Friday, January 16, 2015

Interview with Heidi Strawser: Homeschool Mother

I first met Heidi online as someone who worked for The Old Schoolhouse magazine and then met her in person at a homeschool convention even though she only lives a few miles from me. Our contact is still online through Facebook. Now, when I think of Heidi, I think read more
Disney! She loves Disney World and is quite the expert. Hi, Heidi, welcome to my blog today. You’re also an active blogger aren't you?

Yes!  I've been blogging since before blogging was cool!  I first started blogging to share our homeschool journey, which then evolved into our adoption journey.  From there, I started doing blog reviews.  Now, my blog has become simply a place on the web where I share my thoughts on just about anything (you just never know what might pop into my head on any given day!)

I also co-own and operate two blog/websites – one devoted to Homeschooling and Homekeeping, the other more focused on Disney (and family entertainment).

Tell us the addresses of your blogs.

Heidi’s Head (my personal blog) – http://heidi-strawser.com

Home & School Mosaics – http://homeschoolmosaics.com We have 2 posts going up on this site each weekday, with a focus on homeschool and every day home life. We also host weekly link-ups here so our readers have lots of opportunities to interact with us and meet new friends.

The Blogorail – http://magicalblogorail.com If you’re looking for Disney tips and tricks, this is a great place to start!

Who do you homeschool?

Currently, I am homeschooling two children – my 14-year-old daughter Gracie who is working through 10th grade right now, and my 8-year-old son Ian who is in 3rd  grade.

How many years have you done this?

We've been homeschooling since the fall of 1999, when my oldest daughter Ashley started kindergarten.  (She has since  graduated from our homeschool.)

Why did you start to homeschool?

When Ashley was the age to head off to kindergarten, the teachers in our school district were on strike (for the 2nd year), working without contracts, etc.  It was really frustrating.  I got to thinking that I was likely more qualified to teach her through kindergarten.  After all, I was her mother.  Who would possibly know her better than I?  And, I was able to focus on her, not worry about a contract or a whole classroom full of kids. That first year was a success, so we continued.

What is your favorite part of being a homeschool mother?

I love that I am home with my kids each and every day, making connections and having conversations with them that I would miss if they were gone all day, in a classroom.  I cherish these moments.

Have you experienced any challenging situations in your role as educator?

My biggest challenge has been having to change the way I think things need to be done.  My 3rd child has thrown the clinkers into our homeschool.  He’s brilliant, but he does not like sitting down with workbooks.  He’ll work with me for hours going over verbal math problems.  He loves to read.  But those workbooks . . . well, he just has no time for them.  So, I've had to learn to be more flexible and pull in some creative resources to try to “sneak” school past him! 

This year, since it will be the first year he’ll be required to be tested in PA, I've been trying to crack down on him a bit more.  Yet, we’re definitely leaning toward a more “delight-directed” approach where he is concerned. 

My middle child is gifted, so she essentially schools herself at this point.  She teaches me now; which has been an interesting turn of events!

Is there any curriculum you would recommend?

Over the years, I think we've tried just about every curriculum available!  Each of my 3 children is very different and I've found that what works for the first one doesn't work for the second, etc.  I have stacks and stacks of like-new curriculum in my basement.  I think I need to host a curriculum sale! 

Some of our favorite resources over the years have been Apologia sciences and The Mystery of History (books that will remain on our school shelves long after our homeschooling days are over).  We've had success with products from Master Books and The Critical Thinking Company. 

Each year, we reassess and decide what we need to change (or keep the same) for the following year.  You just never know what books and supplements might grace our shelves for the year!  

What advice do you have for others who homeschool?

Take it one day at a time.  Planning ahead is all well and good (and I know, because I’m a crazy planner) but don’t be led by your plans – be led by your child(ren) and his/her needs.  Be flexible!  And, most of all, have fun and treasure these moments.  They pass much too quickly.

Thanks so much for taking the time to be with us. I've enjoyed getting to know you even better. 




2 comments:

  1. Love this! We homeschooled in a similar way, just meeting the kids where they were at each year, adapting according to the ever-changing dynamics of our family each year. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you, Valerie. Nice to hear from you.

      Delete