What I love about homeschooling: edition 1

by Edie Wadsworth on December 4, 2009

1. Going on field trips with 2 of the most well-behaved and fun-loving girls I know. (The Kingsport Ballet performs the Nutcracker—great performance)

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2. The spontaneous holding of hands that still occurs, even at ages 7 and 9.
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3. Teaching the girls how to absolutely enjoy an afternoon in an antique store. (it helps when they serve Oreos)
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4. Hearing them say, “Mom, you’re gonna love these aprons!”

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5. Listening as the oldest tells the youngest, “Daddy would love these birds.”

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6. Deciding together that you most certainly must have the vintage ’12 Days of Christmas’ cookie cutters……

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……..and the vintage bread box and canister set—and then commence to have a heated discussion about whether the canister set will house varieties of chalk and markers or varieties of flour and cereals.
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7. Making the decision that photographs will do just fine when we find things we love but can’t buy.
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8. Going to the local Christmas parade
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and counting our blessings

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that we have been given a special gift—-
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of spending long days together with the ones we love—-
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and wishing it could stay this way……forever.

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Thanks to Grandma Evadne for the beautiful knitted caps that still fit perfectly!

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kendra December 4, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I loved your post. My sister and I were both home-schooled and still, as adults, have a very close friendship. I promise you will never regret it. May you be blessed.

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2 Trina December 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Sniff… Made me a bit weepy. We're homeschoolers too and posts like this are encouragement for the tougher days. Thank you!

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3 Michelle December 4, 2009 at 2:13 pm

This is one of the sweetest post I've read in a long time, thank you for sharing.

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4 The DG Family December 4, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Very sweet post, you are blessed with the opportunity to stay home with your children and share these wonderful moments with them.

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5 Karin Katherine December 4, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Thanks for the beautiful reminder of why we REALLY homeschool.

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6 Kalleigh Hathaway December 4, 2009 at 2:35 pm

I believe my son can receive a better education in a traditional, public school than I could provide at home with only a bachelor's degree in liberal arts, and yet I still do those things with them. He loves both antique stores and cultural events. I hope you weren't meaning to imply that those things are only possible if you choose to homeschool, and that those of us who choose a different route are somehow parents who care less about spending time with their children.

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7 Hair Bows & Guitar Picks December 4, 2009 at 2:46 pm

I love you post and so wish we could afford for me to homeschool our kids.

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8 Rachel December 4, 2009 at 3:06 pm

love the green birdhouse. looks like a fun day!

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9 Christine December 4, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Amen to that!! What a gorgeous post. We are first year homeschoolers (daughters age 5 & 1). I am loving it so very much. One of the most precious things has been watching my girls enjoy each other during the day. It warms my heart to see your daughters holding hands. I pray that on this journey of ours that our girls would develop an intimate bond with each other, our family, and the Lord. God bless you :)

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10 Amy Kinser December 4, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I, also, love homeschooling my children. We have three; two girls and one boy. My children are seventeen, fourteen, and seven and they all still enjoy going on big trips or little trips together and with mom and dad. We love that they enjoy spending time with us and don't feel the need or desire to be off "running around".

God bless you and your family and thanks for sharing.

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11 Michael December 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm

your post almost brought me to tears. i have 2 special needs boys that i WISH i could homeschool, but who are NOT the most well-behaved (plus, two more preschoolers.) all our outings are painful and exhausting. even with just the older two boys–going to performances or shops? unthinkable. i need god's grace to be content, because i envy you. be grateful! it sounds wonderful.

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12 Michael December 4, 2009 at 4:10 pm

P.S. I, myself was homeschooled and I share all those same memories with my Mom–trips downtown to see Operas and lunchtime dates! It was fantastic.

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13 Rose December 4, 2009 at 4:47 pm

What a wonderful post. These are truly moments to treasure.

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14 Maman Tattoo December 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm

That post is something I'm looking forward to create with my kids!
I think the 6th commenter is a little too sensitive. Edie absolutely said nothing that could make think of what you said.

My girl is only 18months old so learning to read won't be soon. But the learning to talk is there. How great to see the improvement a child makes everyday. I want to still see it when my kids will be older.

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15 Melissa Stover December 4, 2009 at 4:55 pm

love it all! especially holding hands.

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16 Talysa December 4, 2009 at 5:31 pm

We are on our 4th year of Homeschooling…I have a 13 year old boy…a 9 year old girl…and a 7 year old boy. They all have their own rooms…BUT…every night they want to all sleep in the same room together…they are just drawn to each other and genuinely enjoy being around one another…I know they will treasure those "talks in the dark" at bedtime and snickering till mom yells to go to sleep…forever. And I KNOW for a FACT that I owe it all to the fact that we homeschool! We didn't always…and I can remember the car rides home from school where everyone was grumpy, tired, hateful, and had not the time of day for each other. Homeschooling changed our lives…our family.

Now excuse me while I go and repent for coveting your antique canister…*head hung in shame*

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17 Teresa December 4, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Precious Moments…that will be with your girls forever!
XXOOXX

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18 Ruth December 4, 2009 at 7:11 pm

What a sweet post. Wonderful sweet moments spent together. They are the best part of homeschooling.

I love the hats. What great treasures you found at the antique store.

Ruth

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19 Carol December 4, 2009 at 7:57 pm

I am a new home schooling mom to our three boys this year and I must say that this is truly a calling from God-I am so grateful for the opportunity to do so. For those who are curious, research shows home-educated children outscoring public school counterparts regardles of the education level attained by their parents. I don't write this to make others feel bad, but merely as an encouragement to those who do not feel confident enough to do it. I support whatever choice a parent makes with regards to the education of their children-this isn't a competition and I don't beleive Edy was implying that. It appears that Edy has a heart full of gratitude…

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20 Carol December 4, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Sorry Edie, I mispelled your name!! (as well as the word regardless)

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21 Sherri @ Design2Shine December 4, 2009 at 8:17 pm

What a sweet wonderful post!

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22 Kalleigh Hathaway December 4, 2009 at 8:39 pm

For anyone who thought I was "too sensitive," I believe a lot of these comments DO look down on people who CHOOSE traditional schooling systems, as if anyone who could homeschool is making a bad parenting choice in deciding not to do so. In the circles I've experienced, this schism is very similar to those mothers who decide not to breastfeed, and how many nursing mothers snub them for foregoing what they see as an obvious transgression in parenting to not give their children a leg up on intelligence based on study results, much like the commenter who said that homeschoolers outscore their traditionally-schooled counterparts.

The homeschooled children I have personally known have issues with self-discipline in college and workplaces, healthy separation from their parents, and relating to authority figures as adults. My circle is admittedly small, because again, most homeschoolers I know turn up their noses at my choice to matriculate my son into traditional schools (he has attended both public and private at various grade levels), so I don't get to know them or their children. I don't know if it's a judgment call against me, or my child, but either way, it's offensive to be cut off so rudely by people who walk away that prematurely in a conversation.

What I am sensitive about was the tie that because someone homeschools, they do these things. One does NOT need to homeschool in order to provide their children with culture and education. In fact, I would like to think that every parent homeschools to some extent, whether they make it their child's sole source of education, or do it to supplement traditional schooling. I tailor our vacations to accentuate historical periods which he's studying in school. We select recreational reading and cultural activities to enhance his classroom learning experience. I draw on our own family tree to provide more personal examples of periods in history, and pull concrete examples of math problems from our everyday experiences. But I send him to school for the social and educational aspects, to learn how to deal with people he doesn't like, to work harmoniously with children of other socioeconomic backgrounds and religious beliefs, to understand the dynamics of peer pressure and to grow his personality away from parental influence – all things that I feel are integral to his education which I could not provide. I play seven musical instruments, but not the one he wants to learn. I speak four languages, but he had to learn Chinese at school, not from me. He learns sports and science theories I'm unfamiliar with, and is exposed to literature that I have never even heard of. This is why I feel I am not qualified to be his only instructor.

I just wish homeschoolers, as a whole, would recognize that those of us who send our children to traditional school don't raise our children in barns in comparison to them. This could just as easily have been a post about parenting in general but, to me, it was clearly intended to set homeschoolers apart from others, as choosing to accomplish things that we can't. Edie, I'm sorry if you didn't mean it that way, but that is the source behind my reaction.

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23 The Fear Fam December 4, 2009 at 9:06 pm

We're not a homeschooling family (although one day we might be), and I really enjoyed this post. Very sweet! Thanks for sharing.

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24 Meaghan December 4, 2009 at 9:54 pm

what a beautiful post! i'm still debating starting homeschooling next year, and posts like this one make me fall in love with the idea! yours girls are beautiful btw!

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25 Lady Dorothy December 4, 2009 at 10:01 pm

I first wanted to post because my mother used to have those little green elves sitting above our fireplace. I wonder where they are now? Hmmm…. I loved seeing "them" again!

But, then I started reading comments. So, now I find myself having to comment about that. Honestly, I do not see how anyone could take your post about gratefulness and turn it into a supposed tirade about how others aren't as good as you! It was a gracious post.

To Kalleigh: One person's choice is only a reflection on you if you let it be. Let the homeschoolers be happy about their choice! If you are truly happy about your choice of public school, then be happy in it, not defensive! It just brings to mind the Shakespeare quote, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

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26 Jessica December 4, 2009 at 11:05 pm

Great post Edie. I miss homeschooling especially this time of year. I have such fond memories of being w/ my kiddos each day and seeing the bond that forms from spending so much time together. Who knows, maybe we'll do it again, though my boys really like their new school. The way it's looking w/ little Miss Sophia, she'll never leave my side. Thanks for sharing your joys of homeschool with us. I love seeing your awesome adventures. :)

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27 Debbie December 5, 2009 at 2:36 am

This is our 21st year to home school. This week, my last little chickadee (who's 17) and I spent the week in a Dallas hospital with my mother who had surgery for cancer. What a blessing for Mom and us! Rarely could anyone else do that sort of ministry. You and your little chicks be blessed and enjoy every minute.

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28 E and H December 5, 2009 at 2:56 am

Congratularions you really are living the dream.I have 2 young boys and would love to homeschool them. Please keep sharing these wonderful posts.

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29 Kelli December 5, 2009 at 3:08 am

Lovely posts!!

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30 Denise December 5, 2009 at 3:12 am

Loved the post and have found the comments interesting. Let me just say that when one is overflowing with gratitude for what the Lord has blessed them with, it is hard to communicate it in a way that pleases everyone. :)

I know your heart–that is so loving and accepting of people and their choices–so I read what you were saying and rejoiced with you. I did not take it personally even though I loved my years of homeschooling and miss them quite often–as you well know!

My daughter is in school and we have many moments like the ones you described today. The only difference is that I don't have time to blog about them as often as you, a homeschooling mom, does. hehehe

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31 patty December 5, 2009 at 3:40 am

whew… i was afraid you knit those caps yourself, edie… ;) your girls are just precious-thnx for sharing them!

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32 Gina December 5, 2009 at 3:40 am

Yea!!! Makes me miss my home-schooled days and look forward to the next few years as my littles (currently 3,almost 2 and 4 months)start "school."

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33 Julie Harward December 5, 2009 at 4:41 am

I know of what you speak! And i do so miss my girls! We had so many times like these…now they are married, I miss this very much! The mom and daughter thing is the best, and it does go on, only different! Come say hi :D

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34 Kristi December 5, 2009 at 5:16 am

Edie,
What a great post! Just the inspiration I need to start this journey soon. My twins are best friends and I thank God everyday for being blessed with them. But now that I see how close they are, I need to have another baby for Madelyn!! She needs a buddy! :)
I wasn't going to comment on the other comments but I feel like I need to. Teachers are humans just like you and I, so to think that a teacher is more "qualified" than a parent isn't true. You have a cirriculum and follow it.
I have recently read up on unschooling and I am totally intrigued by it. I think one of my boys would do great, but the other not so much.
Oh and Michael, I have a special needs son as well and if things don't improve in his setting he will be homeschool starting in January. If you really want to do it, you can. But it IS a commitment. Even if you do homeschool your school district is still legally responsible to provide their services.
Kristi

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35 Lana K. W. Austin December 5, 2009 at 5:20 am

AMEN@!

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36 Kathy December 5, 2009 at 6:44 am

Beautiful, articulate, encouraging and gracious post–thank you for sharing your heart.

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37 edie December 5, 2009 at 11:22 am

I thought I'd poke my head back in and share a few thoughts.

This has probably been in the top two of the toughest years of my life. My teenage son graduated from high school and left for college and my oldest daughter moved in with her dad. I find myself on many days trying my darndest to keep a stiff upper lip. My heart is broken into a million pieces, my house seems too quiet, we have way too many leftovers, and I just can't seem to make it all better. I miss my daughter's sense of humor. I miss my sons' laughter. Among a whole host of other things. I know it'll just take time—-so I wait patiently on the Lord—and pray that soon—He will renew my strength.

I still have two precious ones at home to raise, which leaves little time for wallowing in my heartache. I'm new at homeschooling and still feel like I'm finding my groove. I often wonder if I'm the best teacher for them. I doubt myself all the time. I quiz my friends' third grader regularly about what she's learning and how her teacher taught her that concept. I sigh heavily that my house is never all clean at one time and I worry that I'm 'letting myself go". I miss so many things about my 'other' life. I miss my friends. I miss my patients. I miss getting dressed up and leaving this house. I miss having quiet little lunches with my husband. I miss having a job that most people valued. I miss going to school plays. I miss my kids in cute little uniforms. I wish I didn't feel this overwhelming burden that I am now solely responsible for their learning.

Maybe this post could have been about all that. Sometimes I do write about my struggles—but mostly I keep myself busy with fun decorating and cooking projects — and let my friends and family help to bear my life-burdens. I've always been a glass-half-full kind-of-a-girl—so that even in the midst of this trying time, if you look back over my blog, you'll see lots of joy. You'll see my attempt to be content and grateful. And I have so much to be thankful for.

I can promise you that I certainly did not mean to imply that only homeschooled families share days like this. Almost all of my friends send their kids to school and all of them have wonderful rich experiences as families. And when I hear that those friends went to lunch and Christmas shopping together, I feel lonesome and wish I could hire a 'substitute' for the day. (and that is really not a bad idea—any takers?)

Most days, we're just doing our best to make it through. So when the rare day comes around where everything seems to be a blessing on a silver platter—-I'm thankful. And I want to leave a legacy for my children—-that I truly enjoyed spending my days with them. That I am thankful for this time together. I know it won't last forever.

I hope that little peak into my heart helps clarify what I was hoping to say. I think it was Plato who said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." I know I could be a more kind and gracious and understanding of others. Accept my sincerest apologies for any misunderstanding.

Hugs and love and blessings galore to you all,
edie

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38 Jennifer December 5, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Your post was beautiful and touched my heart. My daughters are also 9 and 7, and spending time together – just us girls – is a precious and blessed experience. After they both experienced a year of public school, the Lord told us to homeschool. We love it. We take great joy in it, but I also long for "just me" days. Thank goodness God carries us when we need him to. God bless you, your family and everyone who read this post. We can all agree on one thing: we want the best for our kids … and only we, as their parents, know what that is.

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39 Playing Sublimely December 5, 2009 at 1:30 pm

I love this Edie

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40 Miriam December 5, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Dear Edie, as a homeschooling mom to four girls, I want to send you a big cyber hug. Your post and your later comments resonated with me. We all want our children to love one another and to experience the beauty of life. Your weblog is inspirational and I hope you realize that you are touching peoples' lives every day whether in your family or out. Thanks for being vulnerable. And sure, if I lived nearby, I'd sub for you!

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41 Kalleigh Hathaway December 5, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Edie, thank you for your humble, honest and poignant comment. You are living life according to your convictions, as I am living life according to mine, and we are each doing the best we can, but I'm sorry that I transferred my impatience with other people who have something in common with you onto you. I have not been reading you long enough to "know" you or understand your intentions or motivations.

We all want what's best for our children, and we are all moved in different ways to provide it. The differences can be good when expressed in healthy ways, and I thank you for doing that.

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42 Gina Williams December 5, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Sis, As I write this, I am wiping tears away, because I know the sacrifices you make daily for your family. You are the MOST wonderful person I know. I love you and thank God for you. You have had a tough time with all the changes in your life and I my heart hurts right along with yours. Those two precious girls are so very lucky to have a mom who will do what you do for them and you are equally rewarded with blessings from them being home with you everyday. I wish my own kids had the bond that your kids share (as they fight this very instance). Don't change a thing, keep keeping on and know that you will see the benefits of your efforts in your girls lives. And, I would gladly substitute for those girlies any day!!! Love you!

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43 Darby December 5, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Edie, I loved this post! I wish I could be your daughter and I also wish I lived closer so I could come be your sub. Can I bring the kids with me to "school"!? I also read ALL the comments and was taken back by the fact that what you said was so wrongly misinterpretted. I was very sad for you and hope this will not deter you from editions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8….because I love to see what you 3 are up to!

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44 Kristi December 5, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Edie,
A while back (since I follow your blog) I had seen a post on my "dashboard" but was never posted. I always wondered about it because I had a feeling you were hurting, even though I had no idea what it was about. I debated emailing you, but since I have only known you from your blog, I didn't want to overstep my boundaries. I am guessing it was about your daughter moving. I was right there with you crying when your son was going to college. I remember you posting the scrapbook pictures of him when he was about 9, which my boys will be 9 next month. It really pulled on my heart strings and I know just how precious this time is with them and goes by in a blink of an eye!
Anyway, I guess I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this with us. Even though I didn't think you needed to explain yourself. I have been reading your blog for a while and know what a wonderful person, wife and mother you are.
And I'm with Darby, I need part 2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 to this post!!! I need all the encouragement I can get!!! LOL :)
Kristi

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45 Trudy December 6, 2009 at 12:39 am

God Bless you Edie.
Thank you for your courage and honesty. You do sacrifice a lot, personally, to do what you do. Its a mom thing :)

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46 LouLou@thelifeofloulou.blogspot.com December 6, 2009 at 4:17 am

Ok, I just found your blog, and I am in bloggy love….I am a SAHM to four fabulous kiddos…15 and 13 year old boys and 3 and 2 year old little princessas who God sent us from Guatemala…. I LOVE me some Jesus, and I love me some crafting, so your blog is right up my alley…. I love you already….

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47 CourtneyKatz December 6, 2009 at 5:48 am

That was so beautiful. Your girls are very lucky to spend days like this with you.

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48 My name is PJ. December 6, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Edie, I loved this post. Nowadays, I would want my children home-schooled for all those reasons and more.

You are so blessed and God smiles because you give thanks.

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49 AllyJo December 6, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Your post and pictures made me happy. I'm a homeschooling mom of two. My daughter just graduated and is in college now. She's doing better than I ever thought she would. She's making A's on all her papers. They say homeschoolers have a hard time writing once they get to college, so I'm surprised and very happy she's doing so well. I thought she would be in over her head.

The hardest part for my kids has been the seperation. As much as they argued and picked on each other, being together 24/7, my son misses her terribly and actually went through a deep funk (depression???) for the first 6 weeks of her absence. This shocked me. I had no idea he loved her so much.

I'm going to be praying for you. I didn't know your heart needed holding up…God bless you. It's a season of life and sometimes those seasons of heartache last much too long, but God is always with us.

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50 Kristi December 6, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Edie,
I had to come back again (3rd time, lol) to say something that our Pastor has been doing a series on. It's named "God never wastes a hurt" and even though it's hard for us to understand at the time. It is all part of the plan. Which I know that you know already! <3
Kristi

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51 Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend December 7, 2009 at 4:46 am

Beautiful post….had to share it…Your pictures are great…Visit my holiday blog for new tree pictures and my main blog for a MIRACLE story…
http://grammyababychangeseverything.blogspot.com/
http://teresa-grammygirlfriend.blogspot.com/

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52 Stacey @ The Blessed Nest December 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm

I admit to getting a bit teary looking at that sweet picture of your girls holding hands! It reminds me of my own sweet girls, about the same age, who would always hold hands walking in to school each morning! So sweet!! You really should frame that picture, it shows what sisterly love is all about! :) So glad that you get to enjoy your precious ones each day as you homeschool, that is such a blessing, Enjoy!
Blessings,
Stacey

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53 Russ, Anna, Pepper and Vesper December 7, 2009 at 10:38 pm

That is just the most precious!!!!

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54 Amy December 9, 2009 at 12:31 am

i love the girl's knitted hats. I was going to ask if made them before I finished reading the post.

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55 Courtney December 9, 2009 at 4:09 am

Your post was beautiful, but your follow up comment was even more so. Thank you for sharing your heart…I'm humbled by your honesty, and blessed by your example of grace and faith.

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56 Megan December 16, 2009 at 7:07 pm

I have a similar canister set. It hangs on the wall near my stove and every other bin is open with utensils in it. I keep my secret candy stash and measuring spoons in the ones that are closed. I LOVE it, and love the colored one you have.

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