Books by Lorie Ann Grover

Books by Lorie Ann Grover
Kirkus Starred Review, Firstborn: "A fantasy that reads like a lost history tome and deftly examines issues of gender...An engrossing story with welcome depths."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Homeschooling: Mission accomplished

I've been thinking of this post since June, and it has now really hit me. After homeschooling both our daughters for about fifteen years, I'm done. *looks around the quiet house*

Top photo: Emily. You just can't always be enthusiastic. Especially when homeschooling can be done at any time, even when preparing to move. But pets are welcome!
Bottom photo: El was clicking the keys at 18 months, and she's never stopped.

So I thought to explain our reasons we homeschooled, itemize a bit of what we did, and share the positives and negatives. First off, we homeschooled because both girls began to read at 3. Once they took off, they just never did jive with the public school system's pacing. Emily would not have started kindergarten until she was 6, after reading for 3 years. Therefore, we just dove into purchased curriculum. Both girls finished 12 years of school by age 15.

The greatest challenge really was teaching them self motivation, applying their full attention to the task at hand. There are no other students to bounce off of, be ignited by, or compete against daily. The drive must come from within the child.

That really is related to the biggest negative. The absence of other students to gauge your own progress leaves a bit of a vacuum until annual standardized testing. How you stand with your peers is a bit of a mystery.

The strongest positive is the ability to focus on each child's interests. By 7, Ellen was showing an interest in cultural anthropology. Emily was into rocks at 4. Homeschooling requires so much less time, due to the teacher/student ratio, we could saturate each daughter with extra material that they found fascinating. This included field trips to the zoo, a 6 week tour of Alaska, 2 weeks in the Southwest, and jaunts to the art museum.

Our curriculum was traditional, mostly grounded on Abeka, but countered with college texts. Extras included art, piano, flute, logic, Latin, philosophy, and speech.

Both girls used the local schools for peer socialization. Emily was in band for 8 years. She became the youngest and first homeschooled drum major for Sumner Senior High School. Ellen participated in choir and drama. She earned a position in the American Choral Directors Association regional choir and was honored with a nomination for her drama role in Pippin by the 5th Avenue Theatre.

Both girls could pursue hours of writing and reading for pleasure. Both won poetry awards and are published by the Pierce County Our Own Words Contests.

I have to say they were patient with me. Often they'd jump to the end of the trig problem before it all came back to me, and they would wait until I found my way. Like how I waited for them to sound out those very first words. L-o-v-e.

Emily, with her Associates of Science at 18, is now a junior at Western Washington University, while Ellen, at 16, is a freshman at Pierce Community College. And I am done teaching. All my hard work is finished as they rush forward to continue learning. The greatest gift of all from homeschooling is that neither daughter ever lost her love of learning.

In that vein, I loved teaching my girls to read and introducing the world to them. It was an honor and a treasure. Definitely hard work, with struggles and strife, but it was worth every second. I'd do it all again...


Jackie Parker said...


David said...

Huge job! Thanks for doing such a good job and seeing it through to the end.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thank you!

Erin said...

Yay Lorie Ann. :)