When It’s All Said and Done


People often ask our older kids what it was like to be homeschooled through high school. When I was at a convention a few weeks ago, I asked Sierra, one of our graduated daughters, if she would be willing to take questions from parents near the end of the workshop.

She agreed–but I’ll be honest: I was a little worried about what she would say when asked the tough questions from new homeschooling parents. After all, the homeschooling years were not all easy. A lot of them were (and are) hard.  Our kids have traveled the country with us as we plant homeschool co-ops, speak and do the ministry God has asked us to do.

That often means 12 hour days in the van, breakdowns (of about every sort), attitude adjustments and  yes, “memories.” I wondered, what would Sierra say about all this?  Like every other mom, I often wonder how much therapy it will take for our children to recover from their childhood.  Can you relate?


As I expected, when Sierra was asked about her childhood, her answers were real. She did’t sugar-coat it.  I made mistakes. Yes, there were good days–but there were also hard ones. That’s life, isn’t it?  Nothing that’s worth doing in this life is easy.

I saw this post on Sierra’s page today. It made me smile – and then, it made me cry.  When it’s all said and done, when homeschooling is over the books are closed for the last time, I want my kids to remember that we loved them.  That we championed their childhood by giving the opportunities while we taught them the value of family and home and others.

sierra_oneSierra and me in 1994

The relationships you are building with your kids matter, busy mom. Long after you close that math book, by God’s grace, you will still have a relationship with your child. Nurture their spirit along with their mind.  It’s worth it.

Here is Sierra’s post.


A man asked me a few weeks back, “What was the greatest thing that you could take away from homeschooling through high school?”

Without hesitation I answered: “my relationships.” We definitely put the “school” in “homeschool.” But we also put a fair amount of “home” in it as well. They say “home is where the heart is.” For us, that means Jesus, family and friends. I look back on my life, and that’s all I see. My cup overfloweth with beautiful memories of time “well wasted” spending hour after hour with family and friends- usually at the same time. I look back and think to myself, “Man. My family really knows how to LIVE.”

Rummaging through old childhood photographs today (you know, deleting the ones I took of my shoes, random piles of books, millions of leaves- things I somehow thought I’d want for forever) I found it to be bittersweet–-but mostly sweet. Nothing but smiles, fun (and most importantly) lots of LOVE. My childhood is full of nothing but beautiful, happy memories.

Life has had it’s hardship. But it’s becoming more and more evident to me that when Jesus said, “I have overcome the world,” he really meant it! And when he said, “Take heart,” he meant that, too. “BE ENCOURAGED!” Life was meant to be lived to the fullest, enjoyed with brothers and sisters as we live our purposed lives for our Heavenly Father and Creator! The thirst, need and hunger for relationships that is in us, is there for a reason. God put it there because it’s important to HIM. He loves and cherishes us.

If what I’ve tasted of relationships and love is but a sample of what’s to come in this life… eternity is looking better and better. Thank you, Jesus, for your perfect example of sacrificial, selfless love.

I can honestly say, after undergoing all levels of life with my family (including being stuck in a van for weeks on end) I am SO blessed! I would have it no other way.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!” Philippians 3:13


When it’s all said and done, it’s worth it.

Plant with the harvest in mind,


Heidi St John Guide to Daylight

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Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children from toddler to adult and have homeschooled all the way through high school. A favorite conference and radio speaker, Heidi approaches marriage and parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you.
Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John

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11 Responses to When It’s All Said and Done

  1. Marylou Canipe says:

    Simply , beautiful! “sniff!”

  2. Stephanie says:

    That is wonderful! Honest, realistic, encouraging and just plain beautiful! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Rosanna Ward says:

    Great post! I have 2 daughters graduated that have the same outlook – such a great harvest! I love that “time well wasted” – I’ll have to use that one. :)

  4. Jennifer says:

    We have one graduate, one nearly graduated, and 6 more to go. Our family life is HARD. I know we’re making more mistakes than not, and yes– wonder how much therapy our kids will need! We’ve been on our homeschooling journey for 15 or 16 years, and some days it’s just the dark tunnel… and I can’t find the flashlight. I hope my kids will look back and be able to say, “You know? Those were actually good days, and I wouldn’t trade them.” Thank you for your post today.

  5. Sarah says:

    In the throws of it , it is this idea that keeps the wind in my sails,my ship afloat , and me in my prayer closet er uh better known as the bathroom ( chocolate provided ) ! beautifully written ! oh and I like the blonde hair !

  6. Jill Beran says:

    Thank you for sharing this! Great encouragement as we walk the homeschool journey! It was a joy to meet and visit with Sierra at TTD in Omaha a couple of weeks back! She too was a wonderful communicator who answered all my questions with great confidence!
    What a blessing to have your family share in the ministry with you…God’s called me into women’s ministry on a smaller scale, but I pray my family can be part of it too. What a great opportunity to build relationships with one another and the ones who cross your path.

  7. Heidi B :) says:

    Wow, what an encouragement. Thank you for the “from the heart” look at what homeschooling is from the eyes of the homeschooled (through high school) child. Thank you for showing us honestly that there as the tough times because we have sure experienced them in our home.

    Just really needed this encouragement today! :) <3 Hugs to you!

  8. Susan says:

    I love this!! I’m just starting to plant, my kids are preschool / kindergarten age, so it’s good to see the fruit to make the work worth it! It brought tears to my eyes to think of the “home” part of homeschool, I hadn’t thought about it in this simple way before, but it is what I’m doing. Thank you for sharing and for all your daily encouragement! I look forward to seeing you at our homeschool conference!

  9. AC says:

    Thanks for sharing this– brought tears to my eyes and encouragement to my heart. We will “press on” in this homeschool journey knowing that it’s all for the Lord and He will continue to lead us. It’s so sentimental to me since we just ended another homeschool year, and next year, God willing, my son will be graduating Junior High and my daughter starts 1st grade (and our baby boy will continue to try to distract the kids during “schooltime”). Time does fly but our kids continue to “soar on eagle’s wings”

  10. Cherith says:

    Hi, I am also a homeschooled student. I am now in my second Online university for my Bachelor’s degree. I am self taught. My mother is the most beautiful lady I know, she took the burden with my Dad to homeschool all six of her children back in 1995 when it wasn’t so popular and we got a lot of flac for it. We didn’t do homeschool conferences back then and learned with Abeca. My baby sister didn’t learn to read very well until she was a teenager because she was a lazy reader but she was the first one of us to graduate with a college diploma with shining grades. 5 of us homeschooled through high school and my youngest brother is back in school because he thrives best with another teacher besides family. Yet, my childhood years with field trips, family vacations in SEPTEMBER, our morning jogs after breakfast, and our never ending family/homeschool moments are what we all cherish. It takes courage to be a homeschooling family, but your kids will thrive and be amazing citizens. Homeschoolers really do LIVE, they experience, they use their imaginations and they wow educators all the time with amazing academics. Thank you parents who homeschool, your children will never forget the sacrifice you made for them.

  11. Jen says:

    Thank you for this post. We had our local convention this past weekend and I stressed and stressed over curriculum, until my sweet husband reminded me that we homeschool not because of the math books, but because of something greater – the state of our children’s souls. Thank you for your constant encouragement to all of us busy homeschool moms!

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