All About Homeschool – Why We Chose To, What We Use

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All About Homeschool Why We Chose To and What We Use

This post is all about homeschool. Why we chose to homeschool our boys, and the amazing, wonderful resources we use.

This post contains affiliate links. For my full disclosure, click here. 

Hello friends! As I mentioned above, this post is all about homeschool. Why we chose to homeschool our boys, and some of the wonderful resources we use. This isn’t a post to convince or condemn those who don’t homeschool. I truly believe it is a sacred choice for each family to make on their own. I am simply sharing why we made the decision to. 

All About Homeschool

In 2010 I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in history education. I was eager to move back to Michigan, marry my highschool sweetheart and move towards becoming a full time teacher. 

I passed the required exams to become a certified teacher in the Michigan Public School system, and began substitute teaching in our local school district while I waited and prayed for a full time teaching job. 

I substitute taught for a few years, but in 2013 our first son was born. I continued to sub when I could up until Caleb, our third son was born. At that point in my life the calls were too last minute and stressful for our family, and I felt convicted and called to full time motherhood. 

Flash forward to 2020, ten years later. We have three boys with plans for another and our oldest is in first grade at the same public school I graduated from and substitute taught at. I am now juggling motherhood and picking up substitute jobs wherever I can – all while keeping up with this blog I began in 2017, Pine and Prospect Home

Homeschool momma of boys

When the pandemic hit, and our oldest was sent home to do virtual school for the remainder of the school year, my call to full time motherhood began to grow deeper and so did my passion for my son’s education.

No one was prepared for the pandemic. Not us, not our sweet teachers, and not our little local school. So I was careful to discern the frustrations of virtual learning with what I felt God was calling me to do with my precious boys. 

We finished out the year and I spent the summer diving into resources and questioning close friends who chose to homeschool. I read as much as I could, and tried to be open and let go of the stereotypes that are attached to so many homeschool families. Most importantly, my husband and I prayed that God would lead us and direct our path. 

Boy mom day to day balance and routine with blogging and homeschooling

Homeschool – Why We Chose To 

There were so many questions and concerns that I feel many parents face when deciding to homeschool. Today I am sharing the two main questions that my husband and I spent months praying about and sorting out. 

Establishing quiet time as a mom for rest for littles and refresh for mom

What would others think? 

Unfortunately, the people pleaser in me was worried about what others would think if we chose to homeschool. We have a simple, small local school and to be honest my husband and I love several of the teachers that work there to this day. 

I know many parents are worried about what close friends and family would think and I was worried about that as well. My older sister especially was opposed to the idea and as close as we are, that worried me. 

I spent countless hours researching and talking to friends who chose to homeschool and it just seemed like two extremes – homeschool is by far the best route to take or homeschool would not be the best choice for my children and would hinder their future. 

Fear behind Homeschool

Ultimately my husband and I had to pray and make the decision for ourselves, not based on what other peoples’ thoughts or opinions were. The future of our boys depended on us, not on others. God called us to be their parents and to raise them with the tools He equipped us with and that conviction was stronger than any of the opinions of others. 

We both felt strongly that God had made this path for our lives very clear, and I began our homeschool journey in the fall of 2021 with our oldest in 2nd grade and our youngest in Kindergarten. 

First day of homeschool as a mom of boys and blogger

What if I don’t feel qualified? 

This was a huge concern of mine. 

Yes, I have a teaching degree, but all the tools I gained learning to teach in a classroom setting would not necessarily be applicable at home. Teaching individually versus teaching to a group was completely different – in the best way possible. 

I learned from so many valuable resources that homeschooling is not the same as a classroom setting. It would be very hard to be successful if you forced it to become one. One of my favorite resources is an amazing book I highly recommend – The Call of the Wild + Free by Ainsley Arment. 

All about Homeschooling

In this book she covers both of these fears and lists and so many more in beautiful detail. She equipped me with the courage and the tools necessary to become the best homeschool teacher I could be to my sweet boys. 

I am definitely a work in progress, still learning daily. But she encourages you to show yourself grace and have patience throughout your journey. I could not recommend her book enough if you are considering homeschool. 

I love that quote – “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

All About Homeschool the fear and courage

Will I lose all of my freedom?

This is one of the most common questions I get when I encourage other mamas to consider homeschool. They simply can’t imagine being with their kids all day. Again, this is something that Ainsley addresses in her book, but I want to share a bit about my own personal experience. 

When my oldest was in school, weeknights were stressful. Finishing homework, signing papers, packing lunches, getting his outfit ready – all with a baby and toddler to care for as well as trying to grow my blog and business. The mornings were just as hectic. Trying to feed him breakfast and get him dressed and out the door on time while the baby wanted to nurse…man I can remember it like yesterday. 

mom of three boys and balancing homeschool and healthy filling snacks

When he came home from school, there was the rush to get dinner on the table and start the whole process over again. And at night I felt like I had barely spent time with my boy. Then there were the extracurricular activities, the bake sales, the pressure to be involved in every single event. 

None of these things were bad in and of themselves. But this wasn’t the life that I wanted for my kids. I wanted freedom to talk to them, go on a walk with them or a bike ride. To have long conversations on the beach or to cook or bake with them simply because we were craving cookies, or homemade spaghetti sauce.

Cutting up tomatoes for a quick and easy simple roasted tomato sauce

Instead I was constantly checking the clock, or telling my kids “we don’t have time” or “not on a school night”. Our calendars were full and life felt crazy all the time. 

Since choosing to homeschool, I don’t at all feel like I’ve lost my freedom. In fact, I feel like I’ve gained more freedom than ever before. If I wanted to, I could load all my kids in the car tomorrow and take them to the library, a local museum or a new hiking trail. 

I promise, homeschool is not an 8-3 type thing. We have been so conditioned to believe that learning only takes place at a desk in a classroom, and it’s just not true. Plus, we choose to have “quiet time” in the afternoons and that helps a lot, too. 😉

Homeschool – What We Use

When we decided to homeschool I was pleasantly surprised at the abundant resources available. Online programs, printable curriculum, curriculum bundles, individual studies and the list goes on and on. If resources are your worry – don’t let them be! 

For our first year we decided on a curriculum we were both familiar with and just like any curriculum you decide on, it had it’s pros and cons. This is our second year homeschooling and we went a different route this year and currently use the Good and the Beautiful. 

Bubbles and little boys fun activities while homeschooling

We are half-way through the year and we love this curriculum. It is brilliantly colorful and beautifully illustrated and combines multiple subjects together to learn all at once. It has so many unique, out of the box ideas to help your child learn the content they need to. 

Not only that, but also the curriculum is designed specifically for homeschool. When you open the lesson book, it tells you exactly what to say to your child. You don’t need any teaching experience! It’s absolutely wonderful. 

Homeschool decorations hung on dining room wall as part of our daily lives

In Ainsley Arment’s book I referenced above, she has a chapter titled “Discovering Your Homeschool Style”. She begins the chapter with:

 “When it comes to homeschooling, there is no “one size fits all” approach. Homeschoolers come in all different shapes and styles, influences and interests, preferences and peculiarities.” 

I could not agree more. As you prayerfully decide whether or not to homeschool your children, as well as the curriculum and resources that you use, it will ultimately depend on the style you feel works best for your kids.

Finding joy amidst the trials of motherhood

And that may take time to figure out! That’s why it is so beautiful. Your child is unique, therefore they will learn in a way that is unique to them! There is so much freedom and grace in homeschool – to explore and adventure and learn together, with your children. 

In fact, there are so many new and wonderful things that I have learned ever since we began this journey. 

Homeschooling In Conclusion

For anyone reading this that is on the fence about homeschooling, seeking desperately for answers, clearly I am far from being an expert. My husband and I followed a conviction we felt as parents and two years later I am so thankful we took that leap of faith. 

We absolutely love homeschooling. I am actually very passionate about it now, and the longer we homeschool I am realizing how much of a blessing it is. 

Encouraging truths you need to hear in motherhood

My fears that held me back have been conquered. To be honest, it’s hard for me to not become that mom now who subtly hints to everyone she can, that homeschool is an incredible gift from God. One I will never take for granted. 

It brings me to tears to also share that one of my largest critics – my older sister – now homeschools both of her sweet girls alongside me and she just may be even more passionate about it than I am. 

I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from The Call of the Wild + Free that I shared above. She shares:

 “It takes courage to homeschool, especially when society questions your every move. And then there are long days, the lack of time for yourself, and the seasons when fatigue or discouragement get the best of you. But the time we have with our children is a precious gift we get to unwrap each day. In the years to come when they are grown and on their own, we will remember the beautiful and rewarding, albeit difficult and often harrowing journey we travelled together.” 

All about Homeschool

And that my friends is all I have to say about homeschool – at least for now. I hope to continue to share our journey with you as I continue to grow myself. If you have the slightest nudge to homeschool, do not ignore it. Prayerfully consider the amazing blessings that may be waiting for you on the other side. 

Other Books that have Encouraged Me in My Homeschool Journey- 

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All About Homeschool Why We Chose To and What We Use

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16 Comments

  1. I love the Good and the Beautiful! We used it for math during one year of homeschool and since my husband was hired to run the small church school and my daughter goes there now (and I’m the aide) – we are using the math for the younger kids at the school. I wish I would have used the Language Arts while I homeschooled so I could have experienced it. I really liked homeschooling her but she was the only kid in the house and was lonely for friends. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, you need to do what works best for your family and it sounds like exactly what you are doing. What a blessing to all be together!

  2. Andrea I love this post! I am a second generation homeschooler and even after all the success my mom received from raising us girls and all going to college and graduating at an early age (as a doctor, attorney and teacher) and enjoying our schooling careers I still got questioned whether or not it was the right choice for my small son and daughter. And I can say resoundingly, without hesitation YES!! We also use the Good and the Beautiful curriculum. Many blessings to you on your homeschool journey!

  3. Andrea, thanks for sharing your homeschooling journey with us. I have been homeschooling my two boys for the past 8 years now and can’t agree with you more on what a blessing it has been for our family! Having this precious time to get to know my boys even better is something I would not trade and will fondly look back on once they are grown. A couple tips I always have for prospective homeschoolers would be to seek out and surround yourselves with other like-minded homeschoolers (whether it be individuals, a mom’s group, an online group, a co-op, etc.) That is so helpful for exchanging ideas about what works/doesn’t work and for encouragement to continue. Also, attending a homeschool conference has been such a blessing for me, especially when making the transition into high school level homeschooling/”delight-directed” learning. There are so many different options for elective classes that I never would have known about if I did not attend. The guest speakers are also very encouraging and God always directs me to the exact speakers I need to hear at that point in time! Again, thanks for your inspiring blog and Youtube channel – keep up the great work!

    1. 8 years, my goodness, that is amazing! These are such helpful tips and my sister and I really hope to attend a conference together soon as well!

  4. Love this post!! We also homeschool and use the Good and the Beautiful. The days can be long, but I would not trade the moments I get with my kids for days of silence when they are at school. When a mom comes to me with apprehensions about homeschooling, I tell her “You love your children more than any other teacher could love them and that alone will help you to be a great educator for them.” I also love that our worldview is the main foundation in their life, not some worldview that we disagree with. They will have many, many years to go out in the world and figure out things for themselves, but when they are so young, I believe that it is so important for them to be inundated with a Biblical worldview. All the best to you and your family as you continue on this journey!

    1. Thank you, yes so many mothers feel disqualified, but honestly the books I recommended were such a blessing to me and helped me so much!

  5. I truly appreciate the information you give us homeschool moms. I fully agree with you 100% percent. At first I had so much doubts, but God alone has given me the grace to homeschool my three wonderful children, blessings to and your wonderful family as you continue on this journey. Thank you.

  6. Bravo Andrea! I didn’t need to read your article since I finished homeschooling over 10 years ago, but I had to comment. Homeschooling is hard and the decision is even harder! I decided to homeschool my youngest, a daughter, starting with middle school. She is autistic spectrum (Asperger’s) and ADHD and is lower on the IQ scale that many with Autism. I also had two boys in public school (middle and high school) at the time. I felt very unqualified, but I searched any and all curriculum available over 10 years ago. Homeschooling has come a long way since then! I completely agree that it is a very personal choice to homeschool and one you will never regret.

    1. Thank you for sharing this Nancy, you are right, the resources have come such a long way and there are truly so many now!

  7. This couldn’t have come at a better time ❤️ I have felt the urge to homeschool for a year now but I constantly go back to “well, I never got my bachelors, I don’t feel qualified at all, I’m not smart enough” etc. but the quote you gave: “God doesn’t call the qualified, the qualifies the called” gave me so much confidence that this is possible ❤️ thank you so so much for sharing!

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