Warning: Undefined array key "mime-type" in /homepages/35/d93607303/htdocs/corkboard/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/ultimate_social_media_icons.php on line 290

How homeschooling changed our life

With our first year of homeschooling winding down, it’s time to reflect back.

I’ll be honest.  I entered our first year of homeschooling with a little fear and trepidation.  Afterall, I was the mom who rejoiced when my first went off to preschool (not the mom with a tissue and a camera).  I was the mom who was counting down the days to daytime empty nesting.  As one friend so aptly stated when she found out we were going to homeschool, “Really?!? But Melissa loves her ‘me’ time so much.”

While we entered homeschooling for financial reasons and to be more available for ministry opportunities, we’ve discovered some other delightful effects.

  1. Decreased Sickness
    Call it a coincidence, but we have had the healthiest winter in our family’s 9 year history.  I’d like to attribute it to the fact that all the kids (for the most part) are far more rested since I no longer have to wrangle them out of bed like little soldiers every morning.  In the past, I could always predict when the sniffles and coughs would turn into full blown illness based on the amount of sleep my crew was not getting.  This year, occasional late nights can easily be balanced with occasional late mornings.
  2. Decreased Stress
    I didn’t realize how stressed the school schedule made me until its absence this year.  I’ll admit last year was a little extreme with 3 daily trips back and forth to drop off, then pick up one, and then pick up the other.  We still do a lot of running around this year but it’s more on my terms.  Our evenings are also much more relaxed because I’m not stressed about a strict bed time since wake time is more negotiable.
  3. Increased Responsibility
    Because I hate chores and because I think it’s good for them, I like relying on little hands to help out.  In the past, I always felt a little guilty piling on chores when they already had such limited time at home to just play.  With everyone home all day, there’s plenty of time for school and housework and play.
  4. Blurred the Lines Between Education and Life
    We’ve always been a family who loves to take full advantage of teachable moments. We love day trips to historical sites and impromptu math and science lessons.  I had begun to notice as the kids got older (especially PJ), that he was starting to compartmentalize life.  Learning happened at school (and only school) and the rest was supposed to be all fun and games.  He was not receptive to turning Saturdays into educational field trip days or cooking into a math lesson or to reading anything but comic books outside of school.  With homeschooling, anything can be school and the more efficient we are with weaving school into life, the more time there is to play!

We win!

If you are a homeschooling family, what are your favorite parts?


  1. MMAugust 23, 2012

    TL\DR; Some internet stranger thinks your awesome and appreciates the time and effort you are investing in your kids education. Thanks for being a good parent!

    Someone on reddit linked to your blog in an adoption post and it is great to see a young homeschooling family! My 3 siblings and I are the product of homeschooling and I love seeing how current homeschool-ers have embraced the lifestyle. You seem to have a similar age range and the same approach to teaching that my mom did, and we all turned out fine! Even the Dyslexic one who couldn’t really read until he was 8 or the extremely socially anxious one that fit every stereotypical socially-awkward stereotype for home-school-er’s until High School (Spoiler: It’s me and I eventually moved halfway around the world, have friends, regularly give talks to groups of strangers, and “surprise” people with the fact I was home-schooled)! I was especially pleased to see you utilize technology to expand your curriculum.

    I’m now 25 and in grad school for Mathematics and Computer Science at Oxford. If my mother had sent me to the inner-city, Midwestern public school available to me I doubt I would be in a tech-oriented field. Computers were toys or precious machines to be coddled and not broken to my peers. In contrast, my parents let us muck about in old DOS based systems and let us roam around the internet largely un-monitored (I do not recommend this anymore, the internet is a much larger and scarier place now). basically, they encouraged us to learn about anything that we showed an interest in. Nothing was off limits and even though money was often tight and they couldn’t afford to finance the latest hobby or interest, they would pull every book on the subject from the local library system for us and if we persisted in our interest did everything they could to give us the resources we needed to excel.

    The best thing my mother did was as we grew to be teenager should let us plan our own school year and be involved in selecting the textbooks and subjects taught. The only rule was that we had to meet minimum state requirements for high-school by the time we graduated and for standard subjects we were encouraged to stick to some tried-and-true curriculum (So, for example, English just couldn’t be “I read these books!” we had to pick modules like “Shakespearean Literature” or “Technical Writing” and use standard textbooks). If we wanted a non-standard course on things such as History of Punk (best class ever), Japanese Culture, or The Science of Cooking and Baking (one brother became a chef), we would have to research appropriate texts to read, determine how we should be graded (I always pushed for oral reports because I was a chatter-box), and then had to give an argument for why a particular subject was worthy of study and show how it benefited either or educational or personal goals. It really helped me take ownership of my education. Even when a course we designed was “declined,” we had already done the work to begin to learn about it, so often we just carried on. The best courses was the “Compassion and Critical Thinking” credit my brother created and we all took based on Christian/Religious reading, volunteer work, and an examination of historical or current stories concerning issues of oppression, poverty, and inequality. It tied in to so many subjects that it ended being incorporated into nearly every course in some way; From economics, politics and philosophy to science (relating to ethics and modeling epidemics in math) and Home-Ec (cooking for homeless people). I hope you’ll consider introducing some non-standard courses as your children get older and form concrete interests.

    I hope that your children learn to love learning. Even more so, I hope they grow to respect that, rather than just teaching them “stuff”, you are teaching them to be learners. Most importantly, I hope on days where kids start to wear you down and it may seem like too much work, too much time, too much money, or just too much, that you can know it’s worth it. Someday your kids will truly appreciate that you taught them how to learn and that you’ll gain a special bond with your kids that lasts far beyond the school years because of it. Even if you don’t stick with home-schooling long term, I’m sure your kids will thank you for this experience and be enriched because of it! Best of Luck!

  2. Brandy FerrellApril 26, 2012

    I love this post! I remember one of your first posts about the switch to homeschooling. It is so wonderful to have witnessed your year and how much you’ve enjoyed the journey thus far! And your thoughts are mine exactly! We went to our annual testing this morning, and I was reminded once again that we don’t have to be out the door at 7AM every day. How thankful I am!
    And I’m excited that your family is growing! So glad I get to know you, even if it is only in the virtual world of blogging!

  3. AmyApril 16, 2012

    I loved reading this! My daughter is 3 1/2 and we’re prayerfully considering homeschooling. It’s honestly not something I EVER thought I’d even be giving serious consideration — I love my “me” time too! But God has slowly been changing my heart to see how it could potentially be one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. I’m excited! And terrified 🙂

    1. MelissaApril 17, 2012

      I’m so excited you’re listening to that still, small voice even though it terrifies you 🙂 I know you’ll be blessed in whatever God calls your family to. I have a preschool curriculum I’m writing. Let me know if you want to preview a week. Warning that it make put you over the edge excited about homeschooling though 🙂


  4. Mrs. PApril 14, 2012

    Ever since I started homeschooling the kids two years ago, we are so much happier, closer, more relaxed. The stress and fear, and the self esteem issues are gone! But it is amazing how I have gotten more criticism from Christians! And well meaning relatives telling me that my children will have no socialization skills! That is total nonsense, especially since now I see that public school is a tool for indoctrinating kids…it’s becoming spiritually dangerous! Why can’t they see that!

  5. JennApril 13, 2012

    We are about to finish our 4th year of homeschooling and we absolutely LOVE it!

    Our favorite part is having so much flexibility with our schedule. My hubby’s job is a rotating shift with a week off each month, so we plan all of our field study trips during that week. Not to mention discounts on traveling during the “off” season…hehe!

    Deut. 6:4-7 commands parents to teach them from when they get up to when they lie down! So for us there is no other choice.

    Very happy for your family and many blessings!

  6. No Reimer ReasonApril 7, 2012

    This is our 2nd year of homeschooling, and we love it. I love how relaxed our mornings are (except on co-op or MOPS mornings) and watching the loving relationship between my two girls grow and blossom. It is a blessing to watch my 1st grader grow and learn and be able to spend so much time with her every day.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to top