The first teacher feature for this year is shining the light on Monica Andrews. She became a friend of mine through an online scrapbooking forum many years ago. Since she lived overseas (her husband is in the military) at the time, I was surprised that she also knew a friend of mine whom I had taught with here at home. It is indeed a small world! Since then, she has moved back to the states and I hope someday to meet her in person.Join me in learning more about Monica and class!
1. Would you describe your school setting?
My school setting is my home. We mainly utilize the dining room table, desks (in bedrooms) and the couch for reading.
2. How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for fourteen years, including my time as a public school educator.
3. What ages/grades/subject do you teach?
I currently am teaching two 6th graders, a 4th grader and a 1st grader.
4. How do you organize your day with different ages and subjects to teach?
My day is divided into two main times. The morning is devoted to what a call table work and the afternoon is dedicated to couch time. I group my 6th graders together for history and read-alouds. My 4th and 1st grader are likewise grouped together for their history and read-alouds. We all do science together. And everyone does their individual math and language arts lessons.
We begin the morning with watching the news and Bible. Then everyone begins individualized instruction in math and language arts. I am one-on-one with my first grader and available to answer questions from my other kiddos as they complete their math and language arts assignments.
We do science together during our lunch break then during the afternoon I first do history lessons and read-alouds with my 6th graders and then the same with my 4th and 1st grader.
It's a really full day!
5. Do you meet with other groups of homeschoolers? If so, what activities do you do with them?
We meet with other homeschoolers in a co-op twice a month for classes. I teach two classes and have an off period with other parents. Each of my children take three enrichment classes during our class days. Some examples of the classes they take are dance, art, choir, poetry and play writing, boys adventure, and lego building. We also meet with this group for field trips, park days, open gym days and other activities.
6. What is the best thing about homeschooling?
The best thing about homeschooling is the ability to really invest in my children's education and tailoring it to their specific needs. Although some days are hard, overall I am so happy that I get to spend my days teaching my children and investing in them. I think it has been so good for our family dynamics and for their own educational growth.
7. What do you feel is the most difficult thing about homeschooling?
The most difficult thing about homeschooling is bearing the weight of responsibility for my children's education. If they are weak in an area, I feel that it's my job to "fix" it or find a solution. That can be a heavy burden sometimes.
8. What piece of advice would you give to someone who is considering homeschooling their child or children?
I would advise that person to spend some time thinking about the "whys" that they are considering homeschooling and to also consider their own education philosophy before beginning to delve into the world of curriculum choices. There are so many choices out there that it can be overwhelming!
9. If money was no object, what would you want to help your students?
If money was no object, I would love to have a laptop for each of my students. We're doing more and more instruction online and it would be helpful not to have to share. :)
10. If you could have anybody in the world visit your school (alive or dead), who would it be?
We have read many missionary stories in our homeschool. I would love to have any one of these heroes of our faith visit our school. We're currently reading Theresa of Calcutta, and I would love to have her visit to hear her stories of caring for the poorest of the poor in India.
Thank you Monica for your willingness to be interviewed! You deserve to have the light shine on you! I learned a lot!
(Readers: If you know of any teacher that deserves to have a light shine on them, please send me their contact information. Thanks!)