Homeschool Conversations with Lori & Tori {part 1}

Posted in Family by Benham Brothers | November 9th, 2017

We are thrilled to bring you this two-part email series on homeschooling with Tori & Lori Benham! Lori & Tori have 22-years combined experience in homeschooling and have 9 children. We pray this series blesses you and encourages you on your journey of homeschooling.

Meet Lori Benham
Lori is married to David and they have been married 19 years and have 5 children. Bailey (18), Ty (16), Ella (13), Ava (11) and Chase (7). Lori has homeschooled all of her children from the beginning of their school journey. After 11 years of homeschooling, Bailey now attends a local Christian high school in part due to his commitment to sports.

 

Meet Tori Benham 

Tori is married to Jason and they have been married 17 years and have 4 children. Trae (15), Allie (13), Jake (11) and Lundi (7). Tori has also homeschooled all of her children from the beginning of their school journey. Like Bailey, Trae also attends a local Christian high school where his Pop (Tori’s dad) is the headmaster.  

 

 

What compelled you to homeschool, and how has it evolved over the years…
Lori: I started when Bailey (now 18) was very little – he began school at a local preschool and about halfway thru the year I began to really miss him at home. After a few months, I soon realized that I could teach him what he was learning at home and began to feel strongly that I could this. So halfway thru his preschool year I pulled him out and brought him home–and I never looked back!

From that time until now – our homeschooling life has definitely evolved. From the ABC’s & learning to read & write, to field trips and now with kids in junior and high school – it has developed to become a way of life.

Personally, I have a bit of a laid back style, so what I love about homeschooling is that I can fit it into our lifestyle.

I love having them home in the mornings and having the flexibility for travel and family time. Now that my children are older, they have been pulled away more with sports and jobs, but homeschooling has allowed us to keep that family closeness.

Tori: For us, Jason and I went to Christian school and had a great experience, so we wanted our kids to have that as well. We had planned on Christian education – my family has worked in Christian education all of my life. So when it was time for our oldest (Trae) to start Kindergarten we enrolled him in school and went to orientation. Trae was 5 and we also had Allie (3) & Jake (1). While at orientation, I could not figure out how to make it work with Trae in school and the nap schedules for our youngest ones. {Can anyone relate? :)}

Jason and David had just started their real estate business, and they were working more than full-time hours. Because Jason wouldn’t be available, I began to feel like I would not be able to pull off getting Trae to and from school every day. I saw the success of Lori, who was two years ahead of me in this, and other homeschool moms in our community, and I began to think that I could teach Trae while my younger ones were napping . So with their example and support that’s what we did!

I have never felt called to homeschooling, but I do feel called to mothering.

Homeschooling has been part of a process where I am surrendered to whatever the Lord has for our family. In life, we tend to choose things that we are good at – sports, activities, hobbies, etc. – so in the beginning years of homeschooling, I never felt strong in my abilities. Feeling this weakness would pull me to turn to the Lord and daily lean on Him to work in my weakness. Through homeschooling, the Lord taught me about surrender and stand on the scripture – His strength is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinth 12:9) As far as homeschooling forever – I would say we are a year by year family. We take it year by year & sometimes day by day. 🙂

What would you say is the Benham family approach to homeschooling, and how do your husbands and other extended family members pitch in?

Lori: In the beginning, David was working a lot so it was all on me. But now, David has more flexibility, so he is able to contribute more. In the morning, he does Bible devotions and spends time teaching them in Scripture – this gives me the time to have my quiet time and get ready for the day.

David studied history at Liberty University – so he constantly helps with history and other current events, which is a huge blessing. And if the kids have a question for him he’s always willing jump in and help.

One year we had Flip (Jason’s and David’s dad) teach a US Providential history class. He would set up tables and chairs in our driveway – almost like a one-room schoolhouse with all of the kids in a variety of ages. Flip had the kids do a lot of writing, reading, & memorizing verses. Anytime you can get a family member involved in the homeschooling process it makes it very special. Flip’s way of classroom management was to have the kids do laps if they were fidgety or misbehaved. Almost daily I would look out my kitchen window and generally see the same kids running around the yard! 🙂

Tori: My mom and dad live next door – so my mom, being a teacher for over 35 years, helps our kids with math every morning at 7:30 am. She is a schedule keeper too, and for years I leaned on her to help keep me on a schedule and plan out the kids curriculum.

Jason’s little sister, Abby, was about 14 years old when we started homeschooling. In those early years, I would hire Abby to come over and play with my younger kids while I taught the older kids. It was a win-win, her parents were happy to have Abby serving and learning from another mom, and I had help with my younger kids with minimal impact on our budget.

Bible & devotions start with Jason from 7-7:30 am. In addition to Bible, Jason teaches history with the kids on Tuesday mornings. He also studied history with his brother at Liberty, so he really takes this on and owns it.

Since Jason and David travel a lot – they try their best to occasionally take 1 or more of the kids with them on a trip. Over the years, there have been times when we thought about putting them in full-time school, but having the flexibility to travel with their dads is one of the reasons why we have kept homeschooling.

We hope you enjoyed this glance into the homeschooling lives of the Benham families! Be sure to join us next week for the second part of Lori & Tori’s “Homeschool Conversations” email series.