Creative and Relaxed Homeschooling (A “Real Homeschoolers” Interview)

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Interview with Amy from Oh So Savvy Mom

Welcome back to the Real Homeschoolers interview series! Join me in welcoming Amy as she shares her creative and relaxed homeschooling style. You can find her writing at Oh So Savvy Mom. Hop over and say hello! One thing to check out is how she incorporated a homeschool space into their play room.

More about Amy: “I’m mom to three, wife to one, sister to 11, and aunt to many. We are an Air Force family currently living in Bossier City, Louisiana. I have a Bachelor of Science in Marriage, Family, and Human Development. I love to play with my crazy boys, travel, homeschool, cook, and eat ethnic foods! Come join me on our Oh, So Savvy adventure!” headshot3


Our Homeschool

Tell a little about your family and homeschool history.

I have a background in child and human development. I have three little boys ages 7, 4, and 1 1/2. I’ve always thought schools undervalued the potential of our children, but I never thought I’d homeschool my boys.  Read here about my decision to homeschool.

What would you consider your homeschool vision and priorities?

To foster creative thinking, a love for learning, and a low stress atmosphere in which to learn. Another big part of my homeschool goals it to get my children to be more physically active. Playing outside is a big part of our day.

Do you follow a particular homeschool method?

For convenience and ease (and because I may put them back in public school if I can find one I think is good when we move) this year my method is fairly traditional. I like elements of all the methods though.

What is your basic daily routine?

Exercise, handwriting and academics, mom-read story time, academics, learning games, piano, lunch, outside play, chores. If they have time before dinner they can watch some tv. As far as tv goes, most days are “learning show” days. Wednesday and Fridays, though they get to have “Movie Night”.

What is your approach for preschool and kindergarten? 

I use a curriculum put together by Timberdoodle.com. I also use websites like ReadingEggs.com and Starfall.com.

Logistics

How do you homeschool while keeping up with family, housework, etc?

My house is admittedly a little messier now that I have 1 more child home all day than I previously had. On the flip side, now that my boys are both home with me all day they have learned to be much more responsible and regular at completing their chores.

What are your strategies for homeschooling with littles underfoot?

This has been one of the most difficult things for me. My toddler (unlike my older two boys when they were little) is one of those mischievous children–you know, climbing on top of everything, helping himself to the food in the fridge. He has a knack for locating the permanent markers (which we keep “out of his reach”; apparently he can reach anything if he puts his mind to it), and permanent works of “art” in very permanent places in our house. Homeschooling is complicated by the fact that climbing is his thing. Coloring, playing with toys, and playing playdough are NOT his things. Right now we just take it one day at a time.

How do you handle a reluctant learner or whining about school work?

My kids earn stars (for extra field trips, trips to Chuck E Cheese, a toy they’ve been wanting) for having a good attitude and focusing on school work.

My cute boys

Encouragement

What’s one piece of advice you would give to a new Homeschooler?

Encourage your kids to be independent. The less you are watching over their shoulder, the more pleasant your homeschool experience will be.

How did you deal with burnout or find encouragement?

I haven’t experienced burnout yet or found the need for encouragement. My son however often needs a little encouragement. My son does well with little pep talks before he starts school in the morning. I praise him for the great traits he is developing (being a self starter, persistence, working carefully). He responds very well to that.

What are your biggest challenges homeschooling?

Trying to fit everything in. I have a needy tornado for a toddler and I have a blog that I write. I can’t put the toddler on hold, I can’t put the kids’ school on hold so that means my work often gets pushed to the back burner.

What is your favorite thing about homeschooling?

The freedom!!! The freedom to learn how we want to learn. The freedom to learn through doing; to take field trips whenever we want. The freedom to travel. Also, I love that I can have my kids in extracurricular activities without burning them out. When my son was in public school getting homework, dinner, and extracurriculars in before bed was REALLY stressful for all involved.


Real Homeschoolers interview series

Check out all the interviews in the Real Homeschoolers series as well as a complete list of the questions that were asked. Not all the answers were included, but I have been careful not to change anything about their answers other than grammar and structure for the sake of presentation.

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