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Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Day In The Life Of A Homeschooling Family, Summer Edition :: The Johnson Family


:: Tell us a little about yourself and your family, as well as how long you have been homeschooling.

My name is Rhonda Tyus Johnson.  Tyus is my maiden name.  Before marrying my husband, Charles,  after he and I became engaged, my father said to me, "I'm only going to ask one thing of you before you are married and that is that "you keep your name."  I felt honored and said I would. I now use my maiden name as my middle name.  After Charles and I were married for almost twenty years, the Lord blessed us with our precious son, Charles lll.  He was born Thursday, March 4, 2004.  Because my husband and I were working the time Charles was born, we put him into daycare.  For the most part, it went well.. Around 2008 I had a desire to go home and be with my son.  I waited on the Lord for that to happen.  February,  2008  I was let go of my job due to reduction in work force.  I was shocked and experienced God's peace at the same time.  I felt confident it was God's timing.  September 2008 we started homeschooling.  Charles was in preschool. At the start, homeschooling didn't go well for my son and me.  My son told me that I wasn't fun and that his early years (preschool thru 5th grade) were not enjoyable.  By nature, I have a serious demeanor and our class time in the early years was primarily lecture and not much play.  We did join a homeschool support group where he met kids and played.  It was still hard for Charles to make good friends.  It still is that way today.  He has many associates, but never has had a real buddy.  We would go to the park and meet people there.  They were acquaintances.  I'll talk with the mothers.  Charles will play with kids who are there.  That's how it  ends.  We both struggled through that time as we still do today.  Those earlier years are painful times to remember.  Through the years we've learned to deal with it with prayer and perseverance.  I know that only God has gotten us this far in our homeschooling. We try to make the best of the time we share with others and focus on that.   God has blessed our relationship now that even though I am still not a playful person, we appreciate our relationship with one another as Mom and son and have fun with one another when we are together. We laugh and joke with each other.  We go to the store and movies together and have fun there.  We walk regularly together and enjoy the sites when we're together.  My husband has always been supportive and was willing to jump right in to help.  I really didn't need his help until about 4th grade.  He started to help Charles with math.  He made his time with him fun.  Since then, he now also teaches Charles science and critical thinking.  Sixth grade is when homeschooling became enjoyable to Charles and me.  We've just completed seventh grade and it has been an even better year for us as a family homeschooling.  This is our 9th year homeschooling.



:: Do you take the Summer off from homeschooling, or do you continue year round?  If you continue, do you do things any differently? 

We have been taking three months off for summer break.  We begin school the day after Labor Day in September and end school the last Friday in May, usually right before the Monday of Memorial Day.  We take 3 months off because we don't take much time off during school for holidays. It works out better for us this way.  We stay on tract.



:: What are some of your favorite Summer activities to do with Charles?

In the past, Charles participated in the Read to Succeed Program during the school year.  When completed in March, teacher and student received tickets for free entry to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL.  Charles has also participated in the Raging Waves fitness program.  Kids are to complete a certain number of hours of exercise during the school year.  When the goal is reached, free tickets are won to the water Park in the summer.  This year Charles did not participate in these two activities.  He focused more on completing his Awana assignments during school in order to attend the Awana Summer Camp.  He worked odd jobs to earn money to go there, along with receiving donations from family and friends. He's presently there today!  We took him to camp last Saturday, June 17, 17 and we will go pick him up this Saturday, June 24, 17.  I have also registered him for archery classes at Blackwell Forest Preserve this summer when he returns.  He is also participating in the summer reading program at our West Chicago library where kids receive prizes for reaching their reading goal.



:: Do you have a favorite Chicagoland spot for Summer fun?

Because parking is so expensive in Chicago, even though there are free days at the Museums, we don't visit there much because of the cost of parking.  We enjoy our staycation near home.

:: Do you have a special way of storing and organizing your homeschool at the end of the year? 

Yes.  I decide what school materials that will no longer be used at the end of the school year and box them with the date.  They are stored in the attic upstairs.



:: As you reflect on the past school year what is something that you felt was a success, and what was something that you would like to change for the coming year.

This passed year in seventh grade I really liked how Charles had finished his studies well before the last Friday in May when school would end. My husband and I had a week to gather his assignments, grade them, and prepare them for our last day of school that Friday with Charles. Everything went so well.  What I plan to do this year while in 8th grade since this will be his last year in middle school is to pay more attention to accuracy of my grading and neatness when recording Charles' grades and comments.  I plan to focus more on godly character traits as well as, grades. I've focused on them in the past, but want to do that more this last year. My husband and I would like for him to write a composition regarding his thoughts about middle school, summarizing it in eighth grade. 



Thank you so much Rhonda for taking time out of your Summer to visit with us!


From Robyn:  Thank you so very much for the beautiful way you displayed my homeschool journey, Channon! It's been a very challenging journey, but I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world, It's God's ideal plan for our family, which I absolutely love.

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