A HOMESCHOOLING CONUNDRUM

For my own kids and family, when it comes to the topic of traditional vs. alternative schooling I’ve always leaned towards the side of public school. But as I walked through target the other day and casually grabbed the new school supply list a spontaneous thought crossed my mind…

Maybe we should homeschool?

Aside from not being ready to say goodbye to my kids’ cute faces (Poppy not included) for 7-ish hours a day, something about this summer has made me incredibly aware of how little quality-time we spend together during the school year and how much closer and in sync I feel with them during summer break. I’m more tuned into their heart, desires, needs and hangups than I could ever be during the crazy train that we all board between the hours of 3:30 and bedtime during the school year.

So here’s the conundrum. After hours of thinking, praying and making a pros and cons list a mile long, there doesn’t seem to be a “best” or “perfect” choice. Maybe it’s just not time or maybe God has something else in mind…  like a part-time co-op school program where the kids go to school from 8 to 12pm or 3 days a week from 8 to 2? That would honestly solve all of my problems and probably zero for anyone else’s (LOL) but it sounds pretty amazing!

I know this is a bit deep for a Monday, but do you guys struggle with picking the best kinda schooling for your kids?

And how do you make big decisions when there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer?!!!!

Always love hearing your input so please dish in the comments :)

xo, Rae

ESPEN | top sold-out from j.crew (but this ones cute!), shorts from gap, glasses are nike

POPPY | hoodie and glasses from target, shorts from childhoods, scooter from amazon

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15 Responses to A HOMESCHOOLING CONUNDRUM

  1. Pam August 7, 2017 at #

    Hi Rae. We’ve always homeschooled but this past spring the idea of not homeschooling my 14 year old was up for discussion. I didn’t feel it was time to give up homeschooling but I also wanted to honor God with our decisions concerning our children. I also wanted my son to know I was listening to him say he may want a different experience. A speaker came to our church not too long ago and what he said really helped me because I didn’t hear God the way I wanted to hear him, I’m one of those that needs a stamp on the forehead. Well the speaker said, “when you don’t hear God or know what to do, stand on the last word you heard”. For us that was homeschooling. I will tell you that since having to make that decision to continue homeschooling I know for sure that God will honor the decisions we make concerning our family especially if it means we are discipling their hearts towards Him. I’m not anti public school but I am definitely pro homeschool and I wouldn’t trade the time with my sons for anything. I pray it will all be clear and just know you and your husband are still the most influential people in their lives, that’s evident here.

  2. M-E Jinno August 7, 2017 at #

    I went through the same thoughts when educating my kids. We took in our in-laws at the same time, so nursing and teaching were both needed. My family’s only choice was a public school. My husband was in a private school and his brother shipped out to live with relatives or boarding school. Across from our house was a small public school, the kids went there and I volunteered in classrooms to be sure things were A.O.K. with us.(My husband was a minister.)
    They exceeded all expectations as all 3 had parental (both educators) help. They were not challenged intellectually at school, so we home schooled also on the side. We took them to educational enrichment venues, museums, aquariums etc, Did family reading 1 hour a day before school ( lots of biographies of well known people) They all did well. They all graduated in the top 10% of their class. Daughter earned a scholastic scholarship for 4 years of college at University. One son graduated His Jr year went to tech school & transferred out to get married and finish at top of Bible college. The second son finished H.S. in his Jr year but stayed to take as many extra classes as possible then went to tech college, to be near the top of class & 2 degrees in Engineering.
    I can only share what my experience was as a mother with the same dilemma. Without the extra, they would not have been challenged and likely would have been lack/lazy. They were happy, excited, learners at home. We made charity quilts, clothing, 4 H and 2 went on Missions for 6 weeks and 5 months. ( one kid at a time ) in India where my husband & I also volunteered. If you have any ??? or want more ideas email me (They are now 33, 37,& 39) The only thing that has changed much in education over the last 200 years is the addition of electronics.

  3. Steph Tucker August 7, 2017 at #

    Hey Rae! First of all, I love stopping by to see all your creative talent spilling through in your blog! As for schooling, I have been through it all with my kiddos. Public, Private, Private Christian and Homeschool. Currently all mine are in public. I have learned along the way it’s ok and good try something new for a year. I have found that in each situation we all learned something about ourselves and each other. We were stretched and always took away something new. The gentle nudge often tells me to take a risk. While there is really no perfect form of schooling, there is something to be said about knowing each of your kids and their unique needs in their different seasons. Nothing is permanent, which brought me a ton of freedom, and the ability to take a risk. Each risk, each new thing we tried grew us, and expanded our faith. God works in and through it all, He wants to show you and your children more of Himself not matter what you choose. This schooling thing has always been a dance with surrender and risk, always expanding our hearts to lean into the deeper things. So, no answers for you just my experience as a mom and former educator.
    Hugs to you,
    Steph (Meg’s sister )

  4. Jen August 7, 2017 at #

    Hello, We have been homeschooling for 4 years now, and although some days are loooooong days, I have never regretted spending as much time with my kids as I do. I feel like they have grown in so many ways not attached to school subjects by being homeschooled and grown up so fast even though I am with them almost all day every day. I love all of the photos posted on social media of homeschoolers that don’t do any sort of co-op, and so I quit our two day co-op last year and just did it all myself. Well, it was TOO much for me, my house fell apart, my alone time disappeared, and most of the grand plans I had for them didn’t happen because of my unorganized nowhere near type A personality. So, next year we are back to part-time homeschooling. I found a group close by that meets on Mondays for history and Science plus electives, and then signed the older kids up for Wednesday and Thursday classes at a different homeschool group. I think being an advocate and organizer for their assigned work just works better than me trying to do it all, because I just can’t. It all depends on your personality, but I agree that a mix of the two is a great alternative to public school or homeschooling 5 days a week yourself. I would probably say that the subjects that aren’t on your heart to teach, try and find some out of the home classes available, that will save your energy to teach and develop in them the subjects you want to teach them. It is definitely juggling, but I would at least try it out for a year and see how it goes. The Wild and Free community is a great resource for starting out and there are a lot of charter schools that can point you in the right direction as well.

  5. papa August 7, 2017 at #

    Hi Boo,
    So…your dad served a group of Home School Moms (mostly Moms anyway) at our church — Woodinville Alliance each Wednesday this past year as they came together for weekly curriculum training and programs for their kids like music/photography/etc.
    I can tell you……..i didn’t hear one Mom say the effort to home school was not 100% the right decision.
    There needs to be a balance between socialization and indoctrination. And…as i have shared with you–the public schools have an agenda that is not necessarily family friendly.
    Love you!
    dad

  6. Kristen August 7, 2017 at #

    I would love to suggest Classica Conversations to you! It’s a classically based homeschool community. I have homeschool my kids since the very beginning, but we didn’t find cc until about three years ago, and it is the kind of schooling that can take your kids from preschool through all of high school. It is amazing! Highly recommend!

  7. Kristen August 7, 2017 at #

    Oops – supposed to say Classical Conversations

  8. Heather August 7, 2017 at #

    We pulled our two girls out of a religious private school 2 years ago because one of my daughters was already stressed out in third grade, and up way to late doing homework. My other daughter was in kindergarten and they were already doing state testing at her age and recommending 1/3 of her class do tutoring. Plus, everything was crazy and stressful in our house, and we felt like we had hardly any quality time as a family.

    So, we did a 180 and moved states, my husband took a job where he could work from home, and we started homeschooling. We actually found what I call a hybrid homeschool because the school is a charter school, but part of the public school system. The kids have the option to take resource classes 3 times a week and can pick which classes, if any, they want to take. Of course my kids want to take just about every class offered! It gives them a chance to socialize and eat and play with other kids on some days, but be home with me learning on the other days. I like that my kids can go at their own pace and aren’t forced to move on before they understand something. I am definitely relearning some stuff along with them!

    I was a person who said I would never homeschool my kids, but a seed was planted in my head and it just grew and grew until we just decided to go for it. It’s not always easy and we battle a lot about doing work, but I think we found a good balance that works for us right now. We used to think we needed to plan their whole 12 years out, but now we just take it one year at a time.
    I would look at the options in your area, you might find some great alternative choices that you didn’t know were out there.

  9. Ginger Brehl August 7, 2017 at #

    When my friends and I see something terrible in the news and especially when it deals with school violence, we always say we want to homeschool our children. It’s never been a real possibility for me since my husband and I both work outside the home, but if I had the patience and the ability it’s something I would 100% consider. Children grow up too fast and a lot faster when exposed to ideas and experiences of other kids in the school systems. Plus, I don’t agree with standardized testings as too often kids are taught for the best test scores vs what is actually best for the child. If you have the means I say research your options with it and decide next year. And when I can’t hear God I usually just go with my final gut instinct – which I say is God’s last attempt at getting me to hear him. Good luck! PS – I love Pam’s comment about going with the last word you heard.

  10. Rachel August 8, 2017 at #

    I have had very similar thoughts this summer! My second oldest begged me to homeschool last year and I just couldn’t even think about it because I had a baby (our 4th!) in December. The idea of homeschooling 4 kids is very overwhelming to me.. but I know a lot of moms do it! I don’t have any advice but I can relate to the conundrum. my #3 is starting kinder this year and I’m nervous about it. My oldest loves school/friends/student council.. all of it. Such a hard call!!

  11. Courtney August 8, 2017 at #

    It’s so hard! I homeschool our kids but everyday the bus drives by our front door and I have different reactions to it each day. Sometimes I’m so glad my kids are home and some days I am reminded that someone else would have gladly taught my kids all day. Whatever you decide you will do with excellence. Selfishly I would love to watch how you document that journey. I’ll be praying for you

  12. Megan August 9, 2017 at #

    Hello!
    I’m a longtime reader and a Second grade teacher at a public elementary school with 16 years of teaching experience. I am a mother of a 5 and 7 year old. I strongly believe in the public education system and the experience it provides our children. The conversations the children engage in and the way their minds grow from learning from and alongside their peers is astonishing. While standardized testing is definitely a prevalent part of our education system it is far from the defining factor. The educational approaches that are at the forefront of our schools are child-centered, interest-based and encourage creative problem-solving. As much as I miss my time with my children when we all go back to school I send them with confidence knowing that they are gaining a better understanding of what our society is like and how to navigate it.

  13. Lyndsey August 10, 2017 at #

    I have a 9,6,5 (kinder in the fall) and 2 yr old. We homeschooled the older two until midway last year. I’ve been able to experience the positives and negatives of both. The positives are huge for our family: flexible schedule, tons of travel, outside learning, more energy for sports/activities, increased sibling bonds and effection. We found school had some positives like increased independence, opportunities for growing in maturity through diversity and exposure to different personalities, house stayed cleaner.
    Overall, I’m so with you! 3 days a week 9-noon would be great! It is very hard running our small. and homeschooling. If you do want some resources I’ve heard the ACTS group in awesome (I believe your in the puyallup area?)
    I will say there are no shortage of homeschool families to hang out with these days. My kids had tons of friends who didn’t look like the Duggars
    Im still not sure what I’m doing for next year.

  14. Sarah B. August 10, 2017 at #

    When I read your blog I already see you as a homeschooler….your posts coincide with so many momma’s hearts…you are experiential with your kids which is number one in my books…if you’re wondering if you should homeschool, just try it! If it doesn’t work out, it’s okay to go back to public school.
    My oldest went to private school and we homeschooled high school, she is now a speech pathologist. My two youngers are homeschooled and we have been unschooling most of the time, and in two co-ops. This year we are trying out a curriculum called the Good and the Beautiful which looks lovely! Homeschooling is still very busy, but YOU get to call the shots on what you do and don’t do. Sometimes kids need that slow time, discovery time, letting it all sink in time. Plus, you live in a beautiful place for lots of nature walks!

    Also check out juliebogart.com…whe gives lots of great advice for moms with questions about homeschooling…her talks are refreshing and informative and have helped me say NO to many things I knew we couldn’t add to our daily routine (or lack thereof).

    Good luck on your journey! I think you’re doing a marvelous job!

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