Davis Carman is passionate about being a husband and father. He and the wife of his youth, Rachael, have been happily married since 1986. They live near Charlotte, North Carolina where they are raising their seven children. The kids range in age from 8 to 21 with two boys on one end, two boys on the other, and three girls tucked safely in the middle. The Carman family has been enjoying the adventures of the homeschool lifestyle since 1996 when God “got their attention.”
Davis is the President/ Owner of Apologia Educational Ministries – a leading publisher of creation-based science and biblical worldview curricula designed specifically for homeschoolers. Under Davis’ leadership, Apologia now provides online courses through Apologia Academy, practical resources that encourage families in the homeschooling journey, social networking through Apologia World, and spiritual inspiration for moms via Real Refreshment Retreats. Davis is committed to staying true to the Apologia mission — to help homeschoolers learn, live, and defend the Christian faith.
Since 2002, Davis has served on the board of North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE), currently fulfilling the responsibilities of administrative vice president. He is also the North Carolina Ambassador for The Home School Foundation, which is a ministry dedicated to helping homeschool families in need. Davis is active in his local church, having served in various capacities including Awana Commander, Sunday school teacher, Deacon, and Elder.
Davis graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in Mechanical Engineering. He continued his education at Purdue University where he received his Master of Science degree. The first ten years of his career included research and development in the aerospace and automotive industries. The second ten years he was the General Manager of a growing plastic manufacturing company. Davis is now a work-at-home homeschool dad working out of a home office as the President of Apologia.
A Christian radio station manager had this to say about Davis and Rachael. “They have the unique ability of turning their personal experiences with homeschooling into encouraging lessons for all of us… and they are lessons that transcend homeschooling. They are about a life devoted to The Truth. God has used them to uplift, refocus, and teach many people, myself included.”
Why did you choose to homeschool?
Why did I choose to homeschool? I didn’t! I believe that is was more like God chose me to homeschool. I really didn’t want to. I worked hard to avoid God’s leading and ignore His provision. But He is so patient and faithful! He continued to pursue my heart, and I am so grateful. The whole story is much longer than this space provides, but God had a plan far better than my plan. His is forever centered on His glory whereas mine had been self-centered. God chose me to homeschool these children that He sent into our home. This homeschooling journey has been an adventure that I am glad I didn’t choose to miss!
What is your favorite thing about homeschooling?
My favorite thing about homeschooling is knowing that I have a real opportunity to instill Christian values in my children by teaching them God’s Word, praying with them, talking about Jesus’ love for them, and doing all this when we rise up, when we sit, when we walk along the way, and when we lie down (Deut. 6). Our calendar, routines, curriculum, extra-curricular activities, and everything else can be tailored to support the goal to help our children fall madly in love with the one who loved them first: Jesus.
What is your homeschool style?
My homeschooling style continues to grow. At first it was centered on the pattern I was trained in as a public school teacher. Over the last 16 years it has expanded, relaxed, and changed. When we started I thought like a ‘professional.’ A professional educator is focused on outcomes and test scores, not individuals or hearts. My perception of homeschooling in the beginning was all about academic achievement, but now I see that the goal should be discipleship in ‘the way they should go’. In short I am eclectic, pulling from a variety of sources and books and approaches to pursue what works best for our family and each individual child.
If you could homeschool anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
There is a location in the world that is my favorite place to watch my kids do their reading, writing, math, science, and other projects. As a matter of fact, I am there right now listening to Rachael read to the kids. It is one of the most inspiring places in the world where you can see God’s handiwork in the crepe myrtles, ferns, and elephant ears. In this location, you can listen to the yellow warbler, tree frogs, and cicadas sing their summer songs. This wonderful place to homeschool is the gazebo of our front porch.