Rogers Homeschool 1991-2017
Rhonda and Jim Ed have six children and began homeschooling their first child in 1991 when friends introduced them to Weaver Curriculum, a hands-on activity based curriculum. Rhonda loved it and thought it was so fun. As the children grew older, she added a diverse mix of other curricula to meet the needs of her children. The Rogers family loved the freedom of doing school during those long stretches of time that dad was working, and taking off for family time when Jim Ed was home.
In 2003, they had two boys and a two-year-old daughter when they adopted eight-year-old twin girls from Arizona. Oklahoma authorities did not want the girls home educated, but Arizona authorities recognized the need for continuity in the family and ordered that the girls be educated at home. One of the girls was not yet reading, but within two weeks Rhonda had taught her to read. It was quiet a transition for the whole family, but Rhonda new God was in all the details.
Rhonda shared that the best time was when all the kids were at home. They would get up and have breakfast, and then they each had life skills (chores) to do for an hour. If they finished early, they had free time until school time was called. Some subjects they did all together, like Bible reading, memorization, and history. Math and language arts were done individually in the morning. Afternoons were for hands on science and other fun activities as their interests would dictate. There were times of learning in a coop or for taking field trips with others. Rhonda loves to teach and to see a child’s face when a concept is grasped or something new is introduced that they enjoy.
When the children reach high school age, she always gives them the option to enroll in public school. The first four, their oldest two sons and the twin girls, chose to continue homeschooling through high school. They graduated in 2008, 2010, and 2013, respectively. Also in 2008, Rhonda and Jim Ed were blessed with their last child, a son. During those final years of home educating the older ones and continuing to home educate the younger ones, Rhonda was caregiver to her parents. After her mother died, caring for her father took much more time, and the girls were a big help. The last months of his life, they moved him into their home, and homeschool was easier. After her father passed away, Rhonda operated a preschool two days per week. All the girls enjoyed helping with the preschool, and Rhonda loved it. “It is a joy to see children when they learn something new,” Rhonda said about her preschool and her homeschool experience of teaching children.
When the fifth child was in the eighth grade, Jim Ed was diagnosed with cancer. The future was uncertain and the family was reeling from the devastating news, so the decision was made for her to go to public school in 2014. It was also what she wanted to do. She has made straight A’s, and when she turned 16, she began working at the local nursing home. Over the summer she attended VoTech, and today, she is a certified nursing assistant (CNA). She continues to work 20 hours each week and will graduate from high school in 2018. Rhonda continued to home educate her last one through Jim Ed’s chemo and later, remission of his cancer.
After having the house full of children, having just one to homeschool has been lonely for her youngest son. He plays baseball, football, and basketball; and they have decided to enroll him in public school this year. He is in the fifth grade. However, Rhonda is open to having him come back to homeschooling if he decides he wants to do so.
Their first born went to the local community college for one semester after graduating and decided to take a job instead of continuing college. He is now married and has two little boys of his own. His job is working with an oil equipment company. The second son chose to go straight to work and is single. He loves his job working for the same company as his older brother. One of the twins is married and has a baby boy who was diagnosed with cancer at only a month of age. He is a fighter and continues to have chemo and spends many days in the hospital. The other twin “is an adventurer,” says Rhonda. She is single, and plans to work toward her CNA like her sister.
Rhonda would not trade her years of home education. She says it was the greatest adventure of her life, and she would absolutely recommend this option to others. The most amazing part was the freedom, and that part of home education is what she will miss most while her last two children are in public school. Real life challenges happened during those homeschool years–adoption of twins that changed the family dynamic and took some adjustment, caring for ailing parents, a father/husband having cancer, and all the normal challenges that families face. Rhonda relates, “Homeschooling is not easy-peasy; it takes a huge commitment and discipline.”
- Saxon Math
- Biographies & Autobiographies
- Sing, Spell, Read, & Write
- Bob Jones
- Coop Unit Studies
Selection of Favored Field Trips and Activities:
- Harn Homestead
- Hydro Corn Maze
- Waste Management
- Pumpkin Patch
- Omniplex (now Oklahoma Science Museum) Classes
- Wichita Mountains Geology with Dr. Sharp
- Rose Rock Museum
- Braum’s Tour
- Anadarko Native American Museum
- Sam Noble Museum of Natural History
- Osteology Museum
- State Capitol Tour
- Governor’s Mansion Tour
- 45th Infantry Museum
- Softball Hall of Fame
- National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum