We are a Philly family who began homeschooling at age 8 (second grade for our son, third grade for our daughter) shortly after they had started the 2016-17 school year. It was a decision made very quickly, but not hastily, and as their mom and primary teacher I can say it is the best thing I have ever done. I have never felt so alive. My kids are more independent, curious, and vested in their own lives and the control they have over them than I have ever seen them be.
We are a household with three adults: Mom, Dad, and a chosen-family — aren’t we all each other’s chosen family here? — older brother, who is studying to be a Neurochemist and who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Dad owns a UX consulting firm called Chamjari Interactive. We also own Ninjagoat Nutritionals, makers of FatCoffee, and our business strives to employ as many people on the autism spectrum as possible. Our newest venture is Try It Aut, a subscription box service for — and by — individuals on the autism spectrum (although we find the boxes are a treat for anyone).
As the co-founders of Parade of Spirits, Liberty Lands (formerly Krampuslauf Philadelphia), much of how we learn centers around new ways to make masks, light things up, share new customs, GROW our own costumes (really) and preserve folkloric and festal traditions. Our daughter is a singer, dancer, songwriter and comic-book artist; our son, an engineer, b-boy, fire-dancer, and drummer. Both are stilt-walkers who are learning jiujitsu and who can (with help) solder a battery pack to some LEDs to make a nice bright lantern for marching in the streets with. They study Korean, volunteer with community organizations, and are here to learn that they do not need to grow up and go to college to “get a good job”. They can make any “job” they want. They can do what they love with their lives.
We strive to see that they are independent, empathetic, confident and thoughtful. They know that no one’s family is perfect, and that there are always struggles, but that love is a choice and a commitment, and that they are very loved.
They are also learning fractions.
I have never felt better about my life since homeschooling my son and daughter. And we have only just begun.