Meet my friend Bev! Bev and Mark live in Massachusetts. Mark teaches high school math in the local public school. Bev stays at home with their kids. They have six children and have been homeschooling for six years.
Bev and I connect to talk about her experiences homeschooling her children. We talk about a typical day, homeschooling with littles, getting started, keeping perspective, and more.
Hi! I’m Bev, wife to Mark for almost 14 years, homeschool mama of 6. I have been homeschooling for six years. I pray that my journey can be an encouragement to you! Enjoy a little sneak peak into our family!
What does a typical day look like for you?
That is a trick question. I could answer what it looks like now, but that would be misleading. Honestly, our daily life looks different every year, depending on the unique season that we’re in. Throughout my homeschool journey, I had had 3 babies and we have moved 4 times. One of those moves was temporary housing for 2 months. It’s been quite the journey. We try to keep a daily “flow” to our days, but I try to be realistic while planning our schedule so that I can succeed, rather than setting myself up for failure. My older kids are getting older and gaining some independence, so they are responsible for waking up and doing their morning routine (dress, brush teeth, make bed, eat breakfast) before we meet for our morning time at 8. Together we read the bible out loud, and sing the hymn of the week and recite the scripture of the month that we’re working on. (Ephesians 6:10-20 and Come Thou Fount). Then they do independent work from 10-12, lunch from 12-1, and I work with them on parent directed studies during the littles nap from 1-3ish.
Is there a specific area you love/ specialize in/ stands out about your family’s way of doing school?
I love to read aloud to my kids. Sometimes I read so much my throat hurts! We LOVE the outdoors. This past year we took a challenge of 1000 hours outdoors. We got outside every day, rain or shine. It was pretty amazing!
Have you made mistakes and what did you learn from them?
Yes. haha. I am far from perfect. I always say that the hardest part of homeschooling is my sin. And my kids sin. If we were perfect, life would look a lot different. But that’s also the reason I LOVE homeschooling. I can reach my kids hearts in a way that I wouldn’t if we had less time together. I always love when, after a hard morning, the afternoon is spent snuggling on the couch being reminded that love covers a multitude of Sin. The Lord is faithful and if we continue to approach the throne of grace for wisdom, He is faithful to give it abundantly.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Expecting my 4 year old to homeschool, in a seat, and color for 5 hours straight, and follow all my lesson plans without interruption. And oh yeah, the baby would sleep for 2 hours on cue….blah blah blah.. OR more honestly, expecting my children to fall into the “quintessential”, picture perfect model of what I thought homeschooling was “supposed” to look like. My son listens to read alouds upside down on the couch (as long as he’s not distracting his siblings). My kids argue. My daughter struggles to read. And THAT. IS. OKAY.
How do you teach multiple ages?
From the beginning, I’ve always tried to grow independent learners. I really learned this out of necessity, from the years that I was pregnant and unable to function as much as normal. When I didn’t have the energy to do much, I saw my kids raise their own bar and take ownership of their education. I saw firsthand how much they were able to accomplish on their own. I also require my littles to play independently for a bit in the morning if I’m helping the older kids, and after a bit I allow them to watch an educational show, a spanish movie, or play Khan Academy Kids. I often don’t need to use technology, because the littles LOVE sitting on someone’s lap while they’re doing their spanish lesson, or dancing along with their typing program and just living life watching their siblings learn. I always joke that my youngest kid will be my most intelligent because they’re along for the ride!
What would your experienced self tell your newbie self.
Don’t stress over curriculum. There is NO perfect curriculum. Just find something you enjoy, whether it’s a box curriculum or an eclectic mix of books from the library and just start learning!
If your oldest child was a preschooler, where would you start?
READ BOOKS EVERY DAY and teach him to memorize scripture! EARLY. It’s never to early. Teach them obedience and character. They will learn math LATER.
Bev’s Favorite Links
www.simplycharlottemason.com – This is where I began my home-school journey! Simply Charlotte Mason offers a free curriculum guide (K-12) with GREAT resources to home-school using Charlotte Mason’s philosophy!
Christian Light Math – I cannot recommend this math curriculum enough!! It encourages self-learning, teaches fun facts along the way and is effective to provide a solid foundation in Math.
Veritas Self-Paced History – This is our first year using Veritas History, and we LOVE it!
Kids History with Pipo – A great video resource for Ancient and Medieval history.
Starfall – Another great Educational app for the littles.
DanceMat Typing – Typing program. The kids love it. It’s silly, slightly annoying, but effective 🙂
BBC Salsa Spanish Videos – Free Spanish “episodes” that the kids watch weekly (if not daily) before the begin DuoLingo in 2nd grade.
Duo Lingo – Free Spanish curriculum.
Xploration DIY science – One of my kids favorite science shows.
Magic School Bus on Netflix – Rainy Day Science show. 🙂
Seeds Family Worship – Great CD’s with scripture verses made into fun songs! A great way to hide God’s word into the hearts of your children!
Bev’s Favorite Read-A-Louds
What is one thing that you want people to remember?
When you’re 80 years old or on your death bed, what is going to matter most? Are you going to care if you finished your math book? OR that you switched history curriculum for the 5th time, and started over each time with Ancient History? Or that your daughter didn’t finish the writing program? You want to do WELL. You want to be faithful in your pursuit, but really, remember what matters MOST. Love your kids. Laugh often. Teach them character. Memorize Scripture. Talk about the Lord and HIS faithfulness. And they will be JUST fine.
In my life, for some reason, I always thought that you had to polarize opposing realities. For example, something couldn’t be really challenging and really amazing at the same time. But I’ve come to realize that’s not true. Something can be the hardest thing you’ve ever done AND the most profitable – simultaneously. I have once shared the struggles of homeschooling and had people question why I keep going. Because it’s hard. And because it’s wonderful. Just because it’s hard doesn’t make it bad, and just because it is easy doesn’t make it good. That was a freeing lesson to learn.
Have questions for Bev? You can contact her at Beverlykrans@gmail.com. Remember, though, moms are busy! Response time may be delayed, but she will try to reply as soon as she can!