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What I discovered when we quit homeschooling

Last week, I shared part 1 of the story of why we quit homeschooling. This post is the continuation of that story. Despite my fears, my school aged kids went off to school. That first day was a long one for me.

When we prepared to quit homeschooling, I was filled with doubts. This post shares the good things that came from that time and the lessons I learned.

Guess what? Not only have they survived, but they are thriving.

And all those other things I was worried about?

The worries about how they would adjust, how it was wrong for a homeschool mom to “give up”? What about the Common Core, for goodness sake!

Well, let me tell you how happy I was to be proven wrong. We found other Christian moms with kids in our school. My kids have way more good days than bad ones. The teachers are phenomenal. I can tell how much they want to help my kids succeed.

Even the Common Core hasn’t been what I feared – the only things I’ve taken note of are that the second grade math is confusing and the word problems take care to use diverse names.

When we prepared to quit homeschooling, I was filled with doubts. This post shares the good things that came from that time and the lessons I learned.

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Before quitting homeschooling, I fell into a trap of black and white thinking.

Homeschooling was “good” so other schooling options must be “bad.” I honestly felt like I had no other option than homeschooling.

A virtual school wouldn’t solve the problems we were having. Private school for 3 kids was not in our budget. When homeschooling wasn’t working well, it was a real struggle for me to decide that public school could be an option.

I realize that public school may not work out for everyone. Our schools are quite small and almost embarrassingly well-funded. Class sizes are small and my kids are getting plenty of individual attention. Certainly this isn’t the case in every school.

I’m writing this story, partly to explain the big shift for our family, but also to encourage other moms, homeschool or not, who may be feeling trapped or needing a change.

You should know that:

Just because homeschooling works at one point, doesn’t mean you are tied to it forever.

Just because you stop homeschooling doesn’t mean you were wrong to do it in the past.

Just because you stop homeschooling doesn’t mean you’ve “failed.”

Just because you don’t homeschool doesn’t mean you aren’t doing the best for your child.

We didn’t really “quit” homeschooling.

Instead, we made a new choice that was the best one for our family. Quitting implies failure and I don’t feel in any way that we failed in our children’s education. If you’ve “quit” homeschooling, I hope you don’t feel like a failure either. Because you’re not.

If it’s not the right choice any more, there’s no shame in making a new choice.

When we prepared to quit homeschooling, I was filled with doubts. This post shares the good things that came from that time and the lessons I learned.

Photo by Pixabay

I don’t regret our homeschool years.

They were an amazing time of connecting with my kids. I grew in patience (boy, did I grow!) We learned so much together. I am a bit sad that I am no longer my kids’ primary teacher. But this new season is a good thing for us, much better than if I had given in to fear and continued homeschooling.

I still think homeschooling is great.

We still have lots of homeschool friends. They’re doing a great job of educating their kids. They have good days and bad ones just like the rest of the world.

I’ve always said I was only managing to homeschool because of the grace of God; without Him, I never would have been able to do it. And I am so grateful that He has directed me toward this new choice for my kids and for me.

My husband asked me why in the world I would want to publish this story.

Why would I share something so personal and put myself out there for criticism on such a sensitive topic? I told him I wanted to be honest with you, my audience, about our homeschooling journey.

But more importantly I wanted to encourage others who may be facing the same decision.

I’ve read lots of great articles about how to keep homeschooling through difficult times; there is excellent advice about dealing with homeschool burnout. All of these things are good and helpful. But sometimes it’s not a question of persevering through tough times or recovering from burnout. Sometimes, the right way is a new way. And that is what this post is all about.

If you haven’t read the comments on the earlier post, you should. Many brave moms have shared their stories there. I was blessed by their stories and I know you will be too.

When we prepared to quit homeschooling, I was filled with doubts. This post shares the good things that came from that time and the lessons I learned.

Do you homeschool? How do you know when it’s the right time to make a change?

More Encouragement

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188 thoughts on “What I discovered when we quit homeschooling”

  1. After homeschooling our five children for 10 years, we entered the world of public school this year. It has been a great transition for our family. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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  2. We just sent our children to school after over a decade of homeschooling. Our oldest just turned 19 and never set foot in a school (neither have our next three kids). One of the hardest things for me is the fact that my old kids are doing so well, despite having never seen the inside of a school building and the fact that they have such happy memories of homeschooling.

    But life is different now. I have a medically fragile 4 year old and three other kids with special needs. I am gone so much at appointments for them that our family was falling apart. My children too are thriving in school. Am I sad to give up homeschooling? Yes. Do I feel like this is best for our family right now? Yes to that too.

    Thank you so much for sharing. It really helps to watch another mom process these same feelings.

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  3. One thing that struck me while reading this was your statement, “Even though I’m no longer their primary teacher…” I know you were referring to homeschooling … but as their mom, you still are. 🙂 You are their most important teacher! Blessings to you and your family.

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  4. We too homeschooled for 10 years and due to medical issues of mine,I wasn’t getting the job done. After two agonizing, not very productive years, we entered the three younger ones in a private school(k-8) and the eldest in a charter high school. We have not been entirely happy with the charter, but that probably has more to do with our son than the school alone. The younger three have done extremely well. However, things change and the second son is now heading to HS to so we have decided to send both sons to a different high school together and for go sending them to the charter together. This is huge, the school is HUGE, but there will be a lot of opportunities at this school that have no been afforded them in the past. The two younger ones are still a decision to be made, but I know God’s has it all under control and I just kn0w HE holds the future. Thank you for encouraging me this morning and sharing your story. Tell your hubby THATS why you wanted to share your story. Thank you again!

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  5. I really am glad you shared your story, most of all I am glad thongs are going well for you. And I discovered w live near each other we have really good public alcohol systems here! I think any school can be a good choice it really depends on your children and your current stage of life.
    Katie

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  6. Hi Sarah, I particularly like the fact that you feel that you didn’t “quit” anything but rather “began” something new. I’m so glad that it’s working out well for the entire family. I completely agree with your statement that parents want what’s best for their children. This is true be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Humanists or Atheist, etc. We all love our children and hope that our choices for them will prove to be the right thing. We, as parents, are all so much more alike than we are different. Keep up the good work – on the blog as well as the family!

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  7. I liked how you pulled this off Sarah. I liked this part “Instead, we made a new choice that was the best one for our family. Quitting implies failure and I don’t feel in any way that we failed in our children’s education. If you’ve “quit” homeschooling, I hope you don’t feel like a failure either. Because you’re not. If it’s not the right choice any more, there’s no shame in making a new choice.” You’re so brave and mindful enough to share this personal major decision. My snuggle angel is 2yo and I’ve been thinking of homeschooling her but there were so many doubts and fears that came rushing in as I think about the idea. This really helped me a lot.

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  8. As a grandmother, I have seen known many people who homeschool. I think it is a personal choice. My children and grandchildren went and are going to public schools. There are pros and cons to every situation, and I think we should respect the choice parents make.

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  9. Every year I pray about it. Last year it as to send the kids to school. BEST think that I ever did. I was pregnant and so sick. At the end of that year I felt like I need to pull them out again, I was so confused, and then we moved, so it was a good time for us to homeschool again. The Lord really does know… it the listening to Him that I have to do to help my kid succeed.

    Thank you for the reminder!

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  10. I started sending my kids to public school, then felt God lead me to homeschool, changed my mind, and started doing that. I’ve only been homeschooling for a year and a half and my older kids were readers/writers. I do meet some frustrations but I haven’t felt like sending them back to public school is the solution, yet. I think the important thing is NOT to mommy-shame! Every parent does the best for their household in their circumstances, and with all the love in the world. Stopping by from the Women With Intention Wednesday Link-up.

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    • I totally agree! When we sent our oldest to public school for 4th grade, all my home school “friends” turned their backs on me & even when we kept him out again after that, I had no friends left as they couldn’t get past my sending him in the first place. Our high school experiences were so bad that we would never send the younger 3 there so homeschooling is how we will handle it. I just know what it’s like on both sides & being harsh & judgmental of other families’ decisions is not at all Godly nor appropriate! God bless!!!

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  11. Thank you for sharing your experiences. We are going to make the switch from homeschool to public school later this year… and as we come to this decision and begin explain why we won’t be involved in certain groups next year, I’m already getting the “failure” or “quitting” comments from other homeschool moms. Thank you for showing a positive side to changing up your educational plan and for helping to make it acceptable for others to make a new, better choice for our children, our families, our sanity, etc 🙂

    I hope your kid continue to thrive at school.

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    • Nicole, I am so sorry you are getting those comments. You are doing what is right for your children and you. There is no right or wrong. God Bless.

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  12. Thank you!!! for being honest and sharing your experiences. I’ll admit I used to be very black and white on this subject going so far as to have the attitude that if a person did not homeschool then they must not love their kids. ugh I am SO ashamed of that! Because a couple of years ago our family also considered public schooling. Between my health and me just being TIRED of being a teacher (my oldest is 25 and my youngest was 10 at the time so I’ve been doing this a loooooonnnnnngggggg time) plus wanting to explore different options for the two boys still at home. And we still ending up homeschooling because in our city the schools are not …noteworthy…and there are not private schools. If we had better outside school options we could well have ended up changing. All that to say, I learned a HUGE lesson through all of that. You just keep doing what is best for YOUR family in any given year.

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  13. This response is only for women who have been led by the Lord to homeschool their children. We, too, homeschooled for many years. We graduated our four children from home and all four have excelled in college. Three of them have gotten their Master’s degrees and the fourth is a college senior this year. They’ve all three been successful in their chosen fields. Seriously. I only want to encourage any moms that have been “called” to homeschool to be sure to bring it to the Lord and honestly wait on His guidance. Many times homeschooling is for but a season and then other times we put our “druthers” in God’s voice. Just be as sure to hear from Him that it’s time to stop as you were when you felt His call to disciple your children in this way. I’ve just seen too many families use worldly wisdom to convince themselves to stop and “ten years” later their children are not even walking with the Lord. Only you and your husband can know God’s direction. It’s just a short season in life so please be sure!

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  14. Thank you for sharing this story. Even though I plan to continue to home school my kids through graduation, I think it is important that we show one another love and grace. At the end of our lives, we will all answer to God for the decisions we made and He will judge our hearts. We don’t need to be so concerned about what every other family is doing but focus more on what we are to be concerned with. Only He knows our hearts and only parents know what is best for their children. We need more grace and less judging. Blessings to you and yours on your journey!

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  15. I’m always blessed with your candid honesty, Sarah! And I agree with what several other said about this whole school thing being such a personal choice. I love how you realized your limitations and were open to trying something different. And I’m glad it’s working out so well!

    I homeschooled my son for Kindergarten, but for a variety of reasons, we felt like sending our son to a private school for 1st grade was the thing to do. He’s done well, but recently I’ve been starting to feel like maybe we are to homeschool him next year. Kind of scares me, because I wonder how I would juggle everything, but at the same time, I know if it is what we are to do, God will provide grace.

    I think one of the hardest things for me is the pressure I feel from others. We have family and friends that homeschool and really promote that. And we have friends that send their kids to private schools and think that is THE way to go. I think that each family needs to seek God about what is best for them (and for some, that means it looks different for each child!. As with so many things, it’s just so important that we extend grace to those that are doing things differently than we are and realize that just because they aren’t doing it like we are, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily wrong.

    Okay….I rattled on long enough! 🙂 But thanks for being brave enough to post this. I was blessed!

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    • I am glad you decide not to home school. There are so many things that children learn in a school setting other than book learning. They learn to live in the world. To me nothing beats a good public school. They have the best resources and teachers.

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      • As a homeschooler for the past 16 years, I definitely disagree with your statements, Fathima. We have had exposure to our local public schools and I can tell you that the things my children learned from the kids there are NOT things I want them to repeat to others. Both words & actions.

        Your comments seem to say that home schooled children don’t live in the world. Do you actually know anyone who home schools?? My children spent countless hours running errands, grocery shopping, etc., with me which allowed them to socialize with adults & people of all ages rather than just being stuck in a room with kids their own age all day, every day. Everyone who meets my children say that they are the most well spoken, friendliest children & I know it’s not from being trapped inside all day as you seem to think is the norm.

        I realize that there can be a lot of positives in public schools but, for our family, we believe that our family setting is the best place for our children to learn to get along with others, communicate effectively (by mimicking adults rather than a room full of children), and contrary to what you seem to think home schooling is, it’s NOT all “book learning,” but, in fact, less book & more life learning than children get in a class of 20+ with one adult.

        We started home schooling in 1998, and also have some experience with our local school as well as district high school. Even if I didn’t want to home school anymore, I would because the high school experience was atrocious. Not every public school is a positive situation!

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      • Yes, because “living in the world” is most certainly being surrounded by 25-30 same aged-only peers 5 days a week, followed by hours of homework, followed by two days with the family trying to squeeze real life into 48 hours minus sleep time. Yep. That’s real life. Not that crazy homeschooling thing, where children are around adults and children from infants all the way to senior citizens, all day every day.

        Oh wait, that’s EXACTLY the real world. Hmm.

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  16. You really haven’t stopped home schooling. You just don’t do it full time. We supplement our public schooled child with library trips, bible study and other sources to expand on her education. You will always be first and foremost your children’s teacher, you just now have support. God bless.

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  17. Thank you so much for writing this!!! I just stumbled upon it today. I have been struggling so much with this subject because I fell into the homeschool = good, public school = enemy #1 scenario. I’m a single mom and have been struggling the last two years to get by and homeschool my kids. Things are changing and I will more than likely have to send them to school next year, possibly for the rest of this year as well. I’ve felt like a failure, partly because we too, have been struggling jot only financially but just with the schooling itself. I’ve tried many different things and nothing is working. It will be agonizing to send my kids to school but I will do it with much less trepidation now. Thank you!

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  18. Thank you. My family has really been struggling with the decision to homeschjol or send our kids to public school. Which happens to be as well funded as a private school in the area we live in. However, I always wanted to homeschool but it does not work for our family, despite my intense desire to make it work. Thanks for your article and the permission to know that sending our kids to public school is not “wrong”.

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  19. Appreciate your honesty, but baffled as to why one , as a Christ follower, would prefer to have the government educate their child? We are training our children to be soiders in Christ army & for His kingdom, not the kingdom of this world. As RC Sproul, one of the greatest the theologians of our day, states: “Make no mistake, public education is by no means free. It comes with a great price”.
    One that I am not willinging to make. I agree when you say , we will all give an answer to our Great Judge & High Priest for every action on judgement day.
    May we above all be faithful to His Word , Dueteronomy 6:7,4:9, Proverbs 22:6
    The journey is not an easy one but the rewards are worth every trial.

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  20. I find this heartbreaking. First, let me say that I totally believe this decision is between you, your husband and the Lord. In 25+ years, I can think of many families who chose to stop homeschooling and put their kids in public school. Very few of those children are faithfully attending church or professing Christ, although I realize that homeschool graduates are not immune to the same outcome. I do not know you, so I do not know your original reasons for homeschooling or for avoiding public school. For myself, the reasons could not be right today and wrong tomorrow. If the Word of God calls parents to be responsible for training their children, for keeping them from evil teachers and companions and ungodly philosophy, how could that all cease to be truth tomorrow? We have graduated 6 from homeschool and have 3 left. I have seen my share of difficulties. (We moved 15 yrs ago with 8 kids, 1200 miles, to a rural farm with only some extended family as our friends. It was 15 months before we found a church family to join. I understand “alone”). I am grateful to live in a country with the freedom to choose how we educate our kids. I do pray that the Lord will continue to guide you and your family.

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    • There are lots of “evil” people in this world. Your children will have to deal with them eventually. I’m a teacher. I have many friends who homeschool. I understand their reasons and respect them and they know I work very hard to be a good teacher. I’m also a Christian, who loves and cares about my students. I have scripture on my board. I pray for my students. I know there are bad teachers, but not all of us are “evil”.

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    • Most of the teachers I knew were really decent people who cared about kids. Many were Christians. Even though some of the curriculum teaches a secular humanistic worldview (many teachers do not even realize this), the real source of “falleness” is the broken homes etc that many of the students come from. This brokenness often infects the school. Where there is a threshold of students from good homes, it also infects the class, and the whole class performs better by every measurement. Whether your child is strongly influenced by peers and what those peers are like is an important consideration. Some will sail through public school, maintaining their faith and solidly christian worldview. Others may get sucked under. I’d hate to see one of the former spiral into depression after being taken out of school (friends and goals and dreams) as much as I hate to see another, whose parents are distracted with other things, get sucked under.

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  21. We are lucky to live in communities that have excellent public schools! I am appalled at those who throw bible verses at you with the same intent others use curse words. Celebrate diversity and embrace exposure to different cultures, beliefs and yes, even the bad stuff. That is real life! Jesus did not ask us to live in a world of exclusivity and elitism, he called us to have our own personal relationship with him, and foster relationships and faith in others regardless of their beliefs. Some “Christians” need to read the bible less, so it allows the time to actually practice the teachings, starting with not judging others. Thank you for sharing!

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  22. Thank you so much for sharing this. I pulled my 5th grader last year due to discipline issues at his public school. He is a bright, squirrely, chattery boy. 🙂 Unfortunately, between my issues with depression and his demanding, also bright, also squirrely, also chattery brother, we have not been “successful” at homeschooling. 🙁 I have indeed felt like a failure as I get ready to send him back to his former school. Hoping they’ll “take him back” and trying to trust in the Lord! So very nervous about “failing” this bright, sweet, energetic young man!

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  23. I really appreciated your honesty in this post! Being a Mom is a tough job. We each do our very best (at least most of the time!) and we try to stay close to God so that He can guide us. You’re doing exactly what you need to for your family. Enjoy those kiddos! 🙂

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  24. I really appreciated your honesty in this post! Being a Mom is a tough job. We each do our very best (at least most of the time!) and we try to stay close to God so that He can guide us. You’re doing exactly what you need to for your family. Enjoy those kiddos! 🙂

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  25. Very much enjoy your honest, heart-sharing article. God bless you and your family during this new season of life. Your kids will get to know God on a different level as they experience new hardships and challenges and have so many opportunities to share God’s Word with their teachers and classmates. I value my parents having helped me see God’s Word in practical application in the classroom. I remember having sleepovers with my non-Christian friends and asking them to all pray together before we went to sleep. God NEEDS Christians in the classroom!

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  26. Thanks for sharing! I am (currently on leave) a public school (mainly Kindergarten) teacher and never thought I’d ever home school my kids. God had a different plan! He sent me to Africa (along with my family) to be a teacher mentor to 8 Brethren In Christ public schools. Alas, there are no schools here that lived up to my expectations (including private ones) so, along with my husband, we’re home schooling for the three years we are here. (My kids will be in public school when we get back but open to God’s leading). I also want to encourage everyone, there are so many Christian teachers in the public schools (primary level especially) as it’s a serving job. Ask your child’s teacher – you might be surprised! I didn’t personally blurt it out to every new parent to come by but if asked directly I would have been happy to tell you I’m a Christian. 🙂 Please pray for the Christian teachers in the public schools – they walk a tight rope, trying to minister and love kids (often ones who do not get love and attention at home) but could get fired if “preaching” at school to young impressionable kids. (I just loved having great Christian kids from good families in my class because especially at Christmas and Easter when you want to share your faith – these little ones are so happy to do it!) Be encouraged. Perhaps public school is your mission field for a time. Perhaps you need to home school for a time to encourage your child in the way s/he should go.

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  27. I’m relieved to see that the comments here are much friendlier than the ones on Facebook today! I plan on homeschooling our kids, but this year the timing seemed right to send our little one to public preK and we’re glad we did. We trust God to lead us, as it sounds like you do too 🙂 I went through public school and became a follower of Jesus because of a friend I made in first grade. I don’t think decisions should be made based on curriculum or school district (God can make the best of a great situation or a not so great one), but on the direction God is leading you and you family. You were brave to share your story and I pray That you would hear the truth He speaks to your family louder than the discouragement of many of the FB commenters 🙂

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  28. Thank you for publishing this story! As a working mom, I sometimes feel immense guilt for not being able to even consider homeschooling for our children. My son is currently in private Kindergarten but will be entering public school for 1st grade. Our schools are great and the same ones my husband and I attended but there was fear there. I am happy for you and your family. And thanks again for your honesty, it is an encouragement!

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  29. Wow this is crazy. I send my kids to public school.
    I also read from bible with them and take them to church.
    Their education of the Lord comes completely from me.
    I never even realized people homeschooled because
    the bible says so. Man. I’m out in the neighborhood. I’m coaching.
    Volunteering. Interacting with other not saved to share my love of Jesus.
    If we isolate ourselves how will we reach those not saved?
    And is that not our mission? To save as many as possible?
    Please do what is best for your family but judging
    others is not Christ like.
    I for one am glad this was written about. I’m impressed by this
    Mom who stepped out in faith. Our all powerful
    Loving God can teach our children anywhere. With anything.
    We are called to be HUMBLE. So encourage one another.
    Check your ego. And proclaim His grace with loving hearts!!!

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  30. Thank you for this article!!! God knew I needed to read this today, & my eyes are brimming with happy tears of relief & validation! Bless you for your honesty, sister in Christ! We all have our own circumstances, & only God knows what’s best for each child & family. I had forgotten this due to being too hard on myself, but now I have peace. Thank you, & thank God for bringing this to my newsfeed EXACTLY THE DAY I need it most.

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  31. i have also been there. I was a home schooling mom and now my boys attend public school. And guess what else, I am a teacher at a public school!!! *gasp*. Lol. I absolutely love homeschooling and the opportunities it provides educationally, socially, and spiritually. I feel the exact same way about public school and I think it is very important moms quit judging each other’s personal decisions.
    Train your children and they will be the light in the dark, at home or in public school. Some kids will make mistakes, some are stronger than others. But I really truly believe a strong, smart, supportive parent keeping Christ first NO MATTER WHAT will be what helps children keep the faith & share he faith.
    At my school we have Cardinals (school mascot) for Christ and our students are rewarded for doing good deeds and making good choices. We have a moment of silence during announcements so our students can say a personal prayer. God is not completely out of school, but if we take all of our Christians out of school we’re another step closer to doing just that.

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  32. Hi Sarah,

    I loved reading about your journey and thank you so much for sharing!! No, no criticism here. Truthfully, nobody really knows the struggles we personally deal with.

    And though I do believe with all my heart that homeschooling is for everybody, there are many sacrifices and you are so right, it requires 100 and then some times that is not enough.

    I have homeschooled many years, took my oldest who is now 19 out of K and never looked backed and have soaked up every minute of it and well, never cared for the neighborhood kids anyway…lol I have another son graduating this year.

    I can say our experience with socialization has been very different because my sons have life long friends now.

    There are many tricks and tips to learn to make it easier, but in the end all that matters is you and your husband’s decision.

    Thanks for sharing and wish you well on your new path!

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  33. Thank you so much for sharing this article. This is MY story almost to a T.The similarities are uncanny. I sometimes still struggle and have guilt that I failed as a homeschooler especially now that youngest is starting Kindergarten. I will not be giving her the same kind at home start that the other kids got. But what did work for my oldest did not work my other kids. We struggled so badly and did not even like each other when the day was done. That to me was not what I wanted in our endeavor to be that good, wholesome ,loving ,Christian family. Homeschooling for us was destroying our relationship. I struggled and cried many tears when we even would discuss quitting homeschooling. I felt like I was leaving our “special” group behind and being kicked out of our homeschool group (even though we have been asked to visit the group many times ) Despite their welcoming I still felt like an outsider because I was ” one of those ” moms who couldn’t HACK homeschoooling. It has taken a while ,but God has been showing me that even though we changed tactics and decided to public school our children I am still a good mom. I am probably even better for it since we now have a better relationship. My kids love school even from day one. ( a bit scared since my oldest was in 6th grade and had never even been in a school) Now they get upset when they are sick and miss a day. They have some great friends, incredible teachers. and like this article we have a very small class ( onnie only has 11 kids) and they are now building a school ( great community support) . Again. Thanks for this article, it’s nice to know that my ideas of people judging me because I quit are probably all just made up.

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    • Well, you’ve read my story, but it does sound very similar to yours! I’m so glad your kids are doing well in school – that makes it so much easier, doesn’t it? I’m so glad you were encouraged. God is good!

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  34. I thought your message was lovely and honest and personal. I just wanted to say that as a Christian public school teacher, it’s nice to hear people recognize that maybe things aren’t as “evil” as some people seem to think that they are. Just from the perspective of someone inside the public education system, we are fighting for kids just like parents are. Often these days it seems like “my own people” like to make me the enemy, simply because I am passionate about teaching the content that I love and watching adolescents grow through their different phases on their way to becoming an informed adult. Thank you for your post, I really loved it.

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  35. This is really good. I’ve had a lot of the same feelings about my homeschooling experience. They were only intensified when we found out my oldest is dyslexic and my middle son is learning disabilities. I couldn’t focus all my attention on them while my 5yo was running around under my feet. She’s in half-day kindergarten now and I plan to put her in public school 1st grade next year. My other two are taking a few classes (reading/art/speech) at the public school. They make take more next year and my middle son may even go full time. We’re taking it day by day and then year by year. I love being with my kids so much, but it’s overwhelming when trying to manage a house and work part-time. I wish there was just half day school. I could do SO much with a half day to myself. Thanks for having the courage to write this – it was good to hear a different perspective.

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  36. I am a first year homeschooler to my 6 and 8 year old kids. I chose to homeschool because our education system is broken. Sure, it’s passable for kids with no learning difficulties and these kids do fine even with the crazy Common Core mess. But for kids who are dyslexic, like two of mine are, public school is a place where they are left behind mainly due to the Read To Achieve law that is now failing 3rd graders who can’t read X words per minute or read the CC level mandated and this is determined by one end of grade test. My two oldest kids went to public school and did great ( but that was before all the testing took over and Common Core). I think the biggest thing parents need to know is that educating our kids can be done in different ways depending on where the kids thrive the best. There should be no judgement from homeschool moms over other moms choosing public school over homeschooling. I’m really surprised at the amount of finger-pointing from some of the other commenters

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  37. Though homeschooling is not an option where we live – if you want to homeschool, you have to request permission BEFORE the kid goes to school, and you have to have a reason that is acceptable to the government, just stating that you don’t think public school is the suitable option for your family doesn’t suffice – I’m glad to read your honest account of it, not just the success story.

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  38. As we get settled in to Naples, we will be in our new home next Friday, the issue of homeschooling has come up ALOT! Our family size gets a shock, and then when I tell them we home school I get the inevitable–“Your wife must be a Saint,” or something to that effect. I am really at a loss as how to answer that question, much like answering the question, “How do you afford it?” Of course my wife is amazing, what am I to say to that? But our homeschooling our children has NOTHING to do with her ability great or small. The fact is that she is VERY good at it, which makes her a huge support to other women and someone who can intentionally guide or provide guidance to other families on the subject.

    The other thing this question suggests, is that it is somehow easier for my wife. It must be, right? Just like the finances, choosing to home school means that we simply don’t do some things. This is not an indictment of anyone’s choice, it is a simple fact. When you choose to home school, or have a big family, normal becomes something else. For us one of the guiding principles for our priorities is the Bible mandate to train our children as we go. The training never stops!

    If you read the attached article and get encouraged that you made the right choice, then you have chosen public school for the wrong reasons! You are looking for justification in the wrong places, especially if you think COMMON CORE is “not that bad.” There is not room here to address the evils of common core, that is something that if you feel called to leave your children in public school and your State is mandating common core you should FULLY investigate for yourself.

    But that is the point. What are you called to do with your children? Ignore your emotions and your self-imposed guilt, as well as your material expectations for what you SHOULD have or what you deserve. After several years of fighting the social indoctrination of the public school as well as the substandard education our children were receiving in one of the best districts in Virginia we felt firm in our calling to home school. Do we regret our public school time? Some of it. But it was those things that ultimately motivated us that not only was it the right choice for us to home school, but that we could.

    If you are making this decision based upon your ability, or fear that you might be “handcuffed” to home schooling, then you have based your choice on a misguided understanding of your responsibilities to train your child up in the way they should go, and you have succumbed to the sin of fear. Neither path should be decided upon based upon this.

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  39. I totally respect you for publishing this and for your decision. We, as a Christian family, have always sent ours to public school and I feel NO shame in that. In fact, my kids have had a great education and have some really wonderful, loving teachers (some of whom are also Christians). There are pros and cons just as there is with any education choice. As Christ followers, I really feel that we are to be in this world but not of it. My kids have had a chance to be good role models and have even witnessed to other peers (and staff) in this setting. To us it is an opportunity to be “salt and light” in our community. I just republished an article about this a little more:
    http://quiverfullofblessings.com/2015/02/13/how-we-homeschool-without-homeschooling-2/
    Blessings to you and your family!

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  40. I am a mother of two girls’ ages 3.5 and 15 months. I always thought I would be a honeschooling Mother. It was my dream to teach my Children from before conception. When my first born turned 3 years old I was stumped. None of the faith based honeschool networks were thriving in my area. I was exhausted trying to get my Daughter socialized on a regular basis. The grocery store was not enough. A play date twice a week was not enough. The library programs were not enough. My Daughter begged to see friends every day. She longed for an opportunity to be more active in her community-perhaps a natural desire imprinted on all humans-to be part of something that she could grow with. Extra classes/sports did not offer that. That year our family made the decision to put our daughter in a private preschool two days a week (5 hrs total). I felt so strange. How would I tell my honeschool friends I can’t commit? Would they feel judged that I wanted something else? They responded shocked, but happy for me. It can be hard to change ones mind. To go out of your comfort zone. Though our hearts were delighted with our Daughters school experience. She has a very loving environment with wonderful classmates. She responded well to the adjustment of being away from us. She had only ever been babysat once-by her own Grandmother. She was happy, comfortable and confident. It also helped her being at her familiar Church Preschool. The transition was much easier ( for the both of us!) than I imagined. This is our choice give. Our circumstance just like yours! Sometimes we have to make decisions we never thought we would need.

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  41. Hi! This was my story this year too!! I had five kids 7 and under, the last two 17months apart. I was a mess trying to fit in school. God opened up the doors for us to move and my kids could go to school where their Nana works. It has been an adjustment, good and bad, but like you it was a change that needed to happen. GALATIONS 1:10 really helped me to not feel like I was doing things for man. Like you my kids are thriving. I mean exceptionally. I am thankful the school has a lot of Christian teachers. Not that everything is perfect, but neither is homeschooling. Trust God, trust your husband and do not worry about the condemnation of others. They simply can’t be God’s voice for you either… Although a lot of people will try.

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  42. Sarah, I appreciate your openness. My children attend public school. I always wanted to homeschool but my ex-husband won’t allow me to do so…every person has their reasoning. Thanks for linking up at Women With Intention Wednesdays! I look forward to seeing what you have for us this week!

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  43. I have to say thank you for publishing your story! I am a lay biblical counselor and I have met with several women over the years who have been in the place of am I failing because I want to or am needing to quit homeschooling.
    This is an article I will save for these women. God is Greater than us to teach our children and protect our children then we are. I so homeschooled one child for two years and placed him back in Public School. The Twins I homeschooled for 2 quarters while I searched for the appropriate school for them to attend. And one of them in 10th grade because he asked if I would. He went back in 11th grade with more credits than his brother! Not because I was an amazing teacher but because he was motivated to learn and did all kinds of things.
    All three are grown and Married with children of their own now.. all three have great jobs and are balanced, love God, and their families. I couldn’t have asked for more!
    So Good for you! And God Bless you for sharing with us what you thought may have been a mess but it came with a clear message! Quitting or Change dons’t constitute failure..Bless you and yours!
    Jen Sathre

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  44. Please tell your husband that you were lead to publish this for me. In the midst of fighting the battle of being a failure and re-enroll ing my children in school. Thank you.

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  45. Thank you so much for this from the bottom of my heart! I have had so much guilt because of my wanting to put my youngest in public school next year!! All the moms I know that I look up to home school and I let it get to me that it was necessary. Just THANK YOU!

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    • You’re so welcome, Christina! It’s hard when that’s your circle of friends. I hope you’ll be immeasurably blessed by your decision, as hard as it was.

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  46. I love it! I was homeschooled and have chosen to send my kids to public school. Our family has been so blessed by their teachers and the community has been wonderful. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  47. Is it a personal choice? Yes it is. Is it the right choice to send them to public school. No its not. Personal Choice does not = right choice. I was homeschooled along with my sister for high school years. So I can speak from experience on both sides. I dont know what your family life is like all day but our family is HECTIC and thats with the kids in public school! Next school year my husband is finally letting us homeschool the kids. We work from home and its a 80 hour a week job, my friend. I admit I am afraid. But God doesnt care about my fear, He cares about me obeying him. You wouldnt believe the damage public school has already done to my kiddos. I have a lot of UNDOING to do! If you and other ladies want to public school, go right ahead. But its not biblical to then justify that decision based on your feelings , “this is where God is leading me” or “this is right for our family” or “what right for my family might not be right for your family”. What in the world? God has already spoken. Straight outta Bible. God’s plan is that you homeschool. Period. Now if you choose not to obey, that is fine. But God’s not in your public school. God’s not in this decision you have made. Will life be ok now that you are public schooling? Maybe. But its not going to be what is COULD HAVE BEEN. Why would you roll the dice on your kids like that? Who cares if homeschooling is hard? Marriage is hard too ya know…but im not going to divorce my husband and be single now because that is easier. REmember, personal choice does not = right choice. God is perfect and no you cannot do it better than what He has already said in the Bible is the right way. Trust God and please go back to homeschooling before its too late.

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    • And because you have chosen to share your decision, you are helping to fuel these other ladies into following you down this road. So now, not only have you possibly harmed your own kids…you are harming other peoples kids be encouraging their moms to give up on them. You havent only sent your own kids in the public fool system but you now have a hand in sending others there as well. I pray God’s word will prevail against your personal opinion. That His words can be of influence. Duet 6:6-7″And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” How can you teach them when they arent even with you all day?

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      • Huh. I’ve read the Bible (a couple of times), and I have a pretty good memory, but I can’t remember ever reading a scripture that says, “Yay, verily, I say unto you, that you should not send your children to public school.” I do however remember quite a few verses about not judging; letting people make their own prayer- and faith-based decisions and not condemning them for those choices, etc. Hold on, Rehbecca, is that a beam I see in your eye?

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      • Becca,

        Thou shalt not frequent XXX movie theaters or smoke pot (nor many other things that weren’t around back then) isn’t mentioned specifically either, can we assume those are appropriate for Christians to do as well? Having discernment about what is right or wrong isn’t judging. Do we see anywhere in the bible where God instructs anyone to send their children to the pagans for their instruction? Do you truly think he is pleased when we do so now? Public school is Godless.

        I thought your comment was very mean spirited.

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      • BW, I thought the original comment was very mean-spirited. I can’t believe you can see mean spirit in mine, but not in hers. And where do you get off calling public schools “godless”? Many teachers believe in God – they are either Christian or Jewish or Musilm or Hindu but practice a faith that requires a belief in God. And atheists and agnostics aren’t any more likely to be bad people than people who believe in God (just look at all Catholic priest sex scandals). I have an advanced degree in development studies; it’s really questionable what makes more of a difference, from a development standpoint – free and easily accessible public schools, or clean drinking water. Certainly clean drinking water saves more lives; but free and easily accessible public schools do more to encourage economic development and political participation than anything else you can do, developmentally. To dismiss those wonderful achievements as “godless” and to dismiss anyone who doesn’t agree with you as “mean-spirited” is incredibly short-sighted and, yes, I’m going to say it, ignorant.

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      • BW, I will apologise because I got a bit heated. I’ll walk it back a bit – if I could I’d erase my comment to you.

        Rehbecca claimed it’s in the Bible that we aren’t supposed to send our children to public school. If that’s the case it will be very easy to show with chapter and verse. She can’t do it, because it’s not there.

        It is not good that we should be compelled in all things. We are meant to study and pray and find our own answers. Isn’t that what Sarah has done? What right then does Rehbecca have to say, “Oh no, that’s not what God wants for you”? Rehbecca is not in a place to claim revelation for Sarah and her family. That is a sin of pride.

        I am also guilty of the sin of pride, and I apologise. I should not have responded to you as I did and I could have phrased my first comment in a nicer way, and so I apologise to Rehbecca too. But I also stand by the main point of what I said, which is: It’s not in the Bible. If you’re claiming that God says not to send your kids to public school, you are adding on to the Bible. There are many very good people who work in public schools – many of whom are Christians. They are not godless; and in fact are responsible for a tremendous amount of good in the world.

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    • I do thank you for your comment, Rehbecca. But (obviously) I disagree. God IS in the public schools (even though He may not be welcomed by the government). I do believe God is sovereign and has His hand in every aspect of my children’s lives.

      God has done amazing things in my children’s life specifically BECAUSE I let go of my fear and desire to control what I could not control and sent them to school.

      Homeschooling is right for some people but saying that it’s the only choice for all Christians may in fact be turning homeschooling into an idol.

      I do not wish it discourage anyone. Rather, I want to offer that there is freedom for mothers who are in a place where homeschooling isn’t working any more. No one EVER mentioned this to me when I was struggling homeschooling. I sorely wish they had.

      There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. This is true for our schooling choices just as much as it is for other decisions we make.

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      • Sarah, I’m not a regular blog reader, but came across this post and wanted to thank you for your perspective. I just read the previous comment with my mouth open. I’m homeschooling this year, but have experience in the public school system as well. As someone who believes in the gospel with all of my being, It’s easy for me to become angry when I see people misuse scripture and draw lines in the sand and condemn others over choices that are not meant for that. You responded with grace. You are leading no one astray. God is definitely at work every where. I’m sure your families presence in the school is a blessing to the teachers and other students. Thanks for your honestly and words. all the best!

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    • I completely agree with this comment! I always cringe when Christian friends tell me they prayed about something and the answer “God gave them” is in direct opposition to what He tells us in His word.He doesn’t do that! I think we are confusing our feelings for God’s leading.

      “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

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  48. I was in private school for kindergarten, homeschooled through 5th grade, then I went to public school, and graduated from a public high school. So I guess you could say I’ve done it all. When my mom made the choice to put my siblings and I into public school, did she get criticism for her decision? You bet. Finally, at a meeting of homeschool parents, she had the chance to tell everyone, “I’m doing this because God told me to. If you have a problem with it, take it up with Him.” (My mom is awesome!) All this to say, when you’re doing what God’s called you to do, when you’re in the center of His will, there’s no better place to be. Good job, Mama!

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    • Thanks for your comment, Sandy. God is sovereign, even in the school system. It makes me sad when other Christian parents are shamed because someone else wants to hold them to an interpretation of the “law” when the Bible never mentions homeschooling. Child training yes, but not homeschooling. We have plenty of opportunity to train our children regardless of where they go to school.

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      • As a former teacher and homeschooling Mom-homeschooling is very hard. I think there’s got to be a better way to join together and instruct our children in the ways of the Lord. In general, homeschooling science is abysmal (I’m a science teacher) and I have witnessed too many under-educated homeschooled teens. There are a lot of great teachers in public schools that have the time and resources to teach and inspire your children in an area. However, culturally and morally-they are a cesspool and I’ve watched child after child develop two worldviews that completely contradict one another, but they don’t see it. They just slip into the “appropriate” one based on the circumstances. These are hard choices. However, from a christian point of view, what we must keep in mind is that whatever choice we make, we cannot let go of the responsibility of continually inculcating a christian worldview into every area of their life. We must continually help them to identify the messages coming to them from friends, teachers, books, media, etc and help them to evaluate them.Someone else may be able to do a better job of helping them to learn how to calculate the volume of a cylinder.

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  49. As a former student and teacher at a Top-rated public school (in the Nation’s Top 10), I can tell you that I will never, NEVER send my children to public school! The things your children will be exposed to is mind-blowing. That’s not even taking into account that according to public schools- God, Christ do not exist. Putting your child into a secular environment will be almost impossible to raise them in a Godly fashion. If the horrors and nastiness I witnessed happened at some of the best schools in the Nation, you’d better believe it’s happening in your child’s! And sadly, private is that same thing, you’re just charged more for the same result.

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  50. So I’ve been told the past ten years you have to homeschool, hide your kids from the world, they are bad influence. So naturally I’ve believed them. I trust them, still. But after moving to this smaller town my new preacher and his wife have always public schooled their kids. Oh how evil. No, the way they saw it was they are literally going to deal with this stuff at some point in their lives, period. My husband is a good man but unfortunately works with drunks and guys who attend strip clubs and crap. That’s just the way it is. And to think your kids will never make huge mistakes because they were home schooled is a dream. They will be tempted by lust, alcohol, drugs all of it. Satan has not forgotten your kids. What matters is home life. Are your kids in youth programs? Are they inviting kids to church? Are you talking to them about God? How are we going to make a difference in the world if we aren’t meeting people where they are? I homeschool now, but debate in my head lately. Waiting on God to tell me what I should do. Just because they go to school does not automatically make your kids evil. Is my husband evil cause he works with weirdos, nope. But it’s the weirdos that need God and repentance. Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. What are you training? Your above people cause your so religious? I will train mine, that the sick need a physician. Homeschool or not Satan doesn’t own public schools. Yeah they kicked God out but no one is bringing him back in. God is still in charge! He’s the king! I think my kids need to go to school and find people to pray for. We will see what God tells me to do. Thanks for being honest in your journey early bird mom. 🙂

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  51. A bible verse that I often think about when I want to quit homeschooling is Psalm 1, Who’s counsel is our children walking in daily if they are in public school (this goes for peers and teachers)? Not Godly like Psalms commands. Do public school children “meditates day and night” on God’s law? No, absolutely not. The Bible is clear – our children should be meditating on God’s Laws not mans.

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      • I am completely confused, my post did not say anything about people’s hearts, it talked about meditating on God’s Law and walking with people who are Godly. When your elementary child is read a book called Jazz about a transgender teen – who’s law are they meditating on? What about science and the completely forgotten Truth of Creation?

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    • So, to you, meditating on God’s law means ignoring (or worse!!!) people who are different to you – instead of recognising that they are also valued and loved children of God. Meditating on God’s law means pretending science is a fraud – instead of pondering that God’s miracles can be understood in some small way by our finite minds. (Yes, some of the greatest proponents of some of the most important ideas about the creation are Christian. They do not see a conflict between God and the Big Bang Theory.) You are not doing a service to your children by pretending these things don’t exist. If you took the time to meet a physicist or a trans person I am sure you’d come away with a new friend. Scientists are not scary; and trans people are not evil. Most people are doing the best they can.

      There are a lot of ideas out there in the world that I do not like or agree with – drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, etc. I’d much rather my children were exposed to them in a public school, where they can come home and ask me questions, and we can talk about it, than when they are all grown up and on their own and the fact that such things exist comes as a complete and total shock to them. I trust that my children are smart enough to make the right choices; but that means trusting them enough to let them go.

      I don’t mean for this to sound mean although I am sure it will come across that way. But to me, the way you meditate upon God sounds like this: “God, I will put on blinders and pretend not to see anything that challenges my faith.” To me, meditating upon God means challenging my faith – and if it is robust enough it will survive the challenge. What would Jesus do? What would the Old Testament prophets do? A prostitute helped the Israelites take Jericho – but from what I understand, by your version of your faith, Joshua should have shunned her. Christ was friends with prostitutes and publicans – but from what I understand, by your version of your faith, Christ should have pretended they did not exist. Faith is not static, and it is not meant to be kept under a bushel. Faith is active. It is only by being in the world that we can transform the world.

      I am sure you, like me are a loving mother who is trying to give your children the absolute best in life. And I am sure that you are doing a terrific job raising great kids. But don’t pretend that people like me, who make different choices, aren’t also trying our best; don’t pretend that my kids aren’t also great, just because they go to public school. Our kids will grow up and move on and hopefully have wonderful lives. Eventually they will be exposed to all of those things we don’t like. When that day comes I want them to know all they can about it, so that they can make informed choices. Growing up going to a public school with a very high rate of drug use and teenage pregnancy did not make me curious; it made me see the consequences of those choices. I don’t think I could’ve seen those consequences as clearly if I’d been home schooled, because they were (and are) just not a part of my home life, as I’m sure they aren’t a part of yours. My children go out into the world; and at the end of the day they come home to the safety and security and love of our home; and it is through that continual going out and coming back that I hope they learn the lessons that will set them up well for the rest of their lives.

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      • First let me say we are struggling with continuing to homeschool our oldest son after 5 years and strongly considering public school. That said, I think it’s naive to think a homeschool child is not aware of the sin in the world. The goal of homeschooling is not to shelter your child but to train them in the way they should go. If homeschooling is done right, once the child is on their own, they should know how to deal with such things and have been exposed to them while being guided by a loving parent with Godly principles as opposed to a secular world with opposing views of the parents – opposing truths of the Bible.

        Your post sounds good and is truth if the parent is actually sheltering their child. News flash: most homeschooled parents do NOT shelter their children. So, your theory is wrong. Very wrong.

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      • Deidre, I think the goal of all parenting is to train your children in the way they should go. Homeschoolers are not alone in that. My children spend more time at home than in school. The atmosphere I create at home will influence them far more than any classroom. If you doubt this, I encourage you to spend some time in a public school classroom. You will see that the children are all very different, despite being in the same class. That is because their home environment will always outweigh their school environment.

        This isn’t always good. There is one little boy in my son’s class who I worry about quite a bit. He is always upset and crying at the end of the day when it is time for him to go home, and my heart hurts for him. There is no obvious abuse; but clearly there is something in his home life that is upsetting and difficult for him. On the other hand, there is a little girl in my son’s class who is in foster care. A year ago she could not look me in the face. She was like a scared little kitten, always trying to edge away. Now when she sees me she shouts out my name and gives me a hug. It is because she is now in a loving and kind environment where her needs are being met by foster parents who care. Never underestimate the importance of good, loving adults in a child’s life. I’m sure you’re one of them; think of the many ways you could help the children in your child’s class, if you were to send him to public school!

        I have known a great many adults who were homeschooled as children. As a general rule most were more sheltered than their peers who attended public school. Are there exceptions? Yes, absolutely. But in my experience, people who are homeschooled are much more sheltered than those who are not. I say that without making a value judgement. There is much in the world that I would like to shelter my children from. There is much in the world that I would like to shelter myself from! I try to keep those influences out of my home, much, I am sure, as you try to keep them out of your home. So why wouldn’t homeschooled children be more sheltered?

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    • I think it is naive at best to think that just because your children are homeschooled that they are meditating on God’s Word. Similarly, how can you presume to know what all public schooled children are thinking? We are all sinners in desperate need of God’s grace and everyone needs to come to this knowledge themselves.

      If anything, I think a homeschooled child may be more prone to missing this exact point, especially a child who has been taught that public schools (and the children therein) are all wicked. This encourages a self-righteous attitude instead of the compassion Jesus would have us show to our fellow men and women. We are saved by grace alone. Not by homeschooling or any other practice.

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  52. Thank you so much for this post! We have homeschooled the last 2 years because of the public schools in our area and not having the funds to do private school. I have enjoyed it but my social butterfly child is struggling this year. We have moved to a new area with excellent schools and are preparing to send her to school next year. I am so fearful of common core math ( she already struggles in math and I fear she will be frustrated) and of what she will be exposed to but I feel like it will be best for her, our relationship, and our preschool age child at this time. We may love it or hate it but I feel like we can always go back to homeschool. If we don’t try school I think we will always wonder if she would have thrived in a setting with other kids. I am glad to hear that what you feared did not come to pass. Ultimately we all want what is best for our kids. Homeschool was great 2 years ago but a lot has changed in our family and homeschool isn’t working this year. Thanks for sharing…..it is so nice to know I am not a failure and we are not alone in transitioning from homeschool to public school.

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    • Big transitions are always scary (at least for me), but sometimes the scariest things end up bringing the most joy! Best wishes for the rest of this year and blessings for next year in public school!

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  53. Thank you so much for this article! I have been homeschooling our oldest for 5 years! My husband and I are considering sending our dd to a christian school this next year. We have many reasons, but the “old” me would have just thought that no matter what I had to homeschool. God is working on me, but I still struggle sometimes with guilt. This article has helped me see a different perspective. My search was for homeschool encouragement. 🙂

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  54. I came accross your blog on Pintrest, and so glad i did! I really appreciated your honesty in sharing your homeschooling story. I definetly can relate to the extreme views of homeschool is good and other options are bad. We have 4 kiddos and our eldest is going into k next year and i have been feeling a little guilty for having to send him away to school. This is a great and balanced perspective you offer thank you!

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  55. Thank you so much for this blog post. I feel that it is a gift from Jesus and His great grace that He bestows for those who need to read this. We started out as a homeschooling family and we loved it! But this past year has been so difficult and we truly felt the Lord leading our family to change course for a time, whether temporarily or permanently. We switched our children to a wonderful school this January and God gave us confirmation over and over again that this was where He wanted our family at this time. Each family is different and He has a plan for each one. Its been a wonderful transition and so smooth.I have felt supported by both homeschooling moms and non-homeschooling moms. Of course there are still odd comments that people sometimes give and I have to continue to let those confusing comments go and rest in God’s plan for us. Its also been a season of grieving the loss of homeschooling because I had put so much time and energy into preparing for this. But I’m learning to be comfortable with the mix of contentment, joy and also the grieving. Its all a mix and all a process! But God we have so much peace and our children are doing so well! And I”ve found that I’m still “homeschooling” when I help with their homework, volunteer in their classrooms, spend hours reading aloud to them, taking them on family field trips with my husband. God is so good and this is what we all needed right now. I’m thankful for His sweet grace! I have looked at your blog post here several times during my journey this past year. Thank you for being honest and I pray that this blog post reaches many more women!
    I am just starting to write again on my own blog and I’d love to invite women to come and visit me over there, if its something that will bless you! 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you for your sweet comment, Jennifer! I’m so glad my post encouraged you. It’s wonderful when God’s plans work out so beautifully for us. He’s got a much better plan for us than we could ever imagine.

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    • Desperately needed to read this blog and this comment. Returned my 5 to school after four too brief years homeschooling. Grieving is precisely where I’m at. Mourning the loss of time shared and special conversations that would crop up in the middle of lessons. The school is ok. Kids have transitioned well but I feel quite the failure and being asked by homeschooled families not to return to homeschool gatherings with my now schooled (read polluted) children hurt beyond words.
      So glad to have found a blog where I am still considered worthy of parenting Christian children.
      Thankyou.

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      • I’m so sorry others were unkind to you. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and I’m glad to have encouraged you.

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      • Jo, that breaks my heart…you are judged for doing what you think is best for your family. Hang in there! God has a plan for your little ones and for your family and rest in His promises for you. 🙂

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  56. I literally JUST applied to put my boys back into the Christian school they were in three years ago! I confess, some of my motivations for homeschooling were just WRONG…. this past year has been the hardest and I finally took off the hat I’ve been wearing for far too long.
    I’ll work at the school, I’ll bring the cupcakes,I’ll do the field trips….but at the end of the day, I have decided to go back to MOM….
    I love homeschoolers and I’m afraid of losing some of those friends…but nothing will make me regret making a decision for our family, that I know can make us a stronger one!
    Your blog post that I found on pinterest was a cup of cold water to a weary soul! thank you!!

    Reply
      • I too after 8 months of homeschooling a kindergartner 1st grade and 3rd grade have decided to put the kids back in school after summer ends. I have a ten month old and the distraction of teaching 3rd grade math kindergarten reading and chasing a baby is just to much. The realization of the baby starting to walk without the walker and feeling beat by playing a losing game of catch up with the laundry kinda sealed the deal for me. I do not feel like a failure in any way. My decision to home school followed a bus incident where my kindergarten son got his head pushed in the window on his 2nd day of kindergarten. The bully after being suspended 2 days started talking dirty to my first grade daughter (and yelled at by the bus driver for screaming at him) pushed me over the edge. I refused to send my daughter to school if I saw tears every time she entered or exited the bus. I struggled making the rash decision to just pull them out of school. My third grader is advanced at learning was bummed to leave his friends.

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  57. Thank you for this post. I homeschool, and am very glad I do so. It’s definitely the right thing for myself and my oldest. My other one is too young to assess right now, but we will adapt to her needs as well. My husband loves it and the school available in our area makes us glad for homeschooling, if you know what I mean.

    I have struggled with the black/white good/bad perspective that you mentioned. It’s something I’m still dealing with, but I appreciate your openness. I am realizing that “Did you homeschool your kids?” is not going to be one of the questions asked of us at the pearly gates for admittance… But it does often seem like we interpret it as that in the homeschool world.

    Again, thank you for your story and the perspective it affords me.

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  58. I really enjoyed everyone’s insight on this matter but a few things are a bit off I feel. It is not a sin to enroll your children into a public school. I cannot believe the amount of judgment some of you have on parents who choose to enroll their children into a public school. It’s not our place to judge like this, it’s Gods!
    Yes, I homeschool my kids, they play with public schooled kids almost everyday, and they WILL, and DO, make mistakes, even sin once in a while, just like everyone else does.

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  59. Thank you SO very much for this post. I, too, after 10 years of homeschooling very well, working hard, even teaching in the classical tradition, etc., decided that it’s time to put most of our kids in school. I have a gift for teaching, but our isolated neighborhood began to introduce a loneliness to me and my kids that became so discouraging and oppressive. We played outside in our big yard, we have plenty of active kids in our family, and we interact with our friends from baseball, soccer, and church, but it’s just not the same as being in *daily* community with people. I became isolated and increasingly low and anxious, and I felt guilty that other homeschool moms I knew were committed to continuing it no matter what. I love academics, but having an anxious, grouchy and overwhelmed mom takes a toll on the family. I am thankful that God is opening up my heart to make a change that will bring blessing and community to both me and my children, trusting Him with my fears about getting sick more often, encountering bad literature, or losing our family togetherness. I have been concerned about Common Core, lazy teachers, bad influences, and other flaws inherent to any public school and must cast those on Christ as well. I do not regret a single day of homeschooling and have much bittersweet sadness in moving away from it, yet I have a peace knowing that this is God’s way to bring me into a new place of serving and community that will show me His goodness in a different landscape. Again, thank you for your honesty!

    Reply
    • I really resonate with where you are at and I understand all your fears and concerns about not hs’ing. What I wanted to share is that although not every day is a good one at school, there are some benefits to my kids that I never anticipated. The teachers are hard working, creative and they really, really care about the kids. The kids have access to some great extracurricular activities! They love seeing their friends daily. And my world has opened up in a new way. I am no longer all consumed with hs’ing so have been able to serve God in new and exciting ways! May God bless you as you move into a different season of life.

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  60. This was such a great, thoughtful and honest post. It’s SO hard to find anyone talking about this! We are sending my oldest to public school next year because we feel she is ready and it’s the best choice for our family (2 kids and a baby on the way in Sept). Most helpful was you discussing “black and white thinking”. This is something that has affected me since I was a child, and you are so right! It’s easy to fall into a trap thinking if home is good then the rest of the options must be bad. Life is just not that simple. Anyway, this post was so reassuring that all families are different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

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  61. I wish I would have found your website and read this article a few years back. I had a complete break down and was physically unable to continue hs’ing our kids. I suffered from many of the things you mentioned here: a feeling of failure, perceived judgement from other hs’ing friends, an uncertainty that I was hearing God correctly (hadn’t He ‘called me’ to hs in the first place?) among other things. Just in the past few months I had been seriously considering hs’ing again b/c of issues in my twins’ class at school. However, I have decided that I am a healthier and happier momma NOT hs’ing. I finally feel peace about not hs’ing!

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    • Thank you for your comment, Kristen! I’m sorry you had to go through that, but it’s wonderful that you’ve got peace with your decisions now. God is faithful!

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  62. As I’m sure others have said, it’s so nice to hear someone talking about stopping homeschooling… and it’s okay. This morning I typed in “total homeschool burnout” in Google and all it came up with is tips on changing things up so you can keep homeschooling. I know my time homeschooling is up (this is my 11th year) and I’m mostly okay with it. I just need to get through the rest of this school year 🙂 I really appreciate your article.

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  63. Ha ha! I knew I wasn’t alone. It happened to me about five days ago. Out of the blue, the idea that I would be sending my four dear more or less unschooled children to public school next year jumped fully formed out of my head. I am absolutely sure that this is the right thing to do for me. Possibly for my kids too, but it’s primarily because I just don’t want to struggle anymore. I’m so burnt out that their education is suffering.

    I crave quiet time so much I get up at 2 in the morning so I can be by myself. I’m sleep deprived as a result, lol. My house and life is in dire need of organization, but it’s impossible with my ADD to get this done with four other people in the mix ALL the time.

    My kids don’t want to go, but a lot of this is fear on their part. What if they get to public school and totally rock academically? What an ego booster that would be! And if they struggle, I’m right there to help them through it. They will learn it’s ok to struggle. They will learn public school isn’t as scary as it is unknown. And we will continue project based learning as we have time for it, because that’s how we roll.

    This homeschooling mama is taking a sabbatical, and at the end of the year if they want to come home again, I will be ready.

    Thanks for writing about your experience!

    Reply
    • I should also add, my kids are 13, 10, 8, and 5. I’ve been homeschooling for 9 years an don’t regret a minute of it. I am a better momma because of it and I will always be their primary educator. (It was definitely Grace that whispered that in my ear!)

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    • I hope everything goes really well for both you and the kids, Elaine! And that you will be able to sleep later than 2am (Good heavens!) You’ll feel like a new woman with more sleep!! 🙂

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  64. I want to thank you for the article and all the other comments! It has really helped me to decide what is best for my kids and myself!

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  65. I never thought I would homeschool my children but some issues came up with my first of four kids and my husband and I decided to give it a try. We had no issues with public school so when our second child was ready for school we sent her to traditional school. After the year was over she requested to homeschool and it has worked out well for her so far. I have a third that I kept in homeschool for kinder because of maturity and a better option for speech therapy that he really needed.
    Everyone always asks me what my plan is and how long I will homeschool. They also assume I would recommend homeschooling for every child and family.
    I am an advocate for children’s education and some kids need a non traditional education, others thrive in a traditional setting. We need to consider our children, our families and ourselves. If God wants you to homeschool he will equip you to do so. If he wants your children in school he we give the strength needed for that as well.
    So when people ask how long I will homeschool I tell them as long as it works. For now, it works. God will handle tomorrow.
    I am grateful for this space where we can support eachother and the choices we make for our families. It’s hard enough to be confident in our choices as moms and we need to know that we are all different and so are our children. Good luck to all and Thank you.

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    • Nickie, I am really encouraged by your words! I loved your comment about “If God wants you to hs, he will equip you to do so.” and “For now it works. God will handle tomorrow.” I also love your attitude of not judging others who are doing things differently – how people assume that you would recommend hs’ing for every child and family. Blessings you on your journey!!

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  66. Thank you so much! My friend sent this to me and I was scared to read it. I had a good cry this morning over this whole change to our family’s very recent change. Reading this just now has really h eloped me feel that I am not alone. I also started having the black and white thinking and felt like a failure, even though hat had nothing to do with our decision, After my husband was out of work for a year and e only option is to start a business with no salary, I had to go back to my career after almost 7 years home with my girls, I got my job back, but I get to work pat of the time from home pandas the girls got into our parish school. Everything has fallen into place and it seems like it is all God’s will. I will miss all the time I had with them, but I have a sense this will be good for all of us. I pray I will be gentle with myself and my family as we make this change. I have a feeling I will still be ‘teaching’ them in my off hours, but it will be more organic and enjoyable. I will also treasure every moment from now until I start and the time we have before and after school.

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  67. Thank you! We did private school for Kinder, and then gave homeschooling our best effort this year (1st grader, and a 3 yr old) and had a wonderful, memorable year. We accomplished our goals. But even still, we are choosing private school for 2nd grade. As a parent, the social adjustment has been painful jumping back and forth. I’ve had so many thoughts similar to the ones you posted and it’s refreshing to hear from someone who’s been in my shoes.

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  68. It’s like you LITERALLY posted right out of my brain!!! We are ending our three year journey in a few weeks out of some hiccups with childcare. Both of us work full time and there’s no longer a feasible option for childcare and we ALSO had to jump into public school. We are going out of our assigned district to another district but public school none the less. I’ve been searching and searching for something to help prepare them for school but instead came across this gem of encouragement. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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  69. Thank you so much for writing about your experience. I have been home schooling my son for 3 years but now find it a struggle to cope with it. He will be starting school for the first time this September (we are in the U.K) and I would be telling a lie if I said I wasn’t petrified by the prospect. Would he be able to adjust to school life, long hours etc but this article has given me hope!

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  70. I just stumbled upon this article (and your blog!) as I was reading about decluttering and God clearly is the one who sent me here! I just registered my children yesterday for public school and have been feeling INCREDIBLY defeated! I knew it was the right choice for our family but it sure made me feel like a failure and quitter. THANK YOU for putting yourself out there for people just like me who needed that reassurance!

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    • What do you think of the transgender bathrooms and now Satan clubs that are coming to the PS? We are in PS and have contimplated changing bc of the government alone…. It’s seem the govt has too much of an influence these days.

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      • Thankfully we haven’t had any problems like this in our schools yet. If we do, we’ll either work to address the problem with the school or consider making another switch. There’s no use worrying about what hasn’t happened (in our schools) yet.

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      • Hello, I’m a sophomore who goes to public school (I’ve been in the public school system my entire life), and we have no “satan club.” Additionally, our school has recently put in a gender neutral bathroom, which is basically a one-person bathroom with a lock that anyone can use. It does not promote or oppress any groups or individuals, and frankly I don’t see any reason why it should offend anyone. I don’t have anything against homeschoolers or parents that choose to homeschool their children, but I feel that making generalizations about public school when you may not know all of the information is wrong.

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  71. When coming to taking up responsibilities home schooling is hard. But I think now kids are more ambitious than us. My daughter is doing his 11th grade from an online school. I don’t have to help her too much in her studies because teachers are available to help her in online school. She has an urge to learn. So whatever comes up she never misses her studies. She has selected a path of her own and we are there to give her all our support! Sorry to hear about your situation.

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  72. Today is the first day since becoming a mother 17 years ago that my house is empty during the school day. My 17, 16 and 13 year olds just started their first day of public school. 8th grade, 11th grade and 12th grade.
    Sobbing in my car, I did a Google search for “grieving the loss of homeschooling”…

    I found you.

    My kids needed this change. I know it’s the right decision. I don’t doubt it at all. I don’t feel like a failure. I just ache at the idea of being without them all day. We laughed so much all day long. They are the funniest people you’d ever meet and they love each other so much. It will be hard on them when they realize how much they will be missing each other soon.

    You have encouraged me. This is a true grieving process. The loss of what you know and experience and love deserves time to heal. Your words affirmed that.

    I’ll figure out this whole “just me” thing. And I’ll take my time doing it. I look forward to more encouragement from you in the days ahead. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Reply
    • Sweet Jenn. Grieve the loss – so important to do. You have done amazing things over the years for and with your kids. My heart is feeling for you today. I pray God’s amazing comforting presence with you. Big hugs from someone who has been there….

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  73. Thank you for this article. My older two started in public school this fall after homeschooling for two years. They are already thriving and blooming and have wonderful teachers in a great school. Yet I do feel the loss of homeschooling and am grieving in a way. I miss the cuddly couch moments of reading good books together, the freedom to take field trips whenever we want, the flexibility to skip ahead when lessons are too easy. I am a teacher by training and am not foreign to a classroom environment, but I found homeschooling to be a special part of our family (minus the tough days). I am striving to enjoy the positives of the new season I’m in with “only” a toddler and infant at home. I’m recovering from the overwhelm and drowning feeling of homeschooling/newborn and working on personal goals as well. The change to public school is still fresh and new, and I know I just need some time to adjust. Maybe we will return to homeschooling next year.

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  74. Hi. I am in the second week of sending my four babies to a private school after home schooling for the past 5 years. I didn’t know I would feel this way. I feel so utterly hopeless and alone. Thank you for these words. If you have any other advise to help with this (is it grieving?…) process, they would be greatly appreciated.

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    • I’m in week four after sending my kids to public school. They’ve come home with quite a few hair-raising tales, and the profanity they are exposed to is quite incredible (6th and 9th grades). I woke up in the middle of the night last night crying at how our family dynamic is changing. But as salty tears rolled down my cheeks, I realized something important. A lot of what I was mourning is what homeschooling gave ME. It made ME the center of their universe. It kept our little family unit nicely homogenous. It kept them “safe” from all the topsy turvey of the world “out there”. And you know what? They have confidence that they didn’t have before. They were “scared” of public school. They thought they wouldn’t fit in. Now my 6th grader enjoys an after school program so much he wants to stay until closing every night (6pm) and my 9th grader is part of the cast of the fall musical which requires rehearsal 3 nights a week and he wants to stay for clubs another night…until 6pm. And I have help in educating my kids, where I am not the prime mover every day. But I can stalk their grade every day and our discussions on subject matter and moral issues is just as deep as it ever was. It’s GOOD for them. And I know it’s the right decision for me personally. So yeah, there are tears. But fear not! You are still their mama. And you don’t need to be their be all and end all. Those are my thoughts anyway. 🙂

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      • Oh and I have four too. My younger girls are in 3rd and K. The 3rd grader has been in school because she has severe speech and learning delays, and my K is in LOVE with her school and teacher. Hang in there. It’s a different journey is all.

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    • Amber, it is such a huge change that you have gone through in sending your kids to school. I really think that you are grieving and it is right to do so – natural, even! I experienced such a tumultuous array of emotions when I had to let my kids go to school. I grieved, I was disappointed in myself, I had feelings of failure and “what?? I thought this was my calling!!” None of my close friends homeschooled so I felt like no one could relate to me. I cut myself off from any hs’ing community we had made as I felt ‘judged’ for ‘giving up’. It was so.hard. I decided to give myself a few months of “Sabbath rest” where I didn’t say ‘yes’ to anything. I just gave myself time to process, time to grieve, time to rest, time to read, time to exercise. It was an incredible blessing. I would encourage you to seek help from a professional to work through your feelings if you need to. There is no shame in any of this. It is a journey, a tough one for you right now, but despite the difficulty of where you are right now, I believe that things will get better for you! With care and a big {virtual} hug.

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  75. Thank you for writing this. I just had my fourth baby 2 weeks ago ( i know, not a good time for making decisions), but we are seriously considering whether to keep homeschooling or not, my husband has been for public school from the get go, so I don’t know what we will decide, but thanks for helping us realize there is freedom! And it really is crazy how many Christians approve of me homeschooling and not so much when I say ” my kids go to public school.”. (We had our first in public for kindergarten.)

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  76. Thanks for these thoughts. We are at a crossroads trying to decide what to do next, having had 3 years of public school, 3 years homeschooling, and a disastrous year this year trying public junior high that just didn’t work out and ending up going back to homeschooling. My daughter wants to go to school with her friends next year who will be going to the same school that just didn’t work for her this year (mainly due to not knowing anybody I think). So maybe it’s a good idea for her to try again, but I found the teachers very fixed about some of their ideas, and now facing issues about gender and fighting and so on, in schools, it’s really hard to know what’s best. I know that we have to live in the ‘real world’ and she does have a good appreciation of that from our discussions, watching TV news, etc, but I’m not sure I can deal with the school again. So maybe it’s my problem really, but your comments have given me some food for thought. Thanks.

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  77. I was almost in tears when I read your blog! Thank you so much for being so transparent. I went on google looking for a blog like yours and I was happy when I found it!

    To be honest, I have been homeschooling for a year and 2mths. I must say it has been the most challenging time of my life. I have a 7yr old in grade 2 now, a 2yr old and a 15yr old foster son. At first I thought homeschooling was the best decision for our family but now I am overwhelmed. My life is busier than ever and my marriage is hanging on by a peace of thread, my health is not well and my 2yr old is really living up to the terrible two’s. I feel like if I stay in it I am going to lose my self. There is no joy or peace about homeschooling because I am exhausted.
    I thought quitting meant I was a failure.
    THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart for allowing the Lord to speak through you to encourage mother’s like me.

    Grace & Peace,
    Deanna

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  78. Thank you for your post! A dear friend sent it ro me.
    I have four children from the ages of 33-14. I have home-schooled for 27 years. Our youngest has been the only child at home for the past four years. This school year has been tough, not that we have never experienced tough before. Yet, this time the tough has opened my eyes to the needs of my son. We ARE considering sending him to a local Christian school. Next week he will go shadow at the school to see if this is for him. We began homeschooling because my husband and I are in ministry that takes us on the road often. The travel has slowed down tremendously. I serve a sovereign God and I know that He will close doors that no man can close and open doors no man can open.
    This is not an easy decision to make. I am excited to see where the Lord will lead us in this path. Whether we send him or continue to teach at home. I don’t feel guilty, why would I feel guilty for doing what is best for my children, not what is best for me! I am honored that I had the blessing of homeschooling, and I will be blessed at what ever the Lord has for our son!
    To the gal who lives under the law, I pray that you will realize that you no longer need to do that! Jesus has come so that we don’t have to! I have raised my children in a home that is full of sinners! I have done my best, by the grace of God, to teach them the way of the Lord. I can’t ” save” my children. That is the work of God! Not all my children have given their heart to Christ and his Gospel. They like what the world has to offer better. I continue to ask the Lord to pursue them. To open their eyes and ears to Him! A work that only HE can do!

    Thank you for your article and for being so transparent!

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  79. Hello, I am not sure how old this post is. I have found all of the things you said to be very helpful for me right now. I have been homeschooling my two son’s ages 6 and 9 for the first semester of this year due to my mother-in-law being very ill. I started off spending three days a week at her house for six hours a day after driving 45 minutes each way I barely made it home in time to pick my boys up from school then of course once we got home there was homework and dinner baths playtime and bedtime. Oh did I mention that my older son has AD/HD? All of my time was being devoted to others i hardly had time to clean. We made the decision to homeschool for the year but my mother-in-law now has nurses who come almost every day so my help is only needed on the weekends now. We will be sending our boys back to public school when Christmas break is over. I am not sure how I feel about it, I truly do feel like a failure. It is literally world war 3 in our home every day since our boys are always together they cant get along. I am feeling like I have pulled them around to much and i believe putting them back in public school and letting them stay there would be the most beneficial to them. I just hope we are making the right decision!

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    • Hi Barbara, I’m so sorry that your mother-in-law is so ill. That must be very stressful for you and the rest of the family. If the return to ps doesn’t work out, you can always switch again. Thanks for your comment 🙂

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  80. People who homeschool their kids are breaking the most important commandment of the evangelical movement; they are trying to use good works to justify themselves and their kids.
    Faith alone will keep you and your children out of the Devil’s clutches. The arrogant attitude that you alone can keep your kids safe is a much more direct route to damnation than anything they’ll find in the Common Core.
    If you want to be be right with God, you need to work on your own faith, not try to turn your kids into your personal get-out-of-sin-free card.

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    • You make a pretty big assumption about why people choose to homeschool. However, I don’t think that you understand the myriad of reasons behind why a family might choose this option. I think that very few would identify the one you mentioned as the reason they make that decision. If I could quote your own words, “If you want to be right with God, you need to work on your own faith…” specifically what it means to speak in love as Scripture commands us to (1 Cor.13; Eph.4:29;) as well as what Christ Jesus says to all believers in Matthew 7:1 telling us not to judge one another.

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  81. Hi, I don’t know how long ago this was, but I stumbled on your blog and I am really thankful. I was homeschooled for most of my academic life and, though I am a Christian, It was not for religious reasons. Our school district growing up was just awful and homeschooling was actually the smarter choice at the time. I am personally worried that my kids will face a similar problem with our current school district, and I did try to start homeschool with my now 4 year old. But It became clear almost immediately that it was just not going to work. Our personalities clash so much that she resists learning from me. I was homeschooled in a very social and exciting way, with co-ops and plenty of freedom, but I feel ill-equipped to be a teacher personally and have no idea how my own parents had the patience and creativity to deal with me and my siblings whil we were young! I have prayed about this and have fought the feelings of guilt (the homeschool community, as you know, is unforgiving at times). Thank you for opening up and sharing something so personal. It has really helped me to release my own fears and trust that God will guide me and my kids to a situation that will work the best. I also have to remind myself that just because it didn’t work out now, does not mean that homeschooling won’t ever be an option for the future. In the end, I plan to be very much involved with my kid’s school and suppliment anything I find missing … I worry the most about history being white-washed and bland.

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    • I have 4 year old and and two year old. I wish I wanted to homeschool but I don’t feel the genuine desire. We have a good school close by and my husband also works for the district but homeschooling is still something I think about everyday. I know it’s not ALL one or the other, but it still feels like a HUGE decision and I also struggle making decisions. With homeschooling I only see the benefit and the amazing potential but I don’t know that I have the daily motivation it would take. What do people suggest for really weighing the options and figuring out what is best for you family? Knevinski@gmail.com thanks-kristy

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    • Sarah thank you for this article..you are very brave and I really admire you being able to do what was best for your family without worrying about the response of others’ and thank you Jen for your comment!

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  82. What a wonderfully written post! I found it by doing a random Google search of “Homeschool vs Public school” just to see what I would find as I am agonizing over making the same possible decision. I have 5 children and have been homeschooling for 9 years. I am currently considering sending the 8th grader for high school next year, but the more I research and make lists, and PRAY, I consider sending all of them.

    I was wondering if you sent your children at the beginning of a school year, or if you made the decision mid-year? There are many days when the 13 year old boy would greatly benefit from finishing out the school year at public school!

    Thank you so much for sharing your story <3

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    • Hi S,

      This last year I sent my four to public school, the oldest boy going into 9th grade highschool. There is a BIG difference in the expectations, social wise, of middle school and high school. High school expectations are more mature and less annoying for self-possessed homeschoolers to deal with. I would not recommend putting him in 8th grade mid year unless he already as a lot of friends at the school. If it will be a whole new thing for him, just wait.

      For my son, starting out as a freshman gave him a blank slate. He’s having a terrific year, too! We mostly unschooled the whole last year of homeschooling, with the exception of writing and math, both of which he struggled in. He’s getting an A in Algebra, after much work, and an B in Honors English. He transitioned to Honors Bio mid year and won a lead in the school spring drama, a very rare thing for a freshman, so it’s been a successful experiment. Good luck !

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    • I sent my kids mid-year – it wasn’t ideal, but it was the best option once we decided to make the switch. I think, too, the longer you wait the harder it gets – it was a tougher adjustment for my older kids and not so much for my youngest.

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      • Thanks for your reply! My oldest attended private school for 2 years a few years ago, and he has been asking to go back to a school setting this year. I’m seeing more and more that it looks like the best step for him; it’s just hard to make that final decision.

        While seeking counsel and talking to many seasoned parents, I have yet to find anyone who prayerfully placed their kids into public school and regretted it. I’d almost like to hear of at least one story to balance the charts!

        Sarah, thank you so much for sharing your heart about this. I’m sure it has been a blessing to many homeschool moms who have felt trapped.

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    • Wow. Thank you. Providence brought me here from Don’t Waste the Crumbs. I went over to the local public school today to schedule an appointment with the principal. I’m considering strongly considering and praying about enrolling my 8 year old, second grader, in the next couple weeks and then my rising 2nd grader in the fall, and still on the fence about the rising Kindergartener. My question is this: Did you have a hard time ministering to all of them by enrolling all three at once? I guess yours are older, but I’m concerned about the little ones falling to pieces at the end of a long day of holding it together at school. My kids are super unschooled (thus the need for a little more structure, that I am not providing). But, I’m not sure how I will attend to the three of them, and the toddler, in the few hours between school and bed. Did you struggle with this? Do you have strategies for helping them at the end of the day? I’d love to see a post on what after public school or any school day looks like for a former homeschool mom.

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      • Good question! Actually my kids just want to chill when they come home. They’ve had fun with their friends at school and they’re ready to chat with me, grab a snack and spend a little of their screentime. So I don’t feel like it’s hard to get enough time with each one in (any more than it’s hard in general!).

        Luckily my kids are almost 100% independent with their homework; if they weren’t I imagine it’d be a lot harder to bounce between them.

        I don’t feel like my kids have a hard time holding it together at school; I have heard this from other parents but I guess we have a good balance of different activities that keeps them moving but not exhausted.

        I’ll bet if you had snacks ready and gathered them all on the couch for a couple minutes with a book, they’d recharge together.

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      • Thanks, Sarah! That’s encouraging. Reading aloud during snack is my dream after-school activity and my all time favorite part of hs-ing. Love that I can do that as ps mama! Actually, I am thrilled that every educational thing I want to do is supplemental. I will continue to fight the fear and feelings of failure. Preaching Truth to myself. Thanks for your post.

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  83. I didn’t realize there were people out there who have the same concerns and feelings I did/have about quitting homeschooling! I’m glad I’m not the only one and don’t feel like a failure! Thank you so much for telling your story it has helped and encouraged me!!!

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  84. Thank you so much! We r n this boat now! Dream homeschool room totally dis-assembled, selling our home, toured multiple public schools, private for all 3 is not in the budget, nor have we found any suitable to our situation. I came across this post with tears being able to relate to absolutely everything you have said. Thank u for being open! ????❤????

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  85. We homeschooled for a year and it was actually extended family and observing the effects of long-term homeschooling of their children that contributed to our decision to move in a different direction. They were horribly sheltered, the parents were scarily controlling and the longer they homeschooled, the more smug and intolerant they became which rubbed off on their children. Way too much enmeshment and narcissism. It motivated us to think ‘big picture.’ I don’t believe kids should grow up in a bubble. It does them no good when they eventually leave the nest and have to navigate the real world, and that includes exposure and interaction with those who are not in our bubble or who maintain differing beliefs. Another thing I noticed is that homeschool married couples I’ve encountered, seemed more like Boy Scout troop leaders. Many of the moms neglected themselves and slipped into over-mothering at the expense of who they as individuals were. They and their spouses appeared to be very dutiful, as you said, gung-ho, but not truly into each other. More like partners running a business. My husband and I wanted to still maintain that spark and having growing kids in the home 24/7, regardless of what anyone says, is going to wear down a marriage. I applaud you for your decision. When our child joined the public school, I was unprepared for how pleasantly surprised and impressed I’d be at not only how he handled it, but how wonderful the educators, kids and staff were.

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  86. Thanks for sharing! I have a child entering 2nd grand and another entering 1st. Both kids had attended a private adventist school for two years prior to this past year in which we homeschooled. When my husband and I realized that private school was no longer in our budget, we decided to take the next year homeschooling until we figured it out since we were zoned to a HORRIBLE school district. There was one particular public school we were interested in a few years ago, but at the time the rental prices were outrageous and we just couldn’t do it. A few days ago, we found a place in the district and was approved so now we really are moving and the kids will be zoned to an awesome public school. I thought I’d be happy, but I cried. Homeschooling was difficult for me this past year, but I’ve grown to love it and I cherish the special time I have with my kids. I don’t know if I want to stop and I do feel like a failure. My husband is gently pushing the idea of sending them to public school but my heart aches and I feel reluctant. I know this is what I wanted a couple years ago, but now not so much. Sigh:::: What do I do?

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    • Hi Mila! What I heard you say is this “… my heart aches and I feel reluctant”. I also heard you say that although hs’ing was difficult this past year, you’ve grown to love it and you cherish the special time you have with your children. *Beautiful*. I think that you need to heed those words of yours and really ponder the decision, together with your husband. It seems to me that you are not ready to let go of hs’ing… and therefore, I’m not sure that you should! 🙂 Perhaps you have been blessed with this move to this school district so that in a few years, should you decide that you wish to move your kids to a school, this is possibility for your family. Not sure if you are the praying type, but if you are, just lift up your requests for guidance to the Lord. He knows your family, your kids and will direct your steps with wisdom and truth. Many blessings as you walk this journey.

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  87. I just found your blog today while on google. I am right in the middle of this very decision. I have been homeschooling for 10 years. We are putting my daughter in high school because she wants the high school experience as well as some peace and quiet away from her sister. Her sister, a 7th grader, has dominated our schooling with her impulse control issues for years. In addition, we just spent the last year nursing my dying mother. I had a horrible year trying to care for Mom and stay on top of school. I can see where my youngest would thrive with structure and frankly, I’m tired. I just want to be mom right now and maybe get the shower clean. I’m one of those homeshool moms who struggled not judging others who put their kids in public school but now I see that it is definitely not a one-size-fits all decision. Your blog really encouraged me to not beat myself up and if fear is my only reason to keep them out, then I am not exercising much faith that God is in charge. He will protect my kids way better than I could. All this to say, Thanks for a little perspective!

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  88. I am going through a lot of pain and feel like a failure. I quit my job to homeschool my son. It worked for 2 years but now in the third year, and he is 15 (and in his Junior year) , and is showing attitude. I find it very hard to teach. Now I am not sure whether to go through this struggle and let him finish school or put him in boarding school.

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  89. Super late to the party. This was one of only a handful of blogs that have addressed this issue. We’ve homeschooled for five years, and are putting both kids into a local charter this year. I’ve been feeling the pull for a while, wanting to go back to work (ironically as a teacher) but have constantly felt like I’m in the wrong for doing this, that it’s going to ruin my kids and our relationship. The more I dig into it, the more I realize that I’ve made idols out of my kids and homeschooling, but it’s SO HARD to break out of the mindset. Thank you for sharing such an encouraging story. It means so much, and even six years later, is still so so needed in our communities.

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  90. Thanks for the even- keeled article. I can’t seem to find any articles other than 100% glowing regarding homeschooling.

    When I was a divorced, full time working mom, I afterschooled my kids when they were in grade school in certain subjects like math and history when I felt they weren’t getting enough.

    Now it’s 10 years later , and I’m remarried to a man with 2 girl in 5th and 7th grade. Their mom took them out to homeschool and is doing an atrocious job (I can say this, because she doesn’t quiz, test them or have any idea where they stand). The oldest one doesn’t know her multiplication tables still. The youngest one is very smart, and likes to answer questions for the older one.

    She got herself fired from her job, so she can make the new husband work so she doesn’t have to work outside the home. From what I can tell, she’s doing a sort of “unschooling” that is not working at all. We would be much happier if she did a Time4learning type program so my husband can also see their progress.

    I am actually appalled in Illinois that there is no requirements for homeschooling as far as testing. I believe this is dangerous for kids with parents who aren’t really homeschooling effectively

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Welcome. I’m Sarah!

Sarah

I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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