Family, Fun & Homeschooling! Featuring Karen from My Harbor Lights

Welcome to this week’s edition of Family, Fun & Homeschooling!

F,F & H finchnwren.comToday I have the pleasure of introducing you to my friend Karen from My Harbor Lights.  (I am such a fan of lighthouses myself….you’ll have to check out her blog and her beautiful blog header!  She is a long-time and experienced homeschooler, and her grown children live all across the globe, although she does still have several at home.  You’ll love meeting Karen.  I love her story (and I share her love of a good steak!).  And without further ado….here she is!Karen Mathre blog button

Tell us about your blog.

My blog is in its most recent incarnation and is probably the final one I will develop.  Over the years I had one for sharing with family, talking about scrapbooking, talking about homeschooling.  I decided a few years ago to pull all the different threads of my life together and have just one blog that reflects all the parts of me.  I started with a free WordPress blog and last year I switched to a self-hosted WordPress site.  Not sure what actually got me started but I’m enjoying the ongoing process.

Do you have a favorite blogging topic that you return to again and again?

I don’t think I have a favorite topic.  My blog seems to be as eclectic as our family life.

Tell us about your family.  How did you and your husband meet?  And what would you like to share about your children?

I will be married 27 years on March 12 of this year.  (Happy anniversary, Karen, from finchnwren!)  We started dating 18 months before we got married.  We were helping out in the kitchen at a church retreat.  The best part:  as a recent single mother I was never getting married again, and my husband Dan was never going to date someone who had been married, especially if they had a kid.  So we decided our getting married was definitely a God thing.karen mathre pic

–So on to the children.  My oldest is 31 and has been married 2 years.  Jacob and Kelly work for Mennonite Central Committee, currently assigned to Afghanistan.  But right now they are hanging out in Thailand waiting on the birth of my first grandchild.  Next is Hayden who is 24.  He graduated from the Job Corps program last year and is currently looking for work.  Since I’ve gone back to work, he’s been a big help around the house in the meantime.  Caleb is almost 20.  He joined the Air Force after high school and is currently serving in Arizona.  Joshua is 17 and loves to be active.  Hannah is 13 and is really crafty.  Both of them are very active in Camp Fire with volunteer and leadership building activities.

What made you decide to homeschool?

We decided to homeschool in 1992 as Jacob was getting ready to start 3rd grade.  He was angry and struggling.  The school had decided to help him once he started to fall behind.  That didn’t seem right so I decided to homeschool, figuring I couldn’t do any worse.  When Hayden reached school age, I decided he was going to need extra support and I was glad to be there for him.  By that time it was just a way of life for us.

What does a day in your homeschool look like?

Well, our day looks a lot different now than it used to.  I had to return to work almost full time in August so we are still working the bugs out of our system.  We are in the process of doing some placement tests to change over our spine for something easier for me to manage.  But for now, I head off to work in the morning.  Most days I get off around 2.  When I get home I check over what got accomplished for the day and give direction for the next day.

Do you have a favorite “date night” you love to do?

My favorite “date night” is going out for a great big delicious hunk of red meat.  Steak or prime rib; either way that is our special go-to place.  karen mathre head shot

What are some of your favorite mama-child activities?

Something I started doing with my children when they were little and I try to keep up with today for the ones that are home are mommy-child dates.  I would go out to lunch for some one-on-one time.  While sharing lunch was always fun and special, sometimes the best parts are the conversations that happened while riding in the car together.  Not sure if the whole “nothing better to do” or the fact that you can talk about things without always seeing each other face-to-face, but these talks are always enlightening.  Sometimes it’s big stuff but most of the time it is just glimpses into their lives and what they consider important.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Sometimes I feel like I am a homeschool dinosaur.  When I started homeschooling there was no Internet, no cell phones, no DVDs.  Most homes didn’t even have a computer.  The number of vendors at the homeschool conventions were in the 10s, not in the 100s.  So many changes over the years.

Thank you so much, Karen, for sharing your story!  If you’d like to know more about Karen (or see her gorgeous blog) you can visit her at My Harbor Lights.  And join us again next week for another Family, Fun & Homeschooling!

Enjoy!  –Wren


8 thoughts on “Family, Fun & Homeschooling! Featuring Karen from My Harbor Lights

  1. Wanted to add an update on February 27 my granddaughter Lillian Juniper made her appearance. She will be called Lily June. I will be leaving in 8 days to meet her in person.

  2. I love hearing from families who have homeschooled over a span of years. It makes me really thankful for all the resources that we have now and really appreciative of all of those who started homeschooling when it wasn’t popular.

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