Here on the blog, I love to share, not only our family’s life homeschooling, but “our life” collectively as homeschoolers. That is why I regularly post interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you! I hope you will be encouraged by reading Creating Family Memories By Reading Together: Interview with Josie.
Hi, I’m Josie! My husband Ben and I have been married for almost 12 years and we have four beautiful children. Our school aged children are in 3rd grade, 1st grade and Kindergarten. We have an 18 month old who adds so much joy.
What attracted you to homeschooling?
We began considering homeschooling way back when our oldest daughter was just a baby. Honestly, I think she inspired us. She began to love books when she was six months old! She would sit and look so intently at the pictures. Of course, she also loved being read to. Her natural love for books is what set us off gathering good books. I learned that I too loved children’s books. And so we began to read and read to her. We read her first chapter book when she was just three years old. We read through A.A Milne’s Winne the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. When she was four, we read through Charlotte’s Web and my girls wiped away my tears when Charlotte died. I made it my job to supply books in our home and read. Since we were reading, I launched into teaching her to read. She was interested in learning to read at four years old. Before I knew it, she was reading and there we were, learning at home. Things snowballed from there. We kept on reading, added in a little math, and now it’s four years later and we are doing all subjects at home. I’ve gained confidence every year and I feel so blessed for the opportunity. I have learned that I also love learning with my children!
What do you love about reading together as a family?
I think some of the most special memories I will ever have with my children will be our time spent reading together. Because we homeschool, my children are with me almost 24/7, so we have more time together to read. I really love the times when we all sit down, snuggle together and read. Memories are created through the stories we listen to, the conversations that develop naturally from the reading, and through the environment that our senses enjoy. When we are reading, we are doing it for pleasure. There are no work sheets or literary analysis. It’s just for fun and time together! Of course, there is the huge benefit of learning from what we are reading, but it is without any kind of pressure.
What are some of your favorite memories from reading together as a family?
I don’t want to ever forget the way our 2nd born giggled when we read about Pa Ingalls thinking he was clubbing a bear, but it was a tree stump! I want my children to remember drinking tea, eating snacks and listening to me read The Wild Robot during a cold winter day. We listened to Ramona and Beezus on the way to the beach and we ALL laughed. We cried and talked about death when a beloved character in the Vanderbeekers series died.
When my husband sits and reads to the girls at night from The Two Towers, I think that this is all I ever wanted in life. We are snug and safe and my children love listening to their dad read to them.
Somehow they remember all the characters in Middle Earth at 8 & 7 years old. We dressed up for Halloween as characters from Room on the Broom. We named a kitten Gruffalo from one of our favorite picture books. I want it to only be an inside joke among those who have read Caddie Woodlawn when my girls say “if at first you don’t fricassee, fry, fry a hen!” We all remember when their Grandpa got carried away in laughter reading That’s Not My Hat. We have memories laying under our Mimosa tree in summer watching the butterflies as I read. When the power goes out on the coldest night of the year, I remind everyone that Laura and Mary woke up with snow ON their bed in the Long Winter. When we read about Gladys Alyward, I tell the girls she is a real hero, a female role model.
This school year we have been doing a book club with two other families. It has been really fun! Each family takes turns picking a book, then after a month or two, we meet together for our club. The host plans various activities and we really enjoy our time together with our friends. Gathering for a book club helps reinforce the story we have just read and has also created wonderful memories!
There are so many books we want to read and just not enough time! Some of you are way ahead of us, and some of you are just beginning, let’s encourage one another!
Has reading together helped you through difficult times as a family?
Yes! When our oldest turned five, she had some traumatic health problems. It was a very dark time for our family. One of the symptoms was that she was unable to sleep. We tried so many things to try and get her to sleep. One day Ben decided he was going to read The Hobbit to her. He thought she wouldn’t be interested in the story, she would get sleepy, and at least he would enjoy himself because he loves The Hobbit! Well, it had the opposite effect! She LOVED it! It turned into a special connection for the two of them when everything else seemed so hard and scary.
Are there times when it is difficult to read to multiple children?
It’s not always picture perfect reading aloud to children. There are days where I only get a few sentences in because the baby is crying or other times where I’m practically shouting while I read because they’re digging through their lego box to build. Other times they keep fighting over who gets to sit on my lap. It’s not picture perfect, but it is still worth it! “That is how love works. You work hard at it and one day the work becomes joyful’ Cindy Rollins, Mere Motherhood.
Audio books are a great resource for working through a book. We like to listen to them in the car or during a meal. This is very helpful to me when there are times I need to be more hands on, but still can listen to the story.
What are some of your favorite homeschool resources?
This year we have really enjoyed some podcasts together. Our favorite has been On the Night Train by The Merry Beggars. We spent 21 weeks listening to a story of the transcontinental race across America in the Midnight Express. It was very exciting. We also like the Truth Seekers:Bible Stories for Kids podcast. It is wonderfully done! Some other podcasts we occasionally listen to are Real Cool History for Kids and Busy Kids Do Music.
Our current favorite Math, Language Arts and handwriting are all from The Good and The Beautiful. We have also liked working our way through A Child’s Introduction to Poetry by Micheal Driscoll.
Curriculum and Books
Leave a Comment!
Has Josie’s story resonated with you? Leave a comment to let her know!
Looking For More?
Enjoy some of these other Mom Interviews
How We Homeschool High School: Interview With Annie
Homeschooling In A Small House: An Interview With Bridget
Or persuse the Gallery of Our Life Homeschooling Mom Interviews
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!
Leave a Reply