Where does your daughter go to school in the Porcupine Mountains?  After the last blog, we received even more questions about homeschooling.  What we use, how we do it, what works for us…

100_3390So, this edition will shed some light on the aspect of raising children while running a business like Mountain View Lodges.  What materials we use is a complicated question.  We take advantage of all that we have at hand.  The tens of thousands of acres of wilderness, the abundant wildlife and, of course, Lake Superior!  We also have used a variety of curriculums over the years.  We have geared each year to Karsten’s interests.  She is more excited about learning that way.  Photography, glass work, painting and writing have kept her creative side blossoming.  As she has gone into High School, she has opted more for online studies.

Over the years we have watched for opportunities in Ontonagon, the community we live in, also.  She’s performed in Miracle on 34th Street as “Susan”, worked an historical internship at the Ontonagon County Historical Museum and Lighthouse, attended Exploration Days at Michigan State University, attended summer camp every year, counseled elementary camp, and worked for the Outpost and the Porcupine Mountains Ski Hill.  Her artwork has been on display at various shows and she won the Michigan Youth Photography Contest.

Kar's first snowman of the season!How we do it may be the most important factor.  Since we began when she was so young, the goal was to be sure she learned to teach herself and learn on her own.  As with any working parent, it is difficult to keep up with everything the children need to learn.  So, it became our focus to make sure what she didn’t know or didn’t understand, she knew how to go about finding the answers.  This has proven to be the most critical part of her learning experience.  Now that she is 16, she is level-headed, able to make good decisions and curious enough to find the answers to the questions that come up both in her studies and in her everyday life.

Homeschooling has also allowed her to do quite a bit of traveling.  We have been to at least 24 States!  Seeing the different parts of the country has provided many educational opportunities as well.  She has traveled by bus, train, plane and cab.  She skis, snowboards, likes to 4-wheel and has even been snowmobiling.

Rick and Kar Christmas 2012What has made it all work is keeping things flexible.  Some days there are many cabins to clean and prepare for the incoming guests.  On those days, we are all working doing our part to make the business run smoothly.  Other days are relatively quiet allowing for more study, reading or just relaxing.  We do try to incorporate some study into the summer even though this is the busiest time.  Usually this is more reading, maybe some writing or a new computer program that can be done on the fly.

If you have stayed at Mountain View Lodges over the years, you have watched Karsten grow into a beautiful young woman.