What Would You Do Differently?

While we are awaiting a post by Dr. Gene Veith later in the week, I thought it would be fun to ask some of our readers this question.  I am a mom on the cusp of homeschooling.  We’re officially starting Kindergarten in the fall with my oldest, and my mind is filled with questions….How do I choose the right curriculum?  How can I make sure my kids have friends?  What are my priorities as we schedule our lives? And yes, even which books are we going to read?

For that reason, I appreciated Janie’s post The Graduate so much.  But I wonder if any of you have any advice for folks like my husband and me as we start this journey?  Do you have a Scripture verse that really helped?  Or maybe there is that one thing you wish you’d done differently?

And I’m going to ask one other thing, too.  Do you have a prayer request we could pray for you about related to this?  Do you have a son or daughter who is graduating this year?  Or a specific concern as you seek to raise your kids?  I’m not ashamed to say I would love your prayers for us in school next fall, as well as in this blog.  And we’d be happy to pray for you well.


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9 Responses to What Would You Do Differently?

  1. Lizzie May 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    In three years, when our youngest of five graduates, I will be ending a 29 year “career” in home education. My advice is to keep a humble heart and dwell daily in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, realizing the only “perfection” you or your children will ever experience is through the blood of Christ. We live in a fallen world and though you don’t have to dwell in the mire and sludge, rest assured you will fight spiritual battles everyday. Exercise grace, mercy and forgiveness and leave the judgement to God. Don’t let pride rule your heart or think every mistake or struggle is about you, what you could have, would have or should have done. Communicate Christ and let your walk in Him be your greatest witness and curriculum for your children.

  2. Marlo May 25, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    I’m not nearly as experienced as these other moms. I homeschooled my oldest until he went to fifth grade this year, and I’m still homeschooling my just-now fourth grader. I also have a two year-old that likes to be read to and loves play doh and puzzles. :)

    I do remember thinking when we started kindergarten was, “Surely, I can do this! Letters and smiple math and lots of learning through play.” I loved it.

    I’ve tried a few curricula, with Sonlight being my favorite and A Beka my least, but I’ve learned what’s best for my family isn’t always best for others. I’m mixed and matched much with science and supplemented a great deal with math, though Saxon was my core for a few of the years.

    Trial and error and lots of love and prayer and support is how we survived. My fifth grader has yet to bring home anything less than an A this year, and his teachers call him respectful and a joy to have in class. The latter part means the most to me!

  3. emily May 25, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Interesting, Joey. Thanks for the link! Also, I’m intrigued by the interplay between you and your wife–how maybe the two of you complement each other. I feel the constant tug between structure and flexibility, and certainly the fact that my husband and I have such different personalities plays a big part in that.

  4. emily May 25, 2011 at 7:59 am #


    I love Jessie Wise. But I haven’t heard this talk. Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. emily May 25, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    I am so grateful for each of these responses. Aubrey, I really appreciate your seasons approach. We are dealing with some severe health problems with my oldest right now, and I tend to think we aren’t getting anywhere because we aren’t doing phonics or saxon. But she is reading voraciously, and getting a very poignant lesson in trusting God through hardship. And I’m trying not to overlook that.

    Renee, It’s so nice to e-meet you. I chuckled when I read that you bought curriculum you didn’t use. I haven’t even started yet and I’ve already decided not to use the K-in-a-box I purchased to “simplify” things. I will certainly pray for your 3 transitioning into college! What an adventure!

  6. Joey Espinosa May 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Like what was said already, flexibility is key. I like to have one set plan, which is why I’m thankful for my wife, who has continually learned and modified, in order to help our children thrive.

    Also, take it on a year-by-year basis, and always evaluate and come back to WHY you are making the choice you are.

    I “interviewed” some friends who homeschool, and hope this post (and some related ones) helps:


  7. Laura May 24, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    Purchase and listen to this CD by Jessie Wise: http://www.welltrainedmind.com/store/if-i-could-do-it-over-again.html
    It’s called “If I Could Do It Over Again.” She offers great advice to parents homeschooling all ages.

  8. Renee Mathis May 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Blessings to you as you begin this journey! I’m almost at the end: my youngest (of 5) will be a senior in the fall. Advice? After over 20 years at this I will say that I’ve enthusiastically bought a lot of curriculum at the summer fairs that never made if off the shelf. I never once, however, regretted the hours we spent reading aloud.
    You will have easy years and difficult ones. Don’t try to do it all yourself and rest in your husband’s leadership as you depend on his wise…and distanced… view of your day. (Believe me! I’m so thankful everything didn’t depend on my in-the-trenches viewpoint!)
    I would love your prayers as we help our youngest 3 get settled into college, wherever and however the Lord leads.
    Praying for you and yours!

  9. Aubrey in South Texas May 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    I am a homeschooling mama of 6 and I was homeschooled (my mother is still schooling my youngest 2 brothers). The best advice my mother gave me came from watching her deal with life (read: unplanned life!).
    There is a season for everything, even in homeschooling. No two years will look the same and they shouldn’t. His Grace will fill in all the holes. Don’t stress. And, never compare where your child is to government school norms. His plan will unfold for each child very differently.

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