Encouragement Homeschooling

Dear Younger Me – Don’t Forget These Two Things

Hi Heidi.

I see you have a lot on your “to do” list today:


Defrost ground beef for something.
Have kids start morning chores while I…
nurse the baby.
Have kids get schoolwork out while I…
put baby down for morning nap.
Read 1 chapter in world history.
Label maps of Byzantine period.
Google “crafts about Byzantine” period.
Google “what to make with ground beef and canned corn.”
Time with individual children (math, reading).
Put new chore list up for this week.
Make dentist appointments for three youngers.
Check on swimming classes at the YMCA.
Call Mom back.
Sign up for classes at the co-op.
Google “best books for 14-yr-olds that are actually decent.”
Costco (after payday).
Ask Jay to pick up milk and whatever else I need for the recipe I googled.

Looks daunting.

There are a lot of things you can get done in a day (especially if you get the kids to cooperate), but I notice two things that are missing.

Not to add more to your list.

I know you have a big vision for homeschooling. You do so many great things like study the structure of flowers and making paper mâché replicas of King Tut’s sarcophagus. You take nature walks. You teach them to appreciate (okay, appreciate might be too strong a word here) the value of hard work (aka: chores).

I know that you study all the “required” subjects–painstakingly so. From spelling to math to history and writing.

One day you will realize that you can combine subjects by reading and studying one really good book.

But that’s not the point.

One day years from now when you’re a grandmother, you’ll have something you were missing before: you’ll have the gift of perspective. You’ll realize that the time you have right now with your kids–sitting around, reading and learning together (especially before they become high schoolers) will become some of the best memories of your life. You see, the best memories your adult children will one day have do not revolve around swimming lessons at the Y or even the paper mâché replica of King Tut’s sarcophagus (which, by the way, we never finished).

The memories that you will one day cherish together are centered on the relationships that you are nurturing now–while your kids are all still at home.

Twenty years from now, you’ll find that you’re a much more mellow mom. And you won’t believe this now, but you will STILL have a 6-year-old when you’re 47 years old!


There’s no need to rush.

Spend time every day in prayer with your kids. Let them see how dependent you are on God to make right decisions for how the day should be ordered. Open the Bible and show the kids that even though you don’t have all the answers… you know the One who does.

That’s what they’re going to need when they leave home.

They’re going to need to know how to hear God’s still, small voice above all the other voices in this crazy, upside-down world.

Long after you close the last page of the math book—long after the dust that a growing family makes has settled into the unseen places of your mother’s heart—you’ll have time to reflect on what mattered most.

I’m here to tell you now, while you’re getting ready to Google “crafts about Byzantine period,” that you will never regret pouring into your marriage, pouring truth into your children, and pouring your young life out for the joy that is waiting just a few short years from now.

There really is “no greater joy” than to know that your children are walking in the truth.

So enjoy the crafts, but if they turn you into a crabby, stressed out mom—don’t do them.

Simplify, so that you can maximize the time you have.

One day you will realize that you don’t need to be out of the house for more than two days a week. One day when you finally decide to pull the kids out of all but a few important activities, your family life will become richer. Slow down, Heidi! You don’t have to do it all. And honestly? Your kids don’t need it all!

They need YOU.

Make cookies and call it math a few times each month.

Read the Bible and remember … it’s HIStory.

Take time to pray and know that the time you spend in prayer will be the best time you’ll spend all day.

That was more than two things—but you know me—I could never stop at two.

By the way—your grandsons are amazing.


(To see all the articles in this series, click here)


Heidi St. John has been married to her husband, Jay, since 1989. They have seven children (and a son-in-law) ranging in age from toddler to young adult and have homeschooled their children all the way through high school. A popular author and conference speaker, Heidi brings a refreshing mix of information and inspiration to listeners on the radio, in person, and through the written word.Heidi’s transparency and honesty are like a breath of fresh air in a world where too many speakers seem to have all the answers. Her ability to be real with her listeners and readers allows them to identify with her at a deep level which in turn allows Heidi to gently lead her audience toward the Savior who actually DOES have all the answers.

You’ll laugh, cry,and nod your head at Heidi’s insights, her truth-telling, and her delightful sense of humor as she brings hope and encouragement to your audience.

Heidi will be speaking at many homeschool conventions as well as holding conferences for women across the country this year, and she would love to see you there! You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can read more from Heidi at The Busy Mom.