First, I must admit that I did spend some time in public school. But when my mom found out that homeschooling was legal, those years became a distant memory. She went to a homeschool conference and came home with our books on order. She sent a letter to the superintendent to pull us out of school. I was about to enter 10th grade, and my little sister was starting 6th. The first year, we used a packaged christian curriculum. I remember filling out pages of schoolwork that we sent in to be corrected. We soon learned that it drove me crazy to answer meaningless science questions, but I could talk for hours about what I was learning. My little sister, however, would hide in a corner and read for hours, secretly despising my need to talk through every assignment. (Love you, my dear sister! We are such good friends now.) We would later find out that I was an audio learner and she was a visual learner.
I discovered that the public school had never heard of infinitives and gerunds. World history was another topic I knew little about. My mom, who loves history, made timeline notebooks for us with the years going across the top of each page in a binder. We added maps, dates, illustrations. It is still a cherished possession that I hope to add to along with my children. I already have two timeline notebooks on the shelf (made by Marme, as we call my mom) waiting for them to get a little older.
We started having Bible study together as a family in the evening. My Dad would quiz us for tests. I loved having a dad that really tried to be involved where he could. He tried to help me with my physics workbook, but it didn’t end well, for the book. (Mental note that later became a guiding principle: Workbooks are not always the best option.) We played educational games like Muggins and AC DC, dad’s personal favorite.
The next year, my mom got very brave and chose all her own curriculum. Before the days of the internet, she drove hours to book fairs, and conferences. She had to buy some things blind and hope that they would work. Later she would confess, “How did I buy that many books?” Well, mom, it was completely necessary. How else would I have all these books to homeschool my kids? The historical novel became a staple in our educational diet. Cultural literacy became a household phrase. “Far above Rubies” was used extensively. My mom also became the matriarch of homeschooling for several counties at about this time. Anyone interested in homeschooling came to her.
Did I miss school? NOO! I loved being at home with my family, and never missed the shallow and irrresponsible kids my age. I much preferred the company of adults. By the way, what about driving, etc? My dad taught me how to drive, and I took my test at 19. I still took private flute lessons, and traveled teaching Bible clubs every summer.
When I graduated, I homeschooled college, too. I took correspondence courses until I met Doug. I managed to get 34 credits and was happy to set that aside and take up home life again in a different home.
Well, I could say much more. Those years were very full and happy. But I will refer to them more as I look at specific topics.
Thanks, Mom and Dad!