Alphabet Smash and Lifeschooling – Christina Brown

Alphabet Smash and Lifeschooling - Christina BrownI was privileged to talk to friend and author Christina Brown about her homeschooling journey and why she created Alphabet Smash, a wonderful resource for preschoolers that focuses on one letter at a time and brings in multiple activities from various subject areas to teach the child about that letter and it’s sound. Christina is heavily involved in leadership in the homeschool community in Charlotte, NC, and she also spoke at and helped plan the Lifeschooling Conferences.

Christina  is a homeschool momma of three and the author of AKAHomeschoolMom.com and Alphabet Smash.  Her work has been featured in Proverbs 31 Magazine, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Home Educator Family Times, Greenhouse and others.  She is a hopeless logophile and always brakes for yard sales.  She enjoys yoga, running, photography and wants to own some chickens! Her writing is inspired from her faith in Jesus Christ, adventures in NC with her Adventure Group, and her 25 year marriage to best friend, Richard.  She has homeschooled for more than 18 years, serves on the board of ZOE Teens, Co-Moderates CCHNet (Charlotte Christian Homeschool Network-the largest online support group in Charlotte), and serves as a Region 4 Liaison to NCHE. Christina’s passion is to encourage others to intentionally connect faith, family, and fun. You can connect with Christina on her website, www.AKAhomeschoolmom.

Here is what I talk to Christina about on this episode:

  • Christina, you are part of our Lifeschooling Conference team and a huge help to me every year on that event. And this year, you spoke at one of the workshop sessions. I know you’ve done some public speaking before. How was that experience?
  • How was your school experience?
  • Did you always want to homeschool?
  • How did you get started homeschooling?
  • Tell us about Alphabet Smash. What was the idea behind it? How and why did you write it ?
  • Give us an example of a letter of the week and tell us how you can incorporate music, Bible, math etc. into this curriculum.
  • Your talk for the 2017 Lifeschooling Conference was about being intentional. Can you define intentional for us? I also understand that your next goal is to write a book on that subject.  How is that process going?
  • How long have you homeschooled and do you have any that you have graduated yet?
  • What do you most want listeners to know?

If you would like to grab a copy of Christina’s book, Alphabet Smash, you can find it here.

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!

The Principles of an Excellent Education – Kevin Swanson

The Principles of an Excellent Education - Kevin SwansonKevin Swanson of Generations.org talks with me about the principles of an excellent education and particularly the aspect of life integration, which is central to the lifeschooling philosophy. We also discuss what should be the core curriculum of every homeschool: The book of Proverbs.

Kevin Swanson runs the Generations ministry in Elizabeth, Colorado. He was homeschooled by his parents in the 1960s and 70s. For the last 22 years, Kevin and his wife, Brenda have home educated their own five children.

The Swanson family produces multiple podcasts, news programs, and published books, not to mention dog breeding and other exciting projects that keeps the home humming every day. Kevin has written extensively on family economy, mentorship, real life school application, and Christian worldview. Kevin has mentored 10-12 young men over the last 12 years out on their property in the eastern plains of Colorado.

I had the privilege of visiting with Kevin and his sweet wife, Brenda, and being featured on one his Generations radio shows.

Here are some questions I ask Kevin on this show:

  • Few people have had the privilege of being involved with homeschooling as long as you have, so I consider you one of the foremost experts on the movement. Tell us how you came to be a homeschooler back in the 60s and 70s.
  • After our interview last week on the Generations program, you gave me a copy of your book, Upgrade, which describes the 10 principles to an excellent education. I absolutely devoured it on the flight home and was struck by how similar our perspectives are. You talk about the principles of preeminence of character, life integration, rooting in relationships, and individuality. Lifeschooling, for listeners who may not know, is the “individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents through real life experiences that happen within the context (relationships) of your family’s unique situations and missions.” So we see those same principles in this definition.
  • But there were ones I had not consciously verbalized or put into the lifeschooling definition, yet we are practicing and I would say have importance: doing the basics well, and protection. I want to talk specifically about protection, as it is often misunderstood. Tell us about your own experience in Japan and the protection your parents provided. Some would probably call it extreme and everyone needs to come to their own convictions, of course. But how did basic principle play out in your experience?
  • Let’s talk about real life experience, since that is one of the key components of lifeschooling and an excellent education. How did this play out in your own family? What positive (and negative) results have you seen?
  • I want to mention that you and your wife are not only applying this form of education to your own family, but also bringing others in with a discipleship program similar to Jesus’ method. Tell us more about Generations and the internship program you provide to train young men and help you with your ministry.
  • You have a lot of amazing curriculum, but one program particularly caught my eye and that is the Launch Your Life program. Tell us about that.
  • Where can our listeners find out more about the curriculum Generations offers and listen to your daily show?

And that’s Life as a Lifeschooler! Subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. Hope you’ll join us next time!