Lessons My Parents Taught Me, Interview with Katie Waalkes

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Lessons My Parents Taught Me, Interview with Katie Waalkes. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Lessons My Parents Taught Me, Interview with Katie Waalkes

Lessons My Parents Taught Me, Interview with Katie Waalkes

Vicki loves to talk to second generation homeschoolers, so she was so excited to connect with Katie Waalkes. Katie, from Life in the Mundane, is a homeschool grad who is now a homeschool mom. She shares with us today what works for homeschooling another generation. (Check out the family video at the bottom of the homepage– homeschool grads telling about their homeschool adventures.)

Katie is the oldest of seven kids. Her dad is a pastor. Her mom started to homeschool the family when Katie was in the fourth grade. That is when her mother realized that there was no way they could afford to send all their kids to the private school Katie was attending. (There’s not ONE right reason to homeschool!) While Katie’s mom may have started out as a “reluctant homeschooler”, they quickly found that it was the perfect education for their kids (and that she loves it).

Katie’s mom just graduated her seventh homeschooler last year!

Katie met and married her husband (who is also a homeschool graduate) thirteen years ago. They have six children of their own, which they chose to homeschool because they wanted to continue this kind of education. Katie’s kids range in age from three years old through twelve.

Katie and her husband loved homeschooling enough that they wanted to continue the tradition. In this Homeschool Highschool Podcast interview, Katie shares what she learned from her parents.

Katie realized that the important gifts she received from her parents where not just about specific educational achievements. Instead, it was more of the intangible investments her parents made and modeled.

Lesson One: Love of learning and how to learn

Instead of worrying about “possible gaps in education” and being all stressed about it, Katie’s parents concentrated on learning processes and loving learning.

They modeled love of learning by:

  • Reading her own books
  • Going to the library with the family

They taught love of learning by:

  • Teaching to each kid’s strengths (she became a studier of her kids)
    • For instance, in homeschool high school:
      • Katie was interested in becoming a counselor. So, Katie’s mother went to CCEF (Christian Counseling Educational Foundation) and purchased materials for her to explore. She found online case studies for Katie to read and discuss.
      • Katie’s brother was interested in becoming an architect, so Katie’s mother found an architect at church to interview.

Lesson Two: Find a purpose behind learning

For instance, Katie’s mom showed how math was practical in everyday life as they measured walls for paint and repairs.

Lesson Three: Communicate well and develop conflict resolution skills

In a family with seven children, communication and conflict resolution skills are vital. Katie’s parents made sure that they were not simply “shushing” their kids but rather, they invested in helping their kids develop the skills to say what they needed and wanted and how to listen to others. These life skills have been some of the most important gifts her parents gave her and her siblings.

They asked questions like:

  • In that moment, what were you thinking?
  • How did you respond?
  • Is there another way you could have responded?
  • What were the consequences of your responses?
  • When the kids were younger, she would help the kids find Scripture that addressed their issues. As teens, she had the kids find Scriptures and write about applications to their experiences.

Lesson Four: Communication in school subjects

Katie’s parents put emphasis on communication skills as part of their academics. They placed emphasis on:

They knew that ideas and communicating ideas were important.

Lesson Five: Practical communication skills

Katie’s parents had them practice adulting skills while in high school. For instance,

  • They sat with Katie but had her call and schedule her own doctor appointments and call and order pizza on pizza days.
  • Her mother helped them prepare for job interviews by doing mock interviews with her.

Lesson Six: Good theology and how to walk in her faith

Katie’s parents did several things to help them build their own theology.

  • They did family devotions and modeled their own personal devotions. The real modeling was important to Katie. If she had only heard them say ,”devotions are important”.
  • They integrated Bible discussions into daily life and subjects.
  • These things helped them develop a Biblical worldview.
  • Check out 7Sisters freebie course: Apologetics

Katie loved her homeschooled upbringing and is loving passing the love of homeschooling onto her kids. Join Vicki and Katie for an inspirational discussion.

Check out Katie’s website and YouTube channel, Life in the Mundane. Also her Facebook page and Instagram page.

For another interview with a homeschool graduate who is now homeschooling her family, check out this interview with Amy Sloan.


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Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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