Accidental Homeschooler

Many of you know me as “The Busy Homeschool Mom.”A few of you have heard me speak, heard me on the radio or read one of my books. Most people know that my husband and I have seven children ages 2-21, and that we’ve been married for about twenty-four years. And you probably know that I like to laugh.

What you may NOT know about me is that I used to be 100% against homeschooling. Yep.  You read it right. I was the mom that all the homeschool moms I knew ran from.  I just didn’t get homeschoolers.  After all, WHY would anyone want to stay home all day with their kids when they could have the luxury of dropping them off at school and giving the job of educating them to someone else?  (in my best Grinch voice, “Why, why , why, WHY?”)

I just didn’t get it.

The UNIFORM, circa 1993

Besides.  I didn’t have the uniform.  The dreaded “denim jumper” which was being worn by almost every homeschool mom I knew at the time made me wonder if homeschoolers were part of a cult rather than a movement.  A girl needs to consider these things!  I mean, I like jumpers but I really like my jeans.  What was the point of the uniform? I figured it must have something to do with identifying other homeschoolers. No one at the small private school where we had enrolled our first child was really sure.

Truthfully, I felt judged by all those jumper-wearing homeschool moms who, I was told, were making their own jumpers and growing their own wheat while I was buying Wonder Bread on sale and following (dare I say it?) a fashion trend or two now and again.

I felt guilty every time I ran into a homeschool mom at church. I did my best to avoid the topic of education. After all, we had sent our first child to *gasp* PRESCHOOL, and I knew for a fact that this wasn’t going over well in the homeschool mom’s coffee club.

I did have a few friends who were homeschooling. So I did what any good friend would do: I tried my best to help these poor, tired moms “see the light.”  I invited them to plays and open house night at my daughter’s school. I was sure to talk about how great it was to drop Savannah off at school and spend “quality time” with her little sister.  I even went so far as to take their children to “bring a friend to school day” at the school.  Looking back, I’m a *teensy bit* embarrassed by my behavior. These homeschool moms, bless them, were patient with me.  Never once did one of them tell me to take a hike; and heaven knows, I had it coming.

Of course, I had my own doubts about having our daughter in school. I noticed that because of my husband’s job, he was missing our daughter during most of her waking hours. When he had a few free hours, she was in school. When he came home, she was in bed.  I also noticed that the attitudes of the siblings toward each other were hindered during the school week; I felt as if I was having to “overcorrect” because of the attitudes and actions that Savannah came home with after school.  There were conversations Savannah had with older students on the playground that I would have PAID to have wait another ten years, too.

In the mid 90’s, we ended up in the small town of Wilsonville, Oregon. We enrolled her in a small public school in the little town of Canby. I loved her 2nd grade teacher. The schoolbus came right to our door every morning at 7:30. I thought I had it pretty good.

Meanwhile, Sierra, who was eager to join her big sister, wanted to go to Kindergarten. Trouble was, she missed the age cutoff by a week.  A week!  I decided to console Sierra by telling her I would teach her some things at home. This seemed to do the trick so I set about trying to find workbooks and other materials in order to give her something like “school” to do at home.

I avoided using the word homeschool.  I avoided it like the plague.

But even though I was avoiding it, God was working. God has a way of bringing us around to His way of thinking.

I soon discovered that there was a homeschool supply store about 45 minutes from our house. I decided to “casually” go and check it out. When I arrived, I was overwhelmed by the amount of materials and wonderful books available to homeschooling families.  I asked the store owner what he would suggest for a “non-homeschooler” like me.  He graciously pointed out a few of the curriculum choices. He asked what I wanted to accomplish with Sierra.  I said I just wanted to help her get ready for “real” school.  Then I ducked. But he didn’t flinch. I suspected he had spoken to my kind before.

I left the store with a copy of “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” and a math workbook.  I must admit, I was secretly excited to try my hand at teaching Sierra to read.  I had no clue where to start the process, so having a book that gave step by step instructions was just what I needed.

It took about a week of teaching Sierra at home for me to begin to see that I had been totally wrong about homeschooling. All these years I thought homeschooling was about chains, but I was finding freedom instead!  Freedom in the way we did school, freedom in when we did school!  Even the school bus taking our daughter to and from school could not compete with the amount of time I was saving by schooling at home.

My relationships with my children began to be filled with a new sense of purpose as well; I loved seeing Sierra’s eyes light up when she understood a concept for the first time. Knowing that I was able to teach her made it even better. Before too long, we had vowel charts up in the kitchen and posters of the Presidents adorned the walls of the nook where we sat to read. I had to admit:  I was an accidental homeschooler. And I didn’t care who knew it.

I could go on and on about how the Lord softened my heart and drew Jay and me closer together in the process of deciding to pull Savannah out of public school. But that’s another post.  I could tell you about the richness that our family has experienced through homeschooling that we never even thought was possible—but that too, is another post.

I could also tell you that homeschooling is stinkin’ hard.  But boy, is it worth it.  And nothing in this life that’s worth doing, I have discovered, is ever easy.

Homeschooling is not for everyone. But I believe that there are more moms out there like me than not. Maybe you’re watching a homeschool mom right now, wondering what craziness came over her that she would choose to stay home with her children when someone else would take them off her hands for the day.  Well, I’m here to tell you, you’re right. It’s crazy. it’s at least seventeen different kinds of crazy.  Crazy good. Crazy hard. Crazy crazy. Crazy adventure. Crazy amazing.

Turns out homeschooling is not about denim jumpers.  There are no uniforms.  It is as hard as I thought it might be … maybe even more, some days.

And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Heidi St John Homeschooling Guide to Daylight

Heidi St John Firmly Planted Family Devotional For All Ages

About Heidi St. John

Heidi has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children and two grandsons! The St. Johns' children range in age from early elementary school to adult. They have homeschooled the kids all the way through high school. Heidi is the founder of MomStrong International, an online community of women learning to live biblically in an unbiblical world together .

48 thoughts on “Accidental Homeschooler

  1. I, too, was an accidental homeschooler. I had completed all but a year of my early elementary teaching degree. I scoffed at people who didn’t put their kids in Pre-K to give them a head start. I knew what path my life was supposed to go down. And then reality hit. I had a special needs child while living in a district that was not known for a great track record with special needs kids.
    The seed of homeschooling was planted when he was almost 3. I had heard horror stories about the school’s record with IEP’s. As I sat in the meeting room awaiting our transition meeting from early intervention to Pre-K, I had reservations. Listening to the plans that they had for my child, I just cringed. I looked them straight in the eye and said “So you want to wait for him to fail before you figure out what will work for him?” They hemmed and hawed around it and said that they had an adequate program. I told them that adequate wasn’t good enough. He needed an APPROPRIATE program…and then I walked out telling them to take him off their roster.
    He’s now 8 and his sister is 6 and they are flourishing at home. I am such a huge homeschool advocate now and can’t see my life any other way.

    1. As another ps teacher, I can relate. I put my child in school and she started banging her head on walls and trying to pull out her hair. She also displaying rebellious behavior that was outside her character. I tried to talk to the teacher, as teacher to teacher and parent to teacher, but she sat silent for the fifteen minute teacher conference. With the final straw of my daughter pulling her pants down in a paint store, and yelling, “NO!!”, my husband had had it. He turned to me and said,”Pull her out and homschool her tomorrow”. I had that inkling, and I had prayed that if God wanted me to homeschool, that he would get my husband on board with the idea. There were doubts. There were fears. My own mother wanted to know if I was smart enough to do that, to which I said, “I am smart to teach other people’s children but not my own?” Now, twelve years later, I see the amazing fruits of homeschooling. The counselor that we recently saw couldn’t believe the amazing maturity of my daughter, and that she loves to be around me. I,too, am the biggest advocate for homeschooling. I now see the fruits as the biggest reason to homeschool-the character that gets developed, and the heart strings to parents.

  2. Thank you for publishing this one, it is amazing how often God yells me just what i need to hear when i need it. Thus blog is definitely one of those times. I didn’t relist hire hard thus would be but it is sooo good 🙂

  3. Love, love, love! You said it all so well! And is so much my story. I love how God works in our hearts no matter where we are:)

  4. Thank you so much for this article. I have never read one of your article before but had one of those days today where I wish I did just put them on the bus in the morning and wave good bye. This has lifted my spirits so much.

  5. I got tears in my eyes while I read this. I also didn’t EVER think we’d homeschool (I have a teaching degree and thought homeschoolers were nuts), but here we are in our 4th year. However, I’ve been sick and oh so tired (pregnant with #5) and having thoughts of “what am I trying to do??!!” because school is not happening lately. I’ve been wanting to enroll them…now! (kinda…) Anyway, I really liked this post. Thank you for sharing your story. It spoke to my heart.

  6. I’m not so sure about that “no school uniform” statement. Here the uniform seems to be jammies, except on “costume day” when I teach a princess and a superhero.
    And you underestimated the kinds of crazy. At least around here that number seems to be closer to the 30s.
    This is an excellent article! Homeschooling is even more worth the time, energy and effort that I ever imagined.

    1. Funny! My thoughs exactly. Our uniforms consist of tutus, rainboots and jammies! LOVE! i am an accidental homeschooler and i don’t always like it, but i see the need for it in our household and am glad God saw to it that we do it!

  7. I love to tell people I accidentally fell into homeschooling. It’s my 3rd year. I heard you speak after my first year at the conference. Thank you so much for helping God with the task of settling my heart about homeschooling my children. I started High School this fall…and look forward to completing the journey.

      1. Ok, so all of you saying God speaks very loudly to you sometimes, well this article just brought tears to my eyes because I know this is God speaking to me!!! I have been going back and forth for a while now about homeschooling. The fears of “can I do this” or “am I smart enough for this” or the “do I truly have this level of commitment to give” have been there but the more degradation I see in our school system the closer I get to making this decision. My oldest will be joining the ranks of HIGH SCHOOLER next year but the past 3 years of middle school have been quite the eye opener for me. I have a feeling that there is about to be a big war in my home with my daughter but I have prayed so very hard over this and I know God will provide. W have her enrolled in one of the best schools in our district, we purposely moved to this area because of the schools but the disappointment of what she’s learning and just how AWFUL most of the kids at school are is sort of making the decision for us. Heck, we’ve been doing so much supplemental work with her just to make sure she’s getting a proper education that I might as well be doing the whole thing, at least this way I’ll know she’s not being brainwashed with ideology that we don’t agree with and won’t be put into bad social situations. Its good to read that other moms have these struggles and are able to get thru it and flourish and make happy children if not a little crazy lol. Thank you ladies.

        1. This sound exactly like me right now, Keri! I have the same fears and the same worries and disappointments with school. I keep telling myself fear is not from the Lord and it has no place in my decision making but it’s hard.

  8. Thank you for the encouragement! I’ve been homeschooling for 4 years, but I don’t own any denim jumpers. I do have several denim skirts – does that count?

    Anyhow, some days I love it and some days I hate it. Every now and then I’d love to just drop them off somewhere! On those days I take a moment and think of all the benefits I have with homeschool to help get me through one more day.

  9. I wrote a long comment yesterday on my phone, but I don’t think it worked..so here it goes again! This is a great article, thanks for sharing! I also NEVER, EVER thought I would homeschool. I moved to Nebraska 6 years ago, and before that I didn’t really know of any home schoolers…well except for the ones I had seen on TV in denim jumpers. 🙂
    My husband and I are in full time youth ministry, and when one of the kids in our youth group was killed by a tornado, everything changed. He was at boy scout camp, and was killed along with 3 other boys. It was a media frenzy. We never thought we would have to bury a kid in our youth group. We never thought we would have to hold our teens up as they saw him in that casket. It was then that I became very close to his mother. She home schooled him, and I remember her telling me how grateful she was that she had spent every day with him for 13 years. Changed my heart, changed my perspective on raising my kids.
    Heidi I know the gals here in Omaha are SO excited for you to talk at the TTD conference in May! Looking forward to meeting you!
    Tracy

  10. I got into homeschooling after trying to talk some friends from church OUT of it! I realized that all my arguments were kind of stupid.

    And I read that book, too–Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons! And it worked, too.

    My two girls are now 15 and 18. At age 16 they start online university, so my 18-year-old has completed first year and is now working full-time to save up money to transfer into second year university next year.

    It’s been absolutely wonderful for our family. I would never change a thing.

  11. Hello Heidi and friends,

    I’m grateful for your post and all the comments. I’ve been searching everywhere for encouragement because I’ll be homeschooling my children. I have a daughter who’s 7, (in the second grade) and a son who’s 5 (in Kinder). Right after I got married, about 9 years ago, I vowed that I would not let anyone watch my children, but I never ruled out public schools. I grew up in a single-parent home with 8 siblings. My mother had to work two jobs to take care of us. I remember going to school crying for her, so I thought to myself, when I grow up I would work from home thinking that this would solve it. As I became an adult and a mother, I never even considered homeschooling until this year.

    My life played out as planned, (so I thought). When it was time for my babies to go to school, I enrolled them with a smile, joined the PTA and was their biggest cheerleader, not to mention I screamed the loudest when they got the Principal’s Honor Roll Award.

    At the begging of 2012, I got hired as a Library Assistant part-time, and I thought everything would be okay until my son came home from Kinder talking about “sex” not to mention them begging me to stay home day after day. They were not use to me being away from home, and I missed them tremendously.

    Listening to you talk about the homeschooled mommies made me think about how nasty I was to a good friend of mine. I scoffed when I learned that she was homeschooling her six a few years ago. I remember asking her, “When do you get a break!” Looking back over that comment, I saw how inconsiderate I was. I read an article recently where someone asked this mother why would she want to spend so much time with her son? And she replied, “I love my son!” That simple yet powerful statement convicted me!

    I told my children just last week that we were going to home school them, and they were overjoyed! I’m a little apprehensive because I have to withdraw them from school, but I’m excited because I get to spend time with them and I get to see them grow-up and develop into wonderful believers and thinkers. I know this is the right thing to do. What about the job you may ask, I’m writing my resignation letter now. My job is outside the city and it’s going be okay…the Lord will provide for them and for us. I plan to write and speak through a Nonprofit Organization I started for young ladies called Inner Beauty Ministries http://innerbeautyministries.webs.com please visit us!

    Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. ~Jude 1:2

  12. I live in the Portland area of Oregon. I noticed that you said there was a homeschool supply store 45 minutes from you? Do you know if it’s still there? And if it is, can you give me some information about it? Thanks!

    1. Hi Deanna, the name of the store is Exodus Provisions. We also carry some homeschool curriculum at First Class in Vancouver. For more info on that you can call our office 360-326-8826. Blessings!

  13. I was an accidental homeschooler too. My son had friends who went to daycare, either because both parents worked or because mom wanted a break to get things done during the day. They taunted my son about how they went to “school” but he was still just a little kid and couldn’t go to school (even though they were the same age as my son). He got so upset so I told him we homeschooled and explained that meant I taught him at home (which is what I had been doing for a long time through play and things. The kid could read a little by the time he turned 4 just because he had begged me so much to teach him to read). Anyway, he learned so much from me without me even trying to lesson plan or studying up on “how to” do this stuff. When he turned 4, I put him in preschool (again, because of his strong desire to learn). I hated it. I missed him all day. I wanted to know what he was doing. I felt like I was missing out on that part of his life. Well halfway through the school year, an indecent happened. It really is a long story. My husband and I were so appalled! My husband told me to pull him out and homeschool. “You’ve already been teaching him at home; and he’s learned so much from you already. Besides it’s only preschool.” After that I researched homeschooling online, ordered curriculum and quickly fell in love with it. Now I’m homeschooling him in 3rd grade and his sister in kindergarten. We have 2 other children that we plan to homeschool and another on the way that will join our little homeschool.

  14. This. Is. ME. I was a career-driven engineer with three kids, two in public school, pregnant with my fourth when the economy tanked, I got laid off, and, lo and behold, I found myself at home with my kids ALL DAY LONG, and terrified about it. After a few months with no luck on the job front, my kids’ relationships blossoming before my eyes as they were “forced” to spend time together at home, and some prayers from friends that God would lead me to the job where He most wanted me…out of nowhere my husband said, “Why don’t you consider homeschooling?” HA! Well, I humored him and with glances over my shoulder to make sure no one saw me at the library, I checked out the Well Trained Mind and a few other books about homeschooling. Couldn’t put them down. Two months later, I pulled my kids from public school and haven’t regretted it a day since. Best, hardest thing I’ve ever done. (And I just wrote a NOVEL of a comment…sorry!) Just LOVE that you are so real. Thank you for your words and your ministry to all of us in the trenches!

  15. I, too, am an accidental homeschooler. I kinda fell into it. I was working full time and raising my 2 boys and then the Lord started to tug on my husband’s heart, and my heart, that it was time for me to quit my job and stay home with my children and invest in my family. Well quitting my job meant giving up 60% of our income, but, we happily obeyed and now look back over the last 3 years in complete awe of God’s provision in our lives. Because we had such a limited income I decided to give my oldest son some school (preschool) at home. I too was not going to homeschool. I was just doing this to get my kids ready for Kindergarten. It wasn’t many months into preschooling my son that I discovered the blessedness of this whole thing called homeschooling. I had my son enrolled in a public Kindergarten and my health went bad so I pulled him out and decided to homeschool so that I would not be so stretched physically with running him to and from school every day. I am so blessed by God’s sovereignty and hand in my life. I started Kindergarten with my son this year and I am amazed at how it is blessing our family and how much my son (and his yonger siblings who like to tag along) loves it. I am a total work in progress…I am only a couple years into this journey…I fell into it, and God has made it clear and possible for me to stay doing it…and I am thankful for my homeschool group at church, this blog, and the many other homeschoolers that the Lord has brought into my life. My family feels strong and blessed because of this decision. My children seem to really love one another and my oldest loves to teach his younger siblings. Your post today has encouraged me and stirred me to want to write about my own journey. I hope to post a blog soon talking about what God is doing in me and my family. Thank you! Blessings. Janiene

  16. I laughed when I saw the “homeschool uniform” circa 1993. That’s so true! My only was born that year and we just completed a move across the country for my husband’s job. I’d been part of a huge class action lawsuit against a major east coast employer and as part of the settlement had a job virtually guaranteed for life. I gave it up to return to the midwest and moved right outside the city where I met a homeschooled family. The wife wore those jumpers! Her kids were so great that I knew that I had to homeschool! Fast forward. My walkin’ one and only is 700 miles away at university in a top technical program. We homeschooled all the way through and it’s been the most wonderful, rewarding thing that I’ve ever done. I only wish I could have done it again!!! With God there are no accidents. Only divine appointments!

  17. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 I guess I could fall under the “accidental homeschooler”. I was homeschooled as a child and up until we had children of our own I thought that would be the route we took. Then we enrolled our youngest in a private school when he began kindergarten. We are now a military family and our children attended a DoD school and had wonderful teachers each year. Then last year happened with death threats, bullying, chairs being thrown and all I was given was “every child has a right to an education”, which I agreed with – but at the expense of my children’s safety? The day our oldest told me he had been threatened yet again – with a gun, I pulled him out! Hubby was away for training, but when he got home he pulled out the girls and we began our homeschooling journey as a family. It took a while for us all to recover from the ordeal and some days can be emotional and I wonder what in heavens name I am doing, then I see your posts and I am encouraged. 🙂 Oh, and no denim jumpers here, either 😉

  18. I am an accidental homeschooler!!! I have always said that there is NO WAY, and I do mean NO WAY, I could ever homeschool my daughter. I’d laughingly say, if we were forced by financial crisis or something, I suppose I could do my boys, but there was NO WAY I could EVER homeschool my daughter. And we were quite happy with the private school the kids were in, so why even think about it? So guess what happened when she was in in 4th grade??? You betcha, I was dragged, kicking and screaming, into homeschooling my daughter! But, surprise, surprise, I LOVED it! And it so suited our family that we eventually pulled the boys out of school, too. That was 7 years ago and I’ve never looked back!! I’ve often imagined God laughing and saying, “You just wait, Cindi!!” as I said over and over that there was no way I could do it all those years.

  19. I just realized that you wrote this a while ago…but THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I am at the beginning stages of homeschooling. I have a five year old in public school and a 3 year old at home. God has been tugging on my heart to homeschool for about a year now. This is our daughters last year of homeschool and we can not wait to take her out and begin this wonderful journey. Thank you for being so real and transparent. I felt like God was speaking to me through you. God Bless you and your family! 🙂

  20. Ha! Can’t believe I’m preparing to (accidentally) homeschool our 6 year old with Down Syndrome, 4 year old and 1 year old as well. I’ve worked full-time until recently and we’ve realized that their lives are slipping away as we rush from one thing to another. Never thought I or the hubs would be on this road but I am so glad we are. Thanks for sharing and for the steady encouragement you’ve been as we decide whether this is the right choice. I appreciate how you keep steering us back to relationship, play, prioritizing marriage, etc. How easy it is to major on the minors. Please keep it up.

  21. Totally us. Our son missed “real school” by 4 days. We took it all the way to the Superintendent of Portland Public Schools. No dice. So, we homeschooled as a way to skip kindergarten; one year, that was it! Who knew we’d still be here, adamant as ever, 4 years later.

    Mysterious ways…I can feel God right over my shoulder this minute finding insidious ways to sneak into my life, turn over the good, and leave me reeling. He’s a sneaky one!

  22. I am a teacher. I do not think home-schoolers are crazy. Home-schooling is one way to educate your children. There are many ways. You need to do a lot of listening to your children when you make the decision about how they should be educated. Some kids need home-schooling. Some kids don’t. Some kids need public schools,. Some kids don’t. Some kids need private/charter schools. Some kids don’t. How amazing it is to have the choice!

    So often we can forget our children and focus on us. Why WE want home schooling. Listening, really listening to children takes practice and time.

    Home schooling works for some. Not for others. The people for whom it does not work should not feel shame. It’s not for everyone and this does not make you any less of a mother or a christian.

    Pray. Listen. Pray. Listen. Change your mind if you have to (one way or the other). It is a decision that needs to be made between you, your children, and God.

    Let’s not judge. Let’s not be smug. Let’s not feel shame. Do what you know is best for you and your child and their education will be a happy one.

    1. Lesley, thanks for commenting. I don’t think this post is about judging or being “smug.” No one said that public school makes you “any less” of a Christian or a mother, either—and this post was certainly not about shaming anyone. Rather it’s a common story of the “why” of homeschooling. At the end of the day, it’s a parent’s decision to make—and I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of parents want what is best for their children and for their families. As parents, we answer for how our children are being educated and in this respect it must be about why “we” want homeschooling, public school etc. As parents we choose what our children eat, how late they stay up and what friends are good for them (or not). Parents should listen their children but in the end, even if the child disagrees, it is the parents who must determine how they should be educated. That is their role.

      More and more parents are realizing the moral collapse and academic failure of the public school system. Many good teachers are finding that their hands are tied. Homeschooling is growing at an unparalleled rate largely due to this failure. Parents have been forced in many situations, to find other options. And yes, not everyone will or can homeschool. Those who do choose to homeschool are not doing so to shame or judge others. Most of them are doing it because they recognize that the option is both viable and possible. To care for children, we must care for their parents, too.

  23. I have a confession (as my heart is racing, my stomach is in knots and my hands are beginning to sweat.) I am a HUGE advocate of homeschooling! I think it’s great! I Follow all these blogs, have “liked” several pages on FB, I cheer on the families who choose to do it, I am interested in how they run their day and am slightly envious of their flexibility in schedule. My mom kept my two siblings and myself home for 4 years so I am familiar with it. However, when it comes to keeping my children (6 and 3) home I am TERRIFIED! It’s like I’ve been flirting with the idea for years but too afraid to commit. You know that disorder where you can’t just leap cause you like the talk more than the walk and flirting is safer……

    I’m a mess…

    I feel keeping them home is where we are being led but the phrase “I’m homeschooling next year” will NOT come out of my mouth…lol it’s like a curse word…I can say it in my head all I want but my lips will not formulate the words.
    At this point, I’ve missed the cut off to re-enroll our oldest in the private school she is in for kinder and will NOT send her to the public school she is zoned for…so I guess I’m homeschooling next year…shhh don’t tell…I’m not quite sure how to deal with this….

    1. Corrie, hang on to the Lord and enjoy the ride! You’ll love it. Keep it real, ask for help, take a break when you need to and keep your eyes on the goal. You can do it. 🙂

  24. PS My husband has been my biggest cheerleader as he has watched me battle within myself. He wants me to keep her home this next year. I am blessed to have him…I guess we are both in store for the ride of our lives.

    1. Dear Corrie, 95% of your battle has been won. Your husband is your advocate! That is number one in home school. We had to bring our child home half way through gr. 1 because public school “exploded” in our face because of one comment our dc made. Our dc is a very easy going person and was displaying behaviors that we had never seen before. Up until then the teachers said nothing until it “exploded” in our face. I would encourage you and your sweetheart to keep going with this. We’ve been home learning for 7 years now.

  25. Thank you for this post. In college I actually wrote a report which outlined a myriad of reasons a person shouldn’t HS. God has changed my heart. I read Corrie’s post and am slightly envious that her husband encourages her in this area. I’ve desperately wanted to HS for several years. I have two children (5 and 3). My oldest is in a private Christian PK program. The whole year has been full of drama and stress. I believe I am called to teach my children at home. My husband doesn’t agree. He’s most concerned about socialization. I know, I know. It’s frustrating to explain. He’s also concerned about the harder subjects and my ability to teach those. I’ve tried to explain that there are no worries about Algebra II just yet. It’s only going to be Kindergarten! I’ve read that if your husband isn’t on board you shouldn’t press the issue. I’m trying to keep the peace and be under my husband’s leadership. Any suggestions you have are greatly appreciated.

  26. I know I am not the target audience for this piece as we don’t homeschool our children – we have many friends that do homeschool however! We have always been open to homeschooling, or charter schools and there are several great private schools in our area too. Within our friend group, we have seen so many blessings to families in all of these options. In fact, we know several families who homeschool their children most of the day, but also have their children in one or two classes at a local public or private school.
    It was heartbreaking to think that homeschooling families feel that a reason that we don’t homeschool our children is because we don’t want to be around them during the day. Nothing could be farther from the truth in our case and I can speak for our friends who public and private school too! We love our children and we love to be around them! Breaks and summer vacation fly by- we are never bored and I treasure ever minute with them. My daughter will be going to church camp this summer for the first time for five days. She really wants to go and I think it would be a great opportunity. I am already dreading her being away from the house for five days and I know it will be so hard on me. In no way do I want to ship her off or be away from her, but like school, sports, and some church group opportunities even though she is away from me, I think the opportunity outweighs my missing her. I absolutely think that homeschooling can be an amazing opportunity, but even the homeschool families we know sometimes have their children participate in sports or church activities where a parent is not the teacher. This isn’t because they want to get away from their children, though! Please don’t assume, or lead other homeschoolers to believe that families who don’t make the choice to homeschool just want “me time” and time away from their children. For almost everyone I know nothing could be further from the truth and to say that is heartbreaking.

    1. Hi Sonya, thanks for posting. I’m not sure how you came to this conclusion from what I wrote. I’m sorry you were “heartbroken” by it. I will say this—there have been a lot of videos and posts written about how they can’t wait for summer vacation to be over so they can put their kids back in school. That seems a little heartbreaking to me, even though I realize it’s not the category you yourself fall into. My husband and I started a homeschool program that planted homeschool co-ops in over 60 locations around the world, so I am in no way advocating not having my children participating in outside programs. Far from it.

      This story is simply my story of going from one place in my view of education to another. I respect your ability to hear from and follow the Lord for your child.

  27. I too am an accidental homeschooler. My bright boy was being bullied, not only by kids, but by his teacher as well! I was left will little option but to pull him out. I just found out my daughter may have dyslexia, which the schools are ill-equipped to deal with, from what I hear. I have trouble juggling everything and maybe will put my son back in school if I find one that is a good fit. (He was a straight A student and really likes classroom learning.) So, it’s hard. I found a school that other homeschoolers in the area put their kids in either in middle school or high school. On the other hand, we are getting used to a new lifestyle that involves lots of travelling. (We just returned from a road trip from our home in CO to the FL Keys and back!) There are so many educational opportunities in traveling, like seeing a civil war battlefield in Vicksburg, MS. Unfortunately for our family, we were strong members of the Catholic church before everything went down at my kids’ private, Catholic school. Not only did I pull them out of school, but I lost my faith as well. It was pretty harsh to be stood up by the priest when I went to talk with him. He, apparently, didn’t see the need to meet with me after I’d withdrawn my kids from the school. Life is unexpected in many, many ways. Learning to be flexible and flowing with the changes is the only way to survive these trying times…A little over two years ago, my dad passed away, my husband was charged with full responsibility of the family business and all heck broke loose at my kids’ school, so I pulled them out. I am just now beginning to be able to reflect on that time when everything seemed to fall apart at once. Maybe the new path we are on is for the best. It takes time and distance to get a good perspective, and I haven’t quite reached that point yet, but maybe I am close!! God bless you mamas who make homeschooling look so easy. It has been a struggle all the way for me!!

  28. In 1988 when I began homeschooling our painfully-shy sixth child, I intended that it would be for just a couple of years. Because I did not want to become one of those weird homeschoolers! At the time, we had two in college, one in high school, two in elementary school, a six and a two-year-old at home. My heart was breaking at the thought of leaving this little girl in a room full of strangers when she clung to my denim jumper, which I thought WAS trendy! So we ordered books for one kindergartner and she stayed home with little sis and mom. The library was about a block away. Those were lovely days.

    It only took a few months more and that shy little girl began talking and playing with other people like a pro. That was the beginning of our life as weird homeschoolers. Twenty-eight years ago. And twenty-seven grandchildren later I still attempt to help some of my children who homeschool in the post-denim-jumper days.

    Thanks for an enjoyable article.

  29. I had no idea that you too would your path into homeschooling as accidental. We have collected a number of stories by moms who have selected homeschooling as a last resort after a series of bad experiences in schools. Like you, many were initially opposed to homeschooling, except for the fact that it seemed like the best idea fo their child. LOL

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