Hello to all current and future homeschoolers. My name is Denise Martin and I'm the author of InsideHomeschooling. I'd like to tell you a little about myself and my motivation for starting a web site.
WHERE I AM TODAY...
My husband and I live in a small town near Birmingham, Alabama with our 3 daughters and our three year old Australian Shephard.
I've homeschooled our two girls (ages 18 and 15) for 6 years. For two years I've had an additional challenge- teaching our very talkative, very demanding 6 year old!
So far homeschooling has been a great experience for us, but there has been a learning curve.
An important part of the process has been to acquire the information I needed to give my children the best education possible. This has come from many different sources, including experienced homeschool parents, books on homeschooling, curriculum web sites and catalogs, and our church school administrator.
WHERE I CAME FROM...
I've also drawn on my personal experiences as a student of many different public schools. As the step-daughter of a Marine (a.k.a. military brat), I attended 8 different schools by the time I graduated high school.
Some were good. Some were not so good. I didn't realize how far behind I was academically until we were transferred to a military base in North Carolina for my 6th grade year. Luckily, the Camp LeJeune schools were excellent - still the best schools I've ever seen.
They knew how important it was to determine where each child was academically and put them in a position to succeed. My math class was divided into small groups and we were allowed to work at our own pace. I began the school year at the "bottom" of the class and ended the year with the group at the "top" of the class.
In the junior high and high schools, we were tested individually and placed in classes (Levels 1-5) based on the results. We were assigned to a level where we could work at a comfortable pace so we could get the most out of each subject. Level 5 classes were advanced. The teachers worked at a fast pace, assigned more homework, and expected more from the students. It was difficult, but challenging.
We were transferred once again, so I spent my sophomore, junior, and senior years at a good school with several excellent AP courses taught by wonderful teachers. Participating in a service club was also a positive high school experience that I'd encourage all students to try.
After some time at Shelton State and the University of Alabama, I transferred to Auburn University where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. I also have an Associate of Science in Nursing.
WHAT I WANT TO ACCOMPLISH...
I want to provide my children with the curricula and resources they need to help them excel and to prepare them for life after graduation - college and career. Whether or not they go to college will ultimately be up to them, but they will have the high school courses necessary for college admission.
However, it's not only about the grades. Since my oldest daughter has started high school, I've made it my mission to do everything I can to help her get into the college of her choice, becoming her personal guidance counselor in the process.
From what I've learned, many homeschool parents don't know where to start when it comes to college preparation. Since many of us didn't have much help with this in high school (I know I didn't), I would like to help our children by focusing much of my site on high school homeschooling and college prep.
As we go through the process of preparing for college, I plan to share what we learn through our experiences and interviews with admissions officers, financial aid advisors, other parents who have already been there, and my own research.
In this small way, I hope to help parents and their children navigate the world of homeschooling all the way through high school.