I’m Bria. Above all I love the Lord Jesus Christ and that love has shaped everything else I do. I have been married to Bryan for twenty three years, and we are blessed to be the parents of four amazing kids.
Even before we had our first child, I knew I wanted to homeschool our children. So I like to think we have been homeschooling for twenty-one years – ever since our oldest daughter was born. But if you like to calculate using traditional school years, I am only mid-way through my seventeenth year of homeschooling.
As in every other homeschool, we have made a lot of mistakes. Now I joke that it took me ten years to figure out how I wanted to homeschool. Through the years I focused on a couple basic principles that shaped how we schooled every day.
My basic principles
First, I wanted to give my kids an excellent education. I could be riddled with guilt if I think too long about how I could have done this better. Still, we did well. Now that I have two high school graduates in college, I have a measure of how I prepared them for college coursework and living life as young adults.
Next, I wanted to captivate my little learners. Learning should be interesting, engaging, and even challenging.
In order to grab their interest and captivate their minds, we used a lot of books. We tried to use good books. The best sort of books. I use the verb “tried” on purpose, because it didn’t always happen; but it was my goal. And we used a lot of them.
In the end none of that would matter if we didn’t cultivate deep family relationships. If the way we homeschooled made my kids bitter and resentful, we changed the way we schooled. If I couldn’t humanly accomplish all that a curriculum asked of us, we switched curriculum. I want to love every homeschool day! I want my kids to love being homeschooled.
Homeschooling isn’t what it used to be
I come from a homeschooling family. My step-dad and mom homeschooled my younger siblings from kindergarten through graduation. My brothers and sister went on to earn degrees in physics, engineering, history, law, spanish, and accounting. But better, they are all wonderful people and I love being their sister! When I need advice from a successful homeschool mom, I know who to call.
In the early years, back in the 1980’s, homeschooling was hard. In spite of all the challenges, the homeschooling pioneers achieved great things.
There are many reasons why it is much easier to homeschool today. But my mom and I often talk about some of the good things that have been lost. While you and I enjoy what homeschooling looks like today, let’s not lose sight of what made it great in the first place. Thus the title of my blog, Old School Homeschool.
What I want to share with you
I’m so glad you’re here (and have read to the bottom of the page)! I am thrilled to share the wisdom I have gained over the years, and by extension, my mother’s wisdom as well. I hope on these pages you find encouragement to love God, love your family, and put all your energy and effort into your calling as a homeschool mom.
I will not lay out what I consider the perfect curriculum. In fact, I still don’t know what the perfect one looks like. You will not be able to school just like I have. Or rather, if you school as I have, you will pick a handful of favorite ideas from my blog and combine those with favorite ideas from ten other homeschoolers as well. Put them all together and create a way of homeschooling that suits you, as the mother, and each of your children. You can love homeschooling and know that every sacrifice you make is worth it.
A few notes on the photos you see
Our family photo at the top of the page was taken several years ago. It is one of my favorite family pictures! I want you to feel you know who we are. At the same time, I do have children who don’t want to be the poster children for a homeschool blog. That’s okay. This blog is about me – and you – and practical how-to advice. It is not about my children’s life stories. So when you look at that photo, imagine all of us a few years older and wiser.
More importantly, most of the images on my blog are from Unsplash. The website boasts thousands of beautiful, free pictures.
I love photography, but it is one of many hobbies that I don’t have time to pursue the way I would like to. (Another homeschool sacrifice.) I’ve taken a couple pictures you see here. However, overall the images are not snapshots of my life. If you begin to feel a twinge of envy, thinking these represent how beautiful my life is, remember that I am probably also covetous of the beauty they represent. The ache of beauty should make us ardently long for heaven.