Monday, April 23, 2012

"Who Home Schools?" Darcy @ "Just A Night Owl"

It is my goal that this weekly feature will allow us to see the face of home schooling.  I hope that it answers some questions and sheds light on - Who homeschools and why?

Today's interview is with Darcy from "Just A Night Owl." If you home school and are interested in participating in this interview please email me - savannahmcqueen at dot com 

How did you end up deciding to teach your children at home?  Have they always been home schooled or did they attend school outside the home, at one point?

 My oldest two children were in public school and Christian school for six years before my husband and I decided to homeschool. At the point that we brought them home, our original intent was to keep them home for a year in order to save the tuition that private school was costing us. We had planned to be debt free by the end of that school year and then return them to school the following year. That was four years ago. They never went back

What is your goal in home educating your children?

Our goal in home educating our children, is that they complete their years of education in a safe and loving environment. One that they can focus on their studies and the development of themselves, so that they can grow up well prepared for their lives as adults.

Do your children have extra curricular activities?  If so, what are they?

My children participate in football, soccer, choir, Bible clubs, theatre groups, and youth groups. They also volunteer at Special Olympics, community service days, and serve in our children's program at church.

Have you ever hired someone to teach a subject to your children?  If so, why?

No. We have not had the need to, up to this point.

Have you graduated a child?  Do you plan to teach through high school?

Our oldest is in 7th grade and I am currently researching and planning for high school. We take one year, prayerfully at a time. However, our plan at this point is to teach them at home throughout high school.

Do you have a defined style of instruction such as Classical, montessori, unschooling,  or Charlotte Mason?  Are you willing to share how you decided to use this method?

I have researched various methods and have landed on a eclectic style of teaching. Our studies closely resemble what they would be studying if they were still at school outside of our home.

What does your schedule look like?  Do you start early and finish just after lunch?  Or do you start later in the day?  Do you teach through the summer? And if so, why?

We follow a traditional school calendar with summers off. We start at 8:15 and end about 2:30.

Do you home school for religious reasons?  If so what religion are you?

We are Christian. We follow what we believe the Lord is calling us to and for us that is home education. We do not believe that any other types of education are wrong. For our family, we have simply chosen a home based education.

Do you have a vision statement for your home school?  If so, what is it?

We do not have a formal vision statement for our school.

If you were to recommend a book(s) to a new or prospective home school parent, what would you choose?

Quite honestly the best homeschool advice and resources I have found are blogs. I have read a couple of homeschool books, but have found that the advice from those in the trenches has been most helpful!

What was your number one concern or worry when you started out on this endeavor?  Has it continued to be your main issue?  Why has it changed?

My number one concern when I started this endeavor was that my kids would learn. Actually learn things. After three years of teaching three students (including being pregnant and giving birth to our fourth child) my kids are learning. I see their growth and development and am encouraged. It is possible to learn outside of the classroom! In the beginning, I wasn't too sure!

What aspect of home schooling do you enjoy the most?  What part do you greatly dislike?

The aspect of home schooling that I enjoy the most is that I don't miss much of my kids lives. They are only little for such a short time and I am getting a front row seat. Living with your kids, raising them, and educating them, creates a very deep level of understanding of each other. I have gotten to know my kids in ways that I didn't know before and I love it. The part that I greatly dislike is how dirty my house gets! A piece of advice that I was given early on was get ready to use and abuse your house! Oh how that was right! We are home all day and that is a big change from life before. Our house is well used! :)

Are/Were there any subjects that you felt incapable of adequately teaching?  Have you overcome this?  If so can you explain how you have achieved this?

 There are definitely subjects that I am stronger in than others. I tend to gravitate and become more passionate about subjects that involve creativity. Since math is not one of those, I have struggled as the older children have greater difficulty in their math curriculum. In order to combat this, I have chosen an online math curriculum to provide more consistency and structure in their learning. I think as a homeschool parent it is incredibly important to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and make adjustments accordingly!

This post is linked directly to Darcy's site:

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Upcoming on Hammock Tracks tomorrow:
"A Homeschool Mom Asks..."
Check back tomorrow and see if you can provide assistance to another home school Mom who needs some insight on her home schooling journey.
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