Today I’m joined by Vickie Smith, author of The Quiet Doll Queen and president of Ark Essentials Publishing.
Vickie, thank you for taking time out to chat with me. How did you arrive at your decision to homeschool?
I begged my mom to homeschool me way back before it was popular. I had a very stressful time as a young student. I always finished my work and just sat around class, reading. When I was an office volunteer, I’d get my homework for the day and be done in a short period of time. Public education just seemed so wasteful of a child’s time, especially in the younger years. I really didn’t want my own kids to deal with that. I also had my degree in elementary education and had taught preschool and kindergarten for a couple of years at a private school, so I felt very comfortable starting out.
After a time, you decided to send your children back to public school. What were the circumstances that led to this decision?
We lived in Oregon at the time and they had an awesome music program. My oldest daughter missed out starting in orchestra but jumped into early morning band in 5th grade. Then my second daughter started violin. Gradually I let my oldest take additional classes, skipping things she really didn’t need. When it came time to build our home I just couldn’t do everything. We told the kids if they wanted to keep up their music they’d have to go full time. I really didn’t know if I should send my son to kindergarten—that was my biggest decision. I finally told the Lord if He wanted Josh to attend kindergarten, He’d need to provide him appropriate school clothes. We received several large bags of hand-me-downs that fit the bill and I let him go. His teacher was wonderful. She was probably the best kindergarten teacher I’ve ever come across! My criteria was, would they get a better education attending public school or from me? She beat me hands down.
It’s not often that I get the chance to speak with parents who have had such positive experiences both with public and homeschooling. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Vickie, and I look forward to continuing our conversation in a little bit.