Over the next month or so, we’ll be introducing you to some of the folks working behind the scenes at home|school|life.
Amy is the editor-in-chief of home/school/life magazine. While her mission in life is to stop people from pluralizing with apostrophes, she finds that writing and editing are easier ways to keep the family supplied with fishing lures, yarn, and chocolate. She homeschools her two children with lots of help from her fabulous husband (and magazine co-publisher), and the whole family pitches in for magazine deadlines. She is also the editor and founder (with her family) of Atlanta Homeschool magazine.
How I started homeschooling: School wasn’t a good fit for our daughter, who was in second grade at the time. We kept trying to help her change her learning style so that it would fit the school’s teaching style, and one day it occurred to us that changing the way she was taught would be a whole lot easier than changing the way she learned. Boy, were we right. She has bloomed, and homeschooling has worked so well for our family that when our son hit kindergarten age, we didn’t even consider putting him in a traditional school.
My homeschool style: We call it classical, Dude-style, because we do build around Latin, history, and literature, but we also are easily distracted by rabbit trails and take lots of snack breaks. (We also sometimes go to the grocery store in our pajamas.)
What a typical day looks like in my homeschool life: We always start with morning time, including some music practice, knitting, and readalouds. (Lots of readalouds.) After that, it can really go anywhere. My twelve-year-old O is studying Latin, medieval history and literature, chemistry, creative writing, and U.S. geography this year (all her picks), so she’ll usually do some work in those subjects during the day. I hang out with her in case she needs a hand. My six-year-old T is obsessed with mazes and math manipulatives, so many days, we just let him go to town with whatever he’s interested in. We try to learn a new poem every week or so because I am kind of a poetry geek, and the kids love to get all dressed up and do recitations, so some days I am the audience. O is very into learning how to make her own clothes, so she spends a lot of time sewing and knitting in her “studio” (that’s the corner of her bedroom with her dress form and her sewing machine). T and my husband usually play some chess or build a marble run—or, on very messy occasions, combine the two. There are days when the kids just want to paint or make a movie with their stuffed animals or read a new book, so that’s what they do.
Favorite driving music: If we are not listening to audiobooks, we like to sing—loudly. Some of our favorites: The Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night, Dead Milkmen’s Punk Rock Girl, Trout Fishing in America’s Eighteen Wheels on a Big Rig, Mason Jennings’ Lemon Grove Avenue, the Jackson Five’s Rockin’ Robin
Things I like: Knitting, road trips, the smell of new books, the smell of old books, good cheese, star-gazing, waterfalls, playing bridge, clean sheets that I didn’t have to wash
Guilty pleasure: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and salted caramel ice cream
What I love about homeschool life: I get to hang out with my favorite people all day long. And seeing my favorite people genuinely engaged with their lives and directing their own educations is pretty awesome. No one ever complains about being bored around here.
What I love about home/school/life magazine: I’m a lover of magazines, and since we started homeschooling five years ago, I’ve been sad that there isn’t a truly smart, fun, readable homeschool magazine out there. Homeschoolers are some of the most diverse, interesting, thoughtful people I know—I think it’s time for a magazine that reflects that.