We are a “blended” family with seven kids. As I write this, the oldest is 26 and the youngest is age 10. Many, many years ago I was fortunate enough to homeschool my oldest son until he was in the sixth grade. Since then, all of our kids have attended public school. Our three youngest requested to be homeschooled in 2016. One graduated last spring. Youngest Son began homeschooling in grade 6 and is now in grade 9. Youngest Daughter began homeschooling in grade 2 and is now in grade 4.

Family trip to South Carolina

For us, homeschooling offers an individualized education for each child. They are all very different and their interests and educational needs are, too. Our recent homeschool graduate chose homeschooling in the 10th grade as a way to explore her interests more deeply, avoid busywork, and graduate early. In public school she was taking advanced courses and making very good grades. Her homeschooling was completely self-directed.

Youngest Son began homeschooling in sixth grade. The transition into middle school was very stressful and he was experiencing severe anxiety and depression. He is much happier learning at home. In the last few years, we have experimented with different approaches and curricula. We are currently using Power Homeschool (formerly Accellus) online. He finishes “school” in less than two hours and has the rest of the day to explore his interests. Currently, he spends time playing Fortnite, video editing, using Photoshop and YouTube, and is obsessed with The Walking Dead (graphic novels and TV series).

Field trip to Mission San Luis in Tallahassee, Florida

Youngest Daughter has some learning challenges associated with autism and Fragile X syndrome. Our routine, curriculum, and approach is always evolving as we try new things. I have chosen at this time not to worry about grade level curriculum and expectations, but to focus on basic reading and math skills instead. Her current interests include Minecraft, YouTube, Barbie and everything pink.