My Homeschooling Nightmare

My daughter is going to turn 5 in a few short months. Yesterday she placed an enormous, glittery, pink , princess, backpack on herself and loaded it up with junk. She said, “I’m going on vacation,” but all I could think of was her eventual first day of kindergarten.

She is going to need to attend school and that scares me, for a few reasons. For one thing, I don’t want her to get bigger. I’d like to invent a child “pause” button for both of my children.

Secondly, the decision of where to send your child to school can be a daunting one.  I have friends who have struggled, prayed, been put on waiting lists, been rejected by schools they liked, only to start  all over again.

There is also the issue, however, of homeschooling. This word used to sound like a dirty word to me. Homeschool. Still sends shivers down my spine. My husband and his brother were both homeschooled through high school and all things considered, are two of the most normal, healthy, Godly guys I know.

But I’m no homeschooling mom. I imagine all homeschooling moms wear denim jumpers and have hair down to my butt. I don’t have a baseball team worth of children or drive a mini-van. Do those things automatically disqualify me or is there more to this homeschooling thing than I assume?

For starters, I’ve discovered that the days of the stereotypical homeschooling mom are long gone. They don’t all reside in Nebraska, Missouri, Montana, nor birth an average 6.8 children.

Instead, many homeschooling moms are actually kinda cool, not that I find this a requirement, but it helps (and not that you can’t be cool from the above mentioned states or if you have a boat-load of kids).

I have also been reminded numerous times by my mother-in-law that once you decide to homeschool, nothing says that you only have to homeschool for the rest of your child’s school life. You could do it for one year or two years, then stop, if you felt that’s what God had for your family.

The problem is, I have a visceral reaction when I imagine myself at my kitchen table playing teacher with my daughter. The thought makes my head want to explode. It sounds to me like one of the most not-fun things I could possibly do. Actually, it sounds more like a nightmare….like a long, drawn out, painfully uncool, nightmare.

I am sure that I have neither the patience, or the perseverance to teach my child on a daily basis. The bad news (depending on who you are) however, is that, as of right now, I think that is where the Lord is leading me.

I have had a few dreams and words from the Lord that homeschooling may, in fact, become my gig. Eek! It makes me want to shout “God, what are you thinking?”

I had the realization, for instance, that as my husband and I have set out and started a house church recently, soon enough our life will be filled with ministry. I used to think that sending my kids off to school would afford me more time to “do ministry” during the day.

However, the realization came when a friend was praying for me about something totally unrelated and I was struck with the notion that ministry does not happen between the hours of 8-5. Usually, it actually happens in the night or on weekends– at times that could even be perceived as inconvenient.

If I was home with my kids homeschooling them, then actually I would be buying more time away from them, so to speak. Having spent all day with them, each day, when I did need to leave to “do ministry” I would not feel as though I did not see them. They too would not be  gone at school all day only to have me leave.

At any rate, school is right around the corner and I don’t feel peace one way or the other. I am open to whatever God has, but I sure hope He starts changing my heart if He wants me to homeschool because as of right now, it still makes me cringe…that and the thought of driving a mini-van. May it never be! But hey, if God handed me a Toyota Sienna, I wouldn’t say “no.”

What are your thoughts on the topic of homeschooling? In favor, opposed, neutral? Got any amazing (as in bad or as in funny) homeschooling stories to share with me? Advice too, I’ll take it.

55 thoughts on “My Homeschooling Nightmare”

  1. We homeschool and have homeschooled from day one with our oldest, who will be 11 in April. I have never understood the stereotyping of homeschoolers. I don’t wear denim jumpers (though I did once upon a time, in high school). I only have three kids, with one on the way in June.

    I wear jeans. I wear makeup. My hair only goes down to my shoulders. I am Catholic, but not the Latin-Mass community, mantilla-wearing Catholic you may be envisioning. I listen to Meat Loaf. In short, I don’t think I fit any kind of homeschooling stereotype, any more than a public school mom would neccessarily be a “soccer mom”. I don’t drive a min-van, so I don’t know why you automatically assume a homeschooling mom would HAVE to drive a mini van. In my experience, vehicle purchases are dependent on the size of the family, not the educational choices of the parents.

    Considering that your husband was homeschooled, and you think he’s a pretty neat guy, i don’t know why you feel compelled to share these stereotypes.

    Anyway. Right now my oldest is working independently on his math. My six year old just finished doing his math problems with me, and he and his little brother are playing with math manipulatives. Later we’ll do grammar and reading. I’m not chained to the kitchen table. Some mornings we head out to the museums, or to a field trip, or just to Trader Joe’s. If it’s a snow day for the public schools, we take a snow day too and do non-school things. If we’re sick, we take a sick day and make it up later.

    That all being said, I truly believe one should only make the decision to homeschool IF you feel called, and if you believe it would be in the best interests of your children. You shouldn’t do it grudgingly, with half a heart. Homeschooling has benefitted our family enormously. My kids have a great relationship wtih each other, partly (I believe) because they are not separated from each other all day and identify with their family, not their peers. This is vital to keeping a family strong in today’s culture.

    Just my thoughts for today. If I come across as defensive, I apologize. I just finished writing an article about the wrong reasons to homeschool, so I’m still processing a lot of feedback!

    1. Karen,

      I apologize if you all felt like I was poking fun at you.

      I have quite a few friends who homeschool and they do not fit any typical stereotype.

      I did not grow up anywhere near this environment. I was raised by a single mom, in a pretty much non-religious home. I had school, then after-school care, then late night care.

      My stereotypes exist because I was not exposed to homeschooling until a few years ago. The image in the post, was actually pulled from a homeschooling site…moms making fun of themselves.

      I’ve discussed with many people the benefits (as well as the drawbacks).

      I agree that anyone choosing to homeschool should do so for the right reasons. I fear the parents to homeschool to insulate their kids from the world, for example.

      Thank you for sharing a brief snapshot of your homeschooling life. It might sound trivial, but the more I hear from moms like you, the more I think I could, in fact, do what I believe God is calling me to do…so thank you!

  2. I am not married or have children, but I am helping my parents raise my four year old nephew. he just started pre-school at bethany learning center ( a christian school in tempe) and the change in him has been amazing. he sings songs about Jesus and understands bible stories a lot better, he also has gotten so much better at carrying on a conversation. As a high energy boy the time on the playground has been an awesome way for him to blow off steam. Until seeing how well he is doing in a “good” preschool I though I would want to homeschool my kids (if I ever have any) through their elementary stages. I have been confronted with the fact that I may not be as good at it as I thought I would be, cause his teacher is amazing! I guess in the end it is always better to go where God calls us. And sometimes our hearts don’t change until we are actually acting in obedience. I didn’t want to move home and help my parents raise my nephew and now there is nothing I would trade it for and I don’t want to leave. I don’t know if any of this helps! I’ll pray for you!

    1. Kristin,

      I think you bring up some great points. I believe God can place a child in any number of situations and have that situation be the best for their education.

      I certainly don’ think there is a right or a wrong, only where God leads a particular family.

      I’m thankful your nephew has found such success and joy where he is!

      I love too what you said about just obeying sometimes. Our hearts do change when we just say “yes” sometimes. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. (1) Your hubby was homeschooled, and look how he turned out.
    (2) You have your MIL and many other wonderful friends as resources.
    (3) Pray and obey. If God says to homeschool, GFI! If not, GFI! Just don’t be paranoid about it: remember, you only have to know 1 day more than your kids. Plus you’ll learn a lot yourself along the way. {Just my kind of unbiased opinion. :) }

    1. Jane,

      Thank you for the encouragement.

      My hesitation and fear come, not from misunderstanding the benefits or the resources, but more so from a lack of reconciliation between what I think God is asking me to do and where my heart actually is.

      Plus, I am not my mother-in-law. I am not organized, disciplined, goal-oriented, self-motivated…all traits that I think a good homeschooling mom would hold.

      But I am praying and waiting to make a decision, trusting God for the outcome!

      1. I am certainly not your MIL, either (who could be??), but overall it was a positive experience for our family. The other thing to remember is that you don’t have to do it all – that’s what they created groups for. Someone else was much better at teaching art and science and politics to my kids than I was, so we pooled our resources in groups. You contribute your strengths and so do others, and the kids benefit.

      2. Here’s a thought that I read on another blog: Whatever kind of mother you are, that’s the kind of homeschooler you’ll be. Don’t compare yourself to other homeschooling moms; that way lies insanity and insecurity. If you’re the best YOU that you can be, then you’ll be content. I have a good friend who is on the fence about homeschooling, especially after her daughter had a bad experience in their school last year. Her hangup is she is comparing herself to me. I am (slightly) more organized than her, and she is convinced that she couldn’t possibly homeschool unless she uses the same textbooks/organizing materials that I do.

        I keep telling her that there is no perfect homeschooling mom. I’m sure if you asked your MIL, she would tell you things she would have done differently, and that she doesn’t think she’s perfect either! Am I the “perfect” mom? Am I the perfect homeschooler? No. There isn’t any such animal. But I am the Mom that God gave my children, and all I can do is be the best at being me, and do my utmost with the gifts God has given ME.

        1. Karen,

          One thing you said really struck me…that “I am the mom that God gave my children…”

          I am so quick to forget this. It is no accident that my kids are mine and I am theirs.

          I have to trust God in His wisdom in giving us to each other and however that works itself out in terms of school.

          Thank you for that. I really needed the reminder and encouragement.

  4. Here are some thoughts from another homeschooled kid who turned out ok (I think!) haha

    Kelly and I were both homeschooled, but not throughout our entire pre-college educational lives. I had a fabulous experience with it (I mean with my mom, how could I not?) but I also believe the decision of to homeschool or not to homeschool should be made with each child individually. Some kids work very well in the context of homeschooling- others need more structure and a formal “classroom” environment. My mom pulled me out of public school in 2nd grade and I went back to school my freshman year of HS. Kelly was homeschooled until middle school and then went to Veritas in 7th grade. The flexibility that homeschooling allows is something I think you would really enjoy. Also, there are so many different options as to how to do it- joining a homeschool co-op was a great idea for my mom once Kelly and I got older so she didn’t have the pressure of teaching us every single subject! In 7th and 8th grades, I went to Cocopah Middle School for about an hour/day and JUST took science so I could have the lab experience. There are SO many options within the context of homeschooling! (I’m sure Kathy has talked to you about many of them) :)

    Oh one more thing- people will always bring up the socialization issue, which is where I think we get a lot of those homeschoolers-are-a-bunch-of-socially-awkward-freaks stereotypes. Don’t downplay the importance of a social life! It is important. But also very possible (and in my opinion often more well-rounded) in the context of homeschooling.

    1. I always forget that you guys were homeschooled.

      I think, on the point of flexibility, you are right, I would enjoy it.

      I love the idea of being able to take a vacation whenever we’d like and not have to worry about missing school.

      Likewise, I know Jonathan loved being able to work early because he could have his school work done in two days.

      My kids are annoyingly social already, so I’m not too worried about the socialization part either.

      Thanks for commenting Emily!

  5. I had a long lengthy answer I was going to give you on this, but I’ll keep it brief:

    Do whatever God leads you to do of course, but if you as a parent feel the need to take your kid out of a public school and teach them yourself, I encourage you fully and absolutely to do it. I have seen the inside of public education in this state and it is highly political. Just look at what’s going on over in Wisconsin. That’s coming to Arizona once the prop 100 money runs out next year…

    As a child, I should have been home schooled. My brother should have been home schooled as well. He had met all of his HS requirements by the end of 11th grade and had nothing to do his senior year.

    Your husband is home schooled and he’s a normal and well adjusted guy (although 24 hours in a movie theater worries me).

    My best friend is home schooled. Ironically, he does in fact have 5 siblings and is from Nebraska. He’s also one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met.

    In my opinion, home schooling done right works well the child learns at his or her own pace. Life skills and social skills can be learned through church, sports, clubs, and other activities.

    All you can do is pray, seek God, and follow your mom instincts. The fact that there is even a debate leads me to believe that you know what you want to do but are worried. It’s a hard job, but if you can do it, your kids will thank you later. Besides, at least you won’t be a football between the politicians and the teacher’s unions.

    Okay, so I exposed my bias: Pray, listen, and follow your gut – God put it there for a reason.

    P.S. John is a good guy and he’ll still love you, even if you end up with waist length hair and mom jeans.

    1. Joey,

      Great advice, thank you. I too dislike the public school system, and find the liberal propaganda being spoon-fed to kids repulsive.

      I’m leaning towards Christian school (which isn’t much better for different reasons), montessori, or homeschooling.

      I agree with Jonathan though that waist length hair and anything resembling mom jeans or a denim jumper could constitute a problem. :)

  6. As The cost of the private school I love so much rises… the thought has entered my mind.. what if I were to homeschool? Given Josh’s situation and my certain desires for their hearts it has crossed my mind! Then reality hits me and I realize my mind is always such a creative place, but doing it would be a totally different manner… I too lack the skills you spoke of. However…do not let it discourage you, if I were in your place with such great resources and help it would be worth a try! Maybe God gave you your family to fill spaces with the gifts you don’t feel you have, or maybe God will give them to you if he truly wants you to homeschool. Your reason for homeschooling makes complete sense.

    I think both going to school has it’s benefits as well as homeschooling. That is for each family to decide.

    For me I love Josh and Alexa learning from others as well as me….different personalities etc in hopes they may learn some of the skills I haven’t been taught and wish I knew (such as organization) and also learning to respect and learn from others personalities etc good and bad. Another thing I like is having the interaction with other children throughout the day as they learn
    (and please note I did not say homeschooled children do not have plenty of social opportunities because I know they do if not more)in their school environment the children work together a lot as well as alone. I also love the people we meet and the situations we learn from dealing with others in a school manner. However that is why I am so selective in my schools. I love the smaller more intimate “family” type schools that are big enough to offer variety in education and friends but small enough to know my children well and as an individual, know me, and I am a big part of it, their friends and the culture. Also my children are 3 years apart but still play together on the playground at their school so they also have each other in and out throughout the day. It is literally in a farm house. For us, not having family around, I think we all love the little school they go to.

    I also though am HUGE on having them home quite a bit and not having them in aftercare etc all the time because like you, my mom worked and was gone much of my growing up life and when I had children it was my number one priority to make my husband and them my priority, .. I do a lot of hard things to keep it this way but I want no regrets in the amount of time I spend with my kiddos. So far I really like the balanced approach for our family and the kids seem to like it too. For example until they are older I always kept the younger kids home a few days a week.

    So that is an example of why it’s a family decision.. neither are wrong. You have an amazing family surrounding you with lots of action and love… which is also another reason it could be more compelling to homeschool.

    Go for it, who knows? Maybe you’ll be the most amazing homeschool mom ever! Or maybe you do it a year and send her on to school… but as I’ve learned each year it CAN be different.

    This is the most important advice a friend gave me a few years ago. Coming from Nebraska I felt it wasn’t normal if my child didn’t have his school plan and stay with it for life. Once I accepted the fact it can change and they survive… I have now embraced a year by year philosophy. Do I want them to have stability and continuous relationships? Sure! But I also started looking at it like a few different experiences in life could actually be better in the long run. So now I embrace change, and dread it too! But God is there….. and that’s what I keep reminding myself as another year of decision making comes upon me.

    1. Jen

      I think a “year by year philosophy” is healthy and if we end up homeschooloing, that is what we will do–reassess each year.

      I like your point too about our kids learning from people other than ourselves. SO many wonderful people I know have so much to offer my kids.

  7. i remember “hearing” the call to homeschool my child for the very 1st time… i was like “uhh, God who are you talking to? coz i sure ain’t a home-schoolin’ mama!!!”

    and yet, this single mama has home-schooled for 6 years already (k-5th grade) WHILE working full time (in an office, with a boss and everything).

    i’ve tried different curriculum but the one that works best for me is abeka academy with the dvd’s. just coz the pressure of having to teach everything is off of my shoulders so i can work and make a living.

    im not gonna lie and say it’s easy. it requires determination from the parent to not slack off and make the decision to be the best teacher ever for your child. but the rewards outweigh the hard times.

    if God is calling you to do it… He will give you the grace for it.

    1. I did not know you were a homeschooling mom because, I admit in my limited mind, I didn’t figure working full-time you would be able.

      I’m amazed and impressed and inspired! You rock Patricia and your kid is blessed to have such a devoted momma.

      1. thanks girl. holla atcha girl and let me know if you do it.. we can encourage each other along the way (or grumble and complain on how hard it is to be with our kids 24/7) LOL.

  8. I only have a few thoughts. Despite being a product of the Arizona public school system, one of the worst in the country, I am a fan of public school. This is not to say that I think all children should be placed into public school over private/homeschooling/christian. I strongly believe that children need to go where they need to go. I for one would have probably struggled greatly if homeschooled. I went to public school a gentle and nice boy who was terribly awkward with his peers, and I came out as a guy who was enthusiastic, socially magnetic, gentle, nice and also unafraid of tackling situations where I did not know a soul (which came in handy in college, let me tell you!) I could go on about my strengths if you would like ;)

    All that being said, while I think Jon would have done well in public school since he does well literally everywhere he goes, I believe he was meant to be homeschooled. Also, as you know, I have extremely busy parents, especially my father. I did not get to see him 1-5 nights a week throughout most of high school, yet I have a phenomenal relationship with him! This is because he and I make the time to see each other. The same thing goes for ministry life and sending the kiddos off to public school. You are a great mom, and I am sure that if ministry calls one night, then you’ll be there the next. Remember, kids don’t need their parents around every night as they get older, they just need some really solid nights with them every few days.

    ALL that being said, I think it is an individual basis on if a child should be sent to school or be schooled at home. I have seen and experienced some TRAIN WRECKS of kids who came out of the homeschool track, and I have seen some TRAIN WRECKS of kids who came out of the public school/christian school/private school tracks. Everyone is different and should have life handled for them differently. I’m not worried about the decision you and Jon will make because you two are some of the best parents I know who know their kid’s needs. You’ll do great!

  9. I don’t really have “a dog in this fight”, since I don’t have kids. But I always thought that when I do have kids, I’d like to homeschool for a couple of years.

    However, most schools do a perfectly fine job of teaching kids to read and add and stand in line and share their crayons (as evidenced by the fact that most adults have these skills).

    If I’m going to invest the time and energy to homeschool, I think I’ll do it when the kids are old enough study things schools don’t do a great job of. Science and history and personal finance, for starters. But when a kid reaches fifth or sixth grade, he or she is old enough for formal education on things like politics and religion. The underlying values on politics and religion are obviously taught from the time kids are young by virtue of being part of a family.

    But at around fifth grade, it’s time to formally teach things like what is good and bad about government and taxes, what’s the difference between a conservative and a liberal, or between a democrat and a republican, what do people of other religions believe, and why our family chooses to be on the side we’re on, civic responsibilities and our obligations to the poor, how freedom and security conflict and where we think the best balance should be, etc.

    I don’t know that I’ll have the patience or the resources or the desire to homeschool for nine years or twelve years, but I can supplement my kid’s out-of-home schooling with lessons that fill in any gaps, and at some point, for a year or two, I’d like some intensive time to challenge their mind and help them explore and develop their own values on issues that matter immensely, but that schools don’t do a great job of teaching.

    1. Erin,

      You bring up great points about what is useful to teach at home and what schools can handle quite well.

      I know a few families who have done a combo of private, public, and homeschooling in order to meet all of their kids needs.

  10. On the score of “doing ministry” we find that having our kids enrolled in the local public school is exactly what opens up ministry and mission opportunities, in a very natural way.

    I’ve seen some great examples of home-schooling and some not so great ones, like you do with any form of schooling option. My main issue with homeschooling is one of stewardship. Given it is relatively inefficient and puts huge demands on a family unit, does it produce a vastly superior result?

    1. Andrew,

      I am obviously not in favor of homeschooling across the board for everyone.

      However, the one thing that I find really great about it, is that it actually extremely efficient.

      For example, 2 hours only 4 times a week, year-round of homeschooling is 3 times (3 times!!!) the amount of on-task hours as regular school.

      Basically kids (like my husband when he was younger) can get a ton of focused school work done in so much less time, leaving more time for other things–like sports, music, jobs, ministry, serving, etc.

      Just something to think about…

      P.S. I love that you have developed opportunities to witness and evangelize through your kids school. So cool!

  11. I think you should continue to pray about and think about your decision. Luckily should you decide to homeschool you have a great MIL as a resource and a husband who knows how and will support you. Also remember whatever decision you make is not permanent. I have many friends who homeschool, all for different reasons. For some it works out, for others it is damaging to their children but they refuse to take advice from anyone else. I am close to homeschooled children who are terrified of the world. When I take them out in public with my son and I they cling to me while my son healthily socializes with other kids and parents. Its like they gave been taught to be afraid of the world and not trust anyone. I would never want that for anyones children. I would not want my child to feel powerless and small like that. The fact that you are reaching out to other parents is a great sign that you will put your children first. Either way just think about it. Don’t you want your daughter to be able to have the fun yearbook experience we had? Or your son to exceed at the sport of his choice and have his school supporting him? Whichever type of schooling you choose, it will be what you and your child make it. Good luck. My prayers and thoughts are with you.


    1. Misti,

      I too know homeschooled kids who are terrified of the world because their parents have kept them home in an attempt to insulate and shield them from any possible danger.

      It makes for some unhealthy and naive kids.

      I do want my kids to have some of the experiences I had, like yearbook, sports, Mr. Lighter (is that how you spell it?)

      However, I could skip them having other experiences like physical altercations, horrible rumors, peer pressure, and the like.

      Public school is a mixed bag, but I have no intention (at least right now) of homeschooling for 12 years. No thank you!

      Thank you for the encouragement too!

      1. Hahahahaha!!! I love that you call Mr. Leiter (I think that’s it) an “experience”!! “Stop. Rewind. Stop. Play.” Lol! :)

  12. Nicole, I done been home-teached and I reckon as I done did turneded out alright :)

    With regard to your fears of becoming some stereotype, in my experience, homeschooling tends to bring to light what is already present in a person’s mind and character rather than performing a personality overhaul. I think that if you decide to homeschool your kids they will benefit from everything that God has already made you to be- smart, fun, cool, etc. This is just my opinion, but I don’t think that God would call you to be or do something as a homeschooling mom that He wouldn’t call you to as the parent of children in a traditional school. I do know that whatever He does call you to do He will prepare you to do, and obedience will ALWAYS end up being worthwhile.

    With regard to other people’s perception of you, it’s true you will probably have to endure some strange looks and criticism. But as followers of Christ aren’t we all kind of looked at as freaks anyway?

    Well, I should probably get back to memorizing the complete works of Thomas Jefferson, or being a spelling bee champion, or digging my private bunker to prepare for Armageddon, or some other equally stereotypical homeschooler activity :)

  13. Pshhhh… homeschoolers are WEIRD!

    Just kidding. But I LOVE the stereotypes; they’re pretty funny.

    Emily already posted, so I guess this is redundant; however, I guess I do have my own view of the whole thing.

    I enjoyed being homeschooled- my mom called it a lot of “car school” as I would often do my Saxon math lessons while we ran errands. Maybe that’s why I hate math so much? I don’t know. Anyway, some homeschooled kids are DEFINITELY overly-sheltered and can give the rest of the group an unfortunate stereotype to live up (or should I say, “up to which they ought to live”? <- that's my homeschooled grammar freak coming out).

    At any rate, the spectrum is so broad that it really depends on the kid. Seeing as how Riley and Tolan are total weirdos who don't like to talk to anyone, it seems to me that they would fit in PERFECTLY with the rest of the Grand Caravan cruising, denim jumper wearing, Easy Grammar doing, Saxon math adoring, and Classical music listening, homeschoolers…

    If I as a former-homeschooler cannot make fun of myself and the stereotype, who can? haha! It's fun to prove to people that the stereotype is not the norm. :)

  14. As a mom who wishes she could be homeschooling her kids again instead of working, I think I can say that no matter what you choose to do about schooling them, your kids are going to become well-educated, productive members of society. I honestly think this is more an exercise of trust and obey than it is trying to figure out if you can do it or not. If God calls you to it, He’ll will certainly equip you for it. Then, you will either love it (like I did), or do it out of obedience (like I’m doing now with work). Either way, there are rich blessings to be had. So, the real question isn’t can you do it or will you be able to stand it. The question is, is it your Shepard’s voice calling you to it. If it’s His, green pastures and still waters await you dear one!

    1. MB,

      That is a great reminder–that God will equip me, if He has called me to it. I just wish he’d change my heart already too.

      Although, I suspect that won’t happen until I step forward in obedience.

      You are right, there will be blessing, no matter the course.

      Thank you for the reminder and needed perspective.

  15. Dear Nicole,
    I just want to remind you that it is possible to emerge from the public school system with an intact and growing Christian faith. I have gone to public schools in Scottsdale my whole life and will graduate in May.

    While I have/have had teachers with liberal views, I don’t feel that this makes them incapable of being fantastic educators (some of them have been terrific teachers, some haven’t, the same goes for my more conservative instructors). Though it is really, really tough sometimes, being surrounded by teachers and classmates with differing or secular views has helped me get better at seeing different sides of an issue or argument, and has lead me to rely on God more and see him as the God of all knowledge and wisdom and truth. I am also continually challenged to be a Christlike example who is articulate in her faith, especially at school.

    In many ways, being a public school student has drawn me closer to God. Even in the midst of the world’s lies, confusion, temptations, and emptiness, he has lovingly guarded my faith and will continue to do so, whether that be in college or out in the real world.

    As a public high school student, I also have the blessing and challenge of showing Christ to my classmates of diverse religious/ethnic/socioeconomic backgrounds. I know they’re watching what I do and how I interact with people, and they are a constant reminder of my purpose as a Christ follower.

    That is my take on the public education from someone who is approaching the end of their first-hand experience with it. It has its positives and negatives like any other method of education, but if I was to chose where to go through grades K-12 again (though I’m so glad to be almost done!) I would choose public school because in light of my foundation in Christ, the diversity of people and beliefs I have been exposed to have shaped me for the better, and have probably prepared me for the ‘real world’ exceptionally.

    1. First off let me just commend you (and your parents for helping) in your commitment to Christ, especially in an environment like public high school.

      I agree with pretty much everything you said. I came to Christ in high school, because a girl like you who knew and loved Jesus had love to invite me to a Christian conference.

      I will pray that your high school days continue to allow you the opportunities to witness, bless, and love those around you. I have no doubt God has you right where He wants you!

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience here.

  16. Lots of good advice here already. My folks started me in homeschooling because they were called to be missionaries to Russia. To gain free Russian dialect education he enrolled into the Army via God’s direction thus moving our family across many states in 2-3 year spurts. After serving his time, we moved to the Ukraine where I was a missionary kid/homeschooler for 2 and a half years. It was an interesting lifestyle (being after the Iron Curtain fell) to see what a country is like with nothing, but free from governmental bondage. Coming home to America was probably my most cherished time as a child, because I appreciated everything that a lot of us take for granted (i.e. a store to go to anytime we want, milk, cereal, gas stations, highways, roads without potholes, no mafia, etc).

    Finishing my final years of schooling were done by myself through Abeka curriculum, Which is supposedly a couple grades ahead of the public schools. I had a great time breezing through it and headed onto a community college with ease.

    I had friends just like any other kid, if not more friends. The benefit was that I was grounded in the Word through the God-filled curriculum and I missed out on the whole evolution theory/no-god propaganda spread throughout the educational systems these days. I got my work done by noon and had to wait for my friends to get out of school to play with them. Ha ha!

    Things will work out if it’s God’s will! Pray with your hubby (which it looks like you’re doing) and put it in God’s hands. He will decide for you! Do not worry! :]

    1. Matt,

      I love how balanced and level-headed you sound regarding this issue.

      This quote from you sums it up: “..I was grounded in the Word through the God-filled curriculum and I missed out on the whole evolution theory/no-god propaganda spread throughout the educational systems these days.”

      So good and that is what I’m after for my kids too. Thank you so much for sharing!

    2. Hey Matt, I am so glad to hear that you had such a great experience as a homeschooled missionary kid. My Husband is an architect and God called us to Ecuador to help design and build a christian school. Our kids are doing great and while they miss friends and family in the states and they are excited to go back, they are really loving this experience. I love that they will have new eyes to see everything with when we get back to the states. I know that I will too!
      Thanks for your post.

  17. Well, I’m a homeschool mom, and I am seriously cool. ;)

    Really, I am totally pro-homeschooling BUT it has to be something you feel called to or you will resent it. If you choose to do it, continue to seek God’s guidance as you go — throughout the year, and as each new school year approaches. I have friends who thought they’d homeschool all the way through, and have felt led to put their kids in public school in later years, and I’ve had friends who thought they’d never homeschool but ended up doing so. And as long as they are listening to His voice about it, it is exactly what is best for those families.

    Like your MIL said, you don’t have to commit to doing it forever if you do start it.

    And as one commenter said already, YOU are the mom God gave to your kids. I have to remind myself of that one often when I feel overwhelmed with homeschooling a high-schooler we adopted less than two years ago! I am the mom God chose for her, even though I did not give birth to her.

    1. You are seriously cool. I checked out your blog and totally dig it. I have a feeling (if you are so inclined) that you might be a great homeschooling, blogging, mom, resource for me.

      You are right too. I know the Lord will supply me with whatever I need. He always does and He never calls me to anything that He Himself does not go before me in, as well.

      Thank you for the perspective, encouragement, and reminder that there are plenty of super-cool homeschooling mommas out there.

  18. Homeschooling is FUN! (when they are little) I have 4 kids and homeschooled for 16 years, like most families regardless of schooling, the oldest is an overachiever, the middle refused to do any work for me, but snapped to attention for his HS teachers and the last born is always getting into something. I drove a very cool 15 passenger van so we could bring along even more kids, dogs and toys on our numerous field trips. Before that I drove a Suburban. The best part about homeschooling is teaching them to read, teaching them ALL history, choosing the right books to read, reading to them, watching documentaries from all over the world, going on field trips, beach days, exploring local sights, traveling, – all while everyone else is at school so there are no crowds. Yes, some homschoolers are very weird but then so are some teachers, pastors, private school kids etc..etc… Because we homeschooled my daughter raised 4 dogs for the disabled and also 2 litters for the same program. All the adults loved her. My boys all played football at first as homeschoolers and then they played for the public school they attended. My kids were thoroughly indoctrinated by FACTS so they never fell for stuff like global warming, vanishing polar bears, God is dead, or all the other stuff forced on kids in school. They never saw their teachers as gods and their parents as stupid. AND they are all so independent they each left home at 18 to work and provide for themselves! No 30 year old mommas boys sleeping on my couch! There is no perfect schooling choice! But homeschooling isn’t all drudgery either…

  19. I am a homeschool mom. I definately like to blaze my own path. Fitting the mold didn’t work for me. I love Jesus! I love my self more though & am trying to comprehend his love for me. I love my husband, who is perfect for me and a great man. I love my kids to death and think they are the coolest.

    I like to wear makeup and dye my hair. I like dark beer & rockin’ music. I like hot days & the sun. I like outdoors and almost all sports. I like my freedom & doing what i want, when i want. I love learning!!! I have lists & lists of things/subjects i want to learn more about including; Theology, philosophy, history, art, drawing, writing, painting, organizing, clever ideas in general, cooking…the list goes on & on. But i could live just learning. I am an introvert who enjoys smaller intimate functions.

    I have a 13 year old daughter and 5 year old son.
    My 13 year old will be homeschooled again next year, my 5 year old may or may not be going to school? Still up in the air for him. We are considering kindergarten for him though? But, we will see.

    My daughter is super fun & outgoing. She plays sports for the middle school in our district. She loves playing sports and is really good at them.
    My son is really sweet. He is just starting with soccer & t-ball, and likes them a lot so far.

    I love that God has guided me to homeschool. It has been a very amazing experience for me & I love that God has given me the patience, wisdom & grace to do so.

    I dislike feeling controlled in any way. I love the freedom homeschooling brings & that i can teach my children what we want them to learn.

    I really like your blog. I just came accross it yeterday.

  20. I have been homeschooled most of my life, but I was public schooled for one year: kindergarten. At my bus stop there was a gang(or whatever is the 6th grade version) of boys that always tried to beat me & the other girls up. Once I survived that nightmare, I got on the bus and hid towards the back with my only friend. Then, we went through the labyrinth of hallways to our classroom and tried to not get trampled by the older kids. Once I was in the classroom I had to sit next to the meanest girl in class and hear her lecture me on how water should be pink in my color by number. Then, I got yelled at by the teacher at least 5 times a day on how I was always lying to her (even though I wasn’t). Then, when it was finally over, I got to go to the cafeteria to wait for the bus and get candy from the lunch
    ladies. Some people may do well in public school, but know that there are those that go through hell every day they go to school.

  21. I have 2 kids. An 11.5 year old boy and an 8.5 year old girl. I started homeschooling them about 1 year ago. We don’t have any horror stories about public school or private school. My kids have been enrolled in both. I think teachers are amazing people who need more $ and more resources in order to do their jobs. At the end of the day, you can and always will be able to provide more time and attention to your own kids. I am able to take what they love and turn it into school assignments. My kids love to learn and they love to read. My kids have tried different schools and they are very social with tons of friends. The truth is they spend more time learning at home than at school, a significant portion of a public school day is spent waiting. They wait in lines, they wait for their teachers, they wait for other kids, they wait for the bathroom.

    My family is currently living in Ecuador helping out at a christian school. So we are getting a really cool cross culture life lesson. My kids go to the school in the morning and take a couple extra curricular classes, like dance and gym. We do our “real” school work in the afternoons. Homeschool has meant freedom for our family to give back and for their minds to explore much more. At almost 12 and 9 my kids still like school. :) I wish I would have done it when they were younger but I still think Kindergarten is a neat place for kids to go. My main point is that if you put your little one into kindergarten to see how she does, I bet she will do great and love it! It’s kindergarten, its fun! However, if you you decide you would rather teach her the alphabet while you are at the zoo instead of her doing it at school, give it a whirl. Your mother-in- law is right, kids bounce. Be light hearted about it. Trust God and trust yourself. I I use a great online program along with our fun learning. So math, science and Language are getting the proper amount of attention. Good luck!

  22. Why not send them to their normal public school (social fun and educational!) and then homeschool them your religious beliefs at home after school/at church? The best of both worlds.

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