Blogiversary Q&A- Round 5

I've been working frantically to get these questions answered before the end of the week, and I've finally succeeded! I hope you've enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about me, and maybe your curiosity has been somewhat satisfied… if not, you know where to find me! :)

Alisa asked- My other question is about homeschooling. You mention homeschooling yet your oldest is only 3 or 4. Why do you choose to formally school your child at this point?


Well, I'm not sure that I would say we are "formally" homeschooling quite yet. At this point, we keep things pretty relaxed and free of many expectations, except that our daughter will obey and participate with a good attitude. You're right, though, in that we are purposefully choosing material to expose her to, activities for her to complete, and spending specific time working on not only heart and character training, but also on some academic foundations.

But I suppose the truest answer to the question of why we've started so early is this: We believe that education is a lifelong process, and not something that begins when you're 5 and ends when you're 18 (or after university, or whatever). We want for our children to love learning and to be internally motivated, lifelong learners, and in our opinion, the best way to do that is to make learning a constant in life, not something that happens only when they reach a certain age or between the months of Sept-June (we plan to homeschool through the summers as well).

You will often hear me refer to homeschooling as "home education", and I suppose we prefer that term because it lends itself to the idea of someone who is being thoroughly educated (a diverse and complex process which can take many forms), as opposed to being "schooled" (which gives the impression of tasks to be completed, and a concrete start and end time).

Do you plan to homeschool when your in subsequent years? If so, is it because you think homeschooling is better than a traditional school setting or because it would be too expensive to send your children to a christian school?

Yes, we plan to homeschool our children all the way through!

And that second question would take me so long to answer as thoroughly as I want to, so suffice it to say this:
1) We want our children at home, with us, most of the time. This is how we plan to accomplish the kind of discipleship and teaching talked about in Deuteronomy 6:5-7, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and
when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." How difficult it must be to do this when your children are away from you for 5-6 hours a day (or more)! We definitely know families who are raising wonderful, Godly children, while having them attend school, but this is the way that seems best for us.
2) We don't want our children to be influenced by students and teachers who do not have a Christian worldview, during their early, formative years (particularly when we cannot be around to know what is being taught and said and to help our children work through it with a Biblical framework).
3) It is definitely expensive to send our children to a Christian school (especially when I'm already at home and capable of teaching, and have no intentions of going back to work). But even if money wasn't an issue, they would be exposed to many things that are questionable (there may be some good schools out there, but I think all of us who have gone to school, even Christian school, know that no school is without it's issues and without questionable students and even teachers).
4) I want the privelege of being with my children, and I don't want to give it up to someone else, no matter how wonderful of a teacher they may be. They're our kids, given to my husband and I to raise (as well as to answer to God for!) and I want to soak up the years that I have with them!
That still didn't do the question justice… Oh well. :)

Alison asked- Are you a native Canadian? What about your husband? (It sounds like his mom lives in the States?)

Yes, I was born in Canada, in the Vancouver, BC area. My husband was, too. His family is actually Canadian, but his Dad has been working with a couple of American companies and living in the US for about 10 years.

How did you two meet?

We met while working at a social services agency, where we were both a sort of Foster Parent. We took turns living with a troubled 12 year old boy (who was in the custody of the ministry), 3 days on, 2 days off. What a way to check out a potential spouse- just become a parent with them! I loved seeing his heart and his love for the Lord, and one thing led to another. We dated/courted for 8 months, and were married 5 months later, and just celebrated 5 beautiful years!

What did you do before you married? I know I read this somewhere on
your blog, but I can't remember now. (Did it have something to do with
museums? Or art?) And how did you choose that career, and you would you
ever go back to it?

Actually, I am so completely hopeless at art, but you may be remembering that my sister-in-law is a beautiful artist. Before we were married, I finished my BA in Psychology and Biblical Studies at Trinity Western University. After that, I spent about half a year at the social work agency where I met my husband, then went back into autism therapy, which I had begun doing in my 4th year of university. I did that, as a behavioral interventionist (ABA) for another year, before we got married and moved to Japan. There, I became an ESL teacher, something I had never studied in or done before! Randomness. It's all just completely random, I know! I have to say, I'm just loving my current career as a mother and homemaker, and I'm pretty sure I'll just stay put where I am! :)

If I were to ever get another job outside of the home (which would be very far off when my kids are out of the home or at much, much older), I would not go back into my previous fields. Instead, I would complete the diploma that I began and become a Holistic Nutritionist. I would do private consulting, and teach seminars, and write books (hmm, I guess my blog is good practice, isn't it?). I've also thought of becoming a Bradley childbirth instructor. Or a midwife. So many good options out there, but it's really not something I think about too much.

Thanks for asking all of these great question- there were fun to answer, and a nice change of pace. And thank you so much for your kind words and encouragment on my 1 year blogiversary! It's been a good year, and I'm looking forward to many more.

See you tomorrow for Living Simply Saturdays!

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. i can’t help but adore that little face :-) guess because i’ve had the blessing of having that princess in my az home.

    what a sweet memory! and, thanks for the vote! totally appreciate it. need about 25 more {shameless grin}….

    thanks woman….

    how is your garden?

  2. I am glad that you are homeschooling. I am a grandmother who homeschooled for 7 years. My grandson is now going to public school. He is an A student. So many people over the years mentioned that he was missing out on socialization with children his age. However, he has many homeschool friends of all ages. Now that he is in school, there are some children who are trying to bully him. There are some who call him a nerd, and there are others who are his friends. His homeschool friends just like him and have never tried to be bullies or do name calling. He has great teachers who really like him because he likes to learn. His education started at a young age with books being read to him, mainly with learning about subjects that he was interested in, for instance, owls, bugs, trucks, etc. I taught him to use the library to find information; also the internet and the TV. I made up my own lessons and spent extra money on outside activities like learning Pottery, Latin, Theatre, Dance and etc. Home education never stops and most of the time, the children don’t even realize they are learning a lesson. I found home education cheaper than the public school even with the extra activities. In placing my grandson in school this year, the cost was unbelieveable. Home education isn’t for everyone, but I do think that it is great if you can do it.

  3. Thanks for answering my questions! I wonder where on earth I got the art thing. It must be another blogger. Anyway, it was fun learning more about you. And what a unique way to meet a husband! God works in wonderful ways. :-) J and I hope to homeschool as well for many of the reasons you listed.

  4. I don’t understand why people only want their children to be surrounded by people who think the same way. Diversity is what makes this world go ’round! Learning from others, whether we agree with their views or not, teaches us tolerance, and we could all use more tolerance, and I think the younger we can start teaching tolerance to our children, the better!

  5. EXACTLY how I feel about why we home educate! I try not to make others feel that they should do it, but know that this is what God has called our family to do.
    You would make a great naturopath/nutritionist, something I’d love to do after the kids aren’t home also. But I might be even more passionate about midwifery! Having our 4th at home with an excellent midwife was an amazing blessing from God…
    Great post!

  6. Yes, Alisa, we’re so grateful to live someplace where we have such a freedom to homeschool (and I didn’t know you were in BC)! And I understand the reasons why it is a difficult thing to do for some family or in some seasons. No judgment at all- just trying to answer the question! :)

    Thanks, Amy- I assume you feel the same way!

  7. I *loved* your answer to the first question. :o)

  8. Wow, you’ve been busy Stephanie! All those questions that needed answering…

    Those reasons you stated are reasons my husband and I really struggle on this. On the other hand we are expecting our 5th baby and at the moment (when I’m so tired and sick) I am content that they are going to school. But for the record, I think homeschooling your children is the best way to go. And here in BC we have the most lax homeschool laws of any province or state. Something to be so very thankful for.