Philip and Angela Jones are veterans in the homeschool world. They have raised two wonderful young men who are going to take the world by storm. Enjoy reading about their journey and what it has taught them.
Tell us about the Jones kids.
I have two sons.
Noah, who is 20, is working full-time as an EMT on an ambulance in Independence, MO, and has been accepted into a Paramedic program at CJC in Blue Springs that begins in April.
Ian is a junior in high school and enjoys working at Chick-fil-A in Lee’s Summit.
What is your favorite thing about homeschooling?
My favorite thing about homeschooling would have to be the ability to be “family focused.” The relationship I have with my boys is the greatest reward I could ever ask for.
I feel that they will grow to be godly husbands and fathers because of the experience they’ve been given by being at home and watching very closely how my husband interacts with me, loves me well, and carries the load of leader of our family and homeschool.
They have seen me at my worst and at my best, and thus know how to tenderly and lovingly care for me in any situation. I know this will be a great blessing to their own wives and children.
My second favorite thing about homeschooling would have to be the ability to personalize the course of study based on their individual learning styles, how quickly they pick up the material, and their own interests. Plus the freedom to make our own schedule.
We have always worked hard on coursework, but it is a special situation when you have the freedom to “drop everything” and take a field trip whenever you want to wherever you want.
What would you tell parents about to homeschool high schoolers?
I will be honest, and say that when Noah was getting ready to start high school, there were a lot of my fellow homeschoolers “jumping ship.”
For their own reasons, they decided to send their kids to Christian school or public school and that really shook me. However, thanks to my husband’s encouragement and helpfulness in choosing curriculum, we persevered and it has been wonderful.
I would say to the parents on the verge of homeschooling high school, that you need to be aware of all the different resources you have available.
It is okay if you are not qualified to teach every course…there are others out there (co-ops, community college, online courses, etc.) that can provide your student with the education they need in those courses you cannot teach.
However, I will warn you, that you still need to be involved and aware of what is being taught and if it is being taught to the standard that you require. Outsourcing is fine and good, but you need to be fully aware.
Biggest blessing you didn’t expect when you began?
The biggest blessings that I have unexpectedly received would have to be the many changes in my own personality and the gift of long-lasting friendships with other homeschool moms.
Many people always say, “Oh, I could never homeschool.” Well, believe it or not, I didn’t want to homeschool, but thanks to the Lord pushing me and my husband encouraging me, I now can’t imagine having done anything else.
The Lord has grown me tremendously in these past 14 years. I have grown in patience and learned how to speak more gently and be present with my children. Those did not come naturally to me, and I haven’t “arrived,” but I would say the progress is evident.
As far as relationships with other ladies on the homeschool path, we have been intentional in holding each other accountable with homeschooling our children to excellence, brainstorming issues that come up, enjoying field trips together, praying with one another, and pointing each of us back to Christ when we are struggling.
Why did you decide to homeschool, Angela Jones?
When my older son was in kindergarten, my husband was concerned about him being in public school and I was working part-time.
My opinion was, “I went to public school, and I turned out fine,” coupled with, “I don’t need a different job, and I don’t want to be grading all night.”
But the Lord had other plans and he completely upset the apple cart in relation to my job. While it had once been a job I adored, it went through difficulties and changes that ended up being a job I no longer enjoyed. We also couldn’t find quality before and after school care for Noah.
All of this coupled with learning more about homeschooling from my good friend Janelle Gaskell, who had been homeschooling for quite some time already, led me to a willingness and excitement to give it a try.
Some of your favorite field trips or outings?
In regard to field trips, the first thing I want to say is that we worked hard on core work (reading, math, science, social studies, etc.), but we also had a blast on field trips.
So much so that, even though I live in Lee’s Summit, MO, I became a member of MPE (which were mostly Kansas field trips), and the Clay-Platte homeschoolers group (in North KC), all in addition to LSHE (Lee’s Summit Home Educators). This gave us such a rich variety of opportunities to go on field trips.
Some of the favorites that come to mind: A goat-day field trip in Kansas, a medieval feast up north, Blue Springs School of Economics, Shoal Creek, Civil War reenactments down in Springfield…I could go on and on and on. Wonderful field trips where we learned a ton, but most enjoyable – made amazing memories with each other!
What advice would you give to families just starting out?
The advice I would give someone just starting out in elementary would be to just enjoy it! My life’s motto is, “Every season is a joy,” and I firmly believe that.
Work at your child’s pace, don’t race them through curriculum just so you can say it is done, don’t push them to do something they’re not ready for, but also take their education seriously…be organized and efficient with your time so there is plenty of time to do the fun stuff as well.
What resources have been beneficial to you on your journey?
The greatest resources for me have been the homeschool groups that I have joined.
I know nowadays many homeschool moms get information off the Internet – and I did too. I got a lot of valuable information off homeschool forums and through Internet searches.
However, do not let that replace face-to-face interaction with other homeschoolers. It is important for both you and your children to form relationships that might develop into long-term friendships. It is meaningful to know you are not alone on this journey and will help keep you from being lonely.
I am an introvert, and sometimes going on a field trip with people I didn’t know, or didn’t know well, was simply terrifying and overwhelming! However, persevere…relationships can take a long time to develop, but they are oh-so worth it!
Thanks so much, Philip and Angela Jones!
About this series, Faces of Homeschooling…
Homeschoolers do not all look the same, think the same, and act the same. At MPE, we want to highlight these differences by introducing you to some local families enjoying their unique journey of home education.
We hope these interviews will encourage you as you homeschool your children in your own special way!
- Jason and Emily Cowden: Faces of Homeschooling (Part 1)
- Dustin and Dawn Pittman: Faces of Homeschooling (Part 2)
- Josh and Jennifer DeLuca: Faces of Homeschooling (Part 3)
- Craig and Shawna Ketter: Faces of Homeschooling (Part 4)
- Maureen Werner: Faces of Homeschooling (Part 5)
- Jai Tracy: Faces of Homeschooling (Part 6)