The 12 talented children in the new GAC series The Willis Clan are all home schooled by their parents, Toby and Brenda Willis. If you’ve ever wondered what that process is like, you’ll see it in action in tonight’s episode, airing at 8/7c.
“Some people call the way we home school ‘unschooling,’” says Brenda, who has a degree in education and previously taught in the public school system. “Obviously I sit down with the littlest ones and I teach them how to read, teach them their basic math. But once they can read, it’s pretty much, ‘Here’s the book – learn it.’ And of course we check in with them all the time. But we may be on the front porch, on the couch, on a blanket in the yard. We try to keep everything we do really involved in ‘real life.’
“I use flash cards a lot when I’m teaching math,” she continues. “They’re great for practice drills. Beyond teaching them the basics – to read and to count – I want my kids to know that, if they want to learn how to sky dive or how to build a machine – whatever they want to do, they can figure out how to do it. And if you start that at a very young age, they will not have that fear of learning.”
Brenda recently gave us tour of the family’s beautiful and well-organized rustic cabin in Ashland City, Tenn. (just outside Nashville). Check out their classroom, gym, recording studio and more in our photo gallery HERE!