Rachel Hirt: Homeschool Art in the Early Years

 Rachel Hirt: Homeschool Art in the Early YearsEpisode #11- Rachel Hirt: Homeschool Art in the Early Years

 On this episode, meet Rachel Hirt, co-owner of Colorfull, an online art community for kids. She believes that every kiddo is an artist filled with tons of creativity! Rachel wants to help kids develop their artistic talents and discover all the fun possibilities that art offers.

Rachel, who was also homeschooled, shares the benefits of including art during the early years of homeschooling. “We want to make sure [our kids] know that 2 + 2 = 4, but we forget that creativity is a part of who we are,” explains Rachel. She then gives practical tips, adding, “We all have creativity in some form or fashion. As a parent, find what sparks creativity in your child.” Rachel then explains that creativity comes in many forms that may spark creativity in your child, suggesting that “maybe it’s cooking. Then create something in the kitchen together with your child.

Listen in to learn more from Rachel Hirt, a wife, small business owner, and mother to three little ones living in central Kansas. She’s also a homeschool graduate who studied art at Butler Community College before meeting and marrying her husband, Aaron. Aaron and Rachel have been married for nearly eight years and have been serving as children’s pastors for nearly that entire time.

Resources:

Join Crystal and her guests each week as they bring relevant information to equip you, stories to encourage you, and content to inspire you. You don’t have to go it alone, tune in to the Military Homeschool Podcast, and be energized in your military homeschooling journey!

 

How to listen:

  1. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, or Stitcher
  2. Subscribe on your favorite podcast listening app
  3. Or listen right here (just scroll down)

 

Got questions, comments, or have show topic ideas? Contact Crystal via email at militaryhomeschoolpodcast@gmail.com or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

 

Please subscribe, follow, and share with all of your military homeschooling friends!

 

Homeschooling Through Tough Times

Homeschooling Through Tough TimesEpisode #10 – Homeschooling Through Tough Times

There is no doubt that homeschooling can be difficult, especially when you are dealing with other stressors that are out of the ‘norm.’ So what can you do when homeschooling becomes even more challenging due to a deployment, illness, or other family crisis?

When things get complicated, it’s important to remember that homeschooling, AND military life, is a journey- there will be ups and downs. That’s just a given. On this episode, Crystal Niehoff shares some ways she’s learned through personal experience as a military spouse and homeschool mom to deal with tough times as military homeschool families.

  1. Talk to your spouse.
  2. Turn to your faith.
  3. If homeschooling is becoming too overwhelming, take a break.
  4. Be flexible with your homeschooling schedule.
  5. Seek out support from other homeschoolers.
  6. Utilize resources like homeschooling support groups, online homeschooling communities, and homeschool curriculum providers.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family if you need it.
  8. Give yourself plenty of grace.
  9. And finally, remember that homeschooling is a journey.

 “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” -Michael Jordan, basketball legend.

Episode Sponsor:

A quality education is affordable and flexible at Upper Iowa University. Serving the military community with online Associate, Bachelors, and Masters degrees for more than two decades, Upper Iowa University offers tuition grants for service members, spouses, and dependents of all branches of the military. UIU students work one-on-one with an advisor, and classes are taught by expert faculty. Learn more by visiting uiu.edu/militaryfamily

Join Crystal and her guests each week as they bring relevant information to equip you, stories to encourage you, and content to inspire you. You don’t have to go it alone; tune in to the Military Homeschool Podcast and be energized in your military homeschooling journey!

How to listen:

  1. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, or Stitcher
  2. Subscribe on your favorite podcast listening app
  3. Or listen right here (just scroll down)

Got questions, comments, or have show topic ideas? Contact Crystal via email at militaryhomeschoolpodcast@gmail.com or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

 

Please subscribe, follow, and share with all of your military homeschooling friends!

How to Start Homeschooling Checklist for Military Families

How to Start Homeschooling Checklist for Military FamiliesEpisode #9- How to Start Homeschooling Checklist for Military Families

If you’re a military parent considering homeschooling your child, you’re not alone. But, sometimes, the hardest part of the homeschooling journey is taking the first step. Crystal Niehoff goes over six easy steps to help you get started in the right direction.

If you’re a parent thinking about homeschooling your military child, you’re not alone. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, there are an estimated 3.7 million homeschooled students in the United States. This represents 6-7% of the general population of school-age children.

This number then rises dramatically among military families. The Blue Star Families 2021 Military Family Lifestyle Survey reports, “Continuing a trend . . . there are elevated numbers of active-duty family respondents (13%) who choose to homeschool their children; nearly 2-4 times the proportion of children ages 5-17 homeschooled in the general U.S. population.”

So, you’ve decided that homeschooling is right for your family, but taking the plunge feels overwhelming and even a bit scary. When tackling a task that feels overwhelming, I ask myself this- “How do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time, right?! So let’s break it down into manageable chunks. Here’s your . . .

How to Start Homeschooling Checklist:

Step #1) Talk with your spouse to make they are on board with homeschooling first. Homeschooling is a big decision, so you’ll want to be sure you and your spouse are on the same page.

Step #2) Find out the legal requirements for homeschooling in your area. Laws vary from state to state and even from school district to school district, so it’s important that you do your research. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is an excellent resource

Step #3) Research your options.

  • Determine your homeschool style
    1. Traditional
    2. Student-Led/ Delight Directed/ Self-Study Learning
    3. The Classical Approach
    4. Charlotte Mason Method
  • Choose Curriculum

So, how do you decide?

  • Ask yourself these questions . . .
    • Does this program/curriculum fit with what . . .
    • Our family can afford?
    • The homeschooling style/ method we’ve chosen?
    • Our family values?
    • Will it fit into our family schedule and lifestyle?
  • Also, consider the learning needs of your child.
  • Don’t forget to consider what YOUR teaching style or preference is.

Step #4) Devise a flexible homeschool schedule. The key word here is flexible.

Step #5) Find a support system.

    1. Talk to other homeschooling families.
    2. Join a homeschool group or co-op
    3. Connect with other homeschooling families on social media.

Step #6) Check out homeschool curriculum fairs and attend a homeschool conference.

This How to Start Homeschooling Checklist will help you get off to a great start!

“We learn to do something by doing it. There is no other way.” -John Holt, educational theorist and supporter of school reform

Remember- the hardest part is getting started, and the ONLY way to start your homeschooling journey is to take the first step!

Resources:

Join Crystal and her guests each week as they bring relevant information to equip you, stories to encourage you, and content to inspire you. You don’t have to go it alone, tune in to the Military Homeschool Podcast, and be energized in your military homeschooling journey!

How to listen:

  1. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, or Stitcher
  2. Subscribe on your favorite podcast listening app
  3. Or listen right here (just scroll down)

Got questions, comments, or have show topic ideas? Contact Crystal via email at militaryhomeschoolpodcast@gmail.com or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

 Please subscribe, follow, and share with all of your military homeschooling friends!

 

 

 

 

Military Family Chooses Homeschool and Public School

Military Family Chooses Homeschool and Public SchoolEpisode #8- Military Family Chooses Homeschool and Public School

Today’s guest, Army chaplain’s wife and mom of seven, Jennie Mucher, talks about their family’s homeschooling journey and the decision to send their oldest son to public school.

Jennie’s first experience with homeschooling occurred when she was a teenager and was “adopted” into a community of homeschoolers who attended her church youth group. She felt she, too, would want to homeschool her own children one day.

When she did start homeschooling in 2009, she chose a curriculum based on what her neighbor used and because everything she needed was included in one package. However, their homeschooling style would change over the years to a more Classical Conversations/ Charlotte Mason/ eclectic approach that better suits her family’s preferences and learning styles. As a military family, the biggest benefit of homeschooling has been that the children have continuity. Jennie shares, “We don’t just do school together; we do life together.”

When their oldest son expressed his desire to attend public school, her husband was supportive and confident their son would do just fine. Jennie admits she was initially reluctant but recognized her son’s need for more peer interaction. Additionally, public school has allowed her athletic son to play the competitive team sports he enjoys. Gratefully, there were no issues with the school system accepting their homeschool records, and he was able to enroll on grade level.

In the meantime, Jennie’s younger children are happy to continue in their home education, and she sees the blessing of both public and home education for their family. When asked what advice she would like to pass on to parents considering homeschooling, she says, “Choose your hard.” She explains that it’s hard to homeschool and it’s hard to send your child to public school. “So I think you just have to ask God for wisdom and discernment for each child.”

Jennie Mucher is the wife of Kevin Mucher, an Army chaplain, who entered military service in 1991 and has served as a chaplain since 2007. They have 7 children. They will graduate their oldest  on June 12, 2022 and their youngest is 8 months old. They have been stationed at Fort Drum (‘07-‘10), JBLM (‘10-‘12), Eglin AFB (‘12-‘15), Fort Hood (‘16-‘19), and Fort Bliss (‘19-present). Jennie has been homeschooling since 2009.

 

Resources:

Join Crystal and her guests each week as they bring relevant information to equip you, stories to encourage you, and content to inspire you. You don’t have to go it alone, tune in to the Military Homeschool Podcast, and be energized in your military homeschooling journey!

How to listen:

  1. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, or Stitcher
  2. Subscribe on your favorite podcast listening app
  3. Or listen right here (just scroll down)

Got questions, comments, or have show topic ideas? Contact Crystal via email at militaryhomeschoolpodcast@gmail.com or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

 Please subscribe, follow, and share with all of your military homeschooling friends!