Monday, September 16, 2013

Megan: Part 3 - Homeschooling and Homesteading

 
Click here to start from the beginning and meet Megan and her "JClan"
 
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The fact that Megan has six children is enough to impress me, but this Momster has some skillzzzz.  Not only is she keeping it together with her very own basketball team, but she is doing so with grace.  I'm am inspired by Meagan, and the many lessons she is teaching her children by homeschooling and homesteading. 
We all know about homeschooling, but what is homesteading?
 
Let's dive into the scholarly website that is Wikipedia:
"Broadly defined, homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs, and it may or may not also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale."
What does homesteading mean for Megan and her family? 
 "...It's really more than homesteading for us.  For us, it's more of getting back to the way life was 100 years ago.  It's more than raising chickens, rabbits, turkeys, and growing a garden (soon to add goats and hopefully a cow).  We use cloth for everything from diapering to napkins, we make laundry soap, fresh breads, and more.  We've always wanted to do for ourselves."
Megan and her husband are "prayerfully looking for a bigger piece of land" so they can have a full-blown farm one day!  If you are interested in learning more, you can follow Megan and her family along on their homesteading journey on her blog, Heartland Homestead.
 
See why I'm impressed?!  I would love to be able to "live off the land", but considering I can't keep my three vegetable pots alive, I'm not sure how I could manage to keep my family alive :)
 
Since Megan and her family are so involved with homesteading, it sort of makes sense to me that she would also homeschool her children.  It's all about self-sufficiency, right?  But why did Megan choose to homeschool?  She clarifies that her and hubby both have a "legacy of teachers" in their families, but goes on to explain, "When I was in high school and college I nannied for a wonderful Christian family that has 6 children.  They are all home-schooled.  After seeing this first-hand and knowing how the [public] school system was declining, I knew I wanted to homeschool!"
 
As expected, homeschooling is a "fun adventure". 
"We have lots of structured learning, but we also have lots of 'rabbit trails'.  Someone might ask about something or get interested in something and we will devote our learning time to those things.  They all have a love of learning because they get to learn their way.  They are good at self-teaching and teaching each other.  Homeschooling gives you the benefit of learning about your child and helping them learn in more than one way.  "
I know what you're thinking.  Megan goes on to explain her children's social skills.
"...they are well-adjusted, socialized children.  They can go to Marine Corps events and other places and know how to be quiet, and they can speak to adults with ease.  Now, they have their moments, but most of the time they are great anywhere out of our home.  They are not 'stuck' at home; we are involved in sports with the county, AWANA, children's choir, and a co-op of sorts through our church (a very big homeschooling supporter)."
Megan understands that homeschooling is not the route every parents choose to take, but she does "hope that [every parent] will choose to play the biggest role in their child's education!".  Megan goes on to say that a "Children's learning habits are formed by the time they are 3-years-old.  We have six children from infant to 4th grade and they all learn together.  Even if you send your children to public school, please be their #1 teacher."
 
How does Megan keep an accomplished routine between everything she is juggling?
 
"Each 'J' has a buddy.  They stick with them, know where they are, and help them get things done.  We are all about teamwork!  We are all a part of this family and we all have responsibilities to this family.  Our oldest two take care of the animals with the help of the next two under them.  Joanna is in charge of laundry; washing, drying and helping to fold.  Jordan is in charge of dishes; load, unload, put away anything in the bottom cabinets, wipe down kitchen counters.  Joseph is learning to be the "floors man", he vacuums and mops - not always great, but it gets us by between the once a week time it is done by someone older who wants to earn money.  Johnathon is learning to be our "trash man"; he empties all cans into our big one inside and then Jacob takes it to the cans outside.  The JGals share a room and so do the JBoys, so they take turns taking care of their room.  The JClan has 1 bathroom, so the JGals have 3 days a week to clean and the JBoys have 3 days a week to clean (I'm assuming Megan gives it a good cleaning once a week)."
 
Megan also has a very supportive church family and also knows many mothers with large families, and can "pick their brains", but also recommends these resources:
 
Titus2 - Encouraging, exhorting, equipping Christian families in Jesus Christ.
Large Family Logistics - The art and science of raising a large family.
Above Rubies - Encouraging women in their high calling as wives, mothers, and homemakers.
Heart of Wisdom - Publications promoting Bible-focused homeschooling.
Raising Arrows - Bringing blunt-edged babes to finely sharpened arrows.

Do you have questions regarding homeschooling or homesteading?  Megan would love to answer them, and can be contacted at heartlandhomestead3@gmail.com.
 
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Please stay tuned as I share ways in which Megan earns money from home,
how you can support her, and a *giveaway*!
 
 

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