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An Interview with a Homeschooler: Karina Joy

How do homeschoolers do it? 

Before we dive in.

I first met Karina when Jax was 18 months old, and due to his hearing difficulties, Karina became my source of knowledge and helped guide me through some painful times in Jax’s early years.

Although this is how our friendship started, our love and respect for one another has grown into a deep connection. She is someone I can turn to, and lean on during difficult times.

During this interview, you will read about her experience as a Home Educator, Mum and Woman.


INTRODUCE YOURSELF, YOUR KIDS & YOUR PASSIONS IN LIFE

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I’m Karina Joy. I’m a Deaf, single, homeschooling Mama of 4 blessings, DS 12, DS 11, DD 9 and Foster Son 8.

I was born hearing to two very musical teachers. It followed suit that I was also musical and very talkative. At 2 I became very sick for 6 weeks, and upon recovery, I was diagnosed as profoundly deaf. I had lost all my speech and my perfect pitch. So began a journey of relearning how to talk. My parents decided to put me into a small mainstream school and high school.

I found out I was ‘Deaf” when I was in Year 1 and a boy from Year 2 called out to me “you’re Deaf! you’re deaf!” in a teasing singsongy voice. I had never heard this word before. I went home and asked my mum, “What is deaf?”

She explained that it was another word for Hearing Impaired and that it was something people didn’t understand so sometimes were not kind.

I knew I was Deaf (and liked that as part of my Identity) when I started working in Early Intervention and had a delightful Deaf colleague.

My passions are God, my kids, my friends, teaching Auslan, and replacing unhelpful chemicals with natural products and essential oils.

As I have been growing to understand and love my identity as a Single Deaf homeschooling Mum, I am keen to share my passions with others.

I am supporting families who want to learn Auslan for their Deaf children. I also teach Auslan as a LOTE to other homeschooling families. My skills as an Early Childhood Teacher of the Deaf are being used in ways I never dreamed of. It’s such a fun journey.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU HOME EDUCATED FOR?

I have been homeschooling since my first child was born. I never expected I would homeschool, as a teacher before I became a Mum, I figured I would do what everyone else does…BUT a very dear friend started homeschooling her children and whilst I was not convinced, I was intrigued.

Then it came time to consider “preschool” for my little boy and I realised I was a SNOB

No preschool can meet all my expectations…

Then began my quest to convince my son’s father. He saw the stats and evidence for homeschooling and I began my journey of facilitating learning at home…..but their Dad had different ideas…That “school” had to happen at home.

WHAT IS YOUR METHOD OF HOME EDUCATION? – DO YOU HAVE A ROUTINE?

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My method is Madness!!!

I used to be very confined to try to teach with a “curriculum” that my children’s father approved. I left that situation and started looking at resources that suited each child but still meeting requirements of easy registration. Each child had developed hatreds of certain materials and styles so I enabled online and opportunities for life learning and incidental learning. My second son was diagnosed with Irlen’s Syndrome, which explained a lot of the pressure and panic he felt with reading and learning. They have spent about 2 years learning online and then this year they all expressed an interest in having more workbook style. I have tried to offer choices and guide but still follow their lead and need.

Routine….. I try to allow mornings for accomplishing our “bookwork” and afternoons are more interest led before we go to pick up my littlest foster son from his school. He is Deaf and goes to a signing bilingual school.

TELL US ABOUT BEING A MUM TO CHILDREN WHO ARE HEARING.

It’s WONDERFUL! I LOVE being a Mum! I use tricks to find out what’s happening, “Oooooh I hear a noise, what was that?” or I watch their faces to let me know what volume the TV should be. My kids are VERY good with eye contact, and if they want something from me, they can’t yell at me from another room. They look out for each other and if one gets hurt, one of the others comes to get me.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU’D LIKE HEARING PEOPLE TO KNOW

Deaf people are not less intelligent, or less able.

Deaf is beautiful. Hearing people have to be made aware of this. I believe this needs to happen from the top. We have a very medical model community where disability needs to be fixed or eliminated.

I wish hearing people would stop seeing me as disabled (less able) but as a wonderful part of their world, capable of anything when ENabled.

I wish people would not assume that the Cochlear Implant is a magical cure for deafness, it’s really not!

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I’d really love to thank Karina for sharing with us about her life, her experience and also giving us some things to think about! Thank you, Karina! 


If you’d like to be interviewed and share your story, send me an email! I’d honestly love to hear from you! Click here to send me an email.

Make sure you sign up to receive the Eunoia Homeschool Magazine so you can read these interviews, as well as other interesting articles written by homeschoolers. Clicking the link will also give you FREE access to past articles.  


We hope you enjoyed this little interview!

♥ Jami & Karina

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