How I Homeschool - An Interview

I was planning on linking-up with Micaela from California to Korea for her How I Homeschool link-up, but I forgot. Since I already started the post I figured I will go ahead and post it anyway.

How long have you been homeschooling?

Last year was our first official year.

How many kids are in your family? How many are homeschooled? Are any schooled in a more traditional way?

We have five kids...Edith is 6,  Frank is 4, Greta is 3, Harriet is 2, and Ike is 1. Edith is the only one that is officially (recognized by the State) homeschooled. Frank will be doing some Kindergarden work this year, but I don't need to notify the State of him being in school until he turns 5 and that would be the 2015-2016 school year.

Edith - Age 6, First Grade

What laws, if any, are there in your state regarding homeschooling? How does your family meet compliance?

The State of VA gives you three options for homeschooling
1) Home Instruction - you notify the school board each year of your intent to homeschool along with a description of the curriculum you will be using then at the end of the year you are required to take standardized testing.
2) Approved Tutor - you have a certified private tutor for your child
3) Religious Exemption - Parents submit documentation of their religious objections to school attendance to their local school board and then they may homeschool and do not have to have to comply with the requirements under the home instruction provision.

We are currently homeschooling under the religious exemption provision.

Frank - Age 4, Pre-K

Switching gears here: if you could summarize your homeschool philosophy in one sentence or mission statement, what would that be?

"Education should cultivate and nurture virtue and wisdom in each child. It is not just imparting facts, but a lifestyle whereby children are taught to learn independently the things that they need and want to know.Children were created with an innate desire to discover and my job is to cultivate that desire and not destroy it." This is taken from the mission statement for our homeschool, St. Joan Iris Academy.

Greta - Age 3, Preschool

What is your homeschooling style?

I would say it was a mix of Charlotte Mason, Classical, and a little unschooling.

Do you follow any set curriculum?

I don't buy a boxed curriculum, but I do stick to certain books that I like such as Abeka for phonics, Saxton for Math and Faith & Life for religion.

Harriet- Age 2, Preschool

What do your best homeschooling moments look like? What do your not-so-good moments look like? How do you stay on track?

Our best moments would be sticking to our daily schedule, but also being flexible when spontaneous learning happens. Does that make sense?? The not-so-good moments look like the kids sitting in front of the TV watching Liberty Kids because Mom needs to regroup. The best way for me to stay on track is to wake up before the kids to have some personal time before the demands of the day start in full swing. The kids really thrive when we stick to our schedule and they know exactly what to expect each day so I try to keep the days predicable for them.

How do you keep any non-school-aged kids busy?

My kids are all pretty independent and do their own thing even the 1 year old. They don't require me to keep them entertained. When I do Circle Time with Edith Frank, Greta and Harriet; Ike is normally just walking around the house or playing with toys. When I do sit-down work with Edith; Frank, Greta and Harriet are taking naps and Ike is again just walking around the house playing. When I lay Ike down for his afternoon nap, Frank gets up to do a hour of sit-down work. Greta and Harriet are still napping. By 4pm, we are done with our school day and everyone is up from their naps.

Ike - Age 1, Mascot

If you could give any homeschool advice to a new mom starting out, what would it be?

Don't try to do too much and don't compare your teaching to other homeschooling families or to your local public school. There are going to be days when it is hard and you want to ship all the kids to the local public school just to have a moment of peace, but take a deep breath and regroup. You are the best teacher for your kid and don't let any negative thoughts get you down.

St. Joan Iris Academy 2014-2015 Student Body


  1. best part? the name of your homeschool. Simply fantastic!

    1. Thank You! We are blessed to have her praying for our little school.

  2. I live this! I might just have to email you about what Edith is doing. My oldest just turned 5 and I'm wondering what exactly he NEEDS to know

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I am actually working on a curriculum post now and hopefully will have it up in a couple of days. If I don't answer your questions in the post, please feel free to email me.