Gwyn Ridenhour, living in the tween/teen world: My family has had quite the educational journey, as our public schools were unable to meet our profoundly gifted kids’ needs in the early years. After successfully advocating for a two-grade (and now three-grade) acceleration, we finally pulled our kiddos out of the school system and chose a free-er, faster, more exciting, and more engaging educational path.
Though we entered the ranks of the nation’s homeschoolers, we still remain devoted to the support and improvement of public education. For years we lived in a state (North Dakota) that allows part-time enrollment in public school; as a result, our kids enjoyed a “hybrid” education, and we have been able to truly individualize their studies and extra-curricular activities to balance intellectual stimulation, creative pursuits, and a healthy social life. In 2013, my son Ian re-entered public school full-time as a high school junior, and he graduated when he was just 14. My daughter Eva, after spending several years studying some with me, some via online classes, and some at the public school, is now trying out a wonderful charter school full-time that is geared toward project-based learning.
Ian is a 16-year old rock/jazz/funk musician, and released his first full-length album in September 2015, followed by his second in October 2016. You can listen to his music and check out his budding business (cds, YouTube videos, merchandise) at www.ianridenhour.com. Eva is an accomplished 13-year old writer and activist, baker, and actor. Visit www.evaridenhour.com to check out her five self-published books, watch her hilarious “Kinzy” videos, and enjoy her informative video lessons on the craft of writing.
As for me, I’ve done a little bit of everything, from social work to fundraising, creating a non-profit to working as a children’s librarian and educator. In addition to my SPC work, I now run a marketing service for indie booksellers. I have a particular affinity for excellent children’s books and resources, which I frequently share on this blog. I’m also working on a book project, which will say a lot of the things I say here, only (hopefully) better.
Rebecca Pickens, enjoying kids ages 5-10: The farm I’ve shared with my husband and three young sons has provided a perfect landscape for our family’s homeschooling adventures. Though we’ve recently relocated into town, the farm provided the kids opportunities to tend to a menagerie of animals. We still pass most days in a flurry of craft projects, science experiments and Lego games, along with lots and lots of reading.
Before my oldest son, Elias, turned 3, home education had never much been on my radar. But just after his birthday, he began asking to “do school.” I started teaching him at home and we had ourselves a fantastic time! Elias’s need to delve deep into subject matter, often choosing to focus on one subject for an entire morning, caused me to consider homeschooling for the long haul; we’ve never looked back. Jo Jo (7) and Walden (4) have followed in their brother’s footsteps and are passionate learners. Our homeschool is student-led and tends to be hands-on and messy, influenced in large part by the STEAM philosophy and time spent outdoors.
As an advocate for student-led learning, I love few things more than watching kids connect with inspiring learning resources. As a homeschool consultant, I’m grateful for the opportunity to help families determine what learning path and materials will best support their children’s needs.
I’m also an herbal educator and avid gardener interested in the promotion of sustainable agriculture and communities. My professional background includes work as a fundraiser for public policy in Washington, DC and as an educator in Asia for three years. In addition to writing for SPC, I also write regularly for Home School Life Magazine.
- Share this