}

What Does a “Typical” Homeschool Family Look Like?

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What Does a Typical Homeschool Family Look Like?A few weeks ago, someone in my local homeschool community expressed not feeling like she fit into the group because of some things that she felt made her different. Others chimed in right away to share similar feelings. Some expressed that since some of their kids attended public school or because they were school at home instead of unschoolers or other such things that they viewed as differences, they felt like outsiders. It struck me right away that I also feel that our family stands out for certain reasons and therefore often feel like we don’t fit into the homeschooler mould.

Human nature is that we want to feel like we belong, that we fit in. I don’t know that there is a typical homeschool family anymore though. As far as homeschool families go, there are working homeschoolers, single parents, military families, unschoolers, families with some kids in public school and some being homeschooled, families living abroad, first year, large families, families with an only child, adoptive families, blended families, former teachers now teaching their own children, and many others. There is so much diversity now among homeschool families that every homeschool family is a typical homeschool family!

I decided to share with you some actual homeschool families. Perhaps you will see a bit of yourself in one of their stories and it will help you to know that you are not alone. All of us are “normal” in our own unique way.

Real Life Homeschool Families:

Sam is married to her high school sweetheart who became a preacher and is a mother of six blessings. She went into the world of homeschooling kicking and screaming. Three of her children attended public school, the oldest making it to the sixth grade. She is determined that the youngest three will never step foot in a public school door.

While homeschooling always seemed like something other people did {and they just weren’t right in the head}, homeschooling has been the perfect fit for their family. Her home isn’t always quiet, her children are not great at math, and you will easily discover that fun and laughter {sometimes very loud laughter} abound far more than science projects.
Things changed a lot in the Kelley house when Sam went back to work over the summer, and now they find themselves in an even smaller homeschool niche, the working homeschool mom family. Although it isn’t ever easy, it is always worth it.

homeschool family 1

Caitlyn is the proud geek-mom to two children. Her kindergartner son loves superheroes, dinosaurs, and is using comic books to learn to read. Her toddler daughter doesn’t talk much but she’ll dance like a maniac if she hears classic rock or grunge music. Her husband served 8 years in the US Army and the family spent the last 3 years of his service living in England, which was an amazing experience that they thoroughly enjoyed. The whole family loves hiking, gaming, and listening to the How to Train Your Dragon series on audio book.

homeschool family 2

Alisha is the wife of Jason, a minister who travels all over the world teaching in Bible schools, churches and pastors’ conferences. She is the homeschooling mom of three kids, one of which recently graduated. As a work-at-home mompreneur, she is the owner a health and fitness business, as well as a mixed-media artist. She is the author of the book, God Said So (31 Bible Truths Every Kid Should Know). Alisha blogs at Flourish.

homeschool family 3

LaToya is a single mom of two boys. She is the first person in her family to homeschool. Her oldest son is all over the autism spectrum: SPD, ADHD, and ODD.

homeschool family 4

As a teen mom, Shannen beat the odds and stereotypes by diving into her newfound faith, finishing a bachelor’s degree, and starting her blended family (in that order). Shannen homeschools her 14 year old daughter, and is excitedly awaiting the homeschool years for her 3 year old and 8 month old in the coming years.
homeschool family 5

The Bussingers are a military family currently stationed in South Korea. Aadel stays home and unschools their three kids, ages 13, 8, and 3. She also works freelance writing jobs, blogs, and attends full-time online college working towards her counseling degree. This is their 9th year of homeschooling.

homeschool family 6

Stacey is the mom of 4 kids. Her oldest son is a freshman at college, her daughter is a sophomore in high school, her second son in 7th grade and her third son in 4th grade. Her oldest daughter follows a classical mode of education but due to learning needs, the youngest 2 boys follow a delight-directed education. Their annual income is less then $35,000 but they still manage to homeschool. Stacey works part-time for a homeschool publisher.

homeschool family 7The Browns are Christian homeschoolers who are now in their 6th year of schooling. Michael and Renee were married for 12 years before they were blessed with the unexpected blessing of a child through an adoption they had not sought out but gladly welcomed. Their one son who is now 10 years old doesn’t follow any typical grade level for learning. For a few subjects he is working in the 4th or 5th grade level while other subjects he is working at higher levels of learning. For example, he is currently working in high school level geometry. They chose to homeschool so that they could customize an education to meet his unique learning style while providing that education in a faith filled environment.  You can read more about the Brown family at Renee’s Blog, Great Peace Academy.

homeschool family 8Jen is a Catholic homeschooler. She and her husband recently moved their whole family to pursue a dream to be closer to the ocean. They have six children, all of whom joined their family through International adoption (from Russia, South Korea and the Caribbean). Jen is also a fitness enthusiast. She shares that homeschooling many children and children with special needs can be done!

homeschool family 9And then there’s me. Sharla is the mom of seven kids who apparently hasn’t had time to get a family picture since the one below at a wedding two years ago when she still had long hair! Five of her kids are adopted and four have special needs. One of her sons is graduated and her second oldest is attending his third year in a brick and mortar school and loving it while she homeschools her younger five kids. She works from home as a writer and blogger.

typical homeschool family #10Do you consider yourself a typical homeschool family? What are some of the things that you think make your family unique to homeschooling or that fit the mould you have envisioned for homeschoolers?

Comments

  1. Oh wow can I relate. I’m a mom of three bio with hopes and dreams to expand via adoption. My two oldest attended attended a traditional school until they graduated. My daughter was in a brick and mortar school until grade 8. Which we then pulled her and started schooling on line at home. The teachers plan her curriculum. But we plan how and when she learns it. We are not the typical around here. She does most of the work with out constant direction from me. Together we work on what speed she does it.
    I do like the fact that I can teach her about Christianity but it is not the reason we decided to go this way.
    We honestly take it year by year. She is currently working on her grade 10. “High school” is interesting.

  2. Love this post! Diversity in homeschooling!!
    We are all different but united in one thing — educating our children at home. We need to look for the common areas and support one another instead of drawing silly lines about what a homeschool family should look like. (There is no should!)

  3. I have to disagree with the point that these families look typical. They don’t. They look wholesome and diverse 😉

  4. I have just recently found your blog. Thanks for doing a post like this. I always feel like i don’t belong. I am a single working mom homeschooling an adopted son who is a different race than me and has special needs. Although our homeschool group is wonderful I do feel out of place mainly being the only single mom. It is nice to hear that there are others!

  5. I would like to say thank you to all of the single moms on this page who are homeschooling. How you became a single mom notwithstanding, I am proud of you for being committed to your children and making the decision to homeschool; I know it can’t be easy.
    As a homeschool graduate, I am a huge fan of parents being in charge of their children’s education and plan to homeschool my future children no matter what.
    God bless all you out in there in homeschool land! You rock! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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