On being homeschooled

I’m not sure where to begin here. This is my first blog post, so hang with me. If I say something completely absurd, just blame it on homeschooling.

I’m Mathaus, the third child in our family. In my Mom’s Homeschooling High School post, she mentioned that my sister, Mary Hannah, and I would be writing sequels to her post, giving our views on how homeschooling affects us. So here I am, a little reluctant, but still typing away.

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Raising Kids with a Global Perspective Part 3 {In Which We See What The Children Think}

 Previous entries in this series begin here

Having a global perspective has impacted my life in countless ways. Hi, I’m Mary Hannah. I’m 16 years old, a junior in high school and ever since I was little, I’ve been taught to have a very wide worldview. I can remember many days of homeschooling where my mom taught us about Africa and about the civil unrest within many of its parts and why this was (and sadly still is) the case. I remember one day when we got to mummify a “dead pharaoh,” all the while reading about Egypt’s rich history and one of its still greatest resources, the Nile. I can remember my favorite Sonlight Core — the one on world cultures — and exalting the day that we finally moved from studying Australia to India (one of my favorite countries).

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Family Movies– animal edition

Our family has a thing for classic movies. Do we watch modern, current films? Sure. But honestly, most just don’t seem to be worth our time. We generally prefer a good board game, jigsaw puzzle, book, or conversation over a movie full of car chases and cursing– and that goes for Christopher and me, too.

But, as in many areas, we find ourselves in the middle of the road. We’re not anti-film, just as we don’t watch every Hollywood blockbuster that hits the screens. We just tend to be selective and to look for things that the whole family (or at least those who stay up past 7 p.m.) can enjoy together. Thankfully, we live within the boundaries of an amazing library system that gives us droves of options for free. Family friendly movies at no cost? Yes, please!

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Homeschooling high school

The truth is, we never intended to homeschool our kids long-term. Homeschooling was, for us, a reactive decision, not a proactive one, and it was made totally on the fly when Mary Hannah approached what was to be her kindergarten year. We happened to live in a really cruddy school district. We happened to be completely unable to afford private or parochial school. And we happened to be moving just weeks into the school year.

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Starting over

It’s true. You only get one shot at raising your family.


Because if you’re us, and you have two distinct sets of children that you’re charged with raising, you get the general equivalent of a second chance. One more shot to do it all over. The good stuff. The bad stuff. The sleepless nights, the first steps, the potty fails, the tea parties, the classic stories, the temper tantrums, the goodnight kisses. All of it.

It means one more season where Daddy is a hero, where a kiss makes it all better, where a cookie can make or break a day. It means revisiting a time that is more physically exhausting, yes, but more innocent and simple, too. Simple faith. Simple problems. Simple love.

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{The Twelve Days of Christmas} Days11-12

{This post is part of a series on celebrating The Twelve Days of Christmas.}

The focus for the last two days of Christmas hit an area near and dear to my heart: discipling.

The heart of our work in Nepal is discipling. We invest in the lives of others, we bring them truth and encouragement, we walk alongside them as they encounter real life circumstances and we cheer them on as they apply what they’ve learned. It’s a big job. An intimidating call. And yet, it’s not our most important discipling role. Not by a longshot.

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Raising kids with a global perspective part 2 {how to do it}

Earlier we looked why choosing to raise your kids with a deeper awareness of the world at large is a good thing.Today we’ll look at how our family has taken this goal to heart, and put that goal into action. In the next installment, you’ll hear from one of our older kids as she shares how having a global perspective has impacted her life.


Mary Hannah was 4 when I got the first inkling that, without meaning to, we had expanded her horizons. She was enrolled in a sweet preschool program at a local church, and it was late fall. As you probably know, autumn is the season when preschools trot out turkeys, cornucopias, pumpkins, and stories of the first Thanksgiving. My little girl was excitedly relaying the details of the upcoming class pageant, where she was slated to be an Indian. Costumes were being made in class, as a group project. The directions were clear: I was to send a white pillow case and contribute two of the other craft items. Letting Mary Hannah take the lead, I picked up the package of bright blue vegetable dye she spotted at the supermarket and some colorful silk squares from the Dollar Store. Always one to pull off the big “ta-da!” moment, she refused to tell me what she had in mind for her costume– all I knew was that her eyes lit up every time she told me how she had gotten the best part of the play. “I love Indians!” she swooned, and I shrugged. The week before, she had been smitten with pigs. Before that it was beauticians. This too shall pass, I figured.

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{The Twelve Days of Christmas} Day10

{This post is part of a series on celebrating The Twelve Days of Christmas.}

Being a parent means that your days seldom go “as planned.” There’s always the potential for chaos on a scale ranging from large to small. And that’s o.k. That’s part of the package. That’s the fine print.

And then there’s the addendum at the bottom of the contract we parents of special needs kids are issued– the line that promises that there are no average days, that there is just about a zero chance for routine as we once knew it.

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