Have you ever wondered what your kids will say about being homeschooled? Our guest today started in a traditional school setting, so if you have pulled your children from school, be encouraged by Savannah today!
Name & Age
My name is Savannah Mizuhata, and I am 26.
How many years were you homeschooled?
I was homeschooled from third grade (1999), through when I received my GED at age 18 in 2009. I really disliked being homeschooled at first, but slowly came to realize all of the great benefits and opportunities it allotted me as I got older.
A favorite homeschooling memory.
Field Trips! We were part of a local homeschool group, Crow River Home Educators. They were not a co-op, but mainly a support group. We met every Thursday afternoon at a park or the ice skating rink/sledding hill, weather permitting. They would also organize group field trips to museums, musicals, nature reserves, historic locations, and local interests (fire station, county jail, train depot, etc.).
I also really enjoyed the private sewing lessons that my parents arranged for me. It is a wonderful skill. I was even able to sew my own wedding dress!
I really enjoyed ABeka for Math, their Reading Comprehension skills sheets, and History (my favorite subject). Apologia science is the best science curriculum, hands down. I was (and still am) an avid reader. After about third or fourth grade my mom did away with a formal reading curriculum, as I much preferred to real whole books, verses small excerpts of stories. She never required me to write a book report, as I voluntarily gave her an oral book report after almost every book I read. Writing was taught and practiced through creative writing.
Worst homeschooling memory.
Posters/manipulatives. The only exception to this was a felt poster of a blank map of the United States, which I used to practice the locations of the states and capitols. I just remember my mom spending so much time making and laminating posters and pieces to help me learn concepts, when I really just wanted her to hand me the book and let me read about it directly. Obviously, when I was older I was able to communicate this to her, and she understood my difference in leaning style, but nonetheless, it was frustrating to me in my elementary years. I also disliked Video Text Algebra. I did much better with the teaching methods implemented in the ABeka curriculum.
Most difficult lesson/subject for you?
Spelling and Penmanship. My inability to spell always stumped my mom, because I was always a very advanced reader, and fairly decent with grammar.
I so desired to learn standard cursive, like my grandma wrote with, but she opted to teach me a simplified version, which unfortunately didn’t work out too well. A friend of mine had a similar experience, when her mother chose to teach them italics, instead of cursive. I hope that as I teach my own children traditional Penmanship, that mine will improve as well!
What you chose to do after graduating.
Get married and raise a family. When I was a young teenager, I gave all my future plans over to God, praying that all of the dreams in my heart would be only from Him, and trusting that if He desired that I marry and have children, that He would provide a husband in His perfect timing. I am very grateful to say that it is so beautiful when we walk on the pathway the Lord chooses for us, and He writes our love story!
I met my husband, Travis, when I was 16, and he was 17, at church, in 2007. He had just dropped out of High School (public school), to get his GED and pursue a degree in Multi Media/ Graphic Design, both of which he completed. Public school was not benefitting him in any way, hence his choice to drop out, unconventional as it may be.
We were engaged in April 2009, married in May 2010, and will be celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary soon! Our first child was born September 2011. We purchased our first home in 2014. We currently have three birth children thus far, Lavinia Joy, age 5; Jerusalem Rose, age 2 1/2; and Raphael Justus, 9 months; as well as a teenage foster daughter.
My senior year I worked three part time jobs, as I was basically done with school, and desired to save money for our upcoming marriage and future living expenses. I chose to get my GED, to serve as an official completion of my homeschooling. When I was thirteen years old, my mother had to return back to work full time, and I took up homeschooling myself, along with running the house. As odd as this may sound, it suited me very well, as I thrived with the independent learning. I considered all the cooking and cleaning as training and preparation to be a homemaker, and it has benefited me greatly. I was never forced to go above and beyond, in assuming these responsibilities, I really just enjoyed it! But because of all of this, my mom had a difficult time keeping up on grading my papers. ABeka recommended completing a GED test, instead of trying to go back and compile all of the information and credits. If it’s any credit to the quality of my homeschooling, I found the GED test extremely easy, and placed exceptionally high.
I chose not to pursue a college degree, because I knew far too many ladies with college degrees who were lovely homemakers, with a lot of student loan debt. Having a degree just for the sake of having it, without any plans to use it, did not make any sense to me. I did entertain the idea, but only for a short time. As it is, my husband completed his degree at the local community college, and we were able to quickly pay off his student loan debt. He currently works in construction, mainly as a painter and steeple jack. Check out hpr-mayer.com if you want to see him working 190 feet up, in a swing seat and rigging, at the top of St. Micheal’s church steeple in historic Stillwater, MN. He also has his own business on the side, as a photographer. I am a full time wife and mama, and joyfully embrace the title of Homemaker!
Why you chose to do that.
I understood the importance of being a helpmeet to my husband, the beautiful fulfillment that it brings to care for one’s family, and to raise children for God’s glory. By God’s grace, we are striving to pass on a Godly heritage to our children.
I can say that we never intended to become foster parents, but the Lord had plans that were greater that what we could ask or think! We feel very blessed to have our foster daughter and her birth family in our lives.
Will you homeschool your own children if you have any?
Yes! Our five year old daughter is currently working on Kindergarten. We are using Rod & Staff curriculum, and really enjoy it. We also do lots of reading aloud, and usually have a chapter book going. Our foster daughter is continuing in public school, which is currently best for her.
Why or why not?
My husband is a great advocate for homeschooling, especially due to his less than ideal experience with public schooling. I enjoy teaching our children, and the opportunities that it allots me to teach and train them not only academically, but also in moral values, character, and integrity, along with everyday life skills.
Any regrets directly related to being homeschooled?
None. I was the practice child, as I was only child my mom homeschooled. But I consider even that to be to my benefit. Sort of like a head start in homeschooling my own children.
Anything you wish you had been taught?
Aside from the traditional cursive handwriting, none that I can think of. I can second Laura in not knowing how to operate a combination lock. I finally figured it out on a gun safe!
How did homeschooling prepare you for what you are doing now (college or work)?
Homeschooling taught me to learn how to learn. This has suited me well, as I continue to learn everyday to better myself as I manage our home and homeschool.
What is the worst misnomer about homeschoolers?
Definitely that we are social misfits, or that we do not have the same opportunities as our public school counterparts. I mentioned all of the things previously about my life experiences to show that while they may not be conventional, being homeschooled was for sure a blessing to me, and I turned out to be a normal, capable, and well adjusted adult.
When my husband and I compare our schooling experiences, it is clear that I had equal, if not greater learning opportunities. I was also in dance and figure skating for ten years, along with numerous community education classes, and church groups and activities. I even went on a missions trip to Honduras when I was 16 – most of which I paid for myself, thanks in part to being able to work as a babysitter for a woman’s Bible study on Friday mornings when I was a younger teenager. If anything, homeschooling allowed me the greater advantage, because I was well versed in interacting and communicating with adults in the “real world”, and not just my peers.
However, I will be the first crack a “homeschooler” joke!