|Audria helping a customer at the GHC Convention|
BFB: What originally drew you to homeschooling?
Audria: That question is never easy for me to answer. My husband and I were very frustrated by some situations in the school system our two oldest children were enduring. By the time our oldest was in second grade we felt his education was being largely ignored. We felt the he (and all bright children) should be pushed academically instead of left to flounder until the rest of the class caught up with them. He also suffered terribly from a bully but we did not know just how badly until after we began homeschooling. Our daughter entered Kindergarten a very happy and self-confident young girl and by the end of the school year she believed she was "too stupid to do math". During that year I began to look into sending the kids to a private school. A friend suggested that I should homeschool. I thought she was crazy and immediately rejected the idea. However, on the way home I realized she spoke the truth. I felt the Lord pulling my heart toward homeschooling and began researching my options that evening. I did tell Jesus that He would have to break the news to my husband. Within a couple of months my husband believed homeschooling was the best option for our family too.
BFB: How long have you been homeschooling?
Audria: We are just beginning our fourth year.
BFB: How did you discover Beautiful Feet Books? Has the philosophy behind BFB influenced how you teach other subjects?
Audria: I first heard of BFB in the comments section on Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers blog. Here is the link to that thread: http://www.
weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers .com/american-history-anyone/ I wanted an American History curriculum we could all do together. I researched every curriculum mentioned on that post before finally choosing Primary Early American History from BFB. At that point I had never heard of Charlotte Mason or even understood what literature based education meant. All of the homeschoolers I knew used the current classical model or textbook based schooling methods. Learning about and applying BFB's philosophy changed everything about how we homeschool. We fell in love with homeschooling during our time with Primary Early American History. I had fun finding projects and art to combine with our study. We looked forward to schooling together and snuggling together with great books. All of my kids cried when we finished the last book because the study was over. They immediately begged me to get another study from BFB. I now look for good "living" books on every subject we study...even math and science. I make sure the kids have good quality books to read during their free time. We have started spending more time outdoors exploring nature. I also carefully guard their commitments and make sure they have plenty of free time to spend in imaginative play. I never understood the value of imaginative play and unstructured time before exploring a Charlotte Mason style of education...honestly it is more of a life style than an academic method to education. I am a better home educator after applying all I've learned from Beautiful Feet Books but I am also a much better parent.
BFB: What has been the greatest joy of homeschooling? The greatest challenge?
Audria: The greatest joy of homeschooling for me is learning alongside my children. I enjoy watching them learn and get excited about their new discoveries. I love watching them discover talents and new interests. I rejoice with them when they finally understand something difficult. The greatest challenge is adjusting to their changing needs. I have four children (James in 6th, Katie and Jesse in 4th and Samuel in Kindergarten) and I am constantly adjusting schedules and tweaking curriculum to fit each child. Just when I get things all figured out they grow and change.
I have loved reading about Audria's home education adventures over at her blog. Her authenticity is refreshing and her deep love for her children shines through. Thank you Audria for opening up your experience to us!