The Bad News About Homeschooling

What your friends in the denim jumpers don’t want you to know

I’ve been contemplating the writing of this article for several years. Currently, it exists only on scraps of paper, untitled fragments of Word documents, and in my brain (which is surely the least reliable storage system of all.) I know there could be backlash from the public broadcasting of such an article, but I believe the time has come: the time to tell the truth . . . the bad news about homeschooling.

After all, the good news is pretty easy to find. Elementary-school children who don’t automatically line up when they hear a bell, high school students who will look you in the eye rather than dismiss you as if they’ve no use for your time, and of course we’ve all read the surveys. You know; the ones that will tell you that 76% of adults who had been homeschooled voted in a state or national election in the past five years compared to 29% of the general public, or that 71% of them participate in ongoing community service activities, surpassing the gp’s 37% by quite a stretch. There’s more good news where that came from here at Dr. Brian D. Ray’s website. And of course there are the multiple studies showing the standardized test scores being 15-35% higher on average for homeschoolers, quotes from admissions officers at colleges such as Boston University, Dartmouth and Stanford calling homeschooled students “outstanding” and praising their “intellectual vitality,” and research showing an extremely high percentage of homeschoolers who claim to embrace the belief systems of their parents compared to the dismal church dropout rate of those who attend public schools.

But enough of the happy stuff. I’m here to tell you the nitty-gritty . . . the bad news you’re not going to get anywhere else. So here goes.


#1. You will have to school your children at home.

Seems obvious, right? But based on the generalized shock that ensues sometime around Week Two of the great experiment (and of course again every February) apparently it’s not as obvious as one would expect.

Let’s look at the key words and phrases in this sentence . . . and by key, of course, I mean all of them. First of all, You.

This means just what it says: YOU. You, the mom. You, not some paid employee of the state, will be performing this great feat. You can’t shunt it off to someone else. Your husband will probably even keep going to work like a normal person. If your child can’t read, doesn’t understand long division, or doesn’t have enough credits for the college they wanted to attend, there will be no random string of relatively-unknown teachers to blame. When the end of the day/semester/year/educational trail ends and the buck stops, it’ll be at your feet. (Don’t get too excited, though–you’ll probably have to spend it on curriculum.)

And here’s more bad news: YOU will still be YOU. You will not wake up on the Monday after you make the decision to homeschool and find you’ve turned into Socrates, Anne Sullivan, Charlotte Mason, Lisa Whelchel or Sally Clarkson overnight. (Bummer, I know!) It will just be little old you, same as the day before, with all the same flaws, only now they’ll be thrown into horrifyingly sharp relief by the plight of being sandpapered 24 hours a day by the little blessings (students?) the Lord has graced you with. Sometimes it’s called sanctification. Sometimes it’s called painful. Sometimes it’s called homeschooling.

On to part two of the sentence: will have to. Now, this too sometimes seems to be a shocker.

The Lord has given you the responsibility of educating the children He’s given to you as a stewardship, and you are ultimately responsible to Him for how well you do that job. The world is an amazing place, and it’s up to us to engage our children in the task of learning–which ultimately could be defined as deciphering what God is saying about Himself, the world, and about His plan for their lives through His wonderful creation. We have to give them the tools to be prepared for whatever it is He may call them to do in the future, and that is a full-time and demanding occupation, for sure.

Surprisingly, there are others who will claim an interest in your management of the job you undertake. Unless you are blessed to live in the funny-looking chain of states running from Texas to Michigan or the happy aberrations of Idaho and Alaska that apparently understand the concept of freedom as applied to education, you’ll be required to notify someone holding a potentially widely-varying degree of acceptance or disgust for homeschooling about your plan to take this off-the-beaten-path path. Whether it’s the necessity of joining an “umbrella school,” notifying your local school board, or submitting to yearly standardized testing, you may find yourself singing, “I always feel like somebody’s watching me . . . ” Not fun, I admit. But here’s the thing: we should be taking our responsibility seriously enough to work hard at it, whether we’re being watched by Big Brother or not. Homeschooling is not a place to hide out, and it’s not an area that should be added as an afterthought to our lives, to be attended to when we feel like it. If we choose to homeschool, we will have to homeschool. Which brings me to . . .

The third main point: school.

Now, many take issue with this word, “school,” saying that we don’t really need to make our homes into mini-classrooms– though some families do exactly that, right down to desks with flags on them and the reciting of the Pledge. I prefer to think of myself as educating my children at home rather than schooling them, and that takes place all over the house. Potato, po-tah-to, though . . . the fact is that each day, you will need to teach your children something. You can’t stay in bed doing nothing, and you can’t sit around watching television and eating bon bons all day. Reading in the backyard, textbooks at the dining room table, nature walks in the park, workbooks, gardening, computer programs, cooking, trips to museums and national monuments and even Epcot, yes. Sponge Bob and MTV, not so much. There will be no girls-only lunches (unless all your children are girls, of course; at least not until someone’s old enough to babysit–and even then, not very often) and no real alone time during school days, no cleaning-out-the-closets-in-peace time, no time to rearrange the furniture forty different ways, because you will be too busy teaching English and Algebra and Physical Science and a bunch of other things you perhaps didn’t enjoy the first time around. Children deserve a chance to learn about God’s wonders, His orderliness and creativity and wisdom and power, through grammar and science and math and languages and all the history of all the world. It’s our job to teach them that it all revolves around Him. If you’re not a reader, you’re going to need to (gasp!) change. If you were “never good at math,” you’re going to need to (gasp!) change. Learning . . . it’s a difficult job, but someone’s gotta do it . . . and that someone is YOU! (See key phrase one.) It takes research and planning and tweaking and more research and more planning and more tweaking and a lot of hard work.

Key phrases, part four: your children.

When you homeschool, it is generally accepted that you’re going to undertake the education of your own children. They, too, will wake up on the Monday morning after you decide to homeschool, and be the exact same people they were when you tucked them in the night before. Which means that the small people who haven’t yet learned obedience or hard work, the ones who make all the laundry and can’t keep their rooms picked up and still have so far to go on the road to becoming like Jesus, are your students. Whenever someone says to me, “I could never teach my kids at home–they’d never listen to me!” I want to reply, “Oh, my gosh, then you’d better begin keeping them home quickly–because that’s a major problem!” Your children are your responsibility, your gift, your stewardship, your letter to the world in the future. Consequently, when you start attempting to teach them “school-y things”– the kinds of things that can be put down on paper–all the places you’re not yet done shaping are going to become very visible . . . when they disobey, refuse to listen, are mean to their brothers and sisters, and don’t work hard. (No, “when they disobey” is not a typo–I homeschool my own children, remember? I know these things.) You will see their sins and weaknesses on a moment-by-moment basis. Your heart will hurt. That’s a good thing. Your children. Your students. Your disciples. Your gifts. Your responsibility.

Finally, part five of this first scary sentence: at home.

Now, here’s where we often get our warm and fuzzy feelings about the idea of homeschooling. We’ll stay home! We can wear our jammies! We can snuggle and read on the couch, do math in the hammock in the backyard, and play with the puppy at lunchtime!

All of those things are true. Which means . . . we will sometimes not leave our yard in a given 48 hour period, and we will get BORED! We will be in our jammies– when the postman comes! Or,when our eighteen-month-old decides, on a semi-cool February morning in Florida, to run out into the front yard which is across from a gas station and which borders a semi-busy road separated from the yard quite effectively physically but not *visibly,* wearing only his jammie shorts, and we will have to chase him down across the yard in front of the traffic and the gas station–in our bathrobe! (Ahem.) We will snuggle on the couch to read– and leave our books strewn across the floor, desks, bookshelves and everywhere else! We will do our math in the hammock–and leave the $40 book out in the rain and mom will have to order a new one and wait a week for it to come in! We will go out to play with the puppy at lunchtime–and never come back in to finish the second half of our day! (None of those things happen around here, of course, but I’ve heard others tell such dreadful tales.)

And if you’re still, after all this bad news, still considering taking the plunge and homeschooling your children, I would suggest you do one more thing: go down to your local elementary school. Walk into a classroom and take a good look around. Finally, take a deep breath, and picture all of that *stuff* . . . all over your living room. With bits and pieces strewn down the hallways for good measure.

Now you’re getting the idea.

There are a few things misleading about that picture, though. First of all, your living room is probably smaller than the classroom. You probably have no built-in bookshelves, corkboards, electronic pencil sharpeners, whiteboards, small tables and chairs, or easy-clean-up rugs on your floors. And there’s something else your home is missing, too . . . staff. Teacher’s aide? Nope. Principal to send them to when they’re misbehaving? Won’t be home ’til sometime after 5, probably. Guidance counselor? Sorry, you’ll have to figure it out yourself. P.E. Teacher? Hunt down your sneakers. The lunch lady? It’s all you, baby. Janitor? This one’s the one that really gets us all, I’m afraid . . . take a good look in the mirror. Bus driver? Same. (See key phrase one.)

#2. There Are No Formulas

Homeschooling is a wonderful option. The statistics are awe-inspiring. But there are no guarantees. Just because you decide to keep your children at home, it doesn’t follow that they will automatically read at three and a half, enjoy studying Physiology on their own in their spare time, become Rhodes Scholars, joyfully embrace purity, and live a radical life for Christ.

Homeschoolers are known to be very intelligent, caring, well-spoken and interested in learning.

Some are also known to be reclusive, lazy, selfish, rude, and spend all their time on the computer.

Did I just say that in my outside voice? I hope so, because someone needs to tell you that. Bringing your children home has no intrinsic guarantees. They will need teaching and training and discipline and hard work and input and prayer and study and research and lots and lots and lots of patience and love (see The Bad News, Part One.) As Zig Ziglar has been quoted as saying, if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. The corollary is, if you aim at the moon, you will hit it only occasionally. If you don’t pour your best efforts and heart into homeschooling your children, you are going to be disappointed. If you do pour your best efforts and heart into homeschooling your children, you are still sometimes going to be disappointed. Making sure the enemy has no place to stand on in order to blame you when that happens is a full-time process. And since you’re human, you’re bound to make some mistakes, try as you will.

It isn’t just your efforts that will play into the equation of your homeschool life. Your children, of course, have much to do with it. They come to us as gifts. And they come to us as humans. Some are naturally shy. Some have learning difficulties. Some have serious handicaps that would keep them from hitting those “ultra homeschooler” statistics even if you worked together 24/7. But the worst thing you’ll run up against in your child is the same bad thing you’re going to run up against in yourself: their sin nature.

Let’s face it, folks: Adam and Eve were homeschooled.

And so were Cain and Abel.

You take the same risk God takes every time He sends another soul to live out their lives on this earth; the risk that the choices they make would not be the same ones you would make. Only you’ve put more money on your bet than the average parent, because if your gamble appears to fail, the blame will all fall on you–at least in the eyes of some (mostly your own.) There will be no teachers, no system, no major outside pressures to accuse. Oh, sure, you could do that–since we all live in the world, there’s no true way to entirely contain your child’s life experience. But the bulk of the input has been yours, and that’s a heavy burden to bear. You’ll have to figure out which responsibilities are yours and which are theirs. If you never bothered to teach any grammar, and they don’t know any grammar, that’s your fault. If you diligently taught grammar lessons, and they flew through without paying any attention day after day after day, and they don’t know any grammar, that’s their fault. And if you diligently taught, and they diligently worked, and they still don’t get it–well, that’s another matter entirely. Only you will know the truth. If you diligently taught God’s Word, and they live in a manner that seems to throw it back at Him, that’s their fault. If you never found time to prioritize the study of God’s Word, if you didn’t live by it yourself, if they were never shown how to defend it and apply it, and they don’t live by it . . . you know where those arrows are going to land. When your child stands before God, of course, the final responsibility will be their own. But the days in between now and then stretch long and potentially dark.

Life isn’t a simple math equation. It’s not a+b=c, though when it works in my favor I wish it were! There are unknown variables in that equation, and each person’s ability to make their own decisions is a big one.

There are no formulas.

#3. You’re making it harder on them.

Bet you hadn’t thought of that one, and that it rubs you the wrong way. I know it rubs *me* the wrong way.

We want homeschooling to make things better. We want everything to be positive and for all to be sweetness and light. But I’ve learned the truth in my going-on-fourteen years of educating my children at home. And the truth is that in many ways, homeschooling makes life harder for our kids.

Here’s why. The culture is a vast stream, driven by the wants, felt needs, impulses, lusts, wishes, greed, and vanity of the people who make up our society. It flows relentlessly away from God and His Word; away from selflessness and sacrifice and humility; away from the cross.

If you homeschool your children, you will be putting them into a boat and rowing in the opposite direction of culture as a whole. You will be training them to seek different ends. You will prioritize family over peers and thinking skills over cramming for the test. You will teach them that every subject finds its beginning and center in God, and that He can’t just be dropped off at the front door like a backpack they can grab again on the way out. They won’t know what it’s like to ride the bus every morning, finally find their locker on the first day of school, to have to wear what’s currently “in” or face the consequences, to be the best in their class, or cheer for a school team. They will miss out, in other words, on the typical “life of the American teenager.”

And they won’t always appreciate that.

This is such a difficult truth, and yet one I know my friends with older children will reluctantly and sadly attest to. Their children, too, have faced loneliness as they find themselves at odds with the majority of their age-mates who have been raised “in the system.” We’ve trained our children to put God in the center of their lives. We’ve tried to encourage them to love learning. We’ve taught our boys to be kind; not to view girls as objects but as people; to avoid rough language and cursing. So even without the Latin, Portuguese and Mandarin, they’re speaking a different language than most.

We’ve trained our children to take part in The Great Conversation . . . and they can’t find anyone to talk to.

It has led to rejection, misunderstandings, and profound loneliness for them in various situations. For some, it’s even led to a desire to jump out of the boat and swim the current in a desperate (and often, all-too-successful) attempt to prove they’re “just like everyone else.” I’ve had to search my own heart many times and check my foundation–my reasons for keeping them home to learn–because that wasn’t exactly the result I was looking for.

When all is said and done, I’ve had to stand on the fact that I homeschool out of obedience, not for the results I’m expecting. Because this particular result wasn’t really even on my radar (which is probably a good thing.) When we went through a time of difficulty in this area years ago with my oldest, I cried out to the Lord about it. “Why does this have to be hard for him? Why can’t he fit in?” And He said, “Do you really want that? Do you want him to be a jerk so he can fit in?” Ummmm, no. But I don’t want him to be hurt, either. Ahhhh . . . the difference between God’s priorities and mine. I want happiness and holiness. God knows those don’t always occur at the same time, that humans tend to learn and grow through difficulty, and that our greatest need isn’t to “fit in,” but to know Him, and true seeking sometimes doesn’t begin until our hearts know their great need.


Click here to read part two, The Good News About Homeschooling!

You may also enjoy last week’s post, I Corinthians 13 for Homeschool Moms.

*if you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to keep up-to-date on new offerings as well as the release of my upcoming Back to Homeschool ebook, please subscribe using the box at the upper right corner of the page, and/or like my facebook page using the button! Thank you so much for joining me here!*


Coming June 5th, my ebook: Back to Homeschool: 23 Days to Preparing your Heart, Home and Homeschool Calendar for your best year ever!



  1. Great article Misty, thanks for sharing.

  2. Armgafamily says:

    Outstanding article and very true, thank you for sharing!

  3. alwaysalleluia says:

    *Clapping* this was awesome!! Thank you for broadcasting it ;) so glad you did!!

  4. Wonderful article! As a mom of five, I also know the ugly truth about homeschooling…he,he. It is hard, but with one in college, I treasure the memory of all of our cuddling days on the couch, reading books and doing projects together. 

  5. Thank you so much for writing this!  I’m only about 6 months into homeschooling right now and struggling to adjust… the reality has really been pressing on me and I’ve been doubting myself.  Thanks for the encouraging and truthful words.

  6. Wow. Wow. Wow! Great article! I think this is my favorite one so far. Im going to print it out and put it in the front of my binder as a reminder on those “rough days”.

  7. Hestermommy says:

    Love it. Great job, friend. :-)

  8. A great article, Misty! I think many of us think about these things but we don’t want to speak them out loud. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Somerhing I needed to be reminded of…thank you.

  10. Misty girl…that wasn’t a blog post…it was a BOOK! And a good one at that! Yay and cheers from a Virginia homeschooler with two extroverted little boys! I love that you said your family homeschools out of obedience. There are a lot of reasons we homeschool, but that one is at the top of the list…and it’s the one I quote most often when we’re asked why we do it. 

    Your “book” was so refreshing to me friend. I think in this online world we have a tendency only to post about the good. As homeschoolers, there’s a pressure for things to be working so that we can prove to the world that we are right in what we’re doing. But there are bad days, months, and years…and I think we need to talk about them too.


    • Obedience … the most important thing of all. The only thing we can really measure, you know?

      Thank you for your kind words; they mean so much to me. Bless you, friend!

      • Haileebug03 says:

        I truly wish I could homeschool my children but, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. I do however try to go to school with them every so often just to sit in on their learning. God bless all you parents, homeschoolers/ public schoolers alike :)

        • Betsygreen says:

           you are the sharpest tool in the shed for your children or God would not have given them to you. I am a 1st yr homeschooler mom of 3 and every day I am so suprised at what my 1st grader is learning. And how much I am learning. Give your self more credit. God does – I am sure of it.
            BG mom of 3

  11. Such true words!  Homeschooling is Hard!  And it’s getting harder as the kids grow up.  But there is so much depth there ~ I just can’t see giving it up to try to make my life a little easier (and moms who quit homeschooling, don’t seem to have a ton of free time like they thought they would!)  So many good reasons for my family to stick with it.  I am glad to see the hard part put out there though.  It’s not all fluffy and fun and light-hearted.  Hard work with good (most of the time, like you said ~ no guarantee) results.

  12. Kimberly Sanchez says:

    Wonderful!  This was so well written–poignant, funny and deep.  Great job drawing your readers in with personal did-bits and such (jammies and robes flying across the street).  There is so much truth here, and I’m so pleased that you have written it.  Kudos for getting this off your sticky notes, heart and mind and out there for the world to see.  

    • Kimberly, this one really did take a lot of work, you know? There were just so many thoughts in my head for so long that I really wanted to share. I’m glad you liked it, friend!

  13. Awesome!  Love the *REAL* of it!  

  14. Woohoo!  Excellent article!!! 


  15. That was really beautiful, and I thank you for sharing it with us.

  16. OutnumberedMom says:

    “…and they can’t find anyone to talk to!” Funny…and sadly true. I love that.

    Great post, full of truth and honesty!

  17. Andrea@Flourishingmother says:

    well said. I think the home schooling lifestyle is so wonderful, but I could add a few more to this list. They are things that need to be said…

  18. I don’t have any children nor was I ever homeschooled, however I have a great deal of respect for the children and families I see that do so.  There is a distinct difference in children who have this degree of impact from their parents.  Well-written article and I appreciate and applaud how you try to keep your family’s focus on Jesus Christ and row against the culture.  God bless you!

  19. You point out a very real finding from the research literature: homeschooling only magnifies what is already there. Structured homeschoolers come out on top (on average), unstructured are easily the bottom group (on average). The same is probably true for socioemotional development. As a college lecturer, the students who always have troubles fitting in are homeschooled ones.

    • Yes; much like money I suppose. And if “fitting in” were our goal, we probably wouldn’t be homeschooling! :-)

    • What “research” dictates “structured” v “unstructured” homeschoolers? I would be very interested to see such data.

      “The same is probably true for socioemotional development” ~ seriously? What does that even mean? You think it’s so, so it is.

      “Socioemotional development” is essentially the Erikson/Bingham/Styker defined “contium” of maturing from being concerned with what others think to being confident in oneself. I would argue strongly that because homeschooled children have not generally been taught to “follow the crowd” their sense of self finds greater grounding in their own personality/achievements/goals. Unlike the prevalent mentality in public school to “confer with the pack” before even making simple decisions like what to wear that day.

      I’d also be curious as to what “fitting in” you expect of the homeschoolers you are acquainted with and if, perhaps, you considered that they aren’t actually interested in “fitting in”?

      • You make wonderful points here! I think it would be quite hard to define those terms about structure. And the “socioemotional development” theory is quite subjective, and I can’t imagine anyone thinks the average high school student is “developing well,” if they spent any time at the average high school … Thank you for sharing, Guest! 

    • Sally Thomas says:

       Hm, my husband is a college professor as well, and his experience has been precisely the opposite. That’s not to say that *every* homeschooled student excels at college, but overall, often enough when he encounters kids who are engaged, articulate, curious, good students — and also campus leaders —  it turns out that they were homeschooled.

  20. Wow, too, Misty.  You’ve encapsulated my 20 years of homeschooling 6 children.  It is sobering, serious, but sanctified to obey what God had called us to do.  Thank you for your eloquence and truthfulness.  Looking forward to next week!

  21. Thank you for a very honest and realistic look at homeschooling.  My oldest will be ready to start kindergarten in the Fall.  It easy to read blogs from homeschool families and only see the good days and the fun times.  Thank you for being honest.

  22. I am very encouraged with your blog post, thank you! we are homeschooling for the past 2 years and about to start our 3rd soon. I will subscribe so I would sure not to miss your future posts! 

    By the way, I am from the Philippines! :D

  23. Thank you for the re-affirmation of my daily “job”.  It is wonderful!!  God bless you and your family Misty.

  24. I have bookmarked this on my kindle for instant access when I need some encouragement. THANKS!

  25. As a homeschooling dad of 18 years (now “retired” since my kids are grown) and a person who does “homeschooling 101″ seminars are local conventions and books fairs, I have to say that your blog was SPOT ON!   Nicely done. :-)

  26. Suzanne Eutsler says:

    I am pleased someone finally posted the truth, the big change, however, comes in our attitude to our children.  You said “you HAVE to” … we have to change our attitude to “I GET TO homeschool my children”, as in, I am blessed to have this opportunity to be constantly challenged to grow myself and thereby teach my child.  If you go into it with an “I have to” attitude, every day is a drudgery, ask me, I know!  But when you change that to “I get to”, Proverbs 22:6 becomes important to us…not making our kids into perfect examples of how awesome homeschooling is but rather how perfect and wonderful Christ is and that if we do our job as we are instructed, when they are old they will not depart from it!  Praise God and remember you CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens you!  :)

    • Thanks, Suzanne. Please check back next week and see what I share about the “good news.” It’s truly a gift to be able to serve our children this way! It’s all about Jesus. 

  27. Pderosier says:

    There was one thing missing…when you choose to homeschool, you prioritize your family over other things like making money. Other people you know work, and can afford every luxury, class and opportunity, while you struggle. You seem crazy to those people who have chosen this route, intead sending their LO’s to fine private schools and every activity under the sun. Yousee it as a dacrifice of love. Everyone else see it as wasting your potential and depriving your family.

    • Oh, dear; there are way more things missing than just one,, I’m sure! :-) Thank you. I may expand this someday, as I’m sure there are many other thoughts that could be added! And your thoughts are great. We do make sacrifices that are full of and because of love. Thank you!

  28. It is true what you say, if parents educate their children at home the parents
    are responsible for teaching them ALL “of those subjects that [they] may not have
    enjoyed the first time around.” I work in a community college and I have seen both sides to home schooling. We have students who parents are dedicated to learning and teaching their children. Academically those students do very well. We have others who try to take the assessment test and are simply not ready for the academic rigor of college. The academic success of home schooled children does depend on learning the material from parents right the first time. It is a lot of pressure but when home schooling is done well academically those students do very well in higher education.

    • Yes. I assume there are students ready and not ready from both homeschooling and public schooling backgrounds. And it does seem that colleges have recognized that well-home-educated kids do well. Thanks for commenting!

      • Jay Stang says:

         Whether or not a homeschooled student is ready for college really has to do with the individual student. My 4 siblings and I were homeschooled from the early 1980’s to 2005. 2 of my brothers and I took well to homeschooling, but my 3rd brother and sister clashed with my mom. When my mom started homeschooling me (I am the oldest), homeschooling was something weirdos did. Now it is much more accepted. I was not ready for college when I was 18.

         I spent 3 semesters in college before I left college and joined the military. Since then, college has never worked for me, and I am 35 now. My 2nd brother started college at the same time I did, but he was 16, and is a lawyer now. My 3rd brother did not go to college, but my fourth brother did, and is now an actual rocket scientist. He took to college at USC right away, and never made a B in anything. My sister, the youngest, went to college, and did well, but needed some math help from my rocket scientist brother. We were all taught the same material by the same person, my mom. Some of us were just better suited for college than others.

    • Well there’s another bonus to homeschooling then; if a child isn’t ready for the next level of education in a dayschool, it’s usually just too bad for them, as they either have to go on to the next level anyway or not continue school (or in a few states, repeat the exact same material that didn’t mesh with them the first time). With a homeschool, you can present the material in as many different ways as needed, and move on to the next level only when the child is ready.

  29. jenny piirto says:

    Great post! Thanks for empowering me!

  30. As a homeschool graduate, K-12, and now a homeschooling mom myself I can “Amen!” almost everything in the post. But when you say that “you make it harder for them” I think it should be softened with a “sometimes”. We had such a huge homeschool community (and this was in the 80’s and 90’s) that I have never once suffered for friends or struggled to fit in. When I attended a secular Community College it was an adjustment but I always felt like I had a lot to offer the non-homeschooled kids around me. Then I went to a liberal arts college and so joining in the Great Conversation is something that I not only was able to do then but I regularly do now that we are raising our own families. So, as for feeling isolated and lonely… to the contrary! I have found such a wealth of true, genuine friendship…agape…that it is the single best thing that I credit to my homeschooled upbringing. Not everyone is so blessed but I thought it was worth a mention…some of us thrived growing up in the homeschool world. And I hope to provide a similar childhood for my children now. So far so good!

  31. What a GREAT post – THANK YOU! {{hugs}}

  32. I will be sharing this post and look forward to next week’s as well!

    It is so true that when you decide to homeschool you don’t wake up as Charlotte Mason (darn!) or Sally Clarkson. I beleive homeschooling has forced me to examine my own flaws in such an up close way. This is a blessing, even though it is hard.

    This post was a gift, and judging by your comments and number of times I have seen this shared, it will be a gift for MANY!!

  33. Mnewell0293 says:

    Knuckle Bump!


  34. As a nearly college graduate who was homeschooled from day 1 till college, this helped me understand myself more. I’ve always seen myself as different, and find myself aggravated at most around me because they seem so lost morally and intellectually. Many just cruising through life apathetically without any real direction. People my age frequently find me intense and too serious – but life is both of those things.

    I’m so glad I was homeschooled. Yes I had very few friends in high-school, but I spent a lot of time developing skills and character instead of “hanging out”.

    I look forward to homeschooling someday and giving the gift my parents gave me to my children.

    • Intense and too serious … ahh, yes. I’ve heard many others say the same thing. The reality is that pop culture is not intense and serious for the most part, which is why most don’t *get* you. Love it that you plan to homeschool! Bless you and thanks so much for commenting, Rebekah!

  35. Efamilymail says:

    Love your candidness (hoping that is a word) I have been homeschooling for 11 years … only 18 years to go (at least), and needed to hear your wise words. Some days I feel alone in the world with this daunting task and it rejuvenates me to press on when I read your article. Thanks for using your gifts.

  36. Janette Wright says:

    May I stand and applaud and yell Amen…and yes!! I have now home schooled for 23 years and graduated four from high school…teaching a K right now, and this is what I want to say to every home school mom and you have said it so well….amen!!

  37. Wonderful article. Thank you

  38. Starbuck1948 says:

    I teach English courses in a community college and can say, almost without exception, the home-schooled freshmen are usually prepared head and shoulders above most of the non-home-schoolers. 

  39. Jennifer Hussung says:

    I have to admit this is my first time responding to a post.  It is pretty much out of my character to express my opinion about something in worry of maybe offending somebody or hurting their feelings. However, after reading you article I feel convicted to do so and I hope it is received in a respectable manner.
    Your article is very well written and full of compassion about your personal choice in regards to education. I respect your choice…which is mostly my point.
    I am a Christian mother, raising two amazing girls that God has blessed me with, and teaching in a public school. I thank God daily for all of these blessings.
    I have to be honest, parts of your article and often the opinion of others who chose to home school their children offend me. The offense occurs when you read comments such as: 
    “We’ve trained our children to put God in the center of their lives.
    We’ve tried to encourage them to love learning. We’ve taught our boys to
    be kind; not to view girls as objects but as people; to avoid rough
    language and cursing.”
    My question is: Is it not possible that we who chose to send our children to public school “train our children to put God first in the center of their lives”, or “try to encourage them to love learning”, or to “avoid rough language and cursing”?  My husband and I do all these things. Along with this, we pray with our children daily before they go to school, at dinner, and at bedtime. We are actively involved in our church and live a Christian lifestyle. Do all “public school” parents do this? No. However, do all “home school parents” do this? No. Do you see how that can be offensive? I don’t appreciate being categorized in a group of parents who do not take “responsibility” for their children. Sometimes when I hear and read comments like this is makes me feel that people who home school their children feel that they love their children more. Parenting is my greatest responsibility and takes priority over my profession.
    Teaching is one of my passions in life. I thank God daily for the opportunity to be the salt of the Earth in the lives of my students. Teaching is a huge responsibility and covered with stress, expectations, and accountability. We teachers too where many hats. And yes, even the hat of an absent mother who has abandoned her children or a father who is in prison. Some situations are heartbreaking, but I thank God for the gift of teaching everyday. I say all this to say…
    There are amazing teachers who have a passion for reaching lost souls. There are amazing home school parents who have been blessed with an amazing opportunity to create memories and watch their children learn and grow everyday. There are amazing “public school” children who love Jesus and are used as witnesses to their classmates every day.
    Every “choice” has the right to be appreciated and mostly respected.

    • Dear Jennifer, thank you for commenting. I think you may have made a mistake, though, that we all make quite often. My article was about homeschooling. My comments were about homeschoolers. I said, “We train them to put God in the center of their lives.” I did not say “Public schoolers do not train their children to put God in the center of their lives.” I said, “We try to encourage them to love learning;” I did not say, “Public schoolers do not encourage their children to love learning.” Please don’t take statements made about one thing and extrapolate them into statements about something else. It too often is incorrect and hurtful, as you saw with this post! I do know there are many parents out there who love their children and are directing them toward Jesus, but are not homeschooling. I pray you are blessed and know my intention was to describe my own situation, not to make statements about yours. 

      • Jennifer Hussung says:

         I apologize for any misinterpretation…just as I worried may happen. I understand you were not making comments directly about public school education; however, it is often interpreted that way when articles are written or opinions are expressed. I guess this naturally happens when you read things such as this written in your article: “And of course there are the multiple studies showing the standardized test scores being 15-35% higher on average for homeschoolers, quotes from admissions officers at
        colleges such as Boston University, Dartmouth and Stanford calling
        homeschooled students “outstanding” and praising their “intellectual
        vitality,” and research showing an extremely high percentage of
        homeschoolers who claim to embrace the belief systems of their parents
        compared to the dismal church dropout rate of those who attend public
        schools.” That is just one example expressed in your article  of how it can be misinterpreted that home school education and public school education aren’t being compared.
        Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am not looking for a debate about home school vs/ public school education. I knew there was a chance of this and that’s why I debated on responding and will most likely hesitate to do so again . I just wanted to share a different perspective. Please do not consider this part of “public backlash”….instead, just someone being transparent with their feelings and personal convictions. God Bless.

        • Verginia says:

          I read your post, Jennifer and Misty’s response, etc.  I think God is using your reflections on Misty’s post to remind us homeschoolers to watch our hearts and guard against pride and insensitivity in our zeal to keep motivated.  It is a temptation to polarize and stigmatize for all humans in any endeavor.  Reminders of that are helpful if we want to be humble, teachable and, further, acknowledge that God calls His people into different spheres.   So God is using Misty’s article to cleanse us in many ways – it is all helpful!  Thank you both.

          • We do need to watch our hearts and be humble and teachable. Yes! There is so much to learn. Thanks, Verginia!

          • americanwoman343 says:

            I love that you tell the other side of the story so that moms who are considering homeschooling have a better idea of what they’re getting into. My kids are grown now; I thought about homeschooling many times, but for many reasons didn’t. Two things I’d like to mention that I saw as downsides song my kid’s homeschooled friends when they hit college age. One of their friends had never been in a lab before he went to college – that was a pretty steep learning curve and it took him many years to finish. There just might be some experiences of high school your child really does need to train for some fields. The other thing I have seen is s couple of kids who were so frequently told that they were receiving something so much better than PS kids that they were positively obnoxious to other kids, pointing out everything they felt was wrong about other families. OBVIOUSLY this can go both ways and I’m sure HS kids receive more putdowns for being out of the mainstream, but I wonder if the homeschooling mom involved had any idea that’s what was happening.

          • Yes, those are things to consider! Many science books often used by homeschoolers definitely have lab activities, so it’s unfortunate that this student had trouble. Like so many other things, however, I’m not sure this is really a problem due to homeschooling or “not being in a lab before,” you know? It’s kindof difficult without knowing the situation to know what really happened there. And being obnoxious is definitely a problem, no matter what kind of schooling one experiences! Thanks for pointing those issues out and sharing here!

          • Jay Stang says:

             Home schoolers don’t have to necessarily not participate in activities like labs, and even sports. In Houston, there is an organization called HCYA. HCYA is an umbrella organization that provides networking, sports, proms, graduation ceremonies, and the infrastructure that you usually forgo when deciding to home school. HCYA’s sports teams compete on a state level against private and parochial schools in TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) and have been state champions in basketball quite often. The website is You can network with other parents who have skills and facilities you may not.

            My parents were not math and science people. My father had a graduate degree from Columbia in Journalism and English. My mother graduated from High School. My dad traded lessons with another parent in our neighborhood. He taught her sons English Literature, Grammar, Composition and Liberal Arts. She taught us math. She was formerly head of the math department at a local private school.

            My mom was at the grocery store one time, and happened to  meet a retired chemical engineer from Exxon Mobil who just happened to have a huge model train set AND fully equipped chemistry lab in his garage! All we had to do was mow his yard, and we received graduate level chemistry lessons from a guy with a master’s degree from Texas A&M in chemistry, and 50 years of experience in an oil refinery.

            We also got to learn a little Russian from an immigrant couple my mom met, also at the grocery store. They just wanted someone to talk to.

          • I agree Virginia. God has led us to educate our children in public, Catholic and homeschooling situations. Each decision was an opportunity to learn for me as well as my children. Finding ways to share that did not imply any pride on my part was difficult because of my ability to word things….not because of my opinion. I experienced much of the bad side of homeschooling and some wonderful parts of public schooling. In fact I was led to teaching.
            So thank you Jennifer and Misty for expanding the article into a full discussion.

            (One caveat on the statistics: All public school students must take standarized tests. Homeschoolers can often choose other assessments. Even my special ed boys with IQ’s of 80 must take the same tests as my honors students. That one statistic is skewed.)

        • Hi, Jennifer! Oh, please don’t hesitate to share again! I love it that you put your thoughts out there and questioned me; I do want to have that happen here and I believe most of us who write online feel that way! Your question gave me a chance to clarify what I was trying to say. So now I’ll get to do so again–in the first part of this response, you’re exactly right; I *am* making those comparisons with those statistics. And I honestly don’t believe statistics should be minimized when we’re having a discussion about differences, you know? Yes, home schooling and public schooling are being compared at points in this article. In some ways our culture has adopted this “make whatever choice you wish and it’s fine!” mentality. I think we have to be a little more logical and look at facts; they should be part of our equations, at least. That’s why I quoted those facts at the beginning of the article.

          I am so sorry my post offended you; that truly wasn’t my point. I’m actually surprised I’m not hearing more from offended homeschoolers, as we were the ones I was pointing at! Since you’re not interested in a debate on public vs. home education, I’ll back out of this one now. :-)

          Praying the Lord continues to make your way clear, and that you have a wonderful weekend! 

        • I actually find that I, as a homeschooling mom, have much in common with my public school parent counterparts.  We both hold the primary effort for the moral teaching of our kids.  (Please don’t read this as a criticism of christian schooled kids – I was one of those kids!  I loved my Christian school experience… I am just saying that I find A LOT Of common ground with public school parents.) If there is some wrong thing being taught, we both counter it with truth, if there is some wrong being done, we both stand alongside our children and point them to God’s word as the guide for all things.  In a Christian school, you have teachers and staff on that team… but public school and homeschool parents don’t always have a team of support.  As a homeschooling mom, I also work hard to let my children know that they may at some point BE in the public school (I don’t know what the future may hold) so we carefully remind them that God is with them, wherever they are and that ultimately HE controls the kind of education they have, how it all shakes out, and who their teachers are.  There are downsides to all types of education (you read the homeschool down sides above) and I think being open eyed about each of those (Christian schools, private secular schools, homeschool, public school… whatever) is best.  There is no perfect formula for education for everyone.  Thankfully we have a lot of choices, and I am so grateful, for now, to be able to homeschool my children.  But that doesn’t make me better, my kids better, their education better, us more holy, us doing what is the right thing for everyone  (because I have seen home schooling parents who would do better to put their kids in school – I will admit it), or any of those things.  In all of these things, recognizing that we are being obedient in our lives and listening to the guidance of the Lord in our circumstances, whatever they are, is crucial.  And I think we should all cheer for each other, pray for each other, and love each other more… parenting and raising children is a HUGE undertaking.  Lets show more grace and patience with each other.

          • A huge undertaking … yes, yes, yes.

            I’ve often thought, too, that many parents who say they can’t homeschool because of x,y, and z would be better off addressing x, y, and z than making them the reasons they don’t homeschool … probably another post. :-)

        • Salina says:

          Hi Jennifer,

          We home schoolers do get a lot of critisisms as I am sure you probably do for your choice of public school for your children.  My point is I personally am called by God to educate my children at home the very best I can and it really doesn`t matter who opposes that choice.  It is my God given right and responsiblity before God. You must be totally sure of your decision and knowing that God is pleased by it and then you will not be moved by others.
          I love this article because it is real.  We do invest so much more and until you are in the trenches with us you are only on the outside looking in.  We are with our children from morning until night.  I wish it was as simple as you say, just pray and send them away, see them when they get home.  Boy, would I like to have a day like that sometimes.  I am sure you love them but you have no idea.  That`s why this article was written for those of us that are there.  I wish it wasn`t us and them within the church but 200 years ago there was no question….Thanks for hearing me a fellow  follower of Christ

    • Andrearoseman says:

      I don’t feel like Misty wasn’t respecting or appreciating anyone who doesn’t homeschool.  She was simply stating what she knew to be true about homeschool parents for the most part.  I think the problem from both sides is when we hear someone make a statement and automatically think it is being directed at us or that by saying the person shouldn’t say it because it might offend someone.  This article has nothing to do with public school parents who are or are not teaching their children these things.  It has everything to do with Misty’s own experiences in her homeschool.  I’ve read through so many of these responses and some make me sick.  The feelings of public school parents to so quickly point out all of the reasons why homeschool kids are going to fail because of something that they may or may not miss out on in high school is ridiculous.  The feelings of homeschool parents to condemn any and all public school parents simply because they are not homeschooling is also a problem.  As you said, Jennifer there are many public school parents that do teach their children these things.  I know that for myself I couldn’t spend the time that I have now to teach these things to my children if they were in school, away from me all day long.  It just wouldn’t happen.  Respect comes from both sides. Please don’t think I am saying you shouldn’t have responded either.  My point is many public school parents whom want respect are not willing to give that same respect to homeschoolers.  Again, not saying that you are one of those people :o)  It all boils down to this, every family has to pray and seek the Lord’s will for their own family about where their children need to be schoolwise.  After that it is no one else’s concern about how, why, or when.  Both sides are going to from time to time say things that will offend the other side.  Is this purposeful?  Maybe, but probably not. Both sides just have a different perspective and know the issues concerning their own side because they are the ones that are deep in the trenches of that particular side.  I hope this all makes sense :o)

      • Thank you, and yes, expressing what I believe to be true about homeschooling was the point. If I were writing an article to non-homeschoolers, things would be phrased much differently! And yes, we all have to stand before the Lord for our choices, and answer only to Him. 

  40. What a great post, thank you!!! I’m in the midst of my first year of homeschooling my 6 year old and am gearing up to start with my 4 year old. I so appreciated your honesty! I can’t wait to read all about the Good News next week!

  41. Wow.  This post is so true.  My parents began homeschooling when I was in third grade.  I graduated a homeschooler.  I experienced such blessing and joy from learning at home, one of the greatest blessings:  An awesome relationship with my Mom.  That probably wouldn’t have happened if I had gone to public school.  
    I also experienced the bad news side.  There were five of us, so we never lacked playmates, but we were, as a whole, lonely.  My parents couldn’t put us in a homeschool co-op, there wasn’t one.  We were extremely sheltered, but that is a good thing :)  I don’t at all regret homeschooling.  I plan to homeschool my two children. 
    The part that breaks my heart about having children, though is, that we can’t make their choices for them.  And they probably will make bad choices.  And they don’t always keep the belief system of their parents.  Of the five of us, two of us are living with a close relationship with God.  

    It’s worth it though.  So so worth it.  Now it’s my turn.  I know I can’t do it alone, though.  I will seek out a co-op, and maintain a close relationship with God.  

    I pray for all the homeschooling Moms, that God will guide us each and every day even in the little things.  

    Thanks for posting this.

    • Rachel, that is a wonderful testimony about your closeness with your mom. It’s one of the most important things on my own list when I think about the hopes for my homeschooling years. And how right you are about the choices they make! The Lord graces us with that dignity; the responsibility and capability of making our own decisions. It’s a difficult thing to watch our children find their own relationships with God in some cases. Prayer is something we all need to spend more time at!

      I think you’re wise in planning to look for some group opportunities, for yourself and your children! We all need community, and our children benefit from it.  Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here! 

  42. Heidifromnh says:

    This was an amazing and encouraging post. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

  43. Love, love, love this post! Thanks!

  44. Great stuff!!  You nailed it!! :)

  45. I laughed – especially at the PS classroom all over my house! I cried – because my teenager doesn’t have a ‘best friend’. Thank you for this very honest look at home educating. I’ve always answered the ‘WHY??” question with – I’m the one that will stand before God and give an account of my life. I don’t want to tell Him I disobeyed the call of educating my children.  I wouldn’t change it for anything… Today! lol ;-)

    • Thurmanmom says:

      I’ve been thinking about my teens not having a lot of friends. Then, I thought about Facebook and how I have “reconnected” with high school “friends”. I realize that while I spent time with these people and knew things about them, I wasn’t really all that close to any of them. In fact, if it weren’t for facebook, I would have happily lived the rest of my life without knowing another thing about them.Yes, it was nice to have people to do things with as a teen. My kids have one another, a church youth group, and a homeschool support group. I want my teens to have lifelong accountability type friends, and I am not too sure that their peers are always best suited for that job. I know they are lonely at times, but aren’t we all? Just my musings on the problem.

      • You are very right.  A few true, quality friends are way better than a multitude of friends or should I say acquaintances that don’t really have a bond of true friendship.

      • I think I’m at the point of missing out on all the ‘fun’ things in HS  – prom, homecoming, cheerleading, etc since my daughter is a sophomore. I really didn’t boo-hoo-cry over the friends issue, but because of the area (town less than 300 where all the church youth group attend PS), my kids don’t have the opportunity to break into the cliques that PS creates and there aren’t any other ‘fringe’ people to associate with in a youth group of 15.  I agree that most of my HS  and college friends aren’t close to me today, just am feeling a little down because she doesn’t have a friend that she can call and go to a movie with. 
        On the flip side, I know in my head that God will provide the friends she needs when she needs them & the choice we have made to home educate far outweighs the superficial friendships of PS.

    • I’m so glad you liked this article. I’ve laughed and cried as I lived it/wrote it, myself! Especially about the having-few-friends part. And that’s a wonderful answer to your own question! We have to do what we know to be best for our children, which is always what God is telling us to do. Bless you, Carla! 

  46. a breath of fresh air to the homeschooling mother – thanks for the great encouragement and for your painful honesty

  47. Thank you so much for this. My daughter will be turning 3 this summer and my husband and I have decided to homeschool. I will be teaching her. Its quite a jump for me, but I feel in my heart its what I’m being led to do. The amount of things that go on in public (and even private) schools today scare me and I don’t want my daughter near them. I want her to learn from someone who cares about her, and doesn’t see her as just a number. All I’ve read have been amazing things about homeschooling, but I needed this article to further cement the desire to do this for my child. I know its not going to be easy, and some days its going to really stink, but I want to do this, for her! 

    Thank you again. 

    • It’s truly a wonderful and monumental choice, Mana! I highly recommend Clay and Sally Clarkson’s Educating the Wholehearted Child for a beautiful overview of all homeschooling can be! Bless you and have a great day.

  48. Miller Mom says:

    Thank you for sharing!  I am living point #3 so this article was a very encouraging reminder to keep my eyes on God and His priorities for our family.

  49. HomeofLove4Him says:

    This is an amazing (and amazingly accurate) portrayal of “the ugly side” of homeschooling. It is, as the title implies, what your homeschooling friends don’t tell you! 

    We knew we were going to homeschool long before we knew we were going to conceive. Ha! Much of what you posted about, I learned through trial and error (emphasis on “error” because I’m not perfect… ;-) ).That said, your post is spot on and I LOVED it. Thanks for sharing! 

    *PS- what part of FL? We’re in central FL, not too far (about 20 minutes) from Disney. Saw the mention of Epcot and went “ooooh wonder if she’s near me??” :) 

    • I’m with you on the knowing I’d homeschool before I conceived front! I’d always loved teaching and just couldn’t help myself, really. I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

      Disney … one of my favorite places on earth! We’re about 3 hours north, near Jacksonville. ;-) 

      • It took me FOREVER to find this amidst the nearly 300 posts. I’m following you on Twitter also, so I think I’ll be  keeping in touch w/you there – much easier! LOL I was raised in Jacksonville and we just moved here about 7 years ago. I can pretty much guess the area you’re in, but I won’t broadcast it, haha. I also went to Flagler College for a time. :-) 

        See you on Twitter & following your blog! (PS-I just RT’d about your eBook as I myself cannot wait to read it!! :) :) )

  50. Tiffanimay says:

    awesome – thank you so much!

  51. As a homeschooler for 13 years I can say Amen to this article. Good for you for saying so. Your candid remarks do need to be said now and then. I can honestly say that in spite of all you said, as for me and my house it was worth it. Every spring was a struggle and yet we did it and every one of my children has proven they will be find. Even the ones with learning challenges. I am not one bit sorry I sacrificed those 13 years. I learned so much and my kids and I are very close. I wouldn’t trade those years for the world

  52. I was crying by the time I reached the end of this post. Good job :-) Yes, this is what we want for our kids, to not fit into this world, which can be so sad and sick a lot of times. Yes, it will make life hard for them, but life can be hard too for people whose main concern is to fit in. I guess I always knew inside that that was the primary reason why we homeschooled, but only now has somebody put it into words for me. Thank you.

    • Blessie, what a lovely name you have! Thank you very much for commenting here. Fitting in kindof stinks anyway sometimes, right? It’s a fine line we walk; I suppose the question is whom we want to fit in with. Have a great day!

  53. AWESOME article. I’ve only been homeschooling 9 years but I’ve come to many of the same conclusions and you’ve articulated it so well. Thanks!

  54. Jonathon says:

    As someone that was homeschooled from 2nd grade to highschool graduation, I love this. Homeschooling was definitely a battle. I didn’t fit in (still don’t), I’m still a little spotty on math, it did make my life harder in a lot of ways, but it was so worth it. I will be forever thankful that my mom was courageous enough to homeschool me. 

    • Jonathon, thank you for sharing. And I hope you know that you can fill in those spots whenever you want–learning can take place in *your* home now, too! :-) Just grab a good math book and get after it! Bless you and I pray the Lord blesses your mama, too!

  55. E_lichtman says:

    Your article is a life raft in an ever-turmoil-sea of teaching my son at home! It was because of his disobedience (blatant, I might add), and lack of proper education in the public school system that I made the leap into ‘homeschooling’. I NEVER thought I’d be doing this. I criticized my sister who did this with all 6 of her kids. I raised 3 (who are now adults) in the public system. God has truly given me a second chance, and I am very blessed to see the difference. He will turn out to be an obedient, respectful man of God!

  56.  I am a christian mother of 4 beautiful boys. And, I send my two oldest to school. To say, by sending them to school, I “Shunt it off to someone else?” I found this offensive. I think it’s great that homeschooling works for some. But it’s certainly not for every mom. To say someone who sends their children to school- is “shunting them off on someone else” is like saying a mom who doesn’t breastfeed doesn’t really love their baby. Or a working mom is dumping her kids off on someone else for selfish reasons. Truthfully- I don’t home school my children because I was homeschooled for 8th grade and fell SO far behind in high school that I never caught up. I was an A/B student before being homeschooled and was a struggling C/D student afterwards. I feel like my kids can have a much better education from a college educated peson who specialized in education! This does not mean by any stretch mean I’m “shunting off” my responsibilities as a mother to someone else. It means I’m doing what I feel is best for my children. AND letting them be a light to this dark world! Just my two cents. There is no right or wrong answer for things like breastfeeding, working, or homeschooling. So I really hated this narrow point of view. Christian moms should encourage one another, not belittle the hard choices we make. And the pompous attitude about homeschooled vs. school children was just dead wrong! Can’t look at adults in the eye? Are less likely to vote? Get excited when the bell rings? (I would hope mine would be excited to come home to me!!) seriously??? One last point, the percentages provied are misleading. You are comparing these homeschooled families to the rest of the world. Many families are made up of single moms (who would never be able to homeschool) for example. To make a credible comparision, you’d have to compare christian centered-2 parent households to homeschoolers in the same situation.

    • Jay Stang says:


      A working mom who works because she wants to, and not because she has to, is being selfish, and is shunting the kids off to someone else.

      The college educated people who specialize in education are producing the thousands of brain dead, sheep like simpletons that graduate from our public schools every year. The Department of Education likes them like that. People like that don’t think for themselves. If these “professionals” are so qualified to teach your kids, why do the vast majority of public school graduates not know how to read or find France on a map?

      • Wow, just wow! So, there is a perfect family mold that everyone has to fit into- (your mold) or its wrong? Gah, I feel sorry for your wife! If you have one that is. I never bashed homeschooling and I wouldn’t. I simply found aspects of this offensive, and inaccurate. Parts of it were lovely and I could relate to as a mother and ex-homeschooler. I think God gives different people, different gifts. Mine, is nurturing and loving my kids. I am by NO means a teacher. In not organized, structured, or detail oriented. If I attempted to homeschool my children- we’d be in our pjs at noon eating a bowl of cereal and making up stories, or talking about our hopes and dreams. I know myself well enough to know, I am NOT a teacher. I was not wired that way- God did not intend me to be. He did not call every man to be a doctor (like my *braindead* public school educated husband is) any more than he called every women to homeschool her children. I think it’s great, I think it takes a special lady to do it- but I would in no way disrespect a woman for not doing it- the way that you have.

        • BTW,  I think sitting in your pjs at noon eating cereal and making up stories–or better yet, your hopes and dreams–sounds like part of an awesome homeschool day. Once in awhile. :-)

    • Dear Danette, thank you for commenting.

      I did not say “Parents who send their children to school are shunting them off to someone else.” I said, “If you choose to homeschool, you cannot shunt this job off to someone else.” 

      I will leave the breastfeeding and working issues alone, as I think we’ve got enough fire for one day. 

      I’m so sorry homeschooling didn’t work well for you. However, most people would agree that one difficult year should not have meant you couldn’t catch up; in fact, shouldn’t the public school have made sure you did catch up? Children often have years in school where the teacher is less than stellar, and they have to work harder later. Usually what happens, though, is as in your case–nothing is ever done about it. I’m sorry that happened. 

      The statistics on whether a child learns better from someone with a college education don’t actually hold that to be true.  And also, I know several single moms who do homeschool.

      We each make our own choices and will have to stand before God for them, and not one another. Thank goodness. Blessings to you today.

      • Danette says:

        Your opening paragraph was what sent me into a tail spin. I still don’t see how you  could mean anything less than what you said- that you couldn’t shrug her kids off on someone else (as if that’s what I have the “luxury” of doing). I am intrigued by hs. (which is why I read this article posted on a friends facebook page to begin with) But confident, in this season of my life, it is simply not my calling. Not to say it never will be- but not now. And this article, comments on the blog, and comments from facebook  have let me see this brutal battle that I didn’t even know existed. And it shouldn’t exist. Moms, (working, stay at home, homeschool, public school, private school ect. Should encourage one another in every walk of life. Let’s face it, being a mom is hard enough without all the arrogance and judgments out there. We are hard enough on ourselves for everyday things- so this blog (in my opinion the author was priding herself on not shunning her children off on someone else) really, really hurt me. And the comments to follow did as well. Homeschooling can be successful. But so can public school. I didn’t say anything negative about hs. My sister, who I love and respect dearly, is planning to hs her 3 children and I think it’s fantastic. I wish I was a more organized, schedule oriented person- then I might give it a try. But I am a prime example of a laid back- doesn’t like schedules, procrastinator who lacks details and academics. My strengths are in nurturing my children. Not teaching them. I would 100% suck at hs. And I think it’s awesome and respectable that you can do it,  and that it works so well for you! I wish more people had a mutual respect for hard decisions parents make, even of they aren’t the same as their own.

        I also, understand that as homeschoolers, you are used to being on the attack. I was not attacking you- simply challanging your opening paragraph because I found it hurtful, so i’m going to look past your condesending reply. I don’t know why you felt I was judging you- and i hope by saying “We each make our own choices and will have to stand before God for them, and not one another. Thank goodness.” you aren’t implying that mother’s that don’t choose to hs their children are somehow dishonoring God. That’s certainly how I took it- condsidering I wan’t judging you for homeshooling.

        And I would hope and pray that a mother who loves the idea of hs (Like I do) but simply knows herself well enough to know that she is not blessed in academics or orgainaztion- (Like my own mother who simply wasnt good at it- hence why it put me very behind) wouldnt feel pressured into doing something that she was not called to do. And that she can be ok with that and not beat herself up over it. It’s not for everyone. And in my opinion, that’s ok.

    • In His Grip says:

      To Danette:

      I am a single mom of 5 who has homeschooled for the past 18 years.  15 of those years have been on my own.  I continued to homeschool because of a strong conviction from the Lord that these children belonged to Him and were given to me as my responsibility (and His).  I also know I can do no-thing apart from Him.  When we were first faced with being on our own, the future of our family looked very dark.  I couldn’t see what was in front of us.  Christ is light and truth.  I had to seek His heart and mind to know what to do without knowing how it would be able to happen.  I had to, literally, walk by blind faith in obedience to him.  Often we, as sinful, self-driven humans, see obedience as something to dread, but as He shows you the truth in what He personally has called you to do (because He loves you and you know it in his “voice”) then you are drawn in to Him to obey Him… you want to obey Him… you can do no other.  I love Him because He is all powerful and  and wise.  I also know many other single moms whose situations are varied.  We do this because we have been called to do this just like missionaries have been called.  It is the same.

      Honestly, homeschooling has changed so much over thes last 20+ years… some good, some not so good… unfortunately the homeschooling culture has changed just like the worlds culture and the “American church’s” culture has changed.  As far as statistics go, there are many things that could vary.  Being unbalanced in their infomation is probably not one of them.  There are many different types of families who homeschool.  Some are strong Christians, some are not believers.  Some are poor with few resources, some are well off and have many resources.  Some have parents who are well educated and some do not.   Homeschooling has become huge and more common.  Just go to a homeschool conference to see the crowds, the miriad of curriculum choices and the large number of speakers.  Because of this the different backgrounds of families are growing too.

      To Misty:

      Thank you for your article.  It reminded me, in my last years of homeschooling, to remember “why” we are doing this.  As the Lord keeps reminding me, “Do not be weary in doing good, for in due time you shall reap if you faint not.”
      I appreciate your honesty about your children struggling with loneliness.  Mine have struggled, too, wanting to have like-minded friends.  Some have waited on the Lord and some have compromised in following the world’s ways.   We have recently and finally found a solid church.  It just happens to have quite a few young “like-minded” friends for my “young adults” to fellowship with.  It has been 11+ years of my children struggling to find like-minded friends.  We have to drive 30 minutes to get there, but it is worth the drive.   What mine are seeing over the years and in this situation is that God is faithful… even when we are faithless.   I’m counting on that… because we are weak.

      God Bless!

  57. E_lichtman says:

    What you wrote should be published and handed out to every ‘new’ mom prior to leaving the hospital with her newborn! It could possibly change the lives of many. I’ve found all of what you wrote to be true, and then some. I’m a grandmother raising my 12 year old grandson. He is an in-heritance from one of my adult children. Considering we adopted him and he’s our own, we’ve always treated him as such. I’ve got to say, the hardest thing by far was making the committment (not decision) to homeschool him. I might add that there’s no going back. Once we made that leap, it changed everything.
     I raised all 3 of my adult kids in the public education system, and had several IEP’s, heartache after heartache of disappointment along the way.
    I know all of the parents out there who have made the same choice as you and I, don’t and most likely will never have regrets. How can we? We’re exhorted in the Bible to ‘train our children in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart from it.’  It finally clicked in me, and instead of criticizing homeschool parents, I am one – Hallelujah – God has an incredible way of changing us!

    • What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing here, and may you be blessed as you work with your dear grand/son! God is faithful. I’m so glad He helps us when we do hard things.

  58. yeah, ok… i’m getting a bit tired of blogs with titles like, ‘the bad news about homeschooling’ or ‘why homeschooling isn’t for everyone’ and then turn out to be just another bragfest about homeschooling.

    homeschooling really isn’t for everyone.  and i’m not talking about the parent end.  my son has learning delays and disabilities.  he needs speech help, occupational help… you get the point.  

    anyway.  this rant probably won’t make it so… yeah.

    • I understand the homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but disabilities don’t mean that a child can’t be homeschooled.  I have friends that homeschool whose children have gone to public school for speech.  There are a lot of resources out there to help children that need additional help.  It’s just harder to find them if you homeschool.  Sometimes the children that need extra services benefit the most from being at home and getting the lower teacher/child ratio.  That being said I agree that homeschooling is not for everyone.  I even have friends that homeschool most of their children, but send one to school because it is what is best for that individual child.

      • guest again says:

        ok, i’ve read what you replied and i just want to clarify a couple things.  i am not anti-homeschooling at all.  and homeschooling was seriously considered but immediately ruled out.  my son’s special needs are not the only reason.   presently i am barely treading water to be a mediocre mother… the stresses in my life are many and failing at one more thing in my life would probably put me over the edge right now.  so there’s that.

        the comment about bragfest… perhaps a bit unfair.  there seems to be this contradiction to me when i read homeschool blogs.  there is this “any one can do it, i’m not superwoman, i fail too so trust me if i can do it anyone can do it” message in all of them.  and that is encouragement to homeschooling moms who are overwhelmed and need to know they aren’t alone.  and i get that.  then there is the “it’s very hard and it isn’t for everyone” message… so i ask, which is it?  are you not special because anyone can do it or are you extra special because it is hard and you do it anyway?  can the answer be “both”?  probably.  fine.

        often these blogs are then followed by a series of “oh, girlfriend, you are a great homeschoolin’ momma and i wish i did it half as great as you!  you rock!  you make it look easy!  i don’t know how you do it, you are my hero!” and, hey… we all need friends like that.  they are awesome and they should say that.  so i wonder… is that the desired response and the whole reason for the blog?  oversimplified, i know.  it would be against social graces to say, “i’m better than other people because i homeschool my kids” so why not just write about how hard it is and let the reader come to that conclusion herself.

        i have a lot of homeschooling friends (my bestie for one) and i have not been harassed or bombarded w/ “you should be doing this” for which i’m truly thankful.  but they do post a link to a lot of these homeschool blogs on facebook and i read them and i see the same thing over and over.    and i spoke up.   i’m sorry.  

        please forgive me for my rudeness.   i’m not accusing the author here of any ulterior motive… but it isn’t anything i have read before.    

        • Guest, I want you to know I’m praying for you today! I know what it’s like to feel like you’re barely treading water. Here’s the thing about mothering: you only fail when you quit trying. 

          I actually liked your conclusion about whether it’s special or not. Ha! People who write this way are just being honest. Most who write do that because … well, we’re writers, and we need to write. It’s kindof like having children–no way could anything we get out of it overcome the difficulties involved, really– I’ve never known anyone to write *or* have children because they thought they’d get lots of accolades (not more than once, anyway!) 

          I think the truth is that you’re hurting. Hurting stinks. And it makes us imply that others are saying or doing things … which may or may not be accurate. No one writes to make themselves look great and you feel bad, okay? We just write. ;-) 

          Anyway, just praying for you today … 

        • Another mom says:

          I am praying for you too.  (and hugging you at heart)
          You really nailed it.  I teach my children at home.  I know a lot of moms who do and that is what our conversations are like.  Most my friends work so hard at it and are really good at it.  Then there is me, who looks at them (the moms) all the time and thinks, “should I be doing this, am I messing up my kids’ education.”  If I truly didn’t feel called by God to teach my own children, they’d be on the next bus.  It’s by His Grace that my children aren’t messed up in spite of me.  We are not special, HE IS.  I feel like I”m barely treading water to be a mediocre mom.  Every night I think, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” Every morning I get up and teach my children in a very unorganized and irregular way. (I have no specific curriculum and haven’t had for 6 years.)  And yet all who know and meet my children say I must be doing something right because my kids are okay.  And I once again I say,”It is the grace of God.” 

        • momof5 says:

          I home schooled my 5 kids of for a total of 21 years.  In the early years, I was adamant that homeschooling was the best option and everyone should do it.  Then as I became seasoned, I realized I homeschooled out of what I felt God was asking me to do, but I  didn’t like it.  I loved my kids and loved some aspects of it, but as a whole, I did not enjoy my experience.  However, just like in any “job”, sometimes we do our best because we are supposed to, not because it is fun.  I was a parent who thought homeschooling was hard and stretching, but loved teaching my kids what was important to me about God’s word and prayer.  I also used a co-op situation and the local community college as they got into jr high and high school to pad the places where I was weak.  By the time I finished with the last student (who is now a junior at a huge university), I realized that the Kingdom of God is not made up of carbon copies.  We are called to different arenas with different skills and talents, different responsibilites.  I am thankful parents are educating their children in public schools, private schools, co-0ps and home schools.  What a rich tapestry is being woven.  One of my daughters is now a specialist who works with children and adults with learning difficulties and one is a preschool teacher in a private school.  I dont think any plan to homeschool and I’m okay with that.  I dont’ regret my decision, but I also know it was mine and my husbands alone. 

    •  Really? I thought this article was almost trying to scare people away from homeschooling. It certainly was not a “bragfest” about homeschooling. People who are going to homeschool need to be aware of all the aspects involved. And with a child with learning disabilities, there is no way you could homeschool your child without outside help. Does that mean homeschooling him is impossible? No – it just means you have to get the speech help and occupational help besides schooling. A child in a public school will need that help just as much as, if not more than, a homeschooled one, because in the public school environment, he is likely to be left behind. Yes, you could put him in special education, but it IS possible for him to reach his full potential while being homeschooled. My older sister has a son with many of the same issues (he had to have occupational therapy for a long time). She homeschools him, and he is every bit as capable of learning as any other child. The great thing about homeschooling is that you, as the parent, are the best possible teacher because you can tailor it to each specific child’s needs, and the child won’t feel pressured to fit in or be as fast or as bright as others, if he or she has a disability. She also didn’t say that homeschooling was for everyone. In fact, that was her point – if you can’t handle what she talks about in this article, you can’t handle homeschooling. So it may be better not to try it.

    • Jay Stang says:

      If your child does have special needs, you can homeschool him and still avail yourself of the public school system’s resources. You pay property taxes, right? You are paying for those services to exist already.

    • Wow. I really haven’t seen any other blogs like that, personally.

      One of my children has learning issues, also. We’ve sought out help. 

      And your rant did make it. Thanks for your thoughts! 

  59. While there are elements of homeschooling I can find appealing, as a non-Christian I find the emphasis on childhood indoctrination rather appalling. At some point in life one must decide whether they choose their guiding principle in life to be based on reason, or emotion. There always needs to be a balance, but perfect balance is impossible for most people. Embracing religion, and centering one’s life on it, largely embraces passion over reason, and in many cases throws rational thought and critical thinking out the window. Cloistering your children in such a way that they are predominantly influenced by your views, on science, religion, history, etc. makes them so ill-equipped to participate in “The great Conversation” that they’ll be unlikely to be able to participate in it at all. That, at least, is my experience with nearly all religiously home-schooled people I’ve encountered.

    • Sounds like there are some CS Lewis books you might enjoy. 

      It always makes me giggle when people say they don’t think children should be indoctrinated. Everyone believes something; your religion just happens to be humanism, and you think it’s fine that the state “indoctrinates” children in that, right? You may want to google “famous homeschoolers” and see who pops up … Alexander Graham Bell, Agatha Christie, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Leonardo DaVinci, Claude Monet … no trouble with the Great Conversation there. :-)

  60. I admit, this home school mom bristled through the first couple of paragraphs. That is until I realized that you *are* also a home school mom, and were serving up a much needed kick-in-the-pants kind of reminder I, for one, really needed! Thank you for your obedience in sharing this  message!

  61. Sounds terrible. Wait till you discover the alternative!

    And “God’s Word”, is Jesus, not the Bible. John 1:1. Please honor His name enough not to use His name for a book.

  62. Kate Matthews says:

    Absolutely fabulously honest and refreshing!  I wish I could have said it.  The Character development you’re striving for in your children is no picnic, for them or for you. The pain and sacrifice you choose is heavy…but worth it.  Truly loved this article! Kate

  63. new homeschool mom says:

    There are lots of good reasons why people homeschool there children. I honestly think homeschooling is a great thing. At least the kids that are taught at home are shown how to think outside the box and know there is nothing wrong for being themselves. 

  64. Paula Testa says:

    WOW, a friend of mine posted this on her FB page this morning, stating it’s a must read.  Well, this couldn’t have come at a better time for me.  Just as I’m doubting my ability to continue home schooling my 2 older boys.  As my 12 year old is failing / not getting the homeschool science class that I’ve paid for all year long.  I have a very driven 13 1/2 year old & a not so driven 12 year old.  Thank you for writing this!  I needed this today.  I am encouraged & will move forward.  I don’t want my kids to what the other kids are in the schools.  I want them to be warriors of Christ.

  65. AMEN!!!

  66. Wow! Awesome! Thank you~

  67. TERI WEST says:

    BRAVO!  From one who has experienced all of that!

  68. This is SO GOOD. You piled a whole lot of truth into one little post. And some of it hurts. Thanks for keepin’ it real!
    Sharing on Facebook! :)

  69. Wow.  I agree with this — especially as my children are older and going off into the real world.

  70. Kasey Campos says:

    What a great article.  A lot of what you said are the thoughts in my head and worries and concerns. My baby is still a long way off from school age, but I still think about it.  I just don’t think I could do it.  I am not a teacher I am not good at that type of thing.  I think I might oppt for privet school.  I consider that to be an in between option for us.  I hope it is the right option.

    A wonderful article!  Thanks for writing it.

  71. Judygilchrist says:

    Thanks for the “down side” of homeschooling.  It is good that all of the downs can be overcome.
    I teach special education  preschool children in a very poor school.  The thought of leaving them at home with the parents (mostly single mothers) that they have is not pleasant.  Many are uneducated themselves, or they or on drugs or at best, their lives are in complete disarray.  Any mother or father who finds themselves in a position to be able to stay at home and school their children is very fortunate indeed. 

    • Hi, Judy. I appreciate your comment. You obviously see some very interesting situations. I, too, worked at a preschool for some time both before and after I was a mom. The ultimate solution in those situations you mentioned, of course, would be not to just send the children away, but to help the parents with their issues. I do find it less than truthful to say “any mother or father who finds themselves in a position to be able to stay at home and school their children is very fortunate indeed.” First of all, no adult is really just “found in a position,” you know what I mean? Except in extreme, rare circumstances, we make our own positions and they can be changed! :-) Many people make sacrifices to be able to stay home and school their children; it’s not just a matter of having been “fortunate.” Not wanting to criticize, just pointing out some things I think aren’t entirely accurate! Thanks for commenting. It’s always good to get another viewpoint.

      • Rodchar says:

        Yes people do “make” their own situations. We create our own issues and problems. But I am pretty sure that a single mother will not ever have an opportunity to stay home and homeschool, even if she did go to college and get an education. Those single mothers have to Provide for their children, they MUST work. Until they are not single moms that is their only choice. I had an opportunity to stay home and homeschool my kids and did for 5 years and financially yes it was a sacrifice. Most families have to have two incomes. That is reality! For instance a police officer father who makes 30 to 40 thousand a year with 3 kids is going to have a hard time on one income, if you have no debt, no mortgage and no car payment, it might be possible. Please do not judge others situations when you have not walked in their shoes.

        • Really, you need to be careful what you say to others. :-) My husband and I homeschooled, *with* a mortgage and debt, and numerous children, on less than $40,000 for many years. We didn’t take vacations or go out to eat, buy new clothes or cars or much of anything, for a long time. It wasn’t the end of the world. And I do know single moms who homeschool. We need to pray for one another and know the Lord is good and will provide for whatever He asks of us! Bless you!

          •  Misty!  Good response!  My friend, who is a single mom homeschools by hiring a relative to teach them.  She did this so that way the kids could really learn their faith, as their dad was constantly undermining it.  The kids have really blossomed with the homeschooling – intellectually and academically.  You are right about the loneliness, though.  As homeschooling moms, we need to work extra hard to try to find and create social opportunities for our children.  In our own homeschooling community, I often find that the other kids are involved in so many activities that it is hard for us to get together.  I see the *other side* to what you described – moms who concentrate so much on the academics and activities that their children have very little availability to socialize and have fun with my children.  While it saddens me, there is nothing that I can do about it, so we try to just create social events for homeschoolers and attend every homeschool function planned by others.
                  Also, I was glad that you touched on the fact that it is not all roses, and that we are responsible for our failures. I never thought that I would have kids who struggle with reading, and for a long time I felt like a failure because of it.  I finally realized that my kids would have this problem even if they were in traditional school.  Traditional school or homeschool – it does not change whether a child has a learning disability or anger management issues.  We just have to face it in different ways – head on, rather than through difficult parent-teacher conferences.  Either way, these are issues that will have to be faced by the parents.  I finally realized that with homeschooling, I have the advantage to work on the learning disability because I DO have the sole control.  I don’t have to feel powerless, standing by and watching my child struggle and feel less than his peers because his peers are reading novels while he is reading a Dr. Seuss book.  Neither do I have to feel that I caused this or did not do enough to prevent this.  I can revel in the fact that I can still impart knowledge to my son by reading TO him and letting him listen to audiobooks that are at his level intellectually.  My son can sit on my lap and learn all he needs to know receptively even if he currently lacks the decoding skills typically acquired at his age level.  We can have conversations about books and really use books to learn.  I can have my son practice his decoding skills by reading board books to the baby, and not feel so inadequate because he is not sent to a special class.  Because it is all individualized, we can work at a slower pace, and my son does not have to feel as badly about not learning at a rapid pace.  I recently discovered that a great and famous leader of reading & writing workshops,  Pudwah, had a son who did not learn to read until he was 16.  Because of the son’s reading disability, Pudwah read classical literature to his son and provided numerous audiobook experiences.  When his son finally did learn to read, he was able to ease right into classical literature because of the amazing depth and breadth of his receptive language skills.  He already possessed the grammar and receptive vocabulary needed to comprehend advanced texts.  Once he mastered the decoding aspect, he was able to be successful at his age level.  This is what I hope for my son.  I hope to fill in the gaps so that when decoding IS mastered, he will quickly become successful in reading higher-level books.  Meanwhile, though it sounds alright, I still am plagued by occasional doubts.  I have to remain confident, however, that even the very best reading teacher would be doing the same things that I am doing:  reading with my child every day – both reading to him and having him read to me; doing both a phonics approach and a whole language approach.  I know all of the strategies; it is just a matter of achieving a breakthrough, of which I already see signs of.

        • It is hard; but it is also joyful; to be able to homeschool my son, as a single mother, who works from home; with huge school debt (sigh – wish I’d known about debt-free living before I started college!). I have 3 college degrees, and Montessori training at primary level (ages 3-6) and elementary (6-12). The fortunate thing is that I always wanted to be a teacher or do something in the educational field; as well as other creative interests that allow for flexibility. 

          I run a weekly co-op that helps pay for our Montessori materials and provides the group interaction; volunteer at our church’s religious ed program (a Montessori-based program) so that my son attends for free; and my son’s godfather helps pay for his tae-kwon-do classes. Otherwise, we do everything on a shoestring – and lots of mystery shopping for museum trips and the like. 

          I run two businesses from my home; I am not supermom, it is hard but not impossible; and it is WORTH it to be with my son. 

  72. Lemmcass says:

    As a former elementary school teacher, I have gone back and forth on the decision of whether or not to homeschool my children.  There are definitely many benefits to homeschooling, and many downsides, as well.  I have had the experience of working with many students in my classroom who have entered public schools after having been homeschooled.  The greatest factor in any student’s success, whether they have been homeschooled or been in the public schools, is whether they have family support at home.  In the comparison of scores, I would love to do a study to compare public school students who come from supportive families to homeschooled children.  In most situations, families who homeschool make the decision because they care deeply about education, and religion, and are very dedicated to teaching their children.  I wish that was the case in all families.  I still haven’t made the decision for our family, but I have come to the conclusion that all that really matters is if I am involved in their lives educationally and spiritually.  
    In our religion, we believe in teaching a child correct principles and training them up in the way that they should go, and to let them make their own choices.  We believe in living in the world, but not of the world.  While growing up, I went to public schools.  My family prayed and read scriptures daily.  Our dinner conversations were gospel related.  We were very heavily involved in church and community.  This is what we are trying to do with our children now.  I found friends that had the same values that I had.  I hope to teach my children to stand out, and to be an example to those around them, and to share the love that they know.  They can be missionaries at any point in their life!  I cannot shelter them from the world.  At some point, they will have to enter the world and be exposed to what is out there, but I can prepare them to deal with temptations that may arise.  That can be done whether they are taught at public school or at home.

    • Melinda says:

      I used to teach public school for 4 years and 1 year in a Christian school.  I now homeschool… not because I ever wanted to, but because I felt God calling us to.  Some days, I wish He wasn’t!  BUT on the other hand, the fruit is amazing!  I am NOT the best homeschooler.  I actually stink at it in a lot of ways.  Honestly… teaching  in a classroom setting (I taught 1st grade & 5th grade) was MUCH easier!  (Right now I have a 5th grader, 3rd grader, & 1st grader.)  It is easier to be distracted at home by 1000 different things.  You don’t have the possibility of the principal walking in to help you stay on task.  You don’t have parents ready to sue you (or to help you do the 9000 things you need help doing).  When I taught school, my students thought I hung the moon.  Unfortunately, my current students (my kids) know I have faults.  ;0)  However, that is really a good thing… they see that I am NOT perfect.  They see me fail… then they see me ask forgiveness and move forward.  

      I am not writing this to discourage you from homeschooling… nor am I writing this to encourage you to homeschool.  I have swung back and forth like a pendulum in this area.  Once upon a time, I said I would NEVER homeschool and only weird people homeschool (now I just say I am one of the weird people).  And I have swung over to the other side that says EVERYONE should homeschool and not to is just making a poor choice for your children.  NOW I think it is a decision between your family and God!  I think both can be done to bring Glory to God.  It seems to me MUCH easier to train your children if you have access to them all day.  If they go to school, your schedule is dictated by the school, and you have less time to instill the values… but then again, it might make you more intentional with the less time you have.  May the Lord guide your husband and you as you make this choice for your kids.  I truly believe homeschooling is an amazing gift you can give your children… but it isn’t something you just give them… it is a lot of work… but all of parenting is!


      I REALLY appreciated this article.  The beginning was encouraging… the rest was convicting and encouraging!  Our lives have been chaos the last 2 years as we have been preparing to move overseas to serve Him full-time and adjusting to living overseas (learning to live in a third world country, learning a new language, dealing with our own cultural shock & that of our 5 kids ages 10 & younger… and just finding out another is on the way!)!  All that to say, my first grader (remember… my specialty) is not blooming the way that I know she can.  She is struggling with reading… struggling with doing school.  She learns differently, but she is able to do it all.  I cannot blame anyone but myself.  I know God’s grace is enough, and He will supply all our needs.  I can blame our circumstances… but really, as you say… the buck stops here.  Just this past week I have been accessing what I’ve done and what I need to do to turn this situation around.  I have 2 younger ones (well 3) that will be ready for more structured school soon!  Thank you for writing something that will encourage me to keep on keeping on!  

      Blessings!  Melinda  =0)

      • Your points are so great, Melinda. I really believe what you said is true; it would be much easier to go to a classroom and deal with 20 2nd graders than it is to have 9th, 7th, 4th, and 2nd graders at home. There are all kinds of other things needing to be done that beckon me! Anyway, I appreciate your comment and your honesty. May God bless you as you endeavor to get back on track with your precious one, and also I am praying for all the provision you need for your mission! 

    • Family support at home–YES! So important. Wouldn’t it be fun to do these statistics ourselves, so we knew exactly what was being compared?
      It sounds like you had a great experience at home. I don’t really agree with the statement about kids being missionaries at any point in their life, however. :-) Honestly, I don’t think most ADULTS are doing a good job being missionaries at their jobs (wouldn’t our society be in better shape if they were?) And yet we think 8, 11, 15 year olds should be able to do that? Yes, the light of Jesus will shine through them regardless of where they are. But should they be shouldering that responsibility? Is that a principle we see in the Word? I am not sure it is. So, there’s always room for discussion!

      • Lemmcass says:

        I absolutely believe that they can be missionaries.  Missionary work does not mean that you have to preach a sermon to a friend.  You can absolutely be a missionary by being a friend, being honest, helping others, and being CHRISTLIKE.  Any act that might bring the light of Christ into someone else’s life is missionary work.  I wish I could share the countless opportunities I had while going through school in which I talked to friends not of the same religion about our beliefs.  I had some absolutely amazing experiences and I am so grateful for those.  If we are truly living our religion, our lives will mirror our beliefs, and our lives will be a living testimony of what we believe.  Others will naturally be curious, and if interested, will ask questions.  My parents had neighbors who became interested in our religion and were eventually baptized because of how we treated each other as a family.  That included all members of our family, from three on up.  

      • I agree. Only 4% of the Generation X (those with kids now) have a biblical worldview. What about their kids? As you said, if the adults are not reaching their generation, how can we expect unequipped, immature children to combat these forces? I also read of a university study of college age students who were tested to see if they would go against their “peers” to answer a question that was obviously wrong (who was the first president of the U.S. – Abe Lincoln) in order to give the correct answer. Only 10% of college students would give the right answer regardless.  Is this the test you want to put before your young, impressionable child before he/she has been given a strong biblical foundation? I know some parents who can do this because they run an extremely faith filled home. But most of us, if we are honest, spend our evenings eating dinner, watching culturally biases TV and not utilizing those hours to build that foundation. So what do these kids have to stand on?

    • Brandy says:

      A few of your phrases lead me to believe that we belong to the same faith.

      It is also our job to shelter them as long as possible. We can be mothers who know who teach them to have strong testimonies, that we be even stronger before they are confronted with the ways of the world.

      Half of our ward at church homeschools, and every year, another family decides to homeschool as well.

      It all comes down to personal revelation. If you pray about it and know that your children should be at home, or go to school (and it may not be the same for every child in your family), then that is your answer, no matter what anyone else says.

      • Lemmcass says:

        I agree with you that we can shelter them as long as possible, and if we end up in an environment which requires that, I would absolutely homeschool.  In the city that we live in now, I would be terrified to send my children to school, and would not hesitate in the least to homeschool.  I hope to find an area in which they can be surrounded by friends who can be a support to them.  In the school that I taught at, I would feel very comfortable sending them.  It is a very personal decision that is different for everyone, and it breaks my heart as I think about what my children are going to have to face in this world, whether as children, or as adults.  I know that Heavenly Father must feel the same way as he sends each child into the world, but he does so in order to give them experiences that help them learn and grow.  I told my husband that if I could, I would go with my son on his mission when he is older, but unfortunately that isn’t a possibility.  :)

    • Lemmcass says:

      I have to apologize.  As I read back through, I realized that it could come across that I was saying that being homeschooled was living a sheltered environment.  I did not mean it to come across that way.  I applaud homeschool families who get out into the community and involve their children in a variety of experiences, which is one of the definite perks of homeschooling.  I am inspired by your dedication to your families!  I was simply trying to say that oftentimes the home and family influence is incredibly strong and can overcome other influences.  God bless you in all of your efforts!  You’ve given me a renewed desire to put in even more effort as I strive to teach my young ones!

  73. I appreciate your thoughts on an important topic.  Godspeed in your endeavors!

  74. The only real problem I have with homeschooling, which I sort of grudgingly support, is that homeschooling creates an atmosphere in which the biases of the parent can trump the facts of the world. You are right when you say that mothers have to LEARN math in order to teach it — and they must learn science also.

    There is a sweeping fundamentalist disease in both homeschooling and academia. A disease that can be best described as “my belief is just as good as your knowledge.” Or, perhaps better, “My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” I’m speaking, of course, about evolution. Evolution is a fact and to deny children the wonder and beauty of this 14 billion year old story, simply because it isn’t scripturally convenient, is a criminally ignorant act. 

    If homeschooling parents raise a generation of children that are ignorant of the facts of evolution, out of a misplaced sense of duty to Old Testament inerrancy, they are failing to prepare their children appropriately for college – certainly in the fields of Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology and many dependent fields of medicine that have an evolutionary basis. 

    Mothers must approach the information they pass to their children as stewards of the prevailing and consensus opinion of the scientific community, not what is comfortable or religiously harmonious.

    • Ricmama1 says:

      Evolution is a theory. Even many staunch evolutionists call it “The theory of evolution”.

      My three sons have been given both sides of this debate. But, you seem to assume that never happens in HSing. I assure you, we HSers are far more willing to expose both sides of an issue to our students than our public school counterparts.

      By the way, scientific facts don’t become facts because of a concensus. Calling something a scientific fact based on a concensus of opinions is not scientific, no matter how comfortable it makes the evolution camp.

      • Allikat685 says:

         The definition of theory in science is much different than the definition to people who don’t understand science.  Here let me educate you;  in science, the definition of a theory is: a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: for example, the theory of gravity, or Einstein’s theory of relativity.  It is not a guess or conjecture.  The Theory of Evolution is so well supported in science that it is considered a fact and will remain one.  Creationism, by a scientific definition, doesn’t even rate being called a hypothesis.  If you are giving equal weight to both ideas, you are doing a very large scientific disservice to your children, but that doesn’t surprise me for homeschoolers.  And Troy is right, consensus in science of the evidence does lead to something being known as a fact.  And yes, that makes us very comfortable, because we understand science, unlike you.

        • Willowp41 says:

           Can you, 100 % disprove God created the heaven’s and the earth? Let me educate you. Read His word and H will tell you exactly what He created. Just because you refuse to believe it doesn’t mean He is a liar.

        • Brandy says:

          It used to be a “fact” that the world was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth.

          Even recently we have changed our “facts” to DECIDE that we have one less planet than most of us were taught as children–in the publeic schools, no less :)

          I attended a very large religious university (current number of students is over 32,000). The majority of the buildings are for science classes–and this is a university that does not offfer pre-Med. The scientific learning that goes on there is incredible, attracting students from all over the world. Since it’s a religious university, ALL of the classes (science, too :)) begin with prayer.

          Science and religion are not opposites of one another. Science is a part of our homeschool, and I find that wonderful–epecially as our public schools (I live in the 6th largest school district in the U.S. that encompasses 3 cities) have decided that they no longer have the funds to teach science, or history, either, for that matter.

          My children get to study in a small classroom setting–not in a room of 36 students, which is the norm here.

          Everything denotes there is a God, from the many amazing creatures on the earth, to the miracle of birth, to the bilions of stars in the sky, to the sun itself. It’s okay if you’re uncomfortable with that idea. One day, after you’re dead, you’ll find that you still have a spirit, and that there is indeed a God, and you’ll be surprised at how God is also the God of science.

        • Mark Finkbeiner says:


          I have been a student of science for about 25 years and have taught science and have been a special speaker on the creation evolution subject for many years and the more I study science the more it is only obvious that evolution is a lie and a false religion that only masquerades as science  to justify immorality.

          If evolution is so well supported in science as you say then why do you evolutionists never give one proof of evolution.

          The 1st law of thermodynamics gives very good evidence of creation.  Another error that you made “consensus in science of the evidence does lead to something being known as a fact.”  Tells us then why is it that science textbooks have to be updated all the time and that all and I mean everyone so called ape-man has been disproved.  I could go on and on.

          The correct definition of science is that it has to be repeatable, falsifiable and observable.  The religion of  evolution fails to meet that definition.

          I never did have enough faith to believe that we came from monkeys.  I know that Nebraska Man turned out ob be a pig that made monkeys out of evolutionists.  Piltdown man was a fraud Neanderthal Man was just a big man with rickets etc.

          Also I never did believe in the literal interpretation of Darwinism.  charlei married his own cusine and and most all of his children has medical issues.   That is a man I would want to follow, not!

          The fruits of evolution is Naziism, communism, satanism socialism, homosexuality adultery, fornication period.

          I will let you have the last word since faith is your driving force.

        • Without the seemingly degrading comments on this one, I do have to agree. In scientific terms, the scientific word “theory” is what a lay-person would call “law”.  In the scientific realm, “law” provides certain formulae – and then sometimes only for an aspect of a “theory”. 

          So it comes down to the two sides not being able to have an intelligent productive conversation because we use the same words but with different definitions, or designations. 

          Gravity: there are aspects that are theory and aspects that are law, thus we hear both terms in relation to gravity. 

    • Willowp41 says:

       Can you absolutely prove evolution is a fact? Didn’t think so. Therefore, your belief is simply your belief.

    • In response to the quote “homeschooling creates an atmosphere in which the biases of the parent can trump the facts of the world.”
      Only focusing on this, I have but one thing to say.  Wouldn’t the biases of any teacher in a public school also trump the facts of said world as well? What makes that a better option?

      • Very true.

      • I completely agree. Not only does the biases of the teacher, but the agenda of the government as well.  Did you know that we in America do not always learn the same things as public schools in other countries around the world? Does this mean that the “facts” are different around the world? No. Our country’s school system revolves around eradicating the Christian doctrine and pushing a more socialized mindset amongs the people.  This is researchable. There is NO schooling that is not generated by one particular bias. So as a parent, wouldn’t you WANT to lean toward your own? Also, evolution is a THEORY that takes as much faith to fill in the gaps as does creation.

    • First, let me just say THANK YOU SOOOOO muich for sort-of grudgingly supporting homeschooling…. as if we needed any support at all from you. Let me be the VERY first to say, that your entire entry here was NOT supportive, so lets not pretend it was meant to be in your opening statement, shall we?
      There is most definitely a time and a place for a discussion on Creation vs Evolution. Under this blog post, unfortunately, is NOT the time or place. This is a direct JAB at religion, and a HUGE controversial issue that is better left some place else.This is a perfect example of direct attack, which is NOT what this blog writer was doing and I for one appreciated the post.  I obviously do NOT appreciate the attack on homeschooling… but most of all, the attack on religion. If this blog post was offensive to anybody out there, specifically YOU, they should have just left the page. Click that little “x” at the top right side of the screen and do away with it. And then magically, you don’t have to be subjected to read it again, ever.  See! Won’t that be easier?! Have a blessed day.
      And oh, by the way, YES. We would have to learn MATH in order to teach it. And SCIENCE, too. You stated that the issue you have with homeschooling is “homeschooling creates an atmosphere in which the biases of the parent can trump the facts of the world.”  Um, Yep. That’s the ONLY thing you said here that we can actually read and accept for FACT, and mostly the reason we homeschool to begin with! When the biases of the parent comes down handed to the parent from God himself through the scriptures and His SON Jesus Christ, then YES. We create that atmosphere in our homes to educate our children the way we were called to do.

    • Salina says:

      where are you getting your ” facts ”  evolution has never been proven with facts.

    • Hi Troy- Don’t assume that all homeschool mothers are uneducated. I went to law school and my husband is a public school teacher. We will teach our kids the theory of evolution and also what the Bible says. They will able to make up their own minds based on all the information. I don’t think you can say the same for a public school education where teachers are not allowed to even say the word “Bible.”

  75. This is an excellent post.  Thank you for sharing.  I’ve been homeschooling for 3 years now & we love it & know it’s what God wants us to do, but it sure is a whole lot of hard work as well.  But Praise God when He calls, He equipts!


  76. Sugarnutmom says:

    My youngest is graduating for our homeschool next year.  All I have to say is….thanks for the mutual memories.  :-)

  77. Tina Gilbert says:

    Bravo. I hope every home schooler reads this. I am in year 14 also and I remember the perfect and wonderful portrait painted for home schooling. Then grade 4 and beyond came along and all those few hour school days vanished and it became work — hard work.
    I appreciate the truth about loneliness. We have struggled with 2 of 5 children in this department. It has been difficult when our family “isn’t enough.” I applaud your courage to put that in print.
     NICELY done!

  78. I love this article.  I like that it points out that homeschooling is hard.  I have been doing it for 16 years.  I have a variety of children and learning styles in my home.  What I did for my oldest does not work for any of my others.  What I did for my second doesn’t work for my 3rd or 4th.  I am constantly changing, tweaking, and researching.  I have days that go great and I have days that don’t.  I struggle with my own sin nature and I struggle with my kids’ sin natures.  I have watched my oldest not fit in on many occasions.  My youngest 2 are adopted and have a whole different set of issues due to poor parenting and neglect for many years.  We have used outside classes, outside sports, outside counseling, boy scouts, and much prayer to get through our school years.  Some years are better than others, but every year has had its own “life issues” that weave through our school year.  However, at the end of the day, my children are learning.  My children are relatively well behaved.  My children like us as parents.  My children have abiding faith.  I am blessed. 

    Could this have happened in public school?  Absolutely.  For a different family.  God took our family on a winding path to choose homeschooling.  I am a special education teacher by degree… and wrote my senior research paper on why you should NOT homeschool your children.  Ten years later, when my first was about to start preschool, God had changed my mind through a variety of circumstances.  I grudgingly did “kindergarten only” — fully intending to send my child to first grade the following year.  Then I decided I kind of liked homeschooling and would try first grade.  And here we are in high school—- with my youngest in kindergarten.  Along the way, I have had many times that I have contemplated sending my children to school, wondering if this was the time.  However, God has always clearly pointed us back to homeschooling.  Just when I thought I couldn’t do it for another day, He provided a way— the financial help needed, the outside activity, the outside person to help, etc.  So, we too, homeschool out of obedience.  God put us on this path because whatever His plans are for our children, He thinks they need to be homeschooled.  I have certainly had my moments of debate with Him on this subject, but in the end, I trust Him. 

    Don’t get me wrong.  I love homeschooling, and I am glad we do it.  I have had time with my children that few parents get.  I have had fun learning along side my children.  I enjoy getting to start all over again with my younger two— most days!  But yes, it is hard.  Any homeschooler that tells you it is easy is not being truthful. Any homeschooler that doesn’t admit that at some time, that yellow bus looked really appealing, is not being truthful.  As my oldest approaches 16, I like who he is becoming.  I am proud of him.  Yes, I worked hard, but he has worked harder.  My 13 year old is amazing in different ways.  My younger two delight me.  I am hopeful that when this journey is all over, I will be able to see the fruit of all my labor.  But if I can’t, I will be able to say, “I did my best.  I ran the race God wanted me to run.” 

    • Read and reread to edit what I wrote… but still made a mistake… have been homeschooling 11 years.  Have the 16th birthday looming in my brain at the moment!

  79. Praysingmylord says:

    Thank you for your honesty! And in the end: It is soooooo worth it all!!!

  80. I really enjoyed reading your post. I love homeschooling even though it is tons of work sometimes…. I have had a lot of worries along the way, as well as some let downs, but over all I feel it can be great for children and families. Everyone needs to make the decision based on their family and circumstances though.  

  81. Awesome Article!! You hit the nail on the head in many ways… As a mother who has homeschooled for 3 years now, and who is really questioning myself and my reasons for homeschooling…I needed to read this!  Thank you!

  82. Misty, so what I needed today! I’ll be keeping up with this blog if you don’t mind. Grateful to Malia Russell for sharing. Hope your day is blessed

  83. Lindy McKay says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!  I needed that blog so much.  I know the statistics.  I know why I homeschool, but sometimes I get so burnt out and wonder if I’m actually accomplishing anything.  To hear someone put all my thoughts out there so perfectly makes me feel like I’m not alone. 

    Yes I know homeschool is not easy, but it’s worth it overall.

  84. heather says:

    We are going to start homeschooling our twin boys this fall. After reading the “bad news” blog I will admit that I am a little nervous about the change to come. The single reason (how ever the public school system here in KY has encouraged me greatly) to homeschool my kids is because for the past year I have not been able to get away from the idea. It has hit me in everything I have seen and read and I sense God is pulling me this way. I have support from my dad and my mother in law, so no one else is on board with this idea. The one statement that stood out to me in this blog is your reason fro homeshooling …”doing it out of obedience to the Lord and not for what you expect to happen”….spoke volumes to me. It is exactly what I have told my husband about our negative nellies. These are my kids and I will have to stand before the Almighty and give an account for my obedience. So my reasoning stops there! Thanks for the insight into your homeschooling life!

  85. Michelle says:

    Thank you Missy for putting it into words – we LOVED hsing, but there were days (why doesn’t someone start a camp for hsers in February – it is the longest month of the year) and times when my kids jumped from the rowboat and swam with the dangerous ones (when I was MAD (at God) — I followed the formula, why weren’t my kids?)  and your note about the Great Conversation…and being lonely.  Yep!    My college and grad school age kids do have a fabulous education behind them, and they do savor the adventures we had, but – it wasn’t always easy, that’s for sure.  Thank you for putting it into words – I think a bit more honest support
    of each other as we face our various triumphs and challenges is in

  86. Dear guest who was offended, is interested in homeschooling, but feels like her life isn’t at the place right now to do it: I feel ya. I obviously don’t what your personal struggles are, but I do know that emotional struggles are just as real as financial burdens. Just like some parents simply can’t afford to send their kids to private schools (and that doesn’t make them less of a parent), some parents are simply not in an emotional state to homeschool theirs. That is something I think needs to be taken into consideration before making this decision. My oldest is now  4 and I’ve struggled her whole life with the added responsibility of being a wife and a SAHM. I’ve been overwhelmed and unproductive and not my best self all around.  I’ve been interested in homeschooling for a while now, but I know there are things I need to get under control before I attempt that–basic things like getting dinner on the table without getting fast food, providing clean clothes for my children, and keeping the house clean. I’m finally starting to figure it out a little at a time. (There are great resources at I purchased their Mind Organization for Moms program and I’m excited to get started.) That said, I have a homeschooling friend who has actually gotten annoyed that everyone thinks she’s a super mom for doing it. She wants people to know you don’t have to be perfect to homeschool, anyone can do it. I understand her point: if you keep waiting for things to be perfect before you do something, that thing will never happen. You just have to be committed and jump in. However, taking on a child’s education is a serious task and shouldn’t be approached lightly IMO. You don’t have to be supermom, but you do have to be in a position to give it your best and if you can’t at this time in your life for one reason or another, then public or private school may be best for your child. We can’t get ahead of ourselves.

  87. First-time visitor says:

    Thank you for writing this!  I am a single, working, homeschooling mom (and homeschool graduate).  I am going to print this off because I know, one day soon, I will *need* to read it again.

  88. Kompromisedkitchen says:

    this was very sweet. I am wrapping up high school for my third daughter. I couldn’t agree more. I look out at the masses of young mommies who ask me if they can “do it” and try to encourage them (if you could call it that), that it WILL be hard every day, EVERYONE will judge them, Their kids might still act like public school kids and the May look ugly when throe husbands come home. But if they take a deep breath and trust their Savior they may just have the time of their life while teaching their kids how to get through school, go to college, and graduate life. press on. Have a great day! 

  89. Home school parents seem cocky! Example-Rickmama1

  90. Rachelwells0813 says:

    The Bible says to “Train up a child in the direction you want them to go.” Well that’s interesting. It doesn’t say anything about “Send your kids away so some complete stranger can train them up in the way THEY want them to go.” I’m 22 years old and graduating from college in two weeks. The longer I was in the school system here, the more grateful I was that my parents homeschooled me. I was homeschooled K-12 and attended public school for one class through Jr. High and Sr. High. I was glad to have the experience in public school but I am also glad it was a short one. I was exposed to a lot of stuff that I am positive I should not have been exposed to at a young age including, but not limited to: pre-marital sex, under age drinking, smoking, and physical fighting. Not to mention the amount of disrespect that happens is contagious. I found myself mouthing off to my parents a lot more and my respect for them going down on days I had class.
    Homeschooling is A LOT of work. My mom homeschooled me and my three siblings. Now that I’m married and living in a separate state, I call my mom all the time. She is one of my best friends because I grew up with her. I didn’t grow up with a 3:30pm-10pm mom. She was with me all the time and my family is so much closer than my friends that went to public school.
    It is all about how you take on homeschooling. My parents made sure we were involved in a lot of activities. I figure skated for 12 years and met a lot of people through that. Socializing your kids is still important.
    My husband and I fully intend to homeschool our children. (He was also homeschooled.) It is going to be a lot of work and we know that, but what a blessing it will be to watch our kids graduate from college and know that we invested ourselves in them. We didn’t stop parenting/teaching after they leraned to walk. We taught them everything else we could as well.

  91. This was a GREAT blog post. Thank you. 

  92. Dgctma says:

    WOW, just what I needed to hear. Thank you!

  93. Nancita says:

    How beautiful. Lucky you and all those who succeeded with children who have grown up and been able to go into the world and survive.  There is all those advantages to home schooling, for sure. 
     My huge, huge question is this….not everyone gets this opportunity…not CHOOSE…gets.
    I am a retired teacher of the public school system and a born again christian.
    I’ve seen many a children that were going under for the last time, and glad to finally reach and touch my finger tips to be saved from whatever nightmare they were in.
    Most of the children in public schools have not had this advantage, so before we create an ugly monster out of public schools and all of us who taught and gave our entire lives up to teach in the trenches….maybe we should thank Lord Jesus for the opportunity He opened for you,  PRAISE JESUS for the children reaching for survival in public schools, PRAISE LORD GOD for the PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER who survived an entire life in the public schools because, ‘THANK GOD SOMEONE WAS THERE LOVING, CARING AND HELPING THOSE CHILDREN WHO DIDN’T HAVE A CHANCE TO EVER BE HOME SCHOOLED.’

    • Chris O says:

      I think the main point of this blog post was to say that there are some real difficult challenges to homeschooling.    Sometimes, in the homeschooling world, the difficulties are glossed over, and people aren’t getting a full, honest picture of what it is like.

      All of us who homeschool are glad that there are committed, Christian teachers in the public school, who are willing to go the extra mile for their students.   Our decision to homeschool is not a criticism of those who give of themselves to teach other people’s kids.  God bless you for all you have done in Jesus’ name.

      I, for one, am thankful for the opportunity to homeschool my kids.  It is the most difficult and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.  There have been sacrifices and struggles, but I wouldn’t trade this job for anything in the world.

  94. Chris O says:

    I really loved this blog post!  I’ve been homeschooling my twin 13-year-old sons for many years, and some days start really rough.   This morning, we were already arguing before we even started our school time.   My start-the-day prayer went something like “Dear Lord.  Right now, I don’t like my kids, and they don’t like me.  But, You’ve called us to homeschool.  So HELP”!….Actually, there were a few more words, but that was the gist of it.    

    Yep….following the Lord’s will isn’t always easy, but it is rewarding, and He gives His grace to see us through.   I’ve jokingly said, “The good thing about homeschooling is spending more time with your kids, and the bad thing about homeschooling is spending time with your kids”.   I especially liked your comment that if you don’t think you could homeschool because your kids won’t listen to you, then you better bring them home and work on that.  Sometimes, I feel tempted to send mine to school, when they won’t listen, but I know that sending them to school would only make their listening skills and other behaviors worse.

    Thanks for such a great, honest and uplifting article.

    • Chris O says:

      I just read some of the other comments below….and realize that some might assume that I think sending kids to school will make my children have behavior problems……not what I meant.   I’m just agreeing, that sending them to school will not solve any problems, but would only be avoiding them.  

  95. Jdjshop says:

    Excellent article! Thanks for putting it in words.

  96. Karie Petrovich says:

    Some of these comments really just drive me nuts.  I LOVE this post and really appreciate it.  No where in the post did I read HSing is the way to go for everyone.  I have a problem with people who take a comment for one thing as a comment against all other things.  The generalization that because you HS you think everyone should and that those who don’t are wrong just bugs me.  This happens in so many things these days.  If you have an opinion strongly for something people just assume you think everyone should have the same opinion and they get all offended and start telling you how terribly wrong you are to have that opinion.  Is this not doing exactly what they are accusing you of doing?  Not sure that this little rant makes sense to anyone but me but it has been driving me crazy reading different comments and I had to get it out! Sorry for the rant and thank you for the post.  I am looking forward to the post on the Good things too.

  97. Love it!

  98. Thank you. You articulated what is in my heart. It was also an encouragementodos me to work harder at my God given profession.

  99. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, that I had stopped reading at your article because it was the encouragement I needed today.  When people ask me about homeschool, I say, “It’s the hardest, most wonderful thing I’ve ever done.”  It’s true.  It’s hard.  It’s wonderful.  It’s frustrating.  It’s exhilirating.  It’s exhausting.  I love the grace you are showing to your commenters.  I wish their passions were tempered with a bit more grace.  Blessings.

  100. I loved this article. It rang so true to my world. I too homeschool out of of obedience. I have graduated two sons and will have a senior and a kindergartner next year. My soon-to-be senior has struggled the most with our decision to homeschool. Many times she has almost convinced me that she is missing out because she is not in ‘school’. I tend to push away the thought that homeschooling is hard on them, although most of her friends begged me to homeschool them!. She is now maturing into one of the most beautiful people, inside and out, that I know. One of my fears as a homeschooling mom, is that they will grow up and blame me for taking something away from them that can never be recaptured. But I’m getting over that. finally. maybe. 

    • I think it’s important to embrace the truth, you know? To acknowledge our children’s difficulty with the way we do things, and sympathize with them yet know what the Lord has called us to as a family. It’s very important to pray and ask Him exactly how He wants us to handle situations like that. Bless you!

  101. Yeah! I’m doin’ it! I’m up for the challenge!  ….Oh, I guess I already DID. ;) But, if I were still home educating our four children, this would truly be a shot in the arm. After 19 years at the dining room table, we graduated the last of our four children in 2010. My experience was your experience. And, I have to say, you are absolutely spot on. God bless you, Misty. Keep on keeping on. 

  102. Bridget says:

    I’ve homeschooled our oldest 2 for 7 years now, the older middle child for 4, and the younger middle for 2.  When I started out, my husband was working second shift so he was able to help corral the younger ones while I concentrated on the older ones.  Then a couple years ago, he got moved to first shift.  We adapted well and enjoyed having him home in the evenings, but things were getting a little more hectic for me since our time with him was shorter so I was stuck to him like glue and didn’t get much accomplished.  Then he lost his job completely and we enjoyed having him home all the time, which allowed us to go back to the me homeschooling/him occupying the younger kids routine.  Then we got an unexpected blessing by finding out that he qualified for a special program that allowed him to go to college and it would be completely paid for.  It was definately an answer to prayer and we treated it like the decision to get married…either we do it or we don’t, but there’s no quitting after we get started.  It’s been a rough year for me…homeschooling 4 kids while occupying the two younger kids and juggling 3 therapists’ appointments weekly for the youngest one and working to pay for his gas money to get to school.  It’s the beginning of May and we’ve only done 12 weeks of school and live in one of the most restrictive homeschooling states so we’re not going to pass this year’s evaluation.  It’s been a difficult decision that I’ve wrestled with since September, but we’ve finally decided that putting the older 4 in school is the only option we have.  I still don’t like the idea, but reading what you wrote made me feel like someone else completely felt my frustrations and that I wasn’t alone.  And while I’ll miss the kids during the day, I’m hoping that their apathy towards school work will change and that if nothing else, they’ll have a renewed commitment to doing their best at home when we bring them back after my husband graduates and gets a new job somewhere else…a fresh start all around.  So thank you for your honesty and making me feel like I’m doing the best thing for all of us by taking a break so we can get back to the fun we used to have.

    • Bridget, I’m praying the Lord shows you exactly what needs to happen here! Sometimes the Lord will give you creative ideas on what can be done to catch things up. And I do believe He will work in whatever situation you’re in. Bless you, dear! And have some fun!

  103. Mary Jack says:

    God bless you!

  104. Rodchar says:

    I homeschooled my kids for 5 years and prayed and we decided it was time to let them go to a brick and mortar school. God made it quite obvious to me that he would keep and protect them there. And that He would use them to change lives and hearts in their school. It is a personal decision BUT either way is perfectly good when God is in it. Sure there are things I don’t like about public school but my high school son STILL respects girls, watches his language, stands up for Christ in a hostile environment, and has countless opportunities to pray for those that don’t know Jesus Christ! All while making A’s and B’s, marching in the band, playing guitar for jazz band and enjoying other friends in a public school!

  105. Misty, I bet you weren’t quite expecting some of these responses!  In times like these, it is healthy to remember that God knows what is in your heart, you never have to justify anything or explain what you meant to Him!!  Praise Him.

    Thank you for this article!  

  106. GretchenR says:

    Thank you so much for this article!  I will be sharing it.  I’m sorry for the drama in the comments.  As a writer, I often write with a particular audience in mind, as I’m sure you do.  When someone who is not the intended audience reads it, it is often misinterpreted.  We as homeschooling moms walk a strange line where some people hold us up as the perfect parents we aren’t and we try to explain we’re not, and another set of people think we’re not qualified, we’re indoctrinating and damaging our children’s education.  If we defend how qualified we are, people think we’re bragging.  If we say we’re not qualified, people say then we should leave it to the experts. 

    I love your focus on obedience.  We homeschool out of obedience, because it certainly wasn’t my idea.  I remember giving a passionate speech in college titled “Why Christians should never homeschool” and spoke about how we needed to raise our kids in the world.  My mom was a single mom, and she and my grandpa laid hands on us kids and sent us out to public schools as missionaries.  My siblings and I learned a lot in public school, and we were blessed to see handfuls of people accept Christ as their Savior.  I have no doubt God calls other families to other kinds of schooling.  With several teachers in my family, I shudder to think of what would happen if all Christian families had a mass exodus from public schools.

    God has a special plan for each family, though, doesn’t he?  It’s easy to say, “But couldn’t I do what that family is doing?”  and God says no.  Not because what another family does is wrong, but because it’s not a part of his plan for your family, and therefore wrong for you.

    I’ve accidentally offended several families every single time I talk about our homeschooling life.  I don’t know how that’s possible because I have such a high regard for other types of schooling.  I think that mothers in general this day in age of statistics and “studies say” feel attacked for every decision they make, myself included, which is sad.  I think you’re an amazing writer.  


  107. Amy Umar says:

    Amazing and encouragibg article knowing I’m not alone.  Thank you for your honesty.

  108. lori@allyouhavetogive says:

    9 years into this life changing, life giving journey, you so eloquently and transparently portrayed the REALITY of homeschooling for those of us who have seen it as a calling…an often inconvenient, exhausting calling…one in which the rewards are so far reaching and often not seen for years down the road. I am not a perfect person, why would anyone assume I would be a perfect homeschooler. I am qualified only because HE qualifies. It is at times a lonely road as we value what the culture often does not. It is a lonely road because we are raising disciples, and THAT has never been an easy road. I read this more than than once and found myself wanting to stand on the chair I’m seated on and shout, “AMEN SISTER,” not because it was a portrayal of a “perfect life” but because it is the transparency of the real homeschool life and what it will cost those who step out of the boat. We’ve made choices out of obedience that make us different and are making our children different, Lord help us. I too desire happiness and holiness along with love, and this journey is all part of His plan, of that I am certain and not much else. Thank you for sharing the “truth.” peace on the continued journey…

    • “An often inconvenient, exhausting calling. YES! And yet the Lord calls, and we answer, and love, and learn to be more like him day after day. I pray my transparency here helps many. Thank you for your encouragement!

  109. Excellent post.  Thank you!  Holly

  110. Nicole Anderson says:

    This is a wonderful post. As a homeschooling mom, I know that every single one of these things are true, and yet it only made me smile! You did a great job of capturing the realities of homeschooling along with mixing it with the heart and purpose of a homeschooling parent. Thanks so much for this post!

  111. Good stuff!

  112. Thank you! I only started homeschooling my son in January and we have had far more trying days than I expected.  I needed someone to acknowledge this journey is difficult and not just a perfect ending.  Thank you!

  113. You described my life! This is my first year for homeschool and your article hit it on the spot!

  114. After reading some of the comments following this post, I would just like to say thank you for pointing out some of the benefits and reasons parents choose to homeschool. If I didn’t believe my kids would enjoy a better education I wouldn’t make the personal sacrifices to homeschool.
    Homeschooling is much harder than I thought it would be. Being mother and teacher takes more patience and prayer than I ever dreamed. I find encouragement in sucess stories and statistics… and right now I will take encouragement where I can find it. Thank you.

  115. Tom vertiz says:

    Hopefully someone is still checking this, I see the last post was a year ago. Can someone please help me understand how you homeschool out of “obedience”. My ex wants to home school our son because he has been having some behavior issues in school. She has never mentioned the religious aspect of homeschool to me, but I recently herd that her pastor is encouraging this path. I am not against homeschooling or even the religion portion of it, mainly I do not think she is capable of completing the task of homeschooling and do not want to risk my sons future. Any help would be appreciated


    • Hi, Tom. I haven’t been around for a few weeks; sorry! You know, everyone home schools for different reasons. I believe God has directed our family to homeschool, so that’s what I meant by homeschooling out of obedience. A question for you; was your wife educated in the public school? If so, why would she not know enough to teach your child? :-) Please know that according to most every study that has ever been done (I actually don’t know any to the contrary) children who are homeschooled out-perform their public schooled peers on almost every front, regardless of the parent’s income level or even their education level. A loving parent, obviously the most interested in the development and education of that particular child, with a wealth of curriculum choices available, or even just a library card! is perfectly capable of educating a child. Adjustments? Oh yes, those will always be necessary. Growing pains? Yes, those too. The attention a child can receive at home, together with the individualization that can be done for that child’s needs/weaknesses/strengths, make homeschooling a wonderful option. I hope you will look into it more, and also encourage you to check out some of the articles mentioned in this article. All the best to your family!

  116. why its so long??

  117. Concerned Citizen says:

    Dear Misty,
    I truly enjoyed your article and was surprisingly pleased to finally here that someone else understands the importance of “homeschooling” and incorporating “God’s word” into the lesson. Our son has never been homeschooled, but has and still is attending a private Christian school that incorporates the necessary academics with the the “Word” of God in which he receives at home as well. To get to my point, three years ago a co-worker informed me that she would be homeschooling her two girls only since her son was graduating from High School at that time. I was happy to put her in touch with two dynamic homeschool Christain moms whoes kids competed in a youth program that my husband and I are affiliated with (NAACP/ACTSO). There kids are very smart, articulate, active, musical and well-mannered. I expressed to my co-worker that these moms are “true homeschooler moms” and takes the responsibility of homeschooling very seriously as you can see through the results of their kids. Well, three years later, my co-worker never stopped working and has had three more additional children (1-girl, and twins-boy/girl) and now pregnant again. The problem is these kids are not really being “homeschooled” and are being used as babysitters and maids from the coversations I hear between my her and her kids who are home during the day…alone. Granted, her son is 21 who didn’t make a full year in college is home, but the 15 year old and the 11 year are not getting the education needed to compete in this world, not to mention function as well productive citizens. This has been tugging on my heart for years, but if I say something I’ll be looked at as being a trouble-maker. Between her kids from other relationship (3-kids), her current husband (3-kids) and the three they just had plus the one on the way, they will have ten (10) kids. However, his three girls from the previous relationship are in public school.

  118. Misty,
    This is the second time I have read this blog. The third point struck so strong 2 years ago that I spent 20min looking to read it again now. I was homeschooled k-12, and am a college graduate, and own my own business. I spoke a different language in college. I speak a different language than practically all my peers. Most of which come to me for advice. It is a great thing but it did make life much harder in many areas, but it’s for the better.

    I never realized why I was so different until I read this. This gave me more insight to myself. Thank You!


  1. […] The Good News About Homeschooling May 3, 2012 By Misty STOP! Don’t read on unless you’ve already read Part One: The Bad News About Homeschooling. […]

  2. […] The Bad News About Homeschooling and The Good News About Homeschooling-  Encouraging Beautiful Motherhood Both of these posts from Misty are realistic and encouraging. […]

  3. […] is because of the internet and how it has helped home schooling families. Another major reason why home schooling is becoming more popular now is because of the reports which claim that home schooled kids perform […]

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