Today we’re talking with Deanna Jasper of His Treasure Seekers. Deanna is a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew this year with me and I thought it would be nice to get a glimpse into her home and life and find out how she homeschools.
Kemi: Tell us a little bit about your children’s ages and grades?
Deanna: Officially, I suppose I only homeschool one. My oldest, Ian, is almost 7, in first grade, and he’s the only one I require to do school work of any kind. However, my 5-year old, Elijah, is very bright, and I work with him whenever he requests it. He won’t be in Kindergarten until next year, so I don’t demand anything from him, but he reads really well and often asks to do math whe
n I’m working with my oldest, so I’m letting him work through the curriculum we used in Ian’s Kindergarten year. We also have two little ones (ages 3 and 1) who I expect will just pick up on things as we go!
Kemi: What homeschooling method do you use?
Deanna: We’re rather eclectic when it comes to homeschooling. I draw a lot from Charlotte Mason, but there are a lot of things about the Classical approach that appeal to me as well. I tend to use a little of both, along with an occasional unit study. I don’t really follow a particular curriculum, instead putting together my own plans according to our family’s interest and what I want my children to learn.
Kemi: Can you give us a peek into your typical homeschool day?
Deanna: After breakfast, I try to have the older boys practice the piano before the baby needs to go down for his morning nap. Then most mornings we gather for “worship,” with me on piano and the kids gathered around. I pick one hymn, one song commonly sung in our church, and then one song of the children’s choice.
I put the baby down and then gather the other three in the living room. I start with Bible reading, and then move onto our literature, history, and science. At some point during this time Elijah and Arianna lose interest and head off to the bedrooms to play. Ian works on notebooking pages, coloring, or building projects while I read for about an hour, and then I give him a little break before we head into the school room.
We spend the last part of our morning going through math and spelling, as well as finishing up any notebooking pages Ian was working on.
At this point, with my oldest only in 1st grade, I end our day when we stop for lunch.
The only time I make him do any schoolwork in the afternoon is if our morning was disrupted by something like a dentist’s appointment or a trip to the library. I make all the kids lie in their beds for 2 hours every afternoon that we’re home. Even Ian will often fall asleep, but if they’re not that tired, they just read or listen to audiobooks.
My husband doesn’t usually get home until about 7:30, so I really need this break in the afternoons, and it works well for all of us because then the kids are rested enough to stay up for a few hours with Daddy, including our family Bible time.
Kemi: We love to see where homeschooling happens. Can you give us a peek into your homeschool room?
Deanna: The picture below shows most of our school room, not including two computers the children are allowed to use.
Kemi: So you know that Homemaking Organized is all about homemaking or the details of home. We love to find out how others keep their homes. Can you tell us about your own homekeeping and how you manage to fit it in with homeschool?
Deanna: I’m afraid housework is not my forte, and with 4 children 6 and under, I’ve decided now isn’t the time wear myself out trying to improve in this area.
This year I’ve focused on having the children help me with the laundry, which has made a HUGE difference. The three older ones all sort, fold, and put away their own clothes, except what needs to be hung. Actually, my clothes are usually the last ones to be put away!
They also help with emptying the dishwasher and vacuuming under the chairs where they eat, but that’s about it.
Now that we have the laundry monster mostly tamed, I need to start working on recruiting them to help with cleaning the house on a regular basis, because I just have trouble staying on top of it myself.
Kemi: Do you have any crafts or hobbies that you would like to share?
Deanna: This past year I rediscovered my love for sewing. I grew up sewing doll clothes, costumes, and quilts, but it had been a long time since I’d tackled any sort of project. My kids all wanted aprons to wear when they help me in the kitchen, and once I got to work on those I realized h
ow much I enjoyed making them. I ended up sewing several dresses for Arianna this year, and I look forward to many more projects in the future.
I also love to play the piano, another lifelong hobby. I don’t find a lot of time for it these days because it seems like when I finally get a chance, the baby’s sleeping or I’m suddenly surrounded by little people who have to join in the merry-making.
Before marrying her best friend Eric in 2006, Deanna worked in children’s ministry, as an elementary teacher, and on the mission field in Kenya, waiting for the day she could land her dream job: motherhood. Now she spends her days discipling their four children and trying to maintain as slow a pace as possible in the midst of Southern California chaos.
You can visit Deanna at His Treasure Seekers