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Valerie Thomas | Home school Adventures

If you feel like you're doing everything wrong, that's normal. You're transitioning from a mindset of what school is to what school is going to be for your family.

Why did you get into homeschooling?

I was pregnant with my first child. My husband and I always talked about schooling and how we wanted to raise our kids. We both just had a feeling we should home school. We didn’t understand why because neither one of us came from home school families, but ultimately we decided that home school is what God wanted us to do.

How did you get into it?

I started researching as much as I could. It wasn’t as scary in the beginning because I started when my son was only two. I just started doing things at home. In the beginning, I still worked full time as a military nurse, we would work in about 1-2 hours a day whenever I would see him. I had a video system in my car so we would even work in the car. I would always put on educational videos. I started with the alphabet and counting videos, and by the time he was three, he knew his alphabet and could recognize colors and everything. I did a lot of video work with him. I also used flash cards and Hooked on Phonics. When it was time for kindergarten, my kids were already reading and knew how to write. They even knew how to do simple addition, but then it started to get scary because my oldest was like, “okay, we’re doing home school for real.” In the beginning, I just wanted to prepare them to be good at school. No I have to start taking my role as their teacher seriously. At that time, I had three young kids, 5 and below. It was a lot, so I decided to put them in a traditional school. While they were in school, they excelled. They were at the top of their classes. That’s when I realized I could do it. I could home school my kids.

Do your kids like home school?

We always reassess. I always asked my kids (even when they were young), do you like home school or do you want to go to a regular school every day. Home school was something my kids wanted to do. It wasn’t something I was forcing them to do. It was hard for me to settle into life as a homeschooler. I would never force it on any of us.

How do you afford the materials?

I’m very resourceful. I use the library. I make photocopies. I do what needs to be done. You don’t always have to buy the books. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

What tips would you pass on to people who are new to homeschooling?

If you feel like you’re doing everything wrong, that’s normal. You’re transitioning from a mindset of what school is to what school is going to be for your family. You’re going to have to change the way you look at the school. Your home is your classroom. The world is your classroom. From cooking and cleaning to playing and field trips, your kids are always learning. You are teaching them to be both books smart and streetwise.

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