Ask the Grad
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Ask the Grad – Sarah Sneath

What stronger affirmation of home education can there be than for a graduate to homeschool her own children?  Today’s grad, Sarah Sneath, is what is now known as a”second generation homeschooler.” Though home education has been around since the institution of the family, in America the phenomenon was re-born in the last generation.  Sarah shares what it is like to look back on her years as a student and begin again as the teaching mom.

My parents began home educating our family in 1991. I was nine years old and just had one younger brother. I had been in public school for four years, and it had taken quite the toll on our family. There was never time for our family to spend much time together; we were all living separate lives. My parents desired to spend more time teaching us the Word of God, but with all of the home work, and time on the school bus, there just wasn’t time for God.

Home educating was not an easy decision for my parents. My mother had planned on going back to nursing school, and they faced much opposition from extended family and  church. After much prayer and research, they began our home education adventure.

In the beginning, my attitude about the whole situation didn’t help either. At first, it sounded exciting, but it was a whole new way of life. I did not have a very close relationship with my parents or my brother, and there were many days of tears.

Our home schooling was different over the years. We started out using a “standard curriculum” and spent hours pouring over workbooks. My mother spent most of the time teaching us as my father was busy farming, though my father was mainly in charge of math.

In our early years of home schooling, we went on many field trips, especially in the winter when my father was not as busy with the farm. One of my most favorite “out of the classroom” experiences was when a ewe of my fathers required a c-section to deliver her baby. The veterinary came out to the farm, and while he was performing the c-section, told my brother and I all about the history of c-sections and exactly what he was doing. We took pictures and wrote reports about what we learned. This experience became even more special to me, when my first child was born c-section.

Our family was very involved in the local home school group. I enjoyed my time with new friends, and they continue to be ever dear to me. There was never a lack for social interaction. We spent much time on field trips, fellowshipping  as families, and learning together in group classes.

My family was very involved in our church. Home education allowed my brother and I to learn much about ministering to the needs of others. We often had people in our home for a time of food and fellowship. Mom took time to teach us how to cook, set a beautiful table, and serve others. I learned much from listening to missionaries and evangelists share about their lives from all over the world. Real, live geography!

When I was 13, 15, and 17 new siblings were added to the family. This, of course, changed the whole dynamic of our family. I spent a lot more time in practical education than I did sitting at a desk with a book. The things I learned taking care of our home, and helping with my siblings has been invaluable since I have been married. The research skills I learned have helped me in so many ways in taking care of my family today.

My home education continued through college. I remained at home and completed a two-year degree in Character Development via distance learning. I continued my education while still being a blessing to my family. Also during this time I taught private piano lessons, was actively involved in our church, and led a young ladies discipleship ministry.

Throughout the years we had our ups and downs. As I look on our journey, I believe it was the best decision my parents ever made. One of the best things, I believe, that came from my home education experience was a close relationship with my family. Today, I live 500 miles away from my family. Though there are many miles, we still remain very close and talk every day.

My husband and I met when we were 23 and 21 respectively. Eleven months after meeting we were married. It was such a blessing to marry a man who also has a home education back ground. Deciding to home educate our children was never even a question; we both knew exactly what we were going to do.

My husband currently works for a local professional multi-media company. Though his technical training is not very extensive, he has taught himself most of what he knows and does for his company. This coming April he will have been with the company for 10 years. His home education experience prepared him to be self-taught and has helped be successful in his career.

We are currently blessed with 4 children on earth. Josiah is almost 5 years old; Annalynn just turned 3; Jeremiah will be 1 in December and our baby is due the first week of January. We also have many little ones who have gone to be with the Lord.

Our home education past has been such a blessing to us and we have began teaching and training our little ones. Learning begins from day one. The foundation of our education is the Word of God. While we spend time using a few work books, I try to make home educating as real as possible, using and learning from real life experiences. I primarily am the one to teach the children daily, though my husband does spend time with the children when he is home. Our children love to share with him what they have learned. Josiah especially gets excited to read to his father.

My days are now filled with teaching and training our little ones, caring for the home, and ministering to others. I continue to teach a few private piano lesson and monthly lead a girls discipleship group. When I have time, I enjoy blogging at One Needful Thing.

I am very grateful for all that I learned through my years of being home educated and I feel very blessed to be living out my dream of home educating my own children.

You can contact Sarah by email.

3 Comments

  1. It’s so nice to “meet” other 2nd gen homeschoolers. My husband & I were both homeschooled during our high school years. We met at a homeschooling youth group night. We’ve homeschooled our 6 children since day one, & never entertained the other options for more than a brief passing moment during times of trial. The worst day of homeschooling is still far more benefit to our family than the best day in government schools could ever provide.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I am blessed by them!

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  2. I enjoyed reading this, Sarah. You have a beautiful family. Blessings to you and your husband as you get ready to welcome a new baby in January.
    My favorite line in this was “One of the best things, I believe, that came from my home education experience was a close relationship with my family.” My husband and I are homeschooling our children, and I agree wholeheartedly. ~Shanda

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  3. Thank you both for your encouragement. Life is rather crazy right now. At times I feel a little overwhelmed with all that the days hold, but God is so good. He always helps me get what is most needful done. A while back I looked at my husband and told him that I felt like I was living my dream. Growing up I always played house with all of my “babies”. I would sit them around the table and “teach” them school. I love having my children at home with me. I can’t imagine sending them away for someone else to raise. I would miss out on so much. And I believe as a mother God has given me an incredible responsibility to “train up [my children] in the way they should go…” (Prov. 22:6).

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