Our Homeschool Adventure

Have you ever done something that challenged everything you thought you knew about life and parenting, and yet, you knew deep down that it was the right thing to do? The kind of thing that would set off the best adventures and opened your eyes to the opportunities that are yet to come?

This year, I took a chance on the possibility of living my life more fully and making an impact in my kids’ development. 2015 will forever be the year where my husband and I decided to homeschool our oldest two kids, a decision that was just that, life-changing.

Fuentes kids being homescholedTheir curriculum is both online and with traditional textbooks

A year ago, I knew of a couple of families that homeschooled their children and thought to myself: I could never do that. I don’t have the patience, I’m not that organized, and my kids would resent me for pulling them out of regular school and they’d miss their friends.

Until, sometime in the middle of last year, in the heart of my busiest travel season ever, I realized that I wanted to share the moments I was so blessed to experience with my children as well. Book tours, events, and work travel would become shared adventures. I missed my children terribly when on the road, and even when they were gone at school most of the day.

crafts at home are part of homeschoolingCrafts related to their studies are part of their day

The second biggest reason for homeschooling my oldest two kids is because homework time brought out the worst of me as a parent and my kids. At the end of the day, they were tired. They had given their attention to their teachers and when it came to doing homework they were mentally checked out. Naturally, we fought a lot, and I didn’t like the type of parent they saw during that one hour or more before they were rushed off to activities.

The moment I realized that someone else was getting the best of my children’s time it was as if I was struck by lightning. I realized I needed to make changes (and big sacrifices), so I could get that time, for me.

library visitsWeekly public library visits help my kids explore the subjects they are interested to learn more about

And that was when a seed was planted and I begun discussions with the kids that next year something had to change; for me, for them, for our family. I didn’t know what life would look like, but I knew it had to be different. Just like that, I decided to homeschool, taking it one year at a time, and never looked back.

I will say, homeschooling isn’t for the weak of heart. It takes creativity to find activities to occupy the “school hours,” discipline to get through the curriculum you have planned, and the wisdom to know when your child needs to learn differently. We’ve already switched curricula twice and while they are not perfect, I feel like my kids are now more open to trying new things. Plus, the age-old questions: “How was your day?” and “What did you learn today at school?” are gone from our conversations. Instead, I too am learning to talk to my kids about life, without being rushed or tired after a long day; not because I want to check on how their day went, but because I am genuinely interested in what they think about what they are learning and doing.

So, how does a full-time working entrepreneur pull off homeschooling? Not without getting up earlier (and going to bed when the kids go to bed), drinking a lot of coffee, scheduling everything, and help -both at home and in the home office.

homeschooling on the goHomeschooling can be done from anywhere. Here, I took my kids to a café because it was a nice day

Finally, the ability to travel with my children is perhaps the biggest reason homeschooling was a priority. I’ve made it my mission to explore the world, one country at a time, with them. I want my kids to know and learn about other cultures -including my Spanish heritage and language, at times when it’s most convenient for my husband and me, without being limited by the school calendar.

Just recently, I took my oldest two kids to Spain for two weeks where we had the time of our lives. We are already planning the answer of “where to next?” Oh, and don’t worry, the little one will come with us too!

homeschool allows me to travel with my kids Homeschooling allows me to travel with my kids – Photo: recent trip to Spain

I’m often asked how long I plan on homeschooling my kids for (among a hundred other questions), and my answer is always the same: I am taking it one year at a time; for now, we want to live life to the fullest, as a family.

I partnered with Abbott to share our story as a part of their LIFE. TO THE FULLEST initiative, and I encourage you to visit the site and be inspired by other stories from all over the world where people have their own unique ideas about how living fully looks and feels. But there’s one thing we share: we each want to live the best life we can.

November 2, 2015

52 thoughts on “Our Homeschool Adventure”

  1. Rose says:

    Homeschooling your children is so inspiring to me and truly a blessing!

  2. Mariana says:

    I would love to this with my kids, but I’m afraid they are not going to like not being around their friends every day.

  3. Aubrey says:

    Wow, what an amazing thing to do!

  4. Francesca says:

    We started homeschooling 3 years ago and I have never regretted it! It is such a great opportunity for your family.

  5. Mila says:

    Laura, what a great chance for your family to experience this together and be able to exactly know what your kids are learning.

  6. Bree says:

    Love reading about homeschooling! Currently debating if I should start…

  7. Tara says:

    How awesome!

  8. Mary says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience! Would love to hear some more.

  9. Marissa says:

    Homeschooling is such a blessing and adventure. I love it!

  10. Eyelyn K. says:

    I love homeschooling my kids. Can only recommend it!!

  11. Jill says:

    what an adventure!

  12. Karen H. says:

    I absolutely love homeschooling kids and I am so glad we made this transition a couple of years ago.

  13. Vanessa says:

    Wow, what an awesome opportunity.

  14. Grace says:

    What a fantastic experience!

  15. Taryn says:

    Hi Laura! I’m sorry if someone has already asked this of you, but would you be willing to share some of the curriculums you have found? Even the ones that weren’t best for you guys? There are so many out there! I’d love a list of a few that we could research for our own family 🙂 Thank you!!

    1. Laura Fuentes says:

      Hi Taryn,
      We tried Abeka and liberty university online. there were some technical limitations to liberty and we couldn’t just select the courses we wanted. Abeka didn’t hold my kid’s interest and they found it to be a bit “cheesy” for their taste (they weren’t into the sing-alongs). Many states offer their K-8 curriculum online and resources on that. That’s where I would check first. Ultimately, we chose Standford’s Gifted and Talented program for Math and English and went to a tutoring center for Social Studies and Science. This year will be similar.
      There are a lot of homeschool blogs out there and they have a lot more knowledge than I do. I do my own thing and go from there. I’ll be writing about this soon.

      1. Amanda says:

        Hi there! Did you ever write an updated version of homeschooling? Also how Standford’s gifted and talented if working out for everyone? If so, could you by chance point me in that direction please. I am starting my kiddos on Stanford’s Gifted and Talented this coming school year, so excited!

        1. Laura Fuentes says:

          I’ll be writing one very soon about this year. We’ve learned a lot. Standford’s gifted and talented was difficult for a child to follow and self-teach -at least in our experience. My kids did well with it but don’t expect your child to teach themselves. I realized that if I was going to sit down with my child to teach them math (or any subject) it was best to pull out a textbook and pen and paper -I found this to work best this year. We used our K-12 curriculum with workbooks and they did really well. We had the kids take the IOWA test (standarized testing) and they are on par with their grade. I hope this helps! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *