Debi Pearl:  This time, it’s finding balance as a mother who is homeschooling. A lot of times it’s hard to homeschool.

Shoshanna:  I think, number one, for me—I am a busy working mama—keeping your kids first. When you are balancing, remember what you need to balance. Your children are first. A big thing, which I hear a lot of people feel like, is that they have to do all of the teaching to homeschool their children. They feel like they are failing if they don’t. She teaches my kids a lot. Yeah, and she is a good teacher.

Debi:  One thing, I feel like homeschool moms have lost and that is, they have all lined up like they are soldiers. They have to dress alike, walk alike, talk alike, do all their curriculum alike. When I started, nobody was homeschooling. There wasn’t a pattern, so I could just create my own curriculum. I could let them go learn how to do this from this person, or learn how to do that from that person. My kids had a more rounded education because I had a lot of people help me. Being hard of hearing, I didn’t even know the vowels. A lot of words, I get mixed up because I don’t hear the proper pronunciation of them. I leaned on a lot of people helping me. Homeschool moms need to learn to lean on each other, and even young girls. I always had a 13-year-old girl helping me in the house to do this or that. I would trade off with her mother if I didn’t have any money, which we usually didn’t.

Shoshanna:  You see so many mothers go, “School is from 8:00 until 1:00. Everybody come in here and it’s time for school.” They are so particular about it, but then, when they are cooking at 2:00, they are like “Go away, go play. I’m busy right now. I’m trying to get supper done.” My mom was not like that at all. I didn’t do a lot of school, education-wise. I did school in life. My neighbor taught me how to do embroidery. I learned construction from my brothers. I learned herbs from my mom. When she was making biscuits, she would say, “One tablespoon equals three teaspoons. Plus, did you know that baking soda and baking powder . . . ” Half the time what she told me—now this is going to sound funny—wasn’t right.


Shoshanna:  But what it did is it caused me to have a desire to think. I actually thought, “Okay, so if that’s the case . . .” and the next time I thought about it. I thought about why this works the way it works. I went, “Mom, you weren’t right on that one. I looked that up.” She would laugh and go, “Oh, oops.” It’s not a big deal. You don’t have to have a college education to homeschool your kids. You just have to teach them to think.

Shalom:   . . . everyone does school. I’m sitting at the kitchen table with a baby in my lap, most of the time nursing. Parker is there, and Laila is there, and Gracie’s there. And Parker does school. He’s a two-year-old, and he’s doing school. When he was one, he was sitting in my lap, too, or in the high chair beside us. He stays very focused because he’s learning something. He’s coloring a picture. He’s learning the letter A. He’s listening to the stories.

Then I’ll give them all something to do. I’ll get up and I’ll start something in the Crock-Pot. I’ll sweep the floor real fast, and I’ll come sit back down.

I keep a clean house. But I don’t get hung up on worrying “I got to vacuum the floor twice a week, I have to mop three times a week. I have to wash the windows.” I don’t get hung up on stuff like that.

Gracie’s doing school with me. I’ll say “Gracie go hang the clothes on the line.” She stops what she’s doing, she goes out, she hangs the clothes on the line, she comes back in. “Put another load in real fast.” She puts another load in, and then we start school again. Those are break times.

We’re working around the table doing school and the dog needs to be fed. “Laila, go feed the dog.” She goes out and feeds the dog, comes back. We’re learning. We’re doing school. We’re following a curriculum. We’re getting what we’re supposed to be doing done because it’s important for kids to learn now the things you have to learn, and study. But, we’re doing it in a way that incorporates life.

We’re doing a math problem. “All right, let’s make cookies for supper.” We incorporate the math that we learned today in making cookies, so they’re getting to experience it. We studied in our science, we’re studying rocks. They learned all the different types of rocks. We went to the cave down the road, went inside the cave and explored, pulled all the rocks out, came back, put them on the table.

Parker, my two-year-old, loves it—lots of rocks on the table—and Jeremiah loves it. They learn all about rocks. If you ask them, they’ll remember now because we just didn’t read it and study it, we experienced it.



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