About Jamie McMillin
I have been homeschooling my three kids since 1996, trying nearly every method you can think of in that time. Fortunately, my kids are good sports.
Before that, I was in the U.S. Coast Guard, graduating from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1989, then spending the next five years working in the Coast Guard aids to navigation program in Texas and Alaska.
In all that time, I was (and have been) a voracious reader and addicted to research. I first heard of homeschooling back in 1993 from a “Harrowsmith Country Life” magazine featuring Rebecca Rupp. Enchanted, I read everything I could get my hands on about teaching my son at home, though he was only a baby at the time. Was it legal? Did it work? How do I do this? Fortunately, my husband was game and by the time our second son came along, we had decided that homeschooling was the way to go. Rebecca Rupp was my first mentor, although she never knew it. Her books were always within reach, and our early days were modeled after hers. We read lots of books, played games, constructed Viking ships, made salt-dough models of the Mediterranean, grew pole bean teepees and had lots of fun.
As the homeschooling movement grew and I connected with more families, I researched other styles of teaching: classical (The Well Trained Mind), unschooling, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, leadership (A Thomas Jefferson Education) and others. It was so hard to decide! They all sounded right. How to choose? It really came down to experimentation and finding what worked with each of my kids – and they were all very different. But I was still a tad worried, so that’s when I started reading biographies of people who had unconventional educations. I thought that if I could pick out any common threads among the childhoods of these successful people, it would give me some indication of which homeschooling method worked best.
Well, I got more than I bargained for. I learned so much I had to put it in a book! It turns out that there was indeed a common thread in the education of the people I studied, but that was just a small part of it. I also found similarities in how they were raised and the experiences they shared. It was fascinating!
Unfortunately, my homeschooling days are behind me. My two boys are now in college and my daughter has decided to attend a local charter school for the arts for her high school. But now is when I really have the experience and hindsight to know what worked, so that is why I decided to create this blog. I have a lot of stories about my kids and other people with unconventional educations to help put your homeschooling worries in perspective. Don’t worry – homeschooling is much more fun than you might think!
If you would like to contact me, please email JamieMcMillin (at) legendarylearningnow (dot) com (please excuse the coded email address – I’m trying to stop the robots from finding me)