Thirty-seven-year-old Mandy Davis spent her educational pursuits obtaining a bachelor’s degree and then a MasterMasters’s in Education and Instructional Design in order to be an advocate for positive change in the public school system. Mandy, who grew up in Nebraska after being adopted from South Korea, struggled in school. Mandy’s husband, Josh, who moved frequently as a child, also suffered in his formative years. The differing public school systems he was placed in while moving from state to state allowed him to suffer large gaps in his learning.
“Schools are a tricky beast,” Mandy said, adding that as a parent and educator, it was difficult to make changes to how materials were taught,
“I remember, as an educator, wanting more control over how I was teaching curriculum,” she continued. “But then I would have to have it approved by my admin—the school—the district—the state … and ultimately the answer was always NO.
“Education and educational change are complex—outside of the fault of a singular group but multifaceted. This makes change difficult and slow.”
Mandy and Josh live in Oregon and are raising three children, ages 11, 9, and 1.
According to Epoch Times, even as a principal at a Christian School, Mandy realized she was able to have little impact on the education system and needed to pull her children out of school, saying,
“Schools today are tough, I couldn’t be the change I wanted to be in our school system, but more so, I couldn’t leave my children in it to suffer.”
Mandy wanted a different kind of education for her children. One where they were encouraged to learn to think rather than being told what to think. She also recognized the value of children being able to learn without worrying about being perfect,
“I wanted my children to not sit at a desk for 7-plus hours each day,” Mandy added. “I wanted to be able to provide my children with a life of enriching learning. I wanted my children to focus on progress and not perfection. I wanted to raise thinkers and leaders, not followers and workers.”
Mandy discussed many of the problems she faced in both public and private schools, from poor student behavior to outdated curriculum, to teacher shortages and wasted time. She also noted the addition of an agenda-driven, politically charged curriculum. All became factors in her decision to homeschool her children.
Mandy’s new school schedule allows her family to cultivate a different approach to learning. Rather than sitting still at a desk for hours on end, Mandy’s kids are able to engage in learning that does end at 3 pm each day. She said she is most commonly asked about their new routine,
“One of the most popular questions I receive is, ‘What is your daily homeschool schedule?’ Answer: We don’t have one,” Mandy said. “In our home culture, it was important for my children to understand that learning is a joy that never has to end. When we are reading a good book, we don’t need to stop because the clock is telling us it’s time for a math lesson; if we find a praying mantis in the garden, we don’t need to take a photo and run because we have language arts to get to.”