If you are struggling to find a groove in your homeschool, Kay Chance has wisdom and encouragement that will reignite your passion for homeschooling. Kay is the mom of two homeschool graduates, co-executive editor of Homeschooling Today magazine, and natural learning enthusiast. As a former public school teacher, Kay reveals her previously negative perceptions of homeschooling and explains what changed her heart regarding educating her children at home.
If you’ve ever worried that you aren’t “doing it right,” you will find both encouragement and practical suggestions for improving your homeschool. Kay addresses topics ranging from thoughts on choosing curriculum, how she and her family learned to move more slowly when necessary, and how she wishes she had known the importance of having more fun while educating at home. She discusses the dreaded “s” word (you know the one I’m talking about…socialization!) for both moms and students. She shares her ideas about what is and is not important about a homeschooling community, and gives encouraging examples of some long-standing friendships that her children developed within their homeschooling group.
In fact, Kay shares inspiring information about her belief that homeschooling actually lends itself to developing better relationships. Kay expresses the importance of transmitting her faith to her children, learning along with them, reading aloud to them, and discussing hard things with them. Kay will remind you not to be afraid to make mistakes. If you’re missing the joy you once had or simply need to take some time to consider, or perhaps reconsider, your “why” then you’ll find that Kay feels like a mentor with a warm smile and an encouraging word.
Meet The Guest
Kay Chance homeschooled her two boys for fifteen years. While teaching them, she discovered a passion for writing and developing curriculum resources. She loves sharing natural learning methods and creative lesson ideas with other homeschooling parents in her column Learning Naturally.
Kay is the co-executive editor of Homeschooling Today magazine, author of the older extensions for the Trail Guide to Learning series, and a freelance writer and content creator. She makes her home in Texas with her husband Brian.
Show notes are below.
This episode is sponsored by Apologia. We are HUGE fans of Apologia and we both have used this curriculum throughout our homeschool journeys. This series is literally our favorite science series offered in the homeschool arena. We encourage you to spend a few minutes visiting their site to see why. Or visit our website to see the many articles we have written about it.
Quotes from Kay Chance
In the beginning I had expectations that were not appropriate for my child at his age…I want to reassure everyone that he is really ok despite the fact that I was completely imperfect. We have a God that is bigger than that!
[If I could do it all over again] I would, from the beginning, try to be more fun. Do the projects. Play the games. Don’t worry about finding that perfect curriculum, especially math.
You have to learn from things you did wrong and things you did right. I think that’s the way we are designed, to mentor one another, to love one another, and encourage one another.
When I first started I was very hands-on, very fun, very “do all the things.” As we got older, I forgot to keep that in the mix. Especially when they get to high school.
Community can be so good…really, it is important.
[Community with other homeschoolers] doesn’t have to be big to be effective.
If you’re not a hands-on person, have a small homeschool group and get together and do it all in one day and get all messy!
Most of the time the kids are socialized. It’s the moms that aren’t.
Despite what you may see and read from the bloggers and writers out there, kids are kids. Everything won’t go perfectly and you’re gonna have some bad days. Having someone else to understand that and not say “Oh! You need to put them in public school,” every time something is not perfect…we needed that . We needed someone to say “Remember your why. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. This is a chance to address the things that go beyond the textbooks.”
Trish – I fell in love with homeschooling. I fell in love with the relationships with my kids.
Trish – One of the things that I think is the most important things that you can get from homeschooling is the relationships with your children.
It’s hard to get to the quality moments without the quantity.
In talking about relationships and faith, we want it to be a natural part of life, not something that was compartmentalized. I do think we see the fruit of that today despite our completely imperfect homeschool, we still talk about matters of faith as we’re living out God’s world today those things are very real…the fact that we will talk about it is such a blessing. It has deepened our relationships even when we don’t agree
My relationship with my children has taught me not to make assumptions about someone’s ideas and why they have those ideas. Have those real conversations. Talk with them and not just to them.
One of the biggest things I would say [to new homeschooling moms or those whose kids are entering the high school years] is “You’re right. You’re going to mess up some stuff. You’re not going to do it perfectly. Everyone is afraid of having gaps in their education. Guess what? Yep! You can’t teach everything. You can’t do everything. Instead of trying for perfection, enjoy the process. It is so much more important that our kids learn how to learn.
I want my kids to know that they can continue to learn new things. It is not dependent on me!
I would tell young moms to let education be fun! You’re going to hear people say “They’ve got to learn discipline. They’ve got to learn how to do hard things.” They will! You’re not going to get through live without learning how to do hard things.
Who created the idea that learning has to be hard to be valuable? We remember things we are interested in. We remember things when we are having fun.
Just relax a little bit. Enjoy your children. If you find that you are constantly fearful, take some time off and just play some games. Watch some educational videos. Go on a nature walk.
A serious responsibility can be a lot of fun, too.
One of the fears is ‘What if I don’t know this?” Learn along side them!
We did read alouds all the way through high school. Y’all are missing out if you don’t do that!
We didn’t just read for the story. Having those discussions about what was going on, about character development
Trish – All of my kids are voracious readers. My secret was I didn’t care what they read. As long as they were reading they could read five grade levels below what they were supposed to be reading at. Also, if they were reading, they got to stay up later.
It is such an important point for these young homeschool moms to know that you’re going to have to look around to find the right fit for your family. Even when you find the right fit, you may need to adapt.
Trish – That was one of my biggest wins. Figuring out how to make writing and communicating fun and interesting and them seeing how beautifully they could write.
Writing teaches us to think better.
I feel like language arts is one of the most foundational subjects on which all other subjects can be built on.
Trish – When thinking about homeschooling or changing things up if what you are doing isn’t working, a literature-based approach gives you time. It is a more relaxed approach.
We were designed to learn through stories. If you think about cultures across time and across cultures, we pass down our family stories. You look at ancient literature; there is always a story. I go back to the Word of God and how He has chosen to communicate with us and it is often through the stories of real, imperfect people. I think we have an innate connection to story,.
Not everyone loves to read, but even if you don’t love to read, we enjoy hearing stories.
I think when we start engaging with literature and stories where we’re trying to put ourselves or to think of others in the place of those characters can be an incredibly powerful learning tool.
In college, [two girls looked at my homeschooled son and his homeschooled friend] and said “You were homeschooled? Really?!” They were shocked that they were so normal. So many people have this idea that 59:36
Your children are not the sum total of your parenting. They are people. They are unique creations of God. You’re going to mess up some. You’re going to do some things right. We need to be faithful to guide them and help the grow in the Lord, to help them grow in those relationships but we are not responsible for creating little clones of us.
Resources mentioned in the podcast and other important links
Info on Jamie:
- co-executive editor of Homeschooling Today magazine
email [email protected]
Curriculum and Books referred to in this episode:
- Apologia Science Exploring Creation series
- Trail Guide to Learning
- You Can Teach Your Child Successfully by Dr. Ruth Beechick
- The Writer’s Jungle; A Survivor’s Guide to Writing with Kids by Julie Bogart
- Read-Aloud Revival, a blog by Sarah Macenzie
- Percy Jackson book series by Rick Riordan
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- The Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) Institute for Excellence in Writing (iew.com)
- Teaching Writing Structure and Style (TWSS) Teaching Writing: Structure and Style®, Second Edition [Forever Streaming or DVD Video Seminar, Workbook, Premium Membership] | Institute for Excellence in Writing (iew.com)
- Beautiful Feet curriculum with Holling C. Holling books
- Homeschooling Today magazine
How to make homeschool fun!!
- Believe in Unicorns Coloring Book: 50+ Beautiful Mythical Unicorn Coloring Pages.
- Diamond Painting Kits for Adults, Teens or Tweens
- Our game recommendations on Amazon on how to make homeschool fun!
- Homeschool Road Trips
- Fun Printable Site: Only Passionate Curiosity
- Our snarky irreverent view of homeschooling: Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers