Enjoy this interview with my friend and sister-in-law Katrina as she shares her experience pulling her kids out of school to homeschool them. To ask Katrina questions, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along with her and her bakery business on Instagram @katrinashomebakery.
Hello, my name is Katrina Sandowich. First and foremost I am a follower of Christ. I’m married to Micah for almost 17 years, who is a pastor at our church here in Bradenton, Florida. We have 4 kids from ages 13 to 6. I love baking and run a home bakery business out of our kitchen.
When we moved to this area, we had found out about scholarships to the Christian school that was just right down the road from our house. It was such a blessing to have the kids go to school there for about 5 years until Covid hit. We didn’t agree with the way the school handled the situation, but stuck it out through 2020 in hopes that it would be a very temporary solution. During that time, we were also convicted about the biblical responsibility we have as parents. I always thought that I would never be one of those moms that would homeschool her kids. Thankfully the Lord changed my heart.
Video> Pulling Kids Out of School: Interview with Katrina
Were you nervous being home with your kids all day and how did that go?
Yes, absolutely! This was probably one of my biggest concerns. When our kids had gone off to school in the previous years, I loved my freedom to do what I I wanted to do. Sometimes, Moms think they deserve to have their “me” time. Yes we do need some breaks here and there, but the Lord has really been growing me in this area lately in that I am responsible for the well being and spiritual growth of my children. With His help we can lead them and teach them in the ways they need to grow. Now, having them home all day hasn’t been perfect and yes they still fight every single day, but I only have them for a few short years!
What do you love about homeschooling that surprised you?
I love the freedom that comes along with homeschooling. With my husband being a pastor, we have a very busy schedule, either having lots of people in our house or meeting with people for coffee or different activities with the church. We really enjoy it, but if we feel like we are stuck in a school rut or have just been stuck inside the house for too long, it’s nice to just be able to say, “Let’s go to the beach today and enjoy God’s creation.”
How do you teach four kids, all different ages at the same time?
One thing that was hard for me was figuring out how to teach all four of my kids in different grade levels at the same time. That’s something I was the most nervous about. I thought it was going to take me all day long just to make sure everyone got through their lessons. Thankfully My Father’s World curriculum helps in that area.
The majority of the main subjects are easy enough for them all to sit and listen through. Then the older ones will do some more difficult worksheets or projects while the younger ones have something a little easier. I did get a separate book for my kindergartener last year which was more specifically geared toward teaching her how to read and going through the ABC’s of God’s creation. Typically, we sit at the table and go through the subjects we can all do together. If the older ones finish early they can move on to a separate subject or finish up other work or sit and read quietly.
How did you decide what curriculum to use?
For this I reached out to other local moms who I knew homeschooled their kids. They were kind enough to let me look through the teachers manual. One friend invited me over and walked me through what their day looks like, which was super helpful. Some moms have been homeschooling a long time and are able to just pull a resource from here or there, but that just seemed so overwhelming for me! I had no idea where to begin.
Im really thankful for so many different resources that are available to homeschooling families, but at the same time I was completely overwhelmed and didn’t know where to begin. I ended up deciding to use My Father’s World because it’s a Christian curriculum. In their teachers manual they have weekly schedules planned out very simply and easy to follow. That was one of the most important things for me in looking for a curriculum.
What challenges did you face pulling your kids out of traditional school?
I think the most challenging thing for our family was the social aspect. While our kids do have a lot of church friends, one of our daughters just absolutely loves being with people. She loved all her school friends and just thrived on having some amazing teachers. It was hard talking her through this process and what the next years would look like. We have other homeschool families in our church that helped the process a lot, and being able to talk with them and ask lots of questions was very beneficial. If there was something I didn’t know, I would usually refer to the HSLDA website. Their website is super helpful in knowing what your state’s requirements are and the paperwork that you need to send into your school district.
Do you still have time for your hobbies/interests?
Yes! Having a home bakery business is flexible for me to set my own schedule and work when the kids school work is done. I’m often baking in the afternoons and decorating at night after the kids go to bed when I have nice and quiet house. If I’m not baking I love collecting plants! I really like being able to propagate different varieties and seeing them grow is very relaxing for me. I’m really excited to start a garden soon and we just recently got a few chicks! We can’t wait to have our own eggs and grow our own vegetables.
Katrina’s Favorite Resources
The Curriculum we use is My Father’s World, which is Bible, History, Science, Language Arts. Last year we covered Exploring Countries and Cultures and that also included geography, I had a great time learning about different countries right alongside my kids. This coming year we will be doing Creation to the Greeks and I’m looking forward to going back in History.
For Spelling, I use the book Spelling Power, which is great for all grade levels.
One thing I’ve really enjoyed is being able to attend the FPEA Homeschool Convention. Hearing from other moms and being encouraged that I really can do this was so beneficial and I would definitely recommend a homeschool convention for those thinking about homeschooling or those already homeschooling and just need encouragement.
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I hope you enjoyed this interview “Pulling Kids Out of School: Interview with Katrina!” If Katrina’s story encouraged you, leave a comment to let her know! You can follow along with Katrina @katrinashomebakery on Instagram or email her at email@example.com.
Hi, I’m Sheri! I am a Christian saved by grace, married to my high school sweetheart, and a thankful mom to ten incredible kids. I’m a former public school teacher who never thought I would someday be a homeschool mom! Drawing on 13+ years of homeschooling experience, follow along to find help for getting started, tried and true homeschooling advice, life skills learning, simple Morning Time ideas, and interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you!