My name is Shelli Bond Pabis, a.k.a. Mama of Letters. Welcome to my online home!
For my professional bio, click here.
In Mama of Letters, I invite you into my home where my husband and I are homeschooling our two boys (born in 2006 & 2009). You’ll see that sometimes our house is bright and cheery, and other times it’s grumpy and messy. This is family life!
Honestly, I don’t think a messy house is that bad, especially when it means our priorities are straight and I’ve been helping my boys do the most important work they could be doing: playing and fostering their imaginations. My husband and I have tried our best to create a culture where questions are encouraged, books and art supplies are at our fingertips, building supplies are on hand, Legos are plentiful, and we get outside as often as possible (even though my youngest son sometimes complains about this). When our children become interested in a topic, we do too. It becomes a family effort. This lifestyle has been extremely rewarding for us.
We aim to teach our children how to learn more than anything else. We consider ourselves mentors, and we guide our children down a path most suited to their talents and capabilities.
I love being home with my boys and following their interests. Paying attention to them and offering tools that might help them pursue their endeavors has yielded some awesome homeschool days. We have had some bad days too. (Usually when I try to make them do something that I think would be good for them, but they aren’t interested or ready for it.)
A homeschooling parent must learn when to ebb and flow. I write about my mistakes and my victories.
My priorities for my children are getting out into nature, letting them pursue topics and activities that they are interested in, giving them a good dose of storytelling and literature, exploring interesting places, and only after that, we study other important subjects. Watching nature and science documentaries is a daily ritual in our house, and we offer generous limits on screen time. My boys love Minecraft and other digital games.
We use project-based homeschooling techniques, and I also pick different resources to teach subjects I think are important. I share everything we’re working on here on my blog. Once or twice a year I update what resources we use, what didn’t work, what I’m changing, etc. My favorite posts to write are about my boys’ child-led projects because that’s when homeschooling gets so exciting. That’s when the boys are really learning and growing!
Some of my favorite projects the boys have pursued are nature and science studies, the Titanic, rockets, carnivorous plants, birds, drawing, and piano/classical music. I have learned so much through my boys!
If it’s not already obvious, this is a secular blog. While I respect all beliefs, and I’m proud to be friends with people of many different beliefs, we do not homeschool because of our beliefs. We study all religions because it’s an important part of culture and history.
I’m not someone who thinks everyone should homeschool. Every parent has to decide what is best for his or her child and family. There are many ways to educate and raise a child successfully. If I had the resources, I might try some other options myself.
I love to share tips with other parents on how to mentor children. I also offer free homeschool coaching, if you’d like someone to chat with or ask questions about this way of life.
I am also a freelance writer and senior editor at home/school/life magazine. I work behind the scenes there and also on the blog. If you’re looking for a more detailed professional bio, you can click here. If you’re looking for a friend, you can contact me at shellipabis (at) gmail (dot) com. I’m most active on Twitter, and I’d love to chat with you there too. Please introduce yourself.
I hope you’ll stay awhile.