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You are LOVED by God. There is nothing you can do, or can't do to make him love you more or less. He loves you because he loves you. Because you are His child.

More then your past
Worth it
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You matter.

Monday, August 15, 2011

School decision

I wanted to share that we have decided to home school another year. Honestly, I am not sure what I was thinking. I think I lost my focus because times got tough. Homeschooling is not easy, but who ever said it would be?  I did one year with only Autumn, then last year It was Autumn and Ben. Trying to do school with a 5 year old boy is really not "fun".
Then of course I had Gracie who needed something every time we sat down to do school. lol.
I am not a very disciplinary mom to begin with. I'm too "lax". So trying to be a lax mom, and then putting on the teacher hat, well, it doesn't work so well. There are some things I need to work on!
But the fact that it got hard was not an excuse to quit and send them to school. When I put out my request asking for prayer on homeschooling, God sent me many people to support me, and to remind me of why I was homeschooling to begin with, and give me gentle pushes to keep going. He sent me emails from other home school moms who also doubt themselves and their abilities, and moms that have hard times just like I do. What a blessing that was.

I'd like to share a few things people said to me. 
 One of the first responses I got was from a friend at church, who happens to be a young married women who was home schooled herself. . This email was probably the most impactful of them all, even though it was short and sweet and to the point, God really got me thinking from this~

"Hi Amy,

God has been laying it on my heart to remind you:

Do not make this decision based on whether or not you CAN do this, because that is irrelevant - If God calls you to something he will equip you for it. Determine if you have been called to home school and that will be the only answer you need.

I will be praying for wisdom for you and Kevin."

This email REALLY got me thinking. I think it may have been the email that made me realize I was not to quit just because it was hard last year.  I could so easily say, " I can't do this", " I am not cut out for this", but I don't believe that would be God's will. When God calls us to do things, they are usually not easy tasks!
So many things he asks us to do are hard and against the worlds ways, why would homeschooling be any different??
This was the first email I received. Direct and to the point. I thought on it long and hard and read it over and over.
Then the floodgates opened and emails poured in of support in homeschooling. God is so good.
I want to share some of the emails with you.

"Some things that help me? Well, every year in August, I make a list of why I home school. I also come up with some goals for the year. I recently came across this on a homeschooling blog. "This year I will encourage interests...stretch minds...engage hearts...disciple...point the direction...lead the way...look for mastery...wait for understanding...take longer...listen more...laugh...light fires." I liked that because it is too often easy for me to focus on teaching them the specifics they are supposed to know, and not encourage my children or disciple them to be more like Christ. Other reasons I home school: because I take Deuteronomy 6:1-9 to apply to us still today. We are to teach our children God's word as we go through life. I truly believe that I do that better and more effectively when I have them home with me. If they were in school all day, that would take away so much valuable time to teach them to be more like Christ."

"Dear Amy,I’ve been sitting in your shoes many times; do I continue on homeschooling or put my children (3 of them) in school? I can honestly say when I began this journey ( over 12 years ago), the Lord had to drag me into homeschooling kicking and screaming! Every year was bathed in prayer and still is. I am not terribly organized and have to be really careful not to compare myself to other homeschooling moms because I always feel like I don’t do enough or measure up. Now, my oldest son  (16 years – 17 in the fall) is officially done being home schooled! He will finish up his senior year of high school at UW Waukesha getting dual credit for high school and college, play soccer for the homeschool team here in Waukesha and right now is on a missions trip in Dominican Republic. Dan has such a heart for the Lord and that was the goal. The Lord has been so incredibly faithful!! I can’t tell you what to do, but for me now that I have come out the other side…. IT WAS SO WORTH IT!! Whatever the Lord gives you to do will not be easy because if it was you wouldn’t need Him. I hope this was encouraging to you and I will be praying for you and your husband. "



We don't know each other but I want you to know that I am a homeschooling mom of three . . aged 18, 15 and 13. My 18 year old daughter is leaving for college in a few weeks. She's been accepted into the honors program at Augsburg College - a small ELCA school in Minneapolis. I tell you this because you should also know that every single day I feel like I am failing my own kids. That we don't do enough, learn enough, or work hard enough. I thought that I'd feel differently, like I was successful at homeschooling when they all learned to read. I didn't. Then I thought I'd feel that way when they all got to the point where I could assign work and just monitor them but I didn't. I thought maybe when my daughter gets to highschool, or does well on the ACT or gets accepted to college I would feel like I did a good job. I still don't . . . and now I worry that she will struggle in college. I wonder if I was too easy, didn't ask enough of her, didn't teach her well. But when others look at her and talk to me about her they tell me about a confident, self assured young woman who will have her struggles but who also has the drive and ability. Because she is her own best teacher. Now it doesn't matter what I taught her, it matters what she teaches herself and homeschooling is the best way to learn how to teach yourself. I pray she'll do well . . . I hope she might. And someday I hope I feel like a successful homeschooling mom. My point? We all doubt ourselves, and we are all so close to our kids we might not see what others see so clearly developing in our own children. Hang in there . . you'll make the right choice for your family . . .and know that you aren't alone in the self doubt club :) We're all here together :)"


"Good Morning Amy,

I was there - where you are at right now. Those days when I felt I was in over my head. Those days when I felt I was failing my husband and my children. Those days when I just wanted to put my kids into a school system.

But God is good!!!!!!!!!!.

I was called to home school my children. If this is your call from God you must consider every step you take. Parents home school for may reasons and quit for many reasons. This was a passion with me that God placed in my heart from the beginning............actually I was given a passion to home school . . . before I was married. . . before I had children. I saw God's hand in this and that is what always gave me the strength to forge ahead - even when I didn't think I could - - - even when I felt I had failed.

You must sit down and decide WHY you are home schooling your children. Ask WHY God wants you to home school your children.

To fast forward. . . . my children are not 19years old (just beginning her second year in college) - my son is 17 years old (starting his senior year in high school) and my youngest is 15 (starting her sophomore year in high school). They are 2 years apart - been home schooled all their life - and are headed for eternity.

People constantly told me I was short changing them by home schooling them - they questioned me and my motives. But I always went back to the word of God - I knew this was what I was called to do. I was called to train them for eternity - - - not for 30 years as a successful lawyer - - - or 40 years as a successful nurse. We (Christians) are passing through this world - we need to leave our stamp - we need to reach the lost - we need to raise our children to be radically different then most of the culture - we need to raise 'David's' and 'Samuel's' and others who are ready to take a stand for JESUS.

Can the public school do that? Can you do that if you only see your children at the end of a long school day.

I heard someone say once that even if we do nothing as a home school mom - we are way ahead of the public schools and all the humanism they will be teaching our children.

What you are doing is blessed of God Amy - time will tell.

I am at the end and I will never regret the fact that we chose to home school. My children are wonderful - they are my best friends - they are all teenagers - they all love the Lord. I don't know what will happen tomorrow - but I know that as parents we tried our best.

When your kids are young it seems like an eternity - the days move slowly - and most of the pressure is on you as the mom - but wait a few years and you will reap the benefits if you do not grow weary.

Hang in there Amy (forgive me for going on and on) - God is on your side. Rejoice in that !!!!

Blessings from another home school mom"



wow, I know you posted that message for you, but our great God knows I needed it too. Today was day 3 of homeschooling and literally, I broke down in tears more than once. I have a 9 yr. old son, 6 yr. old son, 4 yr. old son, and brand new baby girl 2 1/2 mths (who won't nap longer than 1/2 hour). I literally feel like I'm falling apart many days.

This is my 5th yr. homeschooling; I use to be an elementary teacher; and I still feel like I don't know how to do this, or at least do it well. I have this vision of what homeschooling is suppose to be, and I feel like such a failure when mine is not like that. I commend you for putting yourself out there and being honest...many of us (including myself at times) want to make it look like we have it all together. It's refreshing to know we are not alone in this struggle. I always feel like every other homeschooler has got it figured out better than me! I question it all the time, whether my kids would be better off having someone else teach them. But at the same time, I can not be at peace with letting them go. Good for you that you are being prayerful about this. He hears you, and I believe He will answer. Keep me in mind if you choose to homeschool. I would be interested in co-op/activity of some sort if I could work it around my baby's schedule (or really lack of schedule at this point!)

Praying for peace, for the both of us:)"


"That is great God lead you to home school again. It is the hardest task I have ever under taken but I know I am making the most of time I have with my kids. To point them to Christ, teach them his commands, and then let then observe how I follow Christ is worth several hair pulling days.

Know that as a homeschooling family you will have years that are not as strong or successful. You had a huge trial in the middle of their school year with your cancer, so it is completely ok your year was weaker than you wanted. We had the same situation this past year because of my pregnancy.

Thankfully God gives us another year to continue the education process."

How amazing are all of these emails?
I think one thing I need to do differently this year is reach out and spend more time with other home school moms. Not just stay in our cozy house all winter and tough it out myself. I need support and my kids need more friends that are home schooled. So I did sign up for Beyond the books at Elmbrook church, so my kids can be in class once a week with other kids and do art and gym and some music and just have fun with others. While they are doing that, I can spend time with other home school moms for 3 hours. I think that will be a blessing to all of us.

It's nice to know that other moms struggle with this too. That most of us don't feel we are  "cut out" to be teachers and moms of our children, but that God gets us through it.

I was reminded a few weeks ago too, at our women's bible study, as we were praying over a children's area, one of the moms said God had been speaking to her about praying for the moms, that the moms of the children would remember that these children are gifts from God, and that they should be our focus when they are small. That God called us to be Mothers of  these precious gifts.
It's easy to lose our focus, and have the children, then think about "me" time, and what I could all be doing if I sent them to school. That is certainly not why God gave us these children.

Our sermon yesterday at church was about "being" the church.  That being a Christian isn't about showing up to church on Sunday mornings, or listening to sermon online, then checking it off your list for the week.
That we are called to be ministers of the gospel. To live as Jesus did, to give of ourselves. As mothers the first people that we should be ministering to is our children! Raising them up in the Lord. Do I love to do other things? Yes. Do I love to spend time with other women, and minister to them, and be ministered by them? Yes of course. Do I love to talk about health and nutrition after having cancer? Yes, and I can do these things, but my kids should be first. I have to keep my focus when my kids are small.

So, I will trust in the Lord to fill me, to give me strength, and knowledge, and lots of patience to home school these babies another year.

I am so thankful for each and every person that took time to pray for us, and send me emails.  God sent lots of blessings my way to help me make a decision.



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