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Tosha Kelly

Tosha Kelly

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Wife and Homeschooling Mom”

How do you find yourself in the position/ job that you are in today? What lead you here?

I never dreamed I would be homeschooling my children.  I had a great accounting career and was moving up the corporate ladder.  But when our daughter was born in 1998, we immediately began to research the best schools in our city.  I was appalled at the stress induced on young children just to get into a coveted preschool spot or go to kindergarten at a prestigious prep school.  Our county schools were out of the question. They were some of the worst schools in the country. My husband and I knew we were not going to put our daughter through rigorous academic testing at age 3.  So, homeschooling it was! And, quite honestly, it is now just a product of how we parent. It’s as natural as getting up every morning and brushing my teeth. I don’t even consider the thought of doing anything else.

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?  

A cup of tea and fifteen minutes to read by myself.  I love the quiet in the morning. I have no problem getting up before six, so I can have that time before the rush of the day.

How do you feel you are helping to improve the image of homeschooling and/or education?

I am very involved in our local homeschooling groups.  I love to encourage new moms and veterans along the way.  I love to find neat classes, teachers, or even field trips and tell the world!

What software/apps/tools can you not live without?

Excel – for creating our master school schedule.  

Additionally, I use www.homeschoolskedtrack.com to plan out our school year.

What is your greatest strength?

Definitely organization!

How do you see education changing?

I see it sliding downhill.  I even see it in my own children, as much as I don’t like to admit that.  When my husband and I were in 2nd grade, all our work was done in cursive.  Today, I have older children that struggle to write in cursive.  

I truly feel that having immediate access to the internet has harmed children.

  • No longer do they know what it takes to research a topic.  
  • No patience is involved.  
  • No thought processes.
  • I feel like kids are becoming “google robots”, and that truly saddens me.  Even my own children ask, “Why do I need to know how to spell? Google corrects me.” How sad is that!  

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who homeschools?

Know your children and stick by them.  Even in the homeschooling community, you will find those quick to “throw you under the bus.” Family is family, and nothing can come between you and your children.   Not a curriculum, not an outside teacher, not a child on the playground, not another parent.

What is the biggest struggle you have when it comes to educating your children / helping other people educate their children?  

Fitting it all in!  My mind goes a million miles an hour during the summer planning sessions.  I have all these lofty ideas, and then two weeks into the school year, reality sets in, and I realize real life happens and we are not going to do everything I planned.   With multiple children, I find it even harder to even catch my breath during the day. I’m constantly bouncing between children, going from algebra to reading to a history lesson.

What’s your smartest shortcut or productivity hack in any part of your life?   

Definitely meal prep is where it is at for me!  We eat a very strict diet with absolutely no convenience foods or eating out.  That dictates that I do most of my cooking on the weekends, freeing up time during the school days.  I usually cook all sides and vegetables on the weekend, and then throw a meat on the grill for dinner.  Keep it simple!

I also love Walmart for grocery ordering.  I can order groceries while sitting at the football field and pick them up on the way home.  That saves a ton of money and time for me!

What is the one book you would recommend someone to read?

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie

What’s the best advice you have ever received?

You cannot possibly teach your child everything.  But if you teach him to read, write, speak, and do math, you have given him the tools to figure everything else out.  So, I follow that! We focus heavily on that, knowing everything else will and does fall into place.

How do you prepare for your day?  

A cup of tea, a hug and kiss from my husband, a hearty breakfast, and snuggle time with my four-year-old.

Tag the one person in the education and/or homeschooling world that you would love to meet and interview.  

Dr. Kathy Koch.  I sat in a few of her seminars at our homeschool convention this summer.  She was powerful! She has a true heart for children and parents.


EvaEva Goldstein-Meola is not only co-founder of Open Tent Academy, but an instructor as well as a former homeschooling mother. She has lived in New Jersey, Florida, Western Massachusetts, Northern Virginia and now resides just outside of Jerusalem. Eva holds a Master’s Degree as a Consulting Teacher of Reading and Writing, IEW certification and a Bachelor’s Degree as an Elementary Teacher. She has also been involved in education since 1986 as a Private Tutor, Teacher, Reading Specialist, Homeschooling Mother, Homeschooling Teacher and Business Owner of an Online Education Consortium.

 

 

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