Interview with Dana Robb
I’ve been lucky to be a stay-at-home mom since our first was born. I received a BA degree from BYU in English and hope someday to have more time to write. I love to read, go to zumba classes, teach yoga, study alternative health options, and hang out with my five sisters. My husband is a landscape contractor and has owned his own business since before we were married (11 years). We have four kids. Two boys who are 9 and 7. And two girls who are 2 1/2 and 8 months. When our younger son was 3 we became foster parents. We had one little girl stay with us 8 months before being returned to her mom. We still consider her a part of our family and still get to see her often. A few months after she left our home we got the call that there was a brand new baby needing a home. We feel so very fortunate that she became a part of our forever family. And just this year we were blessed with another sweet little girl.
My older son loves creating things out of any material he can find. If he had his way he’d be building and making things all day long. My second son loves being with his friends, or playing computer games. He works quickly to get school done so he can call a friend. Our boys are great friends and a big help to their little sisters. We love going on bike rides, hiking, camping, going on trips to see family, and watching movies.
2. Why have you decided to homeschool? Was there any particular person who influenced you to choose homeschooling?
Two of my sisters-in-law homeschooled and have been a great influence for me. My husband struggled all through his years in the public school system so he also encouraged me to choose homeschooling. But it took me a while to decide that’s what I wanted to do. I had always had the mindset that freedom came when all my kids were in school. But after watching my oldest struggle through Kindergarten, I decided homeschool would be the best way to help him reach his potential. After reaching that decision, I received the strongest confirmation that it was the right. That has been the reason I stick to it. I know it’s Heavenly Father’s plan for us. Although its been challenging in many ways, I’ve never looked back. And I’m so grateful for this journey. I feel like our family is stronger. Our kids have great relationships. And I love being with my kids. I can’t imagine sending them away for seven hours a day.
3. How long have you been homeschooling and how would you describe your experience?
We started homeschooling in 2009. My oldest was six. We used K12 for two years. That was a great jumping board and helped me get my feet wet. But I started realizing that we weren’t focusing on the things that I thought were important and my son was still struggling in core subjects. The third year we enrolled with HarmonyEd and used a few of their courses and started exploring many of the different resources and curriculum available to families. At that time, my second son joined us after a year in public school. That was a hard year, I felt like we were all over the place without any real direction. It’s not until this year, our fourth year, that I feel like we’ve finally got the right focus and know what we’re doing! We made a lot of changes this summer and we are now working more effectively. It’s definitely been an adventure.
4. Where do you get support you need?
Initially my mom was completely against me homeschooling and tried to dissuade me. But she has since become supportive (and even had my younger brother do a year of homeschool) We are planning to have her help teach a couple classes each month. My husband is always supportive and during winter, when his work schedule is lighter he takes the kids on field trips and helps with teaching. I would love to find a co-op close to us and be able to participate in more activities with other homeschooling families.
5. What do you believe is the greatest advantage that your children have from being home schooled?
There are so many advantages I’ve recognized after bringing my kids home for learning. But for me, the greatest advantage is that my kids get individual attention and get to work at their own pace.
6. How do you choose a curriculum?
If I hear a good recommendation about a curriculum I will do some research and learn more about it. In the past, I have spend too much time deliberating over curriculum and wondering whether one curriculum will meet all my needs or not. This year have finally settled on using multiple resources to match our family’s needs.
7. What do you like about The Family School Curriculum?
What do I like about The Family School Curriculum? That would be an easier question to answer! I love incorporating the gospel into our daily studies. I love the principle approach. I love studying literature in each subject. I love the online resources connected to the curriculum, allowing us to quickly access additional learning opportunities. I’m just so grateful to have The Family School as part of our homeschooling experience.