Featured Homeschool Family--The McKinney's

Featured Homeschool Family--The McKinney's

I have 3 children: ages 14, 12, and 9.

When my firstborn child was about 15 months old, I accompanied a friend to a homeschool conference. I'd never even heard of 'homeschool'! I went more to hang out with a girl friend than anything else. While there I heard a speaker talking about how God has given our children to us as a gift. The more he talked about the relationships built with one's children through homeschooling and the equipping done for real life in homeschooling, the more I knew this was something I was being called to do.

I have been what is sometimes referred to as an 'eclectic' homeschooler, using a variety of curriculum to meet the changing needs of my children and our family. I've always felt I should teach a subject in a way that is enjoyable and many times I found unit studies to fit the bill. However, as I now am homeschooling a high school student, a middle school student, and an elementary student, I felt the need to consolidate much of the instruction I give in a 'one-room school house' type setting. I now use 'Tapestry of Grace' as my main curriculum. It is a history based curriculum that adds philosophy, art, geography, government, and writing together. Everyone is learning about the same time periods at their own levels. This enables us all to learn from each other. On top of that, I add Saxon Math, Apologia Science, Easy Grammar, Spelling Power, and foreign language (Latin).

For us, mornings work best to do our harder work. We also try to stick to a schedule so we all work on the same subject at the same time. (That keeps my stress level at a manageable level!) We start with some subjects over breakfast (Bible and History discussions). We move into math, foreign language, language arts (grammar, spelling, and writing) and science before lunch. After lunch we have read-aloud time and more discussions. The day is wrapped up with the kids doing their reading assignments and their household chores.

As my children grow their interests change and it is fun to watch it unfold. My oldest went from a 1st grader who wanted to be a vegetarian children's pastor on a horse ranch...who still ate chicken nuggets (Ha!) to a teenager considering working as a writer or missionary. My second child wants to teach art or choir and be a mommy. My youngest child at one time wanted to be a detective. The problem is, he can't keep up with his own comb! Now he wants to be a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys...and a singer! (I guess they don't have to comb their hair. Ha!)

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