Hi! I’m Sheri, wife to Nelson for 20 years. We live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. My husband works in law enforcement and I stay home with our kids. We have eight children and have been homeschooling for ten years.
I started this blog to encourage current and prospective homeschool moms by sharing the stories of homeschooling families. I’ve been spending my summer interviewing moms and asking them to share the stories of how they ended up homeschooling. I can’t wait to share them with you here in the next few weeks and months! Here’s our homeschooling story.
When I first entertained the thought that maybe I would like to homeschool, I knew almost no one in my circle to ask. Literally almost no one. Our oldest child was three years old and school was just around the corner. Decisions were looming!!
Prior to staying home with my children, I was a public school teacher. After making the decision to stay home full time with our first child, my priorities in life changed. I adored our son and wanted to show him the world! I began to think to myself, “Maybe I want to do what I have been doing in school…just with my own kids.”
Although I had enjoyed teaching, I had felt so limited by administrative work, state standards, professional requirements, paperwork, etc. I wanted to explore with my students and to develop in them a hunger to learn about the world around us, but THAT is not easy to do in a classroom!
As my ideals were evolving, I read every book I could find on homeschooling. My interest was piqued! The freedom to learn by interest, to explore the natural world-not cooped up in one space, to spend more time reading good books together – these possibilities were calling to me! Although I looked for other homeschoolers to ask for help, there just weren’t many in my circle at that time. I found a few brave souls who were ahead of me, and they were my lifeline. I questioned them about everything. There were also a few other local friends who were of the same bent as I was. Our oldest children were all entering preschool. We met up, five of us, and plunged in together. We ended up meeting in each other’s homes every week with our kids. Our excitement grew each week as we exchanged ideas and talked life learning. This small group eventually grew exponentially and became a homeschool co-op which we still attend today!
After ten years of homeschooling our kids, I have experienced several different stages, many highs and lows. And I am still learning new things. Together we have visited many places-literally in field trips and figuratively, in books. Our times on the couch every afternoon reading together will always hold a special place in my heart. We have learned and lived through so many important moments. So far, with four of our kids I’ve cried through long division…and survived!!!
It isn’t easy homeschooling multiple kids on multiple levels. It especially wasn’t easy giving up a career and the prestige that comes with a title. On occasion my kids fight, and, yes, it drives me crazy!! I have even threatened to put the kids on the next school bus that drives by! Without a doubt, I would have quit – and almost did more than once! – without the encouragement of family and friends.
Through the highs and lows, I am SO THANKFUL to have had this experience with our kids. The time with them has been WORTH it. It is not easy, but I can honestly say that I absolutely LOVE what I do!
For the mother is and must be, whether she knows it or not, the greatest, strongest, and most lasting teacher her children have.”
HANNAH W. SMITH