Who Are We?
I'm Colleen. I'm a homeschooling mom to four amazing, energetic kids: Pooks (9), Sauce (8), Mighty (4), and Bigs (4) (nicknames, obviously. We're not that weird.) :-) I've been married to my wonderful husband for 17 years. We live just outside of Detroit, where we homeschool, garden, and herd cats.
(Yep. That's pretty accurate.)
In addition to being a full-time mom and homeschooling parent, I'm also a freelance writer and author.
Our Homeschooling Story
I never thought I'd homeschool my children. I went to Wayne State University, majored in Elementary Education, and even got as far as my pre-student teaching before I realized I wasn't cut out to be a teacher. I enjoyed working with children, but I loved writing more. I switched my major to English, started working in a local elementary school as a technology assistant, and, a couple of years later, became pregnant with our first child. The plan was to be a stay-at-home mom until our daughter started Kindergarten, and then go back to work.
Then a second baby came, almost exactly a year later. And, three years later, another daughter. Ten months later (yeah, yikes!) a son.
Our oldest daughter started Kindergarten the fall after her baby brother was born. We walked (all four kids and I) to school every morning. I hated being away from my daughter for 7+ hours every day. It felt wrong. But it was what you were "supposed" to do, so we did it.
We quickly started to see problems. Our daughter, who had been read to and talked to since birth, was light-years ahead of her classmates. She soon became almost an "assistant" to the teacher, helping her classmates because she finished her work so quickly. She never complained, but we thought it was unfair to her. She wasn't learning as much as she could be.
Her class was huge: 31 kids. It was chaotic. She was sick every couple of weeks, and so were the rest of our kids.
We could have put up with all of that, if it wasn't for the changes we saw in our daughter. A little girl who had been curious, playful, energetic, and talkative was becoming a tired, resigned little person. She reminded me of how my husband and I looked after a day at work. She didn't play as much with her brother and sisters. She sat. During school breaks, we'd see our little girl come back, only to recede again when she went back to school.
Was this what we wanted? Was this the best thing for her? We weren't sure. But we signed her sister up for Kindergarten round-up, attended parent's night, and fully planned to continue with sending our children to school.
After a lot of discussion and a ton of research, we decided to give homeschooling a try. We had figured we'd try homeschooling maybe once the kids were in middle school if we were concerned about the schools (which we were) but seeing the effect school was having on our oldest, we decided to go ahead with it sooner rather than later. And the following August, I sat my kindergartener and first grader at the dining room table, put the baby in his playpen, and let the toddler play with blocks, and we started homeschooling.
We wouldn't trade it for the world.
Our Homeschooling Philosophy
A little bit Classical, a little bit Charlotte Mason. That's what works for us, at this point in time, anyway. Homeschooling never stays the same, and I have no doubt that this, like everything else, will change over time.