A Formal Introduction
The HSBA post has now gone co-ed. Although you might remember my name from the “Best Homeschool Dad Blog” category, I am now one of the new monthly contributors and the first male blogger on the HSBA Post (and the only avatar with facial hair in the list on the right). Allow me to introduce myself to you and give you a snapshot into the very small world of homeschool blogging dads.
My wife and friends call me Fletch. My parents named me Andy (Andrew actually) and some people call me the MangoMan. Hey! I think someone wrote a song about that? I have been married to Kendra for more than 20 years and I believe in fairy tales, because not a day goes by that I don’t question how a guy that looks like Shrek ended up with the beautiful princess. This picture to the left sums it all up for me!
God has been ridiculously good to me. I am a dad to eight great kids. Our oldest son is graduating college and getting married this year, and our youngest son is turning five. In between we have both boys and girls throughout the age spectrum. Our kids are in college, high school, junior high, grammar school, and pre-school. When I blog about homeschooling, I blog from one who is right in the thick of it. More on that below.
We live in the middle of almond and peach orchards in the central valley of California and share a piece of property with my parents. They are in their 80s and live about twenty feet away from my dining room window. My folks have given me the gift of humor and optimism (I was always the kid looking for the pony in the pile of horse poop). Along with my kids, they are the impetus for most of the crazy stories that I write about on my blog.
During the day, I fix teeth to pay the bills, but when I’m not perched over a patient, you can find me listening to Jimmy Buffett, driving an old VW bus, stretching out a pair of my favorite flip-flops, searching for a warmer climate, blending a refreshment, brewing the perfect cup of coffee, chilling out with a mango kid, updating theMangoTimes, or arguing with my wife as she tries to thrown out another piece of my tie-dye wardrobe.
Homeschooling With Fletch
Let me be really honest, if it were not for my wife, homeschooling would probably not take place in our house. If it were just me, my kids would probably survive on a heavy diet of Columbo reruns, Red Vines, and black coffee. As a mom of eight, Kendra is a scheduler, a planner, and an organizer. She really glues all the pieces together in our house, while at the same time writing a book and speaking regularly. So, like most homeschool dads, I have a GREAT homeschooling mom that actually does the work! Truthfully, I love that we homeschool our kids. In fact, on the tough days when we all want to throw in the towel, I am the one who often reminds us why we chose to educate our kids at home.
Although I began theMangoTimes back in 1995, I began blogging officially in 2006. At the time, I knew everything there was to know about homeschooling, church, and theology, so I blogged regularly and shared my knowledge with everyone who would listen. (READ: young and prideful.) As time went on, I realized I really didn’t know that much, but I was really good at “repeating what other people had already said.” Then, through a series of medical emergencies, God gave our family a huge wake-up call (three of them in a row). For me personally, God stripped away my pride, showed me how religion had eaten away at my soul, and reawakened me to His gospel. As you stick around, you will find this is the basis for most of my blog posts.
The HSBA Post
Here on the HSBA post, I am speaking from a dad’s perspective and I hope to give a unique view into homeschooling and encourage both dads and moms who are grinding it out day after day. What I expect you will find in my posts will be encouragement to homeschool from a gospel-centered position, where your hope lies only in God and not in a system, curriculum, or lesson plan.