Why I {still} homeschool

by Edie Wadsworth on August 5, 2011

It is a delicate thing, this public writing.   To write honestly about something you love without conveying a sense of superiority or smugness.   I’m sure I fail at it miserably and I pray you’ll forgive my  shortcomings in this area. I simply couldn’t have expected this turn in my life—-that I would be here—-at home—–teaching my kids everyday.    Never mind that I’d love it so much.   I can’t say enough how thankful I am to find myself in this position.    If you’re considering homeschooling, I hope to encourage you to take the next step.

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After the fire, I wasn’t sure if I could breathe again much less teach my children their schoolwork.

I often thought of calling it quits.  I didn’t know how to go on.   I didn’t want them to see me fall apart everyday.

But somehow we made it through.   We finished out the year.

We memorized Romans 8:18-39 as a way to help our hearts heal.   I remember the day we finished it.

It felt like a milestone.    I knew we were gonna be okay.   We taught each other how to live through tragedy.

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I could cite so many reasons why I continue to homeschool my kids.

Yes, it’s true that I LOVE learning.  I love the opportunities to relearn with the kids the things I never learned very well the first time.  And the classical model for education is beautiful.  It’s rich in great literature, rigorous and demanding in memory work and reading and writing.   It’s centered in history and is time tested as a proven way to raise leaders and independent thinkers.

I could tell you that I love teaching the faith to my kids.    I don’t have to worry about them being indoctrinated with secular humanism.  I can enculturate them with confessional lutheran teaching and practice and hand on to them the faith of our fathers.

I could tell you that I love our family centered life where we are not segregated by age or surrounded by peers.   I love that the bulk of their time is spent with adults who love them and have their best interests at heart.  I am thrilled when I see that their siblings become their best friends and they get to spend long stretches of time in the magical world of childhood play.

But all that is really a cover for why I can’t imagine doing anything else.

I’ve seen in my older kids that life is a vapor.  You blink and they’re gone.

I grieve the time I lost with them and I don’t want to miss anything else.

This mothering is what I was made to do.

I want to do it to the fullest for as many hours a day as I can.

I hate to admit it but I think I’m just selfish.

I want their mornings and their lunchtimes and their belly laughs and even all their groanings.

I want the bike riding and the lap sitting and the hours and hours of reading together.

I want the crafting and the cooking and all the holiday shenanigans.

After 3 years, all the lofty reasons I started homeschooling can be reduced to this—-I just want them here with me.

For as long it  lasts, I want their days.

And hopefully, we’ll learn some great stuff  too.

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Soon, a nuts and bolts post about what we’re doing this year.    Soon, as in, as soon as I figure it out!

Happy Weekend!

xo,

edie

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{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah Jeffery August 6, 2011 at 12:43 am

Thank you for sharing this. I feel exactly the same way…glory to God! Can’t wait to read what your line up is for your new year! xxx

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2 Megan August 6, 2011 at 12:53 am

I have never commented to you before, but have followed your words closely for years.  I admire you so very much, and it’s silly but I have always felt a little unworthy to post a comment.  Tonight I just have to tell you that I am home schooling this fall for a lot of reasons, but one of them is you.  I have poured over every post you have written on homeschooling and have taken notes.  This September I will embark on my own journey with home schooling my children and I am so excited.  I have been living on an island, pretty secluded, and your voice has given me the courage and confidence to take this on.  But what you say in this post is spot on…at the end of the day, after all of my reasons…I just want them with me.  Thanks Edie.  You are an inspiration.

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3 Joy Ellis August 6, 2011 at 1:02 am

Loved reading this post!  I also enjoy having my kids around me.  We have such a wonderful time when we are with each other.  Especially when we are schooling!  

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4 Leanne August 6, 2011 at 1:03 am

Beautifully put…and thank you for the gentle honesty. I admire your choice and I only wish I had done things differently. I don’t think I was even aware of homeschooling until my youngest was well on her way through public school and so comfortable with the days she spent away from me. I am so envious of homeschooling Mamas…

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5 Julie Woolstenhulme August 6, 2011 at 1:05 am

What a wonderful post! what lucky girls, to have you for a mother! you are very inspiring and make me want to be better! and to make every moment count!  Thank You!

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6 Mimi August 6, 2011 at 1:06 am

Thanks for writing this. Perfect timing…..I really needed to read this today. Just got off the phone with my oldest girlfriend-she was trying to convince me why homeschooling was not a good thing. As I said, this post brought me back to reality and what is important.

ps….I love that Megan was inspired to homeschool through you….awesome!

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7 Julie August 6, 2011 at 1:13 am

Edie, I admire you for the dedication you have to homeschool your children. I’m sure it is not easy but so worth it. My daughter started homeschooling her 4-yr old this past year and I am amazed at her enthusiasm for it. Even though she is smack in the middle of dealing with breast cancer, and chemo, and a mastectomy, she makes homeschooling her prority and she is teaching my grandson more than I ever learned in school and more than my 3 children learned. Best of all her is how she integrates God in all of her teaching. I am truly a fan of every home-schooling parent out there. God bless you all!
Julie

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8 Carolyn Perkins August 6, 2011 at 1:24 am

I love this post!  My child is just 3, but I would LOVE to homeschool.  And considering the shape our world is in, I think it’s a wonderful idea!!  So proud of moms like you!!

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9 Pinetreehome August 6, 2011 at 1:38 am

I so adore that you admit and want and desire to be with your kids.  Even more so that you want them to grow up independent critical thinkers.  I love it.  Many people today think that by “being with” your kids you are suffocating them.  I believe the opposite is true.  I grew up an only child and while both my parents worked it did drive me to be my own person and to do it fast.  However, I still remember the feeling of wanting them home.  Every child yearns for the attention and unconditional love that a parent offers.  Kudos for you for acknowledging what is right for you and your family.

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10 Jamie Bitting August 6, 2011 at 1:39 am

You said it beautifully!! I’ve been homeschooling for 11 years. I started off taking it one year at a time. Sometimes I get panicky and pray I am doing the right thing. Thanks for the encouragement!

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11 cheryl August 6, 2011 at 1:49 am

beautifully put. i’ve always known my biggest reason for homeschooling my children for the last 18 years was a selfish one. :)

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12 Beth August 6, 2011 at 1:52 am

Oh, sweet Edie, I am so there with you…on the just wanting to be with them, even on the worst of days…on the as soon as I figure it out (high school begins this year–yikes!).    Great encouragement to be had here, and just what I needed.

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13 Anne Worthington August 6, 2011 at 2:06 am

Edie, this was lovely to read.  So inspiring, really.  My babies are 2 1/2 and 8 months old, and I have to tell you I wish so badly that I really wanted to spend each and every long day with them teaching them once they are school-aged.  But do you want to know the truth?  The truth is I’m really looking forward to September when my oldest (whom I deeply love!) will begin preschool, two days a week this year.  I actually feel a fair amount of guilt over this.  I desperately want to want to be with my children every day.  And I just know our days together are fleeting and they’ll be grown before I can barely blink.  But this mothering of these two small people is wearing me out.  Each day feels big and hard.  So what do I do with the fact that I read what you write and I long to feel the way you do, to want to keep them to myself each day?  I am wrestling with these questions so much.  Oh, for grace.  I suppose that’s what it comes to?  

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14 edie wadsworth August 6, 2011 at 11:41 am

oh anne, i just love you.  your honesty, your heart-cries.   i must confess that when my kids were that age, i was working part time, had a  nanny and lots of help otherwise.   those are such hard ages, i know.  probably the hardest.   and it is exhausting.  you know what you physically and emotionally can handle and it’s okay to be just where you are.   we have so much freedom in the gospel.   and it will continue to get easier.  my youngest are 9 and 10, very self-sufficient and very easy to be around.   i’m no saint–i just happen to have it really easy at this point in my life.   you are so right to fall back on grace.   your Father loves you and knows your heart.  rest in Him.  confess what needs confessing.   beg for grace and mercy.   cry out to Him.  He cares for you and you are so loved.   
i pray for your during this trying times with very young children.  don’t let guilt be a joy-stealer.
love and hugs my friend,
edie

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15 Shannon August 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Anne, your comment spoke to me, because I remember those days of tiny little ones, when I would’ve paid every penny I had for an afternoon alone. You are so completely normal to feel that way, and you should not feel guilt about it. The reason it is exhausting is because you are doing it RIGHT, giving and giving of yourself to those little ones. If you were checked out and distracted from them, you wouldn’t feel nearly so overwhelmed.

I admire all these homeschooling mamas very much and we have in common a very deep, deep love for our children. But our family is on a different path–my four kids (ages 1st through 8th grade) are in a small, private Christian school where they are being nurtured and challenged every day. This is a decision that takes into account our individual situation, temperaments, needs…and thankfully, access to such an extraordinarily special school. I think most any wise mama–homeschooling or not–would tell you not to make such important decisions based on any sense of guilt, but with careful discernment based on your particular situation.

Press on!

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16 Angela August 6, 2011 at 2:24 am

I am a mother of four children under 10.  I am not a homeschooling parent, nor do I want to be.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t totally understand how you feel.  I respect your decision, admire your resolve and share your love of mothering.  

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17 Marie Miller August 6, 2011 at 2:25 am

Edie~ I don’t comment often, but I read every post you share. I want you to know that you have encouraged me in a big way to homeschool my children. It’s a scary thing…removing them from a respected traditional environment to take on the responsibility of educating them at home…but the more I read about your days with your girls, the more I wanted it with my kids.This will be our second year of homeschooling (ages 13, 10, and 4) and our first year of following the structure and recommendations in The Well-Trained Mind.

As I panic that my summer is almost over, and I’m running out of time to get my tasks done…you, once again, pop in with some much needed encouragement at just the right moment. Thanks, Edie! God Bless you and your upcoming school year! :)

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18 edie wadsworth August 6, 2011 at 11:32 am

bless you marie!  i know, i’m so behind on planning the year too but it’ll come together—just keep working and planning.
i have a week left to get my stuff in order so it’ll be a little chaotic in my mind for a while.  It’s so fun though, the curriculum planning.  it makes me so excited for the year.  i’m lucky that i only have one grade to plan.  i have the cushiest homeschool schedule of anyone i think.
much love to you and yours,
edie

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19 paige August 6, 2011 at 2:42 am

gosh edie. i just love you.
all the reasons you listed in the end….the exact reasons why my heart will break in two when i move my savannah into her dorm tuesday. how on earth can i do this?
oh my….

your baby girls are blessed beyond measure
way to go mama!

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20 edie wadsworth August 6, 2011 at 11:30 am

love you paige-y and i’ll be praying for you this week.
it’s so hard—-letting them go.
i get teary eyed when i think about it.
much love to you both :)

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21 Amyecallahan August 6, 2011 at 2:47 am

Thank you for this post. I needed to read this today. We are considering homeschooling our daughter, who will start kindergarten this year. Our reasons for wanting to homeschool are almost identical to your’s. I just finished reading WTM, and I loved it. I would love to give my children a classical education at home, and I pray that God works the kinks out so I can. I have stayed home with all my children since they were born, and it nearly breaks me every time I think about sending my baby girl into an environment where I can not guard her heart. Some of our friends and family just laugh, like I’m too attached to my children and I’m being ridiculous. Im glad someone else enjoys mothering as much as I do, and doesn’t think it strange that a mother would prefer to educate her own children at home, rather than let a public system raise them for 8 hours of their day.

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22 edie wadsworth August 6, 2011 at 11:29 am

amy,
just remember that noone is equipped to love and teach your little ones like you.  there will be really hard days, especially at first.   
i cried so much the first year as i fumbled around trying to figure out how to do it.  just relax, enjoy them, read a lot, don’t try to  to make a ‘school’ environment.   learning at home is so different—–just embrace and enjoy the differences without comparing too much to the picture of school you have in your mind.    lots of well wishes for you amy.  you can do this!
many blessings,
edie

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23 Michelle August 6, 2011 at 2:49 am

This is EXACTLY why I homeschool as well. This is why I started 12 years ago with just one of my children. This is why I still homeschool 12 years later with 5 of my children. This is why I continue to homeschool even in the midst of my life falling apart all around me. I love them. I love them. I love them. 

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24 edie wadsworth August 6, 2011 at 11:24 am

He is near to us in our suffering.   He is our faithful Father who loves us and carries us when we are no longer able to stand.
much love to you michelle in your heartache.   blessings on you and your children.   

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25 robin August 6, 2011 at 2:54 am

Beautifully expressed. :)

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26 Laryssa August 6, 2011 at 3:04 am

My thoughts exactly! Even though it’s hard some days, we love homeschooling! Both my husband and I were homeschooled from third grade through the 12th.  It’s a very natural extension of parenting for us.

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27 edie wadsworth August 6, 2011 at 11:21 am

thanks for sharing sweet laryssa!  hope your family is well and lots of love and well wishes for another great year with the kids :)

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28 {darlene} August 6, 2011 at 3:10 am

oh, love! I am bawling. Just last night at VBS, I scooped up some kids who were in their pj’s at church, and I told their mom, half-jokingly, “THIS is why I homeschool. It is all about PJ’s and Snuggling!!”… then a moment after I said it, I realized, it was not a joke at all. It is in the PJ’s and in the snuggling that we share our love and pass on our heritage from the Lord. The truest learning. The only kind that matters…
How I loved this post, my sweet friend.

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29 edie wadsworth August 6, 2011 at 11:20 am

you are a dear kindred spirit my friend.   yes, i hope mine never get too big to snuggle:)
thank you so much for your love and support!  much love :)

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30 Cat Moore August 6, 2011 at 3:25 am

I love this.  I’ve been considering homeschooling since I had kids….4 years ago!  Now, it’s almost time and to say I’m flipping out is an understatement.  Some days, I’m so confident about it and know there is a reason why I never thought about sending them to a traditional school setting, but other days I feel attacked and I have to remind myself of who that is attacking….ya know?  All those lies I start to believe — I wouldn’t be good enough, they are better off with another “teacher”.  You know, those.  I loved reading this and it DID encourage me.  Thank you.  :)

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31 edie wadsworth August 6, 2011 at 11:17 am

cat, i still have plenty of self-doubt—but that’s often the very thing that keeps me motivated to work hard.  and there’ve been sooo many trials and much weeping along the way.  but there’s something so right about it for me.  i’m thankful for the moments of clarity i have because they help in the difficult times.  i can go back and read this post to myself and remember why do this.  there’ll be plenty of days where i need to!  lots of love and blessings :)

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32 debbeckm August 6, 2011 at 4:05 am

There is no better reason.  We send our daughter to our local public school and have been happy with her education and experience there.  They start again on Monday and I know it will be hard to let her go again after being home all summer with her.

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33 stacey_delafosse August 6, 2011 at 4:34 am

Love this!  Last year was our first year to homeschool.  Like you said, I would have never thought this is where we would be.  I doubted God’s calling and told Him I couldn’t do it in a bullet point list fashion for several months.  He kept showing me, over and over, since I can be rather dense, that this is what He had in mind.  One of these ways was through your blog. It was sometime last spring or early summer that you wrote a bullet point list of things that had been going on.  One of the items mentioned was that if any of us were thinking about homeschooling that we should just do it.  I definitely felt God speaking through you.  Thank you!

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34 Stacey D. August 6, 2011 at 4:39 am

Love this!  Last year was our first year to homeschool.  Like you said, I would have never thought this is where we would be.  I doubted God’s calling and told Him I couldn’t do it in a bullet point list fashion for several months.  He kept showing me, over and over, since I can be rather dense, that this is what He had in mind.  One of these ways was through your blog. It was sometime last spring or early summer that you wrote a bullet point list of things that had been going on.  One of the items mentioned was that if any of us were thinking about homeschooling that we should just do it.  I definitely felt God speaking through you.  Thank you!

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35 edie wadsworth August 6, 2011 at 11:13 am

thanks so much for sharing stacey! many blessings on your journey.   xoxo

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36 Kathleen T. Jaeger August 6, 2011 at 5:17 am

Edie, So well said! “For whatever lofty reasons I started…I want to be with them.” Yes! Me, too (We’ll begin our 8th year together soon.)! And thank you for reminding me that I want their groanings, too. :+{ I sometimes forget that part in the moment.} What a beautiful thing to learn together that you can live through tragedy and that the word of God heals your hearts together.

Thank you, too, for the disclaimer at the top….I hesitate at times to write about what I love so much for those same reasons that I might come as smug or superior and yet…perhaps because of your disclaimer…I felt the gushing of love for being with your children — what an amazing gift for them. Thanks for sharing it…I feel encouraged, too.

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37 Anonymous August 6, 2011 at 6:47 am

You are never smug when you share, Edie. The honesty of your passion shines through, and we cheer you on through our prayers whether they are seen or unseen. xoxo michele

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38 edie wadsworth August 6, 2011 at 11:13 am

love you dearie :)

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39 Glenda Childers August 6, 2011 at 9:38 am

Amen.

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40 edie wadsworth August 6, 2011 at 11:12 am

love you dearie :)

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41 Tricia Ridenour August 6, 2011 at 11:53 am

I have tears.   What an unexpected and totally perfect reason.  Gorgeous.  You are a wonderful mommy.

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42 Kendal August 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm

as a public school teacher, i say – beautiful. wonderful. an unforseen blessing for me when i changed churches a year ago has been getting to know homeschool families. (my joke is that i don’t fit in there b/c i don’t play a musical instrument, i don’t homeschool my kids and i don’t have any tattooes!) hearing their stories – much like yours – has made me feel so much better about homeschooling. i’veheard and  read – yes, in the blog world, too – so many comments bashing public schools that i was soured. but your testimony and those in my church, have blessed me. i hope you have a WONDERFUL school year!

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43 Kendal August 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm

ps – because i teach, i’ve gotten to enjoy being at school with my kids at least for middle school. LOVE.

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44 Grammer August 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Please take this correction….it’s spelled no one, 2 words, NOT noone.

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45 Jennifer August 6, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Lovely. You put words to the feelings in my heart. I hope you don’t mind … the next time my mother (a retired teacher) starts in on my homeschooling decision I’m just going to refer her to this post! :)

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46 Southern Gal August 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm

You expressed that so beautifully, Edie.  I remember my mama nearly crying every fall when it was time for us to go back to school.  She liked having us around.  I’m the same way.  I’ve been blessed enough to be able to homeschool all my children and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.  The memories linger long after they’ve left the nest.  Yes, I admit it, I’m selfish.  Love your heart.

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47 Stuff and Nonsense August 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm

yes. that’s it in a nutshell…i am too selfish to give away my children’s time to anyone else…and all the other good stuff you mentioned…what a blessing the Lord has bestowed on me that i get to be a full-time mum with my kids at my side.

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48 Karrie Ann August 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Oh my. God Bless you and your beautiful family, Edie, and thank you for this post.  My husband and I share the same “reasons” and you make it sound so eloquent and right!

God gave us our fourth, Abel Eric, Wednesday evening and what a beautiful miracle it is… every time!  Our oldest (turns 5 tomorrow) heard the kids at church talking about kindergarten, backpacks, and bus rides… which made him notice the nice book bags at the walmarts… which made him tell me he needed a back pack because he really was growing up and really was going to school.  

So, I promptly ordered him a Lands End back pack but don’t know where to get a school bus!  Hoping we don’t have to paint the Sequoia yellow to keep the kids happy at home!    

Your home school posts are so reassuring to me, Edie Dear.  I can HARDLY WAIT to see what you have lined up for yours this year while I try  to decide how much and what to do for kindy/1st grade-ish type stuff.  Saxon?Singapore?Shurlley?Rod&Staff?andonandonandon and I know you know the drill.

Keep it up, Edie.  You are a special one!

Serving the Master Teacher,
Karrie Ann  

 

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49 Ellen August 6, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Thanks, Edie.  You put into words what so many of us who are making this same journey believe and feel.  It’s just too easy to forget amid the “stuff” of daily life in a family.  Can’t wait to hear about your curriculum and enrichment activities choices.  And go ahead and fall apart on the hard days. Your girls need to see that their mom is a real person who needs her God’s grace every day.  Hugs!

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50 Brookelee13 August 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Your blog was one of the major factors that made me re-think my headstrong-public-school-is-the-way-to-go mindset. At the time, my daughter was around 2.5, and I was working full-time. Since then I’ve greatly reduced my work load, and I’m so excited that she and I will begin this journey together next month. She turned four this summer. *I’m thankful for moms like you who just speak from the heart.*

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51 Tara August 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I have a post in my drafts that basically says the same thing.  You just couldn’t have said it any better.  Thanks Edie, for your words. I just love your heart for your family.

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52 Julie August 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Call me selfish too. I homeschool because I love being around my kids everyday … Their breakfasts, their lunches, their belly laughs. Well said. Thanks for putting into words my reasons for homeschooling.
Julie

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53 Ruth Emond August 6, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Edie-so beautifully written. I have enjoyed all of our days together homeschooling. I never thought it would be something I would do. Your posts on homeschooling are always an encouragement even though my kids are older. Our daughter will be starting college in the fall and I will miss her. We started homeschooling when she was in eighth grade. There have been difficult days but I have loved having them at home. This year will be just my son and I.

Thank you for honestly sharing your heart with us.

Hugs,
Ruth

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54 Amber August 6, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Oh girlfriend I’ve been homeschooling for 3 years too and I never regret a minute of it.  Only outside forces ever make me feel inept as a homeschool mom.  That was a beautiful post exhorting me in an area that I still struggle with confidence in.  Thank you!

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55 martinandmarshablack August 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Thank you for posting this.  It very easily could have remained a private thought for fear of offending or “stepping on toes.” I have the same struggles.  We are homeschooling and this is our first year.  I never want to come across as my way is the only way to those who choose different paths for their children.  Homeschooling is what is right for us right now and my prayer is that is what we will continue year after year.  
 
What does interest me is classical education. I am excited to read your “nuts and bolts” post.  For this year our curriculum is only somewhat classical.  I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old, both girls. Thank you for sharing your life, I love my time with my girls as well. :)  

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56 Anonymous August 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Love it, Edie. I share all these reasons with you, for why I homeschool my four…

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57 Catbarnes August 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Amen, Edie…. you go!   I’m quite sure you’re doing a wonderful job.

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58 Hkatee August 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Thank you so much for these posts! I have a 3 year old and an infant, and I never thought I’d even consider home schooling in a million years. BUT then I came across more than a couple Lutheran homeschooling mom blogs like yours and I started to rethink my plans. Now we’re almost certain we’re going to do it – I’m blessed to be a stay at home mom and I think home schooling would work well for our family (especially since my husband works unconventional hours, this will give him more time with the kids while the regular school schedule would mean he’d never get to spend time with the kids). I’m very nervous and worried about not being able to handle the stress and all the duties – so thank you, blogs like yours are very reassuring and uplifting! 

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59 Angelarpadilla August 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Edie,
Beautifully written.  What a blessing you are giving to your girls to live out what God created you to be.  

Angela

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60 Elizabeth Highsmith August 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm

“i just want them here with me.” beautiful words-how precious to have the legacy that their mama just wanted to be their mama. i hope one day to have my own passel of babies and when they say, “what did you want to be when you grew up?” i’ll answer “to be your mama” i admire you so much. and for the record my favorite interview question ever, “do you think being homeschooled makes you superior?” pause, “why’s i shoo enough does.” 

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61 Forever YoungWard August 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Hi Edie!  I’m a new follower, though I’ve read your blog before.  Your writing is so humble and filled with love.  I’ve always been interested in homeschooling, and it’s great to find fellow Lutherans who are doing it out of love for their children and giving the rest of us hope and confidence.  My son is only 2 1/2, but I’m looking forward to being with him for many years to come:)

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62 Dianne Rabon August 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Isn’t it funny that we can be “selfish” in something that is so “selfless”.  I’ve been a homeschool mom for 11 years now, and will be homeschooling for another 14 years before my youngest graduates.  I’ve struggled at times with trying to do it all, but ultimately realize that I’m being transformed by the whole experience. This life is just a vapor, I am just God’s servant, and I am blessed by laying down my life for my children every day.  Love your blog, been following you for a couple of years now, and I feel like you’re a friend.  I’ve experienced the loss of a home through fire (I was 15), and it makes you realize what’s truly important.  It’s people, not stuff. 

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63 Ann Hathaway August 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm

What a great post – so well said! I am a retired/substitute homeschool teacher! I homeschooled our five kids for 18 years, K-12, and graduated our last one in 2008. They are all five happily married, and the two daughters who have school age children are homeschooling. All those years I thought would never end are suddenly memories. How grateful I am for the unsurpassed blessing of all that time with my kids. I am reaping blessings and rewards I never dreamed possible. ALL time spent with your children is teaching time – drink up every moment. May God bless and keep each of you, and strengthen your hand for the task to which He has called you. “Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not”!  Love to you and yours! ~ from a faithful “follower” and homeschool kindred spirit in Kansas  

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64 edie wadsworth August 14, 2011 at 2:30 am

thank you anne!

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65 denice August 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm

from now on i’m just going to send my friends the link to this post.  that’ll explain everything.  

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66 Michelle August 6, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Love this post. We just took the leap into homeschooling! To say I’m nervous is an understatement. I know it’s the right choice for our family but it’s so hard to express our ‘reasons’ to people who question us. I wish I could direct them all to this post, but sadly I doubt they’d take the time to read it. Your comment at the beginning of your post about not wanting to come across as smug is exactly what I am facing right now. I never want to make anyone feel inferior or that sending their kids to public school is wrong, but in return, often times I walk away from the conversation feeling defeated and second guessing my choice to homeschool because of their comments. I’m so glad to have found your blog, and I’m glad that so many people have posted positive comments!  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!

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67 tone August 6, 2011 at 8:26 pm

I’m a single mother from Norway – we don’t homeschool in Norway, and I need to bring in the paycheck – but that’s exactly the reason why I wish I was homeschooling my girls – they are starting school this year, and I want more time with them… Tone

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68 Amy johnston August 6, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I just love this post. I love homeschooling my kids for a multitude of reasons, but you hit the nail on the head with “I just want them here with me.” 

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69 Laurie August 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Just beautiful!

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70 stitching under oaks August 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm

perfectly put.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  I’ve been homeschooling my three, going on my 11th year, and I know deep down, that I just want to be with them as much as I can. 

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71 Pamela K. August 7, 2011 at 12:00 am

My bff is the homeschooling queen! Well, next to you, that is. ;-)  I considered homeschooling my son for several years.  I had always hesitated because he is an only child and felt he would be left out of so many things.  He is in high school now, and I still will think about it from time to time.  If he came up to me tonight and said he wanted to be homeschooled, I would not hesitate.  Thank you for being such an advocate for homeschooling.  You rock! :-)

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72 Alicia August 7, 2011 at 1:27 am

A beautiful synopsis of why I home school as well.  Well said.  I will share it on my blog…

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73 Lauren August 7, 2011 at 2:35 am

“This mothering is what I was made to do.” That’s exactly how God designed and created women, isn’t it? That’s why it seems so unnatural to ship them off at the tender age of three to go to “school.” And then for the next twelve years the government gets the majority of your child’s time, not you, his parent. Frightening. 

I don’t think you’re being selfish. You’re just being who God created you to be: a mother training up her children. You are to be commended for that. And thank you for being a shining light in this world of darkness. 

(a fellow Lutheran and friend of Gretchen and Jan)

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74 edie wadsworth August 14, 2011 at 2:29 am

oh hi lauren!  a friend of gretchen and jan is a friend of mine :)
so happy to finally meet my lutheran ladies.
and thank you for your encouragement.
much love!
xo

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75 Trudy Royston August 7, 2011 at 2:46 am

This is you at your best Edie. THANK YOU for SO eloquently and honestly stating the incredibly simple, yet astronomically life changing, reasons that you choose to homeschool. God bless you!

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76 edie wadsworth August 14, 2011 at 2:26 am

you are such an encouragement trudy!
xo,
edie

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77 Angieknopp August 7, 2011 at 2:49 am

Hi Edie, I’ve never commented before but I’ve been following your blog for a few months now. I love that you homeschool!! And I love WHY you homeschool even more.  I have three kids, the oldest going into first grade in just two weeks. I would LOVE to homeschool my kids but unfortunately my husband doesn’t agree with me. It’s really hard because I feel strongly about it. It seems to go against every single thing inside of me to send him away all day long. To be taught by someone I don’t know. I’m sure he will be fine, I mean tons of people go through public school every day and are fine, happy people. I just had a different dream for my family. I love being their mama and I love spending my days with my kids. So, I will pray that His will is done… that I will have peace about sending him to school or that my husband will have a change of heart! I can’t wait to read your post on your school plan for the year :)

XOXO,
Angie

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78 edie wadsworth August 14, 2011 at 2:28 am

i think you must have your spouses full support and i think you’re so smart to pray about it and not force the issue angie.  your relationship to your husband is the most important thing for your kids.  focus on that and the rest will work itself out.   bless you friend!
xo,
edie

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79 Shasta August 7, 2011 at 3:10 am

I understand completely the bottom line why you homeschool! My mom taught my 8 siblings and I  at home all my life…I have always said I would send my children to private school…but my daugter is 3 and as school time gets closer I am just not sure I am ready to let go! I have a funny feeling I will find myself home schooling in the end!

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80 Alima August 7, 2011 at 4:47 am

Way to go on posting every day this week! ;) Great post about your reasons for home school. Nothing smug about it, you just spoke from your heart :)
My son is almost 2 but we are already thinking about what we will do when he is ready for kindegarten. My husband used to teach in public school and feels strongly that it is not the best place for a good education. So I think it will either be private school or home school for us. I am at a different place than you though. My son is extremely attached and I feel like I have been with him every second for the last 2 years. I am sort of yearning for that break when I can have a little alone time. I know how selfish that sounds, but it is honestly how I feel. So that is my struggle as I contemplate homeschooling.
Does that change as children grow and become a little more independant or am I just not the type of mom who would do well with homeschooling? I think about this question all the time, but I just don’t know the answer.

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81 Stacy August 7, 2011 at 8:09 am

Thank you so much for your post. I am SO tired of defending WHY we homeschool…I’ll direct them here instead b/c you hit the nail on the head!

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82 Anonymous August 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Finally…words to express how I have felt for all these years…You are a blessing.  hugs, mb

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83 Rene August 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm

yep…that is the blessing to our mother’s heart…I thank God for this awesome privledge…our family would not be the same…as I begin my 27th year of h.s….I still thank Him.  well said.
Rene

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84 Rene August 7, 2011 at 8:36 pm

yep…that is the blessing to our mother’s heart…I thank God for this awesome privledge…our family would not be the same…as I begin my 27th year of h.s….I still thank Him.  well said.
Rene

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85 Sarah at SmallWorld August 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Oh wow–I wrote a post exactly, exactly on this same train of thought for Simple Homeschool this month. I hope we have a chance to meet one of these days. I’m just over in Maryville.

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86 edie wadsworth August 14, 2011 at 2:25 am

you’re in my hometown ms. sarah!
would love to meet you :)

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87 Suzanne Jackson August 7, 2011 at 10:35 pm

We all go thru this… our family is facing the possibility of a move in the next 4-6 weeks — but it’s not a sure enough thing that I can do too much to get ready for it. Meanwhile, I need to get ready to start homeschooling (I haven’t even sent in my intent to homeschool yet!). After 12 years of homeschooling, you’d think I’d have my act together more than this.

Back in the spring, I had to remind myself why I homeschool: http://princapecos.blogspot.com/2011/04/why-oh-why-do-i-homeschool.html

Sometimes it’s the little things that make it all worthwhile.

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88 sharee August 8, 2011 at 3:40 am

Hi Edie,
I am so thankful that you share your heart concerning homeschooling your girls.  I always said that I would “never” homeschool my kids but God had different plans.  Last year I learned for the first time what classical education really is all about a nd every since that time I have been smitten!  My daughter starts kindgergarten in September and I am doing exactly what I said I would never do…homeschooling!  Please keep sharing your thoughts, your ups and downs and resources you use….I have so much to learn!

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89 Wendi August 8, 2011 at 7:36 am

Edie, I love your post and I totally agree with why you homeschool.  I too homeschool and just love being the mother I was created to be, loving on these children God blessed me with, praying with and for them, and enjoying every moment with them.  Having my children at home with me under our roof learning about this wonderful world that God created for us is the best place to be and to learn together.  Blessing to all of you this year as you learn together, it will be an exciting journey and thank you for sharing with us.  {{HUGS}}

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90 Jenn August 8, 2011 at 11:35 am

I think you’ve pretty much summed up the main reason I will be homeschooling my kids – I just want them here with me! Beautiful post.

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91 deb August 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Your sweet post brought tears to my eyes… I’ve homeschooled our 5 kiddos for the last 23 years.  I have 2 years left before our youngest graduates.  I have loved having them with me everyday and consider them my best friends. We’ve been through wonderful seasons and difficult ones, but we’ve made it through together.  Enjoy your school year!!

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92 Jennifer Fanucci August 8, 2011 at 2:17 pm

THANK YOU for sharing your heart today, Edie. I am homeschooling for the first time this year and many of your reasons for doing so are mine too. I am so thankful for encouragement like yours…in sharing your story, you inspire people like me to move forward with what I believe is our God given direction. :)

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93 tanya swann August 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I am so glad you are back blogging. I was hoping your faith and Appalachian strength would pull you through. I truly enjoy reading your blog and have done so for years. Thank you for sharing your heart and your life with us!

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94 Amelia August 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Thank you for the encouraging post! Looking forward to hearing about what you’ll be learning about this year!

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95 kristen August 9, 2011 at 12:04 am

Edie!  it’s like you’re in my head!  can i copy this post onto my blog?  that probably sounds weird, doesn’t it?  ;)  i can never say these things that are on my heart so eloquently!  you’re a pretty special lady, you know that?  :)

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96 edie wadsworth August 9, 2011 at 10:26 am

thank you so much ms. kristin! you are so sweet.
and sure, use whatever you like.
hugs and much love,
edie

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97 Joy August 9, 2011 at 1:03 am

Hello! Just wanted to say I peek in at your blog every once in a while. I don’t remember how I even got here! I’m not religious at *all* but I appreciate your honesty and your faith. Good luck with the rest of your house project.

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98 Denise August 9, 2011 at 1:41 am

Such truth.  Makes my heart skip a beat.  Oh, the memories.  Love this post, friend!  <3

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99 Gretchen August 9, 2011 at 2:16 am

Oh Edie.  I could copy and paste this post from your blog and match it right to what my heart has wanted to say.  Yes, yes, and yes!
Girlie, we were cut from the same cloth when it comes to the desires of our momma-hearts.  thank you for this BEAUTIFUL post.

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100 Denice Erway August 9, 2011 at 3:24 am

Perfect! As I enter my 13th year and realize  my first born will be far away from me this time next year, I feel the exact same way! I want them with me! Thank you for sharing so beautifully!

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101 Kingsley August 9, 2011 at 3:29 am

Thank you. Your honesty always leaves me better than it found me. God Bless

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102 Jensamom23 August 9, 2011 at 4:10 am

Thank you for putting into words what my heart wanted to express.  Continued Blessings.

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103 TracyC August 9, 2011 at 10:56 am

Love this post. Thank you for your honesty!

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104 CameraJan August 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Edie, What a fabulous post. I thought I was the only selfish one.  Thank you for letting me know that I’m not alone. I’m so glad to see you blogging again. Jan

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105 Jerusalem Greer August 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm

those are all pretty much my mother’s reasons for homeschooling us growing up. especially the being with us part.
and I am so grateful that she did it.

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106 Chelsea August 9, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Amen! I love this…thanks for sharing your heart. You are such an encouragement! There is nothing wrong with wanting them close…maybe it’s not so selfish…maybe it’s the way it was meant to be, but it is good to hear someone else confess this. What in this world has made this to be such a negative thing in the eyes of many?

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107 Kayt August 10, 2011 at 1:08 am

Thanks for sharing, Edie.  That is the exact reason I sometimes find myself dreaming about homeschooling (I was a Catholic school teacher before having children and plan on sending my daughter to Catholic school).  I SO love my children and I don’t want to miss out on all those wonderful moments.  I am already a little sad about my oldest being gone every morning in the fall.  But, I feel myself wondering, should the decision to homeschool be only based on what I want?  My daughter is 4 and loves school, she started a few half days last year, and she just thrives spending time with other children, I would hate to deny her that just because “I” want her more.  I don’t know…I am conflicted about it.  Thank you for sharing your heart, I feel the same way about the gift of motherhood and not wanting it to pass by so quickly.

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108 Steph Bing August 11, 2011 at 7:04 am

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It’s amazing what God puts before you when you need it the most – whether we realize it or not. Your post brought me to tears.  am at the point of not knowing which direction to take in our homeschooling. It seems that we haven’t found the “right” curriculum for my older daughter (just turned 10). We have decided to try a classical approach, but Classical Conversations is too expensive for us right now as we are in the middle of a home reno. I feel lost, confused, and detached from my girls (whom I’ve been hs’ing since before they could talk). I greatly value your wisdom, honesty, and openness! Please post your hs curriculum ideas!!! I can’t wait!!! :)

Alima – In response to your post a few days ago…
Yes. Your child will become more independent as he gets older. I know this is difficult. My younger daughter was/is the same way (while my older daughter was a show-stopper). They need reassurance in everything. Most importantly your and your husband’s relationship. If they sense that your marriage is sound, then their feel secure. Their home is a safe and nurturing environment for them to grow, discover, and come out of their shell. I have had to do a lot a reassuring with my daughter. Try doing things for the first time together. Children are copy-cats. “If  mommy can do it, then it is safe for me to do it,” is often how they view new situations. It is quite ok for a child to be slow to engage, cautious, and watchful of the world around him. Your son will come out of his shell and be a great person! Also – have you thought of a playgroup or a homeschool co-op? This gives you both the opportunity to be around like-minded mothers and children and the opportunity to learn to feel more comfortable with interacting with those arround him. Best wishes and blessings to you!

Angieknopp- I have also been through your dilema. My husband comes from a family of educators. Not just teachers, but administrators and superintendents, as well. So, when we decided to pull our older daughter out of public school after kindergarten there was a STORM. The first part of the storm was communicating to my husband my God-ordained purpose in life. He didn’t feel comfortable with hs’ing for kinder, but by the time school let out that year, he was willing to give me a shot with the agreement that we would try it for a year. It wasn’t a permanent decision. I couldn’t mess her up or get her too far behind in one year. After that year, we would evaluate the situation again and decide whether this was still the right path for our family. We are now going on our fifth year. I get lost sometimes. Blinded by the here-and-the-now (like our home reno). But, then again, it’s summer and we needed a break. If you have a hs community near you, get connected. Go to a hs bookfair or convention, listen to the speakers, bring the information to your husband. Most of the time we make our decisions (the “No” decisions) because of a lack of understanding, knowledge, or fear of the issue at hand. It is hard to say “yes” to a big unknown. Do some research. Homeschool kiddos do go on to college and professional careers. In fact many colleges actually seek hs students due to their promising success rates. Pray!!! Educate yourself with data/research that will reassure your husband, and pray some more!!! When my husband asked me “Is it worth fighting for (by that I mean perservering and enduring whatever lies ahead) and losing the support of my parents?” I answered, “This is what God has willed me to do. This is the ship that will die on. The hill I will battle on.” He knew that when my heart and mind are set on something, there’s almost nothing that will change it. I will become tired, loose sight of the purpose, or become overwhelmed from time to time. But, with the right support group (God, my husband, family, and friends) homeschooling will work.

And I think I have just re-motivated myself! Thank you ladies!You have been a blessing and inspiration to me tonight!
Steph, TX

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109 Jinyeah3 August 11, 2011 at 8:20 am

This strikes such a cord with me.

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110 Jody August 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Dearest Edie–I thank our precious God for directing me to your site about a year ago.  He has truly blessed me and guided me many times through your posts.  Thank you, thank you, for sharing so much of your heart and soul.  We have just finished our fourth year of homeschooling.  After all this time, we are beginning to catch some flack from family over not having the kids “in school”.  I was starting to feel discouraged and also began questioning myself.  This post of yours has reignited my fire and reminded me of the reasons we came home after my oldest completed 3rd grade.  Yes, some days I feel selfish for more “me time”, but I am WAY more jealous over time with my kids.  I am not a public school basher, I have several family members who teach and work in the public school system.  But, at least for MY family, I believe God has shown me a better way.  We have made, and are making, so many precious memories together, forging a strong family bond and, more importantly, a bond with Christ.  What could possibly be more important?

Thank you again for the encouragement and for your willingness to be God’s instrument in supporting other homeschool families.  I pray that you and your beautiful girls have a wonderful year, and that your house is finished soon!  :)

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111 Jenielle Harpster August 12, 2011 at 5:57 am

Thank you for posting this!  This is very inspirational……I needed to hear this.  I’m glad I came across your blog…..a new place for inspiration.  Blessings to you!

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112 Julia McGuire August 13, 2011 at 6:03 pm

“I just want them there with me.” well said, edie. brava.

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113 Amandaclimercarter August 14, 2011 at 4:15 am

Just wanted you to know that I made the decision in May to start homeschooling my three kids this year.  I was really starting to get nervous with our official “first day” right around the corner, and I was so happy to read this post.  I am still a little nervous, but I think we are going to love homeschooling!  Thank you for sharing.  You are such an encouragement. 

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114 patty August 14, 2011 at 4:45 pm

all the perfect reasons!

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115 Kristi McCabe August 14, 2011 at 9:06 pm

HI Edie, love reading this post! I think we are going to be HSing next year through middle school.  I loved the year I homeschooled and want it back!  Our new elementary school is very small and wonderful, however only one more year there.    I just need the encouragement that I can DO this through middle school!!!  Hopefully I can!  Please tell me I can, LOL! :)
XOXO
Kristi

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116 Nicole@Thrifty Decorating August 16, 2011 at 3:05 am

I also home school and couldn’t agree more……why should the best part of my children’s day be spent with someone else?  We started our year today…..was grateful to just bury my face in the hair of my 6 year old while she did a math paper…..time moves so quickly and these days with them are so fleeting.  Thank you for your post!

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117 Theresa August 16, 2011 at 3:42 am

What a great post.  I got tears in my eyes at the end when you said “I do it because I want them here”.  I could have listed all of your same reasons, but, yup, in the end, I do it because I am selfish and I want them with me for as long as possible.  I want to be with them.  I want to be the one to see them “get it”.  I want them to know learning is about more than passing a test.  I want to be with them when they decide that they want to be different and they can think their own thoughts.

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118 Alicia @ La Famille August 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm

this post could almost make me cry. you wrote EXACTLY how i feel. i KNOW i homeschool mostly because i’m selfish. i am visiting here from glenda’s blog…she linked to you today and i’m so glad she showed me here. you are a beautiful mama and i can’t wait to read more of your life. we’re just starting our 4th year of homeschooling this fall and i am the LEAST likely candidate to homeschool my kids. i was a mom at 19, not at all a Christian, and barely knew anything about being a mom. when my first baby was just tiny, even in my ignorance, i felt God speak to me so clearly that i was suppose to homeschoool. it took a while to convince my husband, but God worked on him too. I tell my whole story in a “school at home series” on the sidebar of my blog. but THANKS YOU for sharing this. i will be back :)

xo,
alicia

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119 Kelly Munger August 24, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Thank you for sharing this. We finally made the decision to try homeschooling part way through the last school year. It’s something we’ve been thinking about since before we started having kids 9 years ago and now is finally the time for us to start. We started Monday with a 4th grader, 1st grader and two preschoolers. I can tell this is going to be a tough road to navigate but I’m so glad they’re home with me. There were so many mornings in the past 4 years I’ve had to send kids out the door to school for 7 hours a day when I wanted nothing more than to keep them home. And now I get to. I’m sure there will be days when I wish I could send them out that door to let someone else teach them but I know when my baby heads off to college that I’ll be so thankful for this time. 

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120 jenny August 24, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Wiping my tears right now. I am in week 3 of homeschooling my 4th grader for the first time. I already feel closer to him (although we have had far from perfect weeks.) Just to be close to him and watch him learn is the best job I’ve ever had. Today, we went to the local green market for lunch and had a great time being out of the house together. I have been concerned that he is young for his age, and wants to play with his younger brother (who is 5) too much. This is a crazy thought. It is wonderful that he loves his younger brother. He has the rest of his life to grow up. Thank you for your words and inspiration.

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121 Anonymous September 3, 2011 at 1:24 am

As we begin our first year of homeschooling next week I find great comfort in reading this.  I think I have been almost ashamed that one of the main reasons I want to homeschool is because I just want them here with me! We love being together as a family and I can’t imagine it any other way.

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122 PumpkinPiePainter September 10, 2011 at 6:14 am

This is soooo good. Thank you. I’m home-schooling 2 this year, and I feel just this…I don’t want to miss out or share them.  I want the joy of watching them learn. 

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123 Loridkees September 22, 2011 at 11:21 am

Funny how things happen.  I asked someone at work the other day “why do people homeschool?”  I don’t know what type of blog provider you use, but I just noticed on my google reader that there were five of your posts I had not read.  Probably because they do not show up in google reader with all my other blogs.  Yours is the only one, I guess because I had to “subscribe” to your to be able to follow.  Long story I know, but noticed your five post listed beside your blog name and clicked on it.  So now I have your answer to my question.  I still don’t think it is something I ever could have done… but is sure does work for a lot of people.  (PS – I don’t like how I have to comment and sign in each time with my email – but I don’t want to be annonymous either.)  Thanks for my lessong today! See you teach older kids too!  REAL old.

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124 Twerthem October 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I just found your blog and LOVE this post.  I have a 3 year old boy , who i plan to homeschool and another boy due in January.  Thanks for your thoughts on why you chose this path.  Being with our kids is the greatest gift ever and I can’t imagine passing the torch to a “stranger”
Your blog, your home, is lovely, look forward to following you!
Tammy
iwokeupyesterday.com

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125 Julie Rodgers October 19, 2011 at 3:16 am

Edie, I love this post! I continue homeschooling for the very same reason. In fact, I shared your post in my blog because you said it so beautifully. :) Thank you for sharing! 

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126 conmom7 October 30, 2011 at 11:54 pm

thank you for revealing your heart on this heart-centered matter! i frequently re-evaluate my decision to homeschool our children, and it’s good to acknowledge that my reasons are not strictly about the practical things, like academic excellence or even passing faith and values to the next generation- but also to simply enjoy that precious, one-use-only gift of time. my oldest is all grown up these days, but there are several young ones yet to go- and i know too well how quickly that time flies. thanks for making me feel that it’s ok to admit that that i have an ulterior motive as a homeschooler!

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127 Ann November 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I love this. We don’t have children yet but homeschooling is something we are thinking of trying if we do.  A grandmother at our church has five homeschooled grandchildren, one of which was just accepted to med school! I really enjoy hearing stories of homeschooling parents, their thoughts and their reasons. Thanks for sharing!

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128 Margaret March 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm

My boys are now 2 and 4 years-old and as we draw nearer to official Kindergarten I sometimes toy with the idea of homeschooling. For many reasons I have found homeschooling to be a very overwhelming thought, however, your post seemed to remove the pressure and simply remind me that if we do pursue homeschooling it could simply mirror “life learning” such as classical education does. It doesn’t have to be about “tests” and theory but is instead about creating an inquisitive, curious and keen mind. Thank you for sweet honesty!

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129 Cary July 28, 2012 at 1:21 am

Edie- this is such a beautiful post. I want so badly to homeschool my children, but I just cannot get my husband on board. Charlotte, my oldest, is going into second grade; Parker will be starting kindergarten this year; and my sweet Annabel (7 months) and I want them home with us. We want to share our days with them. I want their days to be full instead of spent sitting at a desk for 7 1/2 hours waiting for the teacher to finish her assessments. I want their studies to be interesting and hands-on and WORKSHEET FREE (my goodness, how many worksheets can you do in a day???)

Pray. Please pray for us. Pray that if I am meant to homeschool our children that the Lord will open my husband’s eyes. Please pray for the Lord’s will to be done in our family.

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130 Jess December 8, 2012 at 1:43 am

I think this post is convincing me I’m heading in the right direction. Now to pray some more for the answers. Thank you for sharing.

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131 Sanz April 22, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing.

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