City of Residence: Perry
Occupation: Homemaker and home educator
QUESTION: What’s it like being a homeschool mom?
ANSWER: That’s a big question, like what’s it like being a mom. It’s different every day with good days and bad, but I’m glad we get to take this schooling journey together.
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QUESTION: A lot of attention is given to graduates this time of year. Did you have any?
ANSWER: Evan, our oldest, graduated. He’s homeschooled since third grade and graduated with 15 others at a Central Georgia Christian Homeschool Educators ceremony. He grew up with these kids and they’ve done a lot together so it was neat they graduated together.
QUESTION: What sort of things did they do?
ANSWER: They’re just normal friends but through the homeschool group they took field trips, had a chess club and a boys club where they camped and that sort of thing. They had tennis lessons and played Upward Basketball, those kinds of things.
QUESTION: What are his plans?
ANSWER: He has interests from filmmaking to Air Force pararescue. I think the military will come first. He’s been involved with Civil Air Patrol’s cadet program where he’s an officer. He’s learned a lot and gotten leadership skills there.
QUESTION: All you’re saying doesn’t fit the idea of homeschoolers being tucked away at home never seeing the light of day.
ANSWER: It’s funny, we call it homeschool but sometimes we feel like we’re never home.
QUESTION: What do you do at home?
ANSWER: Bookwork, online courses. We cover the normal subjects like math, reading, English grammar, literature, history, science, geography and even foreign language. With homeschooling I can try different learning approaches. We put a lot of memorization to song and make up funny stories to make things clear. I can be silly and serious.
QUESTION: Like how?
ANSWER: One of my kids was having trouble with numerators, denominators and divisors. We gave them personalities with the divisor outside banging on the division symbol saying, “I’m coming in there and I’m going to split you guys up.” You just look for engaging things to do, though sometimes it’s just boring and that’s OK.
QUESTION: Isn’t it a drain being a homeschool mom?
ANSWER: It can be, but’s it’s so worth it. There are times you can’t do it all and times you think about taking a break. I feel insecure about if they’re getting it all, but then they have standardized testing and come out at or beyond level so it’s encouraging.
QUESTION: So it’s worth it?
ANSWER: I credit God because I believe he gets us through. Sometimes I miss working, but this has been better. Hey, life is a big drain at times. You might as well make it for something that means something to you.
QUESTION: What was your career?
ANSWER: Research analyst in the Department of Community Medicine at the Mercer University School of Medicine.
QUESTION: What got you into homeschooling?
ANSWER: Evan was having trouble in school. There were issues with bullying and his teacher said he was having attention difficulties. He was doing fine with grades but there were other things. It was my aunt who’s a public school teacher who suggested homeschooling. We were like, “What! No way!” But then we felt it was the right thing.
QUESTION: How many children do you have? How many students?
ANSWER: Four. Evan graduated so that leaves Brandon, 16, a junior, Hanna, 12, going into seventh, and Christian, eight, going into third.
QUESTION: Through the year, public schools get attention for highlights in student’s activities. As representative of homeschools, what highlights would you mention? You can mom-brag.
ANSWER: Each has their own interests and I’ve talked about Evan, but he was also president of Houston County’s 4-H Sigma Lambda Chi group this year and got 12 college credits for work through Central Georgia Technical College. He had a lead role in Theatre Macon’s Youth Actors Company’s “The Three Musketeers” -- and won first place in a pizza making contest at the Georgia National Fair.
Brandon has six college credits in English and college algebra and won first place in music competitions for piano and does open mike events.
QUESTION: And Hanna and Christian?
ANSWER: She’s an excellent musician, too, and was in “The Three Musketeers” as well. She got first place for piano in the 4-H variety show with an original song, and she’s just finished writing a novel called “Kiatorus: The Shied”s Prophecy”.
Christian is really into NASA and wants to be an aerospace engineer. He’s been to Kennedy Space Center and is into the Kerbal Space Program simulator that uses components to build rockets and, I’ve heard, has all the real physics. He’s learning violin and performed at a Beyond the Classroom Co-op show. There’s a lot of cooperative, outside groups and support and we depend on that.
Answers may have been edited for length and clarity. Compiled by Michael W. Pannell. Contact him at email@example.com.