Hello 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! 🙂