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It's about creating an atmosphere of learning in your home. We're all learning together, parents, children, siblings.

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JUNE: So we get questions from folks, friends, people I don’t know.

MAGGIE: It’s true

JUNE: Wife of a kid I used to babysit when I was in high school and they want to know how do you homeschool? You two, what is homeschooling?

ALL: What is homeschooling? What is homeschooling? What is it?

CHRISTINA: Well, I would say it’s creating an atmosphere of learning in your home. We’re all learning together, parents, children, siblings.

JUNE: Yeah, obviously it’s providing an education, right?

CHRISTINA: Right.

JUNE: And inside your home, what do you think, Maggie?

MAGGIE: Wow, we’re talking about our own personal selves here because I think that as we’ve talked about, I think there’re different ways for different people. For me, I felt like the homeschooling thing was the atmosphere of learning. It was very relational, relationship between parent child, the relationship between siblings and really ultimately a relationship with Jesus and taking all those thoughts captive. If we know all the thoughts that are being talked about during the day, it’s easier to infuse a biblical worldview really into every discipline when you’re the one that’s shepherding what they’re learning about.

CHRISTINA: Right.

MAGGIE: So I think it’s relationships to me. It’s what I feel like it’s shaped out to be. I don’t know that that’s what I would have said initially. I would have just said it’s teaching them at home literally.

CHRISTINA: Right.

JUNE: I think for a young mom who might be a millennial, we had a certain stereotype that we thought of some of our friends our age who were homeschooled, there was an idea that it was the mom with the jumper and the kind of the maladjusted children.

MAGGIE: So when I told my brother that I–

JUNE AND CHRISTINA: Never leaving the house. Never leaving the house.

MAGGIE: When I told my brothers I was going to homeschool, they literally said to me and I won’t say the person’s name, they were like, “You remember that someone said–“

CHRISTINA: You remember how they turned out.

MAGGIE: Totally crazy and it were. These were fringe people.

JUNE: Yeah, yeah.

MAGGIE: Fringe.

JUNE: Yes.

So, I doubt that millennials–

MAGGIE: Think of homeschool in that way.

JUNE: … Right, but even they don’t think of it at all, they…

CHRISTINA: It’s come a long way though.

JUNE: It has come a long way. So, we know what homeschooling is. Also there’s a lot of different ways to do it. What homeschooling is for us is not necessarily taking what you would do at school and reenacting that in your home, okay? So for a lot of the people right now that were being schooled at home, right? And they’re doing the curriculum that they were doing two weeks ago, pre COVID that feels like homeschooling. But if that mommy is pulling her hair out because it is so frustrating, that is not because homeschooling is not for you. Can either of you speak to that?

MAGGIE: I feel like that’s a great point because I have heard that a lot from personal interactions with people you see it on social media and it is hard and it’s if building that framework yourself of why am I doing what I’m doing and not just taking the curriculum that you were doing in the classroom and then trying to slog through that at home. Those moms are not necessarily feeling like they’re equipped to do that and like I probably would not feel like I was equipped to do that. So I think everybody was just thrown in the deep end and I would say homeschooling is a lot of hard work, but it’s good work and it’s enjoyable work and you see the benefit of it. It’s not just I’m going to check all the boxes and get these assignments done today.

CHRISTINA: And it can take a while to find your rhythm, find the right method, what works for you in your home. I don’t think there’s any way that I could just bring home school and do it with my children, all different ages at the same time, I would go crazy.

JUNE: Yeah, the girls I’ve talked to, they’re working long days to get this work done for the schools that really continued to try to do our neighbors like that. It’s a private school and so they really feel like they want to fulfill and provide. So they’re doing zoom classes all day long, right?

MAGGIE: Right.

JUNE: The difference that I see, like what is homeschooling? My husband and I are the CEO or the principal, we are the janitor. You wear all the hats, but you’re the visionary. And so you take your worldview, the values you have for your children and before this, we’ve been talking about this conversation you’ve been having in your family of what drives your homeschooling and we’re going to talk about that somewhere on this table day, but there’s a hub and spokes. And what is that hub? Like what is that middle thing that drives everything else? Like you have your hub and then you might have literature and you might have all these other things you do, but what is homeschooling? You pick that hub, right? Like you and your husband based on your value. So we’re going to talk about that some today. Do we cover that, What is homeschooling?

CHRISTINA: A little bit I think.

JUNE: We can come back to that.

CHRISTINA: I think it can take a while to figure out what your philosophy of homeschooling is and talking to other moms who are doing it, reading books about it are great places to start and trying a few things out, see what works, but I think ultimately it comes down to you love your child more than anybody else does, except for the Lord Jesus and so you are shepherding that child’s heart, you are learning alongside, you’re discipling that child and that’s where you start.

JUNE: Yes, you make lots of changes and adjustments along the way.

MAGGIE: You have people who are, that you’re seeing, right? Who’ve brought work home —

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: For the last several months now. They’ve been schooling at home

JUNE: Is this what homeschooling is?

MAGGIE: …and they, yes. And I think that’s actually a really, that’s a really important question to answer. I don’t think that every homeschool family would necessarily answer it the same way. Some of those homeschooling families may be doing more of a school at home type of atmosphere. And if it works for them, that’s fine. I think for families who are really enjoying having their kids at home or wondering if they can continue doing this, is this the only way it looks?

JUNE: Right.

CHRISTINA: Yeah.

MAGGIE: ‘Cause this is not working for me. But maybe I know or I’m hearing from child’s school might be closed in the fall. I think, “No.” that does not how it has to look. You can-You know, there are a lot of methods for you to pick. And I think, to me, one of the biggest reliefs about homeschooling is also realizing, like you said, You know, you’re the visionary, but you’re also in charge of the schedule. And so suddenly third grade blurs a little bit. And you know where your child needs to be or where you need to be spending more time, or maybe they’re really strong here. And so we can maybe slack off on that and build up some of those weaker spots. Suddenly it’s not just this crisp, clear cut. Well, we’ve done all the third grade curriculum. So now we’re in fourth grade and it’s freeing to do that. And I think that it’s actually a benefit to your child

CHRISTINA: Sure.

MAGGIE: To be able to do that in terms of their longterm just success as a human being. If we’re going to talk about it academically. Like in the fall.

CHRISTINA: It has to be free from the competition or having to reach a certain standard and be tested on it. I think just learning at the child’s pace can really benefit them as far as just confidence in what they’re learning and enjoyment of what they’re learning without the stress of, you know having to finish by a certain time or something like that. I think just sparking that joy of learning and reading and… Yeah, just being free to kind of move at your own pace and not feel that pressure.

JUNE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: Because I grew up as a child in a kind of high pressure school where I stayed up at night with my stomach hurting cause I had a test the next day. I was a little child.

JUNE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: I should not have felt that way.

JUNE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: So in homeschooling you have a parent there who loves you and is patient with you most of the time.

JUNE: Yes.

CHRISTINA: And, you know, just wants you to succeed and enjoy what you’re doing. It’s very freeing. And so much anxiety can go for the child. You know?

JUNE: And I mean, I’ll dovetail on that because I think, you know for me, I have some schools that I look at that I really admire. I’d love to have my child in that school, but I don’t want my child to be in that school until like high school. You know? Because I want, it’s so funny, cause I can kind of every year I have this barometer of like, “How are they doing?” “This child needs a more lot space in reading this year.” “This child it’s time to push into math.” And last year we had to back off.

CHRISTINA: Right.

JUNE: And so there’s this like fine tune to where, You know in a school, the principal, you have to have five people talking to each other to understand what’s best for that child. But if you’re paying attention as a parent, you know how to push and pull. And when–

CHRISTINA: And when to adjust real quickly.

JUNE: And boy, this year we have done things so gently. And I felt like this year around this table it was like, it’s time to have an hour where we sit and this certain skill of listening. You know, it’s just it was a different year. But you, What is homeschooling? You have, You really can change things in your homeschool on a dime. So if something’s going wrong with math, you can change it. So, I mean, and that’s not technically the definition.

MAGGIE: And I would like to also say

JUNE: That’s more what we’re going to talk about in the benefit

MAGGIE: And you don’t have to be expert in math to know that you need to make a change.

MAGGIE: You know, and I think a lot of parents are really concerned. They’re like, well, you know, that person went to school and got a degree to do this. And so they know all the right ways to do that. I think that anyone can educate their child. Anyone can educate their child.

JUNE: Yes.

MAGGIE: I think if you have certainly the right tools, you know, you are going to need someone to help you figure out how to teach math, you know, in terms of a curriculum. But really, I mean, how you’re viewing your child really comes into play with how you are going to approach your homeschooling. And so, you know, if you’re just looking at education, as being what we look at it as a culture, which is just, you started at five and you, you know, graduate at 18 and most of our, you know, demographic is going to college or, you know, that’s not what I’m aiming for for my children. I mean, I’m certainly hopeful that’s what comes out of it, but really what I’m aiming for is the heart of my child. And that as they are learning, as someone who is created in the image of God, that we’re looking at them as a whole person and not just whether they achieve that skill. And so now we can move on to the next skill.

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: I would say this to any mom, you’re really equipped to do that. Like better than a teacher, you are equipped to do that.

CHRISTINA: You know your child.

JUNE: Yes.

CHRISTINA: Yeah.

MAGGIE: So I also would say, just for whoever’s listening, there are so many homeschooling communities now. Many more than when we started.

JUNE: Right, yeah.

MAGGIE: And so I think the idea that you’re on your own is just not the typical case.

JUNE: Yeah, and I mean, what is homeschooling? Yeah, it’s not isolated.

MAGGIE: No, I mean it’s communities, it’s being a community with other families who are living that way.

CHRISTINA: People would say, do you just stay at home all day? Do your children have any friends? Do they ever get out and talk to people? Do they know how to talk to people?

JUNE: Okay, this thing drives me crazy.

CHRISTINA: I know, because it’s-

JUNE: Christina it’s when I’m around your kids, they can talk to a baby. Your teenagers can hang out with a baby. If an 80 year old sat down with them.

CHRISTINA: Right and I think that’s such the benefit of homeschooling. You’re not in a room with you know, 20 third graders-

MAGGIE: Yes, yes.

CHRISTINA: Or six graders or seventh graders. You are with a family with a baby or a grandmother or a great grandmother or a neighbor down the street. Or people in your church or people at the grocery store. You know you’re out in the community really more than you are when you’re in a artificially…

MAGGIE: Created environment.

CHRISTINA: Right.

MAGGIE: That’s very stratified. And I always use to say, I don’t think I want my children socialized by a bunch of other eight year olds.

CHRISTINA: Exactly.

MAGGIE: Like, I really think that-

JUNE: Well and I’m-

MAGGIE: I would like for them to be-

JUNE: When you’re around-

MAGGIE: Yes.

JUNE: Kids-

MAGGIE: Yes.

JUNE: That are socialized by 30 other, you know-

MAGGIE: whatever age they are.

JUNE: Whatever age, who… And I feel like technology factors into this. Because what is homeschooling? It is an environment where you as a parent, teacher, get to make decisions about technology, which is a big thing and I feel like in our day and age, if your child is in any type of school, doesn’t matter what, the average age of the child that has their own phone, their own… It’s required to have an iPad, it’s required to have all these apps on it, is much, much, much lower and so that child’s interest… My children, if they have any access to those things, their minds that should be focused on beauty and nature or a great book or a piece of art. It is focused on I want to play that game. And so, when I think about socialization, I think about being around other people but I also think about that mind being freed from the tyranny of technology.

MAGGIE: Sure, yeah I think so too.

JUNE: Which makes a child’s mind much more attentive when they meet another adult or a child or a you know.

MAGGIE: But you are spending time with other families. I mean, the other thing is you not only have more ability to monitor the technology and how early they’re exposed and what they’re… But it’s the same way with people. And so suddenly I know all the people that my children are spending time with. And I just have more awareness even of that. Like we were talking about in terms of education.
You know, what is my child ready for? And just with that subject matter but it’s also like that with friendships and with different exposure to different types of personalities or people that may be-

CHRISTINA: Different.

MAGGIE: Different and that’s important. I mean I think exposing them to different types of people. But I’ve never felt a lack of that. And I think that’s what I hear behind that question is wow, you’re children are socialized. Well, we don’t just hang out with all the same sorts of people. Like, you’re able to give them, I mean like when our girls were working at Belle Mead. I mean they’re interacting with the public at a very young age and they’re learning how to give time to doing things that are cultivating those skills that kids who are in classroom all day, they just don’t have that.

CHRISTINA: Out in the real world.

MAGGIE:Out in the real world, yeah.

CHRISTINA: And so many other families are homeschooling, there is no lack of friends.

MAGGIE: No, no.

CHRISTINA: To get together with and moms to go back and forth with. Share information, share you know, homeschooling ideas, books, while the kids are playing in the backyard. That’s really a beautiful thing-

JUNE: Did you all see that little article this summer that had come out of Harvard?

CHRISTINA: Oh.

MAGGIE: Yes.

JUNE: About how home… The dangers of homeschooling.

MAGGIE: Yes.

JUNE: And the graphic of the child kind of in this home jail-

CHRISTINA: Behind bars.

JUNE: Behind bars and all the other happy school children out there playing. I’m like here’s the picture people-

MAGGIE: I know exactly.

JUNE: It’s a bunch of kids that are either on their iPads-

MAGGIE: Or sitting at a desk.

JUNE: And in homeschool-

CHRISTINA: Sitting at a desk-

JUNE: My kids, who know every single one of their neighbors, who the baby across the street, when he’s out, they want to play with the baby. They don’t know that they’re 11 and they’re not supposed to be interested in younger children. You know or the elderly lady that lived behind us, you know who was in her nineties, that my daughter would go and hang out with and they would talk and play with the dog. And you know these rich relationships that form. So, okay I feel have we covered… I’m just ready in society for that to be flipped. I’m not on the defensive anymore.

MAGGIE: No, no, no, no.

JUNE: Homeschooled children are socialized children.

CHRISTINA: They are very social.

JUNE: They’re where we’re heading. You know, that’s what you’re wanting people.

JUNE: Let’s talk about the different methods, okay. And we’re not coming at this like we’ve tried it all, because we all three kind of have settled into our owns areas, but can I just list them?

CHRISTINA: Sure.

JUNE: And then if you feel like you know to define it.

MAGGIE: Sure.

JUNE: Yeah? Okay, so unit studies, driving your whole homeschooling, classical method of educating, Charlotte Mason, and then, you hear the phrase unschooling, right?

MAGGIE: Which I still don’t totally know what that means.

JUNE: I think it’s because who unschool don’t want to-

MAGGIE: Don’t want to define it.

JUNE: Spend the time to define it. So unschooling, and those are the main ones. I think there’s mixtures of that, so much.

CHRISTINA: School at home, like school in a box where we’re working through a tutorial.

JUNE: Yes. So let’s start at the end here, and see-

CHRISTINA: School at home?

MAGGIE: Sure.

JUNE: Define that, a tutorial method slash school in a box. So when you say school in a box, the curriculum all comes to you.

CHRISTINA: Right. Which is a really easy way to do it. You call-

MAGGIE: One hand.

CHRISTINA: Right, if it works for your child, but you might need a third grade math and a fourth grade writing, is that what you’re saying?

MAGGIE: Well, I guess I’m just thinking like, you know, all of us have multiple aged children. And when you get a box of curriculum, that is not necessarily going to say, okay, this year you’re studying American history and everyone’s studying American history, so you suddenly are having to facilitate, for lack of a better word, I mean, ’cause I don’t want to shortchange my friends who do it this way. I do think they’re very invested in their children’s education.

JUNE: Oh, yeah.

CHRISTINA: For sure.

MAGGIE: They’re very contentious parents. I think they are certainly doing it for discipleship reasons, but in terms of actual content of education, you’re looking for someone else to make those educational choices, and then you’re just basically following it.

JUNE: And so what you’re saying, it gets complicated.

MAGGIE: And so, what I’m saying is it gets complicated if you have a lot of different ages, and you’re not necessarily all learning the same thing. Like, your kids are always going to be in a different math, for sure.

CHRISTINA: Right.

JUNE: Yes, no matter.

MAGGIE: That will be for sure. You’re always going to be in a different math, or maybe have two in the same, but you know. You’re probably always going to have different ability of readers, right? So you as a parent are working alongside those readers at a different level as well. It just helped me so much to have certain central things that were the same, which was usually literature and history. But now we’re getting off to-

CHRISTINA: Which can be time-saving.

MAGGIE: Yes, yes.

CHRISTINA: So if you are doing school at home, and you order a curriculum, you must be careful to make sure you have time to do that with each of your children who are a different age.

MAGGIE: Yes, that you’re going to have to be facilitating different subject matter.

CHRISTINA: Right. If you only have one or two, that might work.

MAGGIE: Yeah, it might not be a big deal. CHRISTINA: But for me, I have had to combine subjects like literature, history.

MAGGIE: Science, even.

CHRISTINA: Science, all of that.

MAGGIE: Yes.

CHRISTINA: And found ways to do reading, or spelling, or math at the same time a child or two at the table.

MAGGIE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: It’s just not always easy.

MAGGIE: It’s not always easy.

MAGGIE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: But it’s fun. Sometimes.

MAGGIE: It’s worth it.

CHRISTINA: It is worth it. It’s worth it.

JUNE: And in our town, there’s a lot of tutorials that you can go to where you can go one or two days. There was a Sally Clarkson tutorial that people went to.

MAGGIE: Yes, that’s still going.

JUNE: There’s all kinds of tutorials, and that’s where you would, another teacher would pick out the curriculum, and then you go in for a day-

MAGGIE: Or two.

JUNE: Or two.

CHRISTINA: Bring your homework.

JUNE: You bring your homework, and then the mother decides how that’s parsed through the week, and how you incorporate.

MAGGIE: And certainly is helping the child. Like, there is some teaching that she’s doing.

CHRISTINA: Some teaching going on.

JUNE: Yes.

CHRISTINA: And making friends. It’s a nice way to see people.

MAGGIE: Yes, the community.

JUNE: It’s a community, yeah.

MAGGIE: I think kids who come from only child families, it’s a great option, because I do think that’s really tough to have an only child.

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: And not have those siblings to break up the day.

CHRISTINA: It can give the parent some time off, too. That’s a benefit.

MAGGIE: Yes.

JUNE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: If the parent needs rest, or other kids.

JUNE: Although, some of the tutorials, the parents have to stay. But that’s great, too.

MAGGIE: Yes, they do. That’s true. Then that they get that community.

CHRISTINA: That would be more of a co-op, I guess, maybe.

MAGGIE: A co-op, yeah, ’cause the moms are all teaching it, they’re not hiring people necessarily. It’s usually the moms that are teaching in that co-op, or the tutorial that you and I think are talking about, where you stay.

JUNE: Well, there’s probably three totally different kinds that I’ve seen.

CHRISTINA: Yeah, lots of options.

JUNE: Lots of options. I’ll speak quickly to unschooling. So, unschooling is child-led learning. I think that it’s where a parent sees a child who’s interested in engineering, or interested in botany, or interested in cooking, and that child is leading the way. Those parents are going to have a bit of a different worldview, in the sense that, I don’t always think my child is wise. I think the folly is bound up in the heart of a child.

MAGGIE: In the heart of a child, yep.

JUNE: And so, I think that sometimes my kids interests, they do drive us. Like, I know my son loves to build things, and I am going to gravitate towards those kind of things, but a parent is more seen as the facilitator in unschooling.

MAGGIE: One thing I was going to say, I remember what it was, I think for parents who maybe want to pull their kid, maybe they’re really realizing they want to pull their kids out of school. Like, maybe this time has shown them that they enjoy being home with their children, or why are they paying all that money, if it’s private education, or why is their child gone eight hours a day when they can maybe be doing some of these things at home? I wonder if that tutorial, you know, a box of curriculum, those things where you’re more of a facilitator, may be a good launching pad? I mean, I’m just-

CHRISTINA: It might be a good place to start.

MAGGIE: A good place to start.

CHRISTINA: See how it works

MAGGIE: because as you and I were talking about earlier, it did take me several years, really, to find my groove, and why are these the books that we have out? This was not like, I read this and there was nothing else. I fumbled along for at least two or three years before I found my feet homeschooling. And I think people who maybe are in that situation, I had written down on some of my notes the question of avoidance. I think sometimes people make a decision to homeschool ’cause they’re avoiding this, and I don’t necessarily think that’s bad, I would just say, why are you wanting to avoid, if you like your children better when they’re not around 30 other eighth graders, or eight year olds.

CHRISTINA: You’re right, what’s behind that?

MAGGIE: What’s behind that? What is different about you keeping them at home, and why would you think if you put them back in that it’s going to be any different?

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: These books that we have out really helped flesh out the answers to some of those deeper questions, so.

CHRISTINA: Right. I do think it’s important to figure out why you want to homeschool, because that’s going to inform all your decisions about curriculum, how you spend your time, how you discipline your children during the day. Just what your whole homeschool looks like.

MAGGIE: Well, like you were saying earlier, if the reason you’re homeschooling is so your child can focus 10 hours a day on sports, your homeschooling is going to look really different. And that’s okay, like, again, this is not meant to be like a chiding, it’s just, our vision for homeschooling was intentional from the beginning, and not necessarily a reaction to, or because I want my child to have more time to do thus and so.

CHRISTINA: But I think that’s what is so great about homeschooling, because it is going to look so different.

MAGGIE: For everybody.

CHRISTINA: As similar as our philosophy of education is, it looks very different in all of our families.

MAGGIE: In each of our homes, yes.

JUNE: Well, so let’s take that and launch into a couple of the other methods.

MAGGIE: So let’s talk about classical. I met my husband, well, I didn’t meet him that way, but he hired me to teach in a classical school, which is kind of a joke. Not that the school was a joke, but I knew very little about it, and I feel like I still know a little about it.

CHRISTINA: We think you know.

MAGGIE: No, I don’t. I know a few things about it. It’s a great education, like, the body of information that your children are going to be working through is just, it’s worthy.

CHRISTINA: Very thorough.

MAGGIE: Yes, and it’s worthy of learning.

JUNE: So, the classical grade emphasis on the treasures of Western Civilization, that in the general education have just been washed away.

MAGGIE: Yes.

JUNE: Okay.

MAGGIE: So preemptively here, I’m going to say, I think that that’s what we also have focused on in our version of education, even though it has not been totally classical.

CHRISTINA: In methodology.

MAGGIE: In methodology. So the methodology of classical education would be more memorization focused, emphasis on the trivium, which if you don’t know what that is, it’s just different pedagogical stages of learning. And I, as an educator, I don’t disagree with that. You do memorize better when you’re younger, you do get to an age where you really want to debate. You do get to an age where you are ready then to present that knowledge, and so I think those are important, but I think they can be incorporated in everybody’s type of homeschooling differently, but classical’s going to really structure it that way. So you are going to memorize, memorize, memorize. That knowledge is something that you will pull from in these other two stages. So maybe you’re not learning about what you’re memorizing, you’re just learning the facts.

CHRISTINA: The facts.

MAGGIE: So, you may be learning the elements.

JUNE: Of the periodic table.

MAGGIE: Periodic table, way before you’re going to necessarily interact with them. JUNE: Yeah, yeah.

CHRISTINA: Or be able to understand.

MAGGIE: Or be able to understand what they are.

CHRISTINA: A lot of Latin?

MAGGIE: A lot of Latin, a lot of early grammar. But the richness of what is studied is worth. And we were talking about-

JUNE: And then there’s just a huge difference between what’s happening in a classical school-

MAGGIE: Oh, huge.

JUNE: Than either a government school, or even just general Christian schools.

MAGGIE: Or even in regular Christian schools, for sure.

JUNE: Very different.

MAGGIE: The approach is going to be different, the emphasis is going to be different. I think if that appeals to you, “Well-Trained Mind” written by The Bauers, or is just one? It’s a mother daughter, I think.

JUNE: Susan wise.

MAGGIE: Susan Wise Bauer, predominately did that, and I think she refers to recovering the lost tools of learning, so there is some harkening back to Dorothy Sayers-

JUNE: Dorothy Sayers’s book.

JUNE: So, let’s stay in England, and go back.

MAGGIE: Okay, let’s stay in England.

JUNE: And go back some decades to Charlotte Mason.

CHRISTINA: Right.

JUNE: Tell me a little bit about Charlotte Mason, Christina.

CHRISTINA: Charlotte Mason was an educator in England who emphasized a child being a person, building relationships with children, living books is something you hear about a lot in her writing. Spreading a feast for children of beautiful ideas, and music, and art, and nature, and literature, and history, and then just kind of learning alongside them. She emphasized short lessons, so her students would be finished by noon and then be out romping through the countryside the rest of the day.

MAGGIE: When you say living books, tell me what you think that means? I always have a hard time defining that.

CHRISTINA: It’s hard to put your finger on.

MAGGIE: It really is.

JUNE: In the living books, getting this concept early on is one of the biggest things in your homeschooling being alive.

MAGGIE: You’re setting your child’s literary taste buds.

JUNE: Right.

MAGGIE: And so if they are early on being exposed to really wonderful storytelling, and even illustrations play hugely into that, I mean, look at the little Beatrix Potter books, I mean, it’s just like, that’s what you’re looking for right there.

CHRISTINA: You can’t beat it, yeah.

MAGGIE: Parents enjoy it, children enjoy it, you have beautiful art.

CHRISTINA: Well, that’s something.

JUNE: Beautiful art.

MAGGIE: Something that’s stood the test of time, maybe.

CHRISTINA: Right. I think something that’s well-written, and that just sparks something inside your child where their eyes light up, they want to talk about the story after you finish reading it, or they want to act it out and pretend.

MAGGIE: Yes.

CHRISTINA: Or they keep thinking about it for a couple of days, or they want to read more and more.

MAGGIE: Quote it.

CHRISTINA: Yeah, I think something that just becomes part of your family’s life, because you all can enjoy it together, everybody at a different age. I don’t know about living books.

JUNE: Yeah, there’s just a taste and a smell to it that-

CHRISTINA: It’s hard to define.

JUNE: And on both sides of a living book, there’s the ditch of just didactic, or just trash, trite, there’s so much. To a young mom right now, this is just aside, ’cause I feel like we’re never going to get together, the three of us, and not talk about books, or what a living book is, even if we’re not saying that. But I will say that the literature that’s coming out in the last 20 years, I mean, if Dorothy Sayers was sad in 1940. You all, it’s justAnd you know, if you’re a mom that has trouble, like, I’ve had a child that has been a lot slower to read, and if I just started throwing at him, and I hate to name names, but you could fill in the blank with a hundred things-

MAGGIE: I know.

JUNE: That you really, like,

MAGGIE: I know.

JUNE: When we were kids you’re like, oh, I can’t believe that would be a title of a book that teachers are like, yay, you’re wearing that book character at school. I mean, it would have been shameful.

MAGGIE: Well, here’s what I always would hear too is, oh, but my child hates to read, but they love to read this.

JUNE: But they love, yeah.

MAGGIE: And I’m thinking, that’s like saying, well, my child hates to eat vegetables, so all I feed him is sugar.

CHRISTINA: Right.

JUNE: But I’m glad he’s eating.

MAGGIE: Yeah, I’m just glad he’s eating something.

JUNE: Well you’re like, he’s going to die in 10 years.

CHRISTINA: June.

MAGGIE: Do you know that leads to diabetes?

JUNE: Okay. But so, we want the life, and the soul, and the spirit of that child to be fed by these ideas. Okay, so the other ditch, is it more realistic this? No.

CHRISTINA: No.

JUNE: No, can’t handle that crap, no,

CHRISTINA: Yeah, the little sermonettes.

JUNE: No.

CHRISTINA: Or even of us getting in the way and explaining, stopping and explaining, and what’s the moral of the story? I think you just let them read the great book, and let the child do with it what they will.

JUNE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: Really.

JUNE: So, Charlotte Mason, there’s a lot there that has fed us. There are incredible blogs out there. There is wonderful literature. If you got passionate about any of these and wanted to plow into classical, plow into Charlotte Mason, we’re the last people you need to go to if you decide that’s-

MAGGIE: I’m sure there’s a place you could plow into unschooling.

JUNE: Wonderful.

CHRISTINA: Yeah, lots of them.

MAGGIE: I mean, I’m sure there are a lot of resources out there.

JUNE: Absolutely. And let me just say, can I just aside real quick before we move on from methods, child-led learning, so when I said that and was like ha, ha, ha, you know, I have spent tons of time training my children to be child-led players. Do you know what I mean?

CHRISTINA: Right.

JUNE: That when our learning, of course learning never ends, but when they’ve completed the things that are for school, they are free as a bird to go and-

CHRISTINA: Invent their own play.

JUNE: Invent, make, play, mud, water, scissors, sewing, painting. So child-led learning is very, very important in our home, and very highly valued.

CHRISTINA: And that’s a great thing about homeschooling, having the time. If you’re in school all day long, you don’t have that much time to play unorganized things where you’re in charge as a child to decide what you want to play, and kind of process the learning that you’ve done in the morning, the books that you’ve read, kind of think through ’em, and talk about ’em.

MAGGIE: Let your imagination-

CHRISTINA: Yeah, sure.

JUNE: And then there’s unit studies. So a unit study is a family that takes an idea like the American Revolution, or you could even take your garden, and everything begins to revolve around that.

MAGGIE: So I did this a lot in school.

JUNE: Yes, you did.

MAGGIE: They are interesting, and I think there’s certain times that they even make a lot of sense, like if you’re applying it in the way for the Kindergarten where you have a letter of the alphabet, and your letter of the alphabet might be your unit study, so you’re going to study apples, and the science of apples. We’re going to look at the seeds, and the part of the apple, and we might learn-

CHRISTINA: That’s very sweet.

MAGGIE: A Bible verse that goes with A. I mean like, where everything is just very simple, and quickly makes those connections with a child.

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: But you know, I remember doing a unit study on ponds when I was teaching second grade, and you’ve got all kinds of things that come out of that.

I’m not really sure what the long-term trajectory was for that being an emphasis in the curriculum.

JUNE: Well, I think, when I used to teach in a school, there was wanting to tend toward unit studies so everything was not fractured, right?

MAGGIE: I was just going to say that. Now that I’m pulling that from the recesses of my mind, it was to have it not be disjointed.

JUNE: Right, which rather than saying, we’re going to do a little bit about ponds, and a little bit about American history, just having more unity.

MAGGIE: Yes.

JUNE: So, we do a bit of all of these things, right?

MAGGIE: Yep.

JUNE: And we’ll talk about that more as time goes on.

MAGGIE: We’ve talked about the different methods of homeschooling. I think we should talk a little bit about some of the books that we have sitting in front of us and why,

CHRISTINA: Okay.

MAGGIE: If you know like, I’ve mentioned two other books that we have read, we read early on.

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: That don’t happen to be sitting here. So the books we brought are the books that we’ve gone back to year after year.

CHRISTINA: Right.

MAGGIE: And so at the very, very beginning, you know, asking, you know, how do we figure out? This is like, I didn’t know when I picked this up, this is going to be the book I would go back to every time, every day to reset my focus. So there is trial and error in that. And I think that when you decide to bring your children home or to just start homeschooling them from the very beginning, it is a job. Teaching is a job. Full time parenting, is a job. Full time discipleship is a job. I mean, nursing and janitoring and all the things. And those are jobs. And so I think that the first thing you have to do is really acknowledge the fact that this is, this is a commitment you’re making. And as in any other line of work, you are going to learn about what it is that you’re doing. And so you start going to some of these books and fellow, homeschool moms. So if you have different people in your community that you know of, just start talking to them, to ask if they’ll go out to coffee, people have done that with me many times, and they did not always choose to homeschool.

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: And they did not always choose to homeschool the way that I do it. But I think that’s how you figure out what your version of this is going to work, because you know what your family needs.

CHRISTINA: And it can take some time to figure that out. You might read books, you know about different kinds of homeschooling and glean a little bit from all of them or try one for a while and it doesn’t work and you change your mind and go with something else

MAGGIE: Also I like this, like you were saying, you know, I like this part. What’s my blend going to look like.

JUNE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: So what would be a good book to start with for a general idea about homeschooling philosophy?

JUNE: I think your book you have.

CHRISTINA: I know this is what I read for the children’s say

JUNE: I think that’s kind of a square one book. I think it’s before you even get to hold.

MAGGIE: I think that you could be right. I think that.

JUNE: Because it’s so philosophy based.

MAGGIE: Yes, so when I looked at this, I haven’t been quiet longer than I normally, but I was reminded very quickly, I mean even just the first four pages, I mean here’s the other thing I want to say. If you can borrow books from people, borrow them, like, don’t feel like you have to go invest a hundred dollars in like or more, you know, in seven different types of homeschooling books. And right off the bat, I’ll also say you’re homeschooling is never going to look exactly like somebody else’s. So don’t think I can go interview Christina, and it’s going to work. Just like she’s done it in my outcome is going to be the same. I mean, I think that’s a real tendency to compare and get yourself locked into an idea.

JUNE: And there will be a spiritual problem with that too.

MAGGIE: Sure.

JUNE: Because God didn’t make my family.

MAGGIE: The same way.

JUNE: He doesn’t need another set of kids so.

MAGGIE: But I will say the first four pages of this book are very, why am I doing this?

CHRISTINA: And what’s that one called?

MAGGIE: Educating the whole hearted child, by Clay and Sally Clarkson. Sally Clarkson has written many wonderful books about motherhood and, very servant hearted. And it reminds me of a lot of the principles that are in for the children’s sake. You know why am I doing, why am I choosing to do this? And, you know we can’t talk about doing this without a spiritual foundation. So it’s rich with scripture and you know, what are your responsibilities as a Christian parent? And to be even just thinking through some of the questions they pose, no matter what your ultimate decision is, I think it’s just really helpful and like foundational, like, why am I doing this? You know? Cause there are times it’s really hard and you want to check it and it’s really good to go back and say okay, like.

CHRISTINA: Remind yourself.

MAGGIE: Yeah remind myself. if I chose something different, what would I be giving up? And this, I think both of those books paint a really good picture for that.

CHRISTINA: It’s right.

MAGGIE: But this one is more practical like all bunch of how.

JUNE: How to.

MAGGIE: Literally how to.

CHRISTINA: Yeah okay.

MAGGIE; And It’s very, it’s much more, talking about the growth of the development, different methods of teaching. It’s much more kind of like, it’s philosophy and then application.

JUNE: Okay.

CHRISTINA: Yeah. This one would be more philosophy kind of why you’re doing what you’re doing, who is a child? What do they need? This I would say would be more Charlotte Mason, you think?

MAGGIE: Although they, that’s where they put on there. I would love to ask Sally, but.

CHRISTINA: Yeah.

MAGGIE: She, I would say, she drew a lot from Charlotte Mason. So tell us about, Susan Schaeffer.

MAGGIE: Tell us about.

JUNE: Oh, well she talks about.

MAGGIE: who is she?

CHRISTINA: She, why don’t you tell her. She’s the daughter of Francis Schaeffer. She grew up in Europe. She lived, has lived all over the world and educated her own children and set up schools that were based on Charlotte Mason ideas, I think. But, she talks about building an atmosphere in your home of learning, which I just love because education does not happen just between eight and three, you know, it’s how your home works. And, just the books and music and literature that you have available to your children. what your family structure is like as far as like how you spend your time. Spending a lot of time outdoors and in nature and things like that. So she would kind of send you down the Charlotte Mason road. Yeah.

JUNE: I have to say, because I feel like when I was curious about homeschooling I’m like, what do you mean? Who relies on that? so I’m going to, no, I want to say this.

CHRISTINA: Okay.

JUNE: Okay, so you say all that, right?

CHRISTINA: Yeah.

JUNE: So I was the, the gal and I, you know, I think I’m older than you, Christina, yeah. But you have older kids than me. So I came, when I came into your house, I’m looking around, you know, what is Christina doing? And so you have a sunroom and it has books and it had a kid’s kitchen and there are birds outside and you have, I mean it gives me chills, remembering, walking into that for the first time, because it, my heart, the environment was just rich with love for children and the books you always have like if it was a child’s birthday, there were 10 beautiful books about birthdays. And if it was Thanksgiving coming up there, interlibrary loan books from all over, and there’s these gorgeous books, and there’s two doors going to, you know, the outdoors and little ones just in and out into the woods all day. And then there’s a big couch in the next room where a child could curl up with a book. So, you know, these ideas that you read about for the first time, and so for someone like you, your mind just sparked, you’re like, this is what I’m looking for. And then you made it happen. And so your children have grown up in that environment, with these living ideas, with these living books. So anyway, it’s just interesting to me to hear you talk about that and I’m like, all this pictures coming to my head.

CHRISTINA: It really did spark, you know. Spark with me at the beginning. And so I found what worked for us. And like I said, all these different philosophies work better for different families or people with different interests or, you know, how many children do you have? How are you going to make that work practically, all those kind of things. So what are some other go to resources, like the classical learning.

MAGGIE: Before we get off the subject of these two cause I do feel like they kind of sum up where we’ve camped.

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: The other thing I think both of these do pretty well is discussed the discipleship issue, not issue, discipleship aspect of the decision to homeschool.

JUNE: Yes.

MAGGIE: And you know, I was looking at the back I was flipping in the back of her book, and she’s talking about, just different things that they were reading and the discussions that they were able to have in later years, particularly, this is where I see shades of her father.

CHRISTINA: Yeah.

MAGGIE: You know, that, you know, really that worldview issue of, you know, taking the things of the world and taking every thought captive. And what do we, you know, when we’re reading a book that has some pretty heavy content, not to be afraid of that as Christians, but to look at that and say, so where does, you know, where does that worldview take you, you know. And setting them up for those conversations because of what you’ve created in their early years. I mean, you’re, that environment is leading you somewhere. And, she does this too, you know, talking early on, like in page one, it’s talking, she talks about, how, you know, our children is right for us to be with our children and to walk alongside them and to, I don’t want to necessarily like turn this into a reading session, but it’s just a really good, setting, setting the stage for why are we, why are we choosing this lifestyle and what are we doing? And the other ones that we mentioned before for classical, well trained mind.

CHRISTINA: Which I think that was great for people to read, I gleaned from that.

MAGGIE: I did too. I really did. I would not, know I mean, just because I’m not, I would not call myself a classical educator. I would recommend looking through that book, there’s a lot in there to consider.

JUNE: And it’s given me a great appetite for the books that the classical student is reading.

MAGGIE: Absolutely.

JUNE: But I did not grow up with that whole in my heart. I mean, I think that, you know, this year my kids were studying ancient cultures, Greece and Rome. And so we read the Iliad.

MAGGIE: Right.

JUNE: We read, you know, a version of the Odyssey.

MAGGIE: Right.

JUNE: These classical treasures that, you just don’t want to miss, you know, that have gotten pushed off. So I think when I’ve read these books about classical education, it’s sparked,

CHRISTINA: Right. And I would say to, to feel free to learn alongside your children, you don’t have to have read all these books before. You don’t have to understand it all, you open up the book and you read it out loud and you learn alongside that way. And that really is a huge benefit to them to see you excited about something, learning with them, you do not have to be an expert in classical studies to be able to teach these great books.

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: And I think that’s another thing that the classical method does really well is the timeline. And I have seen that emphasizing a timeline from creation all the way to modern times. It really does help, especially when, when those two things are lock step with the Bible. It again, like when we were talking about unit studies, it does draw those pieces together. So you suddenly don’t have a fractured, you know, version of secular history and biblical history, but you realize like.

CHRISTINA: What was happening.

MAGGIE: Yes, and these were sometimes one in the same thing.

JUNE: Yes.

MAGGIE: Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, was a book that came out probably 20 ish years ago. And so I think a lot of the classical, Douglas Wilson wrote that.

JUNE: Probably even further back than that.

MAGGIE: Maybe further than back than that.

JUNE: Probably it was early nineties. But, so these two books also were foundational for me. I read them both that sparked, you know, in any of these if we were to reread them, there would be fresh materials. It would be so refreshing.

MAGGIE: Yeah. Yes.

JUNE: This book Better Late Than Early, conference that we all went to, when our kids were young, the speaker there, really drew a lot from the couple, Raymond and Dorothy Moore, who were kind of first generation home schoolers in America. But this book Better Late Than Early, doesn’t read like these, which, I mean, this one is much more poetic. It’s very easy to read. This is very research based, but I had come out of teaching in a school that had a rigorous preschool program with a dynamic preschool teacher. And we had our four and five year olds reading and full day, five day a week, you know, preschool. And, you know, they just, those little ones hit it hard. And that’s why would you wait, when life is so rigorous? You know? And this just put the brakes on that for me. I mean, I think these two books for the children’s sake and the more the research behind this, because, when I was coming up as a young teacher, everything was research driven. I mean, that phrase, it’s like, it’s research driven.

MAGGIE: Yeah.

JUNE: You couldn’t ever just do something based on joy or enjoyment, you know. But this has served me really well because we’ve slowed everything down and we spend a lot more time reading stories and we spent a lot of time getting the discipleship component of our homeschooling going of establishing the family worship time that we still to this day is where everything that’s the hub, right. So we get those components going, but the big things like Math, Phonics, reading, we were setting a foundation for children to have a taste for that, and an excitement of like our family loves reading. Our family loves, numbers, you know, these are exciting things. We’re not putting them off because we think they’re not important. But there was just a time that’s right. And it’s proven by research to be right for that little brain to go, now it’s time to read. And so.

CHRISTINA: It’s very freeing for the parents.

JUNE: It’s so freeing that there’s something else to do with their time right now. It’s not, they’re not just a little empty vessel that you just shove, shove, shove, shove, and.

CHRISTINA: And there are so many important things for three and four year olds to learn.

JUNE: Like this soft feel of their mother’s lap,

CHRISTINA: Just stories and play time and, you know chores, and, I think relaxing on some of the hardcore academic things. It’s just frustrating. I sense frustration in my children. And I was definitely frustrated when I tried to push things too early. So reading that book was very freeing to say.

JUNE: They say, until your child is about eight, you should not be pushing these academic things. And no, I have a little one, our youngest that he decided he was going to learn to read this year. I didn’t hold him back, because I read that book, but our child that struggles with reading, we really didn’t feel pressure or stress. And, so anyway, that was that’s lovely. I mean, I will say ideas and philosophy and worldview drive your homeschooling. And if you’re not reading, if you’re not interested in the ideas that are in books, if you just want to plug your kid into something, you are going to miss the joy that comes from knowing where you’re going. Right.

MAGGIE: And I think I have not thought about relating these two things until right now, but like also like, we’re talking about ourselves as mothers, and I think that just shaping that role for yourself as, as the mother, like when you said that about, you know, the soft feel of your mother’s lap, like, I just feel like our role in our children’s lives is just so different than someone who’s running carpool lines and you know, not, you know, not that I’m not, I really mean it. Like, I know those people in my life who are living a life like that genuinely, love and are invested in their children, but just that homeschooling is going to make your motherhood look different. And I’m looking at some of the other books that you have here. June that really speak to that, like loving the little years. And I don’t think she’s a homeschooler, but she really does.

JUNE: No.

MAGGIE: She’s not.

JUNE: She’s put me in they show on how to. Yes.

MAGGIE: Sally Clarkson’s books are great. The Mission of Motherhood is amazing Seasons of a Mother’s Heart. I mean, just really convicting and, sets up, sets up sort of why, not just why am I educating my child this way? But why am I choosing to spend my role as a mother this way?

JUNE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: Right.

JUNE: I will just put a plug in for this book. Anthony Esolen, is a writer and an, he teaches at the college level. I think he interpreted Dante.

MAGGIE: He did, yes he did.

JUNE: But so 10 ways to destroy the imagination of your child. When I saw this on my husband’s bedside table, I thought, I don’t know, no I thought I don’t need to read it. I value my child’s imagination. I’ve read these books. What could he have to say? That you know, I don’t already agree with, and he tore me up one side and down the other. I mean, I was just blown away at the way I let culture creep in to my philosophy. And, he’s one of those authors that does that, what he uses so many examples from classic literature in a way that doesn’t, you know, how academic people hold you like this. So like, I know this reference,

CHRISTINA: Yeah.

JUNE: To Dante and you don’t and don’t you feel stupid now? I will reread this. I love it so much because it, you go, Oh, I don’t know this story, but he explains it so beautifully, and he uses it to illustrate how important it is for little boys to know their boys and girls to know their girls and these, all these examples from literature, and you’re like, I’ve got to read all those books.

CHRISTINA: Yeah.

JUNE: I totally culture has crept in. Yeah, it’s extremely convicting book. It’s so wonderful. And it has, definitely. Yes, You just take it.

JUNE: So for you in your first four years, that looks like a lot of reading. I remember coming to your house and your little girls, after you read they would draw pictures and do a little, teeny bit of writing.

CHRISTINA: Writing. They might explain the story back to me or tell me their favorite part and we might write that down and they would draw a picture.

JUNE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: Or, we have a big costume box, with just cast off clothes from friends or goodwill, or something like that. Where they could go and make costumes and go outside and pretend whatever they wanted to pretend, and it might be the story from that day or it might not be. Really, yeah, a lot of reading in the early years–

JUNE: A lot of outdoor time for you all.

CHRISTINA: A lot of time outside.

JUNE: You spend a lot of time at a nearby nature center.

CHRISTINA: Yes. JUNE: You all were,

CHRISTINA: We would go on hikes and get a–

JUNE: in the creek so much and learning about flowers.

CHRISTINA: I love to get field guides and just, I didn’t know anything about nature, I was like well let’s find out. So we just took out field guide and went out.

JUNE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: And I have one child especially that just really took to that and she, you know?

JUNE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: Now that’s who I ask when I want to know what that bird is.

JUNE: Yeah. I can remember hiking with you all when she was little, a mean grade school, and she had her little paw print identifier. Any little print we would see in the ground, she could say if that was a fox or a deer. And Maggie you, books are so important in your home. So much time with you reading aloud to your girls and… Paint a bit of a picture.

MAGGIE: I mean, it’s a lot the same, I mean just the reading, the reading was–

CHRISTINA: You just have a big bright living room with a cozy couch.

MAGGIE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: And full bookshelves.

MAGGIE: And we read for hours everyday, I mean really, by the time it was the Bible and history, and then the book we were reading just for enjoyment. It was a lot of reading, but, I will say this. Okay, so this is, okay this is good, I hadn’t remembered this. So, let your children play while you’re reading. If you’re reading out loud, don’t think they have to be sitting still. I mean, you can ask for that at certain times, but–

CHRISTINA: Especially, if you have a little child in the room.

MAGGIE: A little baby one, but one of mine was much more tactile and just really had a hard time sitting, my oldest, still when I read, I still read out loud to them, their graduation requirement is that I read out loud to them until they leave. So, we even now when we do that, she sits right next to me and lets me rub her back, and I, it’s very sweet. My second was just wigglier and she, so I would let her play on the floor, while I would be reading out loud, and I really thought, because she was very little. I mean, we are talking two, when this incident happened, because I was pregnant with Emily and I just remember being huge pregnant and I was reading through one of the little house books. You’ll probably tell me the title after I tell you what the incident was, but it was when Nellie Oleson, it’s the Nellie Oleson incident, you know, where she’s like Laura comes out–

CHRISTINA: The party?

MAGGIE: Yes, the party. And Libby, who had just been, you know, I’m thinking her mind is totally engaged in whatever she is–

JUNE: On the floor, yeah.

MAGGIE: Creating with these toys on the floor. She jumped up and her little fists and pudgy little arms. She was so angry and she just said, “That Nellie Oleson, she is ween and miked.”

JUNE: “Ween and miked.”

MAGGIE: She said, “I’m just want to jump in that book and smack her.” And I thought, okay, well, she’s clearly getting everything there, but–

JUNE: That’s a living book.

MAGGIE: That’s a living book.

CHRISTINA: Exactly.

MAGGIE: But that even leads me to remember something else I have not thought about for a long time and talking about being, you know, and how do we land here. It really is being in a relationship with other women. And sometimes–

JUNE: Oh, yes.

MAGGIE: But there was a friend of ours who came with her children, they were very small and she talked about how she would just read the bible out loud to her very, very small children and let them play on the floor. And philosophy was, they will be getting something from this.

CHRISTINA: Yes.

MAGGIE: And I took that and harnessed it and with really all of it. Like you’re saying, you can be reading Dickens to your older kids and the little ones are still picking up, picking things up.

CHRISTINA: They really are.

JUNE: Yeah. It’s very true.

MAGGIE: So that’s a lot what it looked like, it was a lot of reading, I had to work on my children being outside more than you did necessarily, but lots of imaginative play. I mean, we would sing, lots of singing.

JUNE: Yeah, lots of singing at our house. Lots and tons of music at your house. I think I thought, okay, I want these kids. If we work backwards, I want my children to love singing, play musical instruments, I want them to love good books, of course serve the Lord, and love poetry. You know, all the things that make a life rich and feed the mind. And then we just take little bits of those and so you can’t just think, okay by the time they’re fourteen, I hope they’ll like this and start at age thirteen, because their shapes are taste for something else. So–

MAGGIE: Flip that.
JUNE: Yeah, flip that.

MAGGIE: Yep

JUNE: But I remember sitting on the floor with my first, reading this book of poetry, this long book of poetry that Ian’s grandmother, his German grandmother had given, this huge anthology of the best old, old poetry. And we still read from that all the time and if I pull that out, my children, they love that book and they know these poems, they, because it’s… There’s a nostalgia for the beauty of that poetry.
MAGGIE: But you can hear it in the way they speak, I mean, I remember when we were doing that more frequently, and you could hear it in the way they would speak. Right, find little scraps of paper with like–

JUNE: A little phrases.

MAGGIE: A little phrases.

JUNE: Yep.

MAGGIE: You know, or their turn of phrase would suddenly become very poetic. I mean, it really does it’s–

JUNE: I’ll say this, this little picture came into my head. I remember I would get my stack of books and I realized that if I called my children, “Come, let’s read books,” it would take ten minutes. They would have to detach from whatever was, but if they were anywhere on the ground floor, and I just open that book and I started reading the wonderful book. I never said a word.

CHRISTINA: Oh, that’s great.

JUNE: I would start reading the beginning of Corduroy–

MAGGIE: And they would come.

CHRISTINA: And they would come.

JUNE: Or the beginning of… And they were just, I mean they would run. They wanted to be in the spot right next to the book. And so, that speaks to how yummy books are. You know there’s a siren call of a good book that you don’t want to put down.

JUNE: I mean it’s interesting to start this conversation about what is Homeschooling, because you feel like the tip of the iceberg is, I mean barely scratched, and that you haven’t really given information that you know I sit here at the end of as we wrap up.

MAGGIE: I would say ultimately, like I think, I think Homeschooling is being faithful to what God commanded us to do with our children. I mean I really do, that’s the way I would describe it to people.

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: ‘Cause it’s walking with them faithfully and doing the hard things of being sanctified and learning alongside my children and

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: You know.

CHRISTINA: It’s sanctifying for the parent and child.

MAGGIE: That’s what I mean.

CHRISTINA: There have been so many times.

MAGGIE: I mean for me I feel like-

JUNE: Oh my word.

MAGGIE: The sanctification is serious and it’s, you know, it would be a lot easier to to not have to enter into that process, but-

JUNE: You talked about this so there is a cost, you know, you talked to some about there is a cost to deciding that you’re going to Homeschool and I think that it’s good to know a little bit about what that will look like. You know, if you are a Christian you know that the Christian life is flipped from the secular life. Like we’re not looking for what do I get from this, right. We’re not looking at we want to find a good deal, we’re living a life that’s sacrificial for someone else, and so if you decide to Homeschool it should bring you joy to find there are all these things I get to lay down on the alter here right. So my, and you don’t put down your interests, your kids want to cook with you, they want to be a part

MAGGIE: Right.

JUNE: of all the things that are important to mom,

MAGGIE: Right.

JUNE: but your time, the research, the planning that is something you lay down, and you do it joyfully and without complaining and everyone around you being like, “Oh yeah, mom has to do all this for us and we hear about it all the time.” You know. But yeah, talk for a minute about what you lay down and how to do that joyfully.

CHRISTINA: I think time, I think you just have to be, have realistic expectations that you are going to be with your children all day, and that’s not to say that you can’t work out babysitting, or some time off and rest. I think that is important, but you basically, this is your main job. It is learning yourself so you can teach your children, learning alongside them, working with them during the day.
I think creating an orderly home is important, but at the same time a Homeschooling home is really messy a lot of the time.

JUNE: Yes.

CHRISTINA: And you have to be okay with that, you know.

JUNE: Yeah.

CHRISTINA: That’s just something.

MAGGIE: And I, you know, there are a lot of times people will hear me say, you know where do your kids go to school, and you say well I Homeschool them, and they look at me and say, “Oh I could never do that.” I don’t ever feel comfortable, or rarely have felt comfortable, but I would love to say tell me why. Like I really want to know, so what are the reasons that you cause I bet I felt them too, you know. I mean that’s not a judgmental.

JUNE: Oh for sure.

MAGGIE: You know, I mean I don’t, I’m many days don’t feel equip, my patience is not great and back to that, you know the sanctification process when you chose to do this is going to focus some, it’s going to be pretty pointed.

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: You know?

JUNE: Yes.

MAGGIE: And so what’s driving that, what’s driving that statement, “Oh I could never do that.”

JUNE: Yes.

MAGGIE: So what is it that you’re holding dear? That you-

JUNE: Right.

MAGGIE: Don’t want to lay down, or what are the things that you don’t think the Lord can equip you for?

JUNE: Well.

MAGGIE: Because he will. I mean if you’re being, they talk about this a lot, again like in those first four pages it’s just very quick, why, why are you, you know, why should you even look at, at Homeschooling, and I love it ’cause it’s asking questions that you have to grapple with. It’s not necessarily just feeding you

CHRISTINA: Right.

MAGGIE: answers.

If this is what the Lord has said what is that going to look like?

JUNE: Yeah.

MAGGIE: And I think we all have to readdressing that and

JUNE: I think Rachel Jankovic and Sally Clarkson are two voices for me that the discipleship of your children, raising up Godly children who are ready to engage with culture, not just live on the outskirts, is essential. I mean our culture is hungry for that type of adult and okay, well so I’m going to educate them to do, to be something that I really wasn’t at, you know, I was very much like, oh I don’t want to have to make a definitive statement about anything, but that’s what the Lord’s asking me to do. He’s not just asking a few of us, that’s what he’s asking us to do.

MAGGIE: Right.

JUNE: And so how do you want me to do that Lord? And am I willing to trust you that all of my lack you will fill.

JUNE: I think both of those

MAGGIE: Well like you said. Rachel doesn’t Homeschool her kids, there’s another book I will try to bring it or talk to you about it another time, but it was given to me early, early on by just another mom. I mean I think I only had one baby and I’ve gone back to that book multiple times. She did not Homeschool her children, but it again back to that topic of like just what is our role as a mother, and I think that we live in a society that doesn’t necessarily value motherhood, or teach us necessarily how to be thoughtful about our motherhood. We just kind of do what the culture lays in front of us and a lot of times that includes sending your children to school, and so your home life is shaped around that, and so I think even for families who decide that sending their children to school is what is best for them, I still thing that there is value in looking at some of this, well what is my role as a mother, and how to do I engage with my children?

JUNE: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MAGGIE: In their before and after school hours in a way that is faithful to what the Lord has called them to do.

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