Lydia: Tell me a little bit about you and
Nicole: I’m a mom to three beautiful ba-bies and a wife to an amazing husband. My
kids are five years old, three years old, and
I have a brand new 8-month-old. Before I
was a mommy, I taught public school. I got
my degree in early childhood education. I
taught all the elementary ages. When we
found out we were expecting, we decided
homeschooling was our route. That’s what
led us to where we are today.
Lydia: How long have you been home-schooling?
Nicole: I started with my daughter, on my
own schedule, when she was just two years
old. I started with the alphabet. I wanted to
teach her letters that went along with Bible
verses. Now that she’s five, that would make
it 3½ years we’ve been working on some
sort of curriculum. She worked on kindergarten curriculum last year through My
Father’s World, so if you want to go by the
book curriculum, it has been a year. But,
before that, it’s been a good bit.
Lydia: In your email, you mentioned that
you attended a School Choice Week event
Nicole: I did. I wanted to homeschool,
but I was nervous. I was debating between
some sort of awesome private school that
was going to do just as well with my kid, or
homeschooling. Everyone at the event was
just so welcoming, and I got to see some of
my biggest fears about homeschooling just
kind of dissolve. I didn’t know what home-schooling looked like. I thought I was going
to need to have desks set up for my children in my living room and a white board.
I thought I was going to have to bring the
public school into my house.
Lydia: You mentioned some fears and
concerns you had about homeschooling.
Do you mind sharing some of those?
Nicole: One of the biggest concerns was
not knowing what homeschooling looks
like. Was I expected to be a public school
teacher at home, or could I be a mom who
is catering to my children’s different personalities and building them individually
at home? I was concerned about the steps
in getting involved in homeschooling—the
legalities of it. There’s always the fear that
comes up of “Will my kid have friends?”
That changed when I walked through that
door and saw all those kids. It was almost
like they had stronger friendships because
they were a closer-knit group.
Lydia: Did they offer any other helpful resources?
Nicole: The School Choice Week event
had a homeschool support group there to
talk us through how to get started, how
to get registered as a homeschooler, and
curriculum advice. They had a plethora
of ideas on how to get started at whatever
stage we were in. It does feel better knowing that I’m going to step into something
and that, if I have a question or if I stumble,
there are so many other people out there
who are doing it.
Lydia: Are your children enjoying being
School Choice Week
by Lydia Hisey
Chris and Nicole Dardis (right) and their children
Kayleigh, Ryan, and Allison
An Interview with Nicole Dardis
It’s a community,
it’s a family, it’s
supportive, and it’s
not as scary as it