The second mom in our home school is Candice. She is also a fellow blogger over at Lexi’s Lunch where she shares delicious, healthy meal ideas. Candice and I share a lot of the same thoughts around how we home school our kids. I chatted to her before we started and she was to helpful in clarifying a few things for me.
Introduce yourself – where you stay, how many kids, their ages etc
I’m Candice. I am wife to Rob and mother to Lexi (age 6). I am a baker, blogger, environmental- and healthy eating activist…. And I am a homeschooling mom! We live in the Northern suburbs of Joburg.
Why did you decide to homeschool?
From the moment I fell pregnant I knew I was going to homeschool, so there was no big defining moment where I decided. I come from a family of educators and both my sisters are teachers. The stories I heard / hear about the schools and education system scared me.
From age five my youngest sister said she wanted to be a foundation phase teacher. She became so disheartened that she stopped teaching altogether. We had our daughters 4 months apart and it was a no-brainer for us to homeschool our girls.
Are you following a set curriculum?
If you are, which one?
If not, what are you doing?
We follow what I call an eclectic curriculum. Instead of using a boxed curriculum I pick and choose the curricula that I feel will work for our family. This gives us the flexibility to change if we find that one is not working for us (without breaking the bank!).
We are currently doing:
- Singapore Math
- First Language Lessons
- All About Spelling
- Writing With Ease
- Story of the World
- R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey (once a week)
- The Big Life Journal (once a week)
- What is or has been your biggest challenge homeschooling?
It took me a few very frustrating months to figure out that Lexi is a kinesthetic learner. This means that she learns from doing physical activities rather than watching or listening to something. We don’t sit in front of books for lessons, I turn everything into a game. For example, for reading and spelling we do word hopscotch on our garage floor.
What has been or is the best thing about your homeschooling journey so far?
We love the flexibility. It has allowed us to travel out of season with Lexi. We get to enjoy places when they are quiet during the week when everyone is at school and work. Usually this means we get to enjoy them cheaper too.
What is your absolute favourite resource?
The Well-trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer
I refer to it almost daily! It is a wonderful resource for ALL parents, not just those that homeschool.
What is the one thing you can’t do without?
My copy of The Well Trained Mind! We keep things simple and I haven’t really relied on any one thing. I would recommend buying a good quality colour printer. A lot of the curricula that I have bought have been in pdf format and I then print what I need.
What has surprised you the most about this journey?
Firstly, how much one can get done in a short amount of time.
Secondly, just how “absorbent” our children’s minds are!
One piece of advice you would give to a family considering homeschooling?
Read, read, read! Investigate all the teaching methods (classical education, Montessori, Charlotte Mason, unschooling etc.). Talk to other homeschooling parents and find a community.
It’s important for children to make friends while they are young. I have often seen how the teenagers struggle to find friends in the homeschooling community if they haven’t already got a circle of friends.
And once you get started, let go of your expectations and just go with the flow. That’s when things fall into place for most families.
Last week we featured Melanie, if you missed it, head over and read about her home school journey.