I have another sweet blogger friend for you to meet in this week’s Family, Fun & Homeschooling.
Heather from Thrift Schooling and I met last year as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. She became a dear friend, and she also won The Homeschool Post’s award for Best Thrifty Homeschooler. I love her homeschooling story and the tips she shares for thrifty living. She and her family also live in the country, where they garden, cook, play, and learn together. You’re going to love Heather. Read on! 🙂
Tell us about your blog. How did you come up with Thrift Schooling?
When my kids were little, ages three, two and newborn, I would constantly be at home. Someone was always napping or nursing and it was just easier to be at home. With all the demands of taking care of these little ones I would often try to steal away for a moment when I could and the easiest, most brainless way to this was to hop online. I was almost always drawn to Facebook. After a few years I realized how non-productive this was! I thought to myself, “how can I make this pay?” If I spent as much time trying to grow a blog as I did on Facebook I wondered how that could benefit my family. So, Thrift Schooling was born. I don’t make piles of money but it does benefit my family! We have been able to review homeschool materials, field trips, and home products! I also do make a small amount through ads which allow us to enjoy a trip to the local pizzeria or Chinese Buffet once in a while without feeling like we are breaking the bank!
Do you have a favorite blogging topic that you return to again and again?
I try not to include politics or controversial religious topics too much, but I will admit that they do sometimes pop up once in a while in a post! Honestly, I enjoy sharing the activities that we do in our homeschool the most. Science experiments, field trips or an awesome curriculum we are using. There is so much out there that I know many moms (including myself) can easily get overwhelmed. I hope that sharing what works for us can encourage and spark fun ideas in the minds and hearts of other homeschooling families!
Tell us about your family. How did you and your husband meet? And what would you like to share about your children?
It all began in Bible College! My husband and I both visited an outreach event every weekend where we would witness to bar-goers late at night until about 2 am in the morning. We were sent out in groups and “somehow” always ended up in the same group, haha. We enjoyed each other’s company but never said anything to each other about it. Not until the day before I left for a six month trip to India where I would be teaching English and Bible in a children’s home. Literally, the DAY before! Needless to say, I was excited to get back and we were married shortly after! We married in our late twenties and wanted several kids. Our first child, Elizabeth was born too early. Her lungs were not developed and she died in our arms, in the hospital. After her experience we took to home births and have had three wonderful births at home and have another one planned for this summer! We never find out whether we are having a boy or a girl, we love the surprise!
What made you decide to homeschool?
When we first were married we both said that we had always wanted to homeschool. That was that. We didn’t have to think about it hard or weigh the options, it had just always been in our hearts. I remember in public school admiring those who were homeschooled and I loved visiting them on the weekends, maybe something was planted in my heart then.
What does a day in your homeschool look like?
It totally depends. It really is trial and error especially as the kids grow up. What works at one age, doesn’t work for another! At this point, we start out on the couch focusing on worship and the Bible, together. We then dive into our read aloud and do a quick nature activity. I then go have the kids go over recitation such as the pledge, and poems or educational songs they are learning. After this, we break off and they each do their own age-appropriate work. Sometimes I like to combine history and science but everything else such as phonics, math or writing would be according to their age. The kids love gardening and checking for chicken eggs so they will do these chores in the afternoons and then spend as much time playing outdoors as they possibly can!
Do you have a favorite “date night” you love to do?
Thinking back on our most recent dates, the common thread was “Dinner and a Movie.” Though we don’t go often, we enjoy good food usually at a Japanese or Italian restaurant. Of course, we are just as happy go to a local diner for a burger and a shake once in a while, as long as we are together!
What are some of your favorite mama-child activities?
We have a lake right around the corner from us, I love the summertime where we can picnic and swim our summer days there! Field trips are always my favorite as well, usually farms!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
The biggest freedom in homeschooling for me has been realizing that homeschooling is not simply “school at home.” Understanding that there is so much more to it than buying workbooks and getting through the material has really helped me. I love being at home with my children even though we sometimes have “those days.” I am so glad my husband and I have been blessed with this opportunity and feel as though I was created for this! We also love to incorporate my huband’s blacksmithing activities into our homeschool. My husband will do demonstrations at local events and the kids love going to be a part! It is always a great opportunity for them to learn about money and working with people! This has been a great blessing for our whole family.
I truly love all the different ways the life of homeschooling gets worked out in families. Heather’s doing a great Back To Homeschool series now that you might enjoy—and she has some great curriculum suggestions. In addition, Heather has written an ebook that you can receive free when you sign up to receive posts from her blog, all about Preschooling at Home. (You’ll see the box when you visit Thrift Schooling) And, what a creative family! Heather’s husband also has an Etsy shop, where he sells his blacksmithing creations. It’s called NVAble Items.
Thanks for joining us for Family, Fun & Homeschooling. We’ll see you next week when we feature another homeschooling blogger!