Through the years of writing this blog I have talked very little about our home school life. Sure I have sprinkled hints of home school here and there; however, I have never really talked about the why. I have received many e-mails and much encouragement from friends outside of this blog saying I should share the why. Just last week I received an e-mail from Brandis, a blogging friend,  asking me if I would do this very thing as a guest host on her blog. Without giving it much thought I dove in. I wrote a post talking about  ” why” we home school. Mainly it’s a post about what brought us to this wonderful life of homeschooling. I shared the post with my son first and then with his approval I sent it off to Brandis. To my surprise this son of mine said, “Mom that was really nice. You should post this on your blog.” 

~So, here it is ~ 

Everyone home schools for a different reason: it maybe family practicality, religious reasons, academic, the list just goes on and on. But, the truth is “why” a family homeschools is very personal.  I have home schooled all our four children for 9 years now. 

I believe in home schooling.  

I believe most families would love homeschooling their children. There is a closeness to home schoolers that just can’t be matched anywhere.  Home schooled kids are not weird. They are not antisocial. They are just normal children. Home schooled kids have to be made to do their homework, made to get up in the morning, made to go to bed at night and for the most part they have to be made to practice their piano just like other kids. 

I was not always a home schooling mom. 

At one time my children went to school. But, I soon realized public school was not the path we needed to take. I had a son that was struggling terribly in first grade. He wanted to read but just couldn’t get it.  Time went by and I talked to the teacher weekly about his struggles. I talked to the teacher about my son’s upset stomach and how sick he felt every morning going to school. It was clear to me, even though I was telling her often this teacher was not aware of my son’s distress. It was clear to me she was not listening. Unbelievably, she was not aware, by any means,  that one of her students was not reading. She told me time and time again my son was fine. But, I knew better. I knew he was struggling and desperate to achieve. 

Then there was the day my phone rang. It was the school principle. He wanted to talk to me about my first grader who had just been caught cheating on a daily spelling test.  I  remember it all like it was yesterday. I went down to the school and learned my young son had spelling tests daily. I learned that the children in this first grade class had 10 minutes in the morning to study 10 new words each day and then they would be tested on them. I learned my little boy kept his new spelling words out on his desk so he could see them while taking the test that day to  finally make a passing grade. He wanted to feel good about himself, if only for a moment. 

My reaction was not at all what was expected by the principle or the teacher. My reaction was not anger towards my son. My anger was directed towards the teacher. My thinking was, and my thinking still is, 6 year olds do not cheat. . . unless they are desperate and he was. 

 That day I learned most of the children didn’t pass these spelling tests. I learned this teacher was trying a new program that was not working for her class but she wanted to stick to it because it was an expensive program. I was appalled the school would let such a thing happen. I was told by the principle not to worry because “next year things would be better“. 

I demanded my son be tested for reading issues. I told the principle my baby had been struggling. I told this man how my son would tell me when he tried to read words would slip off his paper and it all made him sick to his stomach. I told the principle how many times this year I told my son’s teacher about these issues and she told me time and time again my son was fine.  And now, here he was in trouble for cheating and I blamed them. I made it clear that the school was not to punish my son for this act. I would take care of it at home and I did.

As time went on that year the company my husband worked for was closing and moving to China. His job was ending and our young son was still not reading. After months of persistent fighting with our school our little boy was finally tested for his reading issues. The report came back visual perception problems. . .bottom line 


An IEP was set up for this child.  This smart little boy of mine would have to leave his class mates during science and history and go to a remedial reading group to learn the one thing he wanted so badly. This first grader was also required to keep up with the other studies he would be missing to go to the remedial classes. I knew my son was bright. His IQ tests showed me his intelligence was way above average. I already knew this about him. I knew if a 6 year old was going to take apart a VCR and put it back together. . . mostly right. . . he had to be smart. I could not figure out how in the world a school expected a child to keep up with reading subjects when he was struggling so much with reading. When I pressed the school to keep my son out of gym or art I was told this was not allowed by our school district. It was plain to see this plan would cause more frustration for this wonderfully bright, loving child of mine. 

 My husband and I knew if our son was going to achieve we had to help him ourselves. 

~ and so our home school journey had begun ~ 

To much disapproval from everyone around us we took all the kids out of school and started a new year. I learned a lot that first year. Little did I know this thing called dyslexia that  my son had came from his mother. 

I learned Dyslexia runs in families. 

I got mine from my father, he from his mother and so on. I also learned Dyslexia is a gift. It’s a gift that has to be worked around to reach the gift of reading. With a lot of hard work it can be done. But, never the less, this gift of Dyslexia brought us to home schooling and I am so grateful for that. 

I can honestly tell you as a dyslexic home schooling mother of four this is one gift I would never trade for anything.  

Home school is something I know I have to do for my son. I take one year at a time. Not everyday is bliss. There are many days I wonder why am I still doing this thing. And then there are those days that I know why I do this thing. 

It doesn’t happen often but every now and then I will hear a “thank you” from one of my kids. Like the time my oldest said “Thanks Mom.” “Home schooling me was the best thing you could have done for me.”  and that my dear Friends nine years later was my ah ha moment when I knew following my gut and home schooling our children was right. 


22 thoughts on “the "Why"

  1. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I'm so thankful for parents like you. I'm not a homeschooler, but if I had been in that situation I hope I would have had the strength to take it on like you did. It breaks my heart that the school would treat a little first grader (or any child) like this. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.


  2. I loved reading about your story! We do all do it for different reasons. I was so glad when we were already doing it with the older 2 when I started to notice things about my youngest when she started school- had she not been home with me- I am sure the things we have worked with her on (that she is now excelling at) would be a very bad problem for her & she would not have received the attention she needed to overcome. It is a true blessing that we are able to do what we do & have the connection we do & give our all to our kids.


  3. I loved this post. I am {obviously, ha ha} home schooling for different reasons. My son's teachers have been amazing, and he loves being there. The problem is, he won't sit still, won't listen, interrupts, talks to his neighbors. etc etc etc. His behavior is disruptive, and today it officially crossed the line to just rude and outright disrespectful. But I know that he is crying out for help, and I have had the feeling for a while now that I am supposed to home school him, but he loves school so much, I hated to force that on him when he seems to be where he wants to be.HOWEVER, at the end of the day {and all that selfishness/sadness about losing 90% of my "me" time aside} I KNOW that this is the right thing for him. He needs to get centered. We need time to bond. He needs to be free to learn and grow in an environment that isn't socially distracting. He needs a little time to be out from under the pressure to please and impress his "friends."I can SO RELATE to what you said. I have my own specific reasons for making the shift, and frankly, I'm terrified that I won't measure up and be able to give him what he needs. BUT, I know that if I do my best and come from a place of love in all we do together, it will be a rewarding experience for both of us.I loved your comment on my blog – made me laugh! You are great :)xo,Lola


  4. Well done !! No wonder your son said thank you. I think that you are an amazing mother. i did not take the home schooling route – but there are times that I have wondered if I should have tried with my son. Luckily it has all eventually come together for him, but maybe I could have made it easier and that still weighs on me at times. A great post.


  5. Hello! Your post makes me cry, you are a great mother. I don't have a kid but I have nephew and nieces back in my native country Philippines that I love very much since they were born. Home schooling for me is the best ever happened in our school system. If I have a child I would home school my kid too. What also made me smile from your post is that mothers job is 24/7 and a simple "thank you mom" or I love you mom is like winning a lotto!! Hahahaha! No amount of money can compensate with that ^_^. Thanks for sharing your post and visiting my blog I do appreciate it and happy weekend!


  6. THAT post was one of the most beautiful posts I have read in a long time! YOU, my favorite momma at this very moment – are fabulous! You children will be "shiny" for the rest of their lives because of the "shiny-ness" inside of you!!(I LOVE to homeschool as well – AND my kids are 20 xs better than they were in private Christian school!!)


  7. You really spoke from your heart and I think it was a wonderful, honest, blog and will help a lot of people. We are not all cut from the same cloth—we are all different in so many ways, and I say "Viva la difference" Your family is a credit to you and Mark.Good Job Lisa!Auntie


  8. Beautiful! Thank you for writing this and being so honest about your "why" This gives me a lot to think about. I hope you will write more about your home school life.


  9. Oh, Lisa… I am so sorry you had such a terrible experience with public school! It makes my heart ache to hear about teachers who simply do not really know what is going on in their classrooms (I was a Special Ed./Deaf Ed. teacher for 1 1/2 school years). I love that you hear thank you's from your kids. Hold on to those πŸ™‚ I know I held on to them from my students, too. Kids can be few with those but you know when they say it, they mean it! YOU are a wonderful mommy.


  10. This is such a beautiful post. I home schooled our oldest 3….now starting over with number four, adopted a year ago. I am still having to answer the hard questions but feel like this is what is best for right now. (I love the look in the last photo. What a handsome and confident young man)


  11. Loved reading about your home school journey! We've taken it one year at a time and prayed about what we should do. Last year and this year they are in public school and we couldn't be happier. Their teachers have come to their birthday parties, basketball games, and we've been able to have them over for dinner. I know this doesn't happen everywhere and I'm so thankful that we can get to know their teachers outside of the classroom. I love how you've done what's best for your kids, and I can't believe that you had such an awful situation with that school!


  12. i loved reading this lisa!!! thanks for sharing!i've missed you and have been thinking about you this week – my plan was to check out your blog – so check that one off the list πŸ™‚ i haven't been blogging much – mostly because we are so busy i never know what to blog! thanks for leaving a comment on my blog – we definitely need to get together soon! maybe you and elizabeth (& whoever!) can come over some day in the next few weeks! tia goes to kindergarten from 9-12 but we are free all days except wednesdays in the afternoon. does a day in the next few weeks work for you?i miss you my friend!xo ellie


  13. You have done such a great job. I for one thought it would be so wrong for you to go the Home school way, but boy was I wrong. All have benifited from your endovers especially ME. They all really like to learn new things and do remarkably well in all they do. Mary E is the next one, and already she is so ready to learn. You have shown Margaret the way also and look at those kids. I'm truly amazed.


  14. In Arkansas home schooling is a growing industry with more and more parents chosing this path due to apparently insufficient public school policies and procedures.And these home schooled students are aceing the tests a lot of public school students are struggling with.


  15. Hi Lisa,SOOoo busy with MY new job, I've gotten behind on YOUR life!! Spending a little time today smiling and enjoying your stories. This one takes the cake! Heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time. You and Mark took control of a challenging situation and formed a well balanced and organized machine. I so commend you!!Since meeting your family, I feel I can judge them πŸ™‚ And, my assessment of your "students" is they are hard-working, intelligent, engaging, curious and sociable. They represent the efforts of devoted advocates who also happen to go by the name of Mom and Dad. You've all done remarkably well on your journey and I believe your children will achieve much success in life. Your story is very interesting. Thank you for sharing, so candidly, the personal events that took you down this road. I often wondered why you chose to take your children out of traditional school. I admire so much the discipline of your "school house". Your children are very lucky. (I'd be in prison if I ever attempted home schooling!) And, as they continue to mature there will surely be more gratitude expressed to their teacher!You get the gold star today! Keep up the good work!Happy Holidays to one and all!! Love ya,Regina


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