Mike and Charity Shettle homeschooled their three kids. This episode talks about the lessons they've learned. Listen here:
Why did you decide to homeschool?
Charity: I never wanted to homeschool . We moved around quite a bit with my husband in the military. Every school had a different learning style. During some of these moves, we met homeschool families that seemed normal. We met someone who was starting to homeschool and we began to feel that God was leading us to homeschool, Mike said absolutely not. Mike started to read and study the Bible to get his answer.
Mike: I learned that education of your children is parents responsibility. I realized the advantages of homeschool. Moving around from school to school was tough on the kids. Charity was spending a lot of her time driving kids to and from school and it seemed like we could do this more efficiently. I looked for the efficient way to do stuff and Charity looked for the fun way to do stuff.
Why did you not want to homeschool?
Charity: I love to sew. I was looking forward to time alone where I didn’t have to be taking care of kids all the time. But having them in school was exhausting with all the driving. When I met people who were homeschooling, they seemed normal. I went to a homeschool convention and saw the resources and support they had available. It was a really good fit for us and for our lifestyle. It let us do school in the car while we traveled. The state said that we needed to homeschool 180 days a year, but we could choose which days they were.
How were your homeschool styles different?
Charity: I homeschooled in a more relaxed way. We didn’t stick to a strict schedule. We would sometimes learn on the couch.
Mike: I had a strict schedule of getting up and going to work everyday so scheduling was more important to me. I tried to teach things at certain times. I taught them high school math and science. I would meet with kids at 6am before I left for work and go over their algebra work. The reality is everything you do is educational, in one way or another. We tried to make everything educational. I would take the kids to the library every Saturday morning so that Charity would have a little break. This helped them develop intellectual curiosity.
Charity: I wanted to teach the kids to love learning and to find information so that they could educate themselves. If they loved to learn and knew how to find the information they would always be able to learn. You could also take their interest and blow that up and do a unit study with that. For example, we taught geometry through quilting. In homeschooling, you can have a more holistic learning experience and it makes learning fun.
Mike: It’s also more efficient. When you’re homeschooling, you are one on one with the kids and it really is more efficient. You can accomplish in half a day what a teacher with 20 kids would in a full day.
How have your kids benefitted from homeschool?
Mike: What was great about homeschool was they learned to solve problems. We encouraged them to solve their own problems. They learned to get along with other people- like their brother and sisters, kids from homeschool groups, church and sports. They were often with people who are not just like them. They might be older. In a structured school environment, you rarely interact with people outside of your same age group. It helped them explore their passions and pursue those so that as adults, they are doing things they love to do.
Charity: Homeschool did so much to help our kids become well-rounded adults. In college, the kids had learned good study habits and knew how to learn instead of worrying about what would be on the test.
Mike: they also benefitted from learning how to plan. They were very self sufficient learners by the time they were in high school.