Hi! My name is Kym and I’m honored to be a contributor here at The Homeschool Post. I’ve been homeschooling for about 17 years, and blogging for the past several years at Homeschool Coffee Break. My husband and I are originally from Canada, but we’ve lived in Maryland since 1997. We have four children – two that have graduated from our homeschool, and two students.
Whenever I meet fellow homeschoolers, I like to know a little about who they are and how they got started on their homeschooling adventure, and share a little about myself too. I have to admit, it’s easier to answer someone’s questions than it is to just talk or write about myself; and since I love chatting over a cup of coffee, I’ll sip mine and answer some questions that I imagine you might ask.
So you’re from Canada – what part of Canada? What brought you to the USA?
I grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and Henry grew up in southern Ontario. We met while attending college in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We married in 1987 and lived in Calgary. Henry was in the greenhouse business, and there are more jobs in that industry further south, and he dreamed of living in Florida anyway, so he applied to the green card lottery in 1992 and through an amazing series of coincidences (organized by God!), finally got a job offer in New Jersey in 1993. We were there for a couple of years before moving to Maryland where he manages a wholesale greenhouse.
Tell me about your kids.
We have four children, three boys and a girl. Our oldest son graduated from our homeschool in 2010 and went straight to broadcast school. He finished in February 2011 and immediately got a radio job! He’s an on-air radio personality on the weekends, and works at a restaurant during the week. Our second son graduated in 2013 and currently has no firm plans to go to college. He works at a restaurant as well. Landon is 16 and in Grade 10. He enjoys sports and video gaming, and is involved in Civil Air Patrol. Kennady is 13 and in Grade 8. She loves music, art, and reading. She takes piano and guitar lessons, and sings in a children’s chorus.
How did you get started homeschooling?
I’d never even heard of it until a homeschool family began attending our church in Calgary when we were newlyweds! As we got to know them a little bit, I was intrigued, and my questions were more along the line of: “so how do you do that?” rather than: “is that even legal?” By the time we were expecting our first child, I had pretty much decided that we would homeschool, but I still had no idea how to start or what to do. We had moved to Maryland just months before our oldest would be starting Grade 1 and I started researching. Thankfully, my husband’s boss homeschooled his kids at that time, and we met a family at church that homeschooled, so I was able to find an umbrella group and we jumped in. It didn’t take long before we made many lasting friendships and found wonderful support within the local homeschooling community. How rewarding it is to be able to live out the Scripture that God laid on our hearts to challenge us to homeschool:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. ~Deuteronomy 6:4-7
How would you describe your homeschool method?
Well, that first year I purchased a Grade 1 curriculum set, all from one publisher, but that was the only year I did that! I’ve been describing our style as “eclectic” ever since. To me, that means I am willing to pull together curriculum and resources in any way that works for our family. We personalize and add and substitute, and allow each kid to work to their individual strengths and interests; while encouraging them to reach for high standards in all subjects. I’ve used many different kinds of curricula over the years, and made up some of my own unit studies as well. An eclectic style and willingness to try new things has served us well for the past couple of years as I’ve been reviewing curricula on my blog.
How did you get into blogging?
A couple of friends in an online community started homeschool blogs, and I figured I might as well try it too. Eventually I got started with reviewing homeschool products, and I truly enjoy being a little part of the homeschool blog-iverse.
Do you do anything else besides drink coffee and blog?
Sometimes. I love to read, especially historical fiction. I love music so I sing in a community chorus and I am involved in leading worship at our church. I’m not crazy about housekeeping or cooking, but I do like to bake; and Henry and I love finding new places to eat barbecue as well as experimenting with smoking foods at home.