Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tuesday Talk: Ask A Home School Mom {Q & A Part Two}

Welcome to Tuesday Talk!

We are so glad you're joining us this week. 

A few weeks ago I started a series on a subject that is near and dear to my heart

Home School

I shared about our story. Home school  was never something we expected to do, but here we are 2 years later and it all just seems so perfect now. If you want to catch up on the series, you can read my 'First Q & A' post and get a glimpse of a normal day by reading our 'Day In The Life' post.

Today I plan to wrap up the series by answering the rest of the questions my readers asked.

Let's get started.

What do you do when you don't understand a concept you're teaching?

I really haven't had to deal with this yet since we just wrapped up first grade (thank goodness ;).) But I have put a lot of thought into what I am going to do when this happens, because I know it eventually will. Let's just say that math has never been a strong subject for me. 

So many home school moms have really encouraged me that it just works out. You study, you research, you learn together. You find videos, online resources and if all else fails there is always tutoring. 

What is your daily schedule/ How long is your school Day?

I kind of answered this when I did a DITL post but here it is more black and white.

8:00 school starts with prayer and bible class
8:30-9:15 Bible
9:15-9:45 Math
9:45-10:00 Break
10:00-10:30 Handwriting
10:30-11:00 Yoga
11:00-11:45 Phonics/reading
11:45 Break for lunch
1:00-1:30 Piano
1:30-2:15 S.S or Science (we do each twice a week)
2:15-3:00 Art or special projects if we have anything going on. 
2:15 or 3:00 School is out

Friday we have co-op all morning until 12:00. Then we come home and play catch up if we are behind or we take the afternoon off. 

As for our school year we keep thing structured just like a regular school with 4, 9 week quarters. We start in early August and get out in early May. 

Our state requires us to provide at least 1,000 hours of instructed education a year (the "same" number the public schools provide). The catch is that home school is such a small setting, it takes only a fraction of the time to cover the same material that a class of 25 would. You also should know that I can only count the hours we are actually doing school work, unlike the public schools who get to count the entire time the child is on the school property. It is pretty easy to why home school kids usually come out ahead. Every state has different laws and requirements for home school families.

How do you juggle everything?

The easiest and most honest question I can give is that I just don't. My friend Keri from Living In This Season wrote a GREAT article about this. I would highly encourage you to read it. 

I have to pick and choose what I do. During the summer I am more free to play have fun and do more activities outside of the home. There is more time for friends, play dates, and things that I enjoy like crafting or my garden. During the school year I have to be selective. I just can't do it all. I give up hobbies that I enjoy and friend time is really scaled back. We are teaching the girls now that you just CAN'T do it all. Marissa gets to chose one activity to do, which is currently Awana. We refuse to deplete our recovery, rest and family time just to be involved in "everything".

As for the basics of running a house I have found it very easy to balance things out. That may look like folding a load of laundry while giving a spelling test, cleaning a toilet while she's on break or answering emails when she reads a book. It requires balance and planning but it is manageable when I keep my expectations realistic.

What are suggestions for those who don't have full family support in making sure this is the best route for your individual family?

It would depend on what part of your family you are talking about. If you are referring to a husband I feel it is CRUCIAL for both of you to be on the same page. Home school isn't a hobby, it is a way of life. I may be the girls teacher, but Russ is the principal. We have to be going through this journey together even if I am the one doing most of the teaching.

Outside of that I would encourage you to do what God leads your family to do even if that means grandma and grandpa aren't exactly thrilled about your choice. Trust, believe and maybe with time God will change their hearts.

How long do you plan on home schooling, through high school?

Honestly, I have no clue. I would like to say I know but home school really is a year to year decision for us. At this point I feel pretty confident that we will most definitely home school through all of elementary. I would also say that I can't imagine putting a kid into public school for the first time in the 6th grade, but who knows. Where God leads, we will follow.

Do you think you could home school if you had more children?

This is a rough question. Mostly because I can't imagine myself having more children. I am pretty passionate and open about my feeling in this department. I have no desire to have more kids, I do love babies though so I will happily snuggle and play with the babies of others... until they cry.

I would love to say yes, but I just don't know. I do know the dynamics of home school change if you have a larger family especially if they are close in age. Things seem to flow more like a class room where you can teach multiple kids at once adapting their work a bit to make it more suitable to their level.

I'll leave my answer at this, I would certainly give it a try. But this is something that I just don't ever plan on finding out first hand.

How do you stay sane spending that much time with your kiddos without a break?

Of all of the questions I was asked this was my favorite. Thank you Jenny for being bold enough to bring it up. This is the question that everyone really wants to ask.

Some days it's easy other days it's just not. I've lost my temper, gone outside to cry and taken naps while Russ is home on his lunch break. I've had my battles with depression too. To say it has all been fantastic would be a big fat lie.

I have a few responses to this question.
1. Running helps keep me sane. Exercise has been a HUGE outlet for me. 
2. I have to make me time and that usually means leaving the house alone a couple times a month, even if it's just for an hour.
3. I have so much support from my amazing friends and a great family. Life would be so much harder without them.
4. As challenging as it is, it is 10 times more rewarding.
5. Most importantly, the grace of God. He called us to take this journey. Time and time again I have seen evidence of His grace in my life through those difficult times and days that I just want to quit.

Thank you so much for reading and supporting this series.

I know that home school isn't a perfect fit for everyone but it has been for us. It has been such a privilege to share about what has been such a huge part of our lives for the past 2 years.

If you have any remaining questions please ask them in the comments and I will answer them there.

Now it's your turn to share. Grab the button and link up!

post signature


  1. You are so dedicated!!! I am pretty set with just the one kid myself, but the hubby wants to try for a boy..so maybe 1 more...BUT THAT"S IT! lol

  2. I have so much respect for those that choose home school! So happy to find your blog on the link up!


    The Lady Lawyer

  3. haha Jenny's question is the best! The end of nap time had me questioning my sanity most days. I'm glad we've gotten more used to it. But man all that time with your kids is exhausting!! Loved this series!

  4. Thanks for sharing all this. I never knew about how the hours were counted... I totally see how you can get so much more done in a year. and how home school kids would be ahead. That part alone intrigues me. Thanks for answering my nosey question! I've gotten more used to no naps so i get it a little more but glad to know you're still human over there and have your moments :) I applaud you for sharing so much of your life like this. Home schooling isn't just about school it's a way of life I think really sums up what you've been sharing and I appreciate that!

  5. I like your sanity savers. I think they could be applied to motherhood as a whole. Some days there is just more crazy we have to deal with than others and we have to have some outlet to deal with it. We are 3 weeks away from school being out here and i can't wait! I am only one more big project away from losing it :)

  6. Desiree @ Macke MonologuesMay 5, 2015 at 10:38 PM

    I love your honesty, especially being so candid about spending so much time with your kids. As much as I love Marcus I just know in my gut I am not cut out to be his teacher. Is it bad I'm counting the days until his school starts?
    Seriously, thank goodness for running/exercise. It is quite easily the best remedy for so many things - sanity being at the top!! :)

  7. Lol. You should totally have another... Hallie would be such a sweet big sister :).

  8. Thank you so much, that is so sweet to hear!

    Glad you found me!

  9. It totally was the best. I laughed so hard when I read it. Exhausting but man they are so worth it... most days ;).

    Thanks friend.

  10. Totally agree on that one and YES. Why are some days packed full of all the crazy and others not? Lol, a little balance would be awesome :). 3 weeks you can make it! Hopefully they will fly by and summer and all of it's fun will arrive.

  11. Lol, NO! Pre-K is going to be AWESOME! If the one that M went to was still open I would totally be taking E. Boo, :( the teacher had to go and retire. Geez people you can't retire, lol.

    Amen sister, I knew you'd agree on that one.

  12. That is just Missouri, every state is different but Missouri is pretty tough. It is rather interesting though. You are so welcome, I am so glad that you asked. I am SO, SO, SO human over here.

    Thank you so much friend, it really is a way of life. I never really understood that until I put the shoes one. Glad that others can see that too now from these posts.

  13. I'm just terrified of being pregnant again!

  14. O​h I bet friend. That is completely understandable. My first half of my pregnancy with M was ROUGH, lots and lots of bleeding and such so I had very similar feelings. It is so scary when things don’t go smoothly the first time.

  15. Well that gives me some hope that my second might be easier

  16. I loved reading about your homeschool experience, and how you do it. It was always something of a mystery to me, so thank you! I don't think it's something I could ever do, but I have so much respect for you!

  17. Again, I loved reading this! Even though, in my personal opinion, I could never home school, I definitely see the benefits and find it very interesting to see how you make it work. I love that you're sharing this with us! I also definitely see what you're saying when you say that home school kids can come out on top because of the one on one attention they are given and how you are always on the same page. What I mean by that is, I think in public school, teachers have to teach to the lowest level so everyone understands. But in turn, someone is getting the shaft because he understands and doesn't need it repeated. I'd say they both have their benefits but I think it's awesome that you knew what was best for your family and you did it!

  18. Aaahhh thank you so much Jamie. That is so nice of you and means a bunch.

  19. Yes, yes, yes. You totally have it right on that. Home school and pubic school definitely both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Being able to customize her education at such a young age has been a huge strength for us. I fully believe her reading and math would not be where they are if we didn't home school. But I am sure there are other areas that she would be excelling in had we chose differently.

    Thanks friend.