To many families, homeschooling sounds like an amazing experience. . . for someone else's family.

  • You wonder what it would be like having your kids at home all day, every day.
  • How do you teach your kids subjects you don't even like, much less know anything about?
  • You don't know how to choose curriculum, where to buy books, or how to create lesson plans.
  • Do colleges admit homeschoolers? How will your kids get a good job?
  • Your family and friends think homeschoolers are nuts.

I can help you with that.

First, I'd like to welcome to the online corner of my life.

I'm Susan Raber, and I live in SW Ohio with my loving and supportive husband and two kids still at home. Oh, and two bunnies.

We are a Christian family, homeschooling since 1994, and becoming a one income family in order to homeschool gave us all the motivation we needed to find inexpensive and creative ways to provide our kids with quality materials and a wide range of educational experiences. Along the way we've discovered the fun of blending learning into our every day life, and over the years the line between home and school has faded away.  

Our Homeschool Experience:

When we began homeschooling, Seth was our only child. At that point I thought the only way to homeschool was to "school at home". I bought packaged curriculum and recreated a school environment, complete with desks, a chalkboard, and an American flag. 

seth and family

But I found myself stressed out trying to do all the activities the books suggested, and if Seth needed more time on a particular topic, I worried he would fall behind. Then Noah, Emma, and Kenny J. came along, and I had to choose between:

  1. coming completely unglued
  2. finding a better way.

Here's where my perfectionist tendencies paid off. After exhaustive researching, I came across Raymond and Dorothy Moore's book The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook and The Moore Formula. I found out that I did not need to copy traditional classroom methods in order to be an effective homeschooler. We began to adopt a more delight-directed focus so the kids could enjoy learning and exercise core skills while still pursuing their interests.

Navigating high school using an interest-led focus presented a challenge at first, but we learned how to organize studies and activities into courses that would translate to a transcript or resume.

There were times when it was tempting to go back to traditional schooling and curriculum, leaning on teacher's editions to tell us what to study and when, but we stuck to what worked for our family and encouraged our kids to be self-motivated and excited about learning.

Our family (and our budget) breathed a collective sigh of relief, and 20+ years later, here we are! Along the way we realized the critics who suggest homeschoolers are somehow sheltered and lack real life experience are woefully misinformed - every day we are learning in the real world

Current Events:

emma in the woods

Seth graduated in 2006 and entered the Army, serving 5 years with one tour in Iraq. He now has a family of his own and is a CDL driver.

Noah juggled a part-time job while homeschooling, and graduated in May of 2015. He plans to pursue a career in banking and finance, and is contemplating world domination by 2020. But first, he has to get used to married life and being a dad!

Emma graduated in 2016, and started building an online platform based on her interest in skin and hair care, fashion, film-making, and popular culture. She enjoys writing, directing and producing content. You can see what she's up to on her YouTube channel.

Kenny J is busy trying to cram four years of high school into two. He loves animals, and works at a local pet grooming parlor, learning all he can about how to care for a variety of animals. He is, of course, the proud owner of little bunny Scotchy, and our monster rabbit Nibbles, who actually outweighs and occasionally terrorized our Yorkie (RIP Rikki).

For 12 years we cared for my mother who suffers from dementia, and the life lessons we have learned from this experience can't be quantified in a scope and sequence or lesson planner. Mom has been moved to a dementia care unit nearby where she is safe and happy.

How I can help you:

Regardless of where and how you choose to provide an education for your child, you should still be deeply involved in your child's education. You can do that with both feet as a homeschooler, or simply by spending more time talking to your kids about what interests them, asking good questions, and encouraging them to pursue their interests.

On the Every Day of Education blog, I'll give it to you straight about the reality of homeschooling. Not the filthy house, crazy kids , spending money hand over fist kind of reality. I'm telling you about how homeschooling can be simple, pleasant, and empowering experience for your and your children.

No one in our house ever sat at the kitchen table slogging through workbooks. It's not necessary to create months of lesson plans, only to put them through a paper shredder two weeks later. You don't need to buy expensive textbooks, teacher's editions, or subscribe to expensive online programs.

I'm here to show you how to homeschool inexpensively, with real books and real life experiences that prepare your child for the real world. This information, however, doesn't just apply to homeschoolers. Any parent case use the ideas and information I provide to make their child's learning experiences engaging and fun.

Stories Matter:

Most parents want their kids to be readers, but many do not know how to choose good books for their kids, or how to deconstruct literature for content and theme. With Wide Open Stories, I explain the craft of story-telling for kids and parents who are interested in learning about the world through literature on page and screen.

I am excited to still be discovering ways to make education an every day part of our lives. I've also known many wonderful homeschoolers over the years who have been generous with their wisdom and time, and have helped me along the way. I'm paying it forward here at Susan Online.

Start with these popular posts:

As they say, "In the interest of full disclosure. . ." you have to put stuff like this on your website. For starters, Susan Online is owned, authored, and edited by me, Susan Raber.

There will sometimes be affiliate links in my posts and sidebar for products and services I have actually owned and/or used. Here and there, but not often, I accept products in exchange for my honest review--these posts begin with a disclaimer so readers have the information they need about anything I recommend up front. If you click on an affiliate link, such as the links to books and services from Amazon, and you make a purchase, I may get a small commission--at no additional cost to you. 

Any compensation I receive will never influence the content of this blog. Receiving compensation can make it hard to give a negative review, and a positive review can be suspect. That's why I don't do it very often. However, I want to assure you that no matter how difficult it may be, I will always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on any products or services I receive in exchange for a review. I think after you read my blog you will see that I don't shy away from giving my never-to-be-humble opinion!

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