failing even if it feels like you are.
If you are someone that feels like you are failing, just keep giving your best. You are enough. Your best is enough.
 
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Published by ivushka1985

I am a Bulgarian Muslim Home schooling Mama of 5, married to a a British Bangladeshi , residing in the South West of England. I blog about our home schooling adventures, travels, the ups and downs of motherhood , parenting books and children's book reviews.

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