Encouragement Homeschooling

A Public School Teacher Talks Homeschooling

Hi!  My name is Jenny Buttler, and {{brace yourselves}} I don’t homeschool.  Now, before you shooo me on off, let me reassure you that I would if I could.  Huh?  It’s not too late you say?  I know.  But I’m not gonna.  And I’m not here to convince you that you shouldn’t either.  In fact…  I’m here to encourage all you hip homeschoolin’ hotties…. and support you and to reassure you that as a homeschooling mom, you are making the right choice.

A public school teacher Talks homeschooling

So who do I think I am, comin’ all up in here and preachin….  well, for starters, you can find me at my {new} blog Our Southern Grace, where I blog about life in the south, God’s abundant grace, and life inbetween!  I’ve got three kiddos, Nathan (12), Gracyn (6), and Whitley (3).  I’m a Texas girl born and raised, and if you’d like a taste of the South (both literally and spiritually), I’d love nothing more than if you’d hop on over for a visit.  But before you do…  A little about my non~homeschoolin’ background…

jennySo why don’t I homeschool?  Well, I’m just gonna be honest and say that I’ve got three very strong willed children and I don’t feel like I could keep the comittment to give them what they need in education.  I am a teacher though, and that’s another reason why I don’t homeschool.  Because teaching is what God has called me to do, and He knows that we are in dire need of some christian teachers in public school.  As a public school teacher, the biggest question I receive from homeschooling friends is…. are they doing the right thing by homeschooling.  Is public school so bad?  The quick answer…  yes.  And no.

So, what makes public school so good or so bad?  Besides the processed food they serve in the cafeteria’s….

Here are ten reasons why you should homeschool your children (from a public teacher point of view):


All teachers {should} believe that individualized education is better than one size fits all education, but sadly…  many just ignore the individual and teach the group.

Time Management:

There is no time wasted (taking role, taking 25 students to the bathroom 3-4 times a day, standing in line for library, music, PE, lunch, recess, to go home, etc.).  I used a timer one day to prove a point, we wasted almost an entire hour forming lines for these things.

Standardized Tests:

There are no standardized tests, which means that your child won’t have to sit through three hours of instruction on how to write his name in squares or how to fill in bubbles.

Substitute teachers:

There are no substitute teachers who will play movies all day (while on facebook) while you are gone for training on how to give standardized tests.

Seating arrangements:

At home, your child does not have to sit next to the kids from The Children of the Corn.

Religion & Spirituality:

At home, you won’t have 2 Jehovah Witness parents, one Muslim parent, and one African-American parent complaining that you are teaching religion at Christmas time when you are really teaching cultures from around the world, and reciting the constitution to you during your parent conference, or not allowing their child to participate in a class party.

Dress Code:

This may sound like a silly one, but when you homeschool – there are no backbreaking back to school shopping sprees.  There are also no fashion shows, and no one to judge your children if they are not wearing the latest trends.

Lesson Plans:

As your child’s only teacher, you have plenty of time to carefully plan out how you are going to teach.  You won’t have to worry about missing school for training, observations from your superiors to make sure you are teaching what is going to be tested, you won’t have to hold tutorials or parent conferences, you won’t have to document special needs children, you won’t have to grade 35 research papers, or make 20 phone calls after school.


Oh yes.  If you choose to homeschool your children, they will live a sheltered and secluded life, barren from friends and any type of socialization.  Sheltered from things like lockdowns, and drug-raids, and children who are so emotionally disturbed they have to be removed from the classroom by two grown men.  Things like children who think they are gay because they have two mommies, or children who know about s-e-x at the age of 10, firsthand.

Field Trips:

In public school, we were limited to one field trip at the end of the year.  When you homeschool, you can choose where you want to go to deepen and enrich your child’s education.  And the choices are limitless!  Art Museums for Art, Ballet Recitals, Concerts of all sort, plays at a local theatre company, children’s museums, History Museums, Galleries, Aquariums, Zoos, Nature Hikes, Weather Observations, PE events.  I could go on and on!

Don’t get me wrong – there are an abundance of good things about public school.  And I teach, because I feel that it is what God has called me to do.  Most teachers won’t tell you that you shouldn’t homeschool.  Because we know why you are making that choice.  We live it, we see it, we teach it.  We go to bed thinking about how to manage it, how to challenge it, how to make it flourish and thrive in a world that is full of challenges and limitations.  We know how much work goes into every aspect of planning a school day, and how unforeseen events can unfold.

We know what takes place in the classroom, in the cafeteria, in the restrooms, in special ed meetings, and in the principals office.  And it’s not pretty.  So as a public school teacher, who chooses to look at my students through the eyes of Christ… I want to commend you for making the choice to teach.  But I also want to challenge you.

As public school teachers, we do not have the same freedoms that you homeschooling moms have…  things like projects,  field trips, which curriculum to use.  You do. We don’t have the freedom to focus for an extended period of time on one subject when students are struggling.  You do. We don’t have the freedom to take multiple field trips to supplement curriculum.  You do. We don’t have the freedom to challenge our students in creative ways that make them use both sides of their brains thanks to things like standardized testing…  YOU DO!!

So I want to challenge each of you reading this, to look at homeschooling with fresh eyes, and after this summer I want you to teach your kids with passion!  Look beyond the frustrations and temper tandrums and the I don’t want to’s and see your children in the classroom that you have given them and remind yourselves that teaching is a full time job and your children deserve the very best.

Whether it is taking a field trip, or working on your schedule, or changing your curriculum….. let’s generate some discussion that we can all benefit from…..  What area’s do you need to improve in…  leave us a comment or question below on how  you are going to go above and beyond and challenge your students!!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this guest post are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of the Hip Homeschool Moms community as a whole.

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  • I taught in government school from 1991 to 1996. I just finished my 11th year homeschooling. Of my 8 children, 3 are VERY strong-willed. Unfortunately, I don’t believe anyone can undo the Socialist, Humanist agenda that permeates a government education. There is really no true way to mitigate it. Some people have no choice or don’t have the desire to homeschool. I completely understand that. Even so, I believe everyone should read John Taylor Gatto’s book Weapons of Mass Instruction. It is quite an eye-opener. It is good to know the agenda and not turn a blind eye to it.

    I have a lovely neighbor gentleman who teaches 3rd grade. He is a fabulous teacher! Despite this, he has told me that there should be a sign above the door that says, “Mr. X’s FCAT Prep Course.” All they are doing is teaching to a test. I am so glad I homeschool my children. They have received a customized education tailored to each one’s needs. Hallelujah!

  • Beautiful post! My son’s last public school teacher, before we began homeschooling was also very encouraging. Thank you for sharing your support and understanding!

  • I love this post! Thank you for your encouragement- I don’t often hear positive things about homeschooling nor receive encouragement from public school teachers.
    I’m thankful for people like you who are in the trenches trying to make a difference in the public school system. I wish it wasn’t the way it is. 🙁

  • I don’t personally know any public school teachers, but I know quite a few on a non-personal level from the 9 years that my children were part of the system. When I removed them from public school, some of those teachers were rather nasty, others just didn’t care either way, or at least didn’t express their opinion. I’d like to thank you for giving me a new perspective. Because of the nastiness that we endured when we decided to remove our kids from public school, I naturally just assumed that ALL public school teachers were against homeschooling. It’s nice to be proven wrong. Thank you for sharing!

    • Oh Michelle, I’m sorry to hear that! I’m sorry for your bad experience. Like I said in my post, there are some good things about public education… it’s just a shame that not all teachers are part of the goodness! However, I truly feel that it is where God has called me to be. A light in a pretty dark and confused place!

  • Thanks for this article! I am a home school mom who is a teacher who has been on an EXTENDED leave for 11 years!! I think this article is perfect to read during the summer. I know it was for me; I had begun to question curriculum choices, time required, is it worth it?, etc., etc. This article gave me the boost to forge ahead!! Thanks again!! 🙂

  • This is a rare post – one to challenge and encourage from a professional public educator’s perspective. I am a certified teacher turned homeschooling mom, and I am DELIGHTED to read such writing! Thank You!

  • My son’s 2nd grade teacher was so encouraging when I told her we were going to homeschool starting in the 3rd grade. I had been sort of afraid to tell her, but when I did, she told me she thought it was a great idea.

  • I am about to embark on Homeschooling in about 1 month and I am excited and nervous. Thank you for your very well presented thoughts. Thank you for the encouragement.

  • And BTW, my husband is a supervisor for a school district and his 12 years teaching and 2 years in administration were huge factors in our decision to homeschool.

  • When we removed our daughter from public school all but one of the teachers and staff were applauding our decision and saying we were doing the best thing for our child. This is a great article and I thank you for your honesty! I also pray that your light will shine bright in your workplace! And finally thank you for challenging me to be thankful for my role as a homeschooling Mom and to work hard to make it as fun and as wonderful as I know it can be. =)

  • Thank you for this wonderful article. I am impressed with how you can see why we homeschool and even encouraged us (me)!! Sometimes we do lose focus and wonder, “Why am I doing this?” But whenever I question myself, I get confirmation in some form….that I’m doing the right thing. I have many public school teacher friends that get defensive about our homeschooling, like I am insulting them. I am not and I’m very thankful there are Christian teachers in the schools, influencing children. But I agree, we have so much more flexibility to make each child’s learning environment unique and I love that!
    God bless you!

    • It’s a slippery slope, being a strong Christian in public school! I can’t commend the homeschooling mom ya’ll enough! For those who do it well and do it right, you have NO IDEA how much of a boost you are giving your children… I can’t encourage you enough to treat what you are doing as a job! It”s so hard to not doubt myself when I am teaching what 5 other people in my building are teaching… I can’t imagine having to navigate by myselft! Thank God for communities like this! And don’t let public school teacher’s get to ya’ll!! Most of us are especially cranky come August (when summer is over) or April (when kids are going nuts for summer)!!

  • Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. It is always good to be lifted up. I feel the need to add one more reason for home schooling to your list though. One that my husband, I and many other home school families feel is the only needed reason. Which is that we ,as parents, are called to do so. And, while all the reasons you give are wonderful examples, they are really just bonuses. Please don’t take my comments as criticism, but as more thought on the matter. As I stated above, words of encouragement are never wasted. Thank you!

  • Wow. Thanks. I was getting so discouraged looking at the hard stuff of homeschooling. I wanted to send my children on the yellow school bus. My husband is encouraging me to not give up and this was confirmation to stay the course. thank you.

  • I, also, am a public school teacher. I have taught for 9 years in the public school system. I am currently beginning my 1 year leave of absence to begin homeschooling my 5 year old. I received great criticism and funny looks from teachers and administrators when stating my plans with my daughter. I see what goes on in the cafeteria, bathrooms, and on the playground. I know I miss a lot. I can control the teacher my child gets (if I teach in the school system), but I cannot control the other 25 children in her class and all of the “knowledge” they bring with them to school. I am excited to homeschool. I am just disappointed to see the out-dated homeschool curriculum. I have decided to create my own curriculum and use “teacher” resources to build it. I wish there was some kind of responsibility for the publishers to make sure standards are covered in their curriculum!

    • “I can control the teacher my child gets (if I teach in the school system), but I cannot control the other 25 children in her class and all of the “knowledge” they bring with them to school.”

      EXACTLY!!!!!!! Ya’ll. it is scary the stuff kids know.

      • I have been a public & private school teacher for the past 17 years. While it is true that you cannot control the “knowledge” that the other 25 kids bring to the class, it is a perfect opportunity for your child(ren) to stand up for what their family believes in. Let’s face it, all children will grow to be adults and will have to deal with other “knowledge” then. It might not be a bad thing to learn how to handle it young before that other “knowledge” affects big life decisions, don’t you think?

        With that being said, I am also a supporter of homeschool. I wish I could do it full time with my two boys. Although I know that there are ways to help my children get the most our of their education and I work on that every day (especially in the summer!). Yes, there are clearly benefits on both sides. I think you have to do the best you can with what you have. At least that’s my mantra. 🙂

        • I would have to say that though many parents use the argument (including some of my family members) that our kids are the light in that dark place….I am not a fan of putting my kids souls on the altar of chance. I prefer to give them a solid foundation and after I have raised them up in the way they should go…”IN THE END they will not depart from it.” At those tender ages, the influence is just too strong for many kids to withstand. When they are older and have a firm knowledge of their role in this life- as a light- they will have the power to stand firm against the pressures of this world. We specifically took our daughter out of k5 due to the message she was getting about what happens when you stand up for what’s right. We felt she was too young to see the consequences of that. Eventually, we knew that would be something she would come to accept, but at 5, it was too risky that she would choose to never feel that isolated again and she could then choose to follow the crowd. We weren’t taking any chances.

          That being said, just like you said above though, you do the best with what you can do. If they have to go to school, you pray like crazy over them and entrust them in the Lord’s care. He is bigger than any bad influence, any bad teacher, any bully and any poor school district. It really comes down to what you are called to do. We are called to raise our own kids, and in a perfect world, that might look like homeschooling for everyone, but we are not in a perfect world and not everyone should be homeschooling. So my hats off to those parents on here that just are not in a position to do it right now. Maybe one day.

          • I totally agree! Teachers have precious little chance to be the “light in a dark place”, although they might want to. A child doesn’t stand a chance of being that “light”. He is not mature enough,
            I have homeschooled for over 25 years now, after going to school for early childhood ed and special ed. I never finished my degree, as my daughter who has Down Syndrome arrived to give me some true life experience before I got that far in school. I never looked back.
            While not everyone can, or should homeschool, I believe many more are capable of it, and should do it, than actually do it. Schools have a place in an imperfect world, and there are many excellent teachers out there. But I am so very grateful that my children are home with me, each and every day, so we can learn and grow together!
            From my self-motiated, mature 13yo, to my multiply handicapped 16yo, from my gifted 33yo, to my sensitive, shy 4yo, and the other five in between, each has helped me grow as a teacher and as a mother. Without homeschool, I would never have known them as I do, or had the wonderful parenting experiences that I have had. I am so blessed!

          • Well said Tammy. I was a public school teacher for 6 years before I “retired” to stay home with my kiddos. One of the things the Lord used to prod me into home education was the command in Deuteronomy that says “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey and when you are lying down and when you are getting up again. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” God knows how children learn. They listen when we don’t realize they are listening and immulate what they see. For the past hundred or so years society has slowly chipped away at the time we spend with our kids and given it over to others. Now the average parent spends an average of 2 to 3 waking hours (we are not counting when they are asleep) a day with there kids due to school, sports, music lessons, children’s church, dance, etc. None of these are bad activities but we end up with kids that have been reared by other people. Many parents don’t know their kids on a deeper level and by high school I’ve seen so many that have “given them everything – school, activities, shelter, church activities, etc but have absolutely no influence in their kid’s life. I am NOT condemning the parent that sends their child to public school. Their are many success stories! I am just asking that parents really seek what road God wants them to pursue so that they will be able to stand firm in Him. This lifestyle is not for the faint hearted but the reward is unbelievable.

    • Holly, having been homeschooling for 4 years, going into our 5th in August, there is so so much great h.s. curriculum that is brand new. I have found though that the things considered ‘out dated’ like McGuffy are actually very much advanced in what they used to learn in school as well as giving a Christian perspective. I’m a curriculum reviewer and have been amazed at how much curriculum is out there that those who came before us in the 70’s and 80’s didn’t have at all.

    • What curriculum are you looking at that is “out-dated”? There are SO many different ones out there, and most (that I have seen) are consistently updating every year or two (three at most). Please don’t give up on what’s already offered. It’s great that you can design your own curriculum, but for those of us who would rather use available resources, what’s “out there” stays pretty up to date. My kids are learning things that they never would have gotten to yet in public or private schools. The key is to not just look at grade level, but also at your own child. You can mix and match as much or as little as you wish to customize what your child learns.

  • Nice article but I was a bit taken back about the African American parent part. ..esp
    after listing two religions then an ethnic group. Our ethnic group has various beliefs that can’t be identified by race. I am Christian. I know what you meant but it reads a little off from my view as an African American.

    • I did see that after I submitted this, and I should clarify that it wasn’t that they were African American… they were upset at the way that I was teaching about Kwanza, something that they celebrated. …. you are very right, it does read VERY off, and something that I should have clarified! My apologies… I truly did not mean for it to have anything to do with race… my mistake!

      • Wow. I am a Christian homeschooling mother, who just happens to be “African American?”… and not a day in my life have any of my family ever thought about celebrating Kwanza. It’s sorf of stereotypical to say that it’s a holiday that “they” celebrate? Whoa. I had to sip my frappe’ on that one. My first allegiance is to my slavery to Christ. I don’t do Kwanza, or any other day, that has no value in God. I guess you were trying to paint a picture, though?

        • I think she was talking about a particular parent who actually does celebrate Kwanza, and who complained about how she was teaching it. I believe her point was that when you’re teaching a whole classroom full of kids, you’re often put in situations where conflicts of religion/culture/etc are unavoidable.

  • Inspirational. Homeschooling has been at the very forefront of my mind for a while, and I’m the mother of a 2 year old. I’ll be linking and sharing this to all of my friends. I appreciate your insight.

  • I love it! I wish the teachers at my kids’ schools had been more like you! You sound like one of the (unfortunately) rare good ones.

    When I withdrew mine to homeschool there was a lot of grandstanding, hand wringing and threats. It was really awful. But we’re all happy now!

  • Hello Jenny and supporters!

    My name is Addie. I am a 19 year old who just finished her first year of college at a state school. I have been in the public school system for my whole life, and definitely agree with most of what you all have posted. Time waist in the public school system hurt my efficient and mostly organized soul. I just wanted to share that I strongly believe that the combination of my christian family upbringing and public school education has many benefits, and this is why.

    -By being forced to sit by the kids of “The Children of the Corn” I learned from a young age how to deal with people that are different from myself, believe different things, and most importantly gained immense social skills that have helped me today deal with all sorts of people. “The Children of the Corn” as we may call them, exist in the world around us, and eventually we will have to learn how best to deal with them and other potentially awkward situations.

    -By being taught in school different beliefs than at home, I can poke holes in other religions and other systems by comparing them to my own beliefs. (ex: Daniel raised and educated in Babalon). Learning all about evolution from someone who truly believes it helped me grow in my faith more than any other event in my life. Too many people just say “I am right!” without actually learning the other side first.

    -Because of the mix of students I have been raised with, I have learned how to be a team player and how to work well in a group setting.

    -I have learned from a young age to be pro-active, and to be an advocate for myself. You build relationships with the school teachers and staff, and learn where to go and who to talk to when a problem arises. In a system where you are not the center of attention, you learn how to work hard and fight for things you believe in.

    -In a secular school system, you have the opportunity to shine for God. As a senior in my high school three friends of mine and myself put on an event called “The Door (He is knocking.)” God did some amazing things in peoples lives, calling some back to him and completely changing others. I believe that as an individual as well I shone for him and hopefully left Gods footprints on others hearts. Our job is to plant the seeds, and He makes them grow.

    -And finally, I believe that learning how to assess personalities is a huge life skill that is missed when being home schooled. After a life of friend cycles, ( some of which worked out, and some of which did not) I have gained insight into understanding people better. I know who is real with me and who is not, and what kinds of people I enjoy spending quality time with.

    There are positives and negatives to each side, and there are definitely ways to make sure your home schooled kids do not miss out on these great life and personality building skills they will need to deal with in their post educational world, such as putting them on a sports team or joining up with other home schoolers for activities. My advice is not to homeschool your children just to hide them from the world.

    Thank you for reading, I hope this hasn’t seemed critical or harsh. I just wanted to share my own story in support of public school. But good luck home schooling moms! you have your work cut out for you, and you are a hero. I hope one day I can be as selfless for my children.


    • Addie, your words were not harsh at all! ~~ for each and every single one of those reasons I am a teacher and mrore! Alongside of the curriculum that I am teaching, I try to instill these things in the students who sit in my classroom. You are so very right about learning how to deal with others around us in the real world. Nothing warms my heart more than when I see my students becoming compassionate!

    • Dear Addie,
      I appreciate your post and the comments you made about public schooling. I went to public school as well. I had alot of great experiences…but also alot of bad ones.(I wont get into those). Then I became a mother (of 6 children). I was the “Great School Mom”. I was on the PTA for years, as the VP. I was in the classroom as an aide to the teachers. I raised money for the schools, went on field trips, I decorated the school for holidays, graded papers, filed things in the office. I wanted to be the best parent, and have the “best kids”… And then I realized how precious my children are, how fast they grow up and how dangerous public school can be.
      When my oldest daughter was in 6th grade, she got attacked by a group of 8th grade girls (who I learned later had been problems throughout their JR. High career) and shoved in front of an oncoming car. The driver had seen the attack and had slowed down to help my daughter. Thankfully, she stopped in time and my child was not hurt. I took this to the dean, and then the principle, and then the district. I had witnesses and other concerned parents. I was told “kids will be kids, this girl is moving on and wont be here next year…we arent going to do anything about it”. Honestly, that was simply the straw that broke the camels back. There were so many things that happened that I would brush off, or worse…ignore.
      I share this so you know a little of where I come from, but really, I just want to reply to your opinions that you posted. To me (maybe not others), a childs mind is so precious. When it is cultivated, nurtured and protected…it can grow and flourish. When you try to do that in an environment that goes against the teachings of parents, you place your child at risk. Do they choose to believe and follow their parents, or does the seed of doubt get planted. When I was in public school, I had a teacher tell me that I was foolish to believe in God and that anyone who did, was simply afraid of living. (He told this to the entire classroom.) My testimony was strong, but what if I had at that moment been weak, or struggling in my beliefs? How dare anyone, especially a public school teacher place those seeds of doubt in a child.
      You could liken it to an Ice Cream Sundae. Public school would be the Ice Cream. Then the experiences are the toppings. Some experiences are good, they are the chocolate syrup, nuts, sprinkles. Then you have the bad experiences. They are the “flies”, “dog poop”, “worms”. There may not be much of those in there, but would you want to eat it? Would you want your precious child to eat it? One “fly” is too much, and could be detrimental to him or her.
      Several of your other points on why public schooling would be better, revolved around “social skills”. Im interested in raising leaders, not followers. As a homeschooling mother, I can create the situations for my children that will benefit them socially and teach them ALL the things that you pointed out as reasons or benefits from public schooling. We have groups in which we associate as homeschoolers. We have extracurricular groups for the “arts”. We have a book club. We have a youth group at church. We have a seminary (which meets 5 times a week, mon- fri). They participate in plays, church and educational clubs. They are not missing out on anything by not being in the public school system.
      I guess what I am saying is, as a homeschooling family, my children are: safe, happy, social, learning what personally interests them. They read LOTS, play LOTS, and ask TONS of questions…most of which I dont have a clue how to answer them. (So we find the answers). I am able to teach them and cultivate their minds, so that someday, they will be the leaders. They will be able to be “Gods shining Light” as mature adults, with no question of their beliefs. They will then be prepared to lead a generation of others.
      And finally,(and please dont take this the wrong way), but you are young. You have not had the opportunity yet to raise and be responsible for children. Trust me, your whole perspective changes as you become a mother. I remember 19. I remember thinking, when Im a mom…Ill show “them” how to be a great mom. My children are too precious to leave to chance. I am not a great educator, but I am a mother who seeks the best for my children.
      Cherie Anderson

      • Oh my goodness Cherie….our public school experiences are so similar! I too was the extremely involved parent. When I saw my kids were advanced and not being challenged (because the teachers were so bogged down with the rest of the class) I made up for it at home…and helped more with the strugglers. I bent over backward volunteering – as did my husband.
        Then my son started being bullied in 1st grade. The bully is known all over town and had been allowed to terrorize the kids for 3 years at this point. It came to a head after a couple of months with the bully pinning my son face down on the black top, sitting on his back and slapping/punching him in the head. The principal’s reaction was to say they couldn’t do anything because the bully had some “mental issues” and didn’t understand punishment. She went on to say that she felt sorry for him because he had a rough home life. The bit about the home life was public knowledge & I had questioned a staff member 2 years before about the treatment of the sister. I was told then that I didn’t want to get involved because “all hell would break loose.” Shame on me, I didn’t get involved.
        Anyway, my husband (being a former police officer) called the local sheriff to talk to all parties involved. The principal told the cop the same story and *he* turned it over to CPS. All of the kids in the bully’s home were then removed from the home. I firmly believe that God was working through our family. Those kids were removed from a sitation that everyone in town was aware of, yet did nothing about. I also felt at that point that I could no longer trust the school with my children’s safety and since they were NOT doing an adequate job of educating them anyway….that they belonged home with me.
        Cherie, you said it beautifully. Our children are precious gifts and we have a responsibility to them. Not to hide them, but to raise them for His Glory.

  • Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. I am a former public school teacher … in fact, I had earned National Board Certification (it expired in May and since I’m not in an ‘official’ classroom, I wasn’t able to renew) … and chose to homeschool my children due to my experience in the classroom. I doubt I’ll ever return to a traditional school. Homeschooling has been very rewarding.

  • wow, bravo! Loved this post, and I loved the encouragement. My dh works with a school district, we mostly get understanding about our homeschooling, but I have encountered teachers who feel like what we do is a slap in the face to what they do. Thank you for the encouraging, positive words. 🙂

  • I also am a credentialed teacher who now homeschools and I decided to write my own standards-based curriculum also. I just wanted to encourage you in that endeavor as it does take lots of time and energy to write your own, but it is SO worth it.

  • Wow. Thank you so much for writing this and for your encouragement. What a blessing to have YOU as a teacher! Keep up the good fight, you are changing little lives even if it doesn’t show, the seeds need to be planted! Definitely going to share this with other homeschooling moms.

  • As a former public school teacher, I really appreciated your post. I also admire you for doing your job in the public schools. Not all parents are able to homeschool, and it is vital that there are good, caring teachers in the classrooms to guide children. When I removed my daughter from public school her teacher was more than supportive, even keeping in touch with me via email to see how it was going and if she could help. I found out later she was homeschooling her grandson at the same time.

    I enjoyed your post today – thank you!

  • Hi All,
    Great article! My husband and I do a lot of supplementing with our girls learning (they are going into 6th and 9th grade in the public school system). I have no problem taking them out of school for educational opportunities and found that there is a excused absence code for this. I guess you could say we half homeschool and half public school : ) Our view is that public school teaches the basics and when they get home or on the weekends we get to let them sore to the moon with learning. Our family motto is that learning is not just done at school, it’s done everywhere whether its looking at the raspberry plants developing the yard, in making a fun video of bloopers, watching a movie about Thomas Edison, etc. My youngest daughter and I went on a school field trip to Greenfield Village and instead of leaving with the rest of the school, we stayed and explored for 2 more hours and learned so much about a working farm, chickens, and sheep. Public School has created many opportunities for the girls to learn about cultures, different religions, the fruit of patience : ), dealing with difficult situations/people and enabled many real world wonderful Christ centered conversations with the family (dinner talk is real interesting some nights). A bonus is that the teachers really like my kids and look to them as role models in the classroom, and my girls do assist other children with their work or with difficult situations. I guess what I’m saying is that investing in your children’s education is a wonderful thing whether you do it all at school or all at home… and sometimes, parents do both. God bless you all!

  • Jenny- Thanks so much for your encouragement! I have also work in the school system, but as a counselor. While I agree with Addie (above) there are things our children can learn from the public school setting, I also see the permanent damage it can cause. Many of my clients were bullied, depressed, and had regular thoughts of suicide. Many of them developed their view of themselves in middle school based on what other kids said about them. “I am fat, I am stupid, I am ugly…etc..” and then they carry this into adulthood. Addie, I am THRILLLED at your experience, but would like to also point out that very few kids make it through the public school system with your experience. And I need to add that learning how to assess personalities, cycle through friendships, advocate for themselves, learn about other religions (and other perspectives), etc…can all be done from home. We are not sheltering our children from the world, we are giving them the tools and the confidence needed to shine in the world when they are developmentally ready.

  • This is one of the main reasons I LOVE HHM! Pulling in Moms who don’t homeschool….to encourage homeschool Moms and become part of this amazing community….striving to push forward…to raise children in the way that fits each individual family without bia! Jenny, I love your sweet Southern Blog and would like nothing more than to sit and drink a glass of sweet tea out of a mason jar with you….I think Meghan should join us with her post about sweet tea this week on her blog!
    AGAIN…the MOMS here…blow me away each week…..and I am so humbled/thankful to be a part of this community!

  • Mostly good points.
    Also taken aback at the jabs about Muslims, African Americans etc and the “I’m gay because I have two mommies ” comments. Maybe having the parents who actually live these cultures help teach them might be more helpful than assuming they are annoying. We could all use some education when it comes to other cultures and mixed families of faith, sexual orientation or different cultures.

    • I agreed with everything except 6. There is a difference between teaching world cultures at the holidays and celebrating. I never forced a teacher to conform to our views. I asked them to respect our beliefs and worked with them to find a good balance for our children. Having a Christmas Party does not show any culture but our own. Most Christmas parties do not even contain religion since it is not allowed in public school. Christmas parties in public schools, along with any other holiday celebration are only secular occasions. After pulling our children from public school, they learned more about world culture than they ever learned in school.

  • Thank you for your inspiring words. I homeschooled my children who are all adults now. I enjoyed every minute of my time with them and took full advantage of the world our God created. Homeschooling is not for everyone for whatever reason, but every opportunity that presents itself can be made into a learning moment regardless of your daily schooling choices. It is important for parents to remember that God has given them the responsibility of educating their children. Homeschooling, public schooling, private schooling, etc. are the tools we as parents choose to achieve that goal. We are still the one who need to guard our children’s hearts and minds. We are the ones who need to be certain that they are educated for successful, God-honoring lives. BTW 2 of my children graduated from college (1 magna cum laude and 1 suma cum laude) and the third child has his own business. ‘There is no greater joy than to know that my children walk with the Lord’

  • Well said! I am a reading specialist working in a public school. I do my best to love the kids who step into our school, and I love the kids and families who homeschool. There are many excellent homeschool teachers at my church and in my community, and I applaud all the work they do. Stand strong and know that there are public school teachers out there who support you!

  • This is a very encouraging article. I have homeschooled going on about 8 yrs. We pulled my son out of public school when his freshman year was almost over. The very next year we brought our daughter home. My experiences have been great. I love to spend time with my kids. Watching those “aha” moments when they understand something.
    My son is a high school grad, married and is an Army Reservist. My daughter will be a Junior in Highschool come this fall.
    Thanks again for the wonderful words of encouragement.
    Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (NIV)

  • Addie’s post above highlights some of the stress of homeschooling…patting us on the back with one hand while sticking a sign on us at the same time. I’m glad that Addie feels so positive about her life experiences, but her delivery of her list of positives inherently implies she believes homeschoolers are socially isolated and unable to achieve the grand heights of understanding that she has. It gets exasperating to have people, especially fellow Christians, assume that homeschool kids don’t have good social skills when in fact I’ve found them to be very well socialized, able and willing to interact with a variety of people form any background. Their counterparts, the public schooled children I encounter at family gatherings, etc, are so introverted they can only converse with kids their own age…when those are not available, the kids retreat into hand-held games to avoid any exchange with older/younger relatives and guests. I’d suggest that things turned out well for Addie because she has FANTASTIC parents who helped her grow and stay well grounded in her faith, probably had some great teachers along the way, and the hand of God guiding her willing heart along the way.
    I encourage everyone to strive for the truth and seek what is the LORD’S will for raising our kids, one kid at a time.
    Thanks to Jenny for this encouraging post!

    • Hi again =)

      You are absolutely right. I do have great parents and public school was Gods plan for my life. A lot of it probably had to do also with my personality and who God has made me as a person. I am so sorry if it sounded like ALL home school kids have limited social skills. I grew up in a church with lots of home schooled kids and they had more social skills than me by far. I enjoyed them so much, and they had a huge impact on my life. Plenty of public school kids have poor social skills. I just wanted to throw in my two cents for whatever reason compelled me. I also agree with Blakely (above) completely, that this was my personal experience and is not the norm. I really have no business posting on a homeschool mothers blog site. Who am I? A 19 year old who thinks I know everything? Well of course. =) What else did you expect?

    • LOL, Addie, I think you’re cute!! 🙂 And show a lot of wisdom for a 19yo 🙂 It was said earlier by someone else, and I absolutely agree, that it basically comes down to where God leads us… for some it’s public school (there are things God can & will use to teach us & draw us closer to Him for us there), for some homeschool (from my meager experience (2yrs) there are DEFINITELY things that God can & will use to teach us & draw us closer to Him for us there, too!). Not to sound like a greeting card, but “Bloom where you’re planted!”
      Steven Curtis Chapman has a new song called “Everything You Do” that sums up how I view this subject… “Do everything you do for the glory of the One Who made you…” Whatever that may look like!! 🙂
      Great discussion!! 🙂 And, lovely to come to a place where there are differences of opinion that is shared in a civil and caring manner. Refreshing!! 🙂 And encouraging!! 🙂

  • Great post. I appreciate it. I am thankful that there are teachers like you in the public schools! I have friends that are also teachers and I think if they would get some of you together, you could really revamp the system so it would be better for its students. Love love love homeschooling. I would have never said this is where God would have me!

  • Thank you! When I took our daughter out of first grade, the teacher had said to me that what I was doing was great and had wished that when her children were school-aged that she did the same thing. She went on to tell me that she took a job as a public school teacher just so that her children could go to a PRIVATE school.

    She was actually a wonderful teacher and was not the reason why I did what I did, but I have found many other public school teachers that were supportive than not!

    I do believe that our public schools need Christian teachers, and if you have been called to do that, then praise God for another light in an increasingly dark place!

  • Thanks for the challenge. All the reason you listed as to why we should homeschool are the reasons we homeschool. And I really like the reminder to take advantage of our benefits as homeschoolers and maximize them.

  • This was a great article. I appreciate your comments. When I pulled my son from school his teacher was very supportive.

  • Here in Colorado homeschoolers DO have to take standardized tests… It’s one of the many reasons I want to move to Texas 😉 but we do still have freedom. Next fall will mark the start of our second year of homeschooling. My mom is a public school teacher and had mixed feelings about it. But after our first year, she is much more okay with it.

  • As a former classroom teacher who, like you, viewed my job as my mission field for that season of life and who is now passionate about home education, I agree with much of what you’ve said. However, I think we need to keep in mind that, while Christian adults are needed to be a witness in the public schools and while many teachers are dedicated to doing their best, the public school system is based on bad pretenses and is too broken to ever be fixed. Just because it’s there – and the “biggest kid on the block” – doesn’t mean we should accept it as legitimate. Also, I’d really like to encourage you to consider the idea of seasons of life. Namely, I really can’t see that God would call you away from discipling your own children (via home education) in order to work in the public schools. You can always go back to public school teaching once your children are grown, but I just have to disagree that you think it’s okay to sacrifice your kids to the system you admit is so messed up. As for your kids’ temperaments, the Lord will equip you to teach them; it’s, frankly, a cop-out to pull the “strong-willed” card.

    • So are you saying that anyone who sends their kids to public school is “sacrificing” them? That’s pretty unfair. Do you really think that most public school teachers go to work day after day, year after year, to damage children? As a parent & a 17 year teaching veteran, I know there are negatives in the public school system but there is a responsibility on the part of the parent to stay actively involved to ensure the children have the same type of successes as Addie (above). And anyway there are negatives in homeschooling too. Nothing is perfect except God. Not to mention that not everyone can afford to stay home – I certainly can’t and not because I don’t want to give up things either. I’ve given up quite a lot already.

      • One post I sincerely agree with! Let’s face it that being in 2011, times are tough, and one income just doesn’t always cut it. And there are positives and negatives to both h.s. and p.s. Some people have point of views based on one particular area, district, school, or even a single teacher that they had a conflict with. I get that this is a homeschool website and forum, but some seem a little close minded, wanting to put all children into homeschool as the best method of education for all….and that’s a bit extreme.

    • I have debated all day about posting something similar when I saw your reply Tina. I am glad to see I am the not the only one who sees things this way.

      I absoultely disagree with the idea that God would give you children to raise and then ask you to give them to someone else and go raise others. It makes no sense at all when we are clearly called to raise up our own children. Their is no greater ministry for a mother than the one that is in your own home.

      I don’t doubt intentions of those that send their child to public school. I think there are very few parents who actively think of ways to damage their child, but to send your child knowingly into an environment that is by nature actively against Christianity…I do not understand. How can I send my child off to be trained in a Godless system for the majority of their most impressionable years and then expect to be able to counter that with a few hours each night and on the weekend?

      And the “I dont want to give up things” is quite frankly shocking! I would do ANYTHING required to make sure my children grow up in an environment that is best for them. If that meant living in a shoebox house and having beans on toast every meal, I would do it. The fact is that most people can afford it, they simply don’t want to.

      Yes Jenny, the school system is blessed to have you, but instead of fighting a losing battle in a broken system, don’t you think your time is better spent training up your own children?

      • Ladies, I AGREE! I posted this article on both of my FB pages & it received many comments. My point is namely, Jenny, you are called to your children as your first ministry. Period. I know it can take sometime to realize this, esp if we’re not taught this in church or from our own parents when we were growing up. However, God gives us first of all Him, then our husbands, our children and our home. Next would come our church family and then “whatever else” he has called us to do. I agree w/ the wisdom of these ladies above, there are seasons. Your babies are almost grown-time is flying by. If you would chose your calling to your children, over your calling to teach, you would never regret the sweet years that you would spend with them. The broken public school system will be waiting for you, but your children will not always be. God bless you and please, please, please, pray on these things.

      • I absolutely agree!! Amen! God does not give us children to send to others to teach. God does not call us into a ministry that requires us to turn over care of our babies to others to teach when we can teach them ourselves!

  • This is a breath of fresh air! After all the beratement I receive from so many who don’t homeschool – either vocally or facial expressions – (some basically mom’s, and many teachers and family members of mine), this opened up a whole new permission for me…to just go for it like God placed upon me and my husband’s hearts. We start full-blown preschool this fall with our son, and this post just fired me up even more!

    Thank you! So thankful for this and for you opening up like this! I look forward to following your blog more, and connecting with you!

  • i was a public school mom in ny for 10 yrs. now i’m a Christian homeschooling mom in fl . origionally not by choice as the school broke the law & did not provide transportation. after 10 yrs i see it was a good thing. enjoyed reading your post. schools are blessed to have you. TY

  • Thank you for your bold honesty! I too am a well-educated homeschooling mom. I have a BS in Early Childhood and MAEd in special ed. I taught in the public schools for 2 years prior to having my own kiddos. We decided that public school education was not for our kids so have always homeschooled (8 years now..kids 13, 11 and 8 yrs.) But, I too still work in public education. I work from home thankfully…but I teach for a University’s early childhood program. I get the odd looks of ‘why?’ if I wouldn’t put my kids there. I do it because I want to make sure that all those kids that are in child care get the best teachers possible. I love my job.

  • Fantastic words of encouragement and wisdom! Thank you kindly for expressing your opinion on this topic! I’m a homeschooling mom who loves being at home with my girls. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂 Blessings to you and your family! 🙂

  • I agree with Tina H. However I do like the post. I have strong-willed children as well and this makes me all the more ready to homeschool because I know they would be classified by their teachers and try to be forced into meds for ADHD or whatever new clinical diagnosis for children being children. Having a special needs, strong willed or even a gifted child is all the more reason to home school, in my opinion. I grew up being bullied and sexually harassed in public schools and it was a daily torture which ended up with me being severely depressed. My husband saw the drugs and fights in his Catholic school. We didn’t want that for our children. My MIL who is a private school teacher while still not 100% is coming around, my dad will ask every so often when we’ll be done, my FIL claims it’s illegal, my brother who is married to a public school teacher hates homeschooling because he worked with some and “they are slow” (his words not mine). Some children can remain unscathed from their public school career but that takes a tremendous amount of parental involvement that not every child has. My parents loved me they did what they thought was right and didn’t know what to do in regards to the bullying and other activities I was exposed to. My mom tried homeschooling me when I would have been in the 5th grade, it lasted one day. She wanted it set up like a class room and that wasn’t going to work, homeschooling isn’t public school at home. Anyway thanks for the thought provoking post.

    • I agree!! I have 3 very strong willed kiddos and one would be considered special needs slightly and I have embraced homeschooling and my kids thrive. It is all the more reason to homeschool! My mom taught in a public school, until she had us and my brother was a teacher and both of them agree the system is broken and are in full agreement with our decision to homeschool.

  • Wow; first off if you are going to post about education you need to be able to speak and write correct English. Your opinion is poor written and an embarrassment to educators. But you made a few valid points.

    1st) standardized testing. I agree that there is alot of time spent on teaching kids how to take a text. Yet this is something a child will need to know and use throughout their entire life. But I believe schools need to be held accountable for their learning. The govenment does not have to stress standardized testing. This is a government issue not a schools.

    2nd) the amount of time spent in bathroom lines etc. Effective teachers such as myself use this time to review. There is never time wasted in line. I am constantly reviewing and teaching.

    Now to my points
    1) I have attended college; attended trainings and conducted book studies all to enhance my knowledge and ability to educate. What makes you think a mother is more qualified to properly educate a child? Because they bought workbooks from the education store??? Doing worksheets is teaching?? No its a joke.
    2) socialization. Students who are homeschooled suffer greatly socializing in the real world. How are you going to teach your child to work with groups effectively, when they are not constantly challenged too? Do you think in the real world your child will be able to socially exist with others? No they will become socially awkward and not be able to hold a job. As an educator I am ultimately teaching my students the knowledge and skills they need to know to be successful in the future. Home schooling does not offer this.

    What I disagree with:
    1) food. If you as a parent have a problem with what is being served at school pack your kid a lunch. Stop being lazy and finding insignificant things to whine about. This is not a valid reason to deprive your child of their education.
    2) field trips. You as that childs parent are more than capable to take your child to museums and on field trips at any time. It is not up to teachers to take your child out of the school setting multiple times to places around the city. You need to stop being a lazy parent and show your child what is out there. It is a great way for you to spend time with your child while enhancing their learning.

    As a parent it is up to you to work with the teacher, show support at home, and know what is going on with your childs education. If you sit back and do nothing then yes your child can suffer. But if you are involved and suppotrtive then you are helping in providing your child in the education they deserve.

    • Crystal, I agree with much of your response… I’m sorry that you feel my opinon is poorly written… I was simply trying to come across in a very casual and fun way. But you are right… it is an opinion and not one that all public school teachers share.

      I live in an area of South Texas where poverty is among the highest in the nation. The majority of the students that I have taught had not ventured outside of a 20 mile radius. They can not afford their own groceries, much less a trip to the local aquarium, nor do they have parents who would care to pack them a healthy lunch (if they COULD afford it). You bring up some great points though!

    • To Crystal: it’s generally a good idea to check your own grammar, etc. before criticizing another person’s.

      With that aside, Jenny, I thought this was a wonderful post. I’m sure homeschooling will always be a “hot button” issue, but I am grateful that you are able to see more than just your own side of things. Thank you for answering God’s call and being the best teacher that you can be!

      I also thank you for the encouragement that you give to us as homeschooling moms. Admittedly, it can be discouraging to battle the world view while answering a calling that God put on us to educate our own children in the environment that is best suited to them.

    • I have to jump in on this comment. I’m all for people having their own opinions and disagreeing about things but, Crystal, I feel like you went too far. First of all, to criticize Jenny’s writing was absurd. It was VERY well written. Your comment on the other hand is full of grammatical errors and very poorLY written. (And those caps were intentional to point out one of your errors.) I actually went through it and counted the most obvious and came up with twenty-three errors. That is appalling to me – that you consider yourself an amazing educator – more qualified than any of us, telling us what a joke we are because we “buy workbooks from an education store,” and this is the quality of writing you give us. I could understand an error here or there but if you’re going to criticize someone for their grammar usage and their writing skills and then continue to tell all of us here that we are not qualified to teach and you are, you should be representing yourself as a very educated individual – and you did not.

      I would like to point out three things to you. 1.) Standardized testing is not “something they will need to know and use throughout their entire life.” I have never taken a standardized test after taking the ACT to get into college. 2.) When I began homeschooling I was only a high school graduate. I was very capable of teaching my children without all of the special training and/or college degree that you think is required. I did, however, get a college degree by going to school part-time in the evening for many years. The only reason I did this was because I wanted to be able to join the workforce if something should ever happen to my husband and he was not able to provide a living for us. That education did not make me more qualified to teach my own children. 3.) The socialization card is so old and very lame. You obviously don’t know many (or maybe not any) homeschoolers because if you did you’d realize that they are better able to handle themselves in social situations than many public school kids.

      The last thing I want to share is our personal experience as homeschoolers. We have homeschooled for eleven years and our daughter just graduated from high school. She is heavily involved in many activities, she has tons of friends, she has a job, she auditioned for a special program at the university she is attending and was accepted, she received a full scholarship to this university, she scored a 29 on her ACT and a 2040 on her SAT, and she was named a National Merit Finalist. I don’t say all that to brag about myself or her but you have to realize how wrong you are. Homeschooling works. Moms CAN teach. I taught my daughter from second grade on and she was that successful in her academics. And she’s also very “socialized” with lots of friends and involved in lots of things. Please educate yourself further about homeschooling before making statements that are completely untrue.

      • AMEN AMEN!!! While I Do not agree with everything Jenni says I do not agree with Crystal at all. I was very appalled at her socialization stab too. I guess children should all go to school because they need to all learn to function around kids their own age instead of learning to function in the real world like homeschooling teaches them, because when they get their first job they will all go to building A with the 22 year olds and stick with them theur whole life instead of working with 22 year olds, 27 year olds and maybe a 40 year old.

    • I feel the need to jump in here. I myself was home-schooled from 8th grade through high school. I went on to go to college and worked very well in groups. I was able to hold down any job I chose, and usually accomplished more than my coworkers while actually interacting with them on a personal level as well. When my husband and I had children, we chose to place them into school. they did very well there for several years, then several things happened that convinced us it was time to home-school them.
      One of the main reasons was that our oldest son is extremely advanced and we felt the need for him to be challenged without having to skip grades and place him in a peer group that he was not emotionally ready for even if he could hold his own intellectually. All our children get great compliments on their behavior and social interaction with all ages when we are out in public. They are very well- rounded individuals and we would not have it any other way.

    • You said, “poor written” yet you meant poorly written.
      You said, “take a text” yet you meant take a test.
      You said, “not a schools” yet you meant not a school’s.
      You said, “lines etc.” yet you meant lines, etc.
      You said, “challenged too” yet you meant challenged to.
      You said, “No its a joke” yet you meant either “No. It’s a joke.” or “No; it’s a joke.” (double screw up there.)
      You said, “No they” yet you meant either No. They or No; they.
      You said, “at school pack” yet you meant at school, pack”

      There are several other examples of your lack of comma usage & lack of capitalization. Is this the product of someone who is qualified to be commenting on the correct usage of English in the spoken or written form of another person? No. 1st) and 2nd) ?! Seriously? Nobody does that. It’s 1) and 2) – the ‘st’ and the ‘nd’ are implied. This all from someone who claims her college education qualifies her as the “better” choice to educate my child? Wrong. (Now who is the embarrassment?)

      Just because you happen to review things in line (if you even do this at all and if you do it every single time I doubt) doesn’t mean that even half of public school teachers do. You are not every teacher and you need to recognize that & stop using yourself as support for teachers in general.

      You know nothing about the homeschooling mothers of the U.S. I’m sure many have attended college. I’m sure that many are qualified to teach. Not to mention, there are curriculum that teaches children online at their own pace. In fact, in college I had to take a no credit math class this way & I did much better with it than I’ve done with math from junior high through high school. That definitely tells you that teachers are not always adept at helping children understand – which is what teaching is all about.

      Socialization. There are learning co-ops that function as classrooms for subjects that a parent may feel inadequate at teaching. Were you aware of this? They get socialized there. Homeschooled kids are not institutionalized & divided by age group for the majority of their childhoods. They interact on a regular basis with others of all ages, nationalities, religions & cultural backgrounds. They are out & about IN the real world MUCH more than the institutionalized public school child. Bullying is uncommon in the adult world. However, it is rampant in the institution of public schools. This is not a social skill (either the role of bully or the role of the bullied child) that I prefer my child to endure or ‘learn.’ Food. With peanut butter becoming banned in some schools it would be difficult for my son to eat in public school. He has food aversions that he is in therapy for. He cannot bring himself to try new foods & even smells can elicit a gag reflex from him. He only eats pb&j sandwiches (banned in many schools), fish sticks (not something I can pack) & chicken nuggets (not somethign I can pack on days when it isn’t served in school). So what, is he supposed to snack all day in school & forego any substantial foods because people like you believe that public school is the gold standard? Ridiculous. Don’t act like it is a simple solution. I’m 100% sure you had no idea that a Chicago school that has banned homemade lunches entirely. Tell me those parents have that option & are simply “whining.”
      Yes, it is up to the parent to not be lazy & to take an active role in their child’s education. Homeschooling families are the epitome of this. They do take their child(ren) out & teach them constantly. Furthermore, not all parents work a Mon-Fri schedule. Therefore, the parents you would have ship their children off to institutional public school would not have an opportunity to take their children out to further enhance their education. Again, you cannot simply pretend that there are easy solutions to the public school issues. Homeschooling makes the best of things whereas your suggestions do not live up to that.
      You’re also a prime example of teachers that I would not want my children around. You’re judgemental & tactless/impolite. You’re close minded to ideas other than your own.
      Let’s also mention religion. Curriculum is either atheist (omitting God) or it is religious. I think we can ALL agree that in the U.S. it is NOT religious. Which I’m not going to whine about. That is apparently how the majority wants things & I will not argue with that. The U.S. is a democracy. However, I do not have to go along with it. Therefore, I exercise my constitutional & God given rights to homeschool.
      As for parents being qualified for the position – have you looked at any statistics on homeschooling? Often times, homeschooled children EXCEL in academics & perform better in college (and on standardized tests) than their institutionally educated public school counterparts. Explain that? I’m also certain that they do well in their chosen jobs/career fields as a result.
      I doubt you will read any links I give you to educate yourself, but I’ll share them anyway on the off chance that you or someone else might learn something.

      PS – To everyone else. I’m not normally this down on public schools. However, Crystal just hit some of my hot buttons & I took a hostile, defensive tone. I apologize for any offense I may have caused as a result.

    • Don’t sugar coat it for us Crystal. Come right and tell us just what you think. And good for you for having an opinion about something you obviously know nothing about.

      Poorly written huh? Let’s see…
      govenment – guess that would be the alternate spelling huh?
      childs – punctuation is just semantics really I suppose.
      suppotrtive – so…would that be a foreign language or just misspelling?
      Or you might consider that most of these post programs don’t offer things like spell or grammar check and chalk it up to human error. But that wouldn’t be right would it?

      Want to talk about socially awkward? Really? Because there has never been a student in the public system who was socially awkward…(That was sarcasm, just in case you missed it.) Is that really your argument? You’re really going to tell us that students have so much time to socialize in public school? When would that be exactly? When they’re sitting in class “doing their work”? When they’re rushing to their locker or the bathroom between classes? When they’re eating? When they’re participating in those after school activities that are so important to so many people? You know you’re right. There are simply hours to fill with socialization. My mistake.

      Speaking for myself, my children spend plenty of time with other children…at the park, at the store, at the pool, at Dollywood, at church. Now granted, there probably is not much time to chat or hang out in ballet class or at gymnastics but you could use the same argument there. There is so much time to socialize in school so there must be equal time in other types of classes.

      And WOW! I don’t know about all the other ladies here but I just LOVE being called unqualified and uneducated. It’s the highlight of my day! REALLY!

      For your information, “education” only accounts for information. There is no class that I know of that truly teaches a person how to put that information to actual good use. Most jobs require experience because they know the information is not worth diddly unless you know how to put it into practical application. I know of two specific people who earned a degree from a well-known, well-liked, well-attended university (one of them earned their bachelors and one their masters…two different universities) and neither of them acts like they have a brain in their head 99% of the time. So, what good is that education doing either of them? I won’t even go into their employment but I will say this…neither of them works in a job that has anything to do with what their degree is in.

      Also, for your information, we home-school moms do not just buy a few worksheets. The curriculum is very well put together. In the one I personally use, there are 10 large workbooks for each subject and 2 extensive teachers’ manuals. There are pages and pages of ideas for additional projects and suggestions for techniques to teach material that you may be unfamiliar or unsure of how to teach. And this is a fairly straight-forward and simple curriculum. I am told that A beka is exponentially more intensive, extensive and involved.

      Of course, you are entitled to your opinion, just as we are. And you are entitled to teach or have your children taught however you see fit as their mother, if you have children that is. But then, so are we. We are the mothers to our own families and we are doing what we feel is right for our children.

      I KNOW without any hesitation, doubt or question that home-school is the absolute right decision for my family and I will tell anyone who says I am wrong that they don’t know what they’re talking about and to kindly butt out of my life!

  • Thank you for your support and for this brilliantly written article. I love the fact that you were so honest, and NOT so “politically correct”. Most people don’t say the REAL reasons they homeschool to avoid hurting people’s feelings!!!!

  • You are an amazing woman! And am truly a fan of your blog and just asked to be your fb friend. I will be a guest Blogger for hip moms in November and I can only hope that my info. is as amazing and uplifting as what you wrote. All I can say is thank you!

  • I appreciate the sentiment but your underlying lack of love for others shines through. Is there a chance you as a christian spent more time on christmas then other cultures? If a child thinks he’s gay but has a mom and dad instead of two mommies is he just as confused.

    that kind of underlying hate is one more reason i homeschool, my christian values rest on two values, love God and Jesus above all others and Love thy neighbor as yourself.

  • We homeschooled my daughter for the second part of this year. Her classroom was really rough and she was having a hard time learning there, and she also started developing some bad habits. We had a good spring but by the end of the semester we both knew that she would return to public school this coming fall. We both are happy with this decision, and have worked with her school to get her matched up the best teacher and classmates for her. And, like before, I will volunteer weekly in her classroom. Though there is one thing that will remain from our homeschooling days. We WILL still do focused projects on things she’s interested. We WILL continue to foster her creative side. We WILL continue to explore fun places. Just because we’re choosing to send her back to public school does not mean this Mama will be relinquishing the rights to her babies education! Thanks so much for the encouraging article and for reminding us where it’s at!

  • Thank you for your encouraging words, and for reminding us how blessed we who homeschool are, and for the affirmation that we are doing the right thing. Thank you also for the reminder that our public school counterparts face challenges we cannot even imagine and that they need our prayers daily.

  • Amen!!! Y-E-S!!! Awesome, inspiring, and oh-so-true. Thank you for writing this, exactly what I needed to hear. 🙂

  • Wow, this is the nicest post I’ve ever seen from a non-homeschooling mom. Most of them are judgmental. Thank you for being so supportive!

  • Thank you for writing this article. I just completed my first year of homeschooling my third grader. When I took him out of private school all the teachers and administrators were thrilled that I could do it. I look forward to the next upcoming year. I am the field trip coordinator for our psp. We are blessed to do two field trips a month. My son never wants to go back to regular school. He enjoys learning each day at his own pace. Keep up the good work God has called you to do and love the students in your class. I bet you could handle your strong willed children.I know I never felt the call to homeschool but you know when you hear the call you have to obey.

  • Dear Jenny,
    You asked us how we were going to go above and beyond our calling as hip homeschool moms. The beauty of that question will remain with me for the rest of the summer… and for the remainder of the time I have with my 3 and 5 year old. I am just at the beginning of this adventure called homeschooling. I am hoping to teach a classical model of schooling throughout their time here. I have only about 16 years left until they are off into the beautiful world. So far, the struggle of it sometimes seem to darken the better days… but I do believe I am called to do this.
    Now, to answer your challenging question. I will love them richer. I will be quiet, longer. I will be patient, without tapping my pencil. I will have fun with them. I will show them this beautiful creation that is a gift from God. I will, hopefully, help them to be awed by God.

    • Kathy! Your words inspire ME!! Thank you!! I think the thing that we all have in common, no matter our opinion on which is better, homeschool or public school…. that we are all MOMS first and will do whatever it takes if it is right for our children!

  • Thank you for this insight! I would think most public school teachers would be all about homeschooling since they are at the “front lines”, seeing all the negative aspects of public school. I attended public school my whole life and felt the Lord lead me to homeschool. I am ashamed to say I resisted at first, but I am so happy with this calling!! My daughter attended public school prek and while it was a wonderful program she had a small taste of bullying toward the end of the year. It was a small incident, but it was enough to take me back to the times I was bullied in school and all the other nonsense I could have done without. The Lord really had to hit me upside the head! 😛

  • Thank you so much for writing this post, especially since you are a public school teacher. My husband and I have decided to pull our son who will be in the 4th grade and our daughter, who will be in the 8th grade this next year, out of public school and we are going to home school. I have had very mixed feelings about this because I don’t want to ‘short change’ my kids in education, friends, etc. However, reading a post like yours, reassures me that we have made the right choice. I thank you for pointing out the 10 things you did, I needed to hear them.

    My son’s 3rd grade teacher, heard my son telling one of this friends a couple of weeks ago that he was going to be home schooled and not returning to school next year. She interrupted my son and ask him what he said and so he told her. She told him that he was not going to be home schooled and he reassured her, he was. She told him that wasn’t a good idea because ‘home schooled’ kids miss out on life and they don’t learn life lessons. He was very upset and I was very mad. I know it was her opinion, however, that is where it should have stayed, with her, and not to my son.

    So again, thank you for writing this!!!!! :0)

  • What a great post!! Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been fortunate to come across public school teachers and public school advocates who are still very supportive of homeschoolers and it’s always very appreciated! Unfortunately I’ve also had experience with those who are not so nice about it and it’s always frustrating. It’s so refreshing to read something from someone who is doing something different but completely gets what we are doing. Again, thank you so much for taking the time to share!

  • I still belive that children should be homeschooled for the first six years of school…they do not get to play any sports until the sixth grade … but they can play park and rec until the six grade….You can join the Gateway school system that we have here in our town and we have many parents and kids that get together and go places so therefore they are not limited to other cultures or races…..and yes you are right we can take our children on as many field trips as we can…and I personally think that hands on is the best learning experience.. We teach how to read not from books…we teach how to read from the Bible and it is amazing how quickly that they catch one..so this mom says HOMESCHOOL is the way to go…if done properly…

  • Good points up to #9. Sorry but this is a stereotypical misconception by those unfamiliar with REAL homeschooling. Home-schooled kids are not all sheltered and confined to a solitary educational existance. Quite the contrary, many homeschool families participate in co-ops as well as other GROUP activites. Homeschool kids probably have MORE opportunites to participate in educational as well as social group activities than most public schoolers. One reason is the H.S. kids aren’t burdened every night with hours and hours of homework, work which should have been accomplished in the classroom. So they have more “spare” time. As was stated, the H.S. student wastes less time each day than the average P.S. student. While a nice article and some valid and encouraging points of view, still an article from someone who doesn’t totally comprehend homeschooling.

    • I think you misunderstood my point… I was trying to get across that the common misconception that homeschooled children are sheltered is false! And you are very right… there is no way that I could comprehend all the ins and outs of homeschooling. But I do have to say this… in the four years that I have taught public school (and granted, I know good and well that four years is not a long time) I have had a handful of children transfer into public school for the first time. Without exception, each and every single child was compassionate, well socialized, and brilliant!

  • Crystal,
    First of all, if you are going to berate one of your own for her “correct English”, may I suggest you take the extra couple of minutes and proof read your own article.
    Secondly, ALL of Jennys points are valid.

    Now to go through YOUR list;
    1st) Standardized testing. I completely disagree with you on this. For one thing, I have not had to take a test since high school. Teaching the test isn’t teaching content OR application. Not all children test positively, meaning if you actually discussed the content face to face with a child, you may be shocked to learn how intelligent they really are. Yes, government needs to get out of the public education system…but the system itself needs to be scrapped and re-made into something feasible and worthwhile.

    2nd)I have asked MANY teachers how much time they actually get to teach per day. Their average is 2-3 hours. If you concentrate at all on a single student, you are wasting the time of the other 30 in your class. Classes are TOO big to teach effectively and efficiently.

    Now to YOUR points:
    1. I attended elementary school and high school. I graduated with High honors. I was a part of many extracurricular activities. Are you suggesting that I didnt learn enough in all those years in school, to teach my children what I learned? Are you suggesting that elementary and high school are only enough to hopefully put us in college…and that only those with college degrees are intelligent enough to teach??? Let me toss it to you this way, I have spent many hours taking parenting classes. I took a paramedic training class so I could effectively deal with tramatic issues that may arise and administer first aid to my kids. I worked at a fabric store and learned to sew. I worked at a daycare, so I could have hands on experience with children. I was a foster sibling to MANY severely handicapped children, so I could learn empathy and compassion. I took years of seminary, so I could effectively know the scriptures and be able to give my children the “bread of life.” ALL of this done to PREPARE me to have children. SO, in keeping with your mindset, why do you have a right to have children? I will tell you why I have a right to teach my children…because they are MINE. Because I know God loves THEM and ME and because He will lead me in my work with them. If all they get out of life is a love of God and their fellowmen, then I am a successful educator.

    2. Field Trips- these have been removed from the school system in our area completely, as well as art, library, band, orchestra and the other “arts”. They also removed recess and placed bars on the windows and metal detectors at the doors. Feels alot like prison, except prisoners get “freetime”.

    As a parent, I gave freely of my time, for 7 years, to the school system. I was PTA VP for 3 years, served on the PTA for all 7. I was an inclass mom. I graded paperwork, filed papers, decorated walls, and supported the educational staff in every way humanly possible as a mother. I worked energetically with my children at home as well, moving her into areas she loved but had not had a chance to experience. My oldest child was held back (not as in she was retained, but in that they refused to advance her to her educational level; ie, skipping a grade). Heaven forbid the public education system actually encourage intelligent children to advance. My second oldest should have been held back a year. She was very young at the start of kindergarten, and struggled to keep up with her peers. In the end, I pulled my kids out and went to work as an educator in the home. I recognize the weight on my shoulders. I embrace, I don’t ignore it or flaunt it. Teaching MY children is MY God given right. I am thankful that Jenny took the time to recognize our efforts and I want to give her a pat on the back for her efforts in the classroom.

  • Jenny … AMEN SISTER! My brother has worked in public schools and is VERY condescending to both my husband and I for choosing to homeschool our daughter. We made the final decision to homeschool when North Carolina changed the date for entry into Kindergarten … to 12 days before her birthday. We moved to GA last year, and the schools in the area we moved to are horrible. So we are continuing to homeschool. Until we choose not to homeschool.

    My biggest struggle is planning. I have always been a planner … but for some reason, planning out lessons freaks me out. Last year for 1st grade, we started off using 1 curriculum for everything. For 2nd grade, we are using several different publishers. I am just hoping to get it all done! I am looking for a planner to use on my Mac (without having to add Windows). Just haven’t found one I like yet.

    My biggest joys of homeschooling are spending time with her, teaching her what her father and I want her to know, and having the flexibility to take school outside, to the park, to the aquarium, or to Daddy’s work (which doesn’t happen often, but it has once or twice!). Even with a new baby on the way, (our second) I am so very excited for the year ahead!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and encouragement!

  • Thank you Jenny~ You have no idea what you post has meant to me! I will be starting homeschooling this year with my four year old and I plan to continue until she is done with High School! I have been praying for over a year and constantly go back and forth if I am making the right decision. It never ceases to amaze me when God speaks to me through others. Your words are exactly what I needed to hear. God bless you for saying what was on your heart! 🙂

  • I totally disagree with Crystal. She obviously doesn’t know any homeschoolers. She might teach in group settings, but its not like we leave our kids indoors all day. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t just go to a table and buy books. I research what my kid needs. MY CHILD. Personally. How can a public school teacher really know a child in one year? I’m sorry, but they can’t. They can try, but they won’t know my child as well as I do. And I have to say that I take plenty of training especially since my daughter has Aspergers. I’m constantly reading books, going to therapies, sitting in classes, and taking time to attend conferences. So I’m really annoyed at her comments and her lack of knowledge on the subject.

    Jenny – I don’t think you need to apologize at all for this article. I think it was well done. I don’t have very many good experiences with teachers, but I do know a few. They never said “Yah to homeschooling” but they weren’t critical of it either. They just can’t do it all. They try. They really do. But at the end of the day, its the parents call as to what is best for their kids. If they choose public education, than that is the best choice for their kid that they see fit. I will never question other parents decisions to do that. I feel honored and blessed that I CAN homeschool and be with my kids and know them how I do. When they were in school, I didn’t get the opportunities to understand them how I wanted to. I didn’t get to know many of the minor details that I know now. I especially didn’t know how they learned best. Now I can say, I am getting there. After 6 years, I’m getting to a point where I feel I know them, but there are always challenges. There is no perfect education. Homeschool isn’t perfect. Public Education is not perfect. And Christian Education isn’t perfect either. We just try the best we can with what God gives us and how He leads us and that’s what we can do. We trust Him with our days. We trust Him with our kids. And that is enough. It’s not about workbooks and training. It’s about doing what God wants. It’s about trusting Him with our lives and the lives of our children. Thank you for encouraging me to keep on and living passionately for Him and loving my kids with passion too. You are a blessing.

  • Public school teachers cannot speak about Jesus or creation or absolute right or wrong in the classroom. They cannot stop the steady stream of the anti-God agenda that is driving children in droves from any faith they might have had. I beli…eve that those who claim to be Christian teachers in these pagen schools give Christian parents a terrible false sense of security because they can really do nothing to stop the steady indoctrination of a secular, humanistic worldview into all children that attend these schools. If you are a pagen, send your kids to a pagen school. If you are a Christian, get your kids out. Their eternal welfare depends upon it. http://www.indoctrinationmovie.com

  • I am taking this post as a message from God. This is my first year homeschooling and I
    WAS ABOUT to send my daughters backsto public school. I hear comments everyday from my adult children about how selfish I am, my home daycare parents about socialization, people out in the world and I have been struggling with this decision for a while now.


    • Hey, Paula!! 🙂

      Are you involved in a homeshchool group? That would be an awesome place for you to find encouragement & affirmation… and maybe a group rate for a field trip? lol I have found awesome support in my homeschool group (& online). If you haven’t found a group, find one ASAP!! 🙂 Don’t try to do this alone!! 🙂 We all need mental/emotional backup, because not everyone will understand…

  • I know what you mean about wasted time. My oldest (now 20) and my third, (now 18) told me on a daily basis, how they spent nearly an entire day in the football field because of bomb-threats. One even came home with a sunburn because of this. It happened so frequently in one week, that they logged 3 hours of classroom time, and (if they brought their own) had lunch on the football field (if they grabbed it or already had it with them when they were evacuated. My third, has hypoglycemia, and passed out because he had not eaten, but was not allowed to go home, nor could they call in an ambulance, until the bomb-threat has been cleared! It was then, I decided to homeschool my children. Of 9 of them, 6 of them were (some still are) homeschooled. My third graduated high school last year, my fifth, graduates this next spring, the sixth and seventh graduate in two years, and the youngest are 5 and 2. We had various difficulties with the others in the public school as well, but that is in the past. We also had a bit of trouble when we pulled the kids out of public, the secretaries, mostly objected. They gave us such difficulty, we had to obtain special forms, with our rights printed on them, before they would release their records to our umbrella. One even insisted we would be back, looking at me like I was incapable of passing on what I had learned in the same public school system. We are going to be working on more field trips, and more hands-on assignments this coming year. We have changed curriculum completely, and with a little tweaking, I think I can manage to teach the same (base) subject on different levels, and accomplish more at one time. Thanks for your words of encouragement. They are greatly appreciated!

  • This will be long, but I don’t yet see a comment from someone who is the product of homeschooling. First, thank you for this point of view, and for the encouragement. I was removed from public school when I was in 5th grade and homeschooled up to college. I can’t tell you how many times people treated me as if I was socially backward or actually told my parents that I would be because I was homeschooled. My grandmother was a public school teacher and was not very supportive at first , but now she is one of my very best friends. Educationally it couldn’t have been better for me, at 17 I received numerous scholarships and had a 4.0 all the way through college. I loved being homeschooled and feel it was one of the biggest gifts my parents ever gave me. In response to the few comments about how homeschooled children will have no idea how to deal with other people in the “real world” . I feel and have always felt that for me, being homeschooled prepared me even more for the “real world”. When I was homeschooled my brother and I interacted with people of all age groups, religions, races, cultures, education levels etc. We never interacted only with other people that were solely our own age group. That may not be typical for most homeschool famlies, but it was for us. I was never in a “clique”, I never learned to gravitate only towards other people that were just like me, I never learned to only feel comfortable with those who were just like me, I learned instead that you can learn something and be friends with or a blessing to anyone God brings into your life. In fact, I think that because I was homeschooled I have been able to grow and step outside my comfort zone on so many occasions especially with regards to being an Air Force wife of 8 years. I moved to a new state and started a new job where I worked with mostly older women when I was 23, and loved it and they loved me. I was quickly promoted and well respected. I then moved to a foreign country when I was 24 with my new husband and enjoyed it right away. Many of the wives I knew refused to do anything off base, refused to interact with the British people, refused to get a job off base, many even asked me “What are the British like to work with? Isn’t it wierd to work with and for people who aren’t American?” . I worked at a British grocery store for 2 years and loved every second, I met some amazing people and made some wonderful friends from literally ALL over the world. I am naturally a shy person and I feel for my personality type, had I gone to public school I would have learned to stay in my shell to avoid being teased and harrassed, or I would have tried to do anything to gain friends and acceptance. I truly don’t feel I would have ever gained the confidence that the safety of a home learning environment gave me. As it was, I gained confidence in who I was as a young woman and as a child of God and that has helped me in more ways that I can count when dealing with 3 moves in 6 years, deployments, and many stressful issues ( fighting cancer) without the support of family or established community of friends close by. I have a 2 year old and a baby on the way now and we are stationed in Oklahoma, and surrounded by some amazing educational museums and places to explore. I have always thought I wanted to homeschool but coming up on my son entering preschool age I feel such a tug to homeschool my children it is undeniable. I have been reading books for the past 4 months on homeschooling and all the issues surrounding it. I am trying to prepare myself for the arguments and lack of support I think we will be faced with once we decide officialy to not send our children to public school. The only thing I did not like about being homeschooled was when we would be out and about during the day and strangers would feel qualified to offer their opinion that I was being ruined socially by being homeschooled. I worry that my son will feel that same discrimination and disdain, however I hope that things have changed in the past 20 years. My husband was a product of the public school system and everyday voices his support and hope that we will homeschool, mainly because he remembers how much he hated growing up in the public school system and he knows better than I how rough it can be. I do worry how my mother in laws will feel about it since they both work in the public school system, but I am praying now that God will grow in me a lion’s share of courage to stand up for what I know He has called us to do. I am starting homeschool preschool with my son this summer and so far we are having a blast. So in short, haha, thank you for this article, it really helped to give me an extra ounce of courage as I face the future of doing what I feel God has called me to do. I really value your point of view as a teacher.

  • Thank you for your article. I have seen both ends of the spectrum: the public school teacher who makes excuses why a Mom isn’t a better teacher than she is to their child, or why the home isn’t as great as a classroom setting – all the way to the other extreme where teachers like you become our cheerleaders and offer us encouragement.

  • It was the end of their (my boys) last year in a public school (2nd and 5th grade) and I was with my second grader’s teacher and at this last parent/teacher conference…(she is a veteran teacher over 20 years) she was a little too intrusive by asking me questions about homeschooling my boys….but out of respect, I answered her questions, because I was ready for them (not that I have to explain myself). Anyway, by end of the conversation she said, “Alright, I think we will let you homeschool.” Gee, Thanks. 🙂 Appreciate it.

  • Thank you for the time it took you to write this article and your willingness to follow the path God has paved for you. I was homeschooled and I have debated whether or not I would follow that path for my child. Your article has put things in perspective for me and I have decided to pursue homeschooling unless God tells me otherwise. Thank you again for your dedication for those not as fortunate to have parents willing and able to take this huge step.

  • I have known a lot of public school teachers, and so far, none have condemned me for homeschooling. When I made the decision at first to pull my oldest out of school, every single teacher and the principle told me that they thought I was doing the right thing! I have great respect for Christian teachers in the public school system. I know it must be difficult at times, and to do it well, surely it must be a calling from God.

    Your blog brought tears to my eyes… I have homeschooled for 11 years now, and sometimes I get rather burned out. I have graduated two sons, and now homeschool my 16yo son, my 13yo son, my 10yo daughter, my 7yo son, my 5yo daughter, and my 2yo daughter. I struggle to keep up the energy demands of running a one room schoolhouse while also keeping the dishes and laundry done, and fixing supper. The balance is difficult.

    Your blog inspired me, yet again to have that passion that is so needed to keep going. Surely, it must be a calling from God to do this well. Blessings to you and thank you for your post!

    • I haven’t had this experience. Many public school teachers have criticized me for homeschooling my kids. Everyone else has been very supportive. We live in a state where the public schools are 49th in the nation and overcrowded. I don’t understand why the school teachers aren’t more supportive of us.

      • For those who are not supportive, I truly believe they are feeling insecure. The don’t want to become obsolete and need to feel that they are doing something important. When I talk to school teachers, I always let them know that I am in awe of their ability to teach other people’s children, because I don’t know if I could do that. I don’t criticize them, and as they hear me talk about educating my children, they respect me as well. I think if your schools are doing so poorly, you likely are around a lot of insecure teachers. 🙁 So sorry you haven’t had a more positive experience. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says…. you follow the conviction that is in your own heart! 🙂

  • Point #6 sounded like this when I read it: “One great thing about homeschooling is that you don’t have to deal with Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or black people.”

    I’m assuming you are not predisposed against African Americans, but what you have stated in point #6 makes it sound as if you are.

    • Somewhere in the previous comments this was brought up… and let me apologize for my clumsy writing againa and reiterate that I did not mean to target African Americans. I was recalling a specific incident in my classroom where after teaching about cultural holidays – an African American couple was upset that I did not represent Kwanzaa enough. I was trying to bring to light how hard it is to teach about other cultures and their “holiday” traditions. It saddens me that a teacher can teach about Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and how almost any other country celebrates a particular holiday, but try to mention Jesus when teaching how Americans celebrate “Christmas” and you might get arrested!

      • Kwanzaa was invented in America in the 1970’s. It’s not really an African holiday. Just a side note.

        • That’s why she said “African-American.”

          And frankly, as a Black American, Kwanzaa irritates the stink out of me…but that’s a whole other topic/issue..

      • The main problem with this comment is that Kwanzaa is not a religious celebration, yet you are listing it with religious celebrations. Kwanzaa is not an African religious celebration. It is an African-American CULTURAL celebration. Every culture has cultural celebrations – I’ve been to German, Italian, and Mexican cultural celebrations in this country. I have a daughter that just graduated from public school, so I know that European culture is celebrated on an almost daily basis – celebrating African-American culture 1 or 2 days out of the school year shouldn’t bother you so much. Children of non-European descent go through a school system that teaches them, through exclusion, that their ancestors did nothing of importance, and the few times out of the year that there is a short focus on African-American history or culture, there’s an uproar from teachers. I have to admit that I was very offended by the intolerant undertones of your post.

  • I cracked up at your line about homeschoolers’ freedom to spend lots of time on lesson plans. I also have a household to manage as well as a bunch of kids to educate. I wish I had time to plan in greater detail. But thanks for your encouragement.

    • I can understand completely at the balancing act… what I think I was trying to get at for #6 is that we don’t have to just turn in ONE main lesson plan anymore (and again, I am speaking for myself, I don’t know how other schools work). We have to create and turn in lessons for each subject, we have to create and turn in guided readed lesson plans, and plans for how we are going to carry out individualized education plans (IEPs) for those who are in special education. We have to create and turn in behavior modification plans to a whole team of behavior specialists and to the special education department. And that’s just the beginning… then you have plans to turn in on what you are going to plan in your planning meeting… not kidding. There is more paperwork than I’ve ever seen in my life!

  • I echo every word! We have so many unschoolers where we live who believe in teaching their kids with experiences which is fine but their kids can’t read. We have so many options now! I love teaching my kids at home and I’m excited for every new year! Teach with Passion and don’t complain!

  • Okay, i barely made the time to read this post, so i’m not going to try to read the comments, but i wanted to say THANK YOU for the encouragement ‘from the other side of the fence’ and for the challenge. You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT – it is easy to get stuck in the doldrums because of the parent-child relationship, but i recently felt God light a fire under me in this very area and i have been flying ever since!

    With 3 children with varying learning issues, i finally started getting help this month! My eldest began kindergarten in public school, but the teachers didn’t notice my bright, compliant child was not ‘getting’ everything they were teaching, so by second grade, my advanced child was remedial – Yikes! As her mother, finding her setbacks/hangups/roadblocks became my job, and it has taken years to get to a place where i understand some of what we are dealing with, so i KNOW a public school teacher couldn’t have figured it out any quicker. Needless to say, my younger children (who have much bigger issues) have never been in public school because of our experiences and learning barriers.

    Anyway, thank you for your position, your encouragement, your challenge, and your transparency – God uses people like you to help His people, and you have been a light in the darkness to me tonight. I’m going to share this post with my local homeschooling support group.

  • Thank you so much Jenny for sharing that with us! It is so refreshing to hear the honesty here from a public school teacher. It seems all I hear from the public school teachers I know is that they all think public schooling is the best option for my child & every child. It’s like they’ve been taught to think that way & it’s frustrating to say the very least.

    Even without confirmation I know I’m doing the right thing but it is still nice to get the confirmation. 🙂 Again, thank you for sharing.

  • Thumbs up, Jenny!

    Oh, and thanks for clearing up the African American thing. That situation really would be frustrating.

  • This is a great article, thanks for taking the time to write it. I have just started to homeschool my kids and it is something I prayed long and hard about. I myself went to public school, my mom was a public school Pre-K teacher for over 30 years, and I have many friends who are currently teaching in schools. I loved my school experience, it was a great social gathering. I learned little in my classes and learned more at home anyway in evenings and weekend with my parents and siblings. The reasons you spoke of are the exact reasons I wanted to homeschool. I want to be able to tailor make my child’s education to their needs and level of learning. I can’t tell you how many of my friends (ok, all of them) who are teaching in public schools complain about the restraints that are put on them, how everything is geared towards passing standardized testing, and how much class time is wasted on behavioral management. I am actually so excited for one of my good friends who has been teaching chemistry/physics the last few years – as I was praying and talking to EVERYONE who would listen about my decision to homeschool, she prayed about her life and has decided to teach the subjects privately to local co-op groups. Most people I talk to these days are very supportive that I chose homeschooling and say they wish that they could have been in a position to have done the same. But I am glad for so many children that there are people like you who are willing to put themselves out there everyday, sometimes even in danger, to teach those kids who may not get a good education otherwise. Thanks again for your article!

  • “So why don’t I homeschool? Well, I’m just gonna be honest and say that I’ve got three very strong willed children and I don’t feel like I could keep the comittment to give them what they need in education”

    This is one of the most saddest and yes, pathetic reasons I have ever heard as to why someone chooses the public school system over home educating their children. What’s even sadder is that it is from a State Certified Public Teacher. Very telling indeed.

    • Hello Desiree,

      I saw your comment and it really struck me. I’m a home schooled student in my senior year and I’m also a sophomore in college. My parents pulled me out of the public school system in my 7th grade year, and I finally tasted freedom and the wonderful home schooling lifestyle. However, I’ve noticed home schooling is not !00% perfect. It comes with its faults. Like with the writer of this blog post, her children are very strong willed. I’m not saying that home schooling would not work for a strong willed student, but the public school system might give her children a special backbone, structure, and direction that maybe a home school mom could not. (Yes, I think I just offended all home school Moms in America, but there is some truth to that statement).

      Another thing that I see as a fault in home schooling is the judgmental, hypocritical, and snotty attitudes from the home school parents. I’m very involved in the home school community, and I’m even engaged to a lifetime home schooler. His parents are the cream of the crop when it comes to judgmental, hypocritical, and snotty attitudes, and needless to say, he cannot have a relationship with them because of it (plus many other reasons…ATI/IBLP/Bill Gothard, the cult stuff). These two things have greatly affected me through home schooling and I’m not too sure if I would like my future children to be around these people and cults that have been around. I’ve met some of the meanest, rudest, and ignorant people in the home school community, but then I’ve also met some jewels with Christ-like attitudes.

      So saying that her reason to public school is sad and pathetic, I think goes a little extreme. Each family has their own way of life and sometimes home schooling does not fit everyone on the planet. I know that if my parents had home schooled me my whole life, I would not have the drive and courage to do the things that I have done. I was enrolled in college at the age of fifteen and I will be graduating from college before I even graduate with my high school diploma.

      I guess all that I’m saying is that, home schooling is not always the better route. There are some things the public school system has to offer. There are also a lot of things that home schooling has to offer, too. It really depends on the family situation and child’s needs.

  • I’m a former public school teacher, who considered inner city teaching my mission field, turned homeschooler. By far, the biggest initial supporters of homeschooling were my daughter’s teachers, who flat out told me that they simply couldn’t give a child who was above grade level in many areas, but immature in others, what she needed while meeting the needs of 25 others, many of whom were mandated to receive higher levels of support.

    I do think that you’re painting homeschooling a little idyllically in a way. For example, I don’t know many homeschoolers who have been entirely able to duck standardized tests. Even if you duck them in elementary when they’re not required, you’re going to hit them later. Since I didn’t want my daughter’s first experience with a test to be when it counts, I chose to allow her to take the SAT-10 with our homeschool group this year-which was three days of wasted time that told us nothing, but at least made her feel confident that she could take a test.

    You also still run into the “children of the corn”-they’re there in homeschool groups, too. Or dance classes, or sports teams. And sometimes, you run into the “mothers of the corn” who are even worse than the kids.

    Field trips are great, but honestly, we don’t do many more unique ones now than we did when my DD was in traditional school. We can go to the local ones for every new exhibit, but we did that anyway. The only difference is that there’s a real temptation to call that “School”, while previously, it was something to do on a Saturday. Same with travel. Previously, it was a vacation. Now it’s tempting to say “We went to the science museum, so that’s a day of school”.

    Substitute teachers…yes, there aren’t days when your DC is officially in school and you have a substitute. But there ARE days when mommy has a headache, and mentally justifies an afternoon watching Magic School Bus or Liberty’s Kids as “school” (and doesn’t particularly care if the channel flips to Disney vs the United Streaming video feed from the computer). Or days when the homeschooled DC ends up doing their math papers while waiting for mommy’s dentist appointment. I’d love to say that it’s learning every single day at home, but that’s simply not the case.

    And I do believe there is a risk of becoming complacent, because it’s possible to keep your children around mostly people who are like you in faith, morals, behavior, educational level, dress and so on. While I believe my job is to prepare my child for the future and that tossing the baby into the deep end of the pool isn’t the way to learn to swim, staying in the 6 in deep backyard wading pool isn’t, either. When DD was in school, she had that exposure by virtue of being in school. Now I really need to look for it-and that requires getting out of MY comfort zone.

    I do believe, 100%, that homeschooling is a better fit for my DD than ps was, and that it’s a better fit for our family. But I think there’s a bit of “the grass is always greener” here-and having been on both sides, I have to say that there are weeds everywhere. Homeschooling included.

  • I understand and appreciate your ‘support’ but it comes off as patronizing and honestly, you come off as racist and genderist. Why is the little boy/girl that thinks they are gay wrong about that because he has two moms? And what is wrong with having two moms that care about you wrong instead of two parents that divorce, fight over you, use you as a tool in their divorces, and ultimately create a situation where you are miserable?

    And what about the little boy/girl that thinks they are gay and have traditional parents? Are they confused?

    And I agree, it’s very sad that you think you can handle 20-40 students in your class and you have the committment to teach them but not your own 3 children. Are none of your children in the class headstrong? Do you have the only strong willed children you’ve ever met? Don’t homeschool if you don’t want to, but don’t make some stupid, fatuous, illogical remark like “ohh, he he, it would be tooo hard, i could never do that” we’ve heard that all before and don’t need poor excuses, you don’t because you don’t. I just hope that you don’t use the strongwilled argument as a reason to back off students in your class that fit the bill (because if they aren’t related to you the connection and responsibility is less.

  • Wow, thanks so much for this! You must be a better public school teacher than most since you recognize what makes homeschooling great! Blessings and prayers for you, your kids, and your students.

  • I agree completely that “the grass is always greener” as I have been on both sides as a parent…. but when you say that going to a museum, for instance, used to be something to do on a Saturday, but now we are tempted to call it “school”, I have to challenge that. I realize, having been a ps teacher, you probably think about education differently than someone who has never taught publicly. But, WHY would it be a problem to take my family to a museum and then call it a “school day”? You are implying something there…. That family time that is fun and not specifically “educational” can’t be called “school.” I disagree. There is always learning going on, good learning and bad learning, but learning nonetheless. A school trip to a museum would not be MORE educational than a family trip to a museum. I understand where you are coming from, but please realize that there is freedom in just living your life as a life of learning, instead compartmentalizing what is “educational” in a family life and what is not. Your children can learn some independence and life skills as well as compassion on those days when you are not feeling well. True, they may not learn all good things on that day, but they are learning. Nothing wrong with finishing math at the dentist’s office either… life is about learning, finishing things we’ve started, going to appointments, etc. Don’t put it all into compartments that strangle your homeschool…. leads to burnout…. ask me how I know…. If you have only one child, maybe you haven’t realized how constrained that is, but I have 8…. have homeschooled 11yrs, and Lord willing, have a good 20 years ahead of me still. If I still had to worry about every little afternoon of videos “counting” as school, or a family trip being “educational enough” to count as school…..I’d have to give up…..

    • Jennifer, I agree w/ you and I have 5 children. I count everything as educational– cooking, field trips, grocery store & dentist office. Our learning goes well beyond the lesson plans and well planned agendas. It is a lifestyle, which is also why we Homeschool year round. There’s no reason for us to stop the fun. 🙂

  • With the support of my husband, I homeschool my children. Currently I have 5. We both had positive models of homeschooling families in our lives before we met each other. We were both impressed with these homeschooled children that we knew. They were not scared to talk with grown ups! After sending my first to school for junior kindergarten (4 years old), we decided to pull her out and teach her (and her siblings as they became older) at home. Her teacher and other staff in the school were supportive of our decision. Even when I look at our friends’ children at church, they are all over the place in terms of character and “socialization.” There are those whose parents, because one stays home and dedicates her time to teaching her children on top of traditional school, who have good character and are able to interact with people of varying ages. There are those whose children can barely talk with me and find it silly that their friend’s mother would be interested in talking with her. There are parents who are afraid of homeschooling.
    Even in my own children, they are all different. Some are still learning aspects of character, while others understand it intrinsically earlier.
    One point that I do want to make is that though my children are not in the school system, they don’t always get lots of individual attention. I’m sure it’s still more than in the school setting and I can push them in their strengths and struggle with them in their areas of weakness. But with a young baby, a toddler and a preschooler as well as two elementary aged children, my time is still divided. There is always balancing in our family. I know that as they become more independent, they will learn more on their own. But they also have wonderful skills that I see others don’t always have. My 5, 7 & 9 year olds know how to change a diaper and dress a baby. They know how to comfort a baby. They know how to be patient with a demanding toddler and how to keep him busy while mummy is busy. Their ability to interact with each of their siblings of varying ages will hold them in good stead. (Of course that’s not to say that they are always kind to one another, but then they have to learn to work through their differences). We are not the “nerdy,” way ahead in the academics family, but rather always making forward progress. Here where I live, socialization concerns are replaced with concerns with becoming fluent in the French language.
    My family has made sacrifices to be the way we are: One parent at home and the children being educated at home. People don’t always understand it. But I get to spend lots of time with my children and share experiences with them. I hope that as my children grow into teenageers and young adults and then adults, that we will continue to have a good relationship.

  • How inspiring! I am a public school teacher, wife of a pastor, and mom of three children in public school now. However, I did home school my son for 1 year. I too felt the call from God to become a teacher because our schools are in desperate need of Christian teachers and passionate teachers. I stand with you on every point! I think your challenge should be extended to public school teachers as well. I realize our hands are tied on some areas but there are ways to reach children in a fun, exciting and totally engaging way and eliminate a lot of the complaints in a public school classroom. Check out my blog. Whole brain teaching changed my life and my classroom. No longer are we mundanely teaching to a standardized test but children are using both sides of their brains and learning critical thinking skills that are needed to succeed in life. And most of all they LOVE SCHOOL! The great thing is it can be used by homeschoolers as well! 🙂 Loved the article and God bless!

  • I thoroughly enjoyed this! I quit teaching elementary school when I had my first child. We are now pregnant with #3, and I am still staying home. I come from an on again-off again homeschool background and want nothing more than to homeschool my own children – at least through elementary school. Your post is so uplifting and really hits home why I am wanting to do this. You put into words many of the things I cannot, and maybe when my husband reads this, he will climb on board as well. Thank you so much for what you do, and may God bless you and your family!

  • Jenny, Wonderful post! I loved it. Alas, my experience in taking my kids out of PS was to be exposed to vitriol like Crystal’s.(Whom I believe is a troll that I have encountered on NUMEROUS Homeschool forums. She posted almost word for word what was posted in Christian Forums-Homeschool forum, but under another nom de plume, also in Homeschool Forums, and many others. Even to the same grammatical errors,HMM) It is a breath of fresh air to see a PS teacher that understands our desires to give our children the best we can. And I understand the need to do as God has called you. That is why I Homeschool my children. 🙂

  • If anything what your post did for me was help me reinforce my personal stand for our homeschool once again; which is the importance of acceptance and love that we should have towards ALL people and not only those that we find to be “chosen by grace or normal”, this coming from an Atheist.

    My only concern is that amongst 100+ commenter’s only 7 people have pointed out the undertone of intolerance and self-righteousness that surfaced throughout your post.

    • I agree, Korah. As a non-Christian, HS mom, this article just felt wrong to me on many levels. I mean, a public school teacher referring to some as “The Children of the Corn.” Really? And the bit about a child feeling gay because she has two mommies? Yes, this post helped me reinforce our decision as well, but not in the way she intended.

      • That’s funny….as a former middle school teacher I thought the Children of the Corn comment was funny and I knew exactly what she meant!

  • Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart for speaking up and out about homeschooling. I will begin my homeschooling journey for the first time in a month. I pulled my son out at the end of his 3rd grade year due to his school only teaching to pass the state test. The pressure they put on our children to pass broke my heart. My son loved school and learning until this past year and cried for days before the test because he was so afraid to fail it. God had pushed me into HS before but I ignored him thinking I could never be the teacher my kids needed but that night that I held my son crying and I prayed and prayed over him and with him I knew it was time to trust God and HS. I have so much doubt in myself but I have so much faith in Christ to get me through this. This post has helped me see that I am doing the right thing for both my 4th grader and my PreK4 child. I will take your challenge by helping my children exceed past just being average and by teaching them more than just what comes from a book.

  • This is a really good post and while I agree with most of it I really don’t agree with God calling you to teach to other children instead of teaching your own kids. You state that you have 3 very strong willed children but God gave YOU those children to raise not to send off because you feel someone else can reach them instead of yourself. I am not trying to be harsh because I really loved this post, but the scripture is very clear on a woman’s role in raising her children and running her household. It is really sad to blame the decision you made to not homeschool on your children which in that statement you really are saying hey your strong willed….it is your fault I am not homeschooling. It is also sad that you would take care of other parents strong willed or special needs children with IEPs. I am not passing judgment by any means I went to public school myself and I sent my oldest to preschool for 2 years before pulling him out and I have been homeschooling ever since. However I didn’t know better, once I studied up on homeschooling and read more about how to do it I plunged in and have never looked back. Maybe you should try homeschooling for a year and see what it is really all about and see how your kids would do. Also wondering if you feel God has called you to teach why not teach and put your kids into a Christian School?

    • In this day and age, it is simply not financially possible for every mom to be a stay at home mom. I am a public school teacher and have two children. I did my research on preschools and sent my girls to the best in the area three days a week (grandma took them the other two days). My oldest is getting ready to start kindergarten. My schooling and experience as a teacher has helped me to be able to teach my daughters as well. No matter what path you choose, the parents are the child’s first teachers. We are constantly at the library, zoo, playing puzzles, reading, drawing…I have a relative who homeschools and have known families who have chosen to homeschool. I don’t judge anyone’s opinion. Everyone does what is best for their family. But as my husband is a teacher as well, we couldn’t afford for me to stay at home.

      • It isn’t? Maybe focusing on providing what the family needs instead of wants and vacations is a good place to start. Sell a car and downsize to one vehicle. Cut back….there are many ways to make it and there is no pay check worth more then my kids. I know moms who are single parents who homeschool….if they can do it why can’t a family learn to live on one income? The reason it is so hard to make it on one income now is because more money is spent. Dave Ramsey even in his books writes about women working and if they really crunched the numbers it is not a good financial decision for mom to work. If a parent is working and daycare and grandma are taking care of the babies and kids, how is a parent their first teacher? I don’t understand that. It seems instead of trusting Gods provision, some are taking it into their own hands.

        • Homeschool mommy,
          No it isn’t. I have not been on a vacation since my honeymoon. We do have two cars, but they are old and inexpensive cars. I do not buy fancy clothes and don’t splurge on things. If you’re saying “surely you could do it,” well of course if I wanted to live in a one bedroom house in a not great neighborhood, if I wanted to worry about being able to pay the electric bills every month, if I didn’t ocassionally want to buy my children a toy they may not necessarily “need”, then OK. I sincerely love and cherish my children, and I take every precious second that I have with them and make it count. Please don’t presume that you know me, presume that you understand my reasons, what kind of a mother or teacher I am to either my daughters or my students. I had taught for a while before I had children, and it was a real struggle for me to make the decision to continue working. There were personal family situations present at the time that forced me to make the decision to continue working after I had my first child. And it’s something that I question at times now, but it’s a personal decision that works best for our family at this time.
          There is a real beauty in teaching children, your own and others. The truth is, if I was a SAHM, I seriously doubt that I would homeschool. I have a sister who does and know families who do, and do it very well. I have also met families who don’t homeschool well at all and are doing their children a real disservice. I don’t judge others, and don’t understand the need for others to judge me. To say (you didn’t say this, but others have) that “all children should be homeschooled” is to say that all children are the same. My oldest daughter has blossomed so much as a result of preschool. She has overcome severe shyness, and seeing her grow like that is something that I, a 10 year teaching veteran who would consider myself a very good and dedicated teacher, could not have done alone.

          • Again why could you not have helped her with her shyness? Don’t doubt God’s grace and sufficiency. If he has brought you to it he will bring you through it. I would encourage you to read the Socialization Trap. I agree there are parents who do homeschool wrong, just like there are teachers who teach school wrong. There are good and bad teachers just like there are good and bad homeschool parents.

            I am not presuming to know you or your situation, it was more of a general statement then an attack, I am sorry if you took it that way. I am just saying there are ways, have you contacted Dave Ramsey and asked his advisers how you could adjust your budget so you could stay home?

            • I did try numerous methods to help her get over extreme shyness, but just being immersed in a group with other children (and me not physically being there) on a regular basis was the only thing that worked for her. Did I do enough? I feel I did all I was capable of, but I am my own worst critic so it’s not as though I don’t have doubts myself. I am sure I could also take some of the credit for it as well!
              The two separate issues I was talking about in my first post were 1. being a sahm, which I’m not, and 2. homeschooling, which b/c of my working I obviously can’t do. I guess the issue pushes my buttons. I have at times felt very attacked for not being a sahm, but the truth is that it isn’t feasible for every family. Believe me when I say that there are extenuating circumstances that I just don’t want to get into on here- personal things. Make no mistake that the love I feel for my biological children by far surpasses the love I feel for my students. But at the same time, teaching has fulfilled me and brought me joy as well. Ultimately it is my choice, and in my heart I know that I am a loving mother who is doing the absolute best I can for my children.
              I do know families, as I’ve said, who homeschool well and those who don’t. I also have had experience with teachers who don’t teach well as well as those who go above and beyond. I am somewhat familiar with The Socialization Trap (haven’t read it though). I don’t disagree with homeschooling in any way, I just don’t feel that it is for everyone by any stretch of the imagination. And socialization is just one tiny part of the equation, in my opinion. I have had many p.s. students who lack social skills. Every family needs to do the best they can and educate their child(ren) the way they see fit.

        • Well I commend you for being able to do that. I applaud parents who do whatever they feel is necessary to give their children the best education possible.
          As a public school teacher I believe in the public school system. In particular, the p.s. system in my area is excellent. People move here just to be able to attend. I came across this article because a friend of mine shared it with me. I guess I will stay away from this website, as I am nota homeschooling mom, nor do I wish to be. I commend those who teach well, whether it is at home or in a school setting, or both. I am also interested in educational issues (homeschool, public, private- whatever). I like to keep up with what is going on and hear other viewpoints, but I do not wish to homeschool. Bravo to all of you who do and do it well, and to dedicated public school teachers such as myself.

  • Jenny,

    What a great post! I really found this encouraging.

    I’ve read a few of the comments – here’s my $.02 – the critical factor in raising children up is discipleship. No matter what else you do, if you disciple your children well, then you are doing what the Lord has asked every parent to do. For some, that includes home educating, for some, they are called to another path. While huge numbers of ‘Christian’ children are leaving the church, most homeschooling parents are products of the public schools. Which just goes to show – if you are listening, God will speak to you and tell you what to do. If you are obedient to His calling, you will be blessed. Your children will also be blessed.

    I like this conversation, and I’m glad you got it started!


  • As a homeschooling mom, thank you for the very encouraging things you had to say concerning homeschooling. I didn’t quite understand the comment about the African-American parent under the religion section. I may be just misunderstanding what you were saying. I am a Christian, African-American, Homeschooling mom and to be honest was offended by that comment. Both Jehovah Witnesses and Muslims practice a religion that disagree with many of the principles we as Christians believe. However, I don’t see how that relates to being African-American. There are people of every race that would argue that celebrating Christmas would be practicing “religion”, particularly if they are not Christian. Again I say, I may be interpreting what you were saying incorrectly, and if so I apologize. It was a broad statement that may need to be clarified a little as much can be read into it.

    • I agree with this comment. I was really enjoying this article until I reached that part. I had to read it a few times actually to try to figure out where you were going with it. I’m assuming you were referring to the lack of Kwanzaa and that is why the African-Americans are complaining to you?
      As the above poster said being African-American is not exactly a conflicting religion, lol!

      I am a Black, secular homeschooling mom and it’s the assumption that all homeschoolers are white and Christian that offends me about this post. The face of homeschooling is changing dramatically. Personally, my kids were being attacked, bullied and mocked for NOT being Christian in their public school. I know this is not the norm or goal of Christianity but it was our unfortunate experience. We’re Unitarian and teach tolerance and knowledge of all religions in our home.

      Otherwise, it is nice to see a public school teacher’s opinion. I appreciate the article in general, but not the assumptive undertones. Jussayin’

  • As a former public school High School Math teacher of 20 years, I left for many of the the reasons you have stated! I don’t have children but I finally got sick and tired of all the stress and headaches trying to meet the needs of the educrats that call themselves administrators and missed why I went into teaching… TEACHING! I now own a business that helps those students in public schools that cannot learn with 35+ kids in a classrrom with 10 behavior problems etc… as well as help homeschool parents with high school math and/or teach math to homeschool students..

    I can tell all of you hands down, that what I have seen in 20 years I would NOT send my children (if I had any) to public school! Keep doing what’s best for you and your children and know that many public school teachers support you!

  • Would just like so say this is a great post Jenny, really enjoyed it! It made me appricaiate the fact that my mom homeschools me and my brothers. Holly, I think its great that you can make your own curriculum! But there is, in fact, LOTS of up to date homeschool curriculum out there. Cherie, I totally agree with what you said and liked it, you said it well =). Addie, I get what you are saying, there are advantages in public school but there are also disadvantages. Just because someone is homeschooled doesn’t mean they don’t get to see both sides of both evolution and catastrophacism and also creationism. My family is a Christian family, in fact, my dad is a pastor, so the reason I got all these views is not because my parents think that what is being taught in a public system is right but it’s because they know that we need to see both sides and not just form an ignorant opinion about it. Your right that many people over protect their children and that causes them to be rather shocked and horrorfied when they find out for the first time that the world isn’t what their parents made it out to be. Parents, even though they want to, can’t and shouldn’t protect their children from everything. In fact they should tell their children about stuff that happens in the world and make it clear to them that terrible things happen and that not every thing is pretty like in a fary tale. That DOES NOT mean that they should teach their child all the different religions or other messy stuff of this world, but they should make it clear that not everything is a nice happy perfect world and that the world that we live in is a total mess and it is not the least bit perfect and that is why we need Jesus. Now if I am coming across as disrespectful I apologize, I did not mean to be. This doesn’t mean every one should homeschool, not every mom could handle or do that properly. But then I would also say that not every man/woman should teach. But because of the things that go on in the class rooms and at the schools there needs to be Christian teachers so that they can set an example to the children they teach who have never heard about Christ or know what it means to have a loving family. Once again, sorry if this comes across as disrespectful.
    Bethany Haynes, age 13.

    • I love that you came on here, as a child (young adult) and very thoughtfully made your point. This is the great thing about young people (OK this makes me, at 32, sound ridiculously old)…You are able to see others’ point of views, you have your own ideas and views, but you don’t assume that they are “right” and others are “wrong.” and you are able to discuss things in a non-judgmental way. It sounds like your parents are doing a great job with you.

  • I was also offended by #6. You seem to want your beliefs taught in public school, but no one else. And as far as teaching “cultures from around the world” well, then you need to teach the reality of many many holidays and there origins. If a child wants to opt out of the teaching or celebrating going on in the classroom how does this hurt you? It doesn’t. Plain and simple. I home schooled for many reasons, most of which was the lack of good academics in school, wasted time, and the bad behavior of other children. But when given the chance (which by the way is NOT allowed) my children would have gladly given a report on why they believed differently from others. Everyone has the right to believe what they want and school should be for teaching reading, writing, and math. The socialization and religious teaching should be done by family.

  • Hi,
    Thnak you for your believing in homeschooling. and very gratiful for supporting homeschool moms.
    I have to be honest, I was disapoointed in your comment about muslims.
    I am a muslim homeschool mom.
    I do believe in different faith and I do understand the important of studying cultures and religion I have many christian friends that I do respect and care for.
    I don’t understand why some christians look down on other faith when other faith and religious groups respect freedom of religion and freedom in people choice.
    I was happy to read your article but I decided not to post it to other.

    • Well said Habiba,
      I have had hundreds of Christians berate or try to convert me over the years. I have never experienced it with any other faith. It makes me sad because even though I am not Christian I am teaching my kids that Jesus Christ promoted tolerance, compassion and respect – a trait that has somehow eluded some of His followers.

  • Sorry, I’m just a little confused. Why would you have to worry that an “African American” parent would complain about teaching about Christmas? Although I understand your point about wanting to express religion freely, your word choice is quite odd and quite frankly implies an underlining prejudice. I’m not sure what someone’s ethnicity has to do with their religious beliefs.

    • I think she is referring to one who might celebrate Kwanzaa instead of Christmas. I don’t think she was intending to make a racial slur of any kind.

  • Jessica, i am sorry, But i think you may have miss read what i meant by “other messy stuff “. I did not mean it religious wise at all. But you are right, i should have worded it differently. Thanks for pointing that out.
    Bethany, age 13.

  • Jenny I thought it was a great post as did the people on my FB that read it when I posted it. They are all different colors and some dont homeschool but they loved the article. When I was in school we had a WHITE kid that wasn’t able to partake in none of the parties so I understood what you meant by number 6. Or maybe the fact that when you homeschool you can start the day off by saying the Pledge Of Allegiance something that you can no longer do in public schools because of other religions. I thought the post was good and I get what you meant.

  • Okay, so there is some talk that the Hip Homeschool Moms should stand up and say what they believe on this. I am on the team and will happily do that. My disclaimer here is that I speak for myself and not anyone else on the team nor do I speak on behalf of this site. Also, any typos I have here are an oversight and do not reflect on my homeschooling ability 🙂

    First and foremost, I want to speak to Jenny and then to the commenters. (Commenters is not a real word, but I am okay with that 🙂

    Jenny, thank you for writing a guest post for our site. As you can see, many homeschoolers were able to hear the heart behind it as an encouragement to them and I heard that as well. It was kind of you. I know what it is to be misunderstood in a post and attacked. It hurts and makes you never want to do something like that again, but I will encourage you because I believe you were writing this with good intent and without any malice in your heart toward other religions and races. Though it was read like that for many, I believe you when you say you didn’t intend it that way.

    For the commenters, first of all, she apologized about the whole Muslim, African American statement. At what point do we accept that apology and move on? I will give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you didn’t read all of the comments..I don’t blame you, they are so long!

    Secondly, for those attacking her choice to not homeschool, that is not what this guest post is about and I don’t recall her ever saying she wanted to discuss that. That is for another day, another post. Nagging her about that may push her away from homeschooling. If she ever brings it up on her blog and opens it up for discussion, that would be your platform for those comments. When people write guest posts, they are not writing them to be maimed by the people they are there to encourage. I don’t understand why this happens. I know what that feels like, and it stinks! People leave there comments and go about their merry way and the blogger who has to receive it, has to deal with that for the rest of the day, sometimes longer depending on what was said. It is not a good feeling!

    Next, I see many people getting on to her for misrepresenting homeschooling. Just to remind everyone, she is not a homeshooler. How many of us had the wrong impression of it before we began? Also, she is speaking from her state which happens to be the friendliest state out there to homeschooling where SAT testing is not only NOT required, most homeshoolers reject it on all levels there, at least in the North Texas area where there are more Homeschoolers per capita than anywhere else. When I was living in TX, they only had a 50% graduation rate. That is HORRIBLE. So I applaud Jenny for recognizing the issues she has had to come into contact with and encouraging us to keep going.

    Many, many, many comments have very respectfully disagreed. I appreciate that respectfulness. I am not opposed to disagreeing. I am opposed to people ignoring her comments to make it right and maintain that we have an issue here. I am opposed to people ignoring the point of her post and jumping on her about something else that is not our business. Thank you to all of you that have spoken kind words regardless of your ideas of her post. There are clearly many wonderful people on both sides of the argument.

  • We’re entering our 15th year of homeschooling. We are surrounded by public school teachers. Very few support homeschooling. Our children very often receive less than pleasant and rather pointed comments. Even just the “whatever you do all day,” kind of comments in Sunday School. Just yesterday my 19 year old, who is entering her second year in college, who kept her grade point up and kept her scholarships, who made one of the only 2 A’s in a very hard college class, who has been pegged for leadership by the college administration, who has been hired as an RA next semester and was even asked by one of her professors to help 2 afternoons a week with his special needs child – this child said yesterday, “I don’t feel like I have anything to prove to anyone anymore about homeschooling.” My second daughter, in true sisterly fashion said, “If she can do it, you know I can.” Ha! Homeschooling is a blessing. No one likes their job everyday. Some days I wished that yellow bus would come back and get mine. I’m so, so thankful that we persevered and with the three remaining in my home, I’m going to press on. Take heart moms – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”