This weeks featured mommy is my friend Crystal Allison from Michigan. Our paths first crossed when i was looking for a pen pal for my daughter. She is one of my closest internet buddies, and I even got to meet her a few months ago. Her kids are the cutest, as you can see from this photo.............
Tell us about your family: We are a family of five. Chris and I (crystal) have been married for going on 10 years. We have three kids- two girls and a boy, in that order.
Why did you decide to homeschool: For me, it was a mix of personal reason and religious reasons. Probably the biggest motivator in my mind was situations and people that I had to endure when I was in public school. Some may say "kids will be kids" and laugh it off but for me it was truly hurtful and at times unbearable- yet having no choice in the matter I had to grin and bear it! I decided I did NOT want my children to "bear" going to school, I didn't want them to feel as trapped as I did. I wanted freedom and a love of learning for them that I felt I never had. Also, I wanted God in their lives. Homeschooling gives me the opportunity to incorporate the Almighty Creator in our every day lives and whatever they are learning (that is helped greatly by the way many Christian curriculums are set up!) We don't believe in evolution, yet it is taught as fact in public school. Why would I want my child being taught something that goes against what we as parents believe? We stand firm on our faith in the literal six day creation/ seventh day rest that is presented in the Bible.
What do you feel is the best thing about homeschooling your children: I could list about a hundred things here but I'll try to keep it to one or two. =) For one, my children are comfortable in ANY social situation....whether it be with a group of elderly grown ups or a room full of kindergarteners and younger children. They have never known the segregation of the public schooling system that teaches to only associate with those that are in your "age group". I see a joy and enthusiasm in my kids that I don't see in other kids, mostly because those other kids are just plain exhausted! During the school year they have to get up at 6 am and are expected to spend HOURS sitting in a desk listening to instruction and reading books.....for my kids they get to sleep in some, we can sit in our desks, or relocate to the floor, go outside on a sunny day or even just play a bit before we "do school" so they can wake up fully and be alert. And one more thing, I LOVE that I get to have my kids with me all day! I truly don't understand these parents that dread summer vacation because they don't know what to do with their own child. I'm around mine so much I KNOW their likes and dislikes, I KNOW what kinds of activities they will enjoy, I KNOW what to do with my kids because I've already been doing it all school year!
What is the hardest thing: I do have my days when I just don't "feel" like doing school. On those days its a real inner struggle to make myself be disciplined and just - DO IT! There are other days when I can't wait to get down to it and yet my kids are being less than cooperative. There have been days when we have had to not do school purely because we were becoming too frustrated and it was impeding on the educational process.
Your favorite website(can be homeschool realted or non) and why I'm a huge fan of currclick.com and homeschoolfreebieoftheday.com - that is where I get all my free downloads of educational material. My girls enjoy starfall.com - its entertaining to them and helps them to read.
Advice for someone interested in homeschooling(something you wish someone had told you when you first started out) When purchasing material, if you buy a teachers guide that breaks down the material into lessons for you....you DON'T have to follow it exactly.....you can break it up more if need be or you can double up...do what works for YOUR family...they are providing the guide but YOU can tailor it to your families learning style/ability
Something you or your family like to do for fun(include links if you have them) As a family we enjoy going to the beach in summer, we don't make it often so its a treat when we can go. Also, Chris has taken the girls to hockey games before- they loved them and can't wait to go back. Most of the time we just like to goof off at home, play in the yard, or maybe watch a good movie here and there.
*anything else you may like to add :-) Homeschooling is one of the best choices I have ever made! Each year that goes by I fall in love with it more and more....I love watching my kids grow and learn! I love seeing how happy they are when they "get it" in an area where they have been struggling. I love knowing that they are safe, happy, and well cared for- because I am the one doing it for them! God gave me these precious gifts and I get to enjoy them all day long....what could be better than that!