#IAHE Blog Hop: Kendra Fletcher Q&A

I am honored this month to share an interview with one of the upcoming Indiana Association of Home Educator's 2016 Convention Speakers - Kendra Fletcher! Kendra and her husband produce the popular HomeschoolingIRL podcast. Kendra also blogs at PreschoolersandPeace.com and KendraFletcher.com, and her husband blogs at TheMangoTimes.com.

The Fletcher family lives in Central California, where 19 years ago they first decided to homeschool their oldest, who was then four years old. They said it was just a trial run. That firstborn graduated from their homeschool thirteen years later, and they've gone on to homeschool the rest of their eight kids, too! They have 5 sons (23, 21, 18, 9, 7) and 3 daughters (16, 14, 12). Their youngest son is a little boy with special needs who keeps them all on their toes. Read on to learn more about their family and what subjects they'll be discussing at the convention!

Kendra, your blog "Preschoolers and Peace" was immensely helpful to me when I first started homeschooling. Can you tell us a little bit more about it and the related books you've written?

I write several places at the moment, but most consistently at Homeschooling in Real Life, the site that hosts our weekly podcast of the same name. I also still update the Preschoolers and Peace website designed for homeschooling moms trying to juggle multiple ages, and at my personal blog, kendrafletcher.com.

I started Preschoolers and Peace 10 years ago after being asked to speak on how to homeschool older kids when there are toddlers, preschoolers, and babies underfoot. At the time there were just a few of us blogging about homeschooling, and the site grew rapidly. I love to incorporate a group teaching time in my homeschool, and in fact, I think that's what's largely saved my sanity! If you're interested in creating your own group teaching time in your home, I've written Circle Time: Plan the Best Part of Your Day just for you. If you need the most helpful stuff and the nitty gritty, I've also written Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Kids With Success While Loving the Little Ones at Your Feet, with the hope that other homeschooling moms who are feeling overwhelmed might find some practical ideas and their own measure of peace.

You and your husband run the website "Homeschooling In Real Life" which features humorous podcasts on "real life" homeschooling issues - what are some of the topics you cover? Any favorite episodes you'd like to share?

One of the most fun projects I've ever been a part of is the Homeschooling in Real Life podcast, because my husband Fletch and I get to sit across from each other once a week and record the show. He's got a terrific sense of humor and never fails to make me crack up. We're nearing 100 episodes this month, and we've covered everything from how to talk to your kids about sex to what homeschooling does to a marriage to homeschooling when you feel suffocated by all the kids to more educationally-specific topics like dyslexia and special needs.

You have a new book coming out this year from New Growth Press that sounds heart-wrenching and inspiring - can you tell us a little bit more about it?

When our youngest son was 7 weeks old, I found him in a coma. Within the next 18 months we would weather two more harrowing and life-threatening events with two of our other children. At the time, we were mired in our own good works, putting our hope in our religious behavior and choices. God in his tender, severe mercy pulled the proverbial rug out from underneath us and reminded us that He is our only hope. He breathed brand new life into our family. New Growth Press will be publishing our story in a book coming out at the end of the year called Lost and Found: Losing Religion and Finding Faith.

What advice would you give to homeschooling moms just starting out - especially those with little ones running around too?

Pray a lot. Pull ideas from friends and homeschooling sites and books, but ask God to narrow your focus and hear only Him. He's so good to give us yokes that are easy and burdens that are light!

We're excited to see you at the convention this year! What topics will you be speaking on?

We're so excited to be at IAHE, too! Fletch and I will be teaming up to talk about how hard times can make marriage better and also the pitfalls of making homeschooling an idol. I'll be speaking on choosing curriculum, how to teach science when you don't like it, college admissions, and yes - preschoolers and peace!

A big *THANK YOU* to Kendra for granting me an interview - I can't wait to hear her at the convention! Would you like to hear her and Fletch too? Well, you're in luck! Online convention registration has been extended until April 17th! (You can see their workshop schedule here.)

Come join us at the IAHE Convention for two days of encouraging workshops, shopping in the Exhibit Hall, and more on April 29 & 30. There is something for the whole family! And don't miss the special pre-convention events starting on Thursday, April 28! Check it all out here: http://www.iahe.net/2016-iahe-home-educators-convention

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