Welcome! My guest today is Vanessa Vanderhyde, who is a homeschooling mom of six children. Her sons are 10, 8, 6, and 4—-and she has twin toddler girls! She and her husband were also homeschooled as children and were open to homeschooling their own family. Vanessa and her husband have been married for almost 11 years, and her husband owns and operates two businesses out of their home. She blogs about her experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vanessa speaks openly about her personal experience growing up as a homeschool student. Her education was less structured due to medical reasons, and any gaps were filled as needed when she attended community college. She says that it was many years later that she read some of John Holt’s books and realized that her mom gave her a huge gift in homeschooling her. This relieved some of the bitterness and helped to heal the relationship between her and her mother.
In addition, Vanessa shares the following about her experience:
- She knew all along that she wanted to homeschool her children; she says it was her “lifelong” dream.
- She knew she was interested in Charlotte Mason and the “un-schooling” theory.
- At first her attitude was to learn from the mistakes her mother made in homeschooling and “do everything right.” Reading John Holt’s books changed that attitude!
- Vanessa makes the point that “un-schooling” and “un-parenting” are NOT the same thing.
- Her motivation to take a more relaxed approach in “un-schooling” her children was the birth of her twin daughters, while her youngest son was a high-needs child.
- Vanessa tries to focus on ONE particular theme/task for homeschooling. One year it was about doing chores, and one year it was about tackling reading, writing, and arithmetic AFTER the chores were completed.
- Vanessa embraces extracurricular activities that multiple family members can enjoy.
- The children participate in Friday co-op, music lessons, tae kwon do, and summer choir.
Vanessa also shares her family’s emphasis on faith, books she is currently reading, how afternoon rest time gives her a break each day, and what she does for self-care each month. The ONE word she uses to describe her family is a good one: GROWING, meaning constantly developing and changing. Listen in to hear more of Vanessa’s story!