Welcome back to another edition of Interviews with Homeschool Adults! This time I have author S.L. Kliever sharing her story. I think you will really enjoy her insight!
Name & Age.
Hi! My pen name S.L. Kliever and I am 31.
How Many years were you homeschooled?
I was homeschooled from kindergarten through grade 12.
A favorite homeschooling memory.
When Dad or Mom, or even my older brother, would grab a fiction book and start reading out-loud. We’d gather around and listen, always begging for ‘just one more chapter’.
We were all very spread out in age. My older brother is 4 years older than me, then I am 5 years older than my sister, and she is 6 years older than our younger brother, and he is almost 2 years older than the youngest sister. If we had not been homeschooled, we would not be as close as we are today. It really helped us bond together.
I have to confess, I hated school. My learning style is visual, and I was not academic like some of my siblings, so therefore I struggled a bit in certain areas. So I can’t say as I have a favorite curriculum.
However, again, listening to stories or even history, was something l enjoyed very much.
Worst homeschooling memory.
People not being accepting of our family for the very reason that we homeschooled. It was hard feeling rejection like that, and as kids, it hurt us deeply. It made it hard for us to even want to socialize or
make friends, because we were afraid of not fitting in and being hurt again.
One of the best things for our family was to switch churches. Once we did that, we began to heal and it was nice to have people accepting of us, even if they didn’t understand why we homeschooled, they were at
It can be hard for homschool families to go through things like this. Unfortunately, it happens far more than we care to know. I look back and shake my head, wishing people could have tried to understand or
get to know us. It’s so sad when people do this kind of thing, and they have no idea what a negative impact they can have on the kids of homeschool families.
Most difficult lesson/subject for you?
Reading/writing. With a visual learning style, it can be hard for a student to learn to read. They don’t learn like the academic student. Visual learners need to see how it works and then do it themselves to
have it cemented in their brain. It needs to be broken down into bite-sized pieces that they can take in slowly.
I didn’t learn to read (well) until I was in my teens. There were a number of reasons why it went so slow. Circumstances were hard, and so sometimes my learning in that area was put on hold. I am certain, (as
I’ve learned about learning styles) that had I been in the public school system, it would have been no different, maybe worse.
As it turned out, at age 12, realizing my younger sister could read better than I could, I took matters into my own hands, and taught myself to read. Yes, that’s right. I taught myself to read. I began writing a story,
since I loved stories so much, and then I would proudly take the notebook to my mom to show her. You can imagine my dismay the first time, when she erased almost every word, and wrote in the correct
spelling!! But that was what I needed, and after some time, I began to improve in my reading. The computer and spell check helped immensely as well, because I was learning as I wrote. After about 3 years, I could read with little trouble, and I have not stopped writing!
What you chose to do after graduation.
The choice was kind of made for me. At the time I graduated, both my parents were struggling with health issues. I stayed at home for the next 6 years, teaching my siblings their school, while my parents
continued to recover. It wasn’t always easy, but it was what needed to be done, so I did it. Also, because I struggled so much in school myself, turning around and teaching my siblings (even though I didn’t
always like it) was in fact, good for me. It cemented in my brain things I may have forgotten, and it also gave me confidence in myself, that I was not, and could not be stupid if I was able to teach my siblings and see them excel and even do better than I did!
Why you chose to do that.
If I hadn’t helped out my family, I don’t know who they could have turned to. Had my siblings been put into public school, they would have been bullied and life would have been made 10 times more miserable. It was just the right thing to do, so I did it, regardless of how I felt about it. I didn’t always enjoy it. There were times I was downright lonely. All my friends were off going to further education and having adventures of their own. They would come home and tell all sorts of stories, and then ask me what was new. My answers usually involved telling them the kids were in the next grad etc…
Will you homeschool your own children if you have any?
Definitely! Have already started with our two kiddos. Preschool can be so much fun, and I am using Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons.
Why or why not?
Off the top of my head, I would say, why not? I want to be the one that watches them develop and grow and see that little light bulb go on when they grasp something for the first time.
Any regrets directly related to being homeschooled?
Having a very strict dress code. It was embarrassing to stick out like a sore thumb when going shopping. Over the years though, and after we moved to the farm, our views began to gradually change. For us girls,
it wasn’t practical or even safe to wear skirts around farm equipment or animals. And it also came to our attention that it wasn’t very modest to wear a skirt to the chiropractor, and so we relaxed our dress code. What I learned from all that, is that it is important to teach modesty, but modesty doesn’t always mean a strict dress code.
Anything you wish you had been taught?
Because I struggled so much, I wish that it had been easier to learn and that I would have gone farther, maybe taken some subjects more in depth instead of skimming them over. However I also see this as a
blessing, because I now know I want to do things different with my kids, and if they have a different learning style, I want to do my utmost to cater to their needs.
How did homeschooling prepare you for what you are doing now?
I am now a published author of The Chronicles of Exmoor series and a children’s book, The Heart Princess. Had I not been homeschooled, I probably would not have taken up writing at all. Also being in a homeschool family that was tight-knit, I had a good relationship with my older brother Andrew. He knew I was struggling with reading, saw I was trying by writing stories, and would ‘steal’ my notebooks to read my stories. It was the best encouragement an older brother could give; my stories were good enough my brother wanted to read them, therefore it boosted my confidence in myself.
Had we been in the public school system, we would have been in different classrooms, different circle of friends, and life could have turned out a whole lot different.
What is the worst misnomer about homeschoolers?
That any problems you or your siblings have, are because you’re homeschooled.
If you’re shy, it’s because you’re homeschooled.
If you are shy and go to public school, oh that’s just your personality.
If you’re loud and socially awkward, it’s because you’re homeschooled.
If you’re loud and socially awkward in public school, oh that’s just
If you struggle with reading or any other topic in school, it’s because you’re homeschooled. I got told this one lots, which really didn’t apply because my Mom had her teaching degree and could have been
teaching in the public school system. And I am convinced, because of other kids I’ve met over the years, that kids with different styles of learning other than academic, struggle through the public school
system too. It has nothing to do with which system you’re in, but everything to do with if your teacher can get through to you and help you learn.