Family Profile: Homeschooling and Beyond

From time to time we will share stories about New Hampshire children who lives are impacted by educational opportunities.

We recently asked home educating families to send us their stories – what makes homeschooling important to them and how it impacts their lives. For many families, homeschooling is not only about providing an education for their children, but also a way of living and raising their children.

Today’s profile is about a family that has been committed to homeschooling for 26 years, and now the second generation is home educating their children.

Some of the wild and wonderful things my kids did as teens and beyond:

The older kids raised and showed dairy goats and chickens at several fairs for many years.

My oldest daughter researched, raised, trained, and ran sled dogs and was a dog handler at the Laconia sled dog derby. That same daughter was a fantastic violin player and won many awards at the Scottish Highland Games at Loon Mountain. Later she graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology and became a professional sign language interpreter. While in high school, she sponsored a World Vision child. Now at 31, she and her husband have adopted 4 teen children from Ethiopia, and is in the process of adopting more. Two of her children are deaf, the entire family uses ASL, and she is homeschooling them as well. Also, in her spare time, she works out and recently was in a qualifying tournament for American Ninja Warrior. Before adopting, she and her husband started a Celtic Rock band. They performed all over New York, and she also was a main fiddler for other bands. She’s busy but still connected with music and interprets on-stage at Kingdom Bound (New York’s equivalent to Soul Fest) with famous Christian artists.

My second daughter was a Civil Air Patrol cadet commander and Jimmy Mitchell Award winner. She also was a regular volunteer at the St. Charles Children’s Home. She graduated from Clearwater Christian College with a degree in Psychology and worked for many years at the Nashua Children’s Home. Now she is married and lives in PA, has her own little girl, fosters two other children, has two step children, and works part-time at a psychiatric hospital in Harrisburg.

Youngest daughter and son volunteered at Royal Family Kids Camp (a camp for Foster kids) while in high school and then became counselors as adults. These two also performed at various nursing homes playing piano and flute. My youngest daughter currently works full time at a day care and goes to school full time at night at UNH Manchester and is studying to be a business major.

As a teen, one son gave magic show performances at libraries and churches. Later he began a professional photography/videography business. As an adult, my “magic” son has filmed three “Survivor” benefit reunions for the Durham Warrior Project in Durham, ME. (This was coordinated by a winning Survivor contestant). He was assisted by his younger teen-aged brother who loved meeting the television stars he had watched on this reality show! That same son currently works as the lead videographer for Next Level Church and their branch churches. He also films wedding, special events, and occasionally makes his own movies.

The younger boys are involved in sports and other activities. We’ll see what life has in store for them!

Maria and Brian