Getting Started in Homeschooling: Deciding to Go for It

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Are you thinking about homeschooling? Wondering if it’s the right thing for your family? Here are some thoughts to help you decide if you should go for it.

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Years ago, 2011 to be exact, Kelley wrote in, asking about homeschooling and how to get started. I thought it might be good to answer her letter here as there may be others with the same questions. In fact, I know there are, because on this survey, that was a recurring theme.

“More homeschooling posts!” shouted the people.

Today in 2016, it seems like it’s a good time to update this post and make sure all my advice is current.

Here’s Kelley’s letter from five years ago:

Dear Jessica,

I am strongly considering home schooling my five year old this fall. He is my oldest, and I am very confused about where to start. I have visited the Simple Homeschool site frequently but it seems that will be a priceless resource once I have my home school more established. I am wondering where to start??

Are there certain posts to read? Books? I realize each person’s approach is different. I am looking for the basics. Things to look at, things to consider and how to get started. If I, in fact, embark on this venture, I want to try my best to be as prepared as possible.

Many Thanks,

You ask some great questions! While May and June are the months when school is slowing down, the mind of a homeschool mom is gearing up. Though we are tying up loose ends in our current academic year, we’re also turning our thoughts toward next year, planning and purchasing curriculum. My sister is already endlessly texting me about curriculum to borrow or buy for next year.

Getting Started in Homeschooling: Deciding to Go for It

It’s also the time for beginners to decide if they’re going to take plunge, if they haven’t already.

Rather than try to reply to all your questions at one time, my “answer” will be provided in a series of posts over the coming months. And it will be an interactive series as I hope other homeschooling families will chime in. It is not meant to be a debate over what style of education is better. [So, folks, save your breath.]

Instead, we’re talking about how to make decisions, questions to ask yourself, where to go for advice, and the like.

Pattern blocks

Should you go for it?

My husband and I first considered homeschooling long before we had our first child. The story of how that philosophy developed is a detailed one. The short story is that we felt compelled to be as hands-on as possible with our children’s education. You can read the full treatise on why we homeschool here.

There are obviously a number of ways ways to go about this. Many families choose public school; others choose private. And they are able to be involved in their kids’ lives.

We’ve taken a different approach and have chosen to educate our children at home. I am not one of those people who say that other options are void. I haven’t found it in the Bible where it says that.

We’ve simply found it to be the best choice for our family. We’ve graduated one child from our homeschool, have two in high school, one in middle school, and two in grammar school. Years ago we explored other options for our first high schooler, and opted to stick with the original plan.

I can’t tell you whether YOU should homeschool or not. You need to determine what’s best for your family.

homeschool mom first day signs


However, I can say that homeschooling has proven to be one of the richest experiences of my life as a mom. I have had the opportunity to know my children in a way that I don’t think would be possible if we had chosen a different style of education. We’ve enjoyed books, field trips, science experiments, and other adventures together, learning about the world all along the way. I am blessed beyond measure from having had this experience.

But, you and your husband have to make the decision for you.

Some things to ask yourself:

Do you enjoy being with your kids?

I’ve never considered this to be a sacrifice. I enjoy being with my kids and frankly, can’t imagine being away from them all day long. Though there are some very, very rough days, those days push me and challenge me to tackle the obstacles.

I’m not with them 24/7. We all get breaks from one another, but we enjoy spending our days together.

Do you enjoy reading and learning?

I have a Master’s degree in Education. But, I’m continue to learn everyday with my kids — even after 15 years of homeschooling. I had no clue that there were so many gaps in my education, but there were. Slowly I’m filling them up alongside my children.

Are you a good enough teacher?

Simple Homeschool tackled this question awhile ago. Jamie’s answer is better than mine would be. (And I think if you dig around the archives over there, you’ll find a wealth of information for beginners, including this great series, Should I Homeschool or Not?)

Are you okay with raised eyebrows and potential criticism from others?

Despite what your brother-in-law’s cousin’s neighbor may say, homeschooling is not a fringe movement. In fact, the appeal of home education is reaching the mainstream, crossing lines of religion and politics. There are homeschoolers of every color, creed, and political party.

Still there will be critics no matter where you go. And you need to be okay with that. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, thanks to the hard work of others who’ve fought to secure those rights. It is a legal, viable option — and nothing to be timid about.

These questions are certainly not exhaustive. I’m sure there’s something that I’m missing. But, they’re good food for thought as you explore the wonderful world of homeschooling.

Homeschooling parents, how did you know homeschooling was right for your family?

Next time: choosing an educational philosophy.

Getting Started in Homeschooling Go for It

This post was originally published May 11, 2011.

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  1. The hardest part is to decide if you are going jump into homeschooling and commit yourself to be a big part of your child’s education. But once you see the advantages and benefits homeschooling brings, it’ll be all worth the time and effort.


  2. I was homeschooled as a child and thought i would take a spin at it and i wad discouraged at first but i know ill hit burnout with parenting and or homeschool and there will be good and bad days with homeschool. I have to say that if your relationship or marriage is on the rocks it is very hard to homeschool.

  3. I have a different angle. I have two high school daughters who are getting all F’s on their report cards. I do NOT want to homeschool but I don’t see any alternative. The counselors and case workers are not helping my girls. They are being repeatedly humiliated by teachers and fellow class members for not being able to “keep up” with everyone else. One of my daughters has become violent and the other suicidal. I want them out of the public school system and on a curriculum that matches their potential. I need that to be very cheap. The reason they go to public school is we’re poor. No breaks for this family. What do I do?

      1. It turns out only one of my daughters is getting all F’s (the youngest). The other managed to get a few C’s (the oldest). The oldest wishes to continue with public school. The youngest has the hardest time. She has aspergers. That does not appear as anything outwardly. It’s like having down’s syndrome with no slanted eyes or speech impediments. It’s not an official mental illness because it is different in each person who has it. Her teachers keep writing her up saying, “Does not pay attention.” I keep telling them she has aspergers. Talk about not paying attention. It’s like I said nothing to her teachers at all; like they cannot hear me.

        THIS QUESTION IS MOST IMPORTANT. Do not give me a link. I need a straight answer. I plan to high school curriculum home school my daughter. What do I have to do to pull a 13 year old child out of high school and not get into legal trouble???

        1. I can’t help you with that without referring you to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association. Their phone number is (540) 338-5600, if you don’t want a link. I am not an attorney, nor am I versed in the laws of your state, so I cannot possibly answer that. Every state and even some counties have different policies on withdrawal. That is not my area of expertise. I can only suggest you call them and ask for their advice.

  4. We began homeschooling (with an online school) our 6th grade son this past January as the middle school he was attending was not safe for him, physically and even more so emotionally. Up until then I had vowed I would never homeschool (never say never! LOL) b/c I didn’t think I could handle it all day long. There have been days where I have needed more dark chocolate than others to make it through but all in all I feel so much better knowing he is safe and happy and excited about learning.

    He attended K-5 at our wonderful local elementary where my daughter currently attends K. My advice is that if you try one way (homeschool, public or private) and it’s not working, you can always change. I think I viewed it as making a forever decision when they entered K and that it was something that couldn’t be changed. I view it as something much more flexible now. I don’t know that I could have mentally managed it when he was younger but we are really enjoying each other now that he is older. I am also realizing how much I didn’t know and am enjoying learning things I somehow missed or had forgotten since being out of school!

    I’ve gotten a few looks and even some comments from others but compared to how upset and stressed he was while at middle school and how he is now, I know we made the right decision. One other mother in particular actually told me that she was worried the stress of it would cause my husband and I to get divorced! If my husband and I disagree on anything now, we end up laughing and saying “Must be the homeschool!” LOL

  5. I am so excited for this series! Our kids are currently enrolled in private school and we are happy with that option, I however have a feeling that at some point in our future this may become our choice. I haven’t jumped in yet because I adore our private school, and my oldest is really hard to teach, we struggle with homework and I can’t imagine having to do it all. There are days that I think the consistency of just me might be a better match for him though. So I’m still on the fence.

  6. My son is currently in public school this year(Kindergarten)I have always wanted to HS but because I was expecting a new baby that year I thought it best for everyone for him to just go to public school for atleast a few years.While he has done well with learning I have found that there is a lot going on in Kindergarten that I didnt realize I would have to contend with until a much older age.They are exposed to fowl language,sex talk bullies and all kinds of things from their peers.I want my child to remain a child without all the adult knowledge.I dont want his innocent mind being corrupt because other parents allow their kids to be exposed to things that would allow them to have this knowledge.I made my mind up to homeschool next year when my son came home telling me a girl in his class likes showing her private parts.This really pushed me over the edge.My husband is also a truck driver and is not home much,so when he is it would be nice if my son wasnt at school for the majority of the time he is home.I believe HS will also benefit in this area as well.Just seems like the right choice for our family all around.I am concerned about the social aspect but hope to find a HS group in my area and keep some other children in his life.We are really excited and looking forward to what will be a challenging but fun year.

    1. Wow! Sounds like a doozy of a kindergarten year. Happy trails next year! You’ll do great!

  7. We are in the process of praying and making a decision to homeschool our 5 and 7 year old boys. I have wanted to do it for a long time, and with some changes our district has made, now feels like the right time to consider it. I feel qualified to teach, I don’t care what others think, BUT I am most concerned about the general lack of alone time/having to be with the kids all the time. Can you provide some input on how to schedule in ‘mommy time’ or playdates or something along those lines please?

    1. I think that really depends on your husband and how in tune he is with your needs. Sometime after the first few years, we made an arrangement for me to take a day off each week and go do whatever I wanted. This really helped me feel like I had my space. Every family is different, though.

  8. We start this Fall with my son in K, daughter in preschool with us, and baby tagging along. Why?
    -I cannot imagine sending my son to someone else all day after all the teaching we have done (life) for the last 5 years, and have him give the best of his day to someone else. I would miss him so, and miss out on so much too!
    – My son is sensitive and I am concerned about what public schools have to offer in terms of “socialization” at this age.
    – I was a teacher before I had kids, why not teach my own kids?
    – Our public school option was not performing well academically (although they are making some great improvements and the principal is great).
    0 My husband REALLY wanted me to homeschool.

  9. Thank-you so much for writing this series. A long time ago I thought homeschooling would be for me, but I had to work for financial reasons. I was recently laid off from my job, so my husband and I switched the stay at home parent roles (he’s been home for almost 8 years).
    Since my older son, now 12, is in a very specific special education program, our public school is the right choice for him. My younger son will be in 3rd grade next year and also receives special ed services, though on a smaller scale.
    I have recently realized that I don’t like the direction in which the grade school specialized program is heading. We have decided to homeschool our younger son next year. He needs the individual attention to “catch up” to a 3rd grade curriculum, and he is not receiving that through the current program in the public school. I am excited by the opportunity but terrified. What if I mess up? What if he does worse with me than he would in the school? I’m choosing to believe that this would not be an option for me if it wasn’t meant to be. At least I hope so.
    Again, thank-you for all of your encouragement on a daily basis. You may not know that anyone is thriving from it, but I am.

  10. yay! love this series! So excited! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!! (sorry for all the exclamation points!)

  11. It is important to think about whether or not you want to spend time with your kids but, coming from experience, even if you are scared about it or don’t think you can handle all of that togetherness, you can. It is strange at first but we have been at this all of this school year and I can’t imagine not doing it now. I have a 7 year old son and I was very nervous since I am a major loner. We find ways to have alone time though and I wouldn’t have it any other way. GO FOR IT! 🙂

  12. I will definitely be following these homeschooling posts. It is something I have been thinking about doing for 13 years (since my first was born), and someone is always talking me out of it. Usually my mother. I am only recently starting to stand up for myself and make the changes in my life that I feel are necessary. This may be one of those changes. I am not happy about some of the things that I have heard that go on in the public school system. Frankly, it scares me to death. And while I don’t want to “shelter” my children, I do want to have more control over what they are exposed to. Ok, maybe I do want to shelter them.. Just a little 😉

  13. Right up until the summer before my oldest son was to start kindergarten, we were set on sending him to public school. Then I started to see more and more how I didn’t like the freedom that would be given to my child. I didn’t think that he would do very well having to sit at a table for hours. I wanted learning to be fun and hands on. I wanted him to be able to be challenged or go slower. He’s also a home body. Having to leave every morning and be gone until 3 wasn’t going to fit for us. We are a close knit family. When we are super busy and aren’t able to see each other much, life starts to fall apart. Also, his dad photographs weddings on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. All of my children have a close connection with their dad. They would miss seeing him during the days of the week then only get to catch up with him on the Sundays he didn’t have a wedding. I didn’t know until this past year (my son is in 2nd grade and my daughter is in kindergarten) that he didn’t know if this homeschool thing was really for us, but that he’s glad I was so sure and went with it. I can’t imagine any other way of doing our life. There are super duper hard days when I wish that I didn’t have to teach and that I could get a break, but then I get past it and am SO glad that we made this decision. It’s what is best for OUR family.

  14. I am excited to read this series. I have a long way to go before the school years start (I have a 10 month old) but I am very interested in soaking up all I can in order to make this decision and prepare for it. It’s super helpful to hear from those that have gone before me. Thanks for featuring this topic! I hope there will be info not only on starting but organizing and planning.

  15. We decided to homeschool our children because it felt like a natural continuation of what we were already doing every day…teaching, reading, talking about things we saw, etc. That said, my 8 year old is going to give a more structured charter school a try this year, because though he is doing well in the studies he’s been doing, I really think that a little bit of educational competition would do him well, even if for a year. If not, I have no qualms about going back to what we are doing now.

  16. Hi! I’m an American mom with 2 boys (3.5 years old and 15 months) living in a foreign country where homeschooling is not a legally-recognized option, though I’m not sure that we would go that route even if it were. However, I’m seeing that one of my highest values/desires as a mom is that we, his parents, establish the kind of nurturing and solid relationship with our kids that keeps us as the main influencers in their lives. And unless God changes our situation, we’ll be sending our boys into our country’s very secular public school system when they are 6.

    So…. we’ve got these precious preschool years to invest in establishing what I hope will be a rich, full-of-trust relationship that will help them weather the intense opposition to their souls that lies ahead once they enter school.

    Any advice on how to use these preschool years in such a way that impacts the years ahead?

    Also, I think it would be wonderful to hear from moms/families who have chosen the public school route, but who also hold high involvement in their kids’ lives as a core value. I’d love to know how more seasoned moms on this particular journey have navigated those waters.

    I very much enjoy your blog. Thanks for “stirring the pot” and encouraging us in loving our families!

  17. So excited about this series! I have a 2.5yo and a 8mo and we are thinking about homeschooling but I have no idea where to start!

  18. I am so excited about this series also. I never considered homeschooling until this past year. My oldest son is four so we will have another school year to go before we have to really decide but I want to take that time to research and learn all that I can to make the best decision for my child. My husband and I are praying through this decision. It is very scary. I have a lot of friends that have education degrees that homeschool their children. I have a counseling degree which comes in handy for some things but I am not sure how this will benefit me to educate my children. I want to do the best for them, but the more I pray, read, think about homeschooling the more I am leaning toward the idea that I am the best person to educate my child, at least for right now. I have two year old twins and this is another concern of mine, they have to be right in the middle of what their big brother is doing. I am concerned about the logistics of how you actually do school with little ones around that aren’t doing school.

  19. I will be finishing my 3rd year of homeschool in a week. Our son, the oldest. was in a great school, private, until we had to move. He loved the classroom and seemed to excel with the competition of other kids his age. But, when we had to move, we were so unsure of the area and felt homeschool would be our option. The first year was good, the second a living nightmare and the this past year has bee a great one. I think there are valleys and mountains in each year. I am now in my 2nd year of teaching 2 kids-the first year my daughter did k-3 stuff which was not time consuming at all, we kept it fun. This year she added more “real” school and has learned to read small words and add small numbers at the same time my son did his lessons. Next year will be interesting as they will both be in full-time: a k-5 and a 4th grader. I go back and forth between loving and loathing it. I have heard good to great comments about our local school as it is a small community. We have endured the socialization issue and have kept them busy with sports at our YMCA, library program that caters to the homeschoolers, Cub Scouts, and other activites where they meet and talk to kids their age. Homeschooling is DEFINATELY NOT for everyone and one needs to sit and consider. One bad day does not equal doom for the year. I went to public school and survived but do recall hating it. My husband was always in private schools and would probably say it was a bit easier but still tough at times.

  20. Thank you for starting this series! We are homeschooling our children. My oldest is 4 and we are starting his year of preschool in the fall. He is already learning to read here at home and we have so much fun learning together! Our family may not totally understand us, but they don’t bash us about it either 🙂 I am looking forward to reading the rest of your posts in this series!

  21. I am so happy to hear you are doing this. Homeschooling is something we are seriously thinking about. We’ll make the decision in a couple years (my son is 3) but for now I’ve been looking for as much information & imput in homeschooling as possible. So thank you!

  22. I am SOOO excited you will be featuring more on homeschooling!! I will take the plunge next year with my three kiddos!! 🙂

  23. I don’t homeschool nor do I plan to unless we have extenuating circumstances once our boys are older. That said, reading this blog (as wel as many others) has really changed my perception of homeschooling. I used to be completely against it but the more I learn and read the writings of homeschooling Moms l see how it can be a really great option for many families.

    Even though we’re not a homeschooling family I would love to read more articles about how you manage time management with homeschooling. I know you’ve done some but I’m anal retenetive and curious. Ha ha. Since my second son was born I’ve really struggled with how to balance his needs with those of my almost 5 y/o. It’s getting easier but for awhile it was rough as we couldn’t even read books while the baby was awake. I’m in awe of how you homeschooling Moms manage this.

    I also have to say I’m boggled at the criticism homeschooling families have to deal with. Even when I was anti-homeschooling I cannot imagine a circumstance under which I would have voiced that to a homeschooling family. Even if they were related to me. But people really feel free to say whatever they want sometimes, don’t they?

    1. @Beth,

      There’s another Beth! Ha ha.

      I’m the one who replied above, not the homeschooling Beth. 🙂

    2. @Beth, LOVE it that you chimed in, esp. since you’re looking at it from the other side.

      I am guessing that some non-homeschoolers have felt judged by some homeschoolers and so they are lashing back. I dunno. It’s traditionally a “conservative” movement. As a conservative, I think that alone gives people permission to attack. It’s not PC for it to go the other way, though.

      1. @Jessica Fisher,

        For some reason child rearing in general makes people feel they can offer any kind of advice or criticism. My older son often doesn’t want to wear his coat and unless it’s dangerously cold I choose not to fight that battle. Amazing how much this Bothers People. I once had an older woman tell him she’d put him in Time Out if he was her grandson. Strangers are very invested in whether or not my kid is wearing a coat when it’s 50 degrees. I can’t imagine the crap homeschooling Moms must have to deal with!

        1. @Beth
          I was pregnant with my 3rd and my 2 year old and I had had a rough morning, but we had to get to the grocery store, and I let her go in a short sleeve shirt on a gray day ( in southern CA mind you). Wow, the lecture I recieved from some lady I had never seen before about how I had failed to dress my daughter warm enough for the weather. (My daughter is not fat, but certainly still had her baby weight and was decently insulated by her clothes I would say.)

  24. We’re wrapping up our first year homeschooling. We decided to take the plunge when I was 38 weeks pregnant with our 4th child and I had a total freak-out about how we were ever going to afford private school tuition for 4. (Nevermind that only one was in private school at the time!)

    We decided to try it for a year because my second-born was ready to enter kindergarten, and we thought it would be easier to give homeschooling a try this year, instead of having to remove her from her school in order to try it when she was in 1st grade.

    It’s been a good year. Even on tough days (or weeks), what’s kept me going is my belief that homeschooling is a really excellent method of education.

    Before I ever had kids, The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer made me want to homeschool my own children. If you’re looking for inspiration, skip the nitty-gritty curriculum info and just read her story about her own education. Hearing what’s possible for homeschoolers (because of the flexibility and personalization possible for them) makes me want to keep going!

  25. We just finished our first year of hschooling our 6yr old son. There were PLENTY of days where we all wanted to throw in the towel, but there were MANY more that were delightful!! We had a great year and I am SO grateful that my husband and I really listened and obeyed the calling we felt from the Lord to do this. That along with not being at all satisfied with our public school system were the main reasons for hschooling.

    We have decided to pray and then make our decision on hschooling yearly. Otherwise, it is just to overwhelming for me to think about what we will do in 5th grade, 12 grade etc. We are keeping an open mind and an open heart and doing what we feel is the best for our family.

    We too are doing an online school and there are pros and cons. I supplement a lot, but it has also been a great resource for my son who was recently diagnosed with ADHD.

    I would LOVE to read a post about how other moms teach children with special needs. Especially since it seems that SO many little boys are being diagnosed with ADHD.

    1. My expirence with my younger brother they put him on meds and he couldn’t sleep. I don’t recommend it all. There are other alternatives. Call 211 they can help you with that they are great!
      Hope it all works out!

  26. I just can’t imagine turning my children over to other people that I don’t know for them to teach them. I’ve known too many people who were teachers that I did NOT want teaching my children. Yes, there are good teachers out there, but there are also bad ones. Besides, I want to be the biggest influence in my children’s life, and I can’t do that if they spend eight hours (or more) away from me everyday.

    1. Yes I’m so glad to read this!! I’ve been so scared to just do it. I feel in my heart that it is the best for my child. Thanks so much!

  27. I am very excited for this topic as well. We have decided to pull my oldest from public school and begin homeschooling in the fall. He will be in 2nd grade. As well as my daughter who will be starting K.

    As far as getting the ‘hairy eyeball’ from friends and family…it really frustrates me. I can not even count the number of people who have expressed concern about his ‘socialization’ but not one person has asked about cirriculum or anything of the sort. My biggest fear is missing something in his education or leaving gaps, not that he will turn out to be socially inept.

    1. Isn’t that funny? People love to play the socialization card. But, really socialization can be good OR bad in the mainstream. I had one lady tell me that she most worried about the high school drug culture. Not that my kids are immune to that, but there is a buffer of sorts doing school at home.

    2. I can totally relate. I am keeping both my daughters out of school for three weeks to try it out my three year old has her spring break next week and my older girl is 7 has here the following. And due to my mom having surgery this week she needed me to drop her off in am and pick her up in late afternoon. This week so far has been great! My girls are adjusting and getting along great. I am studying to be a Kindergarden teacher. And I always thought homeschooling was best for my family. So we will see what happens! Good luck talk to you soon!

  28. love this! i just finally decided this week that we will pull my oldest home from school next year. he will be in 4th. my oldest 3 will be in traditional school. to say that i’m frightened is an understatement. lol

    I have not struggled with things more than i have struggled with the criticism of others. it paralyzed me in making this decision. it’s a silly fear because most likely they criticize and then will forget all about it. i think the criticism hurts most when you are so unconfident to start. i hope i love it. i love the idea for our family.

  29. I am not a homeschooled child, nor do I plan to homeschool, but I would submit one more question for people to ask themselves before they decide to homeschool:
    Is the match between my personality/learning and teaching style a productive match with my childs?

    Obviously, the answer is not always a yes if you choose a public school or private – but those teachers change every year. You will never be someone else.

    I was always exceedingly grateful as a child that my parents did not homeschool because my mother and I just could not get along for her to teach me something complicated. We did fine with learning to read, etc. But there are other memories – the bathrobe, teaching to sew incident, etc. that were not as good. My mother and I are just very very very different people who approach things from right and left field. She couldn’t, and still sometimes can’t, see where i’m coming from to save her life. It’s fine, but it would have been a very corrosive relationship for homeschooling. However, it probably would have gone fine for my brother.

    1. @Christine,

      This made me smile because I know homeschooling my children early in the their education would be a bad idea for all of us. I’m a cello teacher, mostly private lessons right now, and my experience has shown that I’m not the greatest with kids under 9 years old. Since I have a speciality education rather than a general one (not to mention math and science are not my thing at all!) I don’t feel qualified to homeschool my kids. It just wouldn’t go well. 🙂

    2. @Christine, I think this is well said. I was not homeschooled and I am only considering this option for my child. I do know that my mother and I would NOT have made it work if she had chosen that path for me. I also am such a social butterfly, who loved each and every year of public school education, and I think that I would have gone nuts!

  30. We knew homeschooling was right for us because we wanted to be together as a family. We had recently been seperated as my husband was working on the other side of the country. I just couldn’t imagine sending my little 5 year old off to school for the day while the rest of us enjoyed time to together (with dad working at home). Things continued from there. Many years later that 5 year old is heading off to college this coming fall! Of course, our reasons have changed and grown along the way as more children have been added to our home school. Each Wednesday I post a short sentence about why I homeschool, if anyone would care to take a peek.

  31. We just enrolled our 15 year old son in an on-line school. He was recently diagnosed with asperger’s syndrome. Still can’t figure out how he got to be a freshman in school without anybody noticing. I’m sure I’ll learn some things that will help me help him. Thanks for doing this series.

    If anyone else is considering on-line school make sure that the school gives a diploma and are an accredited school.
    The school that we choose does its curriculum in 2- 18 week periods with each 18 weeks of 2 core and 2 elective courses. So by the end of the school year they have 4 core and 4 electives.

    1. Joann:
      I really applaud you for pulling your son out of the public school system. I have seen several instances where a child who has Asperger’s really never does well with peers, despite well meaning teachers and counsellors. While my son has AD/HD and is not on the spectrum (at least officially) I look back at all the bullying he endured, and how hard he had to work to fit into a system that wasn’t designed for boys who have AD/HD – I wish we had homeschooled him from about 12 to 14.
      Best of luck in your new endeavor!

    2. Thank you for sharing this story. We have made the decision to homeschool our 5 year old. He did not settle in school, lashing out at peers and disruptive behaviour. The final straw was attacking the staff. He is bright academically and I have no doubt in teaching him as I am a teacher myself. It is just other people’s comments that bring you down.

  32. We have decided to homeschool our daughter next year, her kindergarten year. Out of the above, the one I have the most problem with is the criticism and raised eyebrows. Our family has not been very supportive (except for two aunts who are public school teachers). It has been hard to face such criticism and often leaves me angry or in tears. I am getting better in dealing with this but I still don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Why would I choose to homeschool if I thought it would hurt my child? How do I explain that God has pressed it on our hearts so strongly that we can’t say no?

    Although we have our mind made up, there are days when I feel so scared about starting this journey. Thanks for this series! I think it will really help me!

    1. @Morgan,


      I’ve found that there are members of your family that will always feel the need to let you know the decisions you make for your family aren’t right. My husband’s family feels the need to tell me that I should let my husband support me and stay home with my children (even though I make almost twice what he does). My husband is incredibly supportive of my career and I have politely told my mother-in-law that as a family (me, husband and children) we have made the decision for me to work outside the home, the kids are well adjusted & independent so we are perfectly happy with our decision.

      If you and your husband feel homeschooling is the right thing to do (and your kids are happy)I wouldn’t worry about what other’s say. I try to remember when I’m getting the lectures that my mother-in-law loves us and is just giving us the guidance she thinks we need, she’s not doing it to be mean and spiteful. It also helps to grit your teeth a bit when you’re getting the negative comments 🙂

    2. @Morgan,

      I felt the same way a year ago. Now, either my skin is thicker or I am more comfortable myself with hschooling our 6yr old son.

      I think at first everything was so scary, new and exciting to me that I just wanted/needed people to support and accept our decision. That was not the case!

      Something my husband and I learned this year like no other time in our lives, is that we only need to please Him, not our society, friends or even family members.

      I also found a few hschooling blogs that I follow and have found them to be such a great support!