Around Our Town...Outstanding Educators
04/01/2005 - With Mothers day rapidly approaching (May 8, for those last minute gift buyers) we decided to feature a home schooling mom as our Outstanding Educator this month.
Thirty year Casper area resident, Pam Bartosh, has been home schooling for 13 years. Visiting with this hard-working mother, it becomes apparent that she is in this for the long haul. "Home schooling is a marathon, not a fifty-yard-dash," she relates. Husband, Andy, describes her as "extrememly focused" and "very dedicated". Quite dedicated himself, Andy is the family's math teacher.
Pam is currently educating four of the five Bartosh children, the oldest having graduated four years ago. Flint (17) is expected to graduate this summer. Of his mom he says, "I'm thankful for the countless hours she spent." He tells us his dad is a "walking, talking, calculator – I would have never made it through algebra without him".
Cierra (13) says, "I really enjoy homeschooling. It has helped me grow closer to my parents. Dad does a really good job teaching math. I've learned a lot from him, although math isn't my favorite subject."
Caleb (9) disagrees, "I like math the best. I really like home schooling because I don't have to get up at six o'clock!"
"I ask to do more school even after we've finished!" Beams six-year-old Gracie. "I liked school in kindergarten and I still like it even though I'm in the hard grade." :)
Hannah (21), now married, says of her mother, "Having her home educate us gave me a great respect for her in seeing all that she was willing to sacrifice. The experience of Dad doing math with me, even though it had it's rough moments, was a special bonding time – I had a connection with my dad there." When asked whether she would home school her own children, she responded without hesitation, "I'm fully planning on it."
We asked Pam to chronicle a typical day in her life as a home schooling mom:
4:05 am – Up and at 'em. Andy and I get ready together, seizing the moment to visit.
4:45 am – We sit together, reading the Bible. This is precious quiet time for us. It probably won't happen again until tomorrow morning.
5:15 am – I get Andy's breakfast and lunch ready and see him off to work.
5:45 am – I will typically put in a load of laundry or tidy up the kitchen.
6:00 am I find it necessary to make lesson plans since I'm teaching a total of 32 books to our four school age children. It helps me to feel more organized. My daily planning takes about forty-five minutes.
6:45 am – This is my exercise time. I do an exercise video and walk outside, weather permitting.
7:30 am – Time to get the children up. Hugs, baths, beds – so much to do, so little time. Occasionally, I succeed at repressing my "drill sergeant" nature. :)
8:30 am – We enjoy a simple breakfast together. The children take turns sharing a scripture, song and prayer.
9:00 am – Routine house work.
10:00 am – This is the time that I spend individually instructing the children. We go through each of their books while the others finish duties or practice their piano lessons.
12:00 noon – Lunch time!
1-3 pm – During this time the children do their school work. I usually read and rest.
3:00 pm – Time to clean up, correct school work, and play outdoors.
4:00 pm – Hurray! Daddy's home! If I haven't already, I begin dinner preparation.
5:30 pm – We sit down to dinner together, especially enjoying the times our oldest daughter and her husband join us. Daddy leads in family devotions.
6:30 pm – Andy goes through any math or science questions, his areas of expertise.
7:30 pm – Bath time and reading aloud. We usually have a couple of series going like The Chronicles of Narnia or the American Girls.
8:30 pm – Hugs, kisses, prayers, nite nite.
My goal each day is best summarized as follows, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength...You shall teach them (these commands) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." This is a tall order and I often miss the mark; nevertheless, I aim towards the target each day.