What is your name and general location?
My name is Jessica Waldock from The Waldock Way. We live in Florida near the east coast.
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
My husband and I have one daughter and she is six years old, although she thinks she is sixteen.
What are the main reasons you chose to home educate?
It started out as me not wanting to let go of my baby. She was so tiny at four and preschool was so long. I was not ready to let go so I talked my husband into letting me teacher the alphabet and how to count at home. By the end of the year we were sold. She had learned so much and we all loved the lifestyle that homeschool gave us.
Do you follow a specific method or style of teaching?
The only thing I can say is eclectic, I have taken pieces and parts of my favorite methods and made them work for us. We do morning basket which is inspired from Charlotte Mason and Classical Education. We do poetry teatimes, movie nights, and jot it down writing which is inspired from the Brave Writer Lifestyle. I strew activities which is inspired from Unschooling. We do a lot of gameschooling and life schooling too.
What is your favorite aspect of homeschooling?
The flexibility hands down. Being able to drop everything to study chickens for a week because we have some hatching in our bathroom (true story). The ability to teach where my child is at and what she is interested in at that moment. Oh, and being able to stay in your pajamas all day is a huge perk too.
What is the most challenging thing about home educating?
For me personally this is the record keeping. Our state is very lenient thank goodness, but all the paper and records just are not fun me to. I would prefer to just have fun learning and forget about all that legal stuff.
What is your family rhythm like?
We have a routine that we follow each day, but it very loose. We have breakfast and do morning basket, we do some table work (no more than an hour), we eat our lunch while watching an educational show, we enjoy some outside play time followed by quiet time (normally with an audio book), and then family time when my husband gets home. On the weekends we try to explore the state parks in our area or have family movie and game time.
How do other people react to your choice to home educate?
So far, I have not encountered any negativity about our decision. I have had a few people look at me sideways but maybe they know their opinion does not matter so they have kept it to themselves. For the most part everything is supportive about it because they can see how well it works for us.
How do you plan your homeschool year and what curriculums do you use?
I don’t! I know that is not what you want to hear but it is the truth. I am type A and if I have a plan it must be followed or else and I do not like that in our homeschool because it stresses me out which in return stresses my daughter out. I track out lessons after we do them not before. This year we are using The Good and The Beautiful, Life of Fred, and Passport to Adventures (a curriculum I created at my daughter request for Magic Tree House School this year). I have a goal of where I would like us to get by the end of the year in our learning, but I do not map how we get there, I let that happen naturally.
How do you make time for yourself?
By staying up late (which is not a good solution). I love the quietness of the house after everyone has gone to bed though. I stay up and write for my blog, film videos, or just read a book. It is nice to have alone quiet time.
What insight or advice can you share about being a home educator?
Remember that this is your homeschool not anyone else’s. Every child is different and should their education will be too. Comparison is the thief of joy so be inspired by others but not jealous or comparative. Always do you!
Thank you Jessica for sharing your journey with us! You can find Jessica on Instagram at www.instagram.com/thewaldockway and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thewaldockway. Go read her blog over at www.thewaldockway.com and watch her videos on Youtube at www.youtube.com/c/thewaldockway.