off the cliff

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It’s not often that I get out of bed at 5 a.m. And its not often that I do so with tears streaming down my face. My heart is in a delicate place. It has been for some time. Somewhere between absolutely relieved, and mournful. Convicted. I’m not sure it will get better for a while, and I’m not sure that I want or need it to.do_not_fear_the_future

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There are pros and cons to every single situation we will ever choose for our children. There’s a constant fear that we’re making the wrong choice. That we’re screwing them up so that hours and thousands spent on counseling will never be enough. That we’re ruining their lives.

Let me be very clear in this: This is one of the hardest moves we have ever made. When it comes down to it, we’ve made the choice that we feel is best for our family.

Deep breath… We have chosen to homeschool.

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Once upon a time, I scoffed at homeschoolers. I was overly opinionated on a subject matter I knew absolutely nothing about. I disagreed with the idea that someone would openly choose not to mainstream their children, and clung to stereotypes. This is what homeschooling was to me.

And then I became a parent.

As a parent, one learns quickly to never say never. Ever. It was before I considered what these families are actually doing and when you really think about it, it’s quite amazing. In general, when it came down to it, their ideals threatened me. This was simply because I didn’t take the time to try and understand them.

For a while, I’ve known that God was pulling us. He’s gently planted a seed, and that seed grew. I ignored Him, refusing to explore the option, using cop-outs and excuses. “I could never homeschool. People will die and I will be a Nancy Grace celebrity. We will never make it. I don’t have time. They will stay at 1st grade level forever. We don’t live on a farm and make our own clothes. (Even though maybe I wish we did-shhhh) Did I mention we will all die?” and finally, “I have a career to tend to, after all.” I swatted at the idea like a fly that keeps buzzing in my ear. Throwing out excuses without ever seriously considering it.

But these past few weeks, that slightly obnoxious fly went from a tiny annoyance, to feeling like Jacob when he wrestled with an angel.

Ever since Aiden started Kindergarten, something felt off to me, as a mother. That’s called my instincts. It’s a gift, intensified when it comes to parents and their children. I’ve realized you can only make excuses for those instincts for so long.

So yesterday, we went to the school and after meeting with the principal, removed them from the magnet program. We wanted to do it the right way. Even though we’re not sure that there is a protocol. This is the hardest thing we have ever done, as parents. We cried like babies together, with the principal, with teachers. People who have loved our oldest for two years now, and who have formed a relationship with his siblings already loving them, as well. Honestly, I feel like I’ve been crying for ten days, and that’s-I wasn’t prepared for the emotion that would come with this, even though this was a perfectly thought out, rational decision. I don’t know when it will get better. I hope it will. But I think this is the part where we get to feel horrible and doubt everything. I think there will be lots of that.

Sometimes, you have to say no to a perfectly good option, so you can say yes to what really is best for your family. 

We’ve never experienced such an exercise of faith.

I was watching my oldest son as he started to lose that spark in his eye when it comes to his love for learning. There is nothing more distressing when it comes to their education. We want more than anything, for our children to have that lifelong passion, and we feel like it’s most important for them in their early years. We can give that back to them.

Their hearts and minds are ready. I’m ready to meet that need.

I was waking them up, shuttling them to school, picking them up at the end of the day, and forcing exhausted children through two hours of homework, each. Then baths. And bed.

Wake up.

Repeat.

We stepped back, and realized this wasn’t a part of our vision for our family.

The most startling realization, was that if we were looking for something to change in our lives, it truly was up to us to take that first step. It always is. This is a lifestyle change and a chance to mold and rethink and explore. To bring God back into our curriculum and learning into every situation. To strengthen our family.

We’ve been amazed and floored by the amount of support we’ve received from total strangers, friends and family. The incredible support system that we already have, and God-sent details that we can’t possibly begin to cover, simply astound us.

In the course of one week, I have spoken to numerous teachers and parents. I’ve asked hundreds of questions, buried myself in a plethora of books and websites. But the singlemost statement that made me really think about this was from a mother and retired teacher when she said this to me: “You won’t have this time with them, forever.”

I looked at the things that were holding us back, and realized that my list of cons was shrinking. I would regret not trying something new with my children, more than the possibility of falling flat on my face.

When He places something so very clear in your life… when He does something that is absolutely spelled out for you, even if it’s your very worst fear that you will fail, or that you’re not enough, just because it goes against the grain of the “norm”… because trust me, we are terrified… what do you do? Because I’m not enough. I will fail. We fail every day as parents.

God has literally pushed us off a cliff, going full speed. And I know that He’s going to show us how to fly.

We’re scared to death. But we aren’t making this choice as a last-ditch option. It will be a year-to-year, prayerful process. We are also so very excited about meeting our children’s needs, working with them one on one, growing our bond, and educating them as a family. It’s part of the revolution in our home that we are so thrilled about.

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via A Place for Us

Let me strongly emphasize this… your children’s education: it’s so different for everyone. Situations are different for everyone. School is an amazing place. I’m not shunning it for others at all, or for us, or forever. We adore the teachers, and principal. This is part of what has made our choice so hard. We respect their careers and we cherish them as people. We can’t thank them enough for all that they do, continue to do, and have done for our children and others. It’s a sacrifice and a calling for them, as well. I admire them so much. That is an entirely different post all on it’s own, and honestly, this would be so much easier if they were terrible people. We love them.

But we know that we’re doing what’s best for our family, right now.

This is a lifestyle change for us, so it will take time. I will fall flat on my face, and I will have days where I feel like the most amazing mom ever. Maybe. Let’s hope for lots of the latter. I know there’s a whole online community out there, and there truly is strength in numbers. We hope to connect with some of you. I almost wrote something about DIY-ing our children’s education. The pun is probably not lost on you. But that would be wrong, since God is the foundation, the core,  and our biggest step of faith right now with our family. We look forward to re-defining who our family is, in the process.

Here we go. Off the cliff.


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153 Responses to off the cliff

  1. Anita Thebo says:

    I wish you all the success in the world! I certainly am not a teacher, but I did totally consider homeschooling my youngest for her senior year, simply because there were so many changes at her high school. But . . . she is such a social creature! And it was for one more year, so I didn’t. I don’t regret it, but it sure did cross my mind. If I had any younger children, I would consider it an option, definitely. Not sure I like where schools are going these days. I just don’t understand that amount of homework on the younger kids. Just what does it accomplish besides anxiety!

    Lots of prayers coming your way to give you strength and patience and understanding. You got this!

  2. My oldest son just started kindergarten—at home. Those first few paragraphs, you could have been describing me. And I will say this: our first week went well, and the second week I was frazzled and stressed. But then I realized, 1) this is kindergarten, not Harvard prep; 2) Any big change has an adjustment period and a learning curve; 3) stop stressing and trust in God’s direction.

    I’ve found these websites to be particularly helpful:

    This Reading Mama
    Simple Homeschool
    3 Dinosaurs
    The Measured Mom
    The Homeschool Classroom
    Camp Creek Blog
    Ambleside Online

    You WILL feel overwhelmed. But don’t give up! Best of luck, and blessings.

  3. Allison says:

    We are “cliff-jumping” with you this year – our first year of homeschooling our first grader (with a 4 y/o, 2 y/o, and newborn at home as well). From the outside it doesn’t make sense, but like you we felt that it was best for our family this year. I have days where I am terrified as well, but the joys so far have outweighed those fears and confirmed our decision. Prayers to you and all the best as you enjoy this year of learning together!

  4. Wendy Till says:

    I am so excited for you. It is a huge step…like stepping off a cliff. But I promise…no one will die and you will do great! You will have bad days and a big adjustment period and some days you will wonder what in the world you are thinking. I promise you will get through it and your kids will look back one day and treasure that time of learning with you. It is so much fun to be the one igniting that spark of learning and being able to watch them grasp a new concept. Praying for you guys. Please let me know if I can pass any info on to you or help you in anyway. Love ya!

    • Wendy – I had no idea you guys homeschool. I am SO glad to know this. Thank you so much! Prayers for your family as well. I feel like a crazy person right now! Hoping this will go away soon. It’s just all been so hard. Thanks so much.

  5. Amy says:

    Congratulations for making a decision that is best for your family. I was actually homeschooled for part of my education and will always cherish those times. I’ve been an educator in three different states and am now finishing a PhD in education at a prestigious grad school. What do my husband and I plan to do concerning our own children’s education? Homeschool them. Without a doubt. In fact, a number of educators, former educators, and college professors choose the homeschool route for their own children (makes you wonder, right?). It is a lot of work but definitely worth it for so many reasons. Pray. Breathe. Leap. Plunge. You can do this! :)

  6. Charron says:

    Good Morning!

    I am in such envy of you in this journey! I have just one beautiful blessing, and wish I could give up my job for the next 5-7 years to home school her…but…but…but… my cons list is probably as big as your was. At this point in my career I am at the point of I work to make our lives comfortable, not to enjoy the work. I told my Mom when I was in the 2nd grade that I when I grew up I wanted to volunteer for my job. To this day it still sits in my chest like a lead weight that I can’t shake. I want to ditch the 9-5 and give my life up to others who need it.

    So anyhoo… you are my hero for giving this gift to your children!

    Please keep us up to date when you can :-D

    • Thank you so much Charron. I know it’s such a hard decision and it is so different for everyone. No matter what, you’re doing what you know is best for your little. We never know where God will lead us. I will definitely keep you guys up to date – please do the same for me! I love hearing where people are going in their own lives. You’re doing the best for your family right now, and that’s all that matters.

  7. Jaime Gill says:

    I can’t believe how much your story sounds like mine. I never thought I would be a homeschooler. My oldest son, also named Aadan, was struggling and my husband suggested homeschooling. I fought it for a long time. The emotions you’re going through are completely normal. I felt much the same way. I began homeschooling just him while my 3 others went to school. But that routine of school, homework, bed left no time for things I wanted to teach them. No time for Bible stories and memorizing verses. It all revolved around school and I want my home to revolve around God. It has been such a blessing for the children and myself. Those emotions will come up again from time to time. Some days you wonder what in the world you are doing. It’s scary, but well worth the risk. I am so grateful for the time I get to spend with them. I was missing that before. I started homeschooling for my children’s benefit, but be prepared to be blessed as well.

  8. Sarah O. says:

    ASHLEY! We are struggling with the same decisions- struggling is the wrong word but I don’t have the right one. Contemplating? My husband isn’t conflicted at all. He says yes, go for it, amazing, lets do it. The reactions from people have been so interesting- with the prevailing one being ‘ oh, you,ll change your mind when he’s ready for kindergarten’.
    I am so so excited that you will be on this journey before me and I will have the enormous benefit of your experiences and suggestions to draw from. I feel like this blog is one of the many messages we are getting telling us yes, this is the way.
    I would go on forever but the first poopy diaper of the day just hit my nose-
    God bless!!
    Sarah

  9. Valerie J. says:

    Hugs and good luck! We pulled our kids out of one school last year and placed them To another one ( not homeschooling but we certainly pondered it). It was most definitely an act of faith for us and was very trying. Even now that things are much better for our eldest, I still wonder if we are doing the right thing or ‘how long is this peace going to last’. I think letting go of ‘fear of the future’ is a tough one but I guess we only ask for ‘daily bread’. Enjoy this time with your children and may God bless you.

  10. Amber S says:

    Thinking and praying for you. I know exactly how you feel – I am struggling with the same feelings as I contemplate what I want to do when my 3.5 year old starts school. It is such a blessing to know that I am not the only one struggling with this decision. I have a degree in education and I always swore that my children would be publically educated. Then I had a child. You aren’t kidding – nothing can change a “never” like becoming a mom. I cannot wait to see what is in store for you and your family as you make this transition. Thank you for putting this out here for us to share with you. You really touched my heart with this post and have given me a boost as far as feeling that I am not so all alone in my thinking of what the future holds for my little one. Thank you. I hope you realize how much showing your own vulnerabilities makes a difference for us as readers.

  11. Brittany says:

    I have the utmost respect for you! As a fellow mom of three, I cannot imagine the amount of prayer and faith that it takes to come to that decision. I’m so excited to hear more! Our oldest is thriving and learning in the private Christian school she’s in, but I’m not foolish enough to think that’s a guarantee for our other two. Snaps to you guys for being brave and taking the plunge!

  12. Kellie says:

    When my kids were just toddlers a man my husband was in Bible study with said that he and his wife were praying that someday we would homeschool our children. When DH told me this I blurted out something to the effect that they were praying for the wrong family! No way! Now I’m in my 7th year of homeschooling. :) We’ve taken the one year at a time approach too, and now my two girls are in a classical Christian school 3 days a week, but I continue to homeschool my son who has special needs. It’s an amazing adventure and I pray you will be greatly blessed in this leap of faith. I’m imagining lots of reading good books and snuggling on the chesterfield!

    • Avivi says:

      The truth is….you would have days you fall flat on your face and days you are wonder mom…homeschooling or not (you already have, right?) So the days you fall flat on your face are not because you homeschool…but because you exist. And the days you are supermom…same thing! So go for it! And do not let the deceiver tell you on those bad days (or weeks) that you failed or made the wrong decision. I am thankful for a God that does not carve out one right path or decision for every aspect of life and sit back while watching us struggle to pick the “right” one and waiting to pounce when we don’t. Enjoy the ride!

  13. Kelsey says:

    Take everything I say with a grain of salt, because I am 24 and kid-less. However, as someone who desperately wants children in the near future, and as someone who is naturally an over-planner, I think of these things. Homeschooling was one of these things.

    Recently, my close friend decided to home school her two boys (well, mostly the 3 year old, the other one is nearing 2). While she seems perfectly happy with her decision and while I wish her the best, it still leaves me with a lot of questions – how will these children socialize and make friends on their own? How will they get those life experiences we all got as kids in public schools (and yes, I’m talking about the bad ones too, like bullies). While I doubt any parent wants to see their child being made fun of or picked on, as someone who WAS picked on in school and came out a better person for it, I can’t help but believe these are things children SHOULD experience. It’s like falling down and getting scraped knees – yeah it hurts, but they’ll be stronger for it in the long run.

    Or maybe I’m just a terrible person who has no idea what I’m talking about because I don’t understand the emotional side to parenting and what it’s like.

    Note, I am most certainly NOT doubting your homeschooling abilities or parenting decisions. These are legitimate questions that fly through my head as I already plan for the future of my future children because I’m crazy like that. As you said yourself, you used to scoff at homeschooling, so what made you change your mind?

    Also, I hope your homeschooling adventures work out great for your kiddos and that your feelings over overwhelm soon change to confidence!

    • Hey Kelsey – I’m not sure how to answer this question because I can’t really force anyone to see it from my point of view. I’m honestly not really trying to, so I hope that I did not come across that way. I mean this in the gentlest way possible, but having children changes you in ways you never thought possible. I am a completely different person today, than I was before I became a mother eight years ago. That being said, some of this is not easily explained. Two things I’ve learned the hard way: Never say never, and never judge others for their choices.

      Socialization is the least of our worries. I know that I am the person I am today, not because of public school, not because of private. Because I did both. But because of the person my parents raised me to be. We have plenty of friends. We are involved at church. We will be even more involved in different groups and activities (that my children can now pursue, by the way, that they couldn’t consider because they were so exhausted from school. Kindergarten with two hours of homework is not developmentally appropriate. I was getting leftovers from my children-there are many reasons I could list right here that I just won’t because we truly love the people that were there, but not the government and the mandates that are being placed on our children-an entirely different subject matter) My point? Bullying happens in those places that I just mentioned, too. I believe in letting my children work out their own conflicts, and this will happen naturally.

      If we see something our children that is severely lacking, this is a prayerful decision. Year to year. I honestly feel God will show us what we need to do. I also believe in accountability. I am friends with a lot of amazing teachers that we plan to utilize as reliable resources. The list of pros and cons go on and on, for every educational route there is. My heart is honestly broken. The choice that we have made is not the perfect one. You will never make a perfect choice for your children, because this is an imperfect world, and we are imperfect people.

      But this is where faith comes in. We’re stepping out in faith, because we want more for our family. We understand that we have a philosophy that is different than the way most people view things. This is a different choice and we understand that not many people will see it the way we do. But this is ultimately the best choice for our family, right now. Not Jane Smith. Not my neighbor. Us. We’ve tried public education. I don’t know that we won’t try it again. Or private. It just is what is best for our family, right now. ;}

      I hope that helps a little. Thank you for your question.

      • Kelsey says:

        Thank you for your response, I agree totally and it definitely helped! I also hope I didn’t come off as judgmental, I just like to collect opinions of those who are diving into the homeschool world that may help me go forth (or not) with my decision on homeschooling when the time comes.

        Thank you. I look up to you and your blog and I am excited to see the positive impact of homeschooling on your children and follow along with the journey. Who knows, maybe in the future I’ll be coming here for support on the subject! C:

  14. Anne Marie Brower says:

    We are in the same boat this year. You will be fantastic and will run (when you have a second to breathe), what will surely be the cutest homeschool blog in all the land.

  15. Angela R says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. My husband and I are also struggling with this decision. My children are younger (3 and 4mos) but we have not been pleased with where we see public education going. I’m scared to put this responsibility on myself because I’m afraid I wont be strong enough to teach them. Our area also does not have many home schoolers or good resources for them. If you guys are so inclined, please keep us updated. I’m sure there are many people in this boat who would love to hear about your experiences.

  16. erin k says:

    Oh Ashley.

    I’m not a homeschool mom yet–my own kiddos are 2.5, 13 months, and 14 weeks gestation at the moment.

    But as the child of parents who, twenty-five years ago exactly, responded to God and jumped off their own cliff by pulling their four- and six-year-old daughters out of their private school to homeschool them, I wish I could give you a great big hug right now.

    After God, my husband, and my children, I consider my parent’s willingness to homeschool me the greatest thing that could ever have happened to me. It made me who I am.

    I would write more but I’ll just end up blubbering all over my keyboard. Here is a post I wrote about my mom and her decision back on Mother’s Day of this year, if you care to read it: http://egallis.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/on-mothers-day-pt-ii-or-how-i-met-my-mother/

    E

  17. Sarah Funk says:

    When you said, “This is a lifestyle change and a chance to mold and rethink and explore. To bring God back into our curriculum and learning into every situation. To strengthen our family.” I knew I had to comment because this is exactly what happened and what God did in my family! I am the oldest of five and my parents pulled me out of school after only a couple months for many of the same reasons. It was the best decision they could have made. Even though everyone thought they were crazy (and still does!).

    And to be honest, it wasn’t always pretty. My parents had a big learning curve, but that’s part of what made it so great for us kids. We got to see first hand God’s transforming grace at work in their lives. It was more than just a certain curriculum, it was life lessons that we’ll never forget. God also used the whole process to bring us together, we have a bond that not many families have.

    So please be encouraged that if this is the decision God wants you to make He will use it for his glory!

  18. Southern Gal says:

    Remember it’s a journey. Every little step is part of the big picture. Here’s to a great year of homeschooling adventure!

  19. Meredith says:

    I admire your courage, and with all big changes, doubt will be replaced with successes and failures. You’ll learn from them and have your systems in place soon enough. I don’t like the course of public education these days, either. Class sizes are too big, and kids (who are in the middle) don’t receive the attention they deserve or the stimulation they need. Because public ed. is geared toward “sameness” and “standardized-test-passing,” the things that make school fun have disappeared. I’ve always worried about whether that day will come for us. I worry about the day that passion and curiosity gets replaced with disinterest and boredom.

  20. Jocelyn says:

    Good luck! I don’t have children, but I 100% agree with you when you say to never say never. People scoff at the options out there because they wouldn’t be right for their family, but that doesn’t mean it’s not right for another. That’s why there are options, because there isn’t a one-size fits all script for raising, educating, and loving people. Congratulations to you on making such a tough decision. I hope you and your family get what you need from this new path you are taking!

  21. Phili Wilson says:

    I home educated (Brit stylee) for 18 months and while it was hard work on a personal level, it was so beneficial for my children and for our family. I wish you all the success in the world. If I had any advice it would be that it takes time to adjust so don’t worry that it isn’t working out straight away. Most home school families take around 6 months to settle into it so take it at your own pace and try to enjoy every second of it!

    Best wishes, and good luck!!!!!! x

  22. Hayley says:

    I had no idea you were considering this but I am so proud of the decision you have made to do what you think is best for you and your family! I am glad that I don’t have to make that decision for a couple more years, but it has been at the back of mind some thinking what we would do with Sophie when it comes to her turn. Love you and am praying that this will be an exciting and rewarding decision!

  23. Kyla F says:

    I am SO happy for your family, Ashley. I am a youth ministry leader for 7th grade girls at my church, and the homeschooled students in my group are incredible shining stars. Their lives are sparkle bright with a love for God and such a desire and respect for learning. I’m far from having children (or getting married for that matter) but I think homeschooling is something I will definitely want to consider for my future family. Spending that time with your children and feeding their love for education is such a precious thing, and I think the benefits far out-weigh any struggles that you may face along the way.
    I COMPLETELY understand trusting God as you ‘fall off the cliff’ and into the unknown. I have been honestly considering relocating, by myself – away from the comfort blanket of my NH life, to Alabama so I can be a resident and not pay $100K to attend a certain (AMAZING!!) school, and I keep tactfully praying over this seed that God has planted in my life to pursue this degree full-force. I find myself on my knees every.single.day asking for his guidance and strength, and for simply the ENERGY to fulfill the plans that he has laid before me. We are so blessed to have such a loving God that we can cry out to and press into when we are unsure of what steps to make. I think it is awesome what you have chosen to do, and I will be praying hard for you sister!

    xoxo Kyla

  24. Lauren says:

    I have just started my first year of homeschooling, and it has been the most amazing blessing, EVER!!! I pray it is the same for your family! Hang in there and know it does get easier. We loved our last school too, but when God starts the pull, its time to go!
    You won’t be sorry!

  25. Lynsey says:

    I wish you and your family the VERY best, Ashley! This is a subject very close to my heart, my sister and I were homeschooled and our experience was not good, therefore I had a bad attitude about it for years, I wanted my kids to have a “normal” school experience. As I am older and my kids are in school, homeschooling is looking like such a good option. Its not the idea i had in my mind or the experience i had.My middle schooler does not like the idea but my third grader asks me regularly if I will please homeschool her. I’ve thought of every excuse in the book not to, but it keeps coming to my mind. I loved your post and you will do AWESOME! Your kids will thank you for this when they’re older!

  26. Heidi says:

    I think this is wonderful! I have home schooled a few times-once when my oldest were in 3rd grade and kindergarten, and more recently for my oldest for the second half of 7th grade, and 8th grade. Both times were short term solutions, and they went back to (great) public schools and have flourished. Some of my happiest memories were from the year we stepped back, traveled a lot, read together a ton, and hung out. You’ll have a blast! My few words of wisdom-you can’t screw this up if you have a basic plan, and they learn to write, read and do basic math during these early years. I went overboard at times and looking back-totally unnecessary. Just enjoy your time as a family!

    • Heidi says:

      And another thing-for your own sanity-MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. Get a regular sitter, or mother’s helper so you can do stuff (even if it’s exciting like the grocery store or Target) by yourself to clear your head!

  27. Tiffany says:

    We are hoping to do the same, so I can’t wait to see what advice you pass along as you get further into the process! I know it is such a tough, personal decision, but God will equip you just as you need. Hang in there!

  28. Heather says:

    We took the homeschooling plunge this year too- 4th grader, 3rd grader & 2 yr. old. When I start to feel fearful, I try to remember that if The Lord called me to it, He’ll equip me for it. It’s up to me to relax in that. You’ve been ‘teaching’ your kiddos since they were born, you’re a natural and well-suited for the job. :)
    I don’t think I’ve ever read or researched a subject more in my life and at the end of the day, I have to dive in with the info I have and do it. I can’t compare our homeschool to anyone else’s or think that our experience is inferior. The amount of info and support is endless & I’m thankful for that, however it’s up to me to do what’s best for my kids and get approval only from The Lord and my husband. You can do this! I can do this! All my best to you and yours!

  29. Brie says:

    AShley!!!!! I am SO thrilled for you!!!!! This is such a brave and wonderful thing to do for your children. We Homeschool as well and for EXACTLY the same reasons. I am a public school art teacher by trade, but realized after having children, that homeschooling was best for them. I was completely freaked the first year! BUT i did survive…..find support and take it day by day. You’ll find your groove in no time!
    HUGS
    -Brie

  30. Heather L. says:

    You can do this! Let me just start off with that sentiment! We also made an amazing leap of faith and began homeschooling five years ago. As I write that I can’t believe it has been that long already… It hasn’t always been perfect, nor easy but it has ALWAYS been worth it. My son is a senior in high school and my daughter is in 5th grade. I know it isn’t right for every family but I know without a doubt it is absolutely the right choice for my family and many others also. You will have days where you feel overwhelmed- don’t give up. The good days are simply magical! You and your family will be in my prayers.

  31. Jennifer says:

    Ooooh Ashley.
    Erick is a public school teacher, and my dad just retired from public education.
    We’ve homeschooled from the beginning. :) Not because we don’t believe there aren’t fabulous educators, because I’m related to two of them! But because this is just right for us, right now.
    There is NOT a perfect solution, because this is a very, very imperfect world! We do it “year to year” as well, but I have to tell you, I treasure our evenings together. The boys get their work done during the morning, and every evening when Erick comes home it is just us. No homework to slave over…it’s really lovely. We are in a great co-op that meets once a week; they learn Science and Sign Language and run amok playing games and are going through the Bible.
    Some days I want to tape them to the wall. True Story. Some days we break early and go to the lake. Some days I’ve let them play with legos for 6 hours straight. And you know what? It’s ok. That’s the beauty of homeschooling. Another beautiful thing? We work chores into the day and the 2 older boys have become awesome laundry-doers and toilet cleaners. LOL.
    I worked at a university pre-kids and that was the first time I’d considered homeschooling, because I met so many fabulous kids who had been homeschooled. I was floored by their spirits, by the fact that many were deep into their passions and had been for years, because they had the time to follow them even at 14, 15, 16…
    Don’t mourn too much what is behind; look ahead with excitement, tempered with the reality that it won’t all be amazing, and it’s ok when it’s not. :) The beauty is that you will be able to live life with your kids, daily. It’s hard and so, so worth it.
    Let me know if you ever have any questions! And know that I will be praying for you!!

  32. TJ says:

    Oh Ashley, I can so feel for you in that heart-wrenching what’s best of our family-we’re parents for an actual human being type way…

    We have been toying with/discussing homeschooling our son since we started researching the school that we would be going to this year for kindergarten. It’s been an emotional tug-of-war. In the end we sent him to school. We’re not almost 4-weeks in and we’re still not convinced we made the right choice.

    Reading this post and knowing that you had/have to same types of thoughts about homeschooling and about gut feelings as we do, it helps make us feel a bit more “normal”. And to know that even though our current decision to send him to school doesn’t mean it has to be final.

    So, yet again I thank you for your candor about what’s going on in your life because in turn it helps mine. : )

    p.s. Volunteering didn’t quite work out unfortunately… I don’t have the backbone it takes to ignore the “mean girls” that rule the volunteers. : (

  33. Angela says:

    We too jumped off this “cliff” this fall. It took me a year to make the decision. The phrase that stuck out to me in my process was someone saying, “Your school should match your parenting style.” It was practically permission for me to say no to the current situation, and move toward what felt so much better! My husband, who was on board for whichever way I decided just recently said, “I really like the kids being home schooled. I get to interact with them, and teach them, and it makes me feel so much more like a father.” (He works from home) So, that is like reason 678 to home school. Reason 32 was the stupid drop off, pick up nightmare at the brick and mortar.
    Yay! for your courage. I look forward to your thoughts on your experience!

  34. Tennille Mykula says:

    Wow! Not what I expected to read today after a post on how to pick a couch. You and Jamin are so brave. This is such a huge, life changing decision. I’ve thought of home schooling my kids many times over the past few years and I just don’t feel like it’s right for me, at least not yet. We are very blessed in Alberta, Canada to have so many options for how to educate our kids. Private, public, catholic, Christian, French immersion, home schooling, the Scope program which allows parents to home school 3 days a week and then have their kids attend public school where the parents co-teach the other 2 days, and then our choice which was a FREE Christian program within the public school. Our kids have the same curriculum as the public students but all the teachers are Christians and bring a God focus whenever they can. Christmas and Easter are all about Jesus and Halloween although they are aware of it isn’t really celebrated. When we were first trying to decide where to send our kids I almost needed a paper bag to deal with the panic. Sometimes more options mean more confusion. Now that our 3 girls are all at the same school and all thriving in grade 4, 2 and K, I don’t regret our decision. I still think about homeschooling every time we go camping, when we’re just out in the woods learning from nature, life is slower and we have more time to make honest, intentional connections with our kids. I think that maybe I missed the boat, maybe the simpler life that I’m craving could be had by having my kids learn from home. However, I just don’t know if I have the stomach for it. Being at home by myself all day with my little 2 year old boy, having 2 hours of complete silence while he’s been napping has been some sweet therapy for my mind and soul. I don’t know if I can go back to having them all here, all day, all the time. Plus, I’m not a good teacher, I’m impatient and I don’t understand why they don’t grasp the concept the first time around. That fact alone leads me to believe there’s a reason why there are people trained to teach our kids. Plus, if I’m being really honest, I think home schooling takes a dependence on God that I’m not sure I’m ready for, to do it right at least. I just don’t think I have the skills. I think my very social children (the thought of pulling them out of school, away from the friends they’ve had since kindergarten actually makes me sad for them) benefit more from school than from being with me all day long. Plus, most of the moms of the kids they go to school with are in my women’s bible study so I feel like I really know these families and know that we all have a similar faith and goals for our families and kids. I do wish I had more time with them and that when they got home every day it wasn’t a mad rush to do chores, practice piano, eat supper, get bathed, (thankfully we don’t have homework yet, even at the grade 4 level, what’s with homework for kindergartners???? that’s nuts!!!!!) and get to bed but I try to find time in other ways. I think it will always be a challenge to try to find the time to make intentional connections and spend one on one time with our children but whether we “outsource” their education or literally do it “in house” the need for connection will always be there, a constant reminder for me at least, to choose to put my effort into things that will last not things that are temporary and of little value. Thanks so much for sharing your journey/process with us and for not be afraid to do what’s right for you, Jamin and your kids. If God has called you to it we can trust that He is faithful to equip you for the task and I’m sure this journey is just as much about what He wants to teach you as it is what you must teach your kids. Blessings!

  35. LIBerty says:

    Even though I was home schooled I NEVER wanted to choose that option for my children. {insert LONG coffee chat here}
    I know this is a challenge, one that our Great Generous and overwhelmingly KING god will sustain you in –
    Hip Hip hooray – you’re free falling into G R A C E…

  36. So, so happy you decided to write this post. Tomorrow, we go with our oldest son to start the process of withdrawing him from his school and putting him in a new school that meets 3 days a week and has 2 days of homeschooling. I’m scared. I am the biggest “if” in this whole thing…whether or not I can run my business and give him what he needs. But you struck a chord when you said your son was losing his spark for learning. YES. And that you want to put the gospel back in their education. ME TOO. And to add, my mom has taught in the school system for years but also homeschooled me…..and that is what she says to me all the time, regardless of our schooling choice…your time with them at home is short. I look forward to following you in your journey as we start ours.

    “And He is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” ~2 cor 9:8

  37. Tennille Mykula says:

    Also, and I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing but, home schooling is one more reason to stay in your yoga pants all day ;)

  38. Stephanie says:

    We’ve recently re-entered the world of public education after homeschooling for 2 years. While I will cherish the time spent (the good, the bad, and the absolute ugly) it wasn’t going to be a permanent education choice to continue hs’ing. For us, there were lots of gaps to fill and remedial work for my then fourth grader. Once that was “fixed” we sent her on the bus to the great unknown, aka, fifth grade. And, it. was. a. challenge. But! We made it work and then set out to find a much smaller school district with closed classrooms this year and absolutely love it!
    I am thrilled to report we have two girlies that could not be any happier with their new schools. The twinkle in their eyes and love for learning is back, hooray!

    *Requisite footnote here:

    Yes, Ashley, the decision to home school is totally and completely all about what is best for YOUR family–and don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. :)

  39. Autumn says:

    You are a brave lady! I don’t think I could personally handle homeschooling.
    What I am shocked by is the amount of homework at your school! Is that the norm for all schools around you? We live in Canada and the public schools in my city have policy that doesn’t allow any homework in kindergarten to grade 3 (5-10 minutes of home reading or answering a single question on the teachers blog is allowed) and at the grade 4-6 levels it is at the teacher’s discretion but 20 minutes maximum. If my kids had 2 hours of homework I’d probably be giving it a shot on my own too! Seriously if they need 2 hours of homework to have the info sink in it makes me wonder what the teacher is actually doing during class time.

  40. Shelly says:

    Best of luck! As a mom of 3 grown sons and now a grandma of 1, I feel truly as though I blinked and have adults calling me mom? How does this happen when I feel as though I’m still 20 in my insides :)
    You and your husband will do great…..not perfect….but great! How do I know this as a complete stranger? because of the words you typed. The back and forth of parenting is never ending and at the end of the day you either did it right or you did it wrong but either way Love is what will keep you strong. Your children will grow up to be each others best friends and you will have stories to tell that will help them when they become parents and have to decide on their children’s schooling.
    So Good Luck and remember Life is all about the learning for all of us! even when we are considered “grown”.

  41. Christy says:

    I haven’t been reading your blog very long and I can’t even remember how I found it but I do love it. Especially today. Not only has home schooling been weighing on my mind staying at home with my kiddos has too. Now they are both at school all day but I too have been thinking of home schooling my youngest. He has ADHD and other sensory issues. Although we have a good team at school I just feel he is going to get lost in the system. Thanks for sharing your jump off the cliff. Looking forward to reading about your journey!!!!!

  42. Sandy says:

    I loved your post, and I appreciate it that you shared your decision with us. Please consider sharing more as you move through this new chapter in your lives. My son is almost four and just started preschool this year. This is something I have been pondering for a long time (I am a college English instructor), so I would love to know more about how this works for your family.

  43. Erika says:

    As a teacher and daughter and daughter-in-law of teachers the changes that have been forced in many schools have many not cringing at the mention of homeschooling. I used to think NEVER but the fact that the kiddos only get 15-20 minutes max to eat and socialize I find appalling given our nations health issues. Enjoy the journey you will learn so much!

  44. Laura says:

    I think the most important thing to consider is something that you put the most emphasis on…..that God is calling you to do this. I 100% believe that homeschooling is a calling and it is through HIS strength that you can do this.

    And if it makes you feel any better, I am a homeschool graduate who went on to graduate college and get a good job. I am well adjusted and socially adept, the only lasting effect from being homeschooled that might be a bad thing is that I have a strong pull towards jean jumpers :)

    You can do this!

  45. That’s an amazing step…wishing you the best of luck!!! :)

  46. Mari, on says:

    I am homeschooling my kindergartener and pre-K. There are days when I think it’s the best decision, and days that are so frustrating that I wonder what I was thinking – but, then I remind myself that it was still best decision. There will be good days and bad, but when the Lord leads you, he will not let you fail. You will love it. Take a deep breath (or many) and be blessed!

  47. Stacy says:

    Hey! Congratulations! I think that if you are doing what you feel is best for your kids, then you are doing the right thing. How exciting!!!!

    Godspeed to you and yours!

  48. denise says:

    I remember struggling with all those same feelings. The doubt, the indecision, the conviction. Pulling our kids out of our (admittedly great) public magnet school was so hard. But once I allowed the idea of homeschooling to really take root in my mind, I was convinced it was the right thing for us. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d end up where I am. But as we begin our 7th year of homeschooling, I know that going with my heart and shutting out all the negative thoughts (and comments) was the biggest blessing for our family. My oldest is a high school junior now, my middle child is in 8th grade, and my youngest is in 5th. The years are slipping quickly past but I cherish my time with them and I’m so proud of the people of character that they are becoming.

    Some things I’ve learned over the years:
    1. Don’t let naysayers have a foothold in your life. You will have enough self-doubt, you don’t need to let anyone else add to it.
    2. It helps to make a list of all the reasons you chose to homeschool and what is good about homeschooling. And then look at it on hard days to remind yourself that you made the right decision.
    3. If you start a curriculum that just isn’t working for you or your kids, don’t be afraid to scratch it and choose something better. Don’t suffer through a horrible year just because you invested in it financially or you want to teach them perseverance. You will all be happier if you sell the one that isn’t working out and start a better one right away.
    4. The socialization worry is totally unfounded. If we chose to participate in every “social” opportunity that comes up, we’d never complete our lessons!
    5. Find a great homeschool group to join. The support of the others who are in your same situation is invaluable.
    6. Homeschooling is a lifestyle in a way that public school and private school just are not. You will find schooling opportunities in everything. And because you know everything your children are being taught, you will have the opportunity to help them connect all the pieces.
    7. Don’t let “mom the teacher” take the place of “just mom”.

    And most of all…
    8. If you have a bad day, don’t be afraid to scrap it and go for ice cream or a bike ride. Tomorrow is a new day and you’ll be ready to start again. His mercies are new every morning! Praise God!

    • Stephanie says:

      Ashley,
      I am so completely thrilled for you all. We are on our 3rd year of homeschool and though I would have NEVER EVER EVER imagined this would be my life, it has been the greatest blessing through a decision we have made as parents. Though, as many have mentioned, Satan will use the self doubt, guilt and shame and the rest of his arsenal to discourage you, the fruit you will see (precious friendships between your children, character, constant teachable moments and most importanly, TIME) will literally overshadow it all.
      I am daily humbled by not missing a thing. Seeing them “get” concepts for the first time, seeing the bold, impassioned prayer for my child answered in a very specific way, seeing them put their needs on the back burner for another…all of it. Amazing.
      The thing I learned my first year is how complicated you can make it…and how much guilt and shame comes from not keeping the balls in the air. I stepped back and realized the same thing God has already revealed to you…that I want to foster a lifelong love of learning. Not memorization. Not going by the book. But letting them come into their little brains and not burning them out. Letting them pull at threads and learn about the things that deeply interest them. There will be much time to do lessons and memorization later, but childhood is fleeting. And statistics show children learn best through play. So on the days you feel like you haven’t had a “complete” school day, erase the idea of school you are comparing yourself against. Remember you are giving your children the blessing of time and freedom. And the blessing of pouring into them all day every day. It was the sweetest advice I received as a new homeschooling Momma.

  49. Kari says:

    Good luck with your new adventure.

    One thing stood out to me. 2 hours of homework?!?!? What could a kindergartner and 1st grader do for 2 hours of homework? Mine are in 5th and 6th grades and they might have 20-30 minutes a night plus reading at home.

  50. Jennifer says:

    I have been following your blog for awhile now after I had stumbled upon it and fell in love! We homeschool and I am with you it was so very hard to take the plunge! My oldest was in 3rd grade at the time and middle in Kindergarten. I was so scared, but as the last 3 years have gone by I’ve noticed that I do love it. Don’t get me wrong there are days when I think I might not being doing the best thing for them. I think everyone no matter homeschooling or not feels that way. But it is so worth it! God Bless!

  51. Laura says:

    This post was totally for me. (As many of yours are!) Thank you for sharing and being so brave… Having faith! My oldest baby is 3.5 and I just Could Not send her to pre-school this year, although it was Strongly advised by so many. God gave me my girls (by adoption), and by (a heap of) faith, I want to be the one to teach, train, and encourage our girls… Not because I will be perfect – wow. Far, far from. But because I know the One who is, and I’m trusting him to fill our family with His wisdom, love, and passions. Thanks again!

  52. Destiny says:

    Ash! Thank you for sharing your heart friend. I love everything about this post but most of all love that you can obviously see how connected you are to your heavenly father. So many times we ignore his voice and direction because it seem so foreign to us. I’ve done it so many times myself:0) You can see totally see how he worked through you by planting that seed and ultimately letting you decide if you trusted him:0) I’m so happy for you friend and will be praying that God continues to bless you and your family on this journey!!
    Loves and Hugs!
    Destiny

  53. Good luck soaring! You will all be amazing!

  54. BJ says:

    This may be the hardest thing you will ever do, and you may not like doing it a lot of the time, but it IS worth it. I’m into year 8 officially, and though at times I dream of a bus stopping and taking my kids away for 7 hours a day, I know in my heart that this is the road that’s right for us. Blessings! LEAN ON HIM!

  55. Elizabeth says:

    Congrats on making the choice to homeschool. It is not an easy one and one that we made for our son about 2 years ago. My son had gradually lost interest in regular school, because of boredom from not being challenged in class. One of the things that we were not necessarily ready for was the clash that would occur between my son and I. When we chose to homeschool, we had this pretty ideal picture of what we wanted homeschool to be: freedom throughout the day, no stress, time together, etc. Sounds funny looking back, but my son and I have similar personalities that involve stubbornness and we went head to head some days in the beginning. What was happening was we were both adjusting to what homeschool would be, without taking the time to understand that we would both be downshifting from the traditional school mentality. Our family had gotten into a routine with regular school, just like you said: “drive to school, pick up, homework, bath, bed”. When our routine changed so drastically, we sometimes had a hard time that we took out on each other. I wanted my son to work faster because I knew he could so he could work ahead faster and he wanted to have the freedom to work at his own pace, which sometimes meant “I hate school and want to watch videos all day”. Once we realized that we hadn’t taken the proper time to adjust, life got a lot easier and we were alot easier on each other. My son learned that school at home does not equal goof-off time, and I learned that pushing him too hard is worse than boredom from not being challenged at all.

    The best thing you can do is understand that there will be times that homeschool seems overly stressful and feels like you made a mistake. Just repeat to yourself the reasons why you choose to do so and understand that everyone is going to need adjustment time.

    Good luck!

  56. Elizabeth says:

    Yay!on doing what’s best for your family! I have homeschooled for 6 yrs now,and have always felt like a failure. Until I found Sally Clarkson. She recommends no formula,or plan on how to make sure your children will turn out like so and so. What she does say is pray,pray,pray, and follow Gods leading for YOUR family. So many years I tried to live up to another persons ideals that for some reason I thought I had to follow. Praise God for wiser people to speak into my life! Stay encouraged that you are following Gods leading, it will help you on the hard days!

  57. Laura Forman says:

    We live in Montgomery and I just started homeschooling my daughter this week! We are doing classical conversations and loving it! If you ever need someone to chat with (or cry with!) let me know! :) praying for you guys!!

  58. Hanna says:

    sending you prayers for peace, strength and understanding. We don’t homeschool but I respect your decision to give it a try.

  59. Claudia konkus says:

    As a teacher and a mother I have to congratulate you to your decision. I homeschooled my youngest for a while. It seemed like he was too “spirited”. I also teach in the public school system and would love to build my own school. There are many, many things wrong with our schools today and could use changing. Until it does it it is up to the parents to make a decision. You guys did! Be proud! Be strong! Only you know that your son’s light got dimmed. You made the right decision! Never doubt yourself! It came from your guts. HE put it there! Believe! It is not rocket science ( we would have only Albert Einsteins if it were) it is nourishing your children’s interests and giving them wings. Trust yourself! You guys will be fine. And then you will LOVE it! No rigid schedules, field trips whenever you feel like it, no staying up late to study, learning in pj’s when it is freezing outside, aahh, too many advantages! I wish you all the Best!

  60. Christiana says:

    It was so sweet to read your post!! I think what you are doing is admirable! You are going to love homeschooling and seeing the changes in your kids!! I did homeschool two of my four kids and I loved it!! Yes some days you will beg God for grace and mercy! But it will be so rewarding in the long run! Good luck!! God bless!!

  61. Valerie says:

    I can imagine this is a huge step for your family. My mom decided to homeschool me and my brothers over 30 years ago! I was home schooled my entire life and LOVED it. We are planning to homeschool our children (mine are younger than your children) so I look forward to reading your adventures both good and…challenging. ;) My mom always had a relaxed attitude about it: if you finish your work it doesn’t matter how little or how much time you take, where you are sitting, or if you are still in your pajamas…just get it done and DO IT RIGHT! I used to sit on the couch with my books and papers piled around me and the dog right next to me. The beauty of learning at home is that you can daydream out the window as your imagination takes you places that classroom structure and schedules never will. I finished high school at 17, started working retail at 18, and was an assistant store manager (at a 3+ million dollar furniture store) at 19. Homeschooling has given me the confidence and determination to tackle or at least attempt whatever I set my mind to…including the journey of teaching my own children at home. :)

  62. Stacy says:

    After seeing this on IG I had to come over and check it out…This is our story almost to the letter…we are now starting our 11th year on this homeschooling journey! Started when my daughter was about to begin 3rd when I learned that the private school at our church would be closing. I also had 3 little boys ages 4, 2 and 8 months, who instantly became my students too and enjoyed learned right along with us. She re-entered a private Christian school in 8th and went to a public high school for 9th & 10th and then she actually initiated the conversations to be homeschooled again, which we did for 11th & now 12th. The boys have always been at home and are now 5th, 7th & 9th graders. We love it! If you would have asked me years ago if this is what I would be doing, I would have said…”No way”. I also thought it was a bit crazy & extreme. Turns out it was the right lifestyle choice for our family. My daughter is pursuing a career in the performing arts: dance, TV & film and my boys want to play baseball professionally, as my husband did, for a short time, and coach. It gives us and them the time to pursue these gifts and passions. I too love teachers, school, education etc. there’s much more involved in a decision like this and it is entirely individual. We also prayerfully consider and re-evaluate each year. The greatest compliment I ever receive is not based on myself or my abilities, but what others say and observe in my children. It is all by God’s grace and His leading. Praying for you and your beautiful family!

  63. Mary says:

    We homeschooled our 4 kids from birth to 18. When I was pregnant with my first I had the overwhelming feeling that I could not put them on a bus at 5. That is where it started and God brought one little family along to show us what homeschooling looked like the first year. Now they are grown and doing well. I still have doubts that if I would have put them in school they may have loved math, or been great at football, or a doctor….. but they are our favorite people, they love us, and are so close to each other and that is a gift.

  64. Danielle says:

    I’m so happy for you! Homeschooling is not easy, that’s for sure, but it’s so rewarding. You get so much more time with your kids, teaching them what’s really important. I’m teaching 6th, 4th, 2nd, and Kindergarten this year. If I can, you can, too! ;) When God calls you to do something, He doesn’t just leave you. He gives you the strength and resources to do His will. Praying for a wonderful year!

  65. Donna says:

    We homeschooled for 18 years, and ended 9 years ago when our youngest son “graduated”. It was the most amazing experience of my life. My 3 boys, now 40, 35, and 27, still have such fond memories of our “adventure”. They know how it shaped them, how they still love learning and how it affected every area of their lives positively. They were not close in age, but they became best friends. Each took a different path…college, apprenticeship, part time work, but each still points to those years as God led, and transforming. Wishing the same for you.

  66. Kathy says:

    Wow! What a big step for you and your family. I was homeschooled for 10 years and have never regretted the decision my parents made. Thank you for sharing. Great quotes and bible verses.

  67. Barb Lewis says:

    Your strength and courage is a testament to your faith. I applaud your ability to make this difficult decision. BUT, you two are the only ones in the position to know what will work for your family. There are oodles of resources out there, use them. Give yourselves a hug and cheer the beginning of a new chapter in your family’s lives! <3

  68. I think the most wonderful part of this story is that you are being 100% in tune with your families needs. What an amazing act of selflessness on your part! I can’t imagine how DIFFICULT that decision must have been. I’m so touched by your huge act of faith. Heaven is for sure smiling upon you and your husband. Kudos.

  69. Karen U says:

    Yay for you, and your children! It is a bit like jumping off a cliff.
    You’ll still come across naysayers and you’ll wonder many times what you’ve gotten yourself into. You’ll feel like you will fall on your face. But you will also find many like minded people and lots of surprising support. You’ll wonder what you were so scared of. But most of all, you’ll really enjoy seeing the growth of your family in so many ways. My own children are thirteen and almost sixteen. My daughter now takes classes at the local community college under the dual enrollment program and is working towards a fully transferable associates degree! I never thought I could do it! I was scared, really I still am, that I would screw up somehow. But I’ve gotten to spend so much more time with my sweeties that I could have, had they been enrolled in school.
    Enjoy the ride. It’s scary and exhilarating and a most wonderful journey.
    Good luck to your family. It really is a great experience. One day, your kids will be thirteen/fifteen and you’ll almost wonder where all the time went. But you’ll know… You were there for the ride.

  70. Shelly says:

    AWESOME!!!! I am so proud of you! Sometimes it takes a lot of faith and courage to obey the Lord’s calling! Way to go! ;)

  71. Elisabeth says:

    Congrats on taking the leap! I am not a mom (though hope to be in the not too far away future–even if I have to do it alone, dangit!! lol) but was homeschooled for a year when I was 5/6 and my brother was for years (he has autism and had a horrible, horrible public school situation when he was young). My mom was more the waldorf style vs faith-based but she (and my dad) felt that public school wasn’t working for us then and I think that as a parent you know what works best for you and what is the best for your kids. And certainly I have my concerns about how the schools are functioning right now. Have fun with it!

  72. When I first started homeschooling, I discovered Reb and Bev Bradley of Family Ministries. Of all the homeschool blogs and audio that I follow, this couple has had the most impact in my life. Grace-based, Biblical advice for the family (and they are funny). They discuss marriage, discipline and of course homeschooling. They have a ton of audio you can purchase–including a large homeschool section. They speak at homeschool conferences across the country and their workshops are always packed! Here is their website–go to products and then homeschooling. You can also request a catalog be sent to you–it’s sometime easier to navigate. They also have a ton of free articles they’ve written on their site. Be blessed!
    http://familyministries.com/

  73. Katz says:

    I don’t usually comment on blogs but had to on this one. I am a grandma who homeschooled her 4 kiddos and have never regretted it! It is such a blessing. When we decided to do it, my husband was sure our children would be maladjusted and not well-educated. He agreed to let me try though and what a difference we saw in them. With the separation, our social follower became less dependent on her peers and what they thought. Our insecure child blossomed as she received the one-on-one attention she needed. Our scholastically driven child was able to advance at her own speed and by the age of 18 was done with school and co-managing a large company. We had the freedom to educate on the go, freedom to jump on opportunities for short-term foreign missions, freedom to have a life as a family. Best of all, we had the freedom to teach them about God’s world and God’s priorities, not a sinful societies beliefs. Today all 4 are married to godly spouses (and the girls are all stay-at-home moms). To me that is the real sign of success, and all thanks go to the Lord.

  74. Lisa says:

    My husband and I have been having this conversation, Our four year old goes to pre-school at a church that’s so close we can walk there. We’re already getting the questions about where she going to attend kindergarten. We’re pretty convinced that she will be home schooled for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. I feel called and convicted to do the best I can for her for as long as I can. I joked with my friend, who has already been doing this fabulously for a year, about the fear of failure … “What if I’m driving her in her 20″s to GED night school because I messed it up so bad :) But I don’t think that’s truly possible when God calls you to something, you really can’t fail. I wish you the very best of luck. An amazing number of people are right there with you.

  75. Christy says:

    We took the homeschooling plunge this year as well with a second grader and two kindergardeners. I felt the same emotions as you when I un-enrolled my second grader from the school he attended for two years. I truly believe I was mourning the lose of something good. But, I could not have said it better than when you said: “Sometimes, you have to say no to a perfectly good option, so you can say yes to what really is best for your family.” So, you are not alone in your feelings of sadness. This is an exciting adventure! It’s going to be a wonderful year. : )

  76. Barbi says:

    Loved reading this post….I have been homeschooling for many years now. All of our boys, 5 of them have totally been schooled at home, 3 of them are done and this year I have a 10th and 12th grader. I went through all those thoughts that you and so many of us have pondered over, so I won’t go over all of them again. Just know it’s totally normal, it would be strange if you didn’t. As parents, we all have sooooo many decisions to make and we’re always second guessing ourselves. I believe there is no one perfect way to parent. I think that if it works for you and your husband then that’s what you should do. God calls to us for a reason and he’s letting you know that this is okay. He will be there to help guide you. At first, when we started I found it amazing and odd how they put God into the curriculum, all of it , not just the Bible study parts. Then I realized that was a big reason we chose to home school so that God would be a bigger part of our lives (as compared to public school). I too, used to think that parents who home schooled were weird, even some immediate family. But then I became a parent and learned. And I keep on learning everyday, I learn so much from and with my children. They know more than me in so many subjects. We would ask our children as they grew up if they would want to go to public school and they always said they wanted to stay at home. I guess, since I asked I would of considered it but, we were always relieved they wanted to be at home. A lot of their friends wished they could school at home too. Just know there will be good and bad days, we all have them no matter how we choose to educate our children. We will support you as much as possible, just keep writing about things and we will keep commenting….you’ve had lots of feedback I noticed. May God Bless Your Special Family on this new journey.
    Best Wishes and Toodles, Barbi

  77. We absolutely LOVE HSing. You will do a great job! Keep your own love for learning at the forefront. ;-)

    Here’s a FB page for some amazing HS moms and I’ve learned a lot with all the questions that get asked and experienced HS moms are always willing to answer.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/4970187569/

    VERY BEST OF BLESSINGS to you!!!!

    • I’m sure you have many resources and people available for questions…but if you ever have a question, I’d love to help…even if it’s just to vent. I have a 1st grader (younger daughter isn’t in school yet) and love chatting curriculum. ;-)

      ebyounts (at) gmail (dot) com

  78. Megan says:

    Good luck! I’m a teacher and a parent (as are my husband and my parents) and I’ve given thought to homeschooling. I don’t know if we can financially afford it but we will weigh the options after a year or two in public school for my daughter. I know there are great resources out there for parents who choose it.

  79. Julie Buerke. says:

    Good for you! I, too swore off homeschooling years ago. But God had another plan for us (seems to be a theme, doesn’t it?). And I can say whole-hearted my that I love it. Sure, it is challenging. There are days when I want to send him off because I doubt my ability to do this thing well. But the pros do outweigh the cons for us, and I love being together and not living such a hurried life. My advice is to plug into a community right away. You don’t want to go at this alone. There are tons of families out there like you who will provide the support you need. May God be with you!

  80. I’m late to the party, as usual, but I’ll be praying that your exciting and terrifying new cliff-jumping adventure goes fabulously, even with all the holy-crap-I-just-jumped-off-a-cliff-what-were-we-thinking moments along the way ;)

    Also, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it since, but I’m really thankful you let me tag along with you to dinner that first night at Haven (that was me sitting next to you :) ) It was such fun, and you were so wonderfully welcoming. Thanks, Ashley!

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  82. Kathryn says:

    I pray that this year goes well for you. You are starting out with such a great perspective on it all. All these decisions are super hard and sometimes it takes looking back on them to see if they were right! Just keep listening to God’s voice and you will have peace!
    I also like that you are flexible. I have seen some kids that flourish while home schooled and some that flounder! As a teacher myself, I just encourage you take each of your kids’ needs to heart and make sure that the decision you make continues to be about what is best for them! It sounds like you are already doing a great job doing that!
    God’s blessing!

  83. Pamela says:

    Let God lead you through this journey. We adopted our daughter at 4 and she came into our home at 3. She attended preschool for 2 years and was coming home with stories I was not prepared to hear from my innocent little girl. We decided to homeschool for the bonding aspect which was not a problem or concern at the time but something I wanted to secure for our future. You will have rough days when you just need to do art and cooking and you will have amazing days where all your questions about whether you should homeschool are answered. I can’t imagine any other option for our family. We have wonderful schools here as well and wonderful teachers but the time we get to spend with our daughter and teach her about God, morals and values will greatly pay off one day when she needs to stand up for herself. She socializes with more homeschool friends then she would in school and the difference is they have the same morals and values and they can range from infants to adults. Remember to let them be little and playful and let them create! i have a homeschool art class at my home twice a month and one mom exchanges her time to teach violin. Have fun, let them explore, enjoy your journey and reach out to your community, you will be blessed!

  84. Sarah says:

    Grace to you and your family in this time! I’m the same as you, scoffing initially at homeschooled families [mostly because I’ve seen the poor examples of families avoiding society in the name of religious conservationism]; as I’ve become a parent, I’ve had the same shift. Many, many families are excellent at what they do – instilling a love of education, solid morals, and time for their families in this hectic world. We’re in a charter school that we love – if my daughter had not of gotten in there, we would have very seriously considered homeschooling, given the quality of public schools around us.

    It’s hard stuff – to change a family culture and work through the details and changes that are homeschooling. Good luck to you guys!

  85. Melissa says:

    I love, love, love the sentiments expressed in this post. Probably because it’s as if you are speaking directly for me in so many ways. We have chosen to homeschool ours as well (right now, that just means preschool for the 3.5 year old while the baby watches and oooohs over everything she does). Can I tell you something? I am the ONLY homeschooler I know (in real life). God bless the internet, because it has brought me so many wonderful resources and good friends. I got THE CALL when my daughter was just a tiny baby – and believe me, it couldn’t have been any more clear if the phone had actually rung. I taught 8th grade in my previous life, but was able to quit this past May so that I could pursue THE CALL. I’m lucky that I’ve had three years to prepare everyone for this transition, because we definitely got some push-back from family and friends. I’m sure it’s not over. None of it matters, though, because I know in my heart that we are walking the path that God laid down for us. And don’t it feel good! :) Good luck, good luck, good luck. I’m so excited for the journey you guys are taking.

  86. Suzanne says:

    That was beautiful and a joy to read. Thank you for your articulate and eloquent sharing of such a heartfelt decision!

  87. Lindy Cigrang says:

    BLESS you…..MPS is draining ALL OF US dry this year. In my 22 years of teaching I’ve NEVER wanted to quit so much!! They expect WAY TOO MUCH of these little people and throw all the blame on us, as teachers. There is NEVER “too much” you can do for your sweet babies! Do what’s best for your family……you’ll NEVER regret it for a minute. They grown up way too fast and this Common Core is INSANE!!

  88. Charity Martin says:

    Great (and EASY) book for parents about teaching littles to get excited about reading: Deconstructing Penguins by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone. It’s focused on reading as a family activity, as it should be! I teach middle and high school English at a classical PK-12 school, and that book has been more helpful to me than all of the fancy “teacher manuals” I consulted before becoming a teacher! God bless you for the sacrifices you are making for your precious little ones!

  89. Bonnie P says:

    Not saying it will be easy…but it will be worth it. I’m 46 and homeschooled three children. The last one just graduated last year. There were days when I threatened to put them on the big yellow bus and days where I asked to be called by my first name rather then hearing “mom” one more time. Days (weeks and yeas) where I failed them. That’s real life, that’s where relationships are made. Where does the time go? All that said I’d do it over again. May God bless your decision.

  90. So, wait…no more stories about the school pick up line? Sigh. I guess you’ll find NEW material now. :) Good luck, Ashley! Your kids are blessed to have this time with you.

  91. Maureen says:

    We home schooled our 3 children for a total of 21 years, from kindergarten with our oldest to graduation of our youngest. I do not regret a single day, from the worst, hardest, fail days to the days we all just shone. Remember, kids learn, so why not do the learning together. It is the stuff of life. We raised the most beautiful, amazing & loving people I’ve ever known and though there were days of mostly tears, every day was precious and every single day I said a prayer of thanks when the school bus drove by and I was cuddled on the couch reading wonderful books with my kids or dancing across the living room, or discovering what an amazing artist we had in one, writers in them all, blowing up a science experiment in the kitchen (oops)……..
    Sometimes in life the very worst does happen. It did to us when we lost our daughter to cancer at 25. I am so grateful beyond words for every single moment & memory, here, with us, in our little house.
    May it be the blessing to you of a lifetime as it’s been to us.

  92. Rachel says:

    Woa.
    For the past week where we have seriously considered it (oh how we would miss the teachers and staff!) it’s been the most trying time of our lives. It’s gut wrenching!
    Thank you for sharing (what courage to go so public when i cant even tell my friends and family our thinking) and please keep us updated on what you are doing.
    P.S. both parents were public school educators for 30 yrs+, glad to have retired when they did.
    Great comments…totally bookmarking them for future support!

    • Rachel – hang in there. It’s been so hard this week, but sharing has been the best thing we could have done. I was scared to tell one of my closest friends (a third grade teacher) because I thought she would totally disagree with me. Not that it matters, because this is our family, but it means a lot when you have friends and loved ones backing you. She was so supportive. And so are so many other’s we’ve spoken to. And yes, it helped to go ahead and share this, because it will be my reference as well! ;] When you decide to do something like this it’s like, and now what? Let me know what you decide!

  93. Kristin says:

    Thank you for sharing! All the best to you in this adventure. YOU. CAN. DO. THIS. I just sat at my third grade daughter’s curriculum night wondering how is she going to do this? Where is the creativity? SO MUCH WORK. Very little fun. She is thriving and taking it head on, but it really does make a parent wonder if this is the right way to learn. Never mind the social issues, the fact that 3rd graders act like 6th graders and so on. I think we are in a tough place, raising our kids in today’s society. TV, Ipads, Iphones, Social media..it all freaks me out! I hope I will be a strong as you are and follow my heart as I make the right choices for my family. I will be curious to see how it goes so please keep us posted! I hope and know the positive aspects will outweigh the negatives early on! I hope it’s like one big long watercolor party for you..my favorite!:)

  94. Alisia says:

    We have considered homeschooling for so long now it seems it may be too late…..I have a 5th grader and 2nd grader…..both are excellent students and excel in all of their studies, but I’ve always felt they were missing something…. I’ve never taken the leap for fear I would fail or not know how to teach them. You have given us so much to think about.. I have a very busy business at my home and fitting school into it seems so overwhelming. How are you handling it…if you don’t mind me asking? And maybe my oldest is too old to start now? Questions questions;). You really are an inspiration for all of those fence sitters like myself who can’t seem to make that leap!

    • Hey Alisia! Well, this is a hard answer to give, because it’s different for everyone. First and foremost (and you totally know this) you just have to follow your gut as a mom. Are they ever too old to homeschool? Do you think that you can carve time out in your day? Will you regret it more if you DON’T try it? These are all questions I’ve had to answer (minus the ‘old’ part) For what it’s worth, It’s not like he’s in the tenth grade. My brother started in eleventh. And I’m sure there are plenty of amazing success stories of children starting out at a certain age. It’s different for everyone. ;}

      Our business -as most businesses are from home – never stop. EVER. It’s to the point where we make ourselves leave the home and take the kids somewhere, and even there, we find ourselves discussing things. Whether it’s a room redo, or a new opportunity, or an email I have yet to answer… it’s never. Ending. I’ve also realized maybe we haven’t had healthy boundaries with that, and maybe we can have better time management skills. I’m scared, and excited all at the same time. I just figure if the Pioneer Woman can do it… {???!?!?!} And I’m no Pioneer Woman, but I just know she has a lot on her plate, so I can figure it out, too.

      Of course our kids come first, but we can’t really give up this business aspect either, because a. I love it and it’s my passion, but b. It’s their future, as well. (Hello, college.) So, there’s that. ;} It’s just a lot to consider, I know. We officially start on Monday, and right now life has been a blur and mentally exhausting. (It also doesn’t help that we’re in the middle of two room redos – now three because I decided we don’t need a dining room and I can homeschool in there- and I just want my home in order so I feel like I have a handle on this because I’m a total control freak) This was probably all TMI, but I just wanted to let you know that I by far, don’t have it together. Any of it. And maybe it doesn’t all have to be perfect. And maybe I will work early mornings and nights for a while. Also? We bought a trampoline so I have somewhere to shoo them to. ;}

      I hope this helps. I’ll keep ya posted. Let me know what you decide – it’s ultimately a God-led decision, and if you feel the push… why not?

  95. Amber says:

    The unhurried time with your kids and family is priceless! Welcome to the family of homeschoolers! We love homeschooling! Like anything, there are always challenges when that ‘flesh’ gets in the way (mainly MINE and my selfishness! Ahem!) But, God is so good and this sanding of my rough edges is good, too! HE has a plan and future for our kids, so we just keep giving them back to Him and trusting that He will bring the perfect opportunities for them at just the right times.
    When thinking of homeschooling wisdom that has been shared with me, two instances stand out to me. Each are special and were so timely for me. The first was from God to me, as clear as could be. I had just had our 4th baby with 3 older kids who we homeschooled. I remember being completely overwhelmed and sobbing late one night in the shower where no one else could see or hear me melt into the “ugly cry”. I wondered “How can I do this? I am such a failure!!!” And then I heard, in my spirit, so clearly, “If you do nothing more this year than place my word in their hearts … that is enough. I AM ENOUGH!” I had instant peace and thought, “OK Lord, I can do that.” Well, we did that … AND the 3 r’s and so much more that year, too. It was a wonderful year both spiritually and academically! It’s important to keep focus on what’s really important in light of eternity.
    The other thing was something a veteran homeschooling mom told me when I lamented about the pressure of all the choices out there. All good things, but how do you choose and how do you say no to good things? What to pick and what to miss without “damaging” your kids? Soccer? Swimming? Horses? And our kids love everything. We could tell them they had to pick weeds all day and they’d say “best day ever” (a la Tangled). OK, maybe not that, but you get the drift. They’re just happy kids who enjoy dabbling in everything! Ahhh! First world problems can really make you lose your mind! LOL. She quietly said something along these lines, “I always put seeking the Lord and then our quiet family time first and kept things simple. I trusted that if some training or experience was important and necessary for God’s future plan for any of our kids, that He would keep offering the opportunities necessary to get them there if we continued to put Him first and seek Him and that He would ignite the passion to pursue it within their hearts”. Wow! Can’t say that I’ve mastered this yet, but I try to remind myself of her wise words.
    May you have the happiest year and be richly blessed! Love each other and those sweet kids!

  96. Megan says:

    I loved reading the post. My son will start kindergarten in the fall & my husband and I have been seriously considering homeschool. I was like you and kind of scoffed at the idea. Now–I’m seriously considering it. Thanks for sharing.

  97. katie says:

    Ashley,

    We have such a similar story. My daughter would have started 2nd grade this year at the wonderful school she has been in for two years. And my younger daughter was all ready to start school this year. God had a different plan. I said NO to His plan over and over. There was no way we could ever survive. People would think we were crazy, blah blah blah. But He kept pressing so hard on my heart and sending people into my path that could not be ignored. We had some really difficult conversations with the Principal and teachers. It was hard. It still is. I basically have no idea what I am doing. But I am so thankful to have my babies home and to be smack in the middle of Gods plan for our little family. Crazy as we are, I am so thankful.
    Hoping for more wisdom and understanding to build our family and make us strong! What a community here! Hoping for more of this IN REAL LIFE TOO!!!
    Blessings to you! And definitely remembering you as I walk this path too.
    Katie

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  99. In the craziness of rolling out my new thing, I missed this post of yours, so I didn’t know about it until your e-mail :) I just had to tell you again, especially after hearing even more of your heart here, how amazingly brave you guys are being! I know this can’t be easy, but as a teacher myself, I think there are soooo many positives to this. I can’t wait to follow along and see how it goes. And remember, if God is guiding you to it, I know He’ll help you throughout the whole process :)

  100. Heather Adams says:

    I started homeschooling in 8th grade, and it was the best decision my mother and I ever made. I was able to take the time to really follow my passions, and I was able to work out the kind of person I wanted to be without constantly being told I wasn’t cool enough. Sure, there were some very dangerous Algebra situations in our house, but I look back on those fondly now. From a safe distance. My mother passed away when I was 16, so those years of arguing about variables and making up over Emily Dickinson are so very, very precious to me now.

    Thanks to homeschooling, I received scholarships for most of my undergraduate degree. I graduated early and went traveling. I have lived on three continents, and now I’m a graduate student at Auburn University at Montgomery. Sometimes taking that scary leap to do what is best for your children gives them wings in a world otherwise explored only by foot.

    I enjoy your blog immensely, and I will absolutely keep your family in my prayers as you start this scary journey. Best of luck!

  101. Jess says:

    Struggling with this decision right now-what is holding me back is that Ihave to work. I work part time and so I dont know what i Could do with her while im at work any suggestions/resources? Thanks!

    • Hey Jess! Shaunna @ Perfectly Imperfect recommended The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell. for the last few weeks, it’s been my Bible. I’ve taken a few things with a grain of salt, but for the most part, it’s a great resource. Very good! I highly recommend it. ;}

  102. Kendra says:

    Wow.

    Profound and moving.

    Welcome to homeschooling! It is hard and it is good. It makes me come to grips with some pretty hard things about myself and it makes me need God more. Not a bad thing. :)

    I couldn’t love this post more.

  103. Deb Townsend says:

    You will love homeschooling! You are so creative and teaching your children will allow you to use your talents to make learning fun. I started homeschooling our son in Kindergarten and he is now is Second Grade. Every year I get more excited to start because I feel more confident.
    I live in Southern California and it is becoming more and more popular to homeschool. I am amazed by all the opportunities and choices I have in educating my son. I am thankful to God that I listened to my husband and “jumped off the cliff” 3 years ago!

  104. Gevay Piercefield says:

    We homeschool and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Yes, we have hard days-crying, yelling, hair-pulling hard days, but I would not give up the good days and even the bad ones with them for anything. The days are a gift and they are teaching me more than I could ever teach them.

  105. MaKenna says:

    Can I just say, I am so proud of you!! I know it seems hard now, but as long as you keep praying and seeking God’s direction, everything will work out! As a senior who has been home schooled her whole life, I can say that this is the best decision my parents ever made for me and my sibs. One other thing – go to a homeschool convention. every year. multiple times if possible. It is the greatest thing for a homeschooling mom to know that there are other moms going through the exact same thing as you, and that they are making it! If your state’s isn’t the best, find a private one. or another states (Florida’s is AWESOME!!!). YAAAYYYY!!! Another convert!!!!! This seriously made my day!!!

  106. Sarah says:

    Obviously, I am a bit behind. I just read this post. However, I wanted to say congratulations! I made the same decision last year in the middle of the year. It is hard, it is wonderful, it is WORTH it! I felt like I had just gotten time back with my children. Best of luck to you. Sarah

  107. Melissa says:

    I love this post. You have beautifully put in to words many of the feelings in my heart. I have 7 children, and have been homeschooling for 7 years. Most of my friends don’t homeschool, I loved my own public school experience, but I have just known this was the right thing for our family. For so long I have felt nervous about “ruining” my children, but they are blossoming! Good luck! You’ll do great. There will be very hard days, and thrilling, amazing days. It will be worth it!

  108. Erin says:

    Hi,
    First of all, I LOVE your blog and all of the things you create. I am sitting here with tears as I read this post. My husband and I are considering the same thing for our children, and you addressed some of what I am feeling and thinking in this post. It is so well written. I am researching and was wondering, if you don’t mind sharing, what curriculum you are using? Thank you for this post!
    Erin

    • Hey Erin – been there. The hardest thing for us, was telling people. I knew what the right choice, for us, for now, is. SO making that transition was just hard. Now that we’re six weeks in and settled, I don’t regret it at all. It’s hard. Harder than anything I’ve ever done. But I love it. We all do. I hope this helps a little, too. I just had a convo with the kids today, after a really hard day. And they said they still love it. This speaks volumes to me. It gives my kids time to be kids, ya know? As far as curriculums, now that I’ve rambled: For now, we chose to go with Sonlight. I needed a little hand holding, and it’s great, but pricey. It’s so thorough, that if I followed both curriculums to a tee, we would be homeschooling all day long. Now that we’ve settled into our schedule, I’ve learned to pare them both down to work with what I need to coordinate. I will be more than happy to share what I do specifically if I need to and if you decide to go with them, how I’ve streamlined it with the kids. I love that it came with a ton of literature, and we have our own library of sorts in our playroom. That was worth it, for me. Anyway, I hope that helps, a little! I for sure have no idea what I’m doing, but I know it’s working. ;} Blessings to you and your children – keep us posted on your choice! It’s such an isolating decision that can really put you on the “outs” but having a strong support group means so much. Praying for you and your fam!

  109. Amanda says:

    I’m so glad to read your posts! I’d not looked up your thread recently and was astounded to see your notes on homeschooling. As a mom that was educated at home from K-12 grade, now teaching my three sons at home I can assure you that it IS a lot of work (mom made it look too easy! ) but it so so very worth it! You have an amazing opportunity to pour yourself into your children for a short season. Keep things simple, especially when you’re just launching out and cultivate a love of great books and you’re golden. :) Academics and socialization can be some of our biggest fears, but trust that God will work those areas out beautifully. After 30 years I’ve seen that instead of falling short, most excel in these areas instead. I loved college and came away with lots of wonderful friends and a degree in Biology earned with perfect grades. Best of all was the solid grounding in Christ nutured day by day in the faithful, loving instruction and example of my parents. Don’t grow weary in doing good; you’re embarking on a marvelous journey!

  110. Shelby says:

    Oh this post…I feel every feeling you describe here. I have an almost 4 year old and 1 year old twins and for at least the last 7 months, I’ve been coming up with excuses for why it would be horrible for all of us if I quit my job and stayed at home with my kids. “I’m not enough. They’ll hate it. They’ll hate me. I’ll hate it. I’ll lose it every.single.day.” And then one of my twins had eye surgery and I watched my husband and two other littles pack up and shuttle off to pre-school, while standing in the window with one my recovering baby, and waved goodbye. In that moment I stopped and realized that our life could be more than just “trying to get through the day” (the way I’ve described my life since the twins were born). So I did it. I quit a job I really like. I jumped off the cliff. I made a commitment to put my kids and my family before things that are just less important right now. I AM TERRIFIED. And I am SO excited at the same time. My hubby said in one of our discussions, “I think this is going to be great. I think the kids will be happier, and I think our family will be happier.” I mean, come on, how could we not try. Congrats on taking your huge step of faith. And thanks for sharing the emotion that goes along with it. I’m with ya sister.

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  112. Jamie Ohler says:

    Ashley,
    I found your site at 2 am. while touring Pinterest and I am floored. I had to pull myself away today to get my to do list done. This post especially spoke volumes to me. We ran off the cliff 9 years ago and to this day it is still a year by year and honestly sometimes day by day choice. No matter what school choice you choose in the end the important thing is that you listened to what your family and children needed and acted. Next year it might be a different choice but you are doing a great job either way.
    Thank you for the brutal honesty, it is so refreshing.

    • Thank you so much, Jamie. That means a TON to know there are other parents out there in the same boat we are, who are listening and going for what their family needs. It’s HARD but SO worth it! ;} Hugs to you and your family!

  113. Amy says:

    Thank you. I think God just used this to confirm my decision to so the same.

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  116. Elisa says:

    Oh my goodness!! YES! I am so glad I finally found this. In the past year at public school my sweet son has gone from the ultimate helper to the bully. He’s always in trouble, his attitude is horrible and I just feel sick because he’s normally the sweetest boy in the world. I am debating about homeschooling and his teacher told me that it’d be the biggest mistake I could make because my son does not know how to interact with children. Nevermind that in 3 years in a private preschool he interacted with children just fine. This post, this advice, that knowing in the back of your mind that something is off, really resonated with me, and gave me the courage that I was lacking. I CAN do this and our family will be much better off for it. Thank you!

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  119. I cried when reading this. Thank you for sharing your heart. Grace to you on this journey.

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