Gin & Zin

Meet Kristen~ on Homeschooling

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Meet Kristen~

Hi! My name is Kristen. I am a stay at home, homeschooling mama to three wonderful children. I have a degree in psychology but find my time is better spent raising these kiddos and focusing on their education. My husband is my safe place and without his unwavering encouragement I would be nothing. I long for a farmhouse where my children can run free with our chickens, goats, and pet pig.

My biggest strength as a mom is that I am surprisingly good at juggling my responsibilities and still carving time for every child. Being a housewife, a homeschooler, a blogger, and a mom can be overwhelming, but maintaining a well thought out schedule gives me the opportunity to have time with each child so that none of them feel neglected!

When I am away from my children I like to shop, read, or catch up on my shows. Honestly though I would sleep right now if I had a day without my children!

Interview on Homeschooling~

Can you describe your family dynamics? Children’s ages? Husband work schedule? Family nearby? Any sitter regularly?

I left my job 8 years ago to finish my bachelor’s in psychology. Not long after I quit did I find out I was pregnant with my first child. So I have been a stay at home mom since! I have Annaliese who is 7, Madelyn who is 6, and Finnegan who is 6 months. My husband is a finish carpenter and at the moment works 5 days a week, ten hour shifts. The downside is that he works an hour or more away so his days are long. Most of our family lives an hour south of us. This is one thing I wish was different. It is extremely difficult for my husband and I to take a break or have a date.

What led to your decision to homeschool your children? What were you nervous about?

My husband and I had very different school experiences growing up. He went to a private christian school and I went to public school. He had a horrible school experience while I had a good one. So our opinions were very different in what we wanted for our children. Since private school is not an option where we live, he wanted our children to be homeschooled. I, however, wanted them to go to public school. We spent months debating and weighing the pros and cons. In the end homeschooling ended up being the best decision for our family.

I was incredibly nervous about it. I mean, I would be responsible for everything that my children would be taking in and processing in their tiny little brains. That is a huge undertaking. Would I fail? Would my kids learn anything? How can I teach two? So many questions were running through my head. But honestly it was the best decision that we have made! I found what works and what does not for our children. I have been able to find what curriculum fits best into our family. I get excited now for a new year to start so we can continue our learning adventure!

 I have always been under the impression that it takes a special type of person to homeschool, a very, very, VERY patient one. LOL. How do you keep the patience? Or do you use it up?

One thing I am not…. is patient. It is something I strive to be but something I fail at most days. One thing I have learned that has helped me is understanding the way my children learn. There are different learning styles. How my oldest Annaliese learns is completely different from how Madelyn learns. So understanding the different ways of teaching has helped in maintaining calmness with my children. Another thing I have always done when I have felt my patience running out is stop what we are doing and either change to a different subject or to end for the day. This is the beauty of homeschooling. If the girls are having a bad day we just put the books up and do something fun together. They are still learning from their surroundings. This I believe is so much better than trying to force them to do their book work on a day that they will honestly not absorb anything.

What do you do when you do need a break or you realize you are running low on patience? Do you schedule mom getaway time? What refills your energetic cup when it’s drained?

I have this special look that I give my husband. I have to speak no words. I just give him the look and he knows this mama needs a break! He is so gracious and kind during these moments. He works so hard for our family and hardly gets time to himself. But he is always willing to do his best in helping out and relieving some of the stress that is placed upon me. Lately most of my “me” time has been long after everyone goes to sleep. This is when I am able to do anything I want with no interruptions. I get to read or watch TV and eat what I want without everyone calling my name. It is glorious until morning comes and I am extremely tired!

What words of advice do you have for parents who are considering homeschool??

Communicate with each other!! This was a huge factor in why we were able to decide in what was best for our children. It took us months to talk it over and decide to homeschool. It is a huge decision and should be heavily talked about. Write out lists, make charts, visit the schools in your area. Do everything and anything that you can think of that will make your decision easier to make. Another piece of advice is to not worry about finding the right curriculum the first year. I did not. This will be my third year and I am still piecing together what works and does not work for our family. There is so many ways to teach and there are even more tools to use so be patient in finding the best way for our family! It will happen!!
 Kristen, we would love to shadow you for a day at your homeschool. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story on homeschooling!
**credit to and @blissfullyinsaneblog on instagram

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