Needing Help on Homeschooling!

So, I am wanting to get some advice on homeschooling. We have been homeschooling for the past several years, with success. Our daughter is in the first grade and she’s reading chapter books on her own, for hours daily, at a much higher grade level. She’s solid on every other core subject. We have teacher friends in her district that are very supportive and think that we are ahead of the curve educationally versus where she would be at in the system. However, we don’t have a robust social system in place for her where she can get daily interaction with other kids her age. Recently she’s expressed that she wants to quit home school and go to regular school so she can learn with other kids. We’ve been pretty intentional about scheduling weekly play dates with her friends that go to school, as well as getting her involved in extracurricular activities. It’s becoming apparent that it’s not enough.

My wife and I are both torn, but for difderent reasons. We both agree that the curriculum we are doing at home is faster paced and more advanced than regular school and she’s really doing great at it. But my wife sees more of a physical threat at sending her to school and I see more of a spiritual threat. Throw into the mix that my wife, due to my work schedule, has to be the main teacher and is feeling overwhelmed and inadequate, especially as our kiddos get to middle school one day, it’s becoming difficult to justify homeschooling. Even though I’m sold out to the idea, we need a workable solution for:

A) continual, almost daily, socialization for our kiddos, and 

B) at home options for curriculum (such as a virtual high school) once the kids reach an older grade level.

We don’t have answers to these questions and even our church family is limited in resources here.

Any advice or comments or similar stories from anyone out there would be appreciated! We really don’t want to pull the plug on this one, but we’re struggling to get answers to foundational issues we’re having on continuing implementing home school in our family.

(Also, apologies on the missed devotional tomorrow! This issue has been eating up my time and resources the past dau, but I plan to be back tomorrow!)

God bless!!!

Joel

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43 thoughts on “Needing Help on Homeschooling!

  1. I have never homeschooled kids, but I was a homeschooled kid, and I can relate to wanting to spend time with other kids.
    Something that I believe would have helped me a lot would have been more coop classes with other homsechoolers.
    I was involved with homeschool sports, but there was a church nearby that offered extracurricular classes for homeschoolers as well, like art and choir. If there is something like that near you, that may be a good option (better than public school). And it’s great that your kids interact with other public school kids, but something that may encourage them, as well as you and your wife, would be to form good relationships with other homeschool families. Meeting and conversing with other families of like mind can be more encouraging and beneficial than anything else.

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    1. Thanks for for sharing your experience Sarah! We went with your advice here and reached out to another home school family and are setting up a meet up time. Our kiddos and theirs get along really well and I think since they are in the same situation they xam really connect. there are some other families at church as well, but most of their kids are teens and so there’s just a lot less common ground for support I think with my wife. We might look into coop options as well. And agreed on the encouragement part…we definitely feel like an island sometimes. But we just don’t have peace about sending them to public school. Not that I’m against it, im really OK with it, I just don’t have peace for my kiddos.

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  2. That over whelming feeling she has is normal. Its completely normal. I had about two days rest from it before it kicked right back in with the eSchool thing. I’m not kidding. Public school is going to add teachers which adds stress because you are going to be dealing with them. What she needs is the house to herself completely for an evening, a day, an hour hear and there. Completely alone. Over whelmed means feeling out of control and her personal needs for alone time and adult interaction outside of church activities has to be met. I’m female LOL …. trust me, I get this LOL!! We have the YMCA here since its in the city. If any of the kids have shown interest in musical arts, gymnastics, sports, … reading groups at the library, art classes like sculpting or painting or drawing. She, as in the wife, needs a spa day, a hair appointment, these things are not trivial for a woman. Im not suggesting in any way you are a bad husband so don’t take this that way …. Dr. Larry Crabb books, Dr. Laura Schlessinger … anybody who can give you an idea how to premeditate her needs in her specific way that she needs … Have her make a list of actual actions that would help with her feeling less over whelmed. Just brain storming here LOL Prayers!! If you live in a small town public school is not so bad BUT think bullet proof back packs and be very active in there classes.

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      1. Check into near by colleges. My 16 year old son can go to a free class right here on campus at one of the colleges for free computer programming. Look online for home school events through different churches. My oldest daughter was asked to Prom through a homeschool organization. Just start calling …. most people are very nice and willing to share the info.

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      2. Haha, whoa, whoa prom…hey I’m a daddy here. She’s not going to any prom anytime soon!!

        Haha I’m just kidding! We have some things similar in our town that we’ll probably do with prom as well. Thankfully that’s years away! Lol

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      3. Laughing …. My oldest actually opted not to go. She said all she wanted was a fancy dress, so we bought her a fancy dress LOL She ended up wearing it to a friends wedding LOL We actually had a “God” story with it. We had found a dress fairly cheap but we had been praying about it. Some lady we didn’t even know came by our house who knew a friend of a friend, with 4 dresses from Nordstroms (fancy store) and they were all very chic … she left us 4 of them for free. The real miracle was that 2 were our 5 foot 4 daughters size and 2 were for our nearly 6 foot daughters size. The lady had no clue how big our daughters were; she simply didn’t want them and was just going to have the girls try them on. It was freaky!!

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    1. I really liked this! I totally agree. Like tonight I let her just hang out and watch our favorite baking show while I did some of the cleaning she typically does. And you’re right, those are not trivial things at all and I’m definitely in to let her get them. She does massages once a month and loves it!! I want to pamper my wife. I want to also help equip her to succeed in this. So I’m helping design a spreadsheet to track everything for our records as well.

      We actually are starting to seriously consider virtual school. Did you know years ago I was actually a math TA for a virtual high school? I loved it too! So I’d be all in for trying it.

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      1. So your the math whiz!! LOL!! That’s a great idea. Have her check out tutorials on YouTube also if she needs help breaking things down in any subject. It works in a pinch. I can do math, I just have a hard time explaining it … I often put a short video on for my sons in particular (its my voice or something LOL) If they listen to some guy standing up at a dry erase board or on a video, it sinks in a little better …. Its the authority in the voice. Im great with philosophical things but it gets integrated into math and they look at me like, What are you talking about, LOL!

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      2. Haha yeah I’m the math nerd! Serioualy, I’m a math geek. Like I have math books stacked on the back of the toliet. I work in stats and programming now and I love bringing my kiddos into that world through home school. Haha, we xan totally take philosophy into math right?! Have you done anything with prime number theory? It can get trippy.

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      3. I started going into it aa little bit on accident with my son because we were talking infinitum and how there is an infinite number of numbers in between numbers. Which quickly digresses into inverted light and sound frequencies creating black holes and worm holes and blah blah blah … I confuse myself LOL I don’t have the stacks of math books LOL I like quantum physics.

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      4. I have never heard of Ulam Spirals LOL … I can get the math bits as long as someone explains the major portion of it in talking LOL … If its all just math I get lost. I’ve read a couple of papers on the subject and I completely disagree with linear thinking. Nothing is linear LOL I find it to be a very interesting subject and I will have to check that video out. Too cool LOL!!

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      5. Check them out! And you’re right, what is linear in reality? Like truly linear? Very few things. Almost everything is nonlinear. Let me know what you think of ulam spirals!! It’s cool how God made math!!

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  3. Virtual high school is a fairly simple problem to address. As one of the above commenters noted, many colleges offer high school courses which are an option. You might also wish to explore Easy Peasie High School; every course is available, with daily assignments and more. It’s free, easy to use, and dependable.

    Unfortunately, finding a social outlet for our learners can be a bit more challenging. However, with social media being what it is, there are options available. Local homeschool groups are great options, if you have them. Church groups, nature groups, book clubs, library programs, and more all help. Best wishes on finding options that best meet your children’s needs.

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to your wife. We’ve all been there. The best way to move forward is by being clear and communicative about our needs. Is the homeschooling itself becoming overwhelming? Perhaps online classes, tutoring, or dad helping out might be an option. Is the daily routine becoming a grind? It might be time to rethink how things are being done. If it’s personal time that’s wanting, clearing at least one hour a day for mom to call her own seems in order.

    May your family be encouraged. We’ve been here one time or another. May the Lord continue to lead and provide.

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    1. First off, I loved your thoughts. I started following your blog. Great stuff and this is exactly what I need to hear.

      So my wife and I sat down and talked again. We agreed virtual school may be a great option for down the road. I used to be a math TA for a virtual high school when I was in college, so I think that’s a fantastic solution.

      It’s very comforting to hear someone else say that we’ve all been here. Because there are times when we really feel like an island in this matter. We dont have other home school families in our lives. Amd actually we did have several families who did homeschool, but they either gave up and went public or just fell from us, which is frustrating. But, all that said, we just don’t have peace about sending our babies off to public school, we just don’t. I really believe this is what God is calling our family to do. Plus our oldest is just flourishing in her school work, she is brilliant and I just love helping her mind blossom. In addition to the regular curriculum momma does, I teach her Javascript and we started some HTML last weekend, in addition to some cryptography and Hebrew lessons. And she can do some of the programming on her own, wow, and knows some basic Hebrew, as well as Spanish. I could never do that when I was 6 yo.

      I’ve definitely been encouraged so thank you. I’m sure I’ll be commenting on your blog in the future. Prayers and blessings to you and your family! 🙂

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  4. I can relate to your wife feeling overwhelmed and inadequate, but she is not! If this is truly something God has called your family to, He will provide what is needed. Often, in my personal experience, what is needed from me is greater surrender to His ways and overcoming unbelief. In my 11 years (so far) of homeschooling, I have learned that I am my own biggest obstacle. I was very recently encouraged by Ephesians 1:11, realizing that our God is able to work ALL things after the counsel of His will, even my mistakes!

    As far as the social elements, I can speak to that a little, too. First, though, allow me to say that only diligent prayer and seeking His face will help you both know His plan for your kids and family.

    That being said, this year is the first I have not homeschooled all three of my kids. The oldest two (1oth and 8th grades) are in a small, private Christian school while my 12-year-old is still home.

    From 4th grade until now (10th), my son has struggled socially, and this despite many years spent in a tutorial that provided a social outlet yet also resulted in a compromise in what I wanted to do in our homeschool. There were also opportunities in our church for social interaction, yet in both cases he just did not fit in and was perhaps more lonely than if I had simply kept him at home and skipped the tutorial altogether!

    Through these painful years, I prayed for him often and also spoke to him of how God used a bitterly lonely time in my life to draw my attention to Himself. Most of my prayers were that God would use his lonely time in the same way. However, he continued to feel awkward and seemed still to lack a hunger for the things of God.

    Ironically, one of the best things we did for him was to take two years off from tutorials and simply do school at home. It was difficult at times, and the kids missed their friends but they also enjoyed the increased freedom and were able to develop and expand on their personal gifts and talents. This year, our son is in his first non-homeschool environment and thriving.

    And, to be brutally honest, all three of my kids have often felt that whatever efforts we made in the social realm were not enough. If we had a one-day-a-week tutorial, it wasn’t enough. Church social activities were not enough. Neighborhood friends coming over every single day is not enough. To be honest, some of that came from the simple, sinful tendency to be discontent in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. Even now, in private school, I occasionally hear that the social element is lacking, although when I offer to bring them back home and do things as we used to, they quickly backtrack.

    I will pray for your family on all these things! God will lead you in what to do, and even when you have those times where His calling doesn’t seem to be making sense, hold on to the fact that someday you will see that it really was the best situation after all. Actually, I recently wrote about doubting my calling on my own blog. 🙂 May He fill you and your wife with all you need to accomplish His will!

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    1. This was really encouraging HM. Thank you so much for pouring out your thoughts 🙂 I think you’re spot on about socialization…as an adult embedded in a church community and friends and family, I still am not satisfied (I think that’s just the human in me lol). But we’re at the same junction, even the play dates and activities don’t seem to be enough right now. I think you have some wise advice on seeking God’s will in this, and I agree, you’re right he will provide if it is his calling for us. We have come back together over the past day and have some new solutions were going to try as far as socialization goes. I think think it will work. My 6 year old daughter is pretty extroverted so I see why she wants others around her throughout her day.

      Gosh I really loved what you said to your son that God uses lonely times in our lives to draw attention to him. Amen, been there myself and I know at some point I’ll probably repeat those words to at least one of my kiddos.

      If you don’t mind me asking, how did God lead you to homeschooling? For us , it was a mix of spiritual safety, physical safety and then just curriculum…she’s thriving a lot more with what we teach her. Our son too.

      I read on your latest blog post that you are learning Hebrew, is that right? Me too! 🙂 My dad’s side of the family is Jewish (by blood, not religious) which is what initially sparked my interest. I started learning it in undergrad and then just kept doing it over the years. I’m at an intermediate level. I LOVE reading the old testament in Hebrew, it’s so beautiful! 🙂

      Funny anecdote, where we live there is literally no one who knows Hebrew. But at the mall at Christmas time there are these kiosks that pop up with these Jewish people selling something like dead sea cosmetic products. I always go up to them and they’ll always pitch their stuff to me,  but I just say I’m not interested and then try to practice my Hebrew on them haha!

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      1. God let me to homeschooling kicking and screaming, honestly. I was a brand-new Christian when I started sensing the call to homeschool and knew absolutely no one who did it at the time. I was a lot like Moses, saying, “O Lord, please send someone else to do it!” As my son approached kindergarten age, there was the safety element, too, which God used as a catalyst.

        Later, as I grew in Christ, I began to see other reasons He called me to it that I did not see in the first days or even years of our homeschool. It’s a pretty long story, but suffice to say homeschooling has been a lesson in trust for me, personally, and has turned out to be amazing for the kids. Difficult, lonely at times, but always incredible when I look back and see what God did. Someday I’ll tell you more (or post it), but we have had some incredible breakthroughs lately that were literally years in coming. Hang in there!

        Six is so young, and that hunger for friends can be both positive and negative — and it can wax and wane. At six, my son wanted to go to public school simply because he wanted to ride a bus. We managed to get on a school bus that was used one day as a shuttle, and he saw it wasn’t anything special. Sometimes it’s just the lure of the unknown.

        I am totally fascinated by the Jewish people, not least because my Lord was a Jewish man. I have no relatives that I know of, but just felt led to start learning Hebrew. It’s slow going since my time is limited, but I am loving it! I am definitely a beginner though.

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      2. No way! That’s the same reason my daughter wants to go to school, to ride the bus. Well one of her reasons anyway. Her best friend lives one neighborhood over and would ride with her if she went to school and took the bus. Which as her parents, we can have that higher view then she can. Still though, it plucks our heart strings when she says she wants to be with her friends and other kids. Plus, you’re right, the wax and wane of the desires of a 6 year old can be pretty choppy waters. So we’re waiting to see how she feels in a week or two after we’ve had time to make some adjustments.

        I definitely look forward to hearing more about your journey through homeschool 🙂 That’s quite a leap right off the bat from accepting Jesus into homeschool! But it sounds like God has done a lot in it for you. Can’t wait to hear more!

        Oh so am I about the Jewish people. I love them. I know what you mean, time is just so limited. I have made an intentional choice to make blogging a priority so I am on here regularly, daily. Even at the expense of some of my other leisure activities that I try to work in between time with my wife and the kiddos. I feel like Greek is taking even more time though!

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      3. Lol, I hear you! I have so little extra time, but I enjoy meeting like-minded people so. Blogging has taken a bit of a backseat to polishing up a novel that may never be published and being intentional with discipling my kids, but I’m trying to get to it more. Last week, I wrote a guest post for Lene’s blog, and this week has been… well, chatting and preparing for a camping trip!

        That’s so funny she wants to ride the bus. It’s difficult when they want to be with their friends — we’ve been there, too. But as they get older, they do see some pros/cons and they learn balance. Two of my kids would do nothing but socialize if I let them. It was good for them to learn the balance of work before pleasure…

        Speaking of, my seventh grader is ready for her science review. Good ‘talking’ to you!

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      4. You know Lene too?! That’s awesome, I’ll have to read your post. I did a guest post for her awhile back as well. She’s awesome, a really awesome person in Christ. Camping! That sounds like fun. The closest we have gotten to camping lately is in the backyard until 10pm and everyone is ready to go back inside lol.

        And, guess what? We signed up for a coop today and it is just incredible. Our daughter, after having a play date with some of the b other kids, said she doesn’t want to go to public school any longer!! She’s super excited about her new friends in her coop! Praise Jesus!!

        Hope the science review went well! It was nice ‘talking’ to you too! Hope you’re having a great day!

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      5. That is fantastic! Co-ops can be wonderful as long as they don’t hijack your homeschool. We had one that did in elementary school (really a whole-day tutorial), but it was still a good experience for us all even with that. I know I learned a lot!

        I only just “met” Lene, actually, and I did a guest post for her, too! Honestly, I have been so lax about networking with other bloggers, but I simply have not had time. Now that I’m only homeschooling one child, there is a little more flexibility because I can jot out quick answers while she works. When it was all three at home, it was pretty much nonstop just to keep up with them all!

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      6. That’s good advice, we’ll be on the watch for it. Thank you for letting me know that!

        Lene is just awesome! I loved reading your post on her blog. Great testimony. We’ve all made those mistakes, especially in purity, but thankfully our God removes our failures as far as the east is from the west…I’m SO glad he’s done that, he’s changed my life forever because he took my failures away. Oh his love!!!

        I love connecting with other believers on here. It’s such a great way to share to listen and share yourself with others in the body of Christ through writing. It’s great and I’ve really made it a priority. Love talking about these things 🙂

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      7. Amen! I am trying to make it a priority as well but without sacrificing my primary ministry (my family). The teen years are such a precious and swift bunch of years, and I’m finding that they are needing me even more than they did when they were young!

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      8. Amen! Always family first, which is my first ministry too. Then everything else, which I never seem to have enough time to fully do one of those tasks, let alone 10 of them. But somehow God makes it work! I wouldn’t trade anything though for the time I have with my sweet family. It’s too important too my heart!

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      9. So good–may it always be that way. The family is really God’s picture of His relationship to us in so many ways, which is why I think the enemy tries so hard to distort and destroy it. And yes, God always makes time for what He wants me to do! Just not always time for the parts that are just me… 😉

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      10. Amen to that. You can go really deep with that image, because it definitely is an image of his relationship with us and also his relationship with himself between the Father, Son and the Spirit 🙂

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      11. That’s so funny that they would just all the time! Our daughter too! So when she played soccer at 3 years old, she spent her time on the field picking flowers with the kids on the other team haha!

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      12. Lol! So funny. Our son was like that with soccer, too. Of course, from what I hear, teaching soccer to three-year-olds is a lot like herding cats. 😉 We all took judo for a year or two, but now he is into Wado Ryu Karate and martial arts weapons. He didn’t really become passionate about it until he was in 9th grade.

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      13. Oh its totally like herding cats! Judo sounds fun!! I’d love to do something like that with my kiddos. Or Krav maga, I think that would be fun! Especially when they get a little older. 🙂

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      14. Judo was a blast, but God needed me to rearrange my priorities. Still, even just learning to fall correctly is useful, though my muscle memory is probably more a muscle-forgetfulness now. I miss it sometimes.

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      15. I might have to check it out with the kiddos one day…ir something like it. Understood about priorities…that’s always a big lesson for me. Time is just so limited. Can’t wait for heaven when time will be a joy to peruse at my desire, not the other way around!

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