By Karla R. Shumate
well. It was
Bill, had just
school and residency and it was now time
for him to do his payback to the Air Force.
He was assigned the Air Force Academy
hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It
seemed so far away from our Texas home.
When we moved there, we had two kids,
ages 3 and 1.
Since we were not planning on staying
in Colorado, we decided we would homeschool our oldest child, the only one who
would be school age during Bill’s four-year duty.
Only a few weeks after we moved, we
found out that we were expecting twins.
Despite the challenges of having four kids
in less than four years, we still began
homeschooling. I taught elementary music
for three years before I had children, but it
was so much more rewarding to teach my
As with many who begin homeschooling,
we thought it would be temporary. However,
while living in Colorado, we met and
became friends with some wonderful homeschooling families. We immediately saw
how different their children were from those
in the world, and we decided then that we
would make homeschooling a permanent
commitment for our family too.
In 2001, we did move back to Texas for
my husband to begin his private practice.
Soon after, I had our fifth child. Two years
later, to our huge surprise, we had quadruplets. Admittedly, school was a bit of a
struggle that first year or so of the quads’
lives. We were in survival mode, and much
of my kids’ learning consisted of life skills,
but it was a great experience for them. We
did not have outside help, so we learned to
work together to care for four infants, keep
our home somewhat in order, and fit in
what “traditional” education we could. We
had another baby (number 10 if you’ve lost
count), and by the time this article is
published, I will be holding number 11.
So now, in 2008, our children are the
following ages: 14, 12, 10, 10, 6, 4, 4, 4, 4,