Reviewer Focus: Mindy Reese

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Here we interview one of our newer reviewers! Her name is Mindy! Here is a link to her review: http://trendymindyknows.blogspot.com/

 

Hi Mindy, tell us about your family? 

 

I have been married to brad for 9 years. Pipiri is almost 5. We met at a gym and he works in the fitness industry.

What interests or hobbies do you enjoy?

I am a fitness fanatic:) i run, lift weights, strength train, and do yoga. We live an active fit lifestyle as a family. My husband is an avid golfer. And we try to instill the importance of being physical daily.

 

How long have you been homeschooling your kids? And what drew you to homeschooling?

I am a certified teacher K-6 and taught for many years. When pipiri was born i started reading to her basically the moment she came home from the hospital. I continued to read to her daily for the first year of her life. And by about 12 months she knew her alphabet and sounds. She knew sight words soon after that. And by the time she turned 2 she was reading. So it just sort of happened naturally. Reading daily turned into homeschool.

 

What is your favorite part or parts of homeschooling?

Never missing anything! I know her better than anyone. Ive seen every developmental milestone! I get to experience her completely. When she learns things for the first time i get to see the expression on her face. Such as playing violin.. We have been working on a mew song Lightly Row and after many meltdowns this semester and a lot of patience from me… She got it!!! An amazing accomplishment for a 4 yr old!

 

How do you balance family time, your blogging, your working out, and other responsibilities? It has to be hectic at times!

We don’t do TV or computers with Pipiri. So i only blog when shes in bed. Being that brad works at a gym.. I am able to workout there and he takes care of her during that time. We limit activities to one per day. Because i dont like to rush or be too busy.

 

What keeps you going when things aren’t going as well as you would have hoped? 

Oh gosh?!? This is a hard one. Pray. Leave the house. Go for walks. Turning loud music on and having dance party. Crafts. Baking. Seeing friends.
Taking lots of breaks. (Especially being that Pipiri is still only 4 but working on a 1st grade level all the way up to a 4th grade level in reading… Can be a huge challenge.) Taking breaks makes a huge difference. Being that she is young.. 4 but working at a much higher level…can be challenging. She reads at a 4th grade level sometimes even higher so i have to realize shes 4 and not 9. Taking breaks.. Many breaks thruout the day helps. Going for walks…listening to loud music helps us both. We then get to breathe and enjoy each other.

 

What is your favorite animal and your favorite color?

Favorite color to wear pink. Fav color to see blue and yellow. Fav color in my house blue. Pipiris middle name is Bleau.

 

What are some “field trips” you have taken that have created some awesome memories for you?

Farms. This fall with my Waldorf Homeschool group we visited several. And being that they are out of my element.. I love to see her in a natural environment with sweet animals…Hugging them.. Trying to cuddle them! She loves sheep!! Calls them. Wants to pick them up.

What did you love about WinterPromise?

I love how organized Autumn Spirited Hope is. How you can pick and choose if you need to. And how other resources are provided such as other books to read which we love!!

 

How would you like to improve as a mother and homeschooling Mom?

Staying on a schedule is always difficult for me. I try to do most of our school before 1 pm. Then we can clean, do errands, and do obstacle courses at my hubs work. 🙂

 

What does the future hold?

The future is always bright! For 2015 pipiri will be advancing into first grade being that we school year round.. That may be at the end of spring.

 

Thank Mindy! We are so glad that you love WinterPromise and we hope you the best!

A Journey Into WinterPromise: Kimberly Osborn (Part 2)

This is the second part of an interview with Kimberly. The first part is can be found here: https://winterpromise.com/journey-winterpromise-kimberly-osborn/

What about WinterPromise do you love? How does it fit your family? 

We are using Quest for the Ancient World and homeschooling is finally what I’ve always envisioned it to be!! I have both of my children in one core with a bunch of ways to bring the work up or down to their level.  The “spine” books they use are fabulous and “meaty” and spot on in History as far as I’m concerned! (Have I mentioned how important that is to me?! lol!)  The living books are wonderful, both my kiddos ask to read past the assigned chapters and we love our read-aloud time together. I suppose the reason for that is because we feel less stress about “getting everything done.”  While the lessons are informative and challenging, they are never too difficult to accomplish in a decent amount of time.  Both of my children are done with school by around lunchtime (even with their other subjects like math and Latin) so that they can pursue their own interests in the afternoon and evenings. It’s funny though, we always seem to discuss our lessons throughout the entire day!

There was a time I thought that more books meant better education, but what I’ve come to realize with Winterpromise is that the smaller selection of living books is actually a huge blessing!  They are of top quality and the schedule doesn’t rush us through them so we can really enjoy and discuss and digest the stories.  There are so many projects and hands-on activities, but part of the actual planning was to remind you that there no pressure to do them all – just the ones that sound interesting to us! We actually chose which we would do before we started the program so that I can be ready to go all in and have the items needed when they come up.

Of course, the best part for me are the teacher’s guides.  They are so incredibly thorough and simple to follow – I actually feel organized, something I could never quite achieve in so many of the other curriculums we’ve tried!  I cannot say how much that has blessed our experience in the classroom – for all of us!

Of course, the best part for me are the teacher’s guides.  They are so incredibly thorough and simple to follow – I actually feel organized, something I could never quite achieve in so many of the other curriculums we’ve tried!

Both of my children have told their father that we’re Winterpromise people for life! 🙂

 In what ways does homeschooling add to your family? 

We have noticed such a change in our family since we’ve begun homeschooling!  My husband and I have found such joy in watching our children discover, and achieve, find wonder in their surroundings, and form healthy friendships with other children that share their outlook.  We also love how close it has brought us while we, as parents, try to instill the importance of family life that we often see missing in our society today.

 

What would you say to anyone struggling to find a good fit in curriculum for their family?

Oh, goodness!  Do NOT give up just because one curriculum doesn’t fit!!  Keep researching, keep going to those conventions, keep asking your friends!  And don’t be afraid to try new things!  I did, on a total whim, and it has changed all of our lives for the better!! 🙂

 

Thanks so much Kimberly! We loved hearing from Kimberly about how WinterPromise has impacted their lives.

If you a story you want to share, email us at “michaelforwinterpromise@gmail.com.”

A Journey into WinterPromise: Kimberly Osborn (Part 1)

autumn-pathHello WinterPromise family! As a company we want to impact families. One of the primary joys we get is receiving a personal testimony from someone that has been impacted by our materials. In this post we had the opportunity to hear first hand from Kimberly about her journey in homeschooling and what led her to WinterPromise.

We hope that you are just as encouraged by this story as we were. We haven’t known Kimberly for that long but we already feel a deep personal connection with her. This interview is going to be split into two posts. Here is our interview and part 1 of her story. 🙂

 

Hello Kimberly, tell us about your family?

We are a family of four that live south of Tulsa in Oklahoma.  We have a small farm on ten acres with goats and chickens and a subsistence garden. We are surrounded by hundreds of acres owned by my husband’s family so we also hike, hunt, fish, have horses and cattle to enjoy…we just love to be a part of nature!

Kimberly tell us about your journey into and through the homeschooling world?

Honestly, in the beginning, homeschooling was not ever something that was even on my radar!  I knew people who did it, but I was working full time while I was finishing up a degree in History.  Our family life-style wasn’t at all conducive to the idea.  But, of course, the Lord is always at work in our lives, usually in ways we could’ve never dreamed! As my graduation approached my husband and I started noticing some very disturbing shortcomings in our public school system that were directly affecting our children, and my husband had just taken a job that required he put in some very difficult hours (meaning he would be home at very strange times.)  We had good friends at the time who homeschooled, and just during a simple, everyday conversation with them, the Lord called me to homeschool!  At graduation, my favorite professor asked me what I would do after graduation and when I told him I was going to homeschool my children, he was quite surprised!

Which leads to the harder side of homeschooling for us…convincing people that our kiddos wouldn’t end up “crazy” or “unsocialized”.  We all have similar stories, I’m sure, but it was tough to navigate.  And so were all of the curriculums out there!  We literally tried everything I could find.  I think my background in History made things even more difficult as I was so very critical of the programs we came across.

“We all have similar stories, I’m sure, but it was tough to navigate. And so were all of the curriculums out there!”

Sonlight was one of the first that we tried and for a while it was a great fit.  My children love to read and there are tons of quality books in their program and boy did I LOVE their teacher’s guides!  But I started to notice that ALL we did was read – they hardly ever offered anything hands on!  Sometimes, their emphasis almost seemed to be too much on the living books and not enough on the actual subjects we were to be studying.  Science felt so disjointed with 8-10 books and the experiments weren’t always very easy to reproduce…or even successful for us! It was also exhausting having my children in different cores and after spending what I did on the material, I felt so much pressure to do it all, which never seemed to happen.  We all became very discouraged.  My Fathers World was another we tried and while I know it is a fabulous fit for so many, we couldn’t find a rhythm with it.  I’m not sure how to even explain why it didn’t work for us, other than we felt like it just wasn’t a very deep program.  My kids were bored with the repetitive feel of the work, and I disliked the shallow (and sometimes very watered down) approach to History.  I could never get the Science to line up with the ages of my children either, it was either too hard or much too easy.

“I wanted the whole. I was beginning to worry that I was ruining my children’s education with all of the switching we were doing…”

Of course, we tried several other curriculums as well, always Charlotte Mason as I loved her idea of education.  Ambleside seemed wonderful at first but the organization and planning of the daily/weekly work was VERY time consuming for me.  I burned out after only a few months!  There were parts of Queens homeschool materials that we loved but never the whole program, and Simply Charlotte Mason is wonderful in parts, just never the whole.  I wanted the whole. I was beginning to worry that I was ruining my children’s education with all of the switching we were doing…

…and then I found Winterpromise!

That is only part 1 of our interview! Have you had to go through a similar journey? Have you discovered programs with not enough substance? Have you been overwhelmed by the amount of prep-time involved? Do you love reading but want a program that gives you some hands-on learning as well?

If you have please visit our Themed Program pages. Or go to our FAQ’s if you have any questions about WinterPromise. If you need to talk to someone call our office at 802-372-9200. We want you to not only feel like you handle homeschooling, but that you also LOVE your homeschooling.

Thanks Kimberly for your story! Part 2 of “A Journey into WinterPromise:Kimberly Osborn” will be posted next week! 🙂