Reflections on our Homeschool Year

First Day of School

Last Day of School

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As I begin to pack away the teacher’s guides and paperwork from this homeschool year –tears well up in my eyes.  A sense of relief washes over me, I made it through another year.  I can’t believe we made it.

Second and third grade are done and next year we will tackle 3rd and 4th grade and be starting our 5th year of homeschooling.  The sense of accomplishment is overwhelming only because I thought more this year about quitting than I ever have.  I’ve sat with my husband late at night discussing the local Christian school and all the benefits –including a break for me.

Running this on-line ministry mixed with homeschooling and managing my home has been an overwhelming challenge.  The days stack on top of days and my to-do list seems impossible sometimes. The kids and their education come first and as a result the guilt of not keeping up with friendships, making the time to exercise or keep the house as clean as I like, burdens me.

And then there’s all my fears…my biggest is if I’m good enough at this.  Are my kids being as well educated as their public school counterparts?  Statistics show that homeschoolers do overwhelmingly well on state tests and entrance to college exams but I’m not so sure that’s happening in my home.  I don’t want to fail my children and so I feel pressure to ride them a bit to make sure they are reading, writing and doing arithmetic to the best of their ability.  And when we hit rough spots and attitudes, I shake my head and the discussion about the local Christian school begins again.

While I found this year to be one of the most overwhelming for me in the area of time management and major lack of sleep {which led to me literally quitting blogging for two months last December and January–I thought I was going to pop from all the pressure}, I believe it has been the most fulfillng yet.

For the first time, my children made real friendships with other homeschool children and I connected on a deeper level with other homeschool moms.  I am sad to admit that I have purposely not pursued friendship within the homeschool community because I was afraid of being judged for my parenting and potentially held to a higher standard because of this blog.  My fear of new friendships have stunted our homeschool years and when I started this year with open arms –allowing myself to be “known”, I found real moms who are a total joy to talk and laugh (really hard at times) with. And this has been such a gift –a gift the Lord knew I needed this year. 

Some of Lexi’s Classmates – they really need to lighten up a little ;)

Alexis' CC 2nd grade class

Alex’s buddies

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A science experiment  –dissecting – ewwwwww:

1 homeschool dissecting

The curriculum we tackled this year was a perfect fit for us.   I have received emails asking me what we used this year —so here’s the run down.  We loved everything we used :)!

Math: Saxon –my son began the videos this year and it’s pricey but a welcomed break!

Reading, Writing, SpellingSonlight (we LOVED this change from Rod and Staff –it fit our style much better)

Phonics for Lexi (2nd grade): Explode the Code

Spelling for Alex (3rd grade): Spelling Plus and Dictation by Susan Anthony, 1,000 words towards spelling success

History, Science, Latin, Art and Music - Classical Conversations – this curriculum includes a Tuesday morning class with other homeschoolers (as seen in the pictures above).  We did science experiments, memorization work, painting, music, singing and other fun activities.  And yes – even I attended the class.  Mom’s stay with their kids during this time. We LOVE this class!  Next year Alex will attend their afternoon class where he’ll use the Excellence in Writing curriculum.

Extra Science and HistoryRod and Staff (next year we will be changing to Apologetics Science and The Story of the World for history by Susan Wise Baur)

Cursive Writing: Handwriting Without Tears

When I reflect back to September of last year and compare it to where we are today, I can see amazing growth mentally, spiritually and emotionally in both of my children.  I’d love to brag on them but I’ll spare you the details –I’ll just say that it’s enough to give me peace knowing we are on the right track and we shouldn’t change a thing.

If you have questions about our homeschooling – check out some of  my past videos here where I discuss the benefits, challenges, how we structure our day and other thoughts on homeschooling.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”~ 3 John 1:4

Chime In:  Did you homeschool this year? How did it go? What did you like and what will you change?  Share with us your favorite currriculum!

Walk with the King,

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Traci says

    I just bought my first curriculum for my preschooler for next year! My plan is to take it year by year. I love how honest you are about your experience! Thank you!

    • Dawn R. says

      I’m in the same boat! We are also planning on doing our first big curriculum buy next month for Pre-K/K and we are really excited about it. We will be starting CC next year when my daughter turns four (my son will be almost 3). We have actually spent more than two years hashing this out as far as the teaching end. Interested, apprehensive and ecstatic to see how it all pans out and comes together! :)

      • Laura says

        I currently have my child in a christian pre school,he will go next yr also(he could go to kindergarten,but he is not ready yet) I want to start homeschooling when he starts Kindergarten,and take it yr by yr.But my concern with that is,I hear that when you stop homeschooling a child and enroll him in christian or public school,they can either be way behind,or way ahead. I don’t want to make it confusing for him. This actually is such a hard decision for me to make,one month I am so going to home school,then then next I am not sure!! And the responses I get from everyone when I tell them I want to try homeschooling!! Its like they think I am an Alien or something,I have even had some tell me I will ruin him! Now I just do not discuss it with anyone anymore! such a touchy subject…I had no idea. Any one else go through this??

        • Laura says

          Me again!! Also I have such a strong will child,I don’t know how it will work. He barely listens to me know…How will I get him to sit and focus on school at home with me? Anyone out there with strong willed homeschooled kids??? Courtney I know you blogged about this earlier,but How did you handle the homeschool hours with him?? I really want to try this…but scared. I just want to do the right thing for him,and give him the best education.

  2. says

    Ok..So I wasn’t homeschooled and I have a child in public school Kindergarten. I have felt the Lord press upon my heart to homeschool these past few months. I don’t even know where to go with it. The saddest thing is that I have an early education degree and the thought of teaching my own children absolutely terrifies me. And if I can be 100% transparent here I would add that the thought of being home with them all day terrifies me too. Do you have any past post where you address these fears or books that you could recommend for those of us shaking our heads “no” but walking towards the “yes”?

    • says

      Hooray!!! You will have so much fun together. (and yes some hard days – but they are SO worth it!) My link to the videos in this post would be a good place to start. Then I recommend Sally Clarkson’s writings at http://www.itakejoy.com and her book titled Educating a Whole Hearted Child. It’s the BEST book on homeschooling I have ever read –and I’ve read quite a few.

      You go girl!!!
      Courtney :)

    • Tami says

      I felt/feel the same way at times. I was a public school teacher then stayed home with my kiddos. I have 3 and one on the way in Sept. I kept thinking that the “school” experience was best for my child and I was so excited about that. Little by little the Lord just kept pressing on my heart to “teach Me first” and I knew the best way I (myself) could do that was to keep them at home. I did Kindergarten with my 6 year old and we did the K12 Colorado Virtual Academy and it went ok. It was a little too much computer work for my liking but by God’s grace she learned to read and is doing well. I would recommend just seeking what is best for your child. When I looked into curriculum and went to a fair I was completely overwhelmed. I have had to just stop worrying about the best curriculum and just put thought and prayer into what my child/children are and will be learning. It has made and is continuing to make me seek the Lord even more. Bless your journey!

    • Dana says

      Cara,
      Reading your situation reminds me a lot of myself–I am a credentialed teacher who LOVES school and had little desire in educating my own children. I was afraid of the amount of time at home, the lack of variety within the day, my desperate need for solitude. These may be more extreme than you feel. :)
      I am finishing my second year of homeschooling and what I can say is that God is good! Where I am weak. he is strong! He has been refining ME in the process of homeschooling, and through this, I have had topractice dying to myself daily, or sometimes moment by moment… Okay lots of times. Can I encourage you by saying that you are lacking, just as I am, but our God is so great, so strong and so mighty there’s nothing our God cannot do! I hope this makes sense and is not too rambling for 12:30am. :) He is faithful!

      • Lindsey says

        Your comment made me cry! My husband and I are planning on homeschooling this fall. I feel completely inadequate. Everyone around me is very discouraging. I feel God has lead me to this path and I know it’s what’s best for my family. I’m going to print this out to remember where I’m weak God is strong. Thank you!

  3. STL says

    This is almost the end of my first year homeschooling my kindergartner. I also work part time as a high school teacher. It has been a very challenging year, and I know I’ve not managed it well at all times. However, looking at the big picture and my child’s progress, I know it has gone well overall. He’s reading well, although he doesn’t love it. We’ve covered K and part of 1st grade on our own in math and in Saxon. He really enjoys science and history reading and science experiments. Writing is coming along. We’ve made some progress in French, too. When I wanted to condemn myself for days when I had no energy or the house was a mess, often, I tried to remember that this is something precious that we will always be able to build on in our relationship and in his learning. I wasn’t sure I could do it because I work, but it has been pretty good still, if not ideal. I love it though, and I’m praying we’ll be able to keep going.

  4. Heather F says

    I don’t homeschool-but that is due to the fact that I worked at our local Lutheran school (as a teacher) and I LOVE the teachers there! However, I supplement. I don’t expect any school to teach my boys everything. So we do experiments at home. We garden and compost. I have books for them to practice in over the summer and we also do Handwriting Without Tears. My oldest has Sensory Processing Disorder and I have found HWT to be the best way to teach him to write! :) Congrats on another homeschool year!

  5. says

    Courtney,

    Thank you so much for sharing your honest reflections and curriculum choices! I have followed your blog for at least three years, admiring you for homeschooling but terrified to do it myself, though I admit I now believe/accept that God has been calling me to homeschool our oldest son since he was born! He used a heartbreakingly frustrating public Kindergarten experience this year (we eventually were compelled to withdraw him with a mere four weeks left of school) to drive home that desire and commitment to finally try homeschooling. It’s funny that you said your biggest fear is that you’re not “good enough at this.” That is exactly what has held me back, and I have even been a public school teacher for fifteen years, myself! People think this should seem like a walk in the park for me, but no. Perhaps that’s a fear the enemy uses to discourage us, when God will of course equip us for the task he calls us to. Thank you for years of encouragement and leading by example. I’m scared but excited to finally begin my first homeschooling year with my oldest son next year! God bless you!
    Amy

    • says

      Amy, your comment reminded me of me. I was an RN prior to quitting to homeschool my children. As a cardiac RN, I was used to code blues, having to drop everything and perform CPR on patients, etc. Yet, one of my kids gets injured and I’m a mess. My dh handles the accidents around here waaay better than me, the former RN. It’s kind of funny and kind of pathetic, lol. But with your teaching background, I know you realize that NO ONE could possibly care more about your child and his education than you, his mother. The questions and doubts perhaps never stop with homeschooling (we’re going into our 9th year and I still have them) but God will continue to remind you of why you have been called. His very best to you in the coming year.

      • says

        Toni, Thank you so much for the encouragement, affirmation, and blessing going into my first year. Blessings in your upcoming year as well!

  6. says

    I so needed this today. We are finishing up our 5th year homeschooling. I have one that will be a senior next year. I feel DAILY that I’m not doing enough. This week we wrapped up our end of year CAT test and from what I just glanced at, it is not a reflection of what I know they are capable of, and that makes me want to cry!

    It’s always good to know we’re not in this alone and others have the same doubts and uncertainties. Guess we’ll just have to pray it away for one another. I know this is where God wants my children.

  7. Katie R. says

    We finished our first year (Kindergarten) this year and honestly it was a little rough. We had our 4th in February which added to the chaos! But, we are enjoying summer break now and I am ready for a fresh start in the Fall! (We did love Saxon 1 for math though!)

  8. Jeanne says

    Loved reading this Courtney. Your kids are the best and I will sure miss you next year. We finished with school last week and I can tell Sarah is missing her CC friends. Public school here isn’t done yet and she has been rather bored!! Though we sometimes chafe at the structure school requires we do miss it when it’s gone! Thanks too for all your thought on curriculum!

  9. Amy says

    If you ever needed to quit blogging to focus on your family, I would miss you, but I would TOTALLY understand. PLEASE take more blog/FB/etc. breaks, like 2 weeks at a time. We’ll all still be here. You owe us nothing : )

  10. says

    I love your honesty about struggles to connect with other moms. I admit that the sterotype in my mind is that homeschoolers have better behaved children and stricter standards, they have always intimidated me. We have chosen public school but for the past 3 years my 2 oldest have done a hybrid version where they attend M-W and Th/F they are home and work online. It has definitely shown me that full homeschooling is not for us. However, like the homeschool parent questioning their choice, the public school parent does the same. At times, I’ve been nervous about our choice but in the end our children are going to reflect what they are taught at home even if we aren’t formally homeschooling. I was CRAZY proud of my 7th grader this year for challenging his Muslim friend to read the Bible and he actually DID!! My son has also had very open talks about gay marriage (BIG topic in our liberal state) and lovingly shared God’s plan despite at times being the only one in the group with that opinion. He is bold for Jesus and I love that he is surrounded daily by non-Christians he can influence. I realize this goes completely against many people’s philosophy with homeschooling but I am thankful I’m seeing fruit in my choice and pray that I continue to. I should add that we are open to other options for schooling if we feel public school is harming one of our children but so far so good!

  11. Wendy B. says

    I have a 10 year old going into 5th grade. She attends public school at present and although she has excelled all these years, Middle School in the public system is a complete different story.homeschooling is an option we are considering but I don’t really know anybody in our area that i could talk to, let alone this change from public school to homeschool. Any thoughts? We live in a really big city, homeschooling is not common here.I would so much appreciate any advice.

    • lena cook says

      Wendy, you would be surprised how many people are homeschooling around you when you get in the “homeschooling circle”:) Check out meetup.com for homeschoolers near you or a local church for a coop.

  12. says

    We’ve had a wonderful year as well, in spite of some health issues that plagued (and thus challenged) me. My oldest did so well in Ch.A without having previously taken Foundations/Essentials. I’m sad that her Ch.B class has shrunken to only 2 or 3 students, but I continue to pray about it and trust God with the details. Courtney, the Essentials program is AWESOME. You’re going to be amazed at how your son grows in language arts next year. Trust the program as you work through the tasks. As for those doubts that creep in regarding homeschooling, I really would love for you to read, “When You Rise Up” by RC Sproul. It has helped me to not lose sight of the fact that “the good life” is in my children knowing God, not prosperity according to the world’s way of measuring our children. It’s a quick read. Our CC director suggested it and we went through it together over the past few months.
    Blessings,
    Toni

  13. Ana Tay says

    I admire you, guys! This is completely unreal to me. In Brazil we cannot homeschool our children. We can be arrested if we do it. I struggle just to teach English to my 3-year-old daughter!

    • STL says

      Ana,
      I’m sorry to hear the situation is like that. However, you can always teach your kids, no matter what school they go to. I’ve been reading a good book lately called The Core by Leigh Bortins. She is the founder of the Classical Conversations group, which we’ve not joined (yet?). However, the book has been very helpful to me in getting my head around what could be done, with adaptations for people who work full or part time, kids already in school, etc. It’s a simple and helpful book that points you in a direction that is helpful, to me, anyway. You probably won’t go wrong in just being involved in teaching them and not only leaving it up to the school. It’s a great relationship builder, too.

  14. Mwende says

    Thanks for sharing, Courtney. You make home-schooling seem fun & something to consider. In all things, the grace of God is sufficient for us & His strength is made perfect when we are weak. He has clearly been your strength and carried you through the year. Indeed He who has called you is faithful.

    I absolutely love Lexi’s classmates, can I borrow them? That photo has just made my morning.. :)

  15. Lois says

    I struggled for several years about homeschooling because I wasn’t willing. After that I spent several more struggling with it because my husband was skeptical. This was my first year homeschooling, and although I can definitely say that we were not thrilled with the program that we used this year (due to similarity to the public school program and influence, we used K12). I can definitely say that I am 100% convinced that it is the right thing at this time for our children. My children both have gaps in their English knowledge dating back to when they were in charter school. Mind you I don’t blame the teachers, because they were awesome, but I know that sending them back into a school situation without filling in those gaps would be a huge hindrance in the long run for both of them. Of course, since yesterday was their last full day of school officially, we haven’t made any decisions about next year. To my immense surprise, even though I sometimes wonder if we are all going to make it though the day without killing each other, for the first time I want my kids to stay at home. I always felt like I was a failure as a mom because I was relieved when someone would watch them for me and give me some time away. Now I believe that the school program is partially responsible for that distance, because I spent so little time with my kids just being a family that there was not that strong family bond that there should be. I don’t believe that homeschooling is for everyone or that everyone should home school, but I know in my heart that it was and is the right choice for us.

  16. says

    Chime In:  Did you homeschool this year? How did it go? What did you like and what will you change?  Share with us your favorite currriculum!
    I did homeschool this year, using My Father’s World curriculum, Key to series for math because we’re phobic, and various English books. Seventh grade went pretty well. We got to be involved in Artios on Mondays which was so great, but will change next year. I am talking with a couple of other moms to co-op on Fridays: Spanish, English for middle school (me) and Art. Moms involved. But free, and we all pitch in.
    I am looking to envigorate my creative dyslexic. She has improved so much and fought through so many disheartening times. James memory work in sixth grade was so instrumental in her life (1:3 especially!) and she still exercises each morning to the James recording or Titus which I made for her. Next year high goals: the book of John! A two woman play perhaps, incorporating drama in our Bible time. Also we will study a chapter with a Kay Arthur book for kids and then read it the next week in modern Greek (which we have been doing on Rosetta Stone, slowly!). She works well when two or more things are going at once. Writing is especially difficult, so she likes a story read aloud while writing, and music while math. Even if the music is a tape telling all about a composer!
    Since we are done with the 3-8th grade cycle for history in MFW, we will revisit geography, but she will be doing more of the work herself, researching countries as if we are going on a round the world ticket. She will make meals once a week, she will draw and illustrate and maybe even make stories set in the country she is studying. Of course I will be interested in all she is learning and be there to assist. But since we have done this once through, I will be focusing time on that English class (introducing genres, essay and creative writing in a discipleship mode; I have an MA).
    Science, Apologia
    Starting Points worldview curriculum
    Am I forgetting something? Music lessons, but that’s another subject!
    It has been a rich and hard time! God provides; I celebrate his provision.
    Today when she woke and didn’t want to do school I thought for a moment, what would I do if I didn’t school you? I would have no life! It was an odd moment. Instead I told her, it’s just today because tomorrow we are going on the blueberry picking field trip (learning about 15 varieties of blueberries, did anyone know about that?) and she was happy and we got to work.

  17. Kelly says

    Your children are absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing them with us!

    The thought of homschooling my son terrifies me. We don’t have the wonderful programs like Classical Conversations and such in my area.Also the local high school is not keen on letting homeschooled students within the district play on the various athletic teams. Which isn’t fair because their parents pay school taxes like everyone else.

    Plus I am SO not good at math, I’m just not. That’s why I didn’t go to medical school like I wanted to back in high school. Luckily one of his friend’s dad is a math teacher. well he was till he became a Principal at one of the local schools ;)

    Thanks for sharing your story!! Look forward to meeting you in August for the WLW conference!

  18. Alisha S says

    Well that post sounded a lot like me this year! This was my first year with all 4 of my children home! This coming year will be my 4th with my 8 yr old. My 3rd with my Freshman (OH MY), 2nd year with my 6th grader and my little man is 5 so he has always been home with us!
    Gosh, so many days I was ready to quit…wanted to send them own. I look back and feel selfish. Wanting to be home alone at times. Then the same fears of am I really teaching them what they need to know?? Is the education good enough…but I know with out a doubt now that the Kingdom of God is what is most important and everything they get on top of that is like icing on a very well baked cake!! Keep going Girls cause in the end we will reap wonders from them!! Be Blessed

  19. says

    Courtney you are amazing. My heart broke when I read the bit about how you withdrew for fear of being held to a high standard. You are so real. I love you :)

    Totally a plug here but I wanted to share with you how I have been able to get in shape this year…. I have two little kids and am unable to go to the gym consistently to see results. So I started using Beachbody DVD programs and working out at home. I joined a challenge group where I had a wonderful coach from Beachbody and had her daily support and motivation with a group of women from a private Facebook group. It was so fun and really helped me stay on track with my at home workouts…. THEN I loved it so much I decided to become a coach myself and encourage women to reach their fitness goals because it is so possible to be in the best shape of your life! Here is my website and I would love to help any of your readers or yourself and get a group going here. No gimmicks or tricks, just hard work in my basement with a few well chosen programs :) Feel free to email me through this website! http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/alexismacphee

    Please remove this comment if this is inappropriate! I just wanted to share what worked for me :)

  20. Deborah says

    What a joy! I so miss those precious times with my daughter. Those were some of the best years of my life. I just wanted to let you know about Picaboo Yearbooks. It is an online yearbook creation company that publishes YOUR book for you. I scrapbooked my daughter’s school years but wish I had had this tool back then. In fact, I’ve decided to scan those books and make a printed copy. It is really affordable and there are NO minimums so it is ideal for our families.

    Keep enjoying the wonderful experience of “life with our children”…..they grow up so fast (even though it doesn’t seem like it at the time). Be blessed!

  21. Teresa says

    I am just finishing my last year homeschooling! What a journey! 3 children all the way through high school. I’ve spent lots of time reflecting this past year. On the days that seem like you might never be finished homeschooling, remember to enjoy the moments you have, they go by all too fast.

  22. Laura Kinard says

    Courtney,
    Thank you for sharing your ups and downs with homeschooling! I love your blog and I am so encouraged by your testimony. I have only one son and I was blessed to be able to stay home and homeschool him the entire time. He just finished his first full year of college at a state university — lives at home and commutes. He earned a 4.0 this past semester. He has many friends and is enthusiastic about learning (taking summer school classes now). He is halfway through his degree in history with a minor in German. I say all this to encourage you and that the Lord will bless you as you honor Him with the stewardship of your time and your childrens’ lives. I don’t know how homeschoolers manage with more than 1 child. God Bless You!

  23. says

    I love reading about what homeschool moms are up to. My Mom homeschooled me and three of my four siblings, and I’m so grateful for the time we got to spend together. I feel like homeschooling really helped us connect and grow close as a family. I plan to homeschool my own kids when they come along.
    I just wanted to encourage you, Courtney, and these other homeschool mommas. I know homeschooling is super hard (I was the one making it hard, so I know how bad kids can get :-P ), but whatever God is leading you to do educationally for your kids, whether homeschooling or something else, He’ll help you to do it. A lot of mommas (and my own Mom, I’m sure) worry about whether their children are learning everything they should be, or everything the public schoolers are. Part of the joy of homeschooling is that it can be tailored to individual children. If it takes them an extra year to really grasp a concept, if they’re a little ‘behind’ what their public school peers would be doing, it isn’t really a huge deal. An extra year of school won’t destroy their opportunities in life. Of course you want to be as diligent as you can, but for some kids it just takes longer to really grasp some subjects. That’s part of the reason why public school doesn’t work for everyone. I struggled with math in Jr. High, and it did take me a couple years to get through a whole textbook with help from parents and siblings. At the time I’m sure it looked like a huge deal to my Mom, but I did graduate high school ‘on time’, and now I have a Bachelors degree and am working on a Masters (in Music, definitely not Math ;-) Homeschooling is scary, but it has so much potential to let you teach your children about life and God, not just school subjects. I know that God will honour the mom who’s willing to follow where He leads. He’ll help you through homeschooling or whatever He’s asking you to do (I would hardly say homeschooling is God’s plan for educating everyone) Anyway, I just hope you find this post encouraging. As a homeschool kid looking back from ‘the other side’, I’m really grateful for and proud of all my Mom’s hard work and love while she was homeschooling us.

    • Laraba says

      Beth,

      Many thanks for that encouragement. It helps me to read that you were homeschooled and the Lord blessed and guided and directed you through the challenging times. I’m a homeschooling mama to 8 children ages 13 to 1 and I am quite overwhelmed right now. Public school isn’t an option becuase my dh and I both had rotten experiences. We aren’t going there! Private school isn’t an option because we couldn’t possible afford it. Homeschooling IS going to work, but I spend so much time pondering and praying and wondering whether I’m doing it right. I keep falling back on the James 1 verses about how the Lord WILL give us wisdom. I also appreciate your comment about “an extra year”. I’ve thought that too…if they need an extra year of homeschooling, that will be fine!

  24. says

    Oh Courtney, I appreciate your ‘realness’!

    This year too was a tough one for us (our 11th year homeschooling) – more for Mom than the kiddos I think. The increase of writing, blogging, speaking opportunities (though not as huge as yours!) was a surprise and it all felt a tad crazy at times. Think we’ve found a good flow now….

    Thank you for sharing, CONGRATS on another year – and grace for future homeschooling. Oh, and enjoy the summer! :)

  25. Kimberly Timms says

    We do Classical Conversations as well!! Although I did think of taking a break this year. Your feelings are echoed loud in my heart as well as far as academics. There is pressure to perform. I am speaking in love when I say friendships with moms is just plain tricky. Some may have issue because you are not organic enough, not academic enough, not testing enough, etc. At the end of the day, it’s not about them. It’s about God’s purpose for your family, your husband and your vision for pursuing that purpose and teaching your children to do the same. I think it’s important that the friendships never overcome our first priority to our God, husbands and family. It can get out of balance very quickly and then I find myself feeling inadequate, lonely and depressed. Those are not Godly feelings that grow our families. I think you are very wise to keep relationships in the correct order. That relationship balance is critical for our success (keeping the King first…etc.). I’ve learned a tough lesson this year about this, I hope my struggle keeps someone else from learning that lesson the hard way. Much love to you and all these moms as they follow His purpose.

  26. Lisa says

    Great post! After 16 years of homeschooling, with three children graduated and moving on in life, but one more still to go, I have met and talked to A LOT of homeschool families. We have homeschooled in three different states as well and that has had a great impact on my thinking about home education. The blessing of homeschooling is also the greatest challenge. We are free to “do homeschooling” as we like. Most of us at one time or another face many of the fears mentioned by Courtney and by others. That is because we live in “opposite world” girls! But our Lord has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Always remember homeschooling is about discipleship and academics are just one piece of the puzzle. Most of us are homeschooling from a personal experience of institutionalized education. We will have to transform our minds a bit! Yes! God is good and faithful! For anyone who is called by The Lord to homechool He WILL be faithful to you and you will be successful. Just be careful what yardstick you use to measure your success. The world’s or the Lord’s. :-) In closing, I use Tapestry of Grace and love it. I graduated my twins this year and we moved across country last year AND my oldest got married in March. It has been a difficult year. Did I mention my youngest is in the middle school years? Lol! But I see what God has done, what awesome miracles he has performed for me! I pray for those struggling that you are able to hear our Lord’s voice and cling to him.

  27. Chris says

    Courtney, I applaud you and all the other Moms on this blog who homeschool, or who are considering it. My children go to public school, and I have been criticized by members of my family for it. (No criticism from this blog-you all seem wonderful in your comments). My uncle(who is a pastor), told me that “public schools are child abuse”. That was very hurtful to me. Many of my relatives who have criticized me have graduated from public school, and their children have graduated from public school as well. My son has high functioning autism, and has attended public school since age 3 (he’s 7 now).They have done a fabulous job with him. I couldn’t never have done the early intervention that he needed (and done it well), because I had twins who were a year old when he was diagnosed. We have had wonderful, caring teachers so far, some of who are Christians. My son has turned into a very loving, charismatic boy, who is loved by his peers and teachers. We have also had the opportunity to be an example of how we live our life differently than a lot of other families in the school system. My daughters attended a Christian preschool, and some of their teachers had their own children in public schools. I guess what I’m saying is that I think it’s wonderful that you and so many other Moms have sacrificed so much to homeschool, but I also love my children and are invested in them. I don’t feel any desire to homeschool. I don’t feel like less of a Mom or Christian because I don’t. I read Sally Clarkson’s blog and strive to be an intentional mother to my kids. I love God and want to be the best wife and Mom I can be for His glory. Have a wonderful summer off! I love your blog-you have no idea how much it has encouraged and inspired me!:)

    • says

      Chris – thank you for sharing this and for your open arms to the homeschoolers here. I attended public schools all 12 years and I am so thankful for my parents who discipled me and loved me in the home. Because of my experience, I know that it is possible to be an awesome mom who disciples her kids and send your kids to public schools…so you’ll never find any judgement here for your school choices.

      I do not believe in a cookie cutter education for all. Everyone’s puzzle looks different and it’s important that we each do what we feel God and our husband’s lead us to do.

      Keep pressing on :) and loving your little ones!!!
      Courtney

  28. Mindy says

    I really love reading your blog. It is a great lift for my day. I want to tell you that I admire you for homeschooling your children. I work in the public school system, and I promise you are doing the right thing by teaching them at home. Keep up the great work you do. The world needs you and your willingness to speak out about God, family, and yourself.

  29. says

    I love the HONESTY in your blog posts, and this one is no exception! I have one daughter (she’s 15), and she is in a public school. If I had come to the Lord a little earlier in our lives, I might have home schooled her, but I’m convicted (at least for now) that she belongs in the public school. One thing that is very difficult in the public school system is that it’s VERY difficult for me to know what is going on. I have access to her grades online, and I can always email or call the teachers (which I’ve been doing more frequently). But trust me…the individual attention your kids are getting from you will NOT be in vain!

  30. Charity says

    Well, reflecting back on this year it has been overwhelming and still brings tears to my eyes. First of all it has been a year of extreme financial struggle. My husband mows, landscapes, and cleans carpets for a living and we live in a MidWestern farming community. We experienced the worst drought in 29 years in 2012. We missed more than half of our income. So this effected every area of life– including homeschooling. I think this stress though was truly a blessing in diguise because it brought to the surface some issues in our marriage that we really needed to address. It also brought out some issues that we had misinterpretted in our youngest son. He seems to have some sensory processing issues. Then the continued challenge with our oldest son who has dyslexia. It was frustrating for he and I when we would work so hard to gain reading skills then he would get it only to lose it again and the fight would start all over again– I have learned this is not uncommon with dyslexia. However, as I look back he did actually gain a little every time. Our financial strain improved in January when the Lord provided a server job for me on the weekends– that way it did not interfere with homeschooling. Then due to our low income this year we got a good tax return. Now my husband is mowing during a very wet spring with drought monitor predicting no drought for our location this year. Our oldest son is now getting some help for dyslexia. He is 8 and treatment can not be started until age 7 or 8. So we are not off track really even though it feels like it sometimes. That is only when I play the comparison game. I am getting better at not doing that. Our youngest son starts treatment first week of June. We will also be schooling through the summer with our current two week break ending right after Memorial Day and two weeks off in July.

    This has been an overwhelming year for us as well and I have not maintained my blog. I am not sure when I will get back to doing that regularly either. I just know that taking care of my family comes first. If I evaluate the year in the way society determines to be successful we did not have a very good year. However, when I consider marriage growth, the depth of character we have developped, how much closer we are to the Lord, how much closer we are as a family, and how much more grateful we are for all the wonderful blessings that we have– this was a very successful year. I hope to be responding to your evaluation of the year next year sharing the progress my sons have made and a year of progress in my husband’s 2 business ventures.

  31. Amanda says

    Will we ever get over the wondering of whether or not our kids are being educated right or enough? I have a masters degree in education and wonder the same thing. Daily. Satan is such a brat. :)

    • Kendra says

      I LOVE your comment, Amanda: Satan IS such a brat! I think that’s my new go-to saying for now. Thanks.

  32. Kendra says

    Congrats for homeschooling your kids! It can feel so overwhelming sometimes. Do keep in mind how much more efficient and productive homeschooling is compared to public education. Kiddos go at their own pace instead of being made to go over something 12 times that they understood the first time. They aren’t subjected to the time taken up by disciplining the other children. (I know – sometimes our kiddos get off-track at home and need some correction – but it is nothing like watching as the teacher deals with what my son calls “the bad kids”, who crop up in both public and Christian schools.) When they do learn a topic easily, homeschool kiddos can take the opportunity to push further and learn more, ask more in-depth questions, that they wouldn’t have the opportunity to do in public school because the teacher is busy reiterating the easily learned (for your child) info for the 12th time. The “down time” involved in homeschooling is much different – both more productive and more relaxing than in public school. I am not in a position to home school my son full time though we take a “hybrid” approach (teachers can’t help but teach their kids! ;-)), but as a college instructor, I see the huge difference between home schooled students and public school students. Homeschoolers are more mature, they are better learners, they are often miles above everyone else in the class. Many of my homeschooled students start their college classes in high school, because they can. My teachers’ union would not like to hear me say this but I am convinced that most children would learn more from being homeschooled (and love learning more!) than in the public school system because of the individual attention to their specific needs.

    The other thing to remind yourself, dear sweet friend, as you struggle through the year is that many of the projects in public school are ones that get sent home to work on anyhow. All of my son’s book reports, oral reports, and science projects in 4th & 5th grades were “at home” projects with no teacher guidance at all. (Makes me feel bad for students whose parents don’t have the skills to help guide students on their projects.)

    I’ve gone on too much (duh). This is a hot spot for me. The main thing, my dear, is to encourage you to remember when you’re feeling your education of your children isn’t “good enough” that it is (in general) SO much better than if your kiddos were in a class with 28 other students.

  33. Sara says

    Hi Courtney…

    Thanks for being honest. It allows the Lord to be the one who gets the glory, which i KNOW is your ultimate goal! (c: I am finishing up homeschooling 1st grade for my oldest son and very part time preschool for my 2nd daughter. Next year is new territory with TWO kiddos in official homeschool: a 2nd grader and a Kindergartner (with a little 2 year old running around being a two year old). I love the Charlotte Mason philosophy of schooling and I tried a DIY curriculum with my son last year based loosely around the guide at SimplyCharlotteMason.com. Sonia at that site is incredible. However, this year I still wanted to stick with CM style but needed help in having fun activities for the kids to do. (That is just one too many dots for me to connect!) I am blessed to have found Heart of Dakota curriculum. Carrie has basically put together an open-and-go curriculum with Bible study, character training, storytime, rhymes/poetry, History, Science, Math, Language Arts, and I may have missed something, It is like having a CM teacher think through all the topics to be covered, connect the dots with fun hands-on activites and games and art projects, and hand me her notes for the year. I’m so excited, I wish we could start now! It gives me a sense of confidence next year that we will be covering what we need to and having fun while doing it. My kids have already become each other’s best friends this year since I brought my son home from ps after his K year. I am looking forward to all being able to share school together now!

  34. Erika says

    I’m sure you’ve considered this but how about saying no to outside commitments? It would allow you to focus on homeschooling fully. Hire a housekeeper a couple times a month? This is our 5th year homeschooling and it’s taken me this long to figure it out. In Sept. we hired a housekeeper to do normal cleaning. This takes a huge amount of stress off of me. I homeschool our three children which in itself is a full time job. We’ve taken a lot of classes/activities off our schedule. Now it’s just scouts for all and our weekly homeschool group. Anything else is a play date which the kids prefer anyway. It’s ok to say no we aren’t adding anything else to our schedule/I don’t have time.
    Erika

  35. Leigh Anne says

    Courtney,
    thank you so much for being so transparent in your blog. I know that if we don’t have a chance to meet here on earth, that I will be hugging your neck in Heaven for sure! Your recent blog about modesty in “Opposite World” has really stuck with me. I’ve gone back and forth about homeschooling my son. Currently, he is enrolled in 5K public school. I’ve taught with many of the teachers at his school and I’m pretty up to date with how the school district works. However, as a former “home-schooler” myself, I know first hand the benefits for each child when they are/have been home-schooled. My husband and I are both educators, and we wrestle regularly with leaving him in public school, or pulling him out for homeschooling. I would ask for prayers for guidance/wisdom/courage/peace as we make our decisions (yearly).
    You’re such a blessing! And I feel extra blessed to read the comments of other women/moms that love the Lord and desire to honor Him. :)

  36. says

    This was our first year homeschooling my middle son (8th grade) and it actually went pretty well. I’ll be homeschooling my two younger ones for K and pre-school in the fall (actually we’re going year round because it allows me to be more flexible during the year) and we’re using Sonlight too. I think I will also try Classical Conversations when they get a little older. Thank you for sharing about your experiences Courtney. It is such blessing!

  37. Amanda Clark says

    I, too, love how honest you are! I homeschooled my daughter this year. It was our first year and just preschool, and you verbalized ALL my fears and anxieties even better than I could! We all struggle with the same things, don’t we? No matter how much I do, no matter how early I rise each morning or stay up late each night, I’m always feeling guilty about what I WASN’T able to accomplish. But my husband tells me, and I think this is true for all of us here, that even though there may be no glamour in my job–no paycheck, seemingly no appreciation at times, and I have nothing to show for all my work at the end of he day, I AM DOING THE STUFF THAT MATTERS. I tear up remembering his words. He really meant it and the same is true for just about everyone who reads your blog and for you, too. Thank you from all of us who are immensely blessed by you. You are helping us become who God created us to be. Thank you so much for hanging in there–I know it is HARD. But you’re doing what matters.
    Love in Christ,
    Amanda

  38. says

    Why I homeschool…I do have a mission for the education part of my homeschool and it is simple. I want to equip my children to find the answers. That means teaching them the basics and letting them explore. Yes I still teach history and science and all but I’m not concerned with then memorizing a set of facts that they only need for trivia questions. I want them to understand concepts and to be able to find answers to their questions. I know I’m succeeding when my 13y. old is presented with a snake her dad caught and she gets online of her own free will to look it up along with all the other types of snakes she may encounter to learn about what to be afraid of and what not to. She found the information with no help from me or her dad and was able to learn from it. That is true learning.

    Is that my ultimate goal for homeschooling though? NO! I really want to give my kids a foundation in the Lord that they will carry with them through life. In the case of my children I do not believe that this could be done while they attend school. Right now I am called to be wife, mother, teacher, and housekeeper. That means walking with my children and being the best example I can while encouraging them in the Lord.

    If God has called you to homeschool then he will provide the mission to keep you going. Not all families are called to homeschool. I firmly believe that. But I hate to see the ones that are fall prey to the world and quit for any reason. God knows you and he knows each one of your children and He knows what His will is for you. We just have to ask and follow.

    If He has called you to homeschool trust that He will equip you to do so and know that you doing your best is enough! Ask God for your mission and don’t lose sight of the important stuff. Your children will survive missing that spelling test or math today so that you can serve your husband or neighbor. They will probably learn an even greater lesson.

    This is an abbriviated version of why I homeschool my children. I pray it would encourage others. Education itself is really only a small part of homeschooling. It truly is life learning.

    • Polk-a-dot Momma says

      And I just could not agree more with Sweet Ma! Very well put from the perspective that I have also!!

  39. Nicole says

    Homeschooling just isn’t an option for our family. But, my three boys are blessed to go to one of the most amazing public schools. Looking through your curriculum, our public school uses about half of the same curriculum that you use. Of course, they can’t use Sonlight, but they are being taught by Christian teachers, and aids (about 80% of the staff at the school are Christians!).

  40. says

    Just finished my boy’s home school adventure! We made it all the way! I can’t tell you how many of those same feelings I have had all the way through finishing high school. I have 4 years left with my girlie girl and I am hoping to not have to fight those same fears over and over again.

    You have chosen same great curriculum for next year and the stuff you used last year as well.
    Many blessings to you Courtney! You have a great ministry here…

  41. Sarah says

    We are sort of finishing up our first year of homeschooling my 5 year old. We are considering continuing into the summer and starting year round schooling (something I never thought I would want to do a year ago!) Its been fun, hard, and so rewarding. We had started out using heart of dakota, which was really great, she did learn a lot, and I especially love that it is so Christ centered, but my daughter started to get very bored with it. I kept pushing on, but my husband had to point out to me that she was just bored because it wasn’t moving fast enough for her. He went and bought a bunch of first grade textbooks and we decided to try them. Immediatly she started to enjoy school again and she has been flying through the textbooks, and has grown leaps and bounds since then. But I am feeling like we are really missing out on having our school revolve around Christ. Also it seems to take so much time from me to be with her, which makes it hard to do what I need to for my younger two, as well as the house and my husband. When we were using heart of Dakota it was nice to be able to habe the little ones mostly do it right along with us. But my daughter really does excell moving at a faster pace. Right now the biggest struggle just seems to be finding a balance. We are trying to figure out a curriculum for next year, I’m strongly leaning towards the Robbinson Curriculum so my daughter can move at her own pace, and I can still be available for the rest of the needs of my family. Especially since we will be being blessed with baby number 4 in August. I’ve also been feeling very convicted when it comes to socializing. There is a great homeschool group, but it is at least a half an hour away, which is hard dragging the two little ones to and from things. We still have not found a church home in our area, and really do not know many people in the community. We used to do reading time at the library, but it seems all the children are much younger wethen my daughter and no friendships have formed. So this is definitly an area that I am going to really have to work at this upcoming year. We are looking forward to the summer reading program at the library though. Its really been a year of ups and downs for us, more my struggles it seems then my daughters, getting throughh the pure exhaustion and morning sickness during my first trimester, and still trying to homeschool was such a battle for me. But watching how far my daughter has come, shes reading well, and starting to enjoy it, and really excelling in math. It seems like all of us have developed a closer relationship with God through the process, which is the best part. Nothing touches my heart more then hearing my older 2 talking about God and Jesus while they play, or during school, or just the random times that He comes to their minds. We’ve deffinitly had more successes then failures in the end.

  42. Mary says

    We are just about to wrap up our 5th year of homeschooling. All in all it was a pretty good year…well, it ended that way, but didn’t start out that way. We have boys in 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th grade. There are days I feel so completely overwhelmed. Our younger boys started doing music and art this year at our local public school. The two older boys have done computers and Spanish this year there as well. (They are gone about an hour a day.) It made our lives completely insane, but it really kept me on track (I tend to get behind!). I’ve always worried about whether or not I was teaching them enough, but with what I’ve seen in the public school, they are so far ahead. And that is only to the glory of God, because I do not have it in me. Truly, there are days I despise homeschooling. I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one who has these feelings! It is SO worth it though…truly, I can’t imagine not being with my boys. And bonus…I’ve learned a lot in the last 5 years! :D

    • Mary says

      Oh, and we use ABEKA. We did video the first few years, but it’s pretty pricey so now I teach them myself.

  43. Carolyn says

    I have considered quitting homeschooling for most of this school year….We have cut our expenses as low as we can go so we can make it, and I am just plain worn out and even lonely…BUT, my kids have learned SO much this year, they have gained many new homeschooler friends, and I have enjoyed seeing them grow in God as well….Mixed feelings for sure…=) Thanks for you blog.

  44. Elisabeth says

    We finished our first year of homeschool last Friday. It was a big change pulling my son out of our church’s Christian school & not renewing my contract to teach there this year, but it was such a blessing for us! We started the year for our Alex (grade 2) doing most of what he’d be doing if he was in our church’s school (at the insistence of my husband) and changed some things after a few weeks. This year coming up I am really happy with our program choices. I love the fact that my boys can work at their own pace (which so far is advanced) & I can customize their curriculum. I tend to use a traditional style & our choices for next year include:
    Horizons Phonics/Reading K & Math finishing grade 1 & moving to grade 2 for Will, who is in K5 (He is the main reason I am homeschooling. He is very energetic & advanced in math & I didn’t feel the traditional classroom would be a good fit for him.)
    Alex will be in grade 3 & he will be doing Horizons Math, ABeka Language/Reading, both grade 3,
    A Reason for Handwriting & Spelling – Level D, Lifepac History 3, and Masterbooks Physical Science.
    Both boys use different levels of Bible Study Guides for Bible study – EXCELLENT Bible curriculum.

  45. Amy Greene says

    Wow is all I can say. This post got to me. I have had a huge bad year. This was our second year of home schooling. During a deployment and a huge move back to the US put amounts of stress on me. But God kept reminding me that he wants us to raise and teach our kids. I know that there are others that are called to be teachers. But God called us to do this for our kids. I think at times that it would be nice to do what I need to for myself. But he always brings me back to the basics. That’s how we got started 3 years ago this month. So for now such as a time as this year round home schooling for this military family. Blessings on you summer. Amy

  46. says

    For what it’s worth…this has been my hardest homeschool year ever, too. I am still reevaluating how in the world we are going to fit everything in. I have a book idea looming over me that I want to get started writing. We are getting ready to receive our two girls from Africa some time this summer or fall.

    Lots of changes – which is why we school year round. But, I still like to try and start the “next grade” every fall.
    So, yea I hear you on that. I really do!

  47. Kelly says

    Courtney, reading your blog made me remember all too clearly the days when my girls were small and we were a pioneering homeschool family in our small community. Our call to homeschool was not nearly as readily accepted as it is now and there were so many days when I cried out to God and said, “Can’t I just send them on the big, yellow bus like all the other moms?”. Today, I can tell you that my oldest daughter is running her own licensed day care business and has been for several years. Our youngest just graduated from college last weekend with a Bachelors in Bus. Admin. She did extremely well maintaining a 3.8-4.0 grade point average as well as being involved in lots of activities. Are they perfect young ladies? No–Did we do everything right? No— Is God’s grace big enough to fill in the gaps? – YES!! Trust in your call and know that God will get you through each day and honor your efforts to do the best you can!! Happy Summer!!

  48. sarah says

    This was my first year – It has been the hardest thing I have ever done – Have I done it well – I really don’t know – But I know it’s what God called me to do – We really had a crazy year – began homeschooling in Aug., moved my brother and his family of 5 in with us and helped them all get jobs and on their feet again. My children gave up their bedroom and slept in the living room. My family got to see real life serving Jesus, loving God’s Word, trying to teach is as I go and 2 of them now have a relationship with Jesus. They have all moved out and now it is just us but I wouldn’t trade any of it – We will see what next year brings! So thankful He has my back and can fill in any discrepancies I have!

  49. Melissa says

    Thanks for being so honest! We started homeschooling this past year and I have had SO many nights where I looked at my husband and God and said I quit but God keeps telling me He is enough for me so I keep plugging away. Haven’t found the best balance yet and no, we are not done with our school year, but we will be…eventually. You are such an encouragement with your blog posts. Thank you!

  50. Elizabeth says

    Great post. My son will be going into Kindergarten in the fall. I have a lot of friends who home school and I have always been very much for sending my son to public school. However, over the last month I have been struggling with whether or not to home school him. I am torn. I don’t want him to miss out on anything. I also worry about his social life. He is an only child and I don’t want him to feel isolated. We are very active in church and would attend a co-op, if we decide to home school. He currently is in enrolled in a VPK program. His teacher feels that he would do very well in public school. She even thinks he could be tested for the gifted program by 1st or 2nd grade. I am praying for God’s guidance.

  51. Melinda Elam says

    So proud of you with sticking with it! And for committing to next year! I realize homeschool does not always work for everyone, but I know for our family it is God’s best! Thank you for your blog! It has been such a blessing!!! I know this year was rough for you, but it was encouraging to see you being real!

  52. Summer K says

    Love your heart in this post, Courtney! Thank you for being transparent and sharing what so many (myself included) have felt at one time or another.

    This was our second year homeschooling, and it went even better than our first – so thankful! I credit this to joining a co-op for the first time. My kiddos are highly sociable, and I realized after just the first week of co-op, how much they had been missing! They really thrived in that environment, and I enjoyed getting to know other homeschool moms. We added some new curriculum this year, and also used a lot of the same from last year:

    Language: First Language Lessons, Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, Explode the Code, All About Spelling

    Writing: Writing with Ease, A Reason for Handwriting

    Math: Math U See

    History: Sisters in Time series (read avoids), started a notebook timeline. We are looking at SOTW for fall! :)

    Geography: Which Way USA monthly kits by Highlights magazine (subscription)

    Science: Magic Schoolbus monthly experiment kits (subscription), Our Animal Friends

    Spanish/Culture Studies: co-op class

    Cooking: co-op class

    Spiritual: We Choose Virtues

    P.E.: Family Time Fitness (we failed miserable at this second semester! Oops! Great program, though:))

  53. Anne Pace says

    It was a blessing to share those big laughs together this year! Thanks for your transparency on your blog and in real life too ;) We started CC to give our kids more community…and ended up experiencing some great mama fellowship too! It has made all the difference. You ladies and your encouraging words each week pulled me through some tough times this year. I am so thankful now that I didn’t give up on homeschooling! Thanks for letting the Lord work through you sister :)

  54. Stephanie says

    Thanks so much for your post. I am glad to know that I am not the only homeschool mom that feels that she is inadequate. But God is faithful. If God has called you to it, He will see you thru it.

  55. Polk-a-dot Momma says

    Hello, Dear transparent one. :) I just want to share with you that you are not alone. I too am a homeschooling momma. I tend to allow the enemy to whisper those little fears into my ears and for some reason I tend to take them. I am one whom this year really struggled also, with the repetitive conversation when there were lows of telling my children of public school being next year’s events. It’s totally NOT going to happen, but it’s where that lie tends to take me.
    It’s interesting to hear of other’s journeys and how each one of tend to have similar stories. We compare to others and feel so pathetic in areas and tend to steer clear of the opportunity for judgement which may then only cement what you’d feared throughout the year.
    I trust we are all very different as families just as much as we are all differently created, having such different dynamic in every step of our journey. We all have different gifts/talents and abilities and family dynamic. None of us should look the same.
    Frankly from the perspective of comparison to public school, there just is none, even tho you mention “Christian” school….what is being taught at home just couldn’t be taught in a school. We all have a bit different idea of what’s important and high on our priority list and every opportunity to tackle the heart of our children at any time. We also get to nurture our children’s hearts without the force against us of all the things that can pick and tear at a child. Public school very simply will not include God in it, and so much of the opposite is going on.
    I just wanted to cheer you on in all that you do. You are wonderful to follow and I appreciate how you share from your heart and share your wisdom to encourage us other women of the Lord.
    Blessings over your summer! Whew, It’s here…….Here I go as I compare to how orderly you are….I tend to not get my school items put away for at least a month or more after school is out. HA!! I will mission to do better now! ;) BE BLESSED

  56. Samantha says

    Thank-you for writing about homeschooling! This was our third year homeschooling and it has been a challenge for me at times. The Lord has laid upon my heart that our job in homeschooling right now is to lay a good foundation for out children. The reading, writing, and math are important to lay a good foundation in, but the most important is their spiritual foundation. I do not believe that my children would get such a good spiritual foundation in any other school. This foundation of faith and trust in the Lord is even more important than anything else in these days and the days to come!

  57. Lisa R says

    As an old homeschooling mom, when I was feeling overwhelmed with teaching K and having a newborn and a 3 year old, I was told to loosen up. It’s a marathon and you’re taking off sprinting. Focus on reading and math and the rest will come naturally. I was so thankful for older homeschoolers advice.

  58. Cindy says

    I just finished my 8th year of homeschooling and it was a bittersweet moment for sure. I have three children, and I homeschooled all of them up until this past year. My husband and I agreed from the beginning that the kids would go into “regular” high school to have access to all the extras a school setting can offer as well as a conventional diploma. We decided to put them into middle school at a small, Catholic school to get them used to a school setting, and my oldest son did his first year of school away from home this past year as a seventh grader. My daughter will follow this coming fall as a sixth grader, so I’ll just have my youngest left at home. I am sad to not have them with me anymore, but I can more clearly see now that the years spent homeschooling were successful and productive. My son in seventh grade did very well academically, and I can also more clearly see his love of God that he carried with him into school which helped him through this transitional year.

    To all of you who are just starting, or are feeling discouraged that you are failing in some way, take heart! Homeschooling is a wonderful way to “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” If this is God’s calling for you and your family, He will provide you with the grace necessary to succeed; don’t let the evil one discourage you.

    Peace to you all!

  59. says

    Congrats, Courtney, on another year of home-schooling! It is interesting to read the comments and sense the fear, the excitement, the confusion that comes along with raising children and being responsible for their education.
    As a Christian Day School teacher for 15 years, my advice to homeschoolers is to be consistent and keep your children at or very close to grade level. Most of the people who have enrolled their homeschooled children into our school have done so because they felt their children were falling behind or because the parents were just totally overwhelmed. It was an adjustment, and the children had to work very hard to make up for lost time. In some cases, the students had poor reading skills due to poor homeschooling. It isn’t easy to “fix” a reading issue once the child has reached the upper grades.
    The other thing that scares me (and I’m only making my conclusions based upon observation) is that when so many different curricula are used, important parts of the scope and sequence can be missed. Young students can be especially confused by different teaching styles, fonts, and a lack of consistent progression.
    Hats off to all of you who are, with the Lord’s help, taking your child’s education into your own hands!
    P.S. Don’t freak out about standardized test scores! If you become worried about how your child is excelling, find a Christian educator who is willing to assess them based on your curriculum choice, their age, and grade level.

  60. Elizabeth says

    Yea, Courtney! We homeschool, too. When people ask about it, I respond that it is the hardest and most wonderful thing I have ever done. And, I taught public high school science for 5 years! We are finishing preK and 3rd grade. We use the Bible, The Phonics Road to Spelling and Grammar, Math-U-See, and KONOS for the rest. I have learned so much through our studies!!! For those who aren’t sure, believe the Lord. If He is calling you to it, it will be wonderful. If He is not, don’t even try. If you aren’t certain, seek him more and maybe try some studies over the summer. He is faithful. I cry on my husband’s shoulder some days because it is so very hard. But, I have my children’s hearts in a way that my parents never did. For that and for the opportunity to teach them through real life, I am so grateful for homeschooling. We study hard when we study. But, we allow our studies to wait sometimes while we serve others and build relationships. I love this life with them. They are each others’ best friends and our treasures. Praise the Lord for His love!

  61. Sarah says

    Hi Courtney, I enjoyed watching your videos on homeschooling. We are in our 5th week of our 1st year! I have 4 children, 9th, 6th, 4th & 3rd grades. I felt God placing the idea on my heart towards the end of the last school year, we discussed it as a family and decided we would give it a try. So far things are going great, all of the kids seem to really be enjoying it! I love reading about other home school moms experiences, I think it’s a great way for me to learn. Thanks again, God Bless!

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