Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Homeschooling 101 from a Mom of 5 children


Lakeesha Smith is a 28 year old happily married homeschooling mother of 5 wonderful children. She has been homeschooling for 6 years while running her own online boutique KeeyshasKreations that sells handmade jewelry and adornments for dreadlocks, twists, and braids and she also sells handmade skirts.

Since I adore amazing, powerful self-governing women such as Lakeesha, I chatted with her on the business of homeschooling.


NK: Honestly how do you do it with five children?

LS: I will have to say that it has taken years of experience, trial and era to create the flow in our home. I have me days scheduled from morning to night. With 5 young children,You have to maintain a level of order or your day will be chaotic. I taught my children at a young age that we are a team and everyone must participate with the upkeep of the home and we look out for each other with the youngest being first up to the oldest. We explain to our children that we care for the youngest first because they are the most vulnerable and need the most help.

NK: I love the fact that you have five children. Who has five children anymore? Do you want more?

LS: LOL.
Some people see me and my bunch and just stare, it is funny. I would love to have more children. I think my max would be 8 but if the Most High saw fit for us to have more than let the blessings flow.

NK: Why did you decide to home school your children? Are there any laws or certifications that are required in order for you to home school your children?

LS: My husband was actually home schooled and I never knew what it was until I met him. To me it just came natural to teach them. I've always had this love for teaching and I was blessed with the perfect pupils. We felt that we would be able to teach our children better with out all the negative distractions and pressures. I personally love how we are able to customize our lessons to reflect our culture. In the state that we live in, there are no requirements. We live in a home school friendly state in terms of the law.. All state are different so make sure that you do some research on the homeschooling laws in your state.

NK: I’ve heard somewhere that at least in the state of California, they want to ban parents from being able to home school their children? Do you know anything about this?

LS: One of my best friends lives in California and she home schools. They appealed that decision. Our children do not belong to the state and we have every right to educate our children.I know for a fact that if that were to happen many parents would have gone underground and some would revolt and fight it.

NK: Do you ever worry that your children may not be socially equipped to deal with other people outside of their siblings?

LS: There is this stereotype that home schooled children do not socialize outside of the home and that is not true. There are so many homeschooling groups, classes and many other activities that children can participate in. Some homeschooling parents are on the road more than public schooling parents, taking their children to their many activities. Many people don't know that Venus and Serena Williams were home schooled, Will and Jada home schooled their children and many others.

NK: What are the advantages of homeschooling your children?

LS: There are so many advantages to homeschooling. It is extremely flexible in terms of curriculum and lessons. These days there are so many choices. You can choose to use a boxed curriculum which is already mapped out for you. You can create your own lesson plans which is what i do. I would be considered an "eclectic homeschooling" using many resources. I personally can not work in a boxed curriculum because I need room for creativity. Another advantage is that you are able to create lesson that are suitable for your child. All children learn in different ways at their own pace. If your child is not learning in the time line that the public schools sets, than they are quick to label your child. The public school curriculum is made to train the children to pass standardized test and that is not real learning. One child may be an audible child and responds very well to reading and another child may be more hands on. You are able to create a curriculum to suit their learning style. Field trips are the best. With homeschooling you can just get up and go. If you decide to create a lesson about farming, you can gather the family together and take a trip to your local farm or create a garden, The possibilities are endless. One of the greatest advantages is spiritual freedom. You can sings songs of joy and praise without persecution.

NK: What are the disadvantages of homeschooling your children?

LS: I have yet to see any disadvantages. As long as you are balanced, than where's the disadvantage? My children have friends who attend public school and who home school. Or children are engaged in activities outside of the home. I am very pleased with our homeschooling journey thus far. We actually had our children in school for a short period of time and it really stunted their growth. My daughter complained of having to do work she already knew and when she explained it to her teacher, she was told that she had to sit back while everyone else learned it. she also complained that the teacher spent more time fussing than teaching. We knew homeschooling was the best thing.

NK: What do you suggest to parents who want to start homeschooling their children?

LS: I would recommend that they do the research about their state laws.
Sit down with their children and talk to them about any special subjects they want to tap into.
Think about how they want to home school, what subjects on what days. Some may want to be more relaxed while some want a very structured home school.
Tap into your local library. they have special benefits for homeschooling parents.
Don't get overwhelmed. We are so used to the public school setting that we feel our home school should model that and you don't. Try to find some local homeschooling groups in your area and on-line. Have fun! Although home school can be a fun experience, it is also very serious. You are taking full responsibility for their education and you can not teach them because you don't feel like it. Whatever homeschooling method you use, you must be persistent and steadfast.
I hope I have provided some good information. Many blessings.

For more information about Lakeesha and her Kreations, please visit her websites at:
http://www.keeyshaskreations.etsy.com
http://www.ourchildrensnaturalcrowns.ning.com
http://www.mahoganyhomeschooler.blogspot.com

1 comment:

  1. This was a great interview.
    Thanks for sharing it Nwenna!

    ReplyDelete