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I Was the Worst Candidate for Homeschool Mom

Growing up, all I ever knew was public school education. Almost everyone in my family was a public school educator, and playing "school" was my favorite thing to do.

After college graduation, I became a middle school teacher, followed by an educational specialist and consultant. I spent years studying and teaching pedagogy and best practices, rigor and relevance. My world was all about test scores and data-driven assessments, presentations, conferences, and travels.

It was everything I had ever wanted, until I realized what I was giving up in order to sustain it. At one point in there, my marriage was crumbling, and I soon found myself outsourcing my home and household responsibilities to a daytime nanny, a cleaning lady, and fast-food restaurants.

It was in a small hotel room, 300 miles away from my home, that I finally cried out to God for resolution. I was tired of doing things my way, and I was ready to surrender it all to Him.

It was shortly after that dark night that my whole world began to turn completely around. And I mean, completely.

Over the next 7 years, I went from fast-food to real food, from busy and chaotic to slow and simple, from allopathic medicine to natural remedies, from feminist to feminine,—-from a mainstream existence to An Upstream Life.

It was then that I also went from public school educator to homeschool mom.

Now, you may be thinking that with all of my experience in public school education, I had it made. Surely, it was an easy transition. But I have to tell you-- that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I was seriously the worst possible candidate for homeschool mom.

I was stubborn in my ways. I was about grade levels, standards and testing, bulletin boards, checklists, and desks.

And so, I struggled when my child with special needs didn't fit into any of those boxes. I struggled when he wouldn't sit still, asked too many questions, and didn't learn in the way the curriculum said he should.

I stressed and stressed and pushed and pushed, but the only thing that came from it all was tears and frustration. We checked off boxes and filled up workbooks. We did activities, but it wasn't meaningful. It wasn't relevant. It wasn't what he wanted to learn about.

I wanted so much more from it all, but I wasn't exactly sure how to make it happen. There was a sense of comfort in doing what I'd always done--even if the results were not what I had hoped for. But I was afraid to let go of my old ways of thinking. I was afraid to embrace this new understanding of learning that I found myself exploring.

What if I chose the wrong thing? What if I didn’t finish when I was “supposed” to? What if I didn’t do enough? What if my child was behind?

I took many detours and hit many bumps in my shift over to this homeschool world. I studied every educational philosophy I could find and tried curriculum after curriculum. I prayed and prayed for direction, and along the way, I discovered that true education and wisdom looked far different than multiple-choice tests and worksheets.

It was such a paradigm shift for me! I was scared to let go. I was scared to get it wrong. I was scared to mess up my children. I didn't trust these new ideas about education and wisdom that I was learning.

It’s amazing how quickly we can return to bondage when we don’t walk in victory.

But God. . .

Just as He opened my eyes to the importance of motherhood and marriage and nutrition and health, He also showed me what wisdom was, and He gave me a new vision for education.

Through prayer and baby steps, I learned to see that true education looked so very different than what I was used to. As a homeschool mom, I wasn’t bound to textbooks or preset standards. I could decide what to teach my child. I could decide when to teach it, and I could decide how to teach it in a way that best helped him understand. And then, I could do the same thing for my daughters. I could determine what was most important for my family and homeschool. . .

I could walk in freedom.

Friends, I’m here to tell you that we don’t have to be enslaved to someone else’s standards or curriculum or time frames. We don't have to follow a path that has been laid out for another family. Our children are made in the image of the most high God, and they have a purpose that goes far beyond filling out worksheets and passing tests.

And you know what? He has entrusted US with their upbringing, training, and education. How amazing is that?!

I want to encourage you to pray for your children and your homeschool and embrace all that it truly can be. Keep your heart open, Sweet Mama, and be teachable. The Lord often has so much more to teach us than our children.

For me, those lessons have resulted in a simpler, more meaningful homeschool, one that is filled with love and learning. Our days have rhythm, and our studies are engaging. We are each growing and learning and thriving a bit more each and every day.

Our homeschool looks so different than those first years, and it is oh-so-sweet!

I may have spun my wheels a bit longer than I needed to, but now that I'm here, I am so very grateful.

We are free.


Are you walking in freedom in your homeschool?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.--Proverbs 9:10


Hi, I'm Veronica! 

I'm a follower of Christ, a wife to the love of my life, and a homeschool mom. I am also a step-mama and have an amazing son, daughter-in-love, and three of the sweetest grand-babies you'll ever meet!

I am a former middle school teacher and educational consultant turned homeschool mom and am passionate about Jesus, home education, reading, writing, and seeking truth. I also have a heart for simple living, health and nutrition, organization, planning, and helping homeschoolers walk in freedom. :)

Join me for the journey as we seek to connect with what matters most. 


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