Why I gave up homeschooling via lifeingrace

How glorious the splendor of a human heart that trusts that it is loved.

Well, first, I blame Instagram.  Everything was fine and dandy;  we were reading The Iliad and using chalk pastels to paint the prettiest chickens in the free world, when all the IG updates started in from kids at the Classical Christian school in town.  There were the adorable 12 year olds in uniforms, laughing it up over chips and sandwiches at the picnic table outside, or the artsy and  eclectic 14 year olds snapping selfies and talking about the lasting bonds of friendship made over lattes and art and team sports.  School looks cool on Instagram, there’s  no doubt about it.

Then there was the look she gave me.  I’ve spent every day, all day, with her for the past five years.  I know her so well.  She didn’t really have to say anything. I just knew it was time.  She wanted—she needed to do this.  And to me, that’s the ultimate benefit of homeschooling—the deep knowing that comes from the day in and day out struggle for her heart.  I have battled many demons in these days at home but the war for her heart was the hardest fought.  And the irony is this.  I was always preparing her to leave.    All the laughter, all the tears, all the cooking lessons and the reading aloud, all the art projects and all the talks about life, all the slow mornings on the sofa with good books and all the hours of studying Latin declensions—it was all training, so that someday, she’d feel strong and capable and ready to do this.

We’ve been through a lot together, her and I.  We’ve read hundreds of books, made endless batches of chocolate chip cookies, survived a horrific house fire and 1,825 days of messy, beautiful life. We’ve taken the best field trips and talked for hours about beauty products and the Greek gods.  We’ve memorized a thousand lines of poetry and danced around in the kitchen while the ripest tomatoes from our garden cooked on the stove. We’ve studied the Israelites until we feel like they’re our brothers and we’ve prayed the Lord’s prayer too many times to count. We’ve been harsh and unkind and impatient but forgiveness has never been in short supply.  I’ve told her four hundred times to stop clogging and tapping so we could finish our book.  I’ve prayed that I’d be wise enough to know when the time was right, strong enough to keep going until that day came, and tender enough to let her have her say.

That time has come.  These days at home were always precious and always numbered.

If I could do anything different,  I would smile more, laugh more, dance more, and read more poetry.

If I did anything right, it was the courage I had to stay and tell the truth, for as long as she needed me.  I stayed until I knew that she knew she was loved.  She’s sure now and the weight of it crushes my doubts.

Two weeks from today, I will kiss her goodbye, she will walk into the 7th grade and everything about the way we spend our days will change.  I’m excited, relieved, and yet, incredibly sad. I look back on the past five years with a heart full of gratitude—for the gift of her days and for how we learned to love and forgive each other so freely.  I will miss her terribly and grieving a loss like this will take time.  When I think about it for too long, I’m sure my heart will break.

So, I don’t.

We’re enjoying every minute of these last two weeks at home;  finishing the tween room, organizing school uniforms and folders and pencils, and holding on for dear life to these vapors we call days.

Why did I finally give up homeschooling and a way of life I’ve so come to  love and cherish?

Because she told me it was time.

And I trust her.  So I listened.

*************************

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when I say *her*, of course I mean *them*

They will both be going into 7th grade so at least they’ll still be together.

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Wonder if they’d mind if I join the 7th grade, too?

girlsarefun

What will I do now, with all this free time?  I’m thinking I’ll start with a full on mid-life crisis.  Then, I’m sure I figure it out.  One thing’s for sure.  I’ll still be meeting you here and I’m so thankful for that.

I’ll be around in the comments in case you have questions.

Love y’all.  And pray for me.  Change is hard.

 

185 comments on “Why I Gave Up Homeschooling”

  1. Oh I feel your pain! It’s hard letting go but it’s also the most rewarding thing we can do. What to do with your free time? Well, just march yourself over to Florida and help a mom in crisis decorate her house! Watch as a mom’s eyes fill with tears as her decorating delimmas are vanquished! So, just let me know when you want to come!

  2. Well, goodness…ever since I stumbled onto your blog from the Nester a few years ago when I was on hiatus from homeschooling, I was thrilled to learn of and follow your homeschool journey. And ever since I saw that you would no longer be homeschooling, I have been wanting to know the reason. 🙂

    What a fantastic and exciting adventure you all have ahead of you. Praying for you and yours during this transition.

    Thank you for encouraging me through your posts to enjoy more, live more, laugh more, engage more, listen more, and BE more present. Each and every day with my own kids.
    We’re back homeschooling again, and I am so grateful for this opportunity each and every day.

    • Well Edie…Me too. Meaning, haven taken a hiatus from Homeschooling..but now am going back I believe. Your wonderful posts have meant SO much to me and kept me going on our homeschool journey. But I SO get all that you expressed. However, please DO keep those uplifting posts
      up, in the event we all need them. They are RICH, rich! What seeds you have planted! Blessings on this new season of your life, and those precious girls. Can’t wait to hear/ see this journey now….Love , Nan in B’ham

  3. Oh dear! Bless your heart! I really, really, really wanted to follow mine to college! You have loved them well and that doesn’t end when they leave your nest! Mine are 25 and almost-23 and I’m still learning to navigate this new season. You will do it with grace, I’m sure!

  4. Dear Edie-what a difficult decision to make. To let go, to trust and know that they will be ok. I can imagine your momma heart breaking and rejoicing at the same time. You have taught them well and built a string foundation for them. And I certainly think you could join the seventh grade.
    Looking forward to meeting you here and to the fabulous tween room.
    Hugs

  5. It is as I supposed from the first time you mentioned it. I do not view it as giving up. It is a new season. My heart aches for you Edie. You will be in my prayers during this time of transition. I am also very happy for the girls in that they are embarking on a new adventure and they will be such a blessing to their new environment. Well done Edie!
    Love and Big Hugs,
    Trudy

  6. I love this so much. I have lived through this and as all my friends still homeschool I am taking walking my child out the door and into school because it was time and he needed it & God has been so faithful in it. And as a side note because i have never left a comment before I have heard your voice numerous times this summer as I have been purposeful in making my family good meals each night. I have to gear up and pump myself up and I hear your words about how these people who live with me are going to need to eat each night. It is not going away. So invest in it & do feed them well. Or something like that.
    Anyhow my husband thanks you. I have been cooking with heart for the first time in thirteen years.

  7. Sounds like perfect timing. Bless your heart, and bless your little gals. They will Thrive because you have prepared them for this. Fabulous news. The Lord will lead you forward 🙂

  8. Oh the struggle every mama has to face of letting go of those chubby little i’m hands we’ve held in ours! I’m facing the same path only my littles are heading to preschool. Ive been with them almost every moment from birth. They are so very excited for school- but this mama’s heart is breaking! I hope we both find our way through!

  9. Oh, Edie. You just reached right through my little computer screen and rubbed a bit of balm on my mama heart. I’m in the trenches. Fighting for my girl. Clinging to the hope that through every raw day, she’ll fall deeper into knowing she is loved and Loved. Thank you for this bit of hope realized this morning.

    You and your girls are Christ’s victory walking in this world, His banner of grace high and full and bright above. I’ll be praying for your mama heart.

  10. Oh, I feel your heart, Edie. It’s a fine line and we want to toe it and do it right, but sometimes the faintness of it is hard to see. My son wanted to go to high school for his senior year. We let him go. I remember how hard it was, but he was definitely ready.

    You have prepared them well. A Classical Christian school will be the perfect fit for you all.

    Can I just say your two lovelies remind me of me and my sister when we were little – me, the one with the dark skin, dark hair, dark eyes and her, the one with light hair, fair skin and light eyes?

    Blessings to you, friend.

  11. My daughter told me it was time when she went into 6th grade. My sons time wasn’t till 9th grade. They both did wonderful. I believe the most important thing you’ve said in this post is “I stayed until I knew that she knew she was loved”. The feelings of being unloved and worthless are what cause so many problems in a childs life. I know. God bless you. And your girls are sooooo adorable. 🙂

  12. Crying hard now, Edie. So achingly beautiful. Change is hard, especially the kind of change that separates mother and child. To know and trust in Love is the only way to thrive in the change, to evolve instead of crumble.
    I hope you keep this as a letter for them when they are older. I have been wanting, NEEDING, to blog for my own daughters lately, though our reasons for separation are vastly different. And now I might have the courage. Thank you for that.
    Much love to you from Oklahoma. Deep breaths.
    xoxoxo

    • It’s so hard, Marie. Praying for you, for strength to be patient and bear their burdens, for peace and forgiveness to wash over all of you. Sending you love and the comfort of the hope we all have in Christ.
      xoxo

  13. They are adorable! New adventures – new choices – my oldest has taken us down many schooling paths (the best which was Waldorf education – priceless). This year I have my youngest starting High School, and the oldest decided to switch to that school as well so life will be quiet here – I am used to driving them to school and thought I would have 2 more years of car conversation. Now big brother drives so I will just have to pick up here and there after sports practice or band. The youngest is busy and says yes to just about everything. Ahhh, the struggle of change. You will get through it, but it will be a struggle. You did so much good for your girls, and had so much quality time – that can at least rest in a great place of happy. Good luck to you and your girls.

  14. Change is hard. But that’s one of the only things in life that’s guaranteed. Everything changes, but God has created something awesome in us women. The strength to endure these changes. You’ll be just fine. Have I told you that reading your blog makes me happy? Hugs.

  15. What a foundation you have laid. Though I didn’t home school my children, I have many friends who have and they go the same struggles and decisions. You have said it right. You stayed until they said it was time. They will do fine because they know they have the best cheering section they’ll ever need. I’ll be praying for you through the change.

  16. Tears! You’ve done well. They are ready. I love this line … “I stayed until I knew she knew she is loved.”

  17. I love how you share your heart. What a reminder to all of us, “These days at home were always precious and always numbered. If I could do anything different, I would smile more, laugh more, dance more, and read more poetry.” Amen. And then this, which brings out the tears, “If I did anything right, it was the courage I had to stay and tell the truth, for as long as she needed me.” Thankfully, they always will need you … no matter where they are. Happy days ahead!

  18. My children were homeschooled until the oldest was an eleventh grader and the youngest was in the eighth grade. Then the unthinkable happened. The Lord, in His gracious sovereignty, called my husband home. So, the kids went to “real” school at the same time I went back to college. I needed a job that would provide for us and had no choice. That did not make it any easier. The first day they walked through those school doors felt like a dagger being driven into my heart. I shed more tears than I thought possible for one mom to shed. That was eight years ago and God went before all three of us and prepared the way. My children were ready too but I don’t believe I would have had your courage to let them go. You will never regret those years you had with them but trust me -the joys don’t end now. Your heart will heal and you will see those girls become precious rubies!

  19. You have taught them well. One of the most important things they have learned to be independent and that they are loved. Can only imagine the blessings God has in store for them and you on this next journey. They will be such a blessing to their friends. You dear Edie will not be idol long as soon as they learn of your many talents. Schools need parents like you. You’ll still homeschool just the format changed. You are a blessing to your children. God will place many others who need to learn and grow from being with you. Praying for all. “This is what The Lord says,I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you.” 2Kings 20:5. God has a plan and I look forward to hearing how He is working in your life and the beautiful girls lives. Blessing, Peggy

  20. Oh, you sweet, dear lady. I know how hard this is, because I have done this myself, 2x. I homeschooled my daughter from K-4th grade and sent her to school for 5th and 6th. I missed her terribly, but it was the right decision. We had just moved, and we saw this as the best way for her to meet new friends and adapt to our new community quickly. We didn’t regret it. Then I got a second chance to have her home with me again, for 7th and 8th grade, when she didn’t get into the junior high we wanted her to attend. I loved those extra two years and we used them well, to prepare her for leaving again. She did get into our choice for high school, and now we’ll be sending her off to school again, full of confidence that she’s ready. This parenting thing is hard sometimes, but like you said, we need to listen to our kids….that is so important.

  21. What a wonderful story. You are a good mother because you are doing what is best for your daughter and hard for you. Keep us posted on how you both are doing.

  22. Well now you have me all teary. Really. Your heart astounds me. You put all this into words so eloquently I would only hope to be brave enough to listen to the changes that need to take place, especially the ones I’d rather ignore. I admire your love. I’ll be praying for you and them.

  23. Oh Edie,
    I read this with tears running down my face, it is soooo hard to let them go!! My youngest boy goes up to middle school in September ( we live in uk) and I can hardly bear to think of it!! He goes from a tiny village school of 55 to a big 500 plus children!! Even the uniform is breaking my heart!! I mean, who puts their just 9 year old into a shirt and tie!! You sound like you have made a wonderful job if schooling your girls and showing them how special and unique they are, now it is their job to continue this! Have faith- they will be fine and so will you! Esther. Xx

  24. Hi Edie, I’m praying this comment goes through since none do lately 🙁 I think your making the right decision! Every year is different. She may come home in 10th grade and say mom, let’s spend the next 2 yrs together! Life is a ride, that is for sure. My boys have also told me they’d like to spend the next 2 yrs home and go to high school. I’m all for supporting them in their decision! Praying for you all! 🙂
    xoxo
    Kristi

  25. YAY it went through, apparently I just have to leave out my “website” and I can comment! LOL! Just becareful with Instagram and even Pinterest (I wrote about Pinterest, if you’d like to read it) which I’m sure you are. 🙂

  26. I’m Momma to one preciously 13 month old little boy. We’re just beginning our journey together, but my heart just breaks for you. I now understand those “time flies” comments. It really does and just so quickly! You are a brave Momma. Brave and so loving to those babies of yours. You’re in my thoughts!!

  27. Your blog sounds very hypocritical…first you love it…now you don’t! One day it’s the best route…the next day you can see in your child’s eyes that they need to go to school. I don’t think your heart is breaking to much–I think your heart desire is to decorate, be with friends, blog , go to blogging conventions and decorate your “open” shelving etc…..just be honest with your readers…we can see through it!

    • Sally, you obviously don’t know anything about Edie or her Girls. She’s way to kind hearted to put you in your place, but I’m not. Edie is the most wonderful, loving, selfless person I’ve ever known and yes she does a damn great job on that “open shelving”, not to mention the blogging!
      Bless your hateful heart,

      Jamie Knoxville

      • AMEN Jamie!!! To Sally,, I can guess what drives what you think you’re seeing, and you are an anomaly! There is no “we” only you!

    • Sally,
      Your comment makes me wonder how long or how much of this blog you have read. I believe if you go back and read the link above “we’ve been harsh and unkind and impatient” you may understand that neither Edie nor her blog is hypocritical. She is just beautifully aware of and in touch with the frailty of her own humanity. I believe that very struggle is made aware to all of us as mothers if we are honest with ourselves and others.

      • It takes a lot of courage to put your heart out there on a blog. The risk is having someone who just doesn’t “get it” make a critical, demeaning remark. Apparently, mean girls graduate middle school and high school and start reading and commenting on blogs they obviously don’t understand. As women, we should encourage each other through all the seasons of life because we may go through the same rough patch ourselves one day and we will have the benefit of remembering another’s struggle. May God grow each of us in the wisdom of choosing our words and knowing when to be silent.

    • I realize I’m chiming in late in the game.

      Edie is explaining HER choices to us. Honestly, she didn’t have to or owe that to us at all. One of the main principles of making the choiced to school at home is taking the reins on their education and choosing what is best for your family. Sometimes that means swallowing your pride and registering your child somewhere else even if that makes YOU look bad in someones eyes.

      I appreciate that Edie did NOT say that homeschooling through junior high or high school was silly or not a good decision or anything else that would shed judgement on my MY decisions. These are the decisions that have been made for HER family because they feel they are best. That doesn’t make them best for MY family. She cant take that responsibility or burden of that from me.

      Frankly, if Edie wanted to take time off to decorate and play…wouldn’t she have done that when rebuilding and decorating her home that ended up in a decorating magazine? Have you noticed that when she decorates, or cooks, or has all her fun her girls are with her? Right by her side being discipled? They aren’t brushed aside for her fun. YES she has gone to blog conferences, although not as many as most. If you have followed her blog you would see her heart wrenching exits. She makes a million meals ahead, sheds a ton of tears and leaves a piece of her heart behind.

      I get it Sally. I too have seen many people hail homeschooling as thee only way and then cast it all aside with disgust snarling about how it shouldn’t be done and isn’t the best. Leaving those of us barely holding our heads above water and trying to stick with what IS best for our families scratching our heads and feeling judged. My prayer is that if and when this is no longer the best for our families that we will put our pride aside and make decisions for them not based on others thinking we’ve given up.

      Give Edie a break. I appreciate her honesty. And do believe it to be honesty.

  28. Prayers for you my friend. I can only imagine how difficult this is for you. You are such a wonderful mom. If there is someone I’d like to be like, to model myself after, it’s you. For real. I feel like you teach me so much through this blog and by how you love your family. Thank you for that.
    ~FringeGirl

  29. What a precious post! I could be mistaken, but I think your kids will be going to the school with a new Mr. Holland – he just left my children’s school, and we will miss him, he’s so great! That sort of makes me feel like you and are “connected” now, ha! Thanks for always being so inspiring, and I wish an easy and joyful transition for your kids – and you.

  30. I have so been looking forward to reading this post! Thank you for sharing your heart! I am not a mom yet and have a background in education. And there is so much a part of me that says, “I WILL NOT homeschool.” I am capable, I have the skills, but I am selfish with my time. As I have followed your blog I have seen so much more to homeschooling than I had before. And when you talk about your daughters hearts, I connect. Though it is about school–it’s not really about school. It’s about growing up your children to know they are loved and like you said, to be prepared to one day leave. I love that and am all about that. That is why it scares me when I read posts like this and think, “wow, maybe the Lord will have me homeschool.” The time to decide is far but I want you to know what an encouragement you are as a mother. And not just in homeschooling, but a very real and vivid love for your children that I want to have for my own kids one day, homeschool or not. Thanks so much for sharing your heart in this! xo

  31. Edie, I am praying for your tender sorrow and celebrating your unselfishness. While i was wiping tears reading your post I realized I was humming “I Will Praise You in the Storm”; Because God knows your heart He will always strengthen you and prepare you for the next unfolding steps. Bless those hands of yours even as they clench tight and hope not to let go…and bless them as they reach out in love to your girls and as you lift them in prayer, and as they give a reassuring pat to the girls when they turn toward what God has prepared for them. God will fill the space between hearts at home and hearts at school and work with love and lifegiving grace and spirit. i will be praying!
    love & all the blessings heaven will allow

  32. You blow my mind! This post was beautiful! Those kids (all of them!) are beyond blessed that your their momma. Love, love, love and more love. That comes through in your writing. Blessings to you, beautiful momma!

  33. I have had a special place in my heart for you since the day you mailed me homemade strawberry preserves. And I prayed for you faithfully when “the fire” happened. I can’t wait to meet you finally at Becoming! When Jen told me you were speaking, I almost wet my pants;) This post brought tears to my eyes. What a precious testimony of a great momma who invest with her whole heart into her family!! I will be praying for you again, my friend.

    See you soon.

  34. Oh my heart breaks and dances for you! I have my two little ones and we are seriously considering homeschooling them. (My little girls are 4 years and 10 months.) I have spent everyday with the youngest and couldn’t imagine she and her sister being gone for part of the day, every day…I would miss them so much! So I pray for you, from one mother’s heart to another, as you dive into this new lily pool – that it may be cool and beautiful and an oasis for the three of you!

  35. You’ve done a great job homeschooling this long. But they need to experience real life – mean girls and all. Not fun and certainly not fun for a mom to watch, but the interaction with other kids is necessary to fully prepare them for adulthood. I am sure you know that. My daughter is developing a tough skin in school, while realizing how blessed she is to have two parents at home who love her. She is learning that sometimes she gets the best grades and sometimes she doesn’t and sometimes there is a teacher or classmate who simply doesn’t like her based on her beliefs or her personality or color of her hair or who knows what and that is just how life is. They need to experience all that while they are in the home so that we can teach them how to deal with it, or at least be there to pray for them when there is nothing we can do to help them. Hard to watch our kids grow up, sometimes. But learning how to cope and thrive in the real world is necessary. In our situation, our local public school is certainly the real world. Mean girls and all.

    • Trisha-I am sure you meant well, but homeschooling is the real world, too. When I read this post I feared there would be comments like this. And truly, kids don’t have to experience “mean girls” to make it in the “real world”. A great book that discusses this is called “Hold Onto your Kids”.

      • I understand your stance on this. I am a mother of 7 children and some of our children we homeschool and some we do not. Ofcourse children need to see the real world but mean girls at school is really not the real world. It is only the real world for a junior high or highschool girl. Once you leave that time of life you grow up and see how that is really not real life. Real life is being an adult and not being mean to someone for what they are wearing. Some girl’s hearts can take that abuse and some cannot.

        • Mary & Amy, well said. For Trish, a child does not need to be with mean girls to be a part of the “real world”

      • Here, Here about the book “Hold Onto Your Kids”. Best parenting book I’ve ever read. I wish it was around about 30 yrs. ago.

  36. Thanks for the post, Edie! I agree with a poster above – I don’t think you “quit” home schooling – this is just a new season for you. I am hoping that God gives me the grace to school my kiddos through the 8th grade. At that point, I’ll buy uniforms and consider my mission accomplished. Not quitting… just moving to a new phase of life – by choice! 🙂

  37. Wow! We are living in a parallel universe. I have spent the last 12 years homeschooling….now they will all be in school. My free time? I’ll be teaching Latin and English at the Classical Christian school!

  38. How about, with all your newfound time, you come just a bit further south, just past Atlanta, to my little neck of the woods and help me with 2 tween rooms AND the battle inside my head about whether or not to homeschool my 5th grader for just this year.

    We have a sweeeet pool, tons of golf cart paths for jogging and I make some pretty mean caramel corn.

    Have I convinced you to come for a visit???

  39. Hey Edie.

    My daughter went to public school a few years before my son. I grieved for my daughter the entire first year. With my son it was a bit different, but it, too, has taken a year to get used to a quiet house. Thank you for putting our experience so eloquently into words for me to understand it all over again. {hugs}

  40. What a brave mama you are. And how empowering for your girls to know that you listened to their voice and needs as to when it was time for a change. I predict they will both love and hate it and will still need you every step of the way. I also think that it will be so much better for them to take this step now rather than waiting until high school.
    As for all that free time of yours, I have a few suggestions:
    more book clubs
    yoga in the yard with the chickens
    and you can always come help me decorate my new house.

    And school uniforms; how fun will that be? You can enter the world of fancy tights and hair accessories for self expression.

    Much love,
    Ami D.

  41. Ohhhhh Edie! May I call you that? I feel as though I know you. I am crying now, real tears. I will pray for you earnestly. I believe the grace of God will overwhelm you in these coming months and after the full on midlife crisis (eating cookies at 10am, drumming your fingers on the kitchen counter as you gaze out the window) your eyes will be filled with understanding as to what is next.

  42. Hooray for you and for the girls! May this be a fantastic year for them and their new friends and teachers. Home-school or out-of-home-school – it’s Christ we serve and follow. God has us in different places in different seasons. May you be blessed with a deepening knowledge of him and the ability to rest in his grace in every season and place.

  43. Hey Edie, I love how you speak from the depths of your heart, I really respect you and appreciate all your thoughts about homeschooling, life, parenting, cooking, creating, and mostly the grace of God that is always evident amongst it all. I’ll be praying for you all during this transitioning time and I know that the Holy Spirit will comfort you and guide you all each and every day. To God be the glory! xo

  44. Wow …. beautifully written and heart felt! I cannot imagine it myself, I hs’d my (now grown) three boys k-12. They’ve all graduated from college (two of them did it online, right here on Lavender Hill!) Suma cum Laude and I still couldn’t imagine sending them to school! I think the decisions we make are so personal, so individual and what is right for one child and family is just as wrong for another!

    I wish you all blessings and good luck on the newest twist in your journey as a family!

    gena

  45. Edie,
    I just wanted to let you know it’s all going to be ok.
    Love from a northerner (yes, that is truly possible). 🙂
    Diana

  46. You are just ending your homeschooling journey and I just filed my intent to homeschool today. I hope you find peace in your decision and ways to keep your hands busy. I hope that your girls have an amazing school year and that you grow closer from knowing that you prepared them to make the decision and they made it and you were wise and loving enough to let them. 🙂
    Excited for you & your family!
    xo

  47. I have been where you are now. I’m just 8 years ahead of you. During that first year, some days it was hard to see them go. Some days I was so tired, I was glad I could be alone in my thoughts. But my kids flourished. Then, my mother was diagnosed with cancer that same year and passed away two years later. I was her primary caregiver and although it was hard, I was thankful I could spend time with her, knowing that my children were thriving in their new school. Your season of homeschooling may be over but God is preparing you for a new chapter in all of your lives. I know that you will handle all of it with grace.

  48. Edie,
    I stumbled onto your blog just after the fire. I’ve never commented before but I WANT you to know YOU were the light bulb that went off in my head January before last as I was struggling with where our daughter would attend 6th grade. Public middle school did not feel like our best choice and there were not many good options. As I was reading your blog it dawned on me that we could homeschool! Our daughter and I loved it last year and are looking forward to beginning our second year week after next. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for your tender, heartfelt words, awesome song choices, spiritual insight and so much more. YOU are an inspiration!

  49. I think you are so brave and wonderful. I pray I have such a tender and generous heart for my kids desires when they are done homeschooling. I see more books being written with all your free time!! 😉 May the Lord continue to bless you, and your family, on the journey.

    • Amen! I second this sentiment to you, Sweet Edie~~ <3
      (*And hugs to you, Stephanie, somewhere in the comments above– your beautiful testimony of God going before you & preparing the way for you & your kids touched my heart, too.~)

  50. God has been with you and yours from the start and he will continue to lead, guide and direct the ways in which you are to go. Peace and Grace.

  51. They can be so much wiser than we, as moms, want them to be! Time for a new chapter,Miss Edie– and you know we’ll be right here, praying, reading, laughing, loving along with you.
    Xo Heidi

  52. Oh Edie,
    My heart hurts right along side yours. Why? Because although I have only officially homeschooled my two boys for two years now I, too, will be kissing the tops of their heads and sending them off to school this fall. The circumstances that surround my families decision to end our homeschooling life (at least for now) is different than yours but in the end the same outcome. I have been starting my grieving process and I am sure it will take some time to feel ok. This decision is not something that I would have made had it not been for the circumstances surrounding us at the moment but I take great comfort in our Father, knowing that he knows the plans that he has for each of us as individuals as well as a family, and he will hold us. So after 7.5 years of having my boys home with me everyday I will let them both go knowing that their heavenly Father will provide for our every need. Praying for you and your family during this transition.

  53. Oh Edie,
    My heart hurts right along side yours. Why? Because although I have only officially homeschooled my two boys for two years now I, too, will be kissing the tops of their heads and sending them off to school this fall. The circumstances that surround my families decision to end our homeschooling life (at least for now) is different than yours but in the end the same outcome. I have been starting my grieving process and I am sure it will take some time to feel ok. This decision is not something that I would have made had it not been for the circumstances surrounding us at the moment but I take great comfort in our Father, knowing that he knows the plans that he has for each of us as individuals as well as a family, and he will hold us. So after 7.5 years of having my boys home with me everyday I will let them both go knowing that their heavenly Father will provide for our every need. Praying for you and your family during this transition.

  54. My throat hurts from the emotion that just got caught up in it while reading this post. My eyes sting from the tears that welled up and then overflowed down my cheeks. You touched a chord with so many women Edie as well as with me. Your posts make me wish I had home schooled our six children. You have taught your children well and you have taught them the ways of the Lord. I am preparing for our last child to leave our home in Minnesota for college in Kentucky. It is his time to leave as our other five have before him. I mourn the loss of my children from our home…(and more tears flow)…Cherish the beautiful and precious memories of the time you spent being your children’s teacher. They will never forget the energy and effort and LOVE you poured out into their days while home with you. You are beautiful. Blessings to you Edie and thank you for this and for all of your wisdom that you share on here!

  55. Dear Edie-
    During my long career as a high school English teacher, at times my principal changed my teaching assignment for the upcoming year- because there was a need.

    Your post reminded me of just such a change.

    The campus principal here is God, right?
    There is a need for you Miss Edie. What a glorious journey you will be on discovering what that is.

    It will be OK.

    Laura

  56. Sometimes the gift in all of it is being flexible enough to know when to stop, and knowing that that isn’t the same as quitting. And you’re right… a benefit of homeschooling is knowing your child that much better. We went from years of homeschooling to public school. First our son, in his Junior year, and the next year our daughter, starting as a freshman. Two totally different experiences, I might add. Same school. Different kids w/ different personalities. Our son graduated this year (praise God), and our daughter will go back for her sophomore year — with a new attitude (an answer to this mama’s prayer). I’ll be praying for you. Change IS hard.

  57. I love it, Edie! For both them and you!

    I’ve got plenty of idea of what you can do in your free time, and one of them is come up to Ky and see me. Or invite me down to stay with you. {hint.hint.}

    Love you, girl!

    • I miss you, Traci!! I feel so privileged to have had the gift of that week together. What a gift! You are one of those special people that just make everything better. And I would love to have you here in Bean Station with me so anytime you can make that happen, you have an open invitation. We need a reunion, soon!!
      Love you and miss you.
      xoxo

  58. You have all given each other a beautiful gift: the times you have shared, the long talks, the art and all of the learning..for all of you. Keep doing the decorating and the blogging, the speaking and the attending meetings; we all need your knowledge, your enthusiasm and your encouragement. It is a hard world out there and we need to work for each other.

  59. One year at a time.
    I will be praying for you.
    Thank you for once again for sharing your heart so freely with us. 🙂
    Grace and Peace.

  60. Dear Edie,
    I think I’ll cry with you! But soon your sad tears will turn into happy tears, realizing, like you’ve said, you have been preparing them to leave all along and they have your blessing. It’s the letting go that’s so hard! But I’ve found with my girl, who is 30 now and with two babies of her own, you never, ever really let go…especially of their hearts. Those you cling to for a lifetime. I will be praying for y’all to have the most beautiful two weeks you’ve ever spent together, and that God will give you His peace that passes all understanding as you send them off to a new and great adventure! Just think of all the new and wonderful blogging material they will bring home for you to tell us about! 🙂 “Oh, the places they will go”….Blessings my friend, Cindy

  61. My kids all went to Lutheran school, and then to Catholic high school, except youngest daughter who went to public high school. My eldest daughter has homeschooled, sent them to Lutheran school when she was homebound by high risk pregnancy, is now doing a combination – High schooler will be gone 3 days a week, the younger ones will do some home school and math with tutor and science at our Cooperative Extension Service which has amazing program! Life changes – it is never static – what is static is the desire for a well educated child who can make it in “the world”. You don’t have to defend what you do to ANYBODY! It is up to you and your husband to make educational decisions for your children. It amazes me the power of a negative opinion which the deliverer had NOT the better judgment to keep to herself. I can only imagine that she is not in a place of peace in her heart. Bless her. I am sure you will find plenty of worthy things to do and if decorating is part of it – Yay, I can always use ideas. Home is important and the Lord blesses that – it is not shallow and neither are you! Blessings, Edie!

  62. I have been wanting to give up home school…more like throw in the towel! Too many things going on and I feel like I do not have the time to do things well any more. It is not an option for us right now as we live overseas and a good school is not close by. I think you have ended your home schooling days with grace…your words are challenging to me. I need patience to keep home schooling with joy and grace until the right day comes when we can move in a different direction. Praying for you as you enjoy this new season at home alone & pray for me that I will embrace with joy the next home school year as well. God bless!

  63. Ugly.Cry.Is.On….and my heart hurts with yours on letting go. So glad you had these past 5 years. You will ALWAYS have those 🙂 Just so grateful for you and your sacrifice and love to your children. Hugs!

  64. Saying a prayer for you sweet friend. Change no matter how right it feels is hard. I know, we are dealing with the prospect of a change around here & even though I know it’s best, that God is removing us from one thing to send us in a better direction it’s hard to leave the comfort of the old. My hubby & I discussed this possible need to change somethings for over 2 weeks then when we had the final talk with our son about the change I couldn’t hold it together. Crying like a baby, yet I’m the one that said “it’s time to make a change” go figure.

    We started home schooling about the same time as you I believe (5/6 years ago). I was terrified of teaching my kids & messing them up. But thankfully I stumbled across blogs like yours & you were a life line on many occasions. So I owe you a huge thank you! I would come see what y’all were doing & experiencing. How did you handled problem and get ideas or inspiration. I always got the push or bolt I needed & left ready to continue on our journey. THANK YOU!

    We sent them to a private school after 3 years at home. It was so hard & some days now 2 years later it still is. But I know we have a bond & I understand them in way that I couldn’t have if we hadn’t had the time & experience that home schooling offered us.

    I know that having had this opportunity was a gift for them, for me & for us, and it continues to give to us all the time. I wish I could explain it better (it’s late) and without writing a essay or more. Please know that you & your girls will be in my prayers for a smooth transition as you make this change. I think you will have a new and different appreciation for this time & in time see that it has given you things that you have yet to discover. I know I did.

    Change is hard, go back to the old is easy. You can do it Edie!!!

  65. Ive got a great idea to help you through the transition… How about you come to New England this fall and help this Lutheran pastors wife decorate a workroom of her own that she can use as she brings home her three youngest to homeschool for the first time? I’ve got a budget of nothing and not an artistic bone in my body but would sure love an inspired place to start the journey. 8).

  66. Edie,
    After four years of classically homeschooling, my children began attending a classical Christian school last year. And here’s the craziest thing, I am on staff there now, too. It’s such an adventure when we follow Him into all that He has for us, which unfortunately includes change! My oldest will be in the 7th grade too, my baby boy in the 5th, and my baby girl in the 1st. I teach 3rd, and “audit” the literature and history classes “upstairs” since the grammar school is out a couple of hours before logic/rhetoric. It has been the most amazing transition for us all and all four of us absolutely adore our new community. The boys still claim I am their favorite teacher, which gives me hope that love is blind and maybe all of the harder homeschooling days take a back seat to the amazing days. We are so thankful. Wouldn’t trade any of it! Just wanted to encourage you that we have been there, and my kids THRIVED socially, academically, spiritually. Oh, it has been so good. We are all getting ready for year 2 and CAN NOT WAIT! Blessings to you this year!! Don’t let the administrators hear you mention “spare time”…you may end up in a classroom, too! 🙂

  67. How gracious and gorgeous you are. And how wonderful to be so discerning and loving to knew that it is time, and then to allow it to happen. Plan to do something very beautiful on that first day of school. Go well.

  68. Big hugs, lots of love, and lavishes of grace on you and your family!!! I admire you for being brave enough to listen, knowing “her” well enough to see and hear, and trusting and loving “her” enough to set her free. 🙂

    P.S. Not that she wasn’t “free” in homeschooling (our family homeschools), but the fact she was ready to go and you knew it was time 🙂 Hugs, blessings, and prayers for you, sweet lady!!

  69. Knowing your heart, I think it takes courage and is an example of how god loves us. Guiding your girls through this journey of life is our call as a mother. Putting what is best for them is such an example of love. And the hours you have invested will not be void- just like god’s word. They will turn to you and include you in their adventures. You are too hip to be left behind! And somehow I believe the school will be calling you! Love you girl!

  70. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have been homeschooling my daughter for 2 years and she will be going back to school this year. I have struggled all summer with decision even though I know it is the best decision. I know she is ready.

  71. I will pray for you Edie but your prayers have already been answered! You made a decision to change and He will see you through this. The kids will be fantastic though albeit maybe not quite as brilliant without your tutelage. But, smart enough! You too will be fantastic. Change is growth and while learning curves are hard, they even out over time. Every stage has new joys. You can’t imagine what yours will be, but I’m going to bet in six months you will be a new you. And will look forward to the carefree days of summer which will be just around the corner. God bless you, thanks for sharing all.

  72. Bless you in this new journey! I’ve been in your shoes — my oldest transitioned from homeschooling to a classical Christian school in 6th grade. It has been a marvelous place for her, and this year my youngest (5th) will be joining her there. I’ll still be homeschooling my son who has special needs, so my journey is not done, just different. It’s amazing to see the paths God leads us down — once upon a time I could never have imagined homeschooling. Your homeschooling posts have always been inspiring, and I’m sure God will continue that magic regardless of where your girls open their books.

  73. Edie, I just had to write. I’ve been following your blog for a while and although my children are only 3 and 18 months, I feel your dear heart. I know I will have a lot of praying and leaning on God through my future days as my kids continue to discover this challenging world. And, if we decide to homeschool down the road, I can guarantee I’ll be scouring your archives as I search for such beautiful, Christian-based wisdom for educating our children.
    Thank you for allowing God to shine through you brightly for others!

  74. This is beautifully expressed. It must be the ultimate in bitter sweetness for you. Blessings and best wishes for you over the next couple of weeks!

  75. Such a nourishing look back over the years with your girls! How precious all that time is! We hang on to the undeniable truth that we, as parents, know best! And God is so good to guide us in each decision. I “en-COURAGE” you as you go forward! Blessings.

  76. oh edie girl
    change is hard indeed. my goodness it’s hard indeed.
    i’m not even a homeschool mom & i’m feeling you and crying…
    love you

  77. Edie, this is such a lovely blog. I’m so glad that you wrote this and that I found it! We are starting our 3rd year of homeschooling (Classical Conversations). We are still laying that foundation that you’ve talked about and in time, my guess is that I’ll be saying these very words. Thank you for showing us how to do that with such grace. Isn’t it wonderful that in Christ there is freedom to change directions when necessary? Many blessings to you and your family as you take these next steps.

    • Shanna, I love what you wrote…”Isn’t it wonderful that in Christ there is freedom to change directions when necessary?” This is such truth and so refreshing to hear. I am sending my boys off to public school this year after having homeschooled them for a couple years. I have been struggling with this decision because I have felt God’s nudging me toward homeschooling my children since my first was born. I have been struggling to understand why circumstances were making homeschooling virtually impossible for us if I felt like this is what I was supposed to be doing…but then my mom reminded me that life is made up of seasons and that maybe I had fulfilled God’s request for those seasons already and had laid the foundations needed to be ready to change direction. Thank you for those words! God bless you!

      • Gretchen, you’re so kind to write. Thank you. Maybe God had me write that to encourage your heart! Life sure is made up of seasons. Hold onto the Lord’s hand for dear life and enjoy it!!

  78. Can we hold each other’s hand through this? We are facing the same thing. Can you believe I posted about our decision yesterday before reading this? You wrote your feelings (which almost mirror mine exactly) so eloquently. I think I need to just repost: “Ditto what Edie said!” Praying for you because I truly know what you are feeling. Holding onto these last couple of weeks of freedom with all our might! Hugs!!!
    http://www.neweveryam.blogspot.com/2013/07/q-and-day.html

  79. Wow! I’ve always admired all you put into your homeschooling. Your girls are brilliant and will do brilliantly! I only homeschooled my two oldest for half a year, but I learned so much that I still really consider us homeschoolers even several years later. We do lots of stuff we never would have done if I hadn’t of stumbled upon homeschooling and the wonderful moms out there like you. Thanks for all your inspiration!

  80. My heart hurts with you, as any change is so hard for us Mommas, and I have grieved my way through a few transitions and know the internal debating that can make us crazy. But I continue to be so blessed and encouraged by your willingness to follow where God leads you, whether in leaving medicine to homeschool, or recognizing the end of that era and allowing your girls to attend school. You are a true woman of God and an inspiration in so many ways.
    I know you will miss having your girls with you each day, but I am excited to see where God leads you next:-)

    Hugs!

  81. i LOVE reading your blog. Seriously you write beautifully. I’ve never home schooled so i don’t have that perspective – but as a mom i get it. i really enjoy reading what you write. keep on truckin, baby 😀

  82. My daughter just turned seven, and overnight almost, it seems as though the struggle for her heart has begun. I couldn’t put my finger on it, this streak of independence, pulling away, and sudden slight resentment she seems to have for me. I am a little relieved to know that someone else acknowledges this, yet terrified for the days to come! Thank you for this post, I needed it!

  83. Dear Edie,
    I almost hesitate to toss in my comment with the other 120+…but I graduated our last one, last year…our fourth, ending my 25 YEAR homeschool career. (My husband is also the senior pastor of our church in K-town Tennessee, baybay! 🙂 )

    I see the perfect balance of things said, and things left unsaid, here in your post. Good job. No use casting your pearls before sallies….I mean….

    I can tell you, as a mother, a die-hard home educator (oh, the irony of that saying), and one having been in ministry for over 20 years…

    …I kept going too long with my youngest two. I graduated them both, and while I don’t second guess that decision, in retrospect I feel I would have been wiser to put them in school for their high school years. (YES, it is possible to not “second guess” in an emotionally unhealthy way, yet also believe you could have made a wiser decision.)

    I know. I just spoke home school heresy. I anger the legalists to no end with it. I bought into the letter of the law that says you. do. not. quit.

    Wrong. Sometimes you change course.

    Were it not for the fact that my family all deeply rely on a New Covenant gospel of radical grace (even my two quasi-prodigals believe it, deep down), we’d have some surrrrrrr-yus baggage. 🙂

    Great work. Now…go to another blog conference for me. WITH friends. AND do a break-out session on home decorating. In your short-shorts. WHILE drinking a nice Merlot.

    You have so earned it.

    Bam. The Home Education Police can prosecute me in the morning.

    good Lord, what have I done….

    • Sheila,
      I don’t know if you’ll get this reply personally, but this was just a breath of fresh air, so sincerely said. I have the wonderful blessing of having our church’s elementary school principal as a good friend…..to know that I can call her at any time and enroll my kids has actually helped me re-enlist again this year my home school.
      May the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you….

      In his grace,
      Ginger

      • Dear Ginger,
        Thank you, thank you. I love what you have said here – how that having options did not make you quit, rather it gave you the strength to continue. There is SUCH a metaphor for law and grace in what you have shared, and how they (law and grace) affect the human heart. The freedom that comes from the Gospel is free-er than we know, better than we think, and does not make me want to take unfair advantage. Rather, grace makes me live AT an unfair advantage…

        EVERY home educating parent should do what they do, knowing that they have options…however creative we need to be with naming and creating our options (understanding that not everyone can afford private school, and not all public schools are a good option) and trusting God with the hard questions.

        Bless you! 🙂

  84. Edie,
    So much has already been elequently said. What more could I possibly offer?
    However, as one who has eaten your fudge and still uses that bookmark you graced me with at my first ever blog conference 4+ years ago, I had to throw in my comment to BEG you to not let the unkind thoughts of one over shadow the support you have received from others OR the one whose opinion matters most—your husband.

    I am sad (for selfish reasons) that two of my sweet friends will be leaving me in the trenches solo this year but I know that BOTH of you have been called to do something else —start a new season and there is both sadness (or midlife decorating crisis) and blessings that will come from that. Be kind to yourself and keep your eyes on Him who prompts you and has a plan for you that will not harm you but will bring you peace.

    Xox,
    Karin

  85. You could host a workshop for people who so want to learn from you, like me! Your girls are lucky to have such a model who is wise, intelligent, kind, and domestic! They are lucky to have you, homeschooling or not!

  86. I could just sit here and sob after reading this. Edie… it’s so so beautiful… your heart, your words, your transparency. But instead of sobbing for you.. I’ll pray instead. Pray for courage and for peace. ♥

  87. Edie, I will so miss your voice as a fellow homeschooling mom! I hope you won’t stop talking about what you learned through your homeschooling years. Stepping away from something has a way of giving perspective, and I would love to hear your reflections. Thanks for your honesty, fun spirit, and gentle but persistent nudges to keep growing. Praying for you…

  88. Let’s start a support group shall we? {Apologizing up front for this lengthy comment.} My circumstances are different but after almost 5 years of {classical-ish} homeschooling, we put ours in school. Because we don’t have a sweet classical school within reach, we put them in public school. I cried for a week {and then some.} I had to put away all the books and even rearrange our furniture so that I wouldn’t have to stare at empty home school desks and dusty timeline cards. I blogged here and there about our journey and do you know what? Total strangers e-mailed me and left comments that they googled “going from homeschool to public school” and my tiny blog came up. Apparently there is a real need for consolation and honesty about this issue. There’s so much support when one decides to do the “weird” thing of homeschooling; there is very little when one decides to quit. Thank you for sharing your story so honestly and beautifully! I have a feeling it’s going to be a lovely thing for your girls. And I promise, eventually you’ll stop crying every day. : ) In case you’re curious, my kids LOVE school! It has been an unbelievable blessing. I wrote on one of my posts: “Sometimes God re-routes us in ways that feel like failure but are actually grace.” That sums up our experience in every way. In fact, my rising 7th grade daughter just told me that she can’t wait for school to start. What?!? I hope this encourages you. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  89. I have 5 children. Monday, the oldest 3 will be going to 3 different schools, miles apart (high school, middle school, elementary school), for the first time ever. Getting to the place where we could say that our oldest kids were going to school took months and was just finalized all of the plans this past week. My life has been a non-stop whirlwind this week and I am just trying to hang on. Today I visited 2 schools twice each and tomorrow….I will visit 3 schools…two of them at least twice and my husband will be at all 3 schools at least once. (we are doing some fall sports so lots of practicing). I will still have 2 at home this year. AND I am so excited! I see GOOD things happening! I KNOW what you are going through. It is HARD. I almost cry just thinking about the 3 minute bus ride my 5th grader will take! I have LOVED having my kids here with me….and after much agonizing heart searching, and long conversations and so much more. Here we are….and it is good….a new kind of good…but good.

  90. I love you.
    and I am crying along with you.
    and I am SO admiring all that you gave up so that you can know that you know.

    Someday, I may be led out of homeschooling. But being LED out is far different than being uprooted and giving up.

    Edie? Give up homeschooling? never.
    You are being led out, and you are being obedient to that leading. And that is exactly the same choice you made the day you came home.

    have I mentioned? love you!

    • You are so right, sweet friend. I think this post needs a title change!
      And thank you, for being there for me, through so much.
      Sending you lots of love! Can’t wait to meet bebe girl:))
      xoxo

      p.s. kisses to the boys!!

  91. My heart dropped when I read the title of this post, fearing that you might have some negative thing to say about Homeschooling, which would slightly break my heart because you were such a big influence in my decision to Homeschool my own! However, after reading the entire post, I applaud you for sharing! This year will be my first year to Homeschool, and having 3 daughters to teach for the next several years is something I am very excited to begin. I love that you shared this because its good to know that others out there believe that you can always change if you need to. I decided on my own to go back to school and finish my teaching degree, while Homeschooling (crazy I know!), and the biggest reason is so I can have options when my girls are teenagers and beyond, and I can possibly go to school with them if they decide they want to return back to school. So you shed an even bigger light on how just simple that choice can be, and you reminded me of what the most important thing in all of this- KNOWING your children. I will always look for that Look, and know when the time is right. Thank you for this post! I will keep you in my prayers for your change in this new Season, and hope your girls have a FABULOUS time going to school each day. I love you Edie!

  92. Hi Edie,
    Sending you lots of love and comfort from N.J. My son is coming home from a two-week trip to Italy with his dad on Sunday. It was hard, but as long as I know he’s safe and happy, then I am ok.
    (But I miss my little guy.)
    Marie

  93. Hello again Edie,
    I almost forgot to mention that maybe you can do that boot collection post once you are all settled in:-)
    xox,
    Marie

  94. Dearest Edie, you don’t know me from Adam’s all-fox, as my Momma would say, but I consider you a friend and a gift from God. I can’t tell you how many times you have encouraged me, comforted me, challenged me, and made me smile. I thank God for you. And I thank you for sharing your homeschool journey, your family, your home, your thoughts, and your heart. I read this post two days ago, as I was trying to put together my first school supply shopping list in 7 years for my now 15 year old man-child, who will be flying daily from my homeschool nest to private school in a couple of weeks. You have so succinctly put words to the turmoil and joy going on in my heart. As I grieve for myself the hours he will be away from me and his siblings, I rejoice at the success of this journey God has blessed us with, for truly this journey was preparation for the next, and he is ready. I will pray for strength for you as I pray for myself. Thank you, dear friend.

  95. Love you! You are such a brave, kind, wonderful mother to be able to read her children like this. I always find inspiration here on your blog, and my favorite type is when I watch you and learn how to be a good mama.

  96. I’ve waited days to read this because I knew it would be a heart-felt post. I love your heart!

    Shew, people have a lot of opinions! Thankfully you and your husband know your children and lead your family trusting the Lord along the way. You know what’s best for your family and what a gift of time you have had with your little girls. Not wasted time; beautiful time.

    I imagine with your “extra time” (which I doubt you’ll have) you will continue to create HOME for your family. No better gift but a Christ-centered, loving spot to always call home.

  97. This brought tears to my eyes. I homeschooled four daughters. I thought those days would never end, but they have. Two girls have graduated from college, one is in college, and one is still in high school.

    Lazy days in comfy clothes eating peanut butter and jelly with papers and books all over, exercising in the living room, listening to the music they made up, and smelling home-cooked meals. Oh, that I could go back and have all my girls here with me again.

    Time marches on. They have little girls now and they talk about homeschooling them. I hope they do. My daughters are my closest friends now.

  98. I remember wondering just how I would fill my days post.homeschooling. It took be about a month to find my way and enjoy every moment.

    You have invested well and will continue to invest well … just with a bit more time in your day.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

  99. Love this! Your journey with your girls’ education has been so encouraging to me and will continue to be. I’ve always hoped for a Classical Christian school in our area, but am still waiting and enjoying our homeschool days in the meantime. I value your insights!

  100. I just finished reading your post aloud to my eight year old daughter, whom I homeschool, and I had to stop as a lump formed in my throat when you said, “Because she told me it was time. And I trust her. So I listened.” My heart is breaking with yours, yet rejoicing, too….so happy for the girls’ new year yet grieving vicariously knowing my own day is just around the corner. I’ve often come to your site for inspiration on books, curricula, and glimpses of a life obviously cherished….not to mention an amazing “Work Room” we are fashioning our own school room after this year 🙂 Blessings to you, Edie, and thanks for your transparency.

  101. Wow. The Austin house will be in prayer for you.

    I suppose it’s BEYOND A VAST understatement to say that change is difficult…but knowing what you have poured into your girls, how much (even when it was difficult, about which you were ALWAYS SO HONEST–I AM SO SAD THAT SOME COMMENTERS COULD NOT SEE WHAT WAS SO BLATANTLY OBVIOUS) you loved homeschooling….well, there is going to be a grieving process, isn’t there?

    Yes, real grief.

    That’s okay.

    Grace will cover that, too.

    Ironically, I missed this post because I have been busy with prep work for our beginning homeschool year, finishing some articles for publication, house projects, planning a vacation…but the majority of the focus this time of year is homeschool–you know what I’m talking about 😉

    I know you know that I’ve home schooled all 3 of mine at different times…but I don’t know if you know about the different times I have NOT home schooled…when I sent them to the private classical school….or to opera and Italian programs abroad….or…

    The bottom line? It is a constantly changing process of deep prayer, thought, time talking to and with my husband/God and my kids about each new journey ….and honestly, those journeys aren’t always where I expected or when I expected….

    It’s very humbling to be open to the journey, to the changes, to go with faith.

    And perhaps the bottom line beneath the aforementioned bottom line (ha!) is that if you are obedient to God (which I believe is always your heart’s desire) and are truly loving your kids (which I also believe is your heart’s desire), then IT WILL ALL BE OKAY.

    Difficult? Yes. But concurrently okay? Definitely.

    And maybe, after some of the grief (yes, Edie, I know the depth of your grief and I cry for/with you sometimes–all of us who are your blog friends do!) passes, there will be more joy.

    Definitely joy.

    On a selfish note, and I know I’m subjective here, it’s difficult to see “one of us” no longer doing something that we choose to continue to do….something that is sometimes difficult and you became a beacon for many of us, an encouragement to continue and persevere.

    And yet….I truly believe that each of us have a unique path…and that is TOTALLY okay.

    You HAVE to do what you believe is best for your family, not carrying on for me or anyone else.

    So….after a moment (or two) of shock….I am totally okay that your girls are no longer home schooled and that my final two at home are (for the time being) still home schooled.

    Integrity. Yup. There is such a thing. I refuse to judge you or malign you or feel deserted by you, because you are only being honest about where you and your kids are on your unique path.

    So, I’ll get over my selfish want to have you maintain your “homeschool beacon” status.

    You be who you need to be. And allow your girls to be who they need to be.

    I will be who I need to be….and God always finds amazing new ways to inspire me to homeschool.

    So, now I’ll read your blog more for the recipes (yum!) than the homeschool.

    😉

    I’m totally down with that.

    🙂

    Love/hugs/blessings,
    Lana

  102. Wow. The Austin house will be in prayer for you.

    I suppose it’s BEYOND A VAST understatement to say that change is difficult…but knowing what you have poured into your girls, how much (even when it was difficult, about which you were ALWAYS SO HONEST–I AM SO SAD THAT SOME COMMENTERS COULD NOT SEE WHAT WAS SO BLATANTLY OBVIOUS) you loved homeschooling….well, there is going to be a grieving process, isn’t there?

    Yes, real grief.

    That’s okay.

    Grace will cover that, too.

    Ironically, I missed this post because I have been busy with prep work for our beginning homeschool year, finishing some articles for publication, house projects, planning a vacation…but the majority of the focus this time of year is homeschool–you know what I’m talking about 😉

    I know you know that I’ve home schooled all 3 of mine at different times…but I don’t know if you know about the different times I have NOT home schooled…when I sent them to the private classical school….or to opera and Italian programs abroad….or…

    The bottom line? It is a constantly changing process of deep prayer, thought, time talking to and with my husband/God and my kids about each new journey ….and honestly, those journeys aren’t always where I expected or when I expected….

    It’s very humbling to be open to the journey, to the changes, to go with faith.

    And perhaps the bottom line beneath the aforementioned bottom line (ha!) is that if you are obedient to God (which I believe is always your heart’s desire) and are truly loving your kids (which I also believe is your heart’s desire), then IT WILL ALL BE OKAY.

    Difficult? Yes. But concurrently okay? Definitely.

    And maybe, after some of the grief (yes, Edie, I know the depth of your grief and I cry for/with you sometimes–all of us who are your blog friends do!) passes, there will be more joy.

    Definitely joy.

    On a selfish note, and I know I’m subjective here, it’s a teensy bit difficult to see “one of us” no longer doing something that we choose to continue to do….something that is sometimes difficult and you became a beacon for many of us, an encouragement to continue and persevere. But, I will make this about you and not about me. I will choose to support you during this huge change.

    I truly believe that each of us has a unique path…and that is TOTALLY okay.

    You HAVE to do what you believe is best for your family, not carrying on for me or anyone else, even though I know you have many loyal homeschooling blog readers like me–I pray, and believe they will, that they will support you fully.

    So….after a moment (or two) of shock….I am totally okay that your girls are no longer home schooled and that my final two at home are (for the time being) still home schooled.

    Integrity. Yup. There is such a thing. I refuse to judge you or malign you for choosing a new path, because you are only being honest about where you and your kids are on your unique path.

    So, I’ll get over my selfish want to have you maintain your “homeschool beacon” status.

    You be who you need to be. And allow your girls to be who they need to be.

    I will be who I need to be….and I will trust God, Who always finds amazing new ways to inspire me to homeschool.

    So, now I’ll read your blog more for the recipes (yum!) than the homeschool.

    😉

    I’m totally down with that.

    🙂

    Love/hugs/blessings,
    Lana

  103. How beautifully expressed! Prayers will be going up for you sweet mom! Kind of crazy I read this today as next week I will be Beginning the homeschooling journey with my almost 6yr old son. I loved taking him into his small Christian k5 class last year but upon moving to a new state he would need to repeat k5 and I’ve already felt God’s tug at trying this new role out- mom to ‘teacher’ even though that’s what we are to our little ones day in and day out. I felt your pain in your words and your fears as well- I am feeling a mixture of those from a different perspective rt now as we’ll buy know you are lifted in prayers and our God smiles down saying “We’ll done my good and faithful servant”! Well done!

  104. Edie, thank you for sharing. In one week all four of my children will also go off to school after 9 yrs. of homeschool. Two years ago it was my oldest — 9th grade at the time. Now it’s another 9th grader, a 5th grader and a 1st grader. It’s a sweet Christian K-12 school and I know it’s a great school that teaches well great literature among other things from a Biblical perspective. The teachers pray for their students. There will always be people who insist that homeschooling is the only way and that when you stop homeschooling you’re just giving up on your child. Not so. A blog can never fully capture your heart for God or your hearing from God. The best part about stepping out in faith is that if you missed the mark and didn’t hear correctly, you just step back. And though your children will have another teacher academically, you are still their first teacher and that will not change. You are a good mom. I am a good mom. Our love for our children doesn’t change because they leave the house to be educated. I will be praying for you during this transition! God bless you!

  105. My situation is very much like yours. This entire summer we have been so indecisive about homeschooling again. We have done it for the past 3 years, and I feel that I am nearing the end of the road. Last year, I was not at my best. I also said that I would stop when when my kids wanted to stop. This summer they both expressed an interest in attending school. We are unable to afford christian school at this time, so considered public. After much praying, worrying, sleepless nights, we are going to homeschool for what I feel may be our last year. My kids are o.k. with attending school, but I would like to prepare them a bit more. My daughter will be starting 7th and my son, 4th. Such a hard decision . . . I could feel your pain in your blog post. I will continue to follow you throughout the school year, especially since our situation seems so similar to yours. Hang in there and God bless you!! Thanks for posting!

  106. Edie, thank you for this post. I want you to know that I am a mildly terrified and hesitant soon-to-be-homeschooler of my almost 4 year old (and her two younger siblings when they are ready) . But I am also peaceful and confident in this calling for this time. Reading your heart at the end of your journey excites my heart for my own journey. I look forward to emerging on the other side rich in love and togetherness, despite all the “growing edges” we will certainly battle. Thank you for your (inadvertent) encouragement. I also appreciate the perspective that you have been preparing her (them) to step out all along.

  107. Thanks for sharing this. Homeschooling is the more grueling task I’ve undertaken. Your posts on classical homeschooling have encouraged me to press on, and now, even more so because one day the end of it will come for me too. Until I read your posts, I thought it would be a glorious, freeing day and now I see that, as you experienced, it will be harder than I imagine.

    For everything there is a season.

  108. I am blessed to read your words, so frank and transparent. I can relate to the bittersweet feelings, I am still experiencing them, and my youngest is 25.
    You will never lose the “knowing-part” you have shared with your girls.
    We didn’t have the option of private schools, so God’s will was easier to discern, (God knew my dichotomous feelings of inadequacy and enthusiasm.) But I am so thankful for the time we had for relationship and character building, which you will still be actively involved in, though through venue. Blessings, -may you abound in the unsearchable riches of Christ, Eph 3:8, in this new life-season.

  109. Hi Edie somehow I missed this post and caught it today. I too homeschooled for five years, wonderful years when my daughter announced one late evening she wanted to go to a local Christian school. I knew that moment it was heart felt and what the Lord wanted. Three years later it has been a great decision, she has blossomed and loves school. Now, she is a senior and we are in the season of COLLEGE PLANNING (it looks like that in my heart, big and bold) we are very excited although she wants to go eight hours away to ORU in Oklahoma. We know this is what is right too, just hard for mom and dad. I have no idea what my time and life will look like then. God is so good to us.

  110. New to the site and just came across this post….Although I never homeschooled, I stayed home with my kiddos (still home with youngest). Your words almost perfectly sum up my feelings on being home with them, preparing them and sending them off to school. Love your site! 🙂

  111. Just coming across your post. I too have put children in school after homeschooling for 18 years. It is hard and painful with very little support. It is like the great homeschool heresy to put children in school. I have started a blog for moms who are considering putting their children in school after homeschooling and former homeschooling moms. It can be a lonely place.

    http://rest-for-the-weary.blogspot.com

  112. I found your blog because I googled, “giving up homeschooling” this morning…needless to say, I am at my wits end and just needed to feel like someone else is on the verge of giving up or has already done so and made it to the other side. Thank you.

    • Susan, I’m going to pray for you today. I’ve had a lot of days like what you’re describing while homeschooling and I know how to do “discouraged” well. Trusting the Lord will guide you through these days and that you’ll be refreshed over Christmas break!

  113. I love your blog. I, too, found it best to eventually allow my own girls to go to a “regular” school. It was the hardest thing for me to do, but I listened to what my daughters said and how they felt and am so glad I did. I loved homeschooling them, but it was time to “let go.” Yes, it was very hard for me, but I did survive it! Thankfully, they both did well and loved being able to tell me about their days at school. I actually found in many ways, sending them to school deepened our relationships with each other. Still, I miss them…and always will whenever they are “gone.” But, I am finding that is just part of being a mom and letting them grow up.

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  115. Wow! What a wonderful and powerful post!!! God spoke to you and you listen and obeyed! I am so happy for you, for your kids. Change is hard, but it’s the hard times in life that define you!!! I applaud you for your decision!

  116. While you are now at the half way point of this transition year, I am just reading your blog. I only wish I would have been in a place to consider homeschooling. I admire your commitment and the love you put into those years. I was brought to your blog through another (Gidget Goes Home) who quoted you: “If I did anything right, it was the courage I had to stay and tell the truth, for as long as she needed me. I stayed until I knew that she knew she was loved. She’s sure now and the weight of it crushes my doubts.” Even as I made choices I wish I could go back and change, I embrace my two daughters as they navigate young adulthood. My oldest went to a Christian college just 90 minutes away while her younger sister (my baby) went to a secular college on the opposite coast (to which I still managed two visits per semester one way or another). That same 19 year old “baby” is currently across the WORLD in Amman, Jordan experiencing a semester study abroad (her major if government with and Arabic minor). This child never ceases to surprise me and find new ways to worry me and break my heart. She will never know my pain, however. When her older sister asked my reaction to the study abroad idea, she simply answered, “Mom isn’t too excited about it YET, but she supports me.” I have chosen to support my girls in their dreams, no matter how difficult it is for me. So many people act like my only reaction should be joy, but you must understand. We are joyful for their growth and independence, and I find myself selfishly sad to have her so far away for so long. I must also mention that this is the child that is having her doubts, not about God, she assures me, just about organized religion and church (I’m not that assured). I can only pray that I have ‘stayed’ and told the truth for as long as she has needed or continues to need me, long enough for her to know how much she is loved by her mother and her heavenly Father. Well, enough rambling 🙂 Thank you for your beautiful blog. I’ll keep you in my prayers, my friend, and I covet yours!

  117. What a joy to find and read. I, too, am considering giving up. Not because I feel weary of it. But because I think it may be best in my situation, even though my kids don’t want to go back either. Looking for advice from veteran homeschooling moms. My situation is that I am a caregiver for my mom when my dad needs help. Her condition on some days is really good, though she is physically weak, but she has spells where she is confused, doesn’t know where she is, and doesn’t know to call for help. She cannot be left alone. Recently, my dad was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in his liver, lungs, and aorta. So, I’ve been going to appointments with him, trying to keep up with my girls’ art and music lessons, schoolwork, and just general housekeeping. My dad’s cancer cannot be treated at this point. So, I know at some point our little family will be moving in with my parents to be caregivers for them and ultimately permanently for my mother. It’s been heartbreaking sine my parents are only in their 60s. And physically, I know we could continue homeschooling, but I know the daytime music lessons and field trips will come to a halt since my mom isn’t physically well enough to go with us. Is it fair to keep the kids at home all the time in this situation when they could be in a small local school with kids their age doing after school extra-curricular activities and making friends? That’s where I am struggling. Any advice, moms?

  118. When coming to taking up responsibilities home schooling is tough. But I think now kids are more ambitious than us. My kid is doing his 11th grade ( http://ilearndl.com/courses/grade-11/ ). I don’t have to help him too much in his studies. He has an urge to learn. So whatever comes up he never misses his studies. He has selected a path of his own and we are there to give him all our support! Sorry to hear about the situation of Stacey. I think she is passing through a very difficult phase now!

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  120. WOW! I’m there too…at this very moment. I “stumbled” on your blog by a link from Dimples and Tangles. We have ALWAYS homeschooled our boys and are making preparations to put them in school. Seeing that you survived is encouraging…I can do all things through Christ. Thank you for your honesty.

  121. Thank you so much for writing about your experience. I have been home schooling my daughter for 3 years but now find it a struggle to cope with it. That’s why I have decided to put her in online schools where teachers are present to help her. She will be starting with online school for the first time this September.

  122. In two days my oldest daughter will start full time school for the first time ever, and I’m feeling SO MANY feelings. A friend sent me this post 3 years ago and I got it then even though I was still homeschooling, but I really get it now that I’m ending. Thank you for reminding me of what I’ve been preparing her to do all along.

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