Mom, Will You Homeschool Me?

About fourteen years ago, my athletic, top-of-his-class and popular son came to me and blew me away with an unexpected question. As it turned out, he was battling an emotional turmoil, and the only way he could see out was to be homeschooled.

Here’s what was going down. The kids his age (7th grade) were starting to dabble in marijuana, alcohol and promiscuity. He did not want to travel down that road of destruction, but if he stayed in school, he could only see three options: #1 – partake in the activities and betray everything he stood for; #2 – walk away and be labeled a loser; #3 – be a loner. None of them appealed to him.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was standing in the doorway at the top of my stairwell — grey carpet, white walls with all of our family pictures lined down the hallway. My hand gripping the door handle to the steps, I was in shock.

I was emotionally constipated for sure. My son’s big chocolate brown eyes staring up at me, not quite understanding why I was so frozen in terror. I wanted to have courage, but at that moment, I felt like I was drowning in a whirlpool of self-doubt and fear of the unknown. But he needed an answer – and FAST.

“I’ll pray about it, and we’ll see. Maybe next year,” I managed with feigned confidence.

“Why not this year?” he pleaded. I could hear the urgency in his voice.

I sunk. What could I possibly say? I had no answer. My twelve year old seemed more confident than I was about this homeschooling thing. How could I do what he was asking of me? I was no teacher. I didn’t even have an undergraduate degree. I was just a mom and a house-wife.

The response that left my lips (clearly, the Holy Spirit had taken over) was, “Okay, I’ll pray about this year.” Was I crazy? What had I agreed to?

Well, I prayed. And as I prayed, I got a resounding “YES.”

So, several weeks into Chase’s seventh grade school year, we pulled him out of public school. I walked into the middle school that I had once attended and talked to the principal, whom I had gone to high school with. I told him I was pulling my honor student out of his school to teach him myself.

I gently explained that it had nothing to do with the quality of education that the school was providing, but it had everything to do with me giving my son exactly what he needed emotionally and spiritually. At the end of our conversation, he condescendingly blurted out, “Well, I won’t tell you I told you so when you fall flat on your face!”

I went from one word of discouragement to another.

Family was my next obstacle. One family member cornered me in my own home and said, “You’re going to ruin that kid! He’s going to hate you!” A family friend, who was a teacher, told me that I was in no way, shape or form qualified to homeschool my child and asked what made me think I was more qualified than she was for the job. I could go on and on.

The people in my life had made it clear that I was on my own, but regardless, it was time to figure out all of this homeschool stuff. I started by contacting a homeschool family that I knew. They invited Chase and I over to observe them. They were using the Switched on Schoolhouse curriculum, which is a program done on the computer. It appeared to be simple, intuitive, and it graded everything for the parent. Easy peasy. It was a no brainer. That was what I was going to use. Feeling a weight lift from my shoulders, I went home and ordered my new curriculum.

Well, it didn’t take long to realize it wasn’t really what I wanted. In hindsight, I’m surprised my boy didn’t end up with blood shot eyes from staring at the computer all day. After a few months, we decided to give Abeka a try. Purely textbook and classroom driven, I felt like I needed to have a master’s degree in lesson planning and spend 40 hours a week wading through the teacher’s notes in order to simply assign a lesson.

By the end of that first year, we had a few battle wounds, but then I discovered a beautiful thing called a homeschool convention. It changed my life! I could put my hands on curriculum and see if it was really something we wanted to try. In the midst of all this trial and error, I consulted with Chase often. I enjoyed his input, because I felt he was mature enough to help make choices in his own education.

After looking at a wide range of history curricula, I realized that my boy would read and research way more if I gave him topics instead of textbooks. I found a really cool U.S. history book that was not a traditional school book. I told him to read it. It was super thick. He loved it. He loved history. So, for history, he just read. He learned more than I ever knew about history, even after a full 13 years of public education.

When I pulled Chase out of school his weakest subject was writing. I was not a writer by trade, so I tried a variety of language arts curricula but to no avail. However, one thing Chase did excel at was reading. He read often, and he read good books. Maybe that’s what eventually helped build strong writing skills, or maybe the sheer volume of writing required of him in law school did it, but whatever the case, his lack of homeschool writing success didn’t seem to hinder him the long run. (Whew!) He recently wrote an article on the national debt. You can take a look and decide for yourself.

At the end of the day, we discovered that textbooks weren’t the best learning tools for Chase. Instead, we did a lot of hodge-podging. Take math for instance. I remember having different math textbooks and having him do a bit here and a bit there. But I’d say Chase’s primary math curriculum was helping his dad with the family business and eventually running his own business.

My husband Tony owned Hagaman Construction and was a general contractor. Often, he took Chase to work with him. He would challenge Chase to help him figure out the dimensions and measurements when creating a floor plan for a new home. Chase did math even when he didn’t realize he was doing it.

Talk about an education – not only did he learn practical math skills, but at the end of his “schooling,” that boy had enough skill to be able to build his own home. He poured concrete, laid block, framed houses, roofed, assisted with the electrical and plumbing and landscaped yards. And in the process, he developed a strong work ethic. Isn’t that what we want from an education? The building of both skill and character.

But my boy also wanted to attend college, so I knew the SAT was an important mountain to climb. In spite of our loose education plan and lack of formal math curriculum, Chase earned the highest level of the Bright Futures Scholarship and went to on to earn a free ride for his Bachelor’s Degree.

No one really told me how to homeschool, but I’d bet that’s exactly what most homeschool parents would say. We figured it out along the way, and maybe that’s even one of the most powerful benefits of homeschooling.

I followed Chase’s experiences and passions with the necessary education. He was passionate about politics, so we did everything we could to immerse him in it. We took him to TeenPact every year and spent a week at the capitol. He even wrote a bill that was read on the Senate floor. He paged for our senator during the school year, worked for him in the summer and flew to Missouri during an election year to help on a campaign.

I knew he would need a strong entrepreneurial spirit in whatever he did in life, so I challenged him to start his own business. He registered with all the necessary government entities and even paid taxes. His business was a success!

969376_10202171359227701_862736858_nChase is now an attorney in New Hampshire. At the start of this year, he was hired as the New England Regional Director of The Concord Coalition, a bi-partisan organization dedicated to advocating responsible fiscal policy.

So, I guess I didn’t wreck the kid after all! I’ve since gone on to homeschool our two other children, and I did some things very differently with them, but that’s a story for another blog…

Jody Hagaman

Jody Hagaman and her husband Tony have three kids, ages 16 to 27. Jody’s story of how her son asked to be homeschooled has inspired tens of thousands of families around the nation. A true homeschooling success story, that son is now an attorney in New Hampshire and is the New England Regional Director of The Concord Coalition, a bipartisan organization dedicated to advocating responsible fiscal policy. As a community leader, Jody has served on the board of directors of many local non-profit organizations. Her work experience as a corrections officer on a crisis intervention team inspired her to make a difference in the lives of the next generation. She and Jenni co-host a weekly radio show, write a syndicated weekly column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about living on purpose with excellence and raising kids with the end result in mind.

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Jody Hagaman and her husband Tony have three kids, ages 16 to 27. Jody’s story of how her son asked to be homeschooled has inspired
tens of thousands of families around the nation. A true homeschooling success story, that son is now an attorney in New Hampshire and is the New England Regional Director of The Concord Coalition, a bipartisan
organization dedicated to advocating responsible fiscal policy.

As a community leader, Jody has served on the board of directors of many local non-profit organizations. Her work experience as a corrections officer on a crisis intervention team inspired her to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.

She and Jenni co-host a weekly radio show, write a syndicated weekly column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about living on purpose with excellence and raising kids with the end result in mind.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

66 thoughts on “Mom, Will You Homeschool Me?

  1. How could he (or the girls) not have success with an amazing mother like you. We applaude all the choices you have made for your family. Including the homeschooling. Dont know (or care) which family member it was that discouraged you…….but Im sure they are sorry now. Just wanted you to know you have our support in all you do…..and most of all our love.

    • So in other words, you allowed your son to quit, because he didn’t want to have to make a tough decision when it came to dealing with a moral dilemma? Also, if he was indeed Athletic and Popular, wouldn’t he have been part of the trendsetting crowd? So, if he didn’t want to do those things, I’m pretty sure he’d have some followers. I’m curious, as an attorney I’m sure he will be faced with some moral dilemmas. How does he handle those?

      • Middle and highschool don’t work like that. It sucks and its hard on the social side, and of you are popular and people like you it only makes it harder as they are just waiting for you to screw up. If he had chosen to not be a part of those, honestly, they would have probably emotionally tormented the boy. I made the same decision as him but in 8th grade. Best decision I have ever made. I am now a freshman and neither me nor my mom have regretted doing this one bit.

      • I’m sure he handles them better at age 28 than at age 14.

        Public and private school introduce children to an artificial environment that they will very rarely encounter again. A group of children are forced together for most of each day based, not on common interest, or aptitude, or training, but merely their age group. With the growing emphasis on after-school programs conducted at school, the poor kid rarely gets a chance to encounter kids outside of his peer group.

        Would you have had him learn in early adolescence that “everyone is doing it” and not doing it means that you will be a social pariah for the rest of your life? Or would you have him learn that when you’re in bad company, you can simply walk away? Tell me, if an attorney attends a party only to find everyone running around drunk, high, or engaging in naked orgies in the living room, how does he handle that?

        According to you, he sits down on the couch in the middle of it all for the next four hours and hopes that he’s not the only one.

        According to any adult, he would do *precisely* what he did even at age 14 and simply walk away.

  2. Very encouraging! My youngest of three is in the fourth grade and this whole year she has pleaded with me to home school her as well. My sister in law home schools. I explained to my daughter that she doesn’t listen to me always and home schooling requires discipline. I told her I would pray about it. I know she comes home everyday crying or upset about this girl in her class that is mean to her one day and sweet the next. Im a single mom with low income and not sure about this but reading your blog has inspired me to take look into this home school stuff. I know junior high can be very hard on students.

    • Hi Sandra,
      Thank you for commenting. Yes, jr. high seems to be a very tough time for our kids. We have many blogs here that you can read through to help with discipline in your home. We know they work because they are discipline tools we use ourselves. Jenni and I have 9 children between us and we coach many families. We’ve seen just about everything. Here are some key words you can search on our site to get you started: Three Question Correction, lying, Six A’s of Apology, Four Promises of Forgiveness. I will leave you with one last thought: Parents are not called to homeschool their children. Children are called to be homeschooled. Come back and visit us.

      • Would you mind elaborating on your statement that parents are not called to homeschool their children; children are called to be homeschooled? Thank you!

        • Sure! 🙂 It’s really an issue of focus – the focus being primarily on God’s plan and purpose for our children and the role that homeschooling plays in that plan, as opposed to the focus being on a parent’s job as the educator. Shifting the paradigm can help parents take a more customized approach to homeschooling. So instead of choosing curriculum according to what appeals to us (the parents) or according to what other moms have recommended or even according to what may have worked well for other kids, we would choose curriculum based on the student’s strengths and interests and most importantly, the student’s future goals. Operating from the mindset that our child was called be homeschooled, we can start with the end result in mind (that is, wherever God is calling the child), and work backward in planning that child’s education.

  3. My daughter asked to be home schooled her freshman year of high school. I knew several homeschoolers and had researched enough to know are nearly as many ways of learning as there are students. My husband was sure she would lose ground and never catch up, and feared we might be arrested. At his insistence at the end of the school year she was tested at a popular tutoring company. The results were fine. She ended up earning more than enough credits, went back to school of her own choosing, and by the end of Junior year only needed one class to graduate, though she stayed to take the last three years of French and be a French assistant in her Senior year. She scored near the top of her class on the new SAT that was introduced that year. Even her math scores were high and she complained about hating math. Keep up the good work.

    • Thank you, Judy! It is amazing to see that when we as parents follow what’s in our hearts and pay attention to what our kids are really saying – that’s when we do what’s best for them.

  4. Good job, Mom! As the mother of six children, my advice to others it to trust your instincts. No one loves and knows your child as well as you do. You and God know more about what is best for your child than the “experts”.

  5. So glad you listended, I didn’t and like you it was fear eventhoug I taught preschool. My third daughter wanted to be homeschool as we had a small group at our church. I taught it was just because of her friends who were, but later when she started making poor choices, realized that it really wasy the Holy Spirit . Repenting and asking for forgiveness when all would have ot been necessary if I had ony trusted Him. Now my grandkids are all homeschool(where we live public school is not good) and they are doing wonderfull. I have learned that when God calls you, he will equip you and yes our worse critcs are our family whether blood or church.

    • Thank you for sharing, Jan. I hope everyone reads what you have just said. I almost said no to homeschooling. God can most definitely cover our mistakes, but it is so important that we are obedient, especially when it comes to our kids – we are raising the future. We all have those things we wish we could go back and do over, but if we can warn others then they won’t have to make our same mistakes.

  6. Years ago God whispered in my ear to homeschool my future children. The idea terrified me but this post has really encouraged me. Thank you for taking the time to write this! We lost our first baby last year and are pregnant again. I pray that God prepares me well when i begin to homeschool this one thats baking. 🙂

    • Congratulations, Lisa! You are blessed to have four to six years to go to homeschool conventions, interview homeschool moms and research what’s out there for curriculum, philosophies, etc. One thing I would say to you is READ, READ, READ to your kiddos! You cannot read enough to them. While you’re reading ask them questions that make them guess what’s going to happen next in the story. This causes THINKING. Thinking is something that is hard for kids to do these days. They are inundated with screens and entertainment. Feel free to come back and ask any homeschooling questions you have. Jenni and I run an umbrella school for homeschoolers and council many families in education and discipline. We’d love to help! Be blessed in your delivery. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

    • Hi Christine,
      Unfortunately, he will not be there. He attended TeenPact in Illinois and Florida. He went to law school in NH and that’s where he is planted now. He is quite busy these days coaching rowing and starting his career. I’m sure one day he will be able to plug back into TeenPact. He LOVES the organization and refers to them often.

  7. Way to go!!!! You must be SO proud! This 2013-2014 year was my first homeschool year with 4 kids and I am confident enough to say I love it and wouldn’t consider anything else! 🙂

  8. This reminds me of when my son was in the tenth grade. He came home one day and said dad would you homeschool me and I immediately thought that I am not capable or able to do that. But he said dad if you don’t homeschool me I am going to be faced with doing drugs and drink cause the kids that are already making fun of me for being overweight are the ones that are offering me the drugs and I know that I am not a leader I am a follower and I will do them just to fit in cause of all the teasing already, so his mother and I had a tough decision to make, I put my job on hold just to homeschool him. I felt he was crying out to me and we prayed and God gave us peace about it I am one proud dad of the decisions he has made in his life.

    • Thank you for sharing. I’m crying right now after reading that. I can’t imagine the pain your son must have felt from the teasing to come to you at that age and be so honest with you. My heart breaks thinking about it and imagining my own children feeling that way. I am so glad you made those sacrifices for him! Awesome story! You are an amazing father for that!

    • Praise God you listened, Dusty. I’m convinced you saved your son. It tugs at your heart strings when you hear those words come out of you child’s mouth. I’m sure it was a sacrifice making the choice you did, but with obedience comes blessing. And you may never see or understand the full extent of your blessing because you may have saved your son from something that (PRAISE GOD) was unable to manifest. Remember this: Parents are not called to homeschool their children. Children are called to be homeschooled. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • My son also asked me to home school him about 6th grade because he was dreading going into Jr. High or Middle School. I was a single mom and had to work. I felt like he would be okay but when he was a senior in high school he told me he was gay and had been dealing with those issues since 4th grade. We were not a family that kept quiet about things, we talked about our day around the table at night, he was funny, talented but never quite seemed to fit in at school I found out too late. Of course we can’t go back and correct our mistakes but to those out there whose children asked to be home schooled there is a reason they are asking. Please be in tune to what they are needing of you.

  9. Great article! I am a homeschooling mom of 8, though 2 are graduated. When I started, I took my oldest out of school in 5th grade. I was terrified, too. I didn’t know a single homeschooler when I started! Thankfully, I did get full support from almost every teacher and my son’s principal actually was supportive, as she had homeschooling relatives. Even family was somewhat intimidated to question me, as I had a higher education than most of them. Their main concern was “socialization,” yet my main concern was the bullying atmosphere my son was encountering as well as some other issues that later became identified as dyslexia. The school had no idea that he had a learning challenge because they don’t look for things like that. His emotional health was more important. Eventually, I took my other two sons out of school as well, and since that time had more children. My 8th is just 4yo, so I still have a lot of years ahead of homeschooling. My oldest who really struggled with academics all through high school went to a community college and got his associates degree in computer programming. He was on the Dean’s List 3 times, and only missed graduating with honors by a few tenths of a point. He has a great work ethic and loves God. Nobody questions our decision to homeschool now. 🙂

    • Jennifer, I LOVE your story! Thank you so much for sharing. At this point, the socialization concern makes me laugh. We are out in the community more than we are home, and we are most definitely out in the community more often than kids who are in school. School is the only time in our lives that we will be with people who are the exact same age and doing the exact same thing. That’s the socialization concern? Most homeschool kids end up being better communicators simply because they’ve been communicating with people of all ages and backgrounds for most of their lives. Stop back by and keep us posted on what’s happening with your little people. We love that you have 8 children. Jenni Stahlmann needs to catch up! Looks like she’s a little behind with only six. lol!

  10. I did a similar thing when my oldest daughter started sixth grade and immediately fell in with a tough group of friends. Eventually we moved to a more rural area and she went back to public school, but those two years I homeschooled her as well as my other children are highlights of their childhood. Maybe if this hadn’t taken place in the early 90s, and I had found more support, I would have kept them home longer. I certainly loved those two years and they were ahead of their classes when they returned to school. They are all grown now and doing great. Homeschool is beneficial to parents and children alike.

    • Thanks for sharing, Evie! Yes, homeschooling definitely brings bonding to your family. I’m sure your kids are thanking you for your choice to homeschool during those years. And I’m certain that when they returned to school they had a confidence like no other. I’m glad you brought up support groups. They play such an important role. We encourage all homeschoolers to plug into a support group in their area and make their way to a homeschool convention. It’s vital to have a support system. Blessings!

  11. Awesome blog! I homeschool my 6 and 8 year old children. Even though I am a former teacher, I sometimes struggle with ‘Am I good enough to do this?’. What I remind myself, and now fellow homeschoolers in a group I admin, is that if God has brought me to this, He has and will continue to equip me. I cannot do this on my own. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Jeanni, you are RIGHT ON! It’s only through God that we do what we do. It’s important that you tell those around you that even you question your capability, and you are a teacher! We all question ourselves. We just don’t realize that everyone else is questioning themselves too. Thank you for sharing.

  12. As a mom planning on homeschooling my own kiddos, not because I have been dying to be a teacher but because I feel in my heart it is the correct path, this was really inspiring.

  13. I read this today and felt an immediate connection to you! In the late 90’s, my 8th grade daughter (who was the student council secretary and very involved in school activities) came home and said, “I don’t want to be at school with these people.” There was a lot of experimentation going on – drugs, alcohol – among her friends, who were the class leaders and influencers, and she felt uncomfortable with them. Our answer was to homeschool – and we met many of the same opinions. “She’ll be socially hindered,” “she won’t be able to go to college,” etc. Long story short, our two daughters experienced public, private and homeschool education, and benefited from each experience. The key was paying attention to what they needed. They both finished their high school years by homeschooling – each graduated early, had multiple scholarship offers to college, finished at the top of their college classes, and have gone on to lead incredibly successful lives. I am a firm believer in listening to your kids – and believing in your ability to provide the education they need! Thank you SO MUCH for writing this incredible post!

  14. This [paragraph alone earned my love for what you wrote:

    When I pulled Chase out of school his weakest subject was writing. I was not a writer by trade, so I tried a variety of language arts curricula but to no avail. However, one thing Chase did excel at was reading. He read often, and he read good books. Maybe that’s what eventually helped build strong writing skills, or maybe the sheer volume of writing required of him in law school did it, but whatever the case, his lack of homeschool writing success didn’t seem to hinder him the long run. (Whew!) He recently wrote an article on the national debt. You can take a look and decide for yourself.

    By contrast I AM very good at writing. My boys are not. One has plenty of ideas, but the structure is…well, let’s just say writing is not his forte. He builds and creates amazing things. Has since he was 4. My eldest is very slow on the ideas, but when he FINALLY gets them out, it’s awesome. However, this happens perhaps twice a year at most no matter what methods we have tried. One is an avid reader, the other not so avid, but he likes it more.

    You see, my great writing skills cant make THEM excel in writing. At least, not until they are ready. Seeing you talk about Chase turning out ok has lifted a weight off my shoulders! Thanks so much for sharing that!

  15. What encouragement. My son also loves and devours history books, but his writing is a real struggle. I’ve yelled, “What’s this?!” when I see a made-up word then apologize because I realize he’s trying and maybe that weird word will be added to the dictionary one day. We’re hodge-podge with math too; he does very well with that. Thank you.

  16. I have been considering home schooling my kids for quite some time. They are in 6th and 3rd grade, and they ask me to school them at home all the time. I often feel as though it is my opportunity to pour into them all God wants me to, yet I feel so afraid that I will fail them. Thank you so much for writing this blog! I needed to read it!

  17. I LOVE this story. And I applaud you…it’s a testament to the notion that a parent can best perceive what their child needs. Sure it takes some planning and organization but you correctly allowed yourself to be guided by your instincts to not only let your son pursue his interests and passions but you wisely invested in them as well to help him branch out from there and see where those paths would lead. This reminds me of an interview of a woman who pulled her son out of his closed off world of severe autism by “focusing” on his interests. The kid is a genius, was on TedTalks at 14 and is on his way to becoming a physicist… all because his mom went against all the experts and followed her instinct to focus on what interested her son to draw him out and awaken his desire to explore and learn. If that kind of perceptive teaching can work with severe autism how much more anyone’s child? Sure the boy is amazing but his mom is the real inspiration… she shows that an ordinary parent can nurture healthy, happy, highly educated people . Here’s the link in case anyone is interested… http://themotherlist.com/mother-tore-label-nurtured-sons-hidden-genius/

  18. Thank you for sharing with us! This is just what I needed to hear!! God’s timing is always perfect!!! I am attempting my first year homeschooling with my 4 older children and 2 smaller children in tow, also. It has been quite a journey with not much to “show” if you will, but I feel like we are getting the swing of it!! Such an encouraging post for me, again, thank you!!
    ~Rachel

  19. Thank you so much for writing this! My children are not home-schooled but I have thought about it many times. We need creative thinkers in our world today, not textbook trained. The largest problem I have with formal schooling today is teaching for testing. I really think the main purpose of school is the social aspect but today, with so many parents homeschooling there are many opportunities for socialization. You should be very proud of yourself and your son for two reasons 1) your son felt comfortable enough to come to you and share with you his concerns with remaining in school and 2) you listened to him and felt confident enough to go for it. We need more moms (and dads) like you. Your son is one lucky child to have such incredible parents. I would love to hear about your other children as well.

  20. Wow…your story is much like ours, but with a girl, my Miss Spenser. She helped set the track for our family by begging me to homeschool. It was not what I wanted…but the BEST thing we ever did. She started a sewing business at 13, learned the harp and piano, and started our tearoom together. At 24, while waiting on God to provide a husband, she has decided to go to college. She will graduate next year finishing college in 2.5 years. I am glad she pushed me to homeschool, and I am glad God was with us and guided us all the way!

    Loved your story…we have a Chase too…he’s 21. (Smiles)

  21. Great post! Thank you! Could you pretty please share what other curriculum you used with your son and what you are now using with your other kids? And why did you change?
    Thank you! Your article was Sooo encouraging for me!! One of the main reasons I am deciding to homeschool my sons, is because of what they will be surrounded by later in school. I know there’s no guarantee, but drugs is one of my biggest fears for my kids’ futures!

  22. This is fantastic. I homeschool my children as well and I love it. Right now I have a 5 year old in 1st grade and a 3 year old in preschool. I have found a great rhythm with our oldest he loves his school books and textbooks. He is very good in reading and math. But our middle son in preschool I can see is going to be more like this and we are going to have to think outside the textbook. I have never been to the homeschool convention but we will probably have to once he gets older because textbooks are not going to work for him. I have a younger daughter as well but she is only 1 1/2. I have lots of support around me though and my husband was homeschooled. We have recently found some of there old school books for bible curriculum and I am looking forward to going through them. Thank you for your words of encouragement. When I started this journey I was very nervous because I am only a high school graduate and I struggled all through school. But I am enjoying learning these subjects again and watching our child grow in his learning.

  23. Thank you for this beautiful and inspiring post. I’ve recently been through a similar process of discernment with my eldest daughter (she’s 9) and wrote about it on my blog. A fellow blogger (Sandy at http://craftnotherstuff.wordpress.com) pointed me in the direction of your post and I’ve found it so affirming. Thank you!

  24. I love these stories. Congratulations to both of you!
    I have wanted to homeschool since my oldest was in 2nd grade. My husband is an educator and was against it. But, it has worked out beautifully anyway. We placed our boys in charter schools and private schools where both of us were very hands on and active in their education. In the process, one boy has skipped a grade, the other two grades. They are both in high school, one a freshman the other a sophomore, and have been enrolled in concurrent enrollment AP classes at their school. My husband put together/runs/team teaches the program. (Who’s teaching them now, honey?) By the end of their soph/junior years they will have enough credits to graduate high school and earn their associates degree. I look at this journey as a form of homeschooling mostly because I believe the key factor in all of this is involved parents. We can all do that on some level and give our children the support and guidance they need. Whether they are at home or at a school, we are engaged in their learning which, by the way, is not all about books – it’s life.

  25. Schooling is such a personal decision that can only be made by parents seeking God the Almighty. As long as God leads, every school decision is the right one. I have great respect for those who make this decision with the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God. I do, however, want to note that the young man in the above article had one other option in his school. Option #4: Don’t let the bad influence you, but BE THE INFLUENCER. If you are a believer you have the Holy Spirit of God living inside you. Be the light in a dark world. It is a calling for a select few, but it sure is amazing to watch God work in young people and see that they are not weak, but strong in the strength of the Lord.

  26. My son said the very same words during his third week of 7th grade, his reasons were the same as your son’s. For a couple of years we tried an online charter, then a local charter school with independent study. He even went back to regular school for a semester. None of these schools worked, they were a total dissapointment. Finally The Lord answered our prayer and I had the opportunity to quit working. This is our first year homeschooling. He is a senior now and it has been miraculous! It makes me sad I wasn’t able to do this myself sooner, but because he chose to stand up for what he believed in, and gave me that push, his 5 younger sisters will benefit from it.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It was very encouraging!

  27. I also took my two blessings out and homeschooled. My son was 12 and my daughter 8. It was one of the best decisions I ever made! Praise Jesus He called my son to be a Baptist Pastor and the ability to build homes. He owns a farm and raises Tx Longhorns. He has a great wife and two beautiful children. My daughter licensed Early Childhood Director and our Church pianist. My family and my husbands family was against it too…..since then my brother has homeschooled his kids and my kids will homeschool theirs. It was such a joy!

  28. Hi, I presently homeschool my 8th grader, 4th grader, and kindergartener all with a 3 year old and a 1 year old in tow. I also have a 9th grader but she has been at school for 2 years now. She is not doing well. Not because she can’t but because she’s dealing with some emotional issues. My husband wants me to homeschool her but I’m so stressed about the idea! I was not very diligent in chewing their work everyday and testing them and because if this they struggle in basic foundational things and are struggling in math (both girls are being held back a year in math). So feeling like I am a failure in their math at the same time as considering the possibility oh homeschooling again has me so stressed! How in the world with no formal math training was your son able to pass math on the ACT? And do we’ll on it? My kids are behind a year in math and it seems like the world is coming to an end as far as my performance homeschooling! Maybe I should just teach act prep, that way they learn what they need to to pass the exam and go to college? Please give me some advice!

  29. Thank you so much for writing this. I too was faced with a similar situation with my 12 year old. My oldest son was brutally attacked the May before my youngest son’s 7th grade year. It was a very traumatic experience for our entire family. On top of that, my 12 yr old was withdrawing from social situations because of the behavioral changes in his peers. He was also truly bored in school. When he came to me and asked to be homeschooled, I wasn’t sure it was the right decision. I prayed about it and we talked about it for a couple weeks before jumping in. Finding the right curriculum balance was the most difficult part of homeschool. We chose to combine textbooks, workbooks, computer courses, and free choice. It was scary at first, but he has done so well that we are finishing all our curriculum early (even after bumping him up a grade in math). I was worried about finding ways for him to socialize where he would feel secure. I talked to our local law enforcement and they were willing to enroll him in their Explorer program even though he was not 14. It has been a wonderful experience for him and he is growing socially. Not only does it provide him with a safe place to socialize, but homeschooling has allowed him the opportunity to work with the police department for an average of 32 hours a month. He has turned that time into a great opportunity to engage in citizenship activities and has now chosen to turn that into a future career. Homeschool has truly changed us as a family. We are blessed.

  30. Love this! I was homeschooled along with my 6 siblings and count it as one of the greatest blessings of my youth and now adult life. Can’t wait to school my children at home too. Such a blessing for kids to have their parents so actively involved in their education. Not just secular but spiritual. Shaping souls for their futures and eternities. I worked with family business too. So many ways to teach our kids. Faith over fear. Trusting a loving God to guide the way. We are after all His children entrusted with His children. He’ll help us be a success! For any interested in homeschool it is possible to be successful even with bumps in the road. I’ve been thinking about starting a blog including some ideas and resources targeted mainly at homeschool families but intended for any parent wondering “how-to” teach their children. Teaching at home wherever your children attend school formally should be a part of every parent’s day. Children need time one on one with their parents to learn those life lessons and skills that they can teach them best. Or just time to build those relationships and have an example in their parent’s to follow. Take the time and stewardship seriously. A great responsibility and a great blessing!

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