In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Homeschooling the Tribe

Tomorrow will conclude our first official week of school for the year. Legally, I am homeschooling nine children, but only the youngest seven require my every living, breathing second of energy and attention. Since this is my 18th or 19th year of homeschooling, I literally have tried about every approach of homeschooling and have found that my absolute favorite for such a group is Classical Conversations. I enrolled Alyssa in 7th grade, the first year it came to our county. Three years ago I enrolled Elijah, and he, Bella and I attended every week to test the waters of the whole classical approach, while the three girls attended public school and the boys continued in our tradition homeschooling method. Last year, I trained to become a tutor.

This year, I enrolled Alyssa and the younger five; the boys are continuing at the other co-op. I have worked all summer to prepare for this year - both for the class I tutor in the community and to have everything lined up for all my kids at home.

We have four segments to our homeschool day at this point:
1. Our group CC time which introduces and reviews the memory information for the week in seven areas.
2. An online ancient history class through Veritas Press that we do in groups of two to three.
3. Essentials Grammar and IEW writing for James, Ben and Tori with Julia sitting in to absorb what she is able.
4. Lastly, our individual work which encompasses math, grammar or phonics, editing and reading.

To keep it real -
I was unable to take one of those cute first day of school pictures on the front porch this year because I had one child crying in the closet for the first hour of school.

Day two we attended our first CC day. Everyone was smiling and wearing matching clothes, but I forgot to take a picture of it.

Day three we were working away and I walked by the camera and snapped just a few pictures; they are a true snapshot of normal homeschooling.

This was group CC time where everyone is together.
They are all completely attentive and following along at least half the time.

This is a realistic shot of Selah - she isn't a quiet child. Tori is.

Elijah showed up at group time with this look; he didn't take it well when I told him that it was going to be a karate-free zone. Although he never stops moving, his little brain is soaking the memory work up.

My biggest challenge is to keep people learning when I'm not home. I have minimized the time away to as little as possible, but it is still a chunk every week. Tomorrow is the first this week that the group has to do without me for several hours. We will see...


  1. Looks like you're off to a great start. I know all that prep work will pay off for you and make the year run smoother!

  2. Jenn, you are my hero. I dont know how you do it but God bless you to inspire other people like me.