This week I would like to introduce to you The McKinney Family.
Family Name: The McKinney Family (McKinney Academy)
Ages of your children: 11, 6, 5 and 3
How long have you been homeschooling? 8 years (Started the oldest in Preschool)
What state do you live in and is it a homeschool friendly state? Kentucky, it is yes homeschool friendly. Very laid back and the laws are easy. We simply have to keep records, attendance and notify the BOE
What is homeschool to you? Homeschool to me is life. We learn in almost everything we do. I am teaching my children to not only be "book smart" but to be life smart. Its not all sit down learning, we are learning to cook, to build, etc. Its not all about the book lessons (though they are important).
What made you initially decide to start homeschooling? My husband, from the time I became pregnant with my oldest he was telling me that we would homeschool, He isn't a fan of the public school system because of personal experience on his part and some other things he saw/heard. I wasn't on board at first (if I'm being honest, mostly for selfish reasons) but we agreed on a trial run, for preschool to see how it went. From day one I was in love with it. Not to say some days I didn't want to pull my hair out or scream in frustration (and still do sometimes) but it's always worth it once we over come the obstacle in our way. I will never forget the first time my son read a book to me. I was in tears. Teaching how to read is something that takes time and patience, once I taught him how to read I knew we was going to make it. I knew we would (and could) do this together. Now here I am years later, teaching three sometimes four (when the littlest one wants to "play lessons") kids and I couldn't imagine my life any other way. I'm so glad my husband stuck with his guns on this one.
How do you choose your curriculum? I (for the most part) create my own, I do buy books, I love thrifting for books and I can not pass us a learning/teaching book if I find one. I use various books/brands though and create my own to fit my children. Only thing I would say is a favorite is Abeka Science. I prefer it over any other science program and my oldest really enjoys it as well. He has taken his science book to bed to read at night instead of his normal bedtime stories. We do lots of hands on, it seems to engaging the kids more and make them more willingly to learn, especially when its something they aren't too happy to do.
Do you stay with a schedule or are you more flexible? We are a routine family. We do not follow a schedule (schedules make me anxious, which makes me become grumpy when I don't think we will be where we should be when wee should be,etc) I am flexible about it as long as we get everything done in a day we should what is the rush? That's part of what I love about homeschooling. If we need to go somewhere and not get home until 4 in the evening we can still do our studies. Homeschool teaching never closes, never goes home for the day. It is home.
How do you handle the family schedule? Our family schedule is pretty much nonexistent. I'm a stay at home mom and my husband works full time. Only days we really have a schedule is Sunday because of church and my husband is off that day so its easy to follow.
How do you make sure your child has regular interaction with peers? We have a huge family, we have friends with kids (when you become a parent you lose friends, become a homeschool mom and you lose even more) we go to church, we go to play areas. Peer interaction is something I do not worry about it.
What has been the most surprising part of homeschooling? How simple it can be sometimes. Going in to homeschooling I thought it was going to be an uphill battle all the time, that teaching them everything when they knew nothing was going to be impossible. How could I ever do such a thing? Then we start something and BAM they already have it. We are equipped by God to learn. Sometimes it takes more time than others but I truly believe and follow the guideline of when they are ready they will learn. It something I never truly knew or appreciated until I started to teach my children.
You can follow the McKinney Family and their homeschool adventures at their Facebook page: McKinney Academy
Thank you to the McKinney Family for sharing your homeschooling with us!