If you are a part of the Enrichment Group or new to it, you may here "ask Kari" or your e-mail inbox may have a new message from time to time from sweeteralsothanhoney. Who is Kari aka. sweeteralsothanhoney? I had the pleasure of interviewing the other Co-founder of our EC Group (who also happens to be Nicki's Aunt), Kari Davidson.
My name is Kari Davidson. I am happily married to Gary. He is my partner in life and yes, even in homeschooling. We have one daughter still living at home. Her name is Liberty and she will be 16 this summer. Liberty loves the Lord, enjoys writing, acting, playing piano, basketball, her tambourine and dance team, politics, spending time with friends and serving the Lord on the mission field. She will be spending part of her summer in Guatemala doing just that. She also will be performing in "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf", as the grandmother, in June with Butterfield.
Our oldest son is Jessie. My homeschooling story starts with him, but I will tell you more about that later. Jessie is 32 years old, married to Melissa and they have three children, Shea-13, Jordan-10 and Maya-9. Jessie has his own Directional Boring company, W&W Construction. His family resides in Paloma Creek in Aubrey, Texas. His son could be his twin if they were the same age and it is fun watching him father him and his two daughters. Jessie is all about fun, excitement and living on the edge. He enjoys playing sports, coaching and watching his kids play. He also enjoys deep-sea diving, motorcycle racing with his kids and everything scary that helped turn my hair gray before it was time. Fortunately, Melissa isn't a scaredy-cat like I am and she can actually enjoy these things with him.
Our second child, actually the baby for her first 14 years, is Hiedi. Hiedi is married to Dwayne and they live in the same neighborhood as Jessie. Hiedi and Dwayne have two children, Taison - 8 and Madison - 7. Hiedi also has a step-daughter, Dynasty - 14, who doubles as Liberty's best friend. Hiedi served in the Marine Corp, which I am very proud of her for and where she also met her husband. ( She is also responsible for some of my gray - all you military moms know what I am talking about) She is now busy raising her children and going to school. She is very involved in her kids' school and has headed up committees every year and has just been voted in as a vice-president of something at her school for next year. Hiedi is one of the most practical-minded people you'll ever meet. She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go for it. She is also a great motivator and organizer. Her kids are also very involved in sports so when Dwayne and Hiedi aren't busy at their jobs or school, you'll find them at a basketball court or baseball field, along with Jessie's family. And I have to say the Lady Rattlers are very blessed to have had Hiedi's husband, Dwayne, as their coach for the past couple of years.
As a homeschooling mom you don't always have a lot of time to indulge in your hobbies but what little time I have had through the years I have enjoyed sewing, playing guitar, reading a good book, and mostly just spending time with my family. When we do things together as a family it is usually outdoors things, like hiking, etc. We really enjoy learning about God's creation.
One thing people don’t know about me???
I would love to learn how to dance really well. I wish I could sing great and I really would love to act.
My favorite meal that I like is grilled salmon, squash and a huge salad. That is not a favorite for the whole family. They like lasagna, melties, my hamburgers, etc. I cook a lot. I make most things from scratch and don't like a lot of packaged food.
Our dream vacation I have always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island. I also want to go somewhere where I can see whales swimming by and just let time stand still while we take it all in. We all enjoy traveling. Liberty enjoys cruises and would also like to visit Europe and explore the castles, etc. Gary says he would love to do it all.
About Kari's Homeschool . . .
I have homeschooled my 3 children and also helped homeschool 4 others at different times. I started homeschooling in 1983. My son was in kindergarten in public school in Nocona, Texas and I was very unhappy about some things I was seeing. I was a new Christian and a single mom. My husband, Jessie and Hiedi's dad, died in July of 1979. I had never heard of homeschooling at the time. I had a business and a couple came in one day and started visiting with me and we started talking about school and they told me they homeschooled and I asked questions about it and I knew in my heart then that it was something I was going to do. As I started seeking the Lord I felt like He told me that this was the way I was to raise my kids. It was just something I knew in my heart. I got to know the couple over the next few months and they shared more with me and when Jessie started first grade, I started homeschooling. That couple was J. and Candy Gaston. They now have a daughter, Jennifer Howard, who attends Enrichment Classes with her own children. I have different reasons why I am glad I do it from year to year but the bottom line is I believe that is what God called me to.
The benefits of homeschooling are many. I am sure many of these things can be accomplished whether you homeschool or not, depending on how involved you are in your children's life. And I am sure there are many benefits that I will continue to see through the years. I think my children were never as peer dependent as many children are. I don't feel like they are cookie cutter versions of all the other children their age. I think we were able to focus on their strengths and interests and make the most of their learning experience. I love knowing that all my children have a good working knowledge of the Bible and have committed so much of it to memory over the years, which is always something that we made a part of our school at the beginning of each day. It is up to them to choose to draw from that resource through their life but at least it is there to draw from. Also, our curriculum in general is a cut above since it uses the Bible as its foundation and establishes the fact that God is the Creator of life. Since Jesus is the center of our lives and we believe all knowledge comes from Him, we teach every subject with Him as the foundation. I feel like my kids have had so many opportunities to participate in things that public schooled children might not be able to. We have had the freedom to go to places that we are studying on a regular basis and explore things more thoroughly due to the fact that we are not limited by schedules.
We have always made costumes and acted out our history studies and interest in different time periods through the years. That has always made school more fun. Eating supper by candlelight during colonial studies, gathering with other families for spelling bees, and academic competitions, traveling to revolutionary war sites and acting out battles, participating in EC., the list goes on and on. I'll never forget after reading the Little House books going to Laura and Almanzo Wilder's home in Missouri and seeing Pa's fiddle and Ma's china shepherdess. I cried. I also loved going to Helen Keller's home and putting my hand to the pump where she first was able to grasp the idea of signing. It was great going to Disneyworld with Jessie and Hiedi when they were younger, in October when there weren't crowds and getting special attention from the pilot on the flight since they were the only children on board. I don't think Jessie and Hiedi will ever forget that. We could choose when we wanted to go since we were not limited by someone else's schedule. I think if you make the most of your learning there can be many fun times in homeschooling.
I don't feel like you can teach about life and all things pertaining to it and leave out the Giver of Life. I believe the most important thing in the world is our relationship and walk with God. I never could reconcile myself to the fact of sending my kids to a place that not only would not nurture that but that would teach things completely opposed to my belief in God and where God was mocked and asked to leave. I don't think you can teach about history or even understand the history of the world and the decisions men and women have made throughout history without knowing what their faith was or wasn't and that it is the very thing that led them to make their decisions. God created language. How can we teach language without acknowledging that and helping our children understand the importance of our responsibility with using the language God has given us, whether it is through the written word, spreading the Gospel, speaking words that are meant for encouragement and edification. And science...we lose so many kids with the false teachings just regarding science and how God is not involved at all. He put the world together, created us, made the universe work so perfectly. It was all done by His Hands but most school kids are taught that that is all fable and when they sit in a classroom day after day, hour after hour hearing this some might not be able to help but be doubtful of the truth. I don't believe in dividing things by secular and spiritual. If God is true then that is to be the center of all my decisions. I do fail but I try to live by that.
When the kids were young I always enjoyed A Beka for spelling, learning to read, math and science. I liked knowing all the phonics rules given and the colorful workbooks and all the activity suggestions that made learning fun for young ones. As they got older we branched out to things that were more suited to each child's learning style and strength. We have used Beautiful Feet and enjoyed that immensely but that is partly due to the fact that we enjoy reading and learning history through living books. We have tried many different curriculums for science and can't really say that we have a favorite there. For Algebra we use a DVD program called Video Text Interactive. My husband does all the algebra with Liberty and also helped with my older children. We like this program the best of any we used.