About

Shirley MLT

Hello! I’m Shirley

Homeschool mom of 2

I am so glad you are here!

I’ve been homeschooling my two beautiful children, Micah (7 years old) and Ellie (5 years old) for about 3 years now.

I am married to my amazing and loving husband of 10 years, Naofumi. He is an active duty U.S. Military Chaplain.

I graduated with my BSN (Bachelor in Science of Nursing) from Indiana University South Bend and worked as a Medical/Surgical Registered Nurse for 9.5 years in Indiana and California.

When my son was 3 years old (and my daughter was just 1), we decided that I would stop working so I can focus on taking care of the kids and home.

My son was just around that PreK age when people were asking me if I had plans to put him in preschool.

To be honest, as tired as I was, I didn’t want him to go to school yet. Although, some days I did wish that I could just send him off and get a little break because he was (and still is) a very active boy.

Just the thought of him not being around for most of the day made me feel empty and just downright sad!

So, I started to look into homeschooling.

Both my husband and I were never homeschooled. In fact, I went to public school all my life and my husband attended private school.

The idea of homeschool was very foreign to us. I asked a whole lot of questions when starting out. Spent an insane amount of hours researching about homeschooling.

I read books and online research papers and articles, and observed the homeschool kids in my circle of friends at the time.

We had so many conversations around the kitchen table on homeschooling; which curriculum to choose, what would our schedule be like, what is our budget for homeschool, or if it’s even the right choice for us.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could do it.

I had so many doubts and reasons why I shouldn’t homeschool our kids.

When my husband joined the military, it helped solidify our plans to homeschool our children. Since we will be moving around a lot, we thought it would be a good idea to just have a consistent education at home.

Also, with the help and encouragements from friends, along with the great wealth of information and support I find in homeschool blogs and Facebook groups, I pressed on.

Now, I want to share with you, and anyone who is thinking about starting homeschool, all the information that I have gathered and still am gathering today.

It’s okay to have doubts about homeschooling, in fact, I think it’s totally normal (especially for those of us who went to public or traditional school our whole lives).

I want to be your homeschool supporter, encourager, and friend.

The motto around here is:

Homeschool Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Let’s Do This Together.

Aside from researching about homeschooling, you will find me knee deep in financial independence blogs, finance spreadsheets, and the Vanguard funds page.

I am all about budgeting, saving, and planning for an early retirement. Our family has been on a journey and we are half way to reaching financial independence.

I am also a milk chocolate lover (none of that dark chocolate stuff lol!) and a recovering office supplies hoarder. 😉

MY APPROACH

We are unit-based, relaxed homeschoolers.

I am an advocate for delayed formal education.

Not easy to say for someone who has attended public school since the age of 4.

I have nothing against schools, in fact, I had a very positive public school experience with some of the most caring teachers and coaches anyone could ask for.

In the beginning stages of my homeschooling quest, we were recommended to consider reading books from Dr. Raymond Moore by dear friends of ours.

Dr. Raymond Moore is a pioneer in homeschooling and best known for his 1975 book, Better Late Than Early. In the book, he shares evidence-based research that children are not psychologically ready for formal learning until age 8 and sometimes even later for boys.

Him and his wife, Dorothy, are considered the grandparents of homeschooling. You can read more about Dr. Raymond Moore here.

I also read articles on early education researches from HarvardStanford, and many other from a list found here.

I found that there really isn’t a need to push our children into formal education so early.

We should allow our young children ample time to be outdoors,  and enjoy unstructured play, imaginative play, and hands-on activities.

These types of play can help kids with important skills like self-regulation, creativity, exploration, and so much more.

I really appreciate organizations such as Defending the Early Years and Alliance for Childhood, that speak up for the importance of play in early childhood education.

With that said, I am not against a structure of some sort, routines, and rules. I think finding a balance is important and this can be difficult at first.

Since we started homeschooling, there’s been a lot of trial and error to find this balance.

Right now, I think we have a pretty good system down. Not perfect, but a lot more enjoyable.

You can read more about how we homeschool, our structure, routine, and curriculum and activity choices here.

Kids playing in nature
play based learning

MY VALUES

We are Bible-believing Christian homeschoolers.

I value the fact that my children are able to learn how we are created, why God put us here, and what His purpose is for us here in this world that He has created. 

Education is not just about math, research papers, and the SATs. 

“Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim. True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is…

It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” {Education Pg. 13, Ellen G. White}

While graduating with honors, attending a good college, and working at a good company are all wonderful accomplishments, they do not define a human being.

So, in our homeschool while school subjects are important and we will study them, but they are not the only focus in life.

We hope to instill in our children the joy of service, friendships and relationships, community involvement, honesty, integrity, hard work, love, and contentment by leading them in the example we find in Christ.

Above all, we hope that they find joy in learning and never stop.

CONTACT

FOR GENERAL QUESTIONS & COLLABORATION

Please email me at: shirley(at)mylearntogether(dot)com