Our 2011-2012 Homeschool Curriculum

For those who have followed my blog for a while - you know that my children have been enrolled for the last 2 years in the Ohio Virtual Academy.  I have been using a computer based curriculum titled K12 - which came highly recommended by Dr. James Dobson (Bringing Up Boys pg. 194).  We have thoroughly enjoyed K12 and have nothing but good things to say about the school and the curriculum but we decided to send back our free computers and curriculum (which are paid for by tax dollars) and purchase a Classical Curriculum

It’s a VERY long story as to how we ended up at this decision so I’ll give you the short version.  But let me honestly say – I’ve been wrestling with this for months but couldn’t share it.  This is one of the down sides of blogging…I knew if I made changes everyone would ask why?  And I want to be transparent - because I want to write with integrity.  But I must admit, this is not a fun story for me to share.  So here is what has been happening “behind the scenes”.  Please remember, I am on this journey with you – trying to make the right decisions each year for our children as I let my husband take the lead with his vision for our family. 

So the story begins…My husband decided it was time to send our son to public schools (this is the part where some of you gasp).  I cried.  We fought - a pretty ugly fight (this is the part where I *blush*).  I then submitted.  We visited the school – which is very close to our home – just 2 minutes away and enrolled my son.  It was very nice and has high academic awards.  We all began preparing mentally for the change our family was about to face.  My daughter would remain homeschooled while my son attended public school.  I was sad but wanted to honor my husband’s decision so I covered it with a cheerful smile for my son who was a bit anxious about the new change.

Then some minor things happened that brought the conversation of homeschooling back up again.  I did not want to cry and manipulate my husband to get what I wanted but I was open in our conversation about my feelings that had not changed.  He said “homeschool him if that’s what you really want.”  I said “no, we have him enrolled in public school – and I respect your decision –  so let’s give it a try.”  Another month passed, and I was invited to speak at a rather large homeschool convention (*blush again*) - a bit ironic since my son was about to go to public school!  I turned the opportunity down but this invitation turned out to be a Godsend!  It opened up the conversation between my husband and I once again….but this time was different.  I was at peace about submitting to my husband but my husband had come to a place where he actually believed it was better to keep my son home!  And he convinced me that this was his decision – not something I had manipulated.  We told our son and he was on cloud 9!  He loves being homeschooled! 

So the search for a new curriculum began (since we had mailed back the other stuff and I had been reading so many amazing reviews of other homeschool curriculum on-line).  A good friend of mine is a director of a local Classical Conversations Class and after learning more about it (and talking to this friend on-line and this friend from on-line – on the phone) we enrolled. 

Classical Conversations is a nation-wide program where children meet weekly for classes taught by tutors.  I will be attending the 3 hour class along side my children for 24 weeks.  During the class time my children will work on public speaking skills, and memory work in history, science, geography, grammar, math, Latin and Bible.  At the end of class time, our group meets for recess at  indoor slides and then lunch together in a cafeteria.  I love that my children will be able to connect weekly with other likeminded children!

Our CC Curriculum will be supplemented with Saxon Math and The Rod and The Staff Reading, Writing, Phonics and Grammar.

Leigh Bortin’s (the founder of Classical Conversations)  book The Core really helped me to understand Classical Homeschooling.  I highly recommend it if you are interested in learning more about Classical Homeschooling.

 So this is what we will be up to this fall!!!  CC class begins THIS Tuesday, August 23rd!  We are all very excited to get started!    

I really can’t believe the journey our family has taken to get to this place…it has been a bumpy ride but I must testify that God’s word and principles are true – we must let our husbands take the lead!  And it has been a total blessing watching God change my husband’s heart.  What peace I have knowing that God changed his mind – not his nagging wife!  I have NO idea what we will do next year for schooling (it will be up to my husband once again :) ) - we are taking this one year at a time and as I have said in the past “School decisions are not permanent decisions.”  I’ll be sharing my weekly and daily schedule and 1st day of school photos next week!

 If you are a public school mom – I was almost one too just 2 months ago!  I respect everyone’s choices for their own families as I understand that there are so many factors in this decision.  From finances, to husband’s leadership, to the type of schools available in your area – there are no cookie cutter situations.  I am praying that all of our children will “live by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25  May God Bless our children!

Are you a homeschooler?  What  curriculum are you using this fall?  And if you are a Classical Conversations mom – I’d love to hear about your experience! 

Walk with the King!

Courtney

Comments

  1. I am a public school mom and I cannot believe the grief I have been getting about sending my son to someone else all day long. It was my hubs decision and I followed his leadership. A year later (he is in 1st grade this year) and I actually have peace that my son is in a good system. :)
    I keep our daughter at home because she did meet the age cutoff date for K, so I will be “homeschooling” her this fall. Should be fun
    But just wanted to let you know your article was a blessing to me tonight :)

  2. Thank you for being so open and honest about your decision courtney..you have an amazing amount of integrity:) You know I support you 100% no matter what you and Keith decide to do…God leads us all to different paths that ultimately lead to Him!! Enjoy your last week of summer..cant wait to hear all about this new schooling!!!

  3. We are using My Father’s World curriculum except for Math. We use Math-u-see for Math. I have a friend that has her son in Classical Conversations and she has nothing but good things to say about it so possibly in the future. We use the Charlotte Mason Method which is very similar to a Classical education. I’m glad things worked out for you and that God changed your husbands heart, nothing good ever comes from bullying our husbands into doing things our way. Sigh…..Although, I’m almost tempted to bully mine into another baby. LOL!

  4. I can’t wait to hear about your school year! Aren’t you thankful that we have choices in this great country? Thank you for giving testimony to your submission to your hubby…. how hard it is, but the peace that comes is beautiful! Loved that!

  5. We’re using mostly Simply Charlotte Mason curricula: Delightful Reading, Genesis through Deuteronomy & Ancient Egypt (for bible/history), as well as Five in A Row Bible Supplement for bible, Outdoor Secrets with the Outdoor Secrets Companion for science & Right Start Math. And other books/ideas I come across as the year progresses, of course. :) Enjoy your year!

  6. I loved this article too! My daughter starts K on Thursday. I really want to home school, but my homeschooled husband had a bad experience, so he wants to send her to public school. I hope and pray God blesses my efforts to honor his decision too!

  7. I homeschool and we use Tapestry of Grace, which is a classical approach curriculum. ;)

    I also use resources from Doorposts, Horizon’s Math, Easy Grammar/Daily Grams, Handbook of Nature Study, and some other resources {living books}. :)

    I’m anxious about beginning this next year. I didn’t feel like I did too well last year with my daughter (who was in 3rd grade). Now I’m adding my 6 year old, 1st grader son this year. I need a lot of prayer! {Plus I have a 4-year old, 3-year old, and 1-year old. Mmm hmm}

    I look forward to seeing your first pictures and hearing all about it! :)

  8. I am interested in hearing more about your husband’s reasons for wanting to send your son to public school. We are using OHVA again this year but after they’ve made some changes to the 5th grade class set-up this year (thankfully they are optional but I have a feeling they won’t always be) and after reading “When You Rise Up” by RC Sproul Jr, I am leaning more towards traditional homeschooling next year. I think I will begin by pulling my then-6th grader out and leaving the other two in OHVA and pulling them out as they get into 6th grade. I might end up loving traditional homeschool though and pull them all out. Will look forward to hearing more about CC. Without knowing much about it, other than what I’ve read here and on Monica’s blog, I don’t think it would be a good fit for us but who knows! I once never thought we’d homeschool again either.

    • Each family has their own reasons for homeschooling. Ours were:
      1. To give them a strong spiritual foundation
      2. We lived in a city school district with poor schools
      3. At the time, my husband traveled heavily and we wanted to travel with him.

      All three of these factors have changed for us.
      1. My son is 8 1/2 and has a strong spiritual foundation
      2. We moved to a school district with excellent schools
      3. We are not traveling with my husband

      So as a result of these changed factors – my husband was ready to reassess our school choice and thought we should give the local public school a try…I am a product of public schools and came out in love with Jesus (as did both of my sisters and many of my Christian friends from High School) – so we feel certain that we can raise our children to do the same and be a light in darkness.

      Courtney

  9. My heart totally broke for you at the thought of having to send your son to public school! I can’t even imagine what my reaction would be if my hubby burst my homeschool bubble but kudos to you for submitting, even if it wasn’t right away! Praise the Lord that your husband was open to the Lord’s leading and things worked out for now.

    We use funshine express for preschool with my daughter (3 years old). The firefly curriculum with the Faith Lessons supplements are awesome! For my 8 year old son, we are using Horizons for math and Bob Jones for the rest.

  10. I think that whatever choice of schooling we choose for our children that we as parents play an active role in their schooling. That to me, is very important. My children are in public schools, but I am in the classroom as often as possible. I am a room mother, so I’m in the classroom for every “party”. My husband also takes some days off to spend a few hours at school with our kids. Of course we help out the teacher. We also are active with their homework assignments as well. I love that our kids see how important they and education are to us.

  11. Jessica S says:

    Your journey sounds very similar to mine except we will send our son to public school. We have homeschooled both children from the beginning. My daughter stayed at home until high school and I assumed that would be the same for my son but my husband didn’t think it was going well. In the beginning, I chose public school out of anger and it was a manipulative decision. I thought my husband would protest but when he didn’t, I realized that I was acting out of rebellion and not in the best interest of my family. Once I prayed and repented, I submitted and have felt such peace that I know it’s God! I’m so thankful that God leads us as we make these decisions. I’m excited about what this school year will bring but also feeling a bit out of sorts as this is the first time in 11 years that I will not be a homeschool mom. But I know God will provide. Thank you for sharing with such honesty. I’m sure you will have an amazing year. Blessings to you!

  12. Hi Courtney, It is so amazing that God blessed your through your submission! Classical Conversations sounds fantastic. After homeschooling my oldest children for a few years now we are putting all but our youngest in public school this year. This decision came after much prayer and (honestly) agonizing. Like you it was my husbands desire and I have had to submit. I completely trust that He has heard from God on this. It has been a challenge though. Who knows what next year holds but I trust a loving God who cares about each of my children more than I ever could.

    I pray you and your children are richly blessed through their schooling this year!
    Blessings,
    Kristin

    • OH girl – I know the word you are using – agonizing! That is exactly how I felt this year as we wrestled with this! The unknown is scary – but God is with you all and will help you through it! Can’t wait to see you at Relevant!!!
      Courtney

  13. I homeschooled my eldest son (who is not days away from being 10) for his K year when we lived in an area whose schools we were not happy with. I loved the experience and so did he. When we moved to a “better” area with what were rated, exceptional schools – my husband decided that we would give public schools a try. I now have 2 boys in the local public school and a daughter (toddler) who I assume will be following their footsteps in just a few years. We still have discussions about homeschooling vs. the public school but he has decided that this is what is best. I can’t say that I have any problems with what my children are learning in the PS. The teachers are fantastic, dedicated and involved. Both of my boys are excelling and love their school. I do have issues with some of the “life lessons” (insert sarcasim here) they learn from some of the other students but we work on our moral character and religious education at home in the afternoons and on weekends. I don’t know if what we are doing is the right answer but it is working for us for now. I am happy that you have found something that works for your also but please know that if the decision is made in the future to give PS a try – wonderful things can come from that environment as well.

    Thank you for sharing with us and I wish your family great blessings on your upcoming educational adventures!

  14. I love your ministry on this blog, and my heart went out to you as I read this particular post. Oh, it’s so hard to be submissive in situations like that. Thanks for being a biblical example! :)

    This is my fifth official year of homeschooling my 4th grade son and, though I’m open to God’s leading, it would still be hard to send him to a traditional school should the Lord ever lead that way. Maybe knowing that it might not be “forever” can help us appreciate our time at home with our children, even on the difficult days! :)

    I recently wrote a post about our curriculum choices for this year. We’re excited to try some new stuff this year! :) http://noplacelikehomekindledheart.blogspot.com/

    Laurie

  15. It’s my first official year homeschooling. My oldest is 5 and in Kindergarten. I love Classical learning but also love unit studies and the Charlotte Mason style. I actually looked into CC but decided that it wasn’t a good fit. We are using My Father’s World, Saxon, Handwriting Without Tears, and Ordinary Parent’s Guide to teaching reading. (I’d been using the last two already and decided to stick with them instead of using the MFW stuff).

    My soon to be 3 year old will be doing some Before Five in a Row books and Letter of the Week activities from Confessions of a Homeschooler!

  16. Courtney, thanks for being transparent in sharing your story. What peace you now have knowing that God changed your husband’s heart and not you. :) I’m learning to let me husband lead in everything – it’s a day by day process. We home school too, using Abeka curriculum. Many blessings!

  17. Isn’t it great when God is working behind the scenes on something that we want? It may be a small thing, such as wanting a dishwasher (God saw fit to bless us with one recently!) or a big thing such as wanting to homeschool our children. {Psalms 37:4}

    I am facing the same thing next year. My daughter is in Kindergarten this fall and my husband has allowed her to be at home this year and I will homeschool her. Next year he is set on sending her to public school. Although I would rather keep her with me, I know that if it is God’s will, He will work on my husbands heart. And if it is His will for her to go to public school, then He will work on my heart! Either way, God knows what He is doing and He is in control!

  18. Christina says:

    I homeschool my son using A Beka curriculum. He LOVES being homeschooled. He is still only 5, but we started 1st grade in July. I love A Beka, I feel like it uses a lot of repetition, but not so much that we get bored with it.

    Thankfully, my husband is 100% for me homeschooling him, and I don’t know how I would respond if he changed his mind! I hope I would respond in submission, but I tend to speak my mind and be stubborn. One of our Sunday School teachers would often say it’s not really submission when you’re in agreement, it’s when you disagree that you are submitting.

    I look forward to hearing about your new curriculum!

  19. Oh Courtney!
    I am soo happy to read about how the Lord worked in BOTH you and your husband’s hearts!! What a beautiful example of a wife trusting her husband’s leadership!! And what a blessing to see both of you listening to Him and following Him no matter how hard it seemed!! I am proud of you, sister in Christ!! And YAY for homeschooling!!!

    His,
    Shari

  20. Our pediatrician is recommending PS for my six year old w/aspergers and it’s breaking my heart. DH says I need to step it up and find more activities for him to do with peers. I do NOT think the peer “training” he would receive in 7 hour days at public school are worth the trade off. As it is, three hours with a small group of kids (10-12) is overwhelming to him. Thankfully, we are still on the same page, but I dread what might happen down the road.

    • Zekesmom10,
      We are going through something similar with our 6 year old son. We LOVE our pediatrician but found when it came to a diagnosis and possible treatments for our son who has ADHD and possibly Aspergers, we needed to go to a Behavioral Therapist for guidance. The BT that we are seeing specializes in working with kids that deal with these types of things. Our pediatrician does not.

      It has been very difficult but I feel that God has lead us to home school our son and we have decided to continue to do so. We have been pressured to put him in PS as well, which I really disagree with for several reasons. Regardless, we will continue to put our fears at the Lord’s feet and pray for guidance.

      Blessings to you!

    • Kristi Brennan says:

      Our son was diagnosed PDD – NOS which basically means he is high-functioning on the austism spectrum. The public preschool and public Kindergarten were both quite helpful in assisting our son overcome social struggles. I also am able to take him to a play group once per week through a facility here in MN called Fraser. This group is supervised by staff trained in austim and insurance covers the entire cost. God can provide through the school and the medical community, I think we just need to be very involved and also do our part.

    • you have to follow your heart and do whats right for your child not what someone else tells you.I forced my child with aspergers thru three years of public school and it was torture.He is now in homeschool and it amazes me how his anxiety and fears melted away.You cannot force a child with autism into anything it takes time and patience and throwing what everyone says out of the window.His psychatriast is actually in agreement with us. there are ways to introduce activities slowly and on terms your child can handle.as long as you do not allow him to stay shut inside the house he will continue to work on isself.

  21. Oh, Courtney!

    I totally understand the bevy of emotions you’ve gone through!!! We have been in PS, out, in, out, in, and out!!! We do take it year by year! Last year was our first FULL year of homeschooling and we did CC! I severely overcommitted myself and as a first year CC mom, I: volunteered to be a tutor, had both of my children in my class, and had both children in Essentials (two kids = two papers!!!). We almost sent the kids back to PS, but decided to drop Essentials, I’m not tutoring, and my kids are in different classrooms this year!!! I am going to E-N-J-O-Y this year, and I hope you and your kiddos do, too! :-)

  22. I am a first year home school mom. My daughter just turned 5 and we are using Landmark Baptist Freedom Curriculum. I class that I student taught in used this curriculum mixed with Abeka and I really like it. I am using straight LBFC and so far my daughter likes it. I am hoping to use My Father’s World next year.

  23. Thanks for sharing this Courtney! My story is similar to yours, but *I* was the one who wanted to send our children to school. My husband said to homeschool and I asked the Lord to change his heart or mine. He changed mine! I am now soooo thankful as I love homeschooling! It is indeed a blessing to submit to our husbands…if only I could remember that every day!

  24. Courtney, I appreciate your transparency in sharing about your experience, especially with your husband. I could identify on so many levels. We have four children, with our oldest entering 7th grade. I homeschooled her last year, providing her with a gap year from elementary to junior high for the purpose of giving her a Titus 2 focused education and the opportunity to be challenge to her fullest potential. Her private school was simply too easy for her and the social pressures more than a young girl should have to face. The decision was not made easily and the reaction from others fostered many conversations. My younger daughter is entering 5th grade and she will be in school, having never been homeschooled. The combination of her personality and changing schools last year turned out to bless her in amazing ways. And our twins, now entering 1st grade truly thrived in a classroom environment. All that is not to say homeschooling is not in my future or theirs. Like you said, there is no cookie-cutter model. I’ve come to believe each child needs, strengths, weaknesses, and personality must be prayerful considering and lined up with the best scenario. It debunks the “we must be fair myth” in that not every child has the same experience, but it really does make it fair in giving each child the best experience possible.

    I applaud you for your willingness to submit to your husband’s lead and your flexibility in considering many options. My dearest friend is a CC gal, and brought a number of our friends on board. They love it! I’m sure you will, too. May God bless your endeavor this year!

  25. We have terrific public schools here. However, dh and I still consider it our last preferred option as the BEST fit for our family. For the past 7 years, we have used Abeka and Frontline phonics for K, then My Father’s World (Charlotte Mason, classical, and unit studies combined) through my oldest dd’s 6th grade year (even went on a couple’s retreat with the author and her dh who runs the business end). Love love LOVE My Father’s World. Also feel the same about Math-U-See, our only choice for math. That said,…dh and I felt our children need to experience accountability for their academics to someone outside of myself at this time. Will we do this permanently? I do not know. But for this coming year, we applied to and were accepted by Indiana Connections Academy (online public school,..no computers provided in our state, waaah!) ;) We feel blessed to be accepted as the state imposed a 60/40 ratio of former public school students to former homeschool/private students. Being on the lower end of the ratio means some waiting families may not get in. We start on Aug 22nd. It’s a big change and we’re all feeling butterflies, but yet are excited too.

  26. Our family loves Classical education! Our children attend a Classical Christian School inKnoxville, TN. It has been such a blessing and I love that they bring everythung back to the Bible. We have also homeschooled full time in the past. At this school they go on a University schedule. K-3 goes three days a week and homeschooled two days amd 4th and up attend everyday. I have heard wonderful things about classical conversations as well. Praying for a great year!

  27. God is teaching me a lot in the area of grace and freedom. Just today I have been bothered by a friend of mine sending her daughter to PS. I know, I’m horrible! I’m so passionate about homeschooling though that sometimes it’s hard for me to give grace to others… like you, I’m a work (obviously A LOT of work) in progress! I don’t want to have a haughty spirit, so I’m praying that God help me! Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Kristi Brennan says:

      As a mom who sends her children to public schools, I THANK YOU for recognizing your possible bad attitude toward other Christians who do not homeschool– at least you are honest and admit it and are humble about it.

    • Beautiful comment Crystal. This touched me – thank you for your transparency. We truly are all a work in progress. The cross says we are all flawed – but we find grace at the cross – keep giving grace. :)!
      Courtney

  28. We belong to a local co-op so it’s almost the same as what you are doing. Wonderful and so much fun!!! I just love it and my children get so much interaction :)

  29. Courtney, I know it had to be a hard decision to put this on a public forum. Moms seem to be fierce when it comes to defending their decisions for education.
    I have to admit I am always curious as to what makes Godly people choose a place that has a blatant disregard for Christ.
    I would be curious to know what turned your husbands mind and heart in that direction.

    • Kristi Brennan says:

      Our experience with the public school system has been quite positive. It’s not our public school’s responsibility to teach our children the Bible and therefore we don’t expect it from them. The public school has also been very good about working with our 6-year-old who is mildly autistic. We say prayers of thanks to God on the drive to school for providing our community with good public schools. I try to have my boys understand how blessed they are to be able to attend such good schools (this is not the case in many parts of the world).

      I also feel like participating in the public school system will help keep our family more humble. We’re out there with everyone else — no fancy private schools, no being special with homeschooling — they’re in with the everyone else and have a chance to display God’s love to kids who probably could really use it.

    • Debbie – My husband has no fear of public schools. We have faith that God goes with our children and that we can raise them to walk in his ways even while attending public schools.

      The Bible does not clearly tell us which school choice to make (I wish it would because it would make all of this SO much easier ;) ). It does tell us to teach our children to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. My parents did this very thing while I attended 12 years of public school – that is how I ended up at the Moody Bible Institute – the training of my parents in my home. So we know it can be done (I am exhibit A) and is being done everyday as I know many young godly men and women who have come out of public schools.

      So my husband’s decision to send my son to public school was made out of faith – faith that we have a little Daniel or Moses – a boy who knows God’s word and can know and love God in the midst of a godless place. And my desire to homeschool comes out of a desire to have a little more time with the kids before sending them off – I LOVE the homeschool lifestyle. Neither are right or wrong…they are just different. Our clash as husband and wife was over a difference of opinion – not one of us being more spiritual than the other.

      Thank you for letting me share this and I hope it is not too controversial. Grace please.

  30. Hi Courtney. I am once again so blessed by your honesty and integrity. I am in a place of submission to my husband in the area of schooling too, and while it’s not always easy for me, I know that my son is attending one of the best schools around.

    I have a question for you Courtney, and I thought I’d ask it here instead of on Facebook, because at this point I’d like to remain anonymous to the general public :)

    My husband and I are trying to make a huge decision right now, and I’ve been praying about it. I want to do God’s Will. And I know I will submit to my husband, no matter what. However, I was talking to him about prayer the other day, and wondering how God will answer us. He told me that he doesn’t think that God speaks to us that way, that we just have to make our own decisions. This really made me lose confidence, because I know he’s not seeking God in this. And it’s no small decision. So, my first question is, how do I know that we are doing God’s Will, and not our own will?

    And on the same topic… Is it wrong to go for our dream, even if it may not seem like the best decision to those around us? Does the right decision always mean walking away from our dream? Sigh. I’m having a rough time with this tonight.

    • You might want to check out a book called “Just Do Something” by Kevin DeYoung. It addresses decision making and God’s will. In some areas God makes his will known to us through His Word. We know we are to not steal, that we are to fellowship with other believers etc. In our day to day decisions it is my humble opinion God gives us a lot more freedom in our decisions. Rest in knowing however, that you cannot thwart God’s will. His will always comes about.

    • Wow! This is a hard question! One of my favorite preachers is John McArthur – he has a video here titled “How Do I know What God’s Will Is?” It might have something in there for you:

      http://www.so4j.com/how-do-i-know-what-gods-will-is-for-my-life.php

    • First, to Just Me… My husband and I have been dealing with this as well. How do you know it’s God’s plan…this had to do with homeschooling. What we’ve found is that God answers us indirectly, not with a big yes or no. He will open new doors by bringing new people or situations into your life that will direct you. If they direct you to a closer walk with Him, then it’s Godly direction. If it doesn’t, then it’s not. When you listen to sermons, (we listen to Joel Osteen when not in church), be ready to hear God speak to you. God can use any means possible to speak to you. In our case, He closed one door and opened another. I had a simple conversation with someone who put me in touch with a homeschooling parent. Within hours I was connected to a group. It snowballed from there, but I still wasn’t sure. My husband and I sat down to watch JO and God literally yelled at me. I actually answered, “I hear you Lord”. It was obvious. The words we were using to describe the situation closed doors, open door, bringing people to you, were the exact words JO used. I also asked all of my friends on FB to pray for our family as we made the decision and they covered us in prayer. So, yes, you make your own decisions, but first you must ask, “Does it bring me in closer fellowship with the Lord?” “Can it be used to further His plan in terms of leading and raising our children?” We were looking at the financial aspects and God was looking at the spiritual. Focus solely on God and you cannot make a wrong decision.
      Courtney- Thank you so much for this beautiful blog. I’m about to embark on HS my two kids for the first time. I’ll be using Abeka bc that’s what my son used in K5 last year. I’ll be praying for you!

  31. Dear Courtney,
    If you have the time, please read these two articles. I hope they shed some light in your situation:

    http://www.challies.com/christian-living/the-weaker-the-stronger-the-homeschooler

    http://www.theologyforwomen.org/2011/04/schooling-our-kids.html

    • I have read Challies series on homeschooling – very controversial :) but thought provoking! I like Challies and read him often. Thanks for sharing the link. I have not read the other article but I will! Thanks!
      Courtney

    • Christine says:

      Those were great articles, Jocy. Thanks for sharing!

  32. I do not have children, so I don’t have any actual insight into this subject. I just wanted to thank you for your honesty. I really appreciate hearing how you have gone through this journey. It has me thinking about these important subjects BEFORE I have kids and have to make decisions on the spot without time for prayer and contemplation. Thank you.

  33. Yay!!!! I cannot wait to start CC next week and see those sweet kiddos of yours on my campus!!!!! Bring your camera to CC as we will take a group photo. We cannot wait to start!!!

    I see you are reading my emails. hee, hee. Love ya CJ!

  34. Awww…love this post girlie! I remember talking all about this during smoothies and gymnastics! I think you have a great response here from your readers…what a blessing. Your children are very blessed to have you and Keith as parents! Can’t wait to hear how this year goes! Love ya, Nelle

  35. My oldest son was partly homeschooled and partly public schooled last year for K. We moved during the school year. He loved going to school. This year he’ll be in 1st and my other son will be in K. I had the deepest desire and passion to homeschool them, but my husband said no. He wasn’t homeschooled and generally thinks well of homeschooling, but he chose public school. I cried and cried and my heart still aches and hurts, but really, if I can show my kids a genuine, God-loving and fearing relationship, my job is well done. So, I feel like a failure that I can’t homeschool my kids sometimes, and other times I trust God has things under control.

  36. Thank you for sharing the marital aspect of this decision. It ministers to me big-time as a naturally independent, strong-willed wife. I have seen how much God blesses a heart that is surrendered and submitting, not an easy thing to do!

  37. Dawn in TX says:

    WOW! Thanks for being so open with us. I know this was probably a trying time for you and your family having to make the school decision. thanks again for sharing it with us!

    This is our 3rd yr homeschooling and deciding to add Classical conversations to our curriculum, BUT after much prayer and consideration, we decided NOT to join the weekly meetings at this time, BUT I am still teaching the cycles..(already bought the materials!!) We started August 1, on cycle 2, we are now on week 3. Hoping to make it through all the cycles before Fall 2012, when we will again pray for God’s guiding on whether or not to join at that time.
    So far we have LOVED it and the kids too!! (they are 8,6, & 4).
    God bless you on your upcoming school year!! ~Dawn

  38. My kids and I were part of a CC group for 4 years (2 of which I tutored). We loved it and made some wonderful friends there. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I think the group in which you are involved makes all the difference in the world. We actually still use the materials occasionally to review those things which we learned then.

    We started using Sonlight for our last year during CC and continue to enjoy it. I love that it is a literature-based curriculum. It really kicked my son’s reading up a notch and that was one main reason for choosing it. It was just too much to do along with CC. That is the main reason that we dropped CC – along with the fact that we were travelling to a neighboring county to participate in our CC group and got tired of the commute.

    I admire your submission to your husband. I would like to think that I would be submissive in that situation, but I have my doubts. It certainly would go against my nature to be submissive in the area of homeschooling, because I am so passionate about it. I am thankful that my husband prefers to leave all of the schooling decisions to me and supports me 100% in my choices – although I would like his input sometimes, but he chooses to stay out of that area. However, I can’t complain, because I do have his support.

    I hope you enjoy CC.

  39. We homeschool through a public charter school, but we are able to select whatever curriculum we want to use. If the content is Christian-based, the school won’t pay for it, but we are still allowed to use it. The school allocates a certain amount in funds for each child that we can use to by secular curricula and pay for skills-based activities such as karate, piano lessons, gymnastics, etc. Its a pretty sweet deal. I feel like we’re using the government instead of the other way around! The school in no way limits or influences the decisions we make on we teach. I know not all charter schools are like that… but that’s why I’ve stuck with ours instead of moving to others that have more funds but also more restrictions.

    We take a Charlotte Mason approach. I used to be a big fan of classical before I started homeschooling, but we settled on a whole/living books approach instead. Instead of typing out what we are using, may I link to my blog where I list it out? Its kind of a long list:

    http://recoveringpessimist.blogspot.com/p/2011-2012-curriculum.html

    I admire the position you took with your husband. I am fairly certain i would have dug my heels in pretty hard. That you were able to “win him without a word,” even when you weren’t trying, is very impressive and I’m happy for your family.

  40. Thank-you for your honesty! My Dh has always been a strong advocate of HS, so I am secure in the knowledge that I won’t go through what you did. I DO have days when *I* feel like sending them to school, though! lol
    We use Tapestry of Grace, math-u-see, Charlotte Mason style grammar, a random little spelling book, and are about to switch from apologia Elementary to Answers in Genesis for science! With 6 children at present, and trusting God for more, these curricula work very well, as the main ones are multi-level. We have a 10yo, 8yo, 6yo all “officially” HS, and about to start some basic phonics with my 4yo. So, it has it’s tough moments, but I have learnt to be more relaxed, and that helps. I found this from a link on Ann Voskamp’s blog, and it encouraged me. http://mysummernotebook.blogspot.com/2011/08/learning-really-is-atmosphere.html
    God bless you as you continue to serve Him.

  41. Wow, you are so brave for submitting. That would have been sooooo hard for me if I was in your shoes. How God has blessed your faithfulness! We homeschool too. My oldest is 8 years and in third grade, my almost 5 year old is starting kindergarten. We use the Waldorf method which I adore and my children thrive with! I have taken many Waldorf seminars and classes and read many books about the method, I have outlines for Waldorf for each grade and I gather the resources for each subject through our library or by purchasing books online. In the Waldorf method this upcoming year, for third grade, we are diving into the Old Testament. I’m really excited about that! Happy homeschooling!

  42. My husband and I started our 2 oldest children out in PS. My second oldest was in Kindergarten when we pulled then out and began homeschooling. We moved to a different town and I enrolled them in PS for the fall, but I began to feel very uncomfortable with the decision. I prayed and asked the Lord for His leading and then talked to my husband. He was totally fine with me homeschooling. This will be our 5th year and I am adding our third child, as she will be in Kindergarten…plus I have and 3 year old and a 20mo-old. Makes for a busy day, but this is where the peace is. I use Bob Jones for grammar/writting, Christian Liberty Press for Spelling, reading, phonics, and handwriting. Math-U-See, Apologia for science, and Peace Hill Press for history. I usually use CLP Bible curriculum for younger grades, but this year I will be using Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for the older kids. I am really looking forward to this school year! Thank you for sharing your story and being so open. It’s just another reminder to us all that when we keep in step with God’s word, He always works things out for our best! We are truely loved by our Heavenly Father. :-)

  43. Courtney,
    I love your openness and honesty in this whole thing. I know it is probably a sacrifice to be so open and honest, but I do so appreciate that about you. Being a woman living well isn’t about getting it all perfect, it’s about clinging to HIM. And that is why your readers love your blog so much because that is what you show.
    There are so many wonderful options for schooling, aren’t there?! I hope that CC goes great for you!!
    Thanks for sharing your journey!

  44. Courtney,

    Your post was such an encouragement to me this morning. I was educated in Christian schools, taught in public schools, Christian Schools and also owned a private school (pre school through grade 4) for the last 13 years of my 39 year career as an educator. Now I am beginning my first year as a home educator for our granddaughter who will be in Kindergarten and having looked at just about every curriculum and reading dozens of books – including The Core and The Well Trained Mind, I have chosen Classical Conversations as our path to follow, explore and learn.

    I love your posts and will be following your CC journey with your children AND husband as well. God continues to bless! Thank you for sharing your heart.

  45. I think I’ve been “them” all. I was a working mom for a while. My daughter went to Christian school, then we couldn’t afford the repeated tuition hikes, so she went to public school for 1 1/2 years. My son was still toddler, so he was in preschool/daycare. After 3rd grade, we pulled my daughter out of PS, and began our homeschooling journey. Fourth grade went amazingly well, so I started teaching fifth grade with an ultra-proud heart. (Do you sense where THIS is going?) By December, I had enrolled BOTH of my children in PS (My son was to start school the next fall).
    My husband allowed me to make these changes, although he knew it was wrong. He wanted me rekindle my love for homeschooling. After a few months in PS (okay, honestly, after a few days), I realized I had made a huge mistake.

    We allowed our daughter to finish 5th grade in PS, but withdrew and reopened our homeschool. We’re now doing 7th and 1st grade, and we know this is where God has lead us.

    We use A Beka for our curriculum, and it works wonderfully for us. My husband and I pray fervently about our curriculum choice each year, and so far, God has directed us to A Beka each time.

  46. I appreciate and respect your honesty over your struggles so much. I also respect that in the end you purposed to submit to your husband’s leadership although it was difficult. It is so amazing how God works things when we submit and seek to honor him through obedience.

    I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Classical Conversations! We do not do the CC program but do follow a classical model in our homeschool. I have two first graders and a preschooler this year.

  47. Heather Grenier says:

    Thanks for this post. I was where you were about submitting to my hubby in this area! My son had always attended Geneva Classical Academy since he entered school in k4, but financially my hubby didn’t think we could afford to send him back for 3rd grade and he decided to enroll him in our local public school. I don’t have anything against this particular public school, and many of our devoutly christian friends are on the staff there, but I just didn’t have a peace about sending him there. My husband thought it was about me not understanding our finances, so I asked him if I could look around at other alternatives, and I asked my hubby to pray that if our son was supposed to go to the public school that God would give me a peace about it. That’s when I learned about Classical Conversations, but then God also opened the door for my son to go back to Geneva and gave my hubby and I a peace about sending him back there… Our youngest son was attending a local church preschool which is a great program and I would recommend it to anyone, but our youngest had had to be held back and repeat the 2yr old class and as a 4yr old would have been entering the 3yr old class… not a big deal really, but I really had a strong strong strong calling from God to pull him out and start him in Classical Conversations… And I’m so glad we did! Best year ever for my little guy! Our youngest went from being our “not our brightest child” to really flourishing! CC really has leveled the playing field for him by giving him the tools to learn on a level he would have probably always struggled with had we not enrolled him last year. I know people think it’s strange that we have one in school and one homeschooled, but it really just fits each child individually and perfectly! Thanks again for sharing your journey, and I hope you LOVE CC as much as we do!!!! :) I was always scared about homeschooling in the later years, but I don’t have that fear at all with CC!!! :)

  48. Hello Courtney,
    Thank you for being so transparent! My oldest son is in public hs. I homeschooled him through the 8th grade. He is doing awesome academically, but still , the influences and things your exposed to in PS from the other kids is a bit surprising at times. I struggle there deeplyas I know he is in a worldly institution and we probably should have sheltered him from some of these influences longer. My last two are home , but our 12 year old went for one year, grade 5–a decision I highly regret! What she learned besides academics I can never take back. I always tell Christians to consider their decision deeply and covere in much prayer:-) I have been hs’ling for 15 years now , we have tried many, many things , but, we always come back to Charlotte Mason’s pedagogy. Karen Andreola and Sally Clarkson have been my biggest influence over the years. I do use some of Susan Wise Bauer’s guidelines and the Bluedorn’s. Both brough classical ed to the mainstream home schooler years ago. Wishing you the best in your new year!
    Blessings,
    Suzanne

  49. Here is what we are using at our house this year:
    http://amber.boggess.net/ViewPost.aspx?PID=599

  50. Wow! I was completely surprised to wake up to so many comments on this post this morning! Thank you everyone for the encouragment, for sharing your stories, for sharing your curriclum and for your transparency as well. I am praying for all of the readers here and your children as the new school year begins. No matter where they are at God goes with them.
    Lots of Love,
    Courtney

  51. Lynn Crawford says:

    I am homeschooling my son (12th grade) and daughter (11th grade). When we felt God was leading us to homeschool (they were entering 2nd and 1st grade) I was really resistant. I kept thinking ‘God you have the wrong mom!” LOL ! Now here we are still following God’s leading and still homeschooling. I find it hard to believe … because when we started it was ‘one year at a time’ ! My husband and I have faced struggles along the way, financial issues, opposition from grandparents, many questions… but after prayers, prayers, prayers and more prayers, have always felt that God still wanted us to homeschool – so we have been obedient to Him !
    In curriculum, for the most part, we follow The Well Trained Mind by the Susan Bauer and Jessie Wise. Though we have customized it for our children … We use Saxon Math, Apologia Science, Abeka Grammar, Great Books, Wordly Wise. These are supplemented by others dependant on the school year and needed classes. This year we have added Abeka Economics and Abeka US Government for my son.
    After all these years of homeschooling, I am definitely an advocate … but also believe that the parents (with God’s guidance) must choose what is best for their families as to the education of their children. I have friends with children in public, private, charter, and so on.
    Courtney, prayers for your family and thank you so much for the integrity with which you conduct yourself.

  52. I wrote about our homeschool plans here: http://missionalmamassoul.blogspot.com/2011/08/plans-for-2011-2012-homeschool-year.html.
    I think one of the best things about homeschooling is that we can pick what works best for our children each year, We have used Classical Education, Charlotte Mason, Leadership Education, with a little unschooling throw in.

  53. I went from homeschooling to public school with my children. My husband brought us out to dinner at Chick Fil A on family night (not his kinda thing). The kids were playing and we were enjoying our dinner together. He then says to be that we need to put the kids in to school. He has spoken to our pastor who agree this would be a good thing. Now I have to take you back to when we first talked about homeschooling our children. We were in a small church at that time. Our pastor and a few other families homeschooled too. My husband loved the idea. Me not so much. We had 5 children under 5 years old. I was looking forward to the day they got on the bus for school. Then memories and tears with the first day of school. Volunteering like my mom did when I was in school. To me it was going to be a break for me. Sounds horrible I know. I submitted to my husband and homeschooled our children. I homeschooled for 4 years until the night at Chick Fil A when I was told it was time for change. This change was to help me get my strength back. I was dealing with heart issues. I submitted again , I didn’t want to. I loved being with my children ALL the time. I was head of a local thriving homeschool group that had tons of field trips, library days, book clubs and more. We decided first to put them in school in the fall (it was March at the time) God urged us to put them in before fall. We put them in school for the last 9 weeks of the school year. The first day they wallked us to each of their classrooms. The first teacher was dressed s if she just came from the gym. I wanted to cry! Also it was on of our twin’s classrooms. They had split them up. They had never been apart. Next was the catholic school teacher for my sweetheart child. I was dying inside! Next the other twin’s classroom. Oh this was a teacher! She has that teacher sweater vest on, grandma love in her eyes! Next was my daughter’s K class young teacher but everything looked ok. I cried leaving the school but after that I volunteered every other day. The next school year I was able to pick my children’s teachers. My oldest was in 6th grade and we had decided that at middle school they would come home. Like your Ohio VA we have the same in Florida. It was brand new.(when I homeschooled before my material for HS was anything from Walmart I could get my hands on. You think that is bad but my oldest did 2 grades in one year. And just pass FCAT only missing 3 questions on English and 5 on Math) I placed our oldest in there and they told me if my youngest attends a public school that year too she would qualify to be homschooled with their program. I placed her in PreK for the year. So I had 3 in public elmentary school, one in PreK across town and one homeschooled online. After that year was over I went to get our youngest homeschooled with the Florida VA. They changed their rules. So she was off to school for another year. My oldest then decided homeschool wasn’t working and he needed to be in school. After seeking God (husband, myself and our son) we decided to put him in school. As the school year went on all our children got a stirring to homeschool again. Even my husband and I did. With Florida VA getting better each year and the children wanting to homeschool again, we again sought God! We are n ow ALL homeschooling this year! We are so excited! If I could go into all the blessing we recieved when they were in public schools this comment would be even longer! Just know when you submit to both your husband and God the blessing flow to the whole family! Just know you are not alone in this walk on earth. We are all going through it too! Please continue to post because we are going through the same thing!
    Love,
    Amanda

  54. Courtney,
    We use a mix but primarily use Sonlight as our core with Teaching Textbooks for math and Apologia for science.

    But I cannot comment without saying a huge Thank You for your post and for sharing your journey. Your article touched my heart because my husband and I went through a similar experience. Just before our son’s 7th grade year in public school, the Lord really placed the ministry of homeschooling our children on my heart. My husband did not have the share the same conviction. After all, this was middle school! Unfortunately – I did not submit to my husbands leadership as you did, which caused a great deal of additional resistance (and resentment) that was not necessary. But God is good!! Over the past 3 years (beginning our 4th) He has brought us to a common place, one of like mind and purpose. I never thought I’d be able to homeschool for high school, but thanks to God’s grace and the blessing of a now supportive husband; and thanks to dear friends who have blazed that trail and provided countless hours of encouragement and support – we are now beginning 10th grade with our son and 7th grade with our daughter.

    God is able to soften the hearts of His children when we are willing and I really have to just praise Him for softening ME – and then for opening my husband’s heart as well. It is such a blessing to be of like mind and purpose!

  55. I had never heard of Classical Conversations – thanks for bringing it to my attention! – but I did teach K5 at a classical school for 5 years, and have every intention of homeschooling my children in the classical method. I think you will find it a richly rewarding experience academically!

  56. Saxon Math is the best Math program I have ever used. My Mom used it for the 4 years of upper El and Jr. High that she homeschooled us and it was great. Other high recomendations – Winston Grammar (maybe too advanced for your kids yet) and for Reading the Beka Books readers. When I was in Elementary I would read ahead in many of my reading books because I liked the stories so well. They teach character and I remember many of the stories to this day!
    Best Wishes in your new schooling adventure!

  57. I just want to say thanks for sharing so honestly about the difference of opinion you and your husband shared and how you dealt with it.
    I can honestly say that WHEN I am faithful to submit to my husband–even when I believe he is wrong–God always gives us both peace in the end. There have been many times He has changed my husband’s heart after I submitted and that of course reveals His faithfulness and gives me courage to submit the next time!
    (And I loved the point you made about how great it was to know that GOD had been the one to change your husband’s mind and that it was not a result of your manipulation!) I appreciate you and your ministry so much.
    Amy

  58. This is why readers flock to your blog, Courtney: You’re honest, transparent, and real – a woman I can relate to, and who stays committed to principles even when it’s tough. [Thank you!]

  59. I can only imagine how tough this was for you but to glad that it all worked out in the end. God honored your heart.

    I didn’t feel the call to homes school past kindergarten but my kids have been attending a private school that uses the Classical Principle Curriculum and it’s been a blessing. My daughter graduated last year at the top of her class. My sons however are attending a public school due to some changes in addition to the opportunity to play sports. When this decision was made, I cried for days, but I’ve since released it and have to trust GOD with where they are at, as the school system unfortunately is the worst in our state.

    Your post was such a blessing to read and I’m so thrilled for son and what a fabulous program you found!

    Best to all
    @DuongSheahan

  60. Courtney, I love your blog! Thanks so much for sharing the story of you and your husband disagreeing about homeschooling. It is helpful for some many to be able to see they are not the only ones with that type f struggle. I personally have 2 friends that I have been counseling about just that thing and I am very happy t be able to point them to this post!
    On another note, we are CC-ers too! Last year we didn’t have the $ to join a community but I did my best to follow along at home. This will be our first year in a community, we start next Tuesday too, and our whole family is very excited! I supplement CC with hooked on phonics for the 5 &7yo (my daughter(10yo) will be doing Essential this year) and everyone uses Math U See for Math. We love CC- it’s a perfect fit for our family, I think. I hope you guys love it too!

  61. Kristi Brennan says:

    My experience with public school…I have 2 boys in public school. Both of them went to public preschool, my older one to public Kindergarten and this year my younger one will be in public Kindergarten and my older one in public school first grade. I can honestly tell you both my husband and I have been pleasantly surprised at just how positive our experience has been with the public schools (so far!). Our older son is mildly autistic and the school has been great about doing all they can for him. Our experience with the teachers has been that they’re kind and sincere and seem to want the best for our kids too. They teach manners and responsibility, but not religious ideas, but that isn’t there job anyway — that is the job of PARENTS and I can’t expect them to teach my child the Bible.

    It’s difficult as a Christian mom to read some of the comments. It’s like women pity you for almost having to (gasp) send your child to a public school.

    I’m glad you’re open to re-evaluating every year — that’s the same way my husband and I feel.

    I will say my boys and I say prayers of thanks when I drive them to school. We thank God for the good public schools He’s provided and we talk about being respectful to the teachers and appreciative for the opportunity to get a good education. I’m especially grateful to the Special Ed folks who are so dedicated to helping my son advance through some of his Autism Spectrum challenges.

    Great job submitting to your husband.

    • Love your post. And I agree with you 100%.

    • “It’s difficult as a Christian mom to read some of the comments. It’s like women pity you for almost having to (gasp) send your child to a public school.”

      Thank you for sharing your heart here – I would NEVER want you to feel that way and just so you know – I don’t pity nor gasp lol!! I am a product of public schools and I know that the next generation can be raised to honor God even while attending public schools because my parents did with me. ;)

      Keep walking with God and raising your children to walk with him also!!!
      Courtney

  62. Wow…isn’t it just like God to “send” me to your site (of whch I have neer heard) just when I am struggling so much with what to do with our 4 year old son. I feel so strongly the LORD is calling me to teach him outside of a conventional school…I am about to go back to work 3 days a week (setting my own hours) and my Mom is going to be with him then. My husband, the realist (there is no sarcasm or disrespect here), flat out told me he doesn’t think I can “do it all”. Yesterday I turned down a nomination to a board position, and it felt so good to say “no”…I know it was God’s desire for me to say “no”…so that will be less “other” stuff I am responsible for. I know He will make a way!!!

    I have NO idea what type of curriculum to use and am so overwhelmed on where to start. We participated in a one day a week co-op last year which starts back up in September. We are both looking forward to that; but, I am kind of “scared stiff” right now…just not knowing where to start. looked online for VPK programs in my area last night and felt a wall was there. My husband hasn’t said “no” so homeschooling, he just hasn’t given a “yes” do it! Anyone reading this…I would appreciate prayers!! Thanks so much!!

    • Karen – let me encourage you. Since your child is only 4 – school should not take more than 30 minutes to an hour a day! That’s it!!! Do not put too much pressure on yourself. Have fun together. Go over the shapes, number, letters, read read read, go on field trips and walks and just do life together from chores to cooking! You can’t go wrong at 4! My daughters pre-school curriculum all was purchased at Walmart or printed out for free from on-line.

      Here’s a site I recommend with free printables:
      http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/

      Have fun! Stay disciplined – you’ll do great!

      • Thanks so much for the encouragement…I have definitely been putting pressure on myself–thinking that I just HAVE to have some sort of FORMAL curriculum in place for him. Thanks for helping to see differently…I love how God loves us through His people (and especially, Sisters)!!

        I’ve already visited siteyou recommended….thank you!
        Karen

  63. We homeschool and use Covenant Home Curriculum. It is a Christian, Classical approach. I’ve been using it since my first was in Pre-K and this year she is starting 4th. My son is starting 1st this year. I love that it is a complete curriculum and comes with everything…including lesson plans and tests!

  64. I have been homeschooling for 8 years. It is all we have ever done. THIS YEAR…. my kids will be attending a local Christian School. It will be a change for us. The kids will have to get used to being in school and our family will have to get used to the change of having to follow someone else’s schedule. The curriculum is the same as we were using so that is a good thing, they know what to expect in that area. This has not been an easy decision but it is my husband’s decision. He believes I need a break and thinks they will benefit from this experience. As you said, these decisions are not permanent… at the moment it is only for one year.

    • Wow! What a big change!!! I can’t wait to hear how it all goes! I bet there will be some tears on that first day!!! Hang in there!! See you at Relevant!!!

  65. Courtney, we have our two oldest in Public school – were drawn in because it is bilingual and by 4th grade they are fluent in Spanish. At the same time we have noticed some deficiencies (not sure if our fault or the schools or just what it is…) so we explored home school and a nearby Classical Christian school. We knew we couldn’t afford the school but looked into it anyway, if only to learn some things. It was a huge blessing when they granted our son a big scholarship, especially as beginning homeschool seemed daunting, what with baby #5 about to be born any day now. Our 8 yr old will stay in the public school one more year (barring any crazy experiences that make us run!) Our 5 yr old begins kindergarten – public. Each year we will examine and make choices based on how we see God leading us. I think your story is great – you hashed out the scenarios before you and submitted to each other and to God’s leading. This is really how it should work. Good for you!

    -sarah

  66. We homeschooled up until last year when my youngest was just struggling with Dyslexia. We chose to enroll all three of the younger boys in a Montessori School and they have done wonderful beyond what I dreamed.

    My baby is in the second grade and came home one day late last spring and said “Mommy, my brain s not dumb anymore, I CAN READ!” We had been working so hard together and one day he read a whole book to his teacher. It was a surprise to me that he wanted to surprise me so bad with it. I cried and to this day I cry when I tell the story….tears are flowing as I type. LOL!!

    Next year, the second in line for the throne, will be in High School and I am praying if I should send him or homeschool again. I can do Florida Virtual School online or go back to a more classical program. Unfortunately, this is my decision to make, so my husband feels. He has his job to deal with and the ranch. I keep him posted on all the moves and so far he agrees.

  67. Courtney
    I really enjoy your blog. Like others, your honest transparency is refreshing and a blessing. I would be interested in hearing more about some of the reasons you have chosen to homeschool and/or why you were not homeschooling. I agree with the points you made in your blog and there is no question that each of us must seek the Lord, submit to our husbands and do the best we can. I am learning everyday is a new opportunity to exercise our faith in the Lord and his word.

    However, there is something on my heart and I am afraid it will not be popular. When we chose to homeschool it was my husband’s decision, not mine. I submitted. This was 13 years ago. I have one daughter graduated, two that are “juniors” and one in “fifth” grade. I have been to 14 homeschool conventions! LOL! Needless to say I have learned much more than my children. I say this so you know I am not new to home education, I have probably done a master’s degree worth of reading, research and seminars. I am not trying to prove myself necessarily but assure you that I speak with a degree of experience and thoughtfulness. Needless to say I came around to my husband’s way of thinking.

    We NEVER decided to homeschool because of academics or even because of social reasons. We homeschool because we refused to submit our chidren to the secular humanist teachings and worldview of public schools. We did not want our children indoctrinated in evolutionary theory, which attacks and undermines God’s word starting with creation. It grieves me the confusion Satan has caused among believers through state education. So many believe evolution is compatible with the Bible but it is not and it makes God’s word a lie. What is even more grievous is the confusion this causes for our children. There is no escaping this worldview. It is in every school, every textbook. Even through online virtual schools.

    I realize my comments are polarizing. But the battle is not about academics, socialization or any other area. The battle is for the hearts and minds of our children. State education glorifies man and teaches man’s truth. We must all consider how we will fight this battle?

    Let me conclude by asking for forgiveness for anyone I have offended with my comments. It is not my intention to offend but to speak what is on my heart and help us all to think about education from another perspective. I know there are many who must choose this educational option or whom God has led in this direction. I also know there are some who have never considered the matter from the perspective I offer. It is my prayer all of us will seriously consider not only our children’s worldview but our own.

    • Thank you for sharing your heart while still being sensitive to other women. I hear your passion in your words and am thankful that you shared them in a grace filled manner. Your thoughts are welcome here ;)

  68. The commitment you have to following your husband’s leadership in this is such an encouragement. We often have strong feelings and think we know what is best for the kids, after all, we gave birth to them. (smiles) But we have to trust God to lead our husbands and do the right thing. Great encouragement Courtney!

  69. Stephanie says:

    Hi Courtney. We have been involved with CC the last 2 years since it opened up in our area here in Oregon. We did love it and it’s great for older kids. I do have to say it’s a bit difficult when you have a few younger ones in the program. My kids do love the songs and chants and we all learned so much! Yes, I say we because I feel as though I am getting a whole new education! I especially love the geography part of CC. We also do part Classical, using Saxon and other Classical curriculum and part Charlotte Mason. This year, however, my husband feels my oldest child, a boy, age 9, should go to a part time christian private school. It’s a wonderful christian school for 3 days a week and then they are homeschooled for 2. I did fight this in the beginning as well but then realized God has made him the spiritual leader of our home. I now have a wonderful peace about my son going this fall. I do believe God knows what he’s doing. I have 3 girls at home with me, one going into 1st grade, one starting K and the other is age 4. We also just discovered that my 1st grader has an auditory processing disorder along with a visual processing disorder. So, she will need therapy to retrain the brain 2 times a week for several months or longer, depending on how quickly she moves through the program. God is so good because the time my son will be in his new school, I will be able to take my girls and go get her the help she needs. I won’t have to worry about trying to figure out how to fit everyone’s schooling in and worrying about missing something for him while focusing on my daughter’s needs. I think your kids will just love CC and being with other kids is so great for them. I met 2 very dear friends of mine at the first year of CC. We keep saying that when the kids are older, we would really like them to go back to CC. The classes for teh older kids are awesome! Who knows though….we also say one year at a time. Each year the Lord has directed us somewhere new. Oh yeah…we are also going to be using Beautiful Feet this year for my girls. LOVE the books! They are awesome!

    God Bless!

  70. I am so excited for you! We love CC. I am tutoring this year and it will be my first year doing that. Curious to see if you are also doing Essentials. Love how you did not manipulate but let the Spirit move. Be blessed during your school year!

  71. Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Public schools need lights too.

  72. Hi Courtney!

    I have been a public school mom and a homeschool mom :)

    We homeschool now -this will be our 4th year. It will also be our 2nd year with Classical Conversations. I am tutoring this year and will have one child in Challenge A (knees knocking!!)! CC is a great fit for our family so far. We love our community and I am just blown away by what my children have learned. CC motivates them to reach beyond what they think they are capable of! I know that it is not a fit for every family though.

    I would be glad to answer any questions you might have or try to at least! Enjoy!

  73. Courtney, thank you for being a good role model for me as a fairly new (3 years in) wife. My husband and I don’t have children yet, but the homeschool question has already been talked about. I would like to homeschool if we’re blessed with children, but he wants them to go to public (or private if we can afford it) school.

    Anyway, with that non-issue right now and many other real issues we’re facing, I really struggle with following his lead and not manipulating his decisions. Thank you for just being so transparent, real, and non-judgemental (which I struggle with being) to show your readers a.) how to respect our husbands and b.) that one way is not the only Godly way.

  74. I am in the same boat, except that we’ve done CC for 4 years now, and have decided to send our 3 youngest to public school (A+ school, 2 minutes from the house). Our oldest will remain homeschooled and in CC. I am a nervous wreck. It is so hard to know if this is the right thing to do, but I like your reminder that it is not a forever decision. I am hopeful that rather than my children being dragged down, they will instead lift others up and glorify Him.

  75. CC rocks! My 5 y.o. cried the last day of school thinking it was over for good! He just asked me, “WHEN are we going back?!” He can’t wait for CC to start!

    We learn more in 3 hours then most kids do in a MONTH!!!! CC kids blow the socks off adults that encounter them. High school teachers come and observe us and say our kids know more in 24 weeks then their students know in 10 years. As your children EXCEL your DH will be proud of the quality decision he made! : )

  76. Ladies,
    I’ve enjoyed reading through the discussion here. However, there is one thing worth mentioning. Let us please not judge one another when it comes to the choices we make regarding education. This is a very personal choice that each family must make. Remember that most people in the world have very limited choice when it comes to education. This debate must seem a bit trivial to them! Courtney, thank you for sharing your story. When a wife knows that she has manipulated her husband’s decision, she cannot truly be at peace. Let us look to the Lord for guidance and pray for and encourage our husbands as they seek to do the right thing. I truly do not believe there is one single right way to educate children. As for our family, we have experienced homeschooling, public school, and a classical Christian school. All have been wonderful in a different way and I’ve been so blessed to experience it all.
    Jodie

  77. I always love your posts. Thank you! We send our children to public school and it has been a really positive experience so far. We are super involved in school and at 2:30 I pick them up and we homeschool the rest of the day – and all summer long since its always fun to be learning! I want to really thank you for being one of the few homeschooling blogs that doesn’t assume that moms who send their children to a private or public school do so because they are lazy or they don’t enjoy being around their children. That truly seems to be the perception in may blogs, that private and public school moms are just counting the days until they can send their children away for six hours of the day – not so!:) Thank you for not making that assumption and knowing that there are many reasons and many pros and cons for each choice.

  78. WOW! What a response you’ve gotten! I have to say that it would be hard for me to submit in that situation with my convictions. Eek! Good for you for obeying God’s commands! Initially I did NOT want to HS, at ALL. But then by situation I was forced to and once God got me here, he started to really work on me and I became really educated about what’s going on in our public schools. We live in a very liberal state and the schools reflect that. At their very trusting and impressionable ages, we want to be the ones influencing their worldview. We also live in a very overcrowded school district. All around, it’s just not best for our kids. SO… now He’s got me! It’s not easy and I often would rather not do it, but, I feel strongly called to do so and know I’m obeying God’s call for me.

    I keep hearing a lot about Classical Conversations lately. We tend more towards a Charlotte Mason – ISH style over here. I was educated in a classical Christian school and used Saxon Math. UGH. I was always horrible at math so I’m not touching Saxon Math. This may or may not be a fair assessment based on my childhood scars! I can embrace some of the ideals of classical, but for some children, some things just don’t work as well. And myself, and my eldest (now 7) fall into that category. I think my 5 year old could mold into almost any method and learn! Anyway… we’ve got an eclectic bunch of things going on over here this year. The kids are excited to do phonics online with Explode The Code. We’re trying out Primary Math (Singapore) this year. Math-U-See worked well for us but the kids were a teeny bit bored. But if this doesn’t go well I’ll just switch back. I’d rather they ‘get it’ than be entertained well! We’ll pick out spelling words from Natural Speller… and my 2nd grader will start English for the Thoughtful Child. We’ll be studying this history of painting and some of the great painters. And we’ll look at music history. My 2nd grader will also be having her first year in a kids choir. Science is Apologia, Land Animals (the kids are REALLY excited about this!) and we’ll continue Galloping The Globe for social studies/geography which they also really enjoy doing. I get them started with a country/continent and then they sort of lead on how much we study it. I thought we’d gallop around the globe in one year, but they got so into it last year that we only made it onto two continents! I think we all find it refreshing for them to have an area where they take the lead on the timetable and events.

    Seems like everyone else responding had a more succinct answer to their curriculum. lol! Best of luck for this year! And I pray that you and your husband would continue to be in harmony on this topic in your family.

  79. Oh, and how could I forgot! We’re going to study the character of God through his names with Sally Michael’s new book, God’s Names. I’m excited to paint the picture of God’s greatness for them! Also, super excited to see what else they’ll put out at, children desiring God!

  80. This will be our first year homeschooling. I am so very nervous and excited. We are going with OHVA this year. I wanted to ease gently into it. I have no idea what to expect but I’m excited. My children are excited too. I have recently started telling people our decision and most have been supportive.

  81. I have 5 children, this year they all are home full time 7th, 5th, 3rd, 1st and K. I am blessed to have a http://www.naums.net/ school in Lubbock,TX where 4 of them learn to read there, as my first language is spanish and I have trouble teaching phonics correctly. I wish I can afford to keep them all there all the time, but my husband decision was we will wait to used this school again once they reached High School year and make sure the ones that wants to go to college get there..lol!! A good friend started a CC last year here and she is goin strong. I just can’t do CC. But I have many good friends who love it! I wish you the best, it will be a good thing to be doing CC. Have fun with your babies, is the most important thing!
    Much Love and Blessings all around
    Enid

  82. This is my first year homeschooling my 6th grade daughter. She has been in Christian School K4-5th grade and always used Abeka Curriculum. So, we have decided to stick with it since it is what she knows! We are praying for a LOT of grace and patience this year! I also have a very busy 3 yeard old daughter who will be our biggest hurdle! I have never commented on your blog before, but always find your posts encouraging, & thought-provoking! Blessings! Alana

  83. Hi Courtney! I know I am a little late to the conversation but I thought I would give my own experience when it came to my daughter’s education.

    We live in a district with very poor schools. And while the obvious decision would have been to move to a new city with better schools, that isn’t always possible. Plus, my husband is in ministry (a pastor) and being as local as he can to our church is important to him (and to me!). Last year, I had been doing massive amounts of research in regards to PS, Private School and Homeschooling. Private school was out as we just can’t afford it. I was actually leaning towards homeschooling because of the public schools in our area . I spoke multiple times with my husband about it, and multiple times he said no. He felt that our daughter should go to a public school. I wouldn’t say I tried to bully him, but I did try to change his mind! LOL!

    After a year, we were able to find a school district close to my husband’s work that was accepting interdistrict transfers. Praise God we were able to get her into that district and into an excellent school. We have decided to take it year by year. We know that things can dramatically change and it may very well not be the best to send our children to public school. My husband is not against homeschooling, but he felt it wasn’t what God wanted for our family right now. And God completely changed my heart as well and I am at peace with my husband’s decision.

    We have been teaching our children God’s word and praying with them since they were born. It is what God has commanded of parents and we take it very seriously. We are very aware that they will not teach Madi the Bible at school. (We told Madi our daughter this and she was appalled…LOL!). It is not the school’s job to teach them. It is ours. I can understand the concern for some christian parents because there are some things that go on in the districts that are troubling. I thank you for your gracious heart and for not condemning those who choose to educate their children in different ways.

    Blessings,

    Tiffany

  84. What a blessing to hear your heart of submission to your husband and obedience to God. I am a homeschooling mother of 4 (14, 13, 11, and 6). My oldest begins homeschooling at the high school level this year and I am so very thankful that God has given us this incredible opportunity to train our children at home. We will be using Teaching Textbooks for Math, Easy Grammar, English from the Roots Up, Latina Christiana, the Mystery of History, and MUCH more!!
    Thanks for your encouraging words and transparency.

  85. Oh Courtney I loved reading your transparency and honesty here. It’s so easy for women (me included) to read these blogs and think that these women aren’t real. They can’t possibly have problems like I do. They’re always cheery in their posts. So glad to hear you’re “normal”, lol! We had our son in private Christian school for 3 years until the economy affected us and my husband lost his job. I remember the agonizing feeling of having to send him to public school (thankfully, ours was highly acclaimed academically) but it was actually my hubby who agonized. I on the other hand, looked at as a huge blessing because I was beginning to feel as if we relied to heavily on the Christian school being the Spiritual leader in our sons’ life. Him being in public school “forced” us to take action and be vigilent in our sons influences. He survived a whole year in public school but God has blessed my husband with an amazing job that provides so that we can entertain homeschool. So for our sons’ fifth grade we will be using free online public school with one of the local schools who use the Lincoln interactive curriculum. I’m excited for the flexibility we will have and that sweet time of fellowship we can have with our kids all throughout the day. We too looked into the K12 but the base school was too far away and not many local families were using it and we want to be able to interact with other families using the same curriculum. Thanks again for your openess :)

  86. Courtney- Ever since last year when you first mentioned the K12 thing. I’ve been praying for you and your husband. God works His ways, and I’m glad to hear that you’ve come around to be a real Christian homeschool family {vs enrolled in an alternative education program through the gov school} .

    A tip about Rod and Staff reading, make sure you have a King James Bible handy as all the scripture is from that version.

  87. Hi!
    I personally have not use Classical Conversations, but my mom has for my younger siblings. I have never used this curriculumbefore, since I do not live close enough to where the groups gather or I might have given it a try myself .
    For my children we have decided to use a Online program this year called, Time4Learning.
    It has everything, even Art! So I do not think we will need to add anything else.
    I really enjoyed reading your story. It brought a tear to my eye when your child was so happy Not to have to go to public school :_)

    ~Wishing everyone a Happy Homeschooling Year~
    Keri

  88. rhonda pennell says:

    Hey! I just read your post and wanted to let you know that I am getting ready to start my 3rd year of Classical Conversations. My daughter is 7 and we both love the program. My husband is not a Christian, so we struggled as to what an ideal home school group would be. CC is perfect for all of us. It is academic but also Christian based. The first year can seem a little overwhelming but just relax and flow with the program. It is amazing what the kids learn and memorize. EX…we do the maps with all the places labeled and the tutor challenged my daughter’s class in the spring to name as many places on the map without the places labeled. I thought my daughter would struggle but she named about 29 (including continents, countries, cities, bodies of water, mountains…etc) and some she named, we had not even gone over, she just loves looking at maps. It is an awesome program and I pray your community is as great as mine is. I am excited for you and wish you and your family the best in CC!!! Rhonda

  89. Oh, Courtney, I have not been to your blog in way too long. I had to give up some of my blog reading time with bringing our sweet son home from Ethiopia. I want you to know how much this encouraged my heart. Your transparency is refreshing and inspiring. If only all of us Christian Mommies could be that way. Can you imagine the impact and the freedom?! Anyway, we are beginning our third year of homeschooling. My daughter (our oldest) turns six in September, and is entering first grade – how did that happen?! We have enrolled in CC, and we just attended our orientation on Monday. Our family is so, so excited. It seems as if CC is going to be such a great fit. I am looking forward to not feeling so isolated in homeschooling this year, and I am anxious for the weekly fellowship with other moms. Praying your year goes well and is a big blessing for your family. I look forward to reading more regularly again.
    Love, Tiffany

  90. Hi! I have homeschooled for the past 11 years using Alpha Omega’s Weaver curricula for our core curricula. This year I am embarking on a new journey with Tapestry of Grace. TOG teaches Bible/Worldview, History, Literature, Geography, Vocabulary, Writing and Arts. I will be adding in Considering God’s Creation (something I have pulled from in the past to supplement Weaver), Saxon Math, a hodge podge of phonics and reading, and AOP’s Spelling program for my youngest two children. My high school aged child will join in the TOG lessons at her own level but will be using Monarch for almost all the rest of her classes and ALEKS for math.

  91. I am so happy for you! We are doing our first “Real” homeschooling this year, and I am tutoring at Classical Conversations while my daughter does Pre-K as an abecederian and my son is in the nursery. I am so excited about it, and I am impressed with all I have seen. I am a former public high school teacher (Bible) and my husband is a current high school teacher (Calculus). He isn’t totally sold on home school, but I keep saying, “Well, you just have to say yes one year at a time!” I feel very strongly about it and am praying that he continues to feel the same (or that we would both feel our hearts turning in whatever God’s direction is!)

  92. Cars and houses are expensive and not every person is able to buy it. However, business loans are created to support different people in such kind of hard situations.

  93. We didn’t start out homeschool because a few months before my son’s 1st birthday I become very ill with a case of ulcerative colitis that cost my colon at the end of a year of being bed ridden and in and out of the hospital. When I came home we had to send him to daycare because I couldn’t keep up. I could barely walk up the stairs I was still so weak. It was hard. In the afternoons with him I would do montesorri-ish activities. By the time he was 3 and still in daycare we did abeka in the afternoon with your baby can read. He was reading before 4. We continued with abeka and started using educational software and apps for the iPad/iPhone when he was 4 and spent that year at a montesorri school. He started k5 early because finally I was healthy enough to keep up with him and homeschool as he has ADHD and in fact we changed our diet to gf/paleo/cultured And dairy only so I also cook 95% of what we eat from scratch. This on average takes up at least 2 hours to many as 4 a day. We decided to do abeka video program which was the biggest blessing so I can cook and clean and he still gets a good education and we also supplemented with brainpopjr.com. For 1st grade we did abeka video program, brainpopjr.com, and cc for cycle 3. We are now finished with first grade and are using time4learning.com to review first before starting second grade in the abeka DVD program and finishing out the year with cc. He scores very high on all his tests and standardized testing despite dyslexia and ADHD. With abeka DVD we are able to get a lot done and the brainpopjr and time4learning is good educational entertainment. The cc is just a plus that rounds out any extra reading or studying we may do. I fit learning in everything I can even bath time with foam puzzles. He is my one and only and wish I could have more because I feel like I have my system down pat for success. I can’t because of the colonectomy. Hope this helps any mom struggling to school and get things done. I know it can be a challenge!

  94. Courtney,

    I stumbled upon your blog a few months back while researching OHVA. I discovered some of your YouTube videos initially, which were just what I needed to hear. Your blog is such an inspiration and I am now a subscriber. :) I have a daughter who is currently in kindergarten at a public school. My husband and I are considering homeschooling her next year and are looking at both OHVA and CC. I was just wondering , now that it’s March, how CC has been going for your family…and if you like it better than OHVA. I’m blessed to have a husband that supports homeschooling, it’s just been a battle for ME to be able to trust that God really WILL equip me for this endeavor…especially in the patience department! ;)

  95. Hi Courtney! I just saw this post. I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. :) We are kind of the opposite. I wanted to send my kids to school. Not public, but a charter or Christian school and my husband was set on homeschooling. We both had bad experiences in elementary with bullying and both agree against ps, at least in the elementary years. It may change later on. I never in a million years thought I would homeschool! I agreed with all of those that think they sit around all day and do nothing, have no friends, are socially awkward ect. lol! It was a MAJOR lesson for me in submitting to my husband!

    We have now been using K12 (UTVA) for 2 years. And right now we are moving away from that and I chose my own curriculum. Kind of a mix of everything. Next year I will have a 2nd grader, a Kindergartner and a 2 year old. We will be using Math U See (which we started already and LOVE!), BJU Press for Spelling and LA, Christian Liberty Press for phonics, Sonlight for History, Aplogia for science (another one we have already been using and LOVE!) And Classical Conversations for Art. My husband is also teaching my kids guitar lessons for music. And we incorporate their AWANAS stuff for Bible. It’s all so exciting and very scary for me! I am not always confident that I can give my kids a decent education.

  96. Amber Haidari says:

    Hi Courtney,

    I wonder if you remember me from moody (Amber Currie)….I like your stuff, just found out about you. We also do classical homeschooling through the Well Trained Mind. Good stuff. Nice to see you on here and about.

    • Hey girl – I had to pull out my Moody Year Book but as soon as I saw your face – I remembered you :) So glad you took the time to comment!! Great to see you here!!!
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  97. I am starting the journey of homeschooling my children. They are still young – 4 & 2 but my husband is pushing for homeschool – we’ve both felt inspired from the Lord that this is our path. I’ve heard Saxon math is amazing. My 4 year old is already reading – she just finished the program readingeggs.com. She loved it and it is quite often that I’ll find her downstairs reading books. I love it! Maybe you’ve already written posts on this (this is the first article of yours that I’ve read – I found you off of pinterest) but what is advice you would give to new homeschool moms (and dads)?

  98. What’s up, I log on to your new stuff like every week. Your writing style is awesome, keep doing what you’re
    doing!

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