49 thoughts on “Dear “Anonymous,” I Was That Mom

  1. Thank you for posting this. There are days when I genuinely feel like I am spinning my wheels. I see moms around me doing amazing or so I perceive it and I envy them and I compare to them. Maybe it’s time to slow down for a while and just be mommy. =)

  2. I have to say this was the best thing for me to read right now. I am a SAHM with 4 kids. My oldest is away at college and this is my first year homeschooling. I get so mad at myself thinking others can homeschool better than myself. So afraid that my kids are going to be those uneducated kids because I messed up badly. So Thank You for posting this…it is just what I needed to read.

  3. That is some wonderful advice. It is so hard when we are considering what everyone else thinks we should be and who we should be. It’s easy to forget why you decided to home school in the first place. Sometimes, you have to just toss curriculum to the wind and find something else that fits. Sometimes it takes taking a break for a little while and coming back to the same curriculum. My middle child gets so frustrated (dyslexia) with reading and we have to walk away for a time and me just read to her. She’s almost 10 and just NOW reading. My 5 yr old reads as much as my 10 yr old. Can you imagine the frustration around here?!? But I know I’m doing what I’m called to do, and once you are secure with that, you can move on. There are so many different methods and programs out there. Breathe and enjoy those little ones while they are still little. These moments pass quickly.

    1. I wanted to encourage you and your daughter struggling with dyslexia. I suffered ffrom the same thing and was also homeschooled. My mother read all of my school books to me and only had me read a small amount each day myself.We figured out when I was about 11 that I could read silently slightly better than out loud. If I had to read out loud it was so slow going I couldn’t really comprehend what I was reading. When I was almost 13 my mom found some books that she new I would love but definitely were beyong anything I had tried so far.She told me I could try and just go at my own pace. To this day I can still tell you details about those books and by the time I finished them I could read to myself just as fast as my sister with perfect comprehension.Out loud was a little harder but I can read to my own son now and we love it.I can still tell I am dyslexic especially when I am nervous or tired and trying to read off something out loud. But overall everything is fine and it taught me amazing patience and to sometimes just laugh at myself. Remind your daughter it has nothing to do with being dumb or how smart she is.I graduated with honors from an accelerated private high school and I’m sure with encouragement and patience she can too.

      1. We are in the ninth year of the homeschooling-with-dyslexia adventure, and I want to encourage you that taking breaks when your child needs it and reading aloud to your child are helpful and necessary for the both of you. A friend of mine (whose son is the same age as mine and also dyslexic) recommended using audiobooks to give my son some independence with his reading. I didn’t do it right away for a variety of reasons, but I really wish I had. Something in the listening seemed to make connections for my son – I’m sure there’s some scientific reason for it, but I’m happy just to enjoy the effect. He was 9 or 10 when we began using audiobooks, and it made a huge difference. Just being able to pick up a book when he wanted to read it, regardless of whether I was available to help (he’s one of 11), helped. The first time I saw him voluntarily pick up his cd player and go read, I sobbed tears of joy. Allowing him to read silently helped him too.

      2. Thank you. it is so true about reading out loud. I, too read aloud to my 10 year old, and we both enjoy it, I even write his answers in a workbook on occasion. The joy of homeschooling is each at his own pace. Don’t sweat it, slow down and enjoy the ride. It will be over efore we know it!

  4. Thank you. This is so very timely, and encouraging. Our family life is so unique, I find our style rarely looks like anyone else… And then I find myself discouraged and feel as though I don’t measure up. What a beautiful reminder that I can call on God for His goals for our family, confess the sin of comparing our schooling to anyone but to Gods goals for us, and set to work building into our children the values and academics that God places on our hearts.
    Thank you, for lifting me out of the January pit of despair! We are serving Him daily in our home, they are learning and growing… We are right where we are supposed to be.

  5. This is great information. I wish more parents understood this. I am realizing if we don’t have a foundation for our children to stand upon, when they are weak they will fall. We as parents must ground them in the most important aspect of life – to love God and serve Him. Children now days think life is all about ‘me’ and what can ‘I’ get out of life… Wake up! In the real world God has a plan and purpose for us all! That is why He gives us each different gifts. As parents we need to guide them in the direction God is leading them. HUGE load of responsibility, but God will never leave us nor forsake us!

  6. I was also overwhelmed with Abeka. I now do a combined curriculum that includes Lifepacs for some classes, Switched-on Shoolhouse for others, and Weaver 3D body (all from Alpha Omega). Once a week, we use websites for typing (http://e-learningforkids.org/Courses/EN/K0001/index.html and http://www.abcya.com/kids_typing_game.htm); spellingCity.com is great too.

    The combination keeps the day from droning on and the computer classes allow me to get some things done around the house. For example, my fourth grader learns more from the games faster than sitting and writing spelling words 10 time. And BigBrainz.com has helped with multiplication much better than flashcards.

    It’s not all fun and games. In the middle of each day, we stop for me to read to her. She enjoys it and it helps refocus my mind. I get frustrated as we battle through Language (not her favorite) and then I read from something like Laural Ingalls Wilder’s books and I feel more at ease. It’s amazing this country survived when kids didn’t begin school until they were about nine years old.

    I used to be a big planner. I wanted to have weeks and months scheduled. I learned to have goals and be flexible. Some things come easier. Enjoy those!

    If I can do it; I believe you can do it.

  7. Wow… how I needed to hear this. We’re in year 3 of homeschool. Our son, the youngest of 4, was adopted 6 years ago from China. He was CL/CP and we have had numerous surgeries in that time with a few to go. His school told us he was ADD, I believe him to be behind from soending his first 4 years in an orphanage! I also believe he has processing issues. He has asked about going to PS, he goes to speech weekly there. When we consider it I get a sick feeling that we would be setting him up to fail! We’ve recently mived to a new town and this has encouraged me to seek a HS group. Thanks for he encouraging word!

    1. Hi Lynn, I have a friend who has been dealing with similar situation. Hang in there. It sounds like God has given you a special assignment. You are in my thoughts and prayers today. ((hugs))

  8. Heidi,
    If you ever find that giant coffee shop where we can all confab and encourage each other (and drink endless cups of good coffee) please invite me. I’d love to be there. Meanwhile, I’ll be busy tattooing the main points from this article on my forearm, so I can refer to it often. Just kidding. I think all the perfectionism and guilt gets much easier as the children grow up and you can see that God (through you) has helped them grow into fine young people. The proof is in the pudding, as my Grandma used to say!

  9. If you are in your early years of homeschooling it is hard for sure. It took me 2 or 3 years to get to where I felt like it became our way of life and not something to check off the list of things to do. Not that it is easy now that I am 9 years into it but I can relax more and worry less. Every homeschool mom has all these thoughts multiple times through out each year. I highly recommend reading “Lies Homeschool Moms Believe” by Todd Wilson. He does an amazing job of pointing out the areas where moms need to let go and rely on God.

  10. You would not believe how many times in the past seven years I have felt this way. It usually has something to do with the fact that I am using other people’s lives as a measuring stick for our family. What I am still learning is that my measuring stick needs to be God’s will in our family and what the Holy Spirit has led us to do. There are days that we will falter… after all, we are humans. We just have to take a look at the big picture to see that, most of the time, we are doing just what the Lord has called us to do. I was told more than once that, “When you feel like quitting, it is never the right time to quit.” So, to the anonymous reader, I would say just keep plugging away. Be encouraged by the baby steps that you and your children take. Stop looking around you and look at your sweet family. Be encouraged.

  11. I thank you so much for your words of encouragement. Your blogs and facebook posts are always so timely. I am a mother of 7 also. 1 boy age 19, and 6 girls ages 17, 11, 8, 7, 3 and 1, and this is our 1st year homeschooling. I am learming so much: what we should do or think we should do or what others say we should do and then knowing what God has called us to do and then following Him. We, for the most part, have been deschooling and learning how to learn. Focusing on God, relationships and character. Plant with the harvest in mind- thank you! I also tell myself- this too shall pass and that the days are long but the years are short! As a side note, I need advise on my oldest son now in college. He still lives at home. Well, this is where he keeps his clothes and sleeps from time to time. I feel this is affecting the girls. They see him come and go and mostly feel he is not part of the family. Doing what he wants when he wants. He usually asks permission but there is just something there. I am probalbly not making sense but I guess what I’m trying to ask is: If he works and goes to school, when should he move out on his own? How much support should we give him? What should we require from him whether it be chores, money or other things he should be responsible for as being part of the family? You can post this as an anonymous question on fb or would love to hear just your suggestions. Thank you again for your Godly wisdom!

    1. Hi Lori—you know this is a very difficult part of parenting teens, because it’s a season of change. I don’t have time to address it right now but I’d like to open an dialogue about it. I’ll put it in the “hopper” for the FB page, and think about it myself over the next several days. We’ve been through (and are still going through) exactly what you are talking about so I understand where you’re coming from. Hang in there! Thanks for your candid post.

  12. Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. I felt a little teary, and a lot of peace, as I read it. It’s wonderful how the right thing comes along, when I didn’t even know I needed it. Thank you for the encouragement!

  13. Wonderful encouragement. I sometimes feel like I’m the only one who feels like I made the wrong decision and certainly catch myself driven by guilt. Then I remember why we made the decision to homeschool in the first place. This is what God has called me to do and He will equip me for it; week by week, day by day and some days moment by moment. I want to do my best by my children. I want to make the best decisions and be the best mom/teacher I can be. That in itself makes me highly qualified. That’s what I have to remind myself…often. Thank you for reminding me to plant with the harvest in mind.

  14. aptly timed… I’ve shed tears more than once over the last week about school (and we just started our new school year last week!) I worry that I haven’t done enough for my 16yo, and struggle with him fighting me nearly every day just to finish his schoolwork. :sigh: some days I worry that this was the wrong choice… He’s the oldest of 9, (16yrs to 8 mo)and I have 6 schooling this year.

  15. This is so wonderfully timed. Just this week I was again worrying about testing and achievements that our state requires. About March every year I worry I havent done enough or held up to standards. I know I am doing what God has called me to do and that should be enough. It is enough. What keeps coming back is, “Teach with the end goal in mind”. I must keep repeating that. Prov 22:6

  16. Thank you so much for the encouragement! We may not have a coffee shop that we can all meet at – but we can use these tools to encourage each other! I look forward to reading these posts daily, they give me the encouragement, and kick that I need to carry on with the tasks of my day! I have to admit, this week has been a very hard week thus far! My dad was diagnosed with colon cancer on Monday:( Things don’t look good as we move forward. I homeschool my three boys right now, and with the bad news of my dad – it looks like homeschooling will have to take a back seat for a while as I need to figure out how to juggle my family and take dad to appointments and help him through this process.

    Thank you for the CS Lewis quote! It has encouraged me today:)

  17. I am a SAHM of 4. This is my 4th year homeschooling. It seem that I just cannot keep a “regular” schedule going. Our lives are very busy and full. We enjoy taking days to just play and days to just do activities! This hit very close to home because I also use ABeka. I love the program, but I don’t always follow it to a “t” We make adjustments to what fits us! I have family that calls regularly and the first question is if we have finished school for the day? Do you ever finish learning? Thats usually my response, but I feel like I have to stay on the defense about my decisions all the time! Thanks for your blog and thanks for all the other SAHM that take time to let the rest of us know that we are not alone in this and the here and now is what is important!

  18. As a parent who is in their 1st year of homeschooling, your blog has been a real encouragement to me. Although, I have known from the beginning that I wanted to home school my children, I have had a constant battle of second guessing myself and what is right for them;. I have just recently become so excited about the role I get to have in my daughters education. God has really been working on my heart lately. Thank you thank you THANK YOU!

  19. I too have a nagging fear of “falling behind” the children in public school. But, like Heidi says, it only took a conversation with my husband to feel better. In a simple conversation that took place OUTSIDE OF MY OWN HEAD, I came to realize, that all of my friends with children IN the public school system are scared of the same thing! Just because a grade one class burns through a curriculum and moves forward with new lessons every single day, in no way indicates that each child is absorbing the lessons, or “learning” in a way as powerful as the one-on-one attention of a mother. It is simply not possible. We may be behind this month, this year even, but our children will be so far ahead as adults, even if it ONLY comes from the constant presence of God in our homes, that there truly is no need to worry.

  20. Wow. Thanks. Your words always seem to pick me up when I feel myself spiraling downward. I think all of us moms have times when we lay awake at night wondering if we are doing the right thing. I love your advice about picturing our children grown. Sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do when we are alone with them 24/7.

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  22. I loved reading this! Though our first son is only 9 months old and #2 is cooking in the oven it was still very encouraging to me. I was public schooled and my husband was home-schooled and we have definitely decided to home-school– it’s a few years away but I am still nervous about it because I feel like I don’t really know where to start with the whole thing.. Thank you for your encouraging, true words =)

  23. Although I follow this blog daily I have never written in. But this post I just had too. I have a varied background. Mother to 5 that range in ages from 19 down to 3. We tried everything; public, charter, online, private and homeschool. In my beginning years I was so desperate to “gauge and measure” myself I absolutely hated homeschool…can I just say that? I was so overwhelmed by simply not knowing where I stood, where my child stood that I stopped. I was so discouraged and swore I would never do that again. I thought I was being obediant to God and I didn’t understand because I felt like a failure. A few years later I heard the Holy Spirit say “I will once again prepare your herat to homeshcool.” My response? NO, haha. I really didn’t want to, but you know what? He did, and He prepared my child’s heart too. She actually asked me to homeschool her. At this point I was now homeschooling 3 kids, not just the 1 and I was very challneged in it. I cried, I floundered, I thought I was “messing up” my kids, but I walked in faith that if God called me to this and put it on my heart then if I am obediant He will do what He needs to in it.

    A very long journey, with several bumps and bad days along the way will never make me regret homeschooling. I have truly become a different person by homeschooling. I have learned invaluable lessons of life. The biggest…”who cares”. What works for me and my family will for sure not work for another. I have learned that “so what” if my kid didn’t grasp their math facts…guess what, we will stop in our tracks and not move on until they can. I have also found places where we realized we had to back up in schooling because something was missed…so what?

    In this pressure cooker life we live this day it’s hard to let go and be ok with what we are doing when it’s out of the norm. I can tell you from my own journey through trying to fix my homeschooling woes by every other kind of education there was didn’t ever fix my heart or mind. If anything when I saw my kids having the same struggles in different areas it only confirmed for me that those places were not the answers.

    I ahve ahd to adjust curriculums, teach different curriculum to different kids based on their learning styles; some did great with A Beka, some did not etc. I hope you feel encouraged:)

  24. You comment about planting with a harvest in mind has really been on my heart lately. I am very strict with my children academically and have counted my success or failure by their state standardized test scores. It recently occurred to me that I would much rather have a child who grows up to be honest, happy, kindhearted, generous, and who lives his life for The Lord instead of one who grows up to be a brilliant, selfish, hard-hearted mess.
    I’m not saying academics don’t matter, but I am really working on realizing that character and eternal security are much, much more important not only in the long run, but day-to-day, and hour-to-hour.

  25. Thank-you. You words were great. I’ve homeschooled my first daughter, and she’s in her second year of college, and I’m on my second daughter who is in her junior year. When we first started I too looked at how everyone else was doing it and thought we are behind – I need to do it this way – I need to socialize them – I don’t have this or that. I wasn’t until I turned to the Lord and shut my door and didn’t look at anyone else. I turned to one curriculum, ABEKA, and did their studies mainly because if I, myself, didn’t understand something, they allowed me to call them and they explained it and I, in turn, explained it to my children. I then through the church and things my girls liked such as horseback riding, 4H, ballet, piano lessons, softball, camps, etc. allowed the girls to socialize through them. Anything else I figured the Lord would provide. They aren’t perfect and God is allowing them to go on their own Faith Journey’s the same as any other child will go on whether they go to a private, christian, or homeschool. God is there whenever you need him.

  26. I just saw this article reposted on Facebook. I appreciate the encouragement- but I wonder if anyone else shares my situation? I was ready to go back to work when ADHD started to make school miserable for my elementary schooler. Now I am homeschooling, and not doing too bad because he is bright, if distracted. But I long to work, I hate being a SAHM and it’s causing me to slide into depression. My micromanaging husband makes life very difficult. I feel like I’m trapped in a job I can’t quit for the next 10 years. But I feel like no one else feels this way? Everyone’s all, “Enjoy them while they’re young,” and “You’re so lucky.” I don’t feel lucky at all.

    1. Just wanted to let you know, you are not alone. I, too, want to get back to work after being a SHM but, for many reasons, started homeschooling my children this year. It is VERY difficult to enjoy life day to day. My other friends do talk about the joys of their children and I feel like, what is wrong with my kids that I don’t enjoy them?

  27. I’ve been at it for almost 8 years now – I have a 13, 10 and 8 year old. After 2+ years of struggling with phonics I have finally learned he is dyslexic! Finally! I felt like a failure that he wasn’t where his sisters were at his age. I learned NOT to compare us to other families but I still get trapped at comparing my children. Like my 13 year old is hoping to start dual enrollment for the 15-16 school year. That said, I’m also going it alone now, my dear hubby, and HUGE cheerleader passed away in December 2014 – I was suddenly, literally overnight thrust into single parenthood, widowhood and homeschooling. School hasn’t really gotten done since the beginning of December, we may do a day here or there but we are focusing on just surviving and figuring out what life is like without a dad, without a husband. Could my life be easier if as some have already told me to put them all in public school, maybe but then the schools also wouldn’t be able to be there when the tears come or when they need to talk about their dad or when we need to just go to the cemetery. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s oh so worth it.

  28. Thank you so much for this post! I am mom to four fantastic children. Our oldest two are elementary aged. We home-schooled them until this past fall. I had what I am calling my mini mini mid-life crisis. I become extremely overwhelmed and lacked the patience I needed to continue home-schooling. I second guessed myself as they were not at grade-level (my oldest is 5th grade and the next one is 3rd grade)and needed that social aspect that being in a classroom in public school can give them. How wrong I was. While I am having them finish out the rest of the year and begin again in the fall with home-schooling, I learned that they were above grade level,as my oldest who is a quick learner is one of the top performing students academically. So there was my answer for when I question I am not doing enough. Then socially, they have made some friends but through this there is no reason why I would keep them in public school for this purpose. I learned that I need a support group and they need social activities when we home-school such as music lessons etc. Thank you so much for this post. I felt my thoughts and prayers were confirmed as I scrolled through this today.

  29. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. My take-aways: nurture my kids to be the kind of people the Lord wants them to be; be confident in who God has called me to be; love my kids in a way that they would know that they are loved and so precious.

  30. I love this post and others on this blog like them! I did not use a formal curriculum such as the one mentioned, although, I have several friends who have. I used an eclectic approach in which I tried to pack in about 9 different subjects to make sure I was doing “enough”. My friends who used the aforementioned curriculum never “did everything” and found it impossible to finish all the lessons on any given day, but that left them feeling behind all the time. I too, failed to complete all of the subjects that I had put together and always felt behind and like I was failing my kids. Although, my kids tested well at the end of the school year, I tortured myself feeling like I was failing at homeschooling. After stumbling upon a Charlotte-Mason type curriculum (which I didn’t think I’d ever use) I really felt like I was being pulled to change things up. I started the new curriculum about 7 weeks ago and an amazing thing has taken place in our homeschool…real learning is taking place without stress. The whole curriculum is centered around American History with 6 week unit studies. My boys are loving reading the living books instead of textbooks and we are learning a lot without being bogged down with workbooks and texts and flashcards. It still feels like we aren’t doing “enough” because of how enjoyable it is for everyone. Just when I start to second-guess that this may not be “enough” something great will happen like my 2nd grader will pause my reading so he can grab a dictionary and look up a word on his own…what?? or one of them will make a great connection between something we read and I feel a sense of peace. It may not be like this forever, but it is very freeing to not be bound by what I thought homeschool had to look like to match the rest of the world or public school.

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