Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Homeschooling R.O.C.K.S - Meet LeAnna

Homeschooling R.O.C.K.S!

Real Moms, who face different Obstacles and Challenges as they homeschool their kids, yet put their trust in their King, Jesus Christ, and Stand firm in what the Lord has called them too!

Another amazing homeschool mom I'd like to introduce you to......
LeAnna and her family
Me: "Hey, LeAnna. What a privilege to get to know you more as we talk today about your homeschooling journey. I am excited to hear what you have to say!"

LeAnna: Thank you for doing this! It's always an encouragement to me to talk with other homeschool moms!

Me: "I'd love for you to share a little about your family and what sort of things you all enjoy doing together"

LeAnna: I grew up in the midwest and met my husband about 13 years ago, at Bible college. A few years later, we got married and moved west to California, where he is from, and lived there 8 years.

The Lord then led us back to the midwest, back to where it all started. We are blessed with three children. Our son is 6, and will be a 1st grader this fall. Our daughters are 8 and 9 years old, and will be in 3rd and 4th grade.

My husband has a bit of a crazy schedule, so Sunday and Monday tend to be our family time. During this time, we love to cook together and try new recipes! While mine tend to be more "what can I make in 30 minutes or less", or if it's "freezer friendly", he likes to open my dust laden cookbooks and wow us with something really exciting! It's fun and I won't complain even one bit....(even if he leaves a bit of a mess behind. Heehee:)

During the summer, we love to go to baseball games, get together with family and friends for a bbq, play Kinect, go for ice cream, swim, and do lots of reading! We love all the summer reading programs available!

Me: "Have you always known you wanted to homeschool or are you what they call an 'accidental' homeschooler?"

LeAnna: I had pondered homeschooling for a while, but wasn't entirely sure of what I wanted to do, until a couple of years before my oldest started Kindergarten . As a child, I attended both public and private schools and then was homeschooled, so i felt like i had a good feel for what was out there. My husband was not homeschooled. He attended public school his first couple of years and then a private school for the rest. For our children, we knew public school was not an option, and private school was not within our budget... so this led us to try a year at homeschooling, and we have never looked back! It has been a joy and a blessing so many times over!

Me: "What are the reasons you have chosen to homeschool? How long have you been doing it for?

LeAnna: We have been homeschooling five years, this fall. There are so many reasons why we have chosen to homeschool... We love that we can spend so much time together as a family! We love that our children's education is rooted in the Word of God! We love the flexibility that comes with homeschooling! We love that we can tailor each child's education to their learning style and ability! So many... (I could keep going.:)

Me: What would you say has been the hardest aspects or obstacles you face with homeschooling and having your children home with you?

LeAnna: One of the hardest obstacles for me, is feeling confident in my curriculum choices. I think sometimes I revert back to my public school mindset and wonder, "Is this enough?" I also find myself wondering if they are getting enough interaction.... okay "socialization" with others than just with mom. And, lets just keep it even more real... Mom could use some "down time" now and then! lol

Me: "What is it you love the most about having your kids home with you? What does a typical day look like?"

LeAnna: I love that I get to see their excitement when they read a book for the first time! I love that when we are having a tough day, we can close the books, take a break and spend some time doing something fun... go sledding, make cookies, or even take a field trip to Target! Hahaha! (You know you all do it!;)

On a typical school day, we start the morning with breakfast and a few chores that each of the kids have, and then my older two have piano practice. I don't have a real strict schedule, but like to have the kids sitting down for school no later than 9am. We school the whole morning, then we have lunch and a little devotional with dad before he's off to work. After lunch, we tie up any loose ends that the kids have yet to do, and then they are free to play. In the afternoon too, I like to have a little "quiet time". The kids are free to do things like listen to music, read books, or color. But, i find that it helps us to all take a breather and refresh a little. After dinner, we like to spend some family time together, watching 'Little House on the Prairie' or reading.

Me: "I've learned so much about myself over the past few years as I have taken on homeschooling my girls. What have you learned the most about yourself during this homeschooling journey?"

LeAnna: Hmm, I have learned so much too, but i would say that over the course of our homeschool journey, I have learned to relax and trust the Lord. I went into homeschooling with more a "public school" mindset... how things should operate in our home. I would say that we were only about 1/4 CMer's. While I had always wanted to go that route, I was still hanging onto trying to match what the kids would be doing in the "classroom". It wasn't until this last school year, that I made almost an entire switch to CM, and it has made a difference in our family. Not only do the kids enjoy school more, but our day can be filled with so much more family time! It has been a blessing that I am so thankful for! The Lord has given me the peace to know that I don't have to match up to a particular way of teaching. He will guide me as a mom and a teacher and any of those gaps I am unsure about, He will fill them in!

Me: "Have there been days/times you felt like throwing in the towel with homeschooling? What encouragement would you give to any mom out there who is feeling discouraged or not excited in homeschooling her children?"

LeAnna: Oh yes! I think we all have those days from time to time, don't we? I know I do! This day in age, sometimes, we ponder if it wouldn't be easier if we had two incomes... which would require the kids to go to public school. Or, if I'm having difficulty getting a concept into my little one's head, and think it would be so much easier if someone else could help them grasp it. Or, lately, i have had so many people tell me, "Oh, public school isn't really that bad." "Your kids would be fine". So many times, I think Satan wants to try and widen those little cracks that get us so distracted from our goals of why we started homeschooling in the first place. I know there are so many times when I have needed a gentle reminder that what I am doing is my mission for the Lord. I sometimes have to physically make a list of pros and cons, and the pros of homeschooling always outweigh the cons.
He put it in mine and my husbands heart to homeschool our children, and while the road may not always be paved smoothly, He will still get us to where we need to be. I also believe He will bless us for our decision that we have made.:)

Me: "Do you have a homeschooling missions statement or a vision and purpose you want to share?"

LeAnna: Our purpose in homeschooling is first and foremost so that our children and have a Christ centered education. Secondly, so that we can spend so much time together as a family, and build those relationships. Thirdly, for the flexibility that homeschooling brings.

Me: "Do you take time away from the kids/home to do things for yourself? If so what do you enjoy doing?"

LeAnna: I take a little time, as it allows. One thing I am working toward, very slowly, is getting my nursing degree. I take a few classes here and there, but nothing too much. Homeschooling and home is first priority for me, so if it doesn't work out one year, it's no biggy. I enjoy taking classes, and maybe later, when the kids are out of house, i will pursue more. I also love to craft and sew, and home decorate. It is so much fun for me to take an idea from an expensive magazine and make it myself for just a few $.

Me: "What a blessing to be able to hear from you today! I pray you would continue to find joy on this journey! Thank you so much for giving of your time to answer my questions"

LeAnna: Thank you! I hope I was able to encourage someone today!:)

Just in case you missed it, here are the first six in the series:
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