Irecently had the opportunity to talk with Sharon Watson, the creator of Writing with Sharon Watson and the author of numerous writing classes on
Schoolhouse Teachers.com including Daily
Writing, Writing: Compare and Contrast,
Writing Advertising Copy, and Writing the
College Admission Essay.
TOS: Could you tell us about your journey
as a homeschool mom?
Sharon: My husband and I were at the tail
end of the “pioneer” homeschoolers, that
generation of moms and dads who were
beginning this movement. We simply did
not feel right about handing our children
over to others all day who would eventually
have more influence over their hearts and
minds than we did. Everything was a huge
learning curve, but we stayed in the game
through surgeries, job losses, moves, family
deaths, and other life events.
Rarely in my homeschool career did I
feel adequate to the tasks that lay before
me. I battled questions almost daily, such
as: Am I doing this right? Am I ruining my
children? Am I doing what’s best for them?
Will they end up stupid? How am I going to
teach high school?
My husband was a tremendous support
and my best cheerleader. We often would
pray together about what to do next, and
once a year we went on a homeschool-planning weekend by ourselves. Because
I am of a contemplative nature and need
time to think, I resisted the urge to drive
all over town for classes. This forced me
to find the best curricula I could (or make
it up!), and read my children’s lessons the
night before to make sure I could teach
them the next day.
TOS: How was Writing with Sharon Watson born?
Sharon: I’m laughing at this question because I’ve done everything back-wards. Years before I founded Writing
with Sharon Watson (catchy name, right?),
I taught literature to homeschool groups.
Soon I added a writing class for teens,
along with workshops for local homeschool groups. When I saw the pickle
moms were in as they sliced precious
hours off their days to drive children to
classes, I became a circuit-riding teacher.
I drove to the homes of middle school students and taught them how to write, and I
equipped the moms to know what to look
for when they graded essays.
At one point in these home visits, I realized I should be writing down my lessons
and collecting well-written homework ex-amples. Later I talked with Dr. Jay Wile,
then owner of Apologia Educational Ministries. He suggested I write up the course
and send it to him to look at. And that’s
how our middle school Jump In was born.
So the course I developed last was pub-lished first.
I had no idea of forming a business. Never
even crossed my mind. Eventually, though, it
dawned on me that becoming a business was
View . . .
Bonnie Rose Hudson
to Curriculum Author:
An Interview with
writers is no picnic. They
know how to resist.