How Moms Do: School

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How do moms do school? Here are a few ways moms decided on a style of education for their families.

How Moms Do School | Life as MOM

Ever since we went to the Great Homeschool Convention a few weeks ago, my head has been immersed in school planning for next year. I just completed my 15th year of teaching, my 13th in the private sector. πŸ˜‰

I earned a Master’s Degree of Education in 1995 and taught for two years in a Santa Barbara City School before having my first child. It was during my public teaching stint that my husband and I decided we would homeschool our children. (You can read more about that decision here.)

Fifteen years later, that decision has stuck. We graduated our first student last month. As I type, he is at orientation for his freshman year of college in the CSU system.

The experiment is working.

Teaching my children at home has been one of the hardest as well as one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I love to teach, but after two years in the public sector, I knew I didn’t love the drama and politics that comes with government-run schools.Β I have the honor to teach my favorite people in the world. So fun!

I know that our way isn’t the only way. I have friends whose children have really thrived in both public and private schools. Our way is the right way for us.

Here’s how moms do it:

Jo-Lynne Shane - 125

From Jo-Lynne:

We decided to send our children to public school. Both my husband and I are products of the public school systems, and we were happy with our experiences.

Things are different now, though, so I advise parents to weigh all of their options. We looked into charter schools and private schools and definitely considered homeschooling. In the end, we moved to a school district that we felt was a good fit for our family and put our kids in public school.

My best advice is to be open to other options IF need be. Not one school is right for every child. You can always change your mind.

– Jo-Lynne Shane is founder and editor of the award-winning lifestyle blog which bears her name (formerly Musings of a Housewife), where she shares her love of style and her passion for healthy living and family travel with a highly engaged female audience.

JessieLeigh - 125

From JessieLeigh:

My children all attend our local public schools. We are very fortunate to live in a state and district with abundant funding and top-ranking programs. I am a firm believer in open and ongoing conversation with teachers and administrators. I go into it assuming we’re all on the same team and I do think that really helps– I’ve never had trouble getting support when it was needed.

When making this decision, my number one piece of advice is simply this– know you have options. There is no one “perfect” choice. I’d go so far as to say that anyone who tries to convince you there is? Isn’t all that secure in their own choice.

Really evaluate the schools around you, your individual child’s needs, and your family’s preferences and desires. Realize that nothing in life is totally perfect. Seek the best fit and work hard to make it even better.

– A mother of three, including a 24 week preemie, JessieLeigh is a determined advocate for even the tiniest of babies.

Connie - 125

From Connie:

After teaching in public schools for 8 years, I decided that homeschooling was the way to go for my family. Even though I have a degree in education, I believe ANYONE who has their child’s best interest at heart can homeschool. It doesn’t take a degree to teach your child to use the potty or tie his shoes. The same is true for teaching long division and punctuation.

If you are interested in homeschooling, but there is an area you feel unprepared to teach, there are lots of resources online to help you.

Connie is a former public school teacher turned homeschool mom of 8, ages 4-20 who blogs about parenting, large family living, homeschooling, and more, all with a touch of humor.

Prerna small

From Prerna:

Our daughter goes to a private school. The decision came about since homeschooling isn’t very common in India or even widely recognised. Plus, being an only child and very sociable, going to school helps her meet and interact with other kids, form friendships while enjoying learning as well.

My only advice when it comes to education for your kids is to do what YOU feel is right and what aligns with your values and your child’s personality. Everything else is secondary. It usually is πŸ˜‰

– You can find Prerna Malik cheering moms on at The Mom Writes and serving up good-for-your-business content at Social Media Direct.

Linsey Knerl - 125

From Linsey:

My husband and I both went to college to become teachers, and we both felt uneasy about the current education system and how it seemed to limit creative expression and learning at the child’s own pace. We also treasure our political and personal liberties, as well as keep faith at the center of our daily lives. Homeschooling was the only option in our area that allowed us to continue raising our kids with those values in mind.

– Linsey Knerl is a Nebraska Mom of 6, a freelance writer, and the passion behind, (the FAQ for work-at-home moms.)

Amy McGuire -125

From Amy:

Our children attend a PreK-12 public school of 140 total students a block away from our home. Their daddy, a high school teacher and coach, often sees them throughout the day.

Our school is great. We feel safe and loved, but in any other circumstance (husband not being a teacher, living in a different/larger town) we may have chosen otherwise. Go with your gut and your situation. I don’t fight about schooling.

– Amy is a mom of six, embracing the extraordinary in every day and sharing the crazy at Amy’s Finer Things.


From Deanna:

My daughter is finishing up her 2nd year of public preschool and is headed into public kindergarten in the fall. My son is beginning his first year of preschool in the fall.

Since my daughter has special needs and our school district is nationally known for how fabulous they are teaching children with special needs, this decision really was a no-brainer for us. My husband and I both attended private Christian schools, and we both acknowledge that these smaller private schools can’t give Addison the same one-on-one, specialized education path.

I don’t know what I would choose if we weren’t in the district that we are, but thankfully at this point I don’t have to make that decision. My advice would be to remember that there is no “one size fits all” education path for every family. There are many factors that go into this decision, and you can’t compare your choices to that of another family.

– Parenting three kids five and under keeps Deanna quite busy, but there’s always enough time left at the end of the day to write all about the insanity in her award-winning blog Everything and Nothing from Essex.


From Amy:

I went to public school and always expected my children would do the same. However, we ended up sending all three to a church school nearby and firmly believe this was the best decision for our children and our family.

I have learned that every family is different and has different needs and circumstances and, as a result, different options are right for different people. My best advice here: Keep your mind open to the possibilities and don’t pre-judge a school or method of schooling until you really see it for yourself through your own “parent” eyes. Then pray, weigh the options, pray some more and follow His leading.

— Amy is mom to three, founding blogger at Mom’s Toolbox where she blogs about travel, lifestyle issues and reading the Bible and helps people find wines they enjoy as the Co-Founder and CEO of tech startup VineSleuth, Inc./ Wine4.Me.

Brenke - 125

From Rachel:

My oldest goes to public elementary school to receive school services. My other children go to a private christian pre-school attached to our church. My recommendation is to get kids into MOPS or preschool to allow for interaction and socialization AND to give you a break!

Rachel Brenke is an author, photographer, lawyer and business consultant for photographers and bloggers.

How do YOU do it?

I’d love for you to share your experiences with us. Mine is the right way for ME, not the right way for every mom. Let us know how baby care worked/works for you!

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Susan says

    I live in Los Angeles, the land of horrible public schools where kids are afraid to use the bathrooms for fear of being jumped/attacked etc. We used private schools from nursery school up through high school. My son is entering high school this Fall at a large private school with great teachers, lots of honors & AP classes as well as very competitive sports programs (very important for my son.) Since both my husband & I work, we are able to afford private schools & the money for college.

  2. MomofTwoPreciousGirls says

    Can you talk about how you handle the age difference in your homeschool? How about individual struggles?

    Mine are in public school, going into 2nd and 1st grades. When the oldest was in kindergarten (same school different teacher) she had homework on very rare occasions. This past year they both came home every Monday with a packet that needed to be turned in on Fridays. Honestly it felt like a punishment to me!! I work outside the home and they are in before and aftercare. My husband often travels for work and I don’t have anyone else around. They spend the whole day being told “sit still, be quiet and follow directions”. I’m at work and often find myself at the stove getting dinner ready with purse still on! I have to rush them through dinner and when we sit down for homework my youngest is pretty able to get through a lot on her own (but has a need for a lot of encouraging words and praise) where I have to walk my oldest through everything while she is kicking and screaming the whole time. I feel SO guilty the whole year and I feel like the youngest gets slighted because she is independent and I have such a short amount of time from pick up to bedtime to feed them, do homework and baths etc. they get NO downtime during the week and it makes us all miserable!

    While I don’t bring home the bulk of the income in our home, my earnings do contribute (at about twice the cost of daycare) and I provide all of the healthcare. We have run the numbers and once we add in hubby having to cover healthcare, we can’t make it on his income alone. I feel in a constant state of stress and my kids feel the same!

  3. Kristt says

    I just started homeschooling my 1st and 3rd grader who were, up until this point, in public school. I also got my bachelors degree in teaching but quit the field when my first child was born. I never thought I would homeschool, but this last year God clearly laid it on my heart. Although there are a lot of unknowns ahead, I am choosing obidience in Him.

  4. We’ve homeschooled our kids and now send our 6th grade and up students to a fantastic charter school. I’ll still have 3 at home this year so sending the other 2 to charter school seems like a win for everyone. We have enjoyed homeschooling a lot and seen many benefits, but if I am honest, I am glad to send my older kids off where they are challenged in academics and character by someone other than me and have more time to focus on my younger kids. I think whatever choice you make has to not only work for the child but for the whole family.

  5. Alaina DeHaven says

    This was such a timely post for me to read today. Thank you for sharing everyone’s take on school. I really enjoy reading your blogs. THANK YOU for doing what you do!

    Btw, I was curious what school you taught in (having grown up in SB), and I just checked out my senior year yearbook…and there you are! I graduated in ’96. Small world. I live in Virginia now, and love your making recipes, since many of them remind me of home. πŸ™‚

    • WOW! Really? That is so funny. Yes, I taught there for just two years, but I learned so much! I have good memories of the experience, lots of great people and students. I tripped out when I saw that one of my former students (your year or a year younger) was a contractor in Santa Barbara with grey hair!! I was only 5 years older than some of my students, so it was kinda crazy.

    • Also, thanks for your kind words. πŸ™‚

  6. Kadee says

    My 3 children attend public schools. When my oldest started kindergarten, I did a lot of praying. Homeschool? Our church’s highly regarded school? Public school? I kept receiving very clear answers that public school was where they should be. Is it always perfect? No, but I truly don’t believe any decision we would have made would have been perfect 100% of the time. I’ve been criticized by church members for choosing a heathen place to send my kids (even though our school is full of Christian teachers and students). I’ve had a homeschooling friend highly criticize and insult the methods and ways of public and private schools (I have been very respectful and supportive of her choice, it is right for her son). Choice of schooling is a personal decision that is unique for each family.

  7. We are all unique, and so are our kids. There are no perfect choices, and we each find the one (or for some of us, more) that fit our family. We choose to homeschool, and for us it’s perfect. We have a lot more time in our day to get everything done (school, music, chores, etc) because we can do things in whatever order we wish, and we don’t have to go anywhere. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you aren’t driving all over town. πŸ™‚

  8. mrs.p says

    For me with my youngest been a journey. I never gave it a thought. Public school -same school my hubby and I went. Well with my oldest with learning disability school was not helpful it was struggle and not a very good experience for her. My youngest very bright. She wanted to to school online. With the trouble she was having at school ( not academic) she wanted to do it for a year. I love and hated it at the same time. She got all A’s. She decided to back to public school for the social fact. She was home with mom onlyl. Our town is not home school friendly at all. She is going to school that I will have to drive back and forth everything. They call it school of choice. So we see how this goes.

  9. Alice E says

    I’m a grandmother with two grandchildren in public school. I applaud your attitude that no one choice is right for everyone. I also want to comment that involved parents with kids in public schools can help improve the education of all public school students. Also, to Kadee you might remind your critics at church that your kids are providing a witness with their lives in ways they couldn’t at a church school.

  10. Kelly Hess says

    Both of our boys attend a private Catholic school. I went to Catholic school for 12 years and I am a strong believer in the education they can provide as well as the discipline approach to learning. My daughter will be starting preschool in our public school system in the fall. She has a severe speech delay, so this is currently the best path for her. We will see when kindergarten rolls around to determine her best path forward!

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

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