I am so honored to announce that Nicola from The World Is Their Classroom has nominated me for the 2019 Sunshine Blogger Award!
What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer recognition award for bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in their community. The fact that Nicola nominated me tells me that you value my blog and that I bring something special to your lives.
Rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award:
+ Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and link back to his/her blog.
+ Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
+ Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
+List these rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post and on your blog.
Below, you can read the Q+A that Nicola has set up as part of my nomination:
When and why did you decide to Home Educate?
We have homeschooled from the beginning; we ‘started’ when my son was 3. My younger brother is homeschooled and my husband and I watched his educational opportunities blossom and decided this was what we wanted for our children as well. I left my job and decided to be a stay at home mom when my son was 6 months old; we have been playing and learning ever since! For us, Home Education is about enjoying time with your kids, enriching their lives as they grow, and creating an educational atmosphere that speaks to them specifically.
What kind of approach do you take?
We are eclectic-so we see value in ALL of the approaches. Until this point, we have been sort of ‘unschoolers’, letting life lead us and learning from everything around us and our experiences. We truly love unit studies and dive into most topics for a week or a month to fully immerse ourselves in the theme. This year we are incorporating more of a Charlotte Mason approach as well.
What do you find most difficult and why?
Time. You’d think by staying home with your kids and being with them 24 hours a day, you would have all the time to do all the things…but life happens. Making time for all aspects of my child’s growth in addition to educating them is what I struggle with.
How do you react to people asking about socialization?
I react calmly and matter-of-fact, though I must admit, I am not probed about this often. Home Education is widely accepted where I live and this isn’t usually a topic of discussion. Most people know how active we are in our community through co-ops, sports, field trips, park days, and lots of homeschooling friends. Socialization simply isn’t an issue for us.
Have family supported your decision?
Yes! As I mentioned before, my younger brother has always been homeschooled, so my family was the very motivator for this lifestyle decision! Our remaining family saw the fruits of our labor and how we are bringing something truly special to our kids’ lives.
How do you incorporate Physical Education into your Home Ed days?
This looks different for us each year. For the last two years, my children have taken a homeschool PE class alongside other homeschoolers. This has been a wonderful way to learn group sports, get exercise, and socialize. My children have also been enrolled in other sports like soccer, karate, and swim lessons. As a family, we eat well and frequently hike to promote a healthy lifestyle in our children.
Do you plan and how far in advance?
Planning fluctuates for me each year. Typically I create short-term and long-term visions for our year and plan accordingly. I may decide on a few unit studies to explore based on my kids’ interests and purchase or create the curriculum for it. But I also listen to the needs of my children. If they need extra time mastering a skill or have gained interest in something new, I adjust our ‘plan’ to accommodate those changes.
What’s a typical Home Ed day like?
Typically, we ‘school’ for 2-3 hours. We always always always read. I usually have a short list of tasks and I let my children complete them in the order they choose. We read, write, and do math each day-then move on to our unit study. By allowing my children the freedom to complete their tasks how they feel, they are developing independence and playing an active role in their education. Fridays are enrichment day and we usually bake and enjoy poetry tea time.
Do you spend a lot of money on resources?
So this is a tough question to answer. For my son’s preschool year, I spent a lot on resources as I accumulated all of the materials we’d need. Now that we have a house full of books, art supplies, and more-I find I spend less each year on additional resources. I’ve only spent about $100 this year on curriculum and supplies because we already have most everything we need. This year, my daughter is starting Kindergarten (officially), so my children will be using different curriculum in some subjects. I try not to go crazy on resources and be conscious of how the material will bring something new to our homeschool. In the past, some years have been more expensive as we pay for so many extracurricular classes and field trips, but this year, we are cutting back a bit on those and putting the ‘home’ back into homeschooling.
How do you make time for yourself?
Ah, this is such an important question. It is so imperative that we make time for ourselves so we can be the best version of ourselves for our children and family. I wake up each day before my children so that I get a short amount of time to get a few things done. I am also a big believer in taking breaks. I take many small breaks throughout the day and tell my children to do the same-it’s just as important for them to have alone time as it is for me. When spending all day everyday together, everyone needs a few minutes apart to wind down.
What advice would you give to someone just started their Home Ed journey?
I have a lot of advice for families starting this journey. I would certainly recommend to listen to your child, note what kind of learner they are and make adjustments for what will benefit them the most. Also, don’t put pressure on yourself (or your kids). Home Education is just that-a journey-and each year will change and have ups and downs. You must not compare yourself or your homeschool to others because each family is different.
I would like to nominate these lovely mamas for the 2019 Sunshine Blogger Award:
+ Sarah from The Silvan Reverie
+ Kaitlyn from Simply Learning Kids
+ Chantel from Intentional Homeschooling
+ Natalie from Raising Up Wild Things
+ Jessica from The Waldock Way
+ Erin from Life, Abundantly
+ Elizabeth from This Little Home Of Mine
+ Leslie and Katie from Learning Through Literature
+ Amy from Wildflower Ramblings
+ Anita from My Montessori Hub
+ Meghann from Rooted Childhood
My questions for my chosen nominees:
Why do you choose to blog?
What do you value most from other blogs you read?
When and why did you become passionate about education?
What are your dreams for your children?
What is your biggest challenge in balancing life?
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
How do you practice self-care?
What is something you’ve always wanted to try?
How have you grown as a person in the last year?
What was your favorite vacation or trip experience?
What is your number one piece of advice for a parent or educator?
A very special thank you again to Nicola from The World Is Their Classroom for nominating me for this award!