Home Ed Q&A with Sarah Ruth from Rabun County, GA, USA

Today I am interviewing Sarah Ruth from the USA who Home Educates her children. Grab yourself a cuppa and read all about how she educates her children, what a typical Home Ed day looks like and what advice she would give to others just starting their Home Ed journey.

You can follow their Home Ed adventure over on their blog here and Instagram here:

When and why did you decide to Home Educate? 
I taught in the public schools until I was expecting our first son. Interacting with the system first hand solidified my desire to home educate. I want our world view taught to our children. I desire to influence and help guide them as they discover and explore various ideas, theories, and the world in general. Plus, I want to know them and get as much time with them as I can!

What kind of approach do you take? 
We are fairly eclectic but our boys are young. I lean most towards Charlotte Mason. The emphasis on appreciating nature, foregoing formal education until 6 years, and the love of literature all speak to my natural inclinations in educating our boys. We also loosely use aspects of Montessori and Waldorf theories. 
Where do the children do most of their work? and do they distract each other? 
Do they distract each other? I nearly laughed so loud I woke the sleeping babies! My boys are currently 6, (almost 4), and 2. My 6 year old does a simple math lesson 3-4 days a week for 15-20 minutes. The rest of our learning is read alouds, handicrafts, baking, etc. When we do our math, it is typically in our school room. Our school room is a lovely all season room with a full length of windows spanning the entire space. The natural light and view of the woods and mountains makes it a favorite space in our home. We also do messy crafting in this space (which is a lot of our education at the moment). However, we spend a minimum of two days a week out of doors for 4-5 hours. We consider this “school”. The boys play freely and explore at Will with friends. We may read a simple story, we build fires, we occasionally bring a scavenger hunt or First Nations inspired craft or activity. 

What is your favourite thing about Home Education? 
I enjoy living life daily with my children. My husband and I have set up our employment where I teach online from home in the wee hours of the morning and he works 2-3 days a week in landscaping with his elder brother. It is a beautiful way of life where we eat meals as a family, we hike as a family, we have time together. I value this so much! It is why I had children - so I could know them and live life with them. 

What subjects do you teach and do you stick to a timetable? 

Currently, I only specifically section out Math. However, we learn all subjects naturally through our reading and outdoor times. Science happens constantly when the boys are examining bugs, the sky, how water moves, etc. We have a gentle rhythm to our days, but not a timetable. We begin with Basket Time which has items that change monthly. We cover devotions, scripture memory, math games, hymn study, and phonics in this basket. We do this at breakfast most days of the week. After, we either head to the woods for 4-5 hours or we begin Math. On the days we do math, I tend to have a baking or craft activity afterwards. We also play lots of board games that inspire thought and naturally teach. Finally, we do read alouds while the boys play with play doh or their doll houses. We also have a Poetea once weekly. 

What do you find most difficult and why?

I don’t get many breaks and I plan all of our schooling. I wake to work at 3:20am and go all day until bed time. Sometimes that is just hard. Hard to be joyful. Hard to be selfless. 

How do you react to people asking about socialisation, do your children easily socialise and work well with others? 

With three little guys, I am fast learning how my children socialize is purely personality based. I have one who wants friends desperately but can be overbearing or too shy depending on the day. I have one who is naturally dynamic and easy to get on with. He likes people, he makes people laugh, he is a great friend. All of my boys seem to get on fine when other children are about, however they all have strengths and weaknesses like any child. Honestly, I find the socialization that occurs in home education is more natural and healthy than that at the public school. Our boys interact daily with people of various ages, skill levels, education, etc. They help me shop, they go to homeless shelters, restaurants, the library, etc. 

Have family supported your decision? 

Yes and no. The most immediate family we see daily does. Some siblings and extended family find it strange and ostracizing. 

How do you incorporate Physical Education into your Home Ed days? 

Well, we are outdoors for hours 2-3 days a week. We also like to count by skipping, jumping, etc. My husband does some exercising and stretching about 3 days a week and the boys often jump in. 

Do you plan and how far in advance? 

I do. I like to gather materials and being setting up a basket or folder about a month out. 

Do you spend a lot of money on resources? 

We budget about $600 annually for all home education materials (this includes read alouds, paper, crafting supplies, co-op fees, curriculums, etc). I have not spent that much yet, I have a separate fund for this and am letting what we don’t spend roll over so we have it for a year we might need extra. 

How do you make time for yourself?

I don’t. Haha. Truth is, I get very little time for myself right now. Maybe once every other month I get a couple hours with one of my favorite mentors. I do drink hot coffee and enjoy quieter time in the early mornings when I am working. I know this is a season though. 

What advice would you give to someone just starting their Home Ed journey? 

Take your time. Listen to other more experienced mamas. Read up on the different philosophies of education. There is so much out there. Find what works for your crew and be okay when you need to change it up.

A big Thank You to Sarah Ruth for taking part in today's Home Ed Q&A! If you're a Home Educating family and would like to take part then please get in touch at theworldistheirclassroom@outlook.com or message me over on Instagram here.


Popular posts from this blog

Home Education Guide

Home Ed Q & A with Yusra!

Home Ed Q&A with....Gemma from Our Muslim Homeschool