Community,  Q + A

Q + A with Carla from Little Learner

What is your name and general location?

I’m Carla from sweet South Carolina

How many children do you have and what are their ages? 
I have 3 precious littles- Macie Jane (5) Sadie Grace (3) and Rutledge (2)
What are the main reasons you chose to home educate? 
I absolutely love being a mama and spending my days together with my children. I taught early elementary grades before staying home after having my first and it’s a dream come true to get to teach my own children! It’s definitely different from the classroom but I really love it!
Do you follow a specific method or style of teaching? 

I loosely follow the Charlotte Mason style of teaching. We do some unit studies but for now (I’m just teaching kindergarten to my oldest) we’re spending most of our days learning through play, singing, and reading big piles of books!

What is your favorite aspect of homeschooling? 
I love the flexibility to adapt to the children’s interests and I love that I get to teach them individually based on their individual needs. Not to mention it’s really a lot of fun! Maybe that’s the teacher heart in me coming out! 🙂
What is the most challenging thing about home educating? 
Balancing! It’s a struggle most days giving Macie Jane lessons without being interrupted by my busy toddler or eager preschooler. I typically include them in all we do but for her direct lessons it’s still pretty hard for my crew to give us time. Those lessons are short (5-10 minutes) but for whatever reason in those 5-10 minutes one or both of them desperately need me- haha! We’re all learning and figuring out our rhythm and I’m certain it won’t always be this way.
What is your family rhythm like? 
We have breakfast together and they play independently while I clean up and set up for lessons. We gather in the den for our morning basket routine (poetry, songs/hymns, memory verse, Bible story, and a written message) Macie Jane and I do a reading lesson while the little two play. Then Sadie and I do a preschool activity while Macie Jane does a lesson on the Reading Eggs App. Next, Macie Jane does a math lesson with me and the girls do a math activity together. We all take a brain break for room time (30 minutes) and gather again for a read aloud with snack. Then Macie Jane does a simple writing lesson and we finish up by rotating geography/science/art activities. Most days we are finished with lessons by lunch/nap time however I add in extras like baking, French, and crafts in the afternoon between nap and dinner.
How do other people react to your choice to home educate? 
Most everyone is very supportive- the schools in our area aren’t great, I was a teacher before staying home, and my husband was homeschooled all the way through and he turned out practically perfect. 😉
How do you plan your homeschool year and what curriculums do you use?
This year we’re just doing kindergarten so I’ve planned my own curriculum loosely based off Charlotte Mason suggestions and the Common Core standard requirements. We’ll study year round taking a few weeks off in December, April, and August.
How do you make time for yourself? 

I like to get up early before the children to start my day quietly. There’s also 30 minutes of room time in the morning to give me time to sip an extra cup of coffee, shower, or read. I also have an amazing husband who watches my heart by sending me out during the week to get coffee, work alone at the library or just stroll through Target-isn’t he awesome!?

What insight or advice can you share about being a home educator?
I haven’t taught at home for long but coming from a classroom teacher perspective I wish I could encourage all homeschooling mamas to release the pressure they put on themselves. Your littles would never get the one-on-one individualized learning in a classroom like they can in your home- even the best teacher if she has 20 students could only give your little 3 minutes of her time every hour. Spending 15 minutes one-on-one with your littles is more than they’d get all day in a classroom! Rest assured that no matter what that time looks like you’re making a lasting investment and they’re learning so much!
Thank you Carla for sharing your journey with us! You can find Carla on Instagram at @little.learner, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/hellolittlelearner/ and on her website and blog www.alittlelearner.com 
Be sure to check out her adorable Play & Learn Calendars!