June 2001 highlights

Saturday, June 30th, 2001
The pace really picked up in June. Our friends, Steve & Janet Hedke, participated in the History Channel’s Great Race this year, which coincided with our church’s Vacation Bible School program. As many of you know, we live 70 miles from our church, so it is often difficult to attend events. The Hedke’s generously lent us their house for the week, which allowed all four of the girls and Kathy to participate in the VBS program. Wendy got reading glasses – which excited her to no end to once again look like Amy! Kathy turned 40, and her mom and sister, Cindy, surprised her with a birthday party at a restaurant in Modesto. They even hired a barbershop quartet to serenade our group. The greatest moment was when our four girls sang “Amazing Grace” with the quartet. After leaving Modesto, we drove through Yosemite (Kathy’s first time) to Bishop to visit Eric’s great aunt and uncle, Bud & Ruth Schwartzkopf.

Are you home educating your kids?

Saturday, June 23rd, 2001
If you have children, you have to ask yourself if you are home educating them as well.  OK, perhaps that is a misleading statement (See disclaimer #1) but I do want you to think about your role as a parent.

Our family home educates our 4 daughters ages 1 3/4, 3 3/4 and twins at 8 1/2. It has been a fun and stimulating experience thus far. Perhaps most exciting is to see the two younger children learning so much by watching their older siblings. We do not push our children, the 3 year old is learning to read because she wants to be just like her big sisters. The youngest pretends to read along. The older ones help with the teaching of their younger siblings and in turn, learn effective communication skills.

As for family dynamics, I can think of no better way to bring and keep our family close together than the experience that we have had homeschooling our children. I am fortunate to be able to run my consulting practice from home. I'm therefore able to be involved or at least aware of everything that is going on. We are all becoming our own best friends and this strengthens the family.

Now, I must make two disclaimers:

1. Homeschooling as an alternative to public or private school is not for everyone. That does not mean that you cannot have a homeschooling mentality as you approach every event and circumstance with your children as a learning opportunity. It is my personal belief that EVERYONE who has children should be homeschooling them regardless of whether they also choose to have them attend a public, private or parochial school for 5 or 6 hours each day.

2. As the income producer in our family, it should be noted that my wife does most all of the work on the formal classroom training. I cannot take credit for the many hours of classroom and textbook time that she invests with our children. I think that in most homeschooling families you will find this to be true.

I would welcome your comments or questions. We are only in our 4th year of homsechooling and perhaps there are some of you out there who have already graduated your children. I'd love to hear from you.