Megan Schlekeway is the parent and Learning Coach of two students enrolled in INSPIRE, the Idaho Connections Academy. The Schlekeways discovered INSPIRE when they decided schooling from home was right for their family. Megan shares her story below:
“We had many reasons for looking into schooling from home. The first was that my oldest was a very early learner. The second was that my husband was homeschooled and wanted that for our children. The third was that I still had a toddler at home.
I found the thought of homeschooling daunting. At first, Connections Academy was a compromise for us. I could stay home with the kids, but I didn’t have to worry about, “What would I teach? How would I know if they were learning the right stuff? Could I even do it?” I thought INSPIRE might only be a jumping-off point for homeschool, but in less than a week I knew we would not be switching to anything else. The lessons were fun. We started when we were ready and worked through the lessons at our own pace. For many lessons, that meant going deeper. I was so happy that we didn’t have to hold back on my sons’ learning.
I love that we have the physical books as well as the online resources. We try to limit screen time when we can, so we read all the stories from the actual books. We use the workbooks. When we have appointments or need to travel, we don’t have to take those books with us; they are online! The BrainPop series of lessons are the kids’ favorite. They sometimes ask for them instead of cartoons. The best part of school for us is being able to connect lessons to real life. When something happens during the day that relates to a lesson somehow, I get to use that as a real tool, an example of learning in life.
The clubs are how we connected to the families in our area. Math Club and Lego Club were both a hit. When my youngest wasn’t in school yet, I was encouraged to bring him along to the get-togethers. Picnics and field trips have helped the kids make great friends.
The teachers are amazing! We even have relationships with teachers who are not teaching my kids because we met them at the events. Anytime I have had a question, the teachers are only a phone call or email away. The longest I have ever waited for a response was a day. I love the monthly parent call. My kids love the LiveLessonⓇ sessions.
Right now, my oldest wants to work in a space program or make video games when he grows up. My youngest wants to be a fireman. We are years away from knowing what my oldest will actually need for either of those choices, and most likely his mind will change at some point, but I know that he loves math, and so far we have been told that he can go as far and as fast in math as he wants to. He is not limited by his age or his grade. He is eight years old, completing fourth grade math with no sign of slowing down.”
I like that I can be home with my children and relate their lessons to real-life situations, and I have the peace of mind that there is a wonderful team of teachers who honestly care about my kids’ education.