Thursday, April 04, 2013

5 Things I Love About Our Homeschool

Peter's famous! Heather's picture of him look at a hatching monarch got chosen for the Sonlight catalog.

I love being a homeschool dad.

When people ask about my family, one of my favorite thing to say is that "we're living the homeschool adventure."

It's not always easy. The hardest part is gauging and managing the various expectations of so many people: us, the kids, our friends, the school district, colleges, etc, etc, etc.  The second hardest part is that there are no breaks--"The school must go on!"--no matter how tired you are.

But, for us, it's worth it.  And we enjoy it.  Here are five of the things I enjoy the most about our particular homeschool:

1. It is an adventure. Who knows where homeschooling will take us next?  For the last three years, our family has tapped the maple trees in our front yard. This year, the kids are doing just about all of the work themselves.  In the Fall, Drew got to fire off a cannon at Colonial Williamsburg.  Peter got his picture into the Sonlight catalog looking at a monarch butterfly hatch.  This is fun. What's next?

2. Our school is intentionally Christian. We teach out of a Christian worldview. We learn what other folks out there believe, but we aren't afraid to have a point of view ourselves and know where we stand.  We believe that Christianity is true and right, like 2+2=4, and that it shapes every other realm of knowledge.  If our kids went to school somewhere else, we would work at instilling this in them regardless, but homeschooling gives us the chance to do weave it into everything.

3. We know where they are at with each student. Even though it's hard to know where our kid compares to another kid, Heather joy has a very good bead on what each one of her students actually knows. We don't need a test to tell where they are--their teacher knows. And that means that she knows where they need to go next, what the next step is, and has a good idea of how to get them there.

4. Everything is school. Yesterday at lunch, we had a fun discussion about how we eat carrots and which teeth are used. This is an extension of biology class. They learn anatomy by chopping off a carrot with their incisors and then grinding them back there with those other teeth (can't remember what they're called, but Heather knows.)  Every time we go on a hike, the kids wrestle over who gets to walk with Mom and "catch the knowledge that flows from her mouth."  (Drew's phrase.)

5. Our school is full of love. Our school is our family, and our family is full of love, so our school is full of love.  And I get to love the students and their beautiful teacher. How cool is that?


Hi Pastor Matt and Heather,

I just received the Sonlight catalog a few days ago. Heather, your photography is beautiful. I am just starting to homeschool Josiah, who will be 5 on May Day. What else, if any curriculum do you use? Any other advice for now homeschooling moms? Miss you...Let me know if your ever in Southwestern Michigan/Northern Indiana. You can reach me at

I forgot to tell you who is's Heather's former roommate from Moody-the other Heather. I enjoy reading your posts and watching your family grow. God Bless All of You!!!

Hi, other Heather! Good to hear from you. We are pretty sold on Sonlight--it works for our family. We love the international, missional flavor to it, and, of course, all of the books!

We get almost all of our various curricula from Sonlight, from their options. Heather likes "All About Spelling" and "Handwriting without Tears" and "Saxon" Math.

Blessings on you and your family, too!