My Day….

Disclaimer: If you do not home school your kids, please do not take offense at this post. Some of my closest friends do not home school and are raising awesome, Godly kids! This post is merely about life as a homeschooling Mom of Many.
I have heard over the years scores of women say, “I could never home school, I just don’t have the patience. ” So I thought I might take a few pictures and set the record straight…..and maybe allow a few other home schooling moms out there to breathe a sigh of relief and say, “Oh good, we’re normal.” 

In just a few months I will be finishing my 22nd year of home schooling our kids. I started home schooling when it was not even really heard of, back in 1988. Twenty-two years ago when I said I was going to home school Abigail, people would wrinkle their nose and say, “Is that legal?” The very next question was, “Are you a licensed teacher?” And then the third question would be, “What about the socialization?” Really, it was like clock-work. In fact if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me one of those three questions, I would be able to take all you bloggy friends for a week cruise. How does Alaska sound anyway??

Now being real truthful, I didn’t really have a giant spiritual motive when I decided to home school. Truth be known, I had waited a zillion years to be a mom{like I mentioned yesterday} and just couldn’t bear the thought of someone else getting to spend the day with my precious baby girl and soon my sweet baby boy. So I started out saying, “I will home school till Abi is in 4th grade.” {No clue why 4th grade sounded like the right age.} At about 4th grade I started saying, “We’ll just take it one year at a time.” And the rest is history.

Over the years we have used all sorts of curriculum. My personal favorites were the years we did Unit Studies. Some years we accomplished tons. Some years we moved, some years we have added kids, some years we have had a serious debilitating illness {the MS} wreaking havoc, one year we were forced to move to a handicap accessible home, some years we have added babies who nursed, one year we had a daddy with a life-threatening illness {someday I will share about that cause I have never mentioned it before on here}, another year we had a daddy with heart surgery where we all flew to Johns Hopkins to be with him, one year we had a fire and lost our home, that same year we added more kids. It has been a wild adventure – to be sure!!

For us: Have books or computers?? Will travel.
We have had kids who have learning disabilities. We have had some who loved Math,unlike their mom. Writing, well just depends on the kid….some ate the Sciences up…others groaned just thinking about it…..some loved history and so on….
From the beginning I have required each of the kids to keep a journal. They have to write one sentence for each grade they are in. I love to write {I know, I know, big surprise there!} and I want my kids to love to write. I would about pull out my hair when Tyler was in school.
Ty’s Journal {as a 10th grader} went something like this:
{Bear in mind that he was required to write 10 sentences.}
It is Monday. It is school time. I don’t like school. I don’t like to write. It is cold. I don’t like the cold. Yesterday was cold. Tomorrow will probably be cold. Now I can do my Math.
Yeah, that’s the same kid who passed the written part of his Private Pilot License when he was just 15 {most adults don’t pass on their first try – he did!}. I had to realize though that he was probably not going to be a writer. Go behind enemy lines and lead teams of Special Forc*s in doing missions, yes. Writer, no.
Abigail on the other hand LOVE, LOVE, LOVED to write. Abi would write in her Journal page after page after page every single day. An hour into school time and I would be saying, “Come on Ab, move on to your Math girlfriend.”
Some have been ones who caught on to reading quickly. Others, ummmm, not so much.
But not many years into the home schooling I decided that I really, really wanted to raise Godly warriors for Jesus Christ and this was my best way I, personally, could figure to do it. I could invest in our kids during the day {and besides, I would have a stinkin’ blast spending the day with them, I mean, usually.}
This is the way I figure it…..
If you raise Godly warriors for Jesus Christ and then they backslide,
they become nice little Christians.
BUT if you raise nice little Christians and they back slide,
what do they become??

So I have poured myself into my kids, day and night. I love them with all my heart! Don’t get me wrong, even after all these years, we have our days that nothing much gets done….

So I thought I would give you all a sampling of our days….
{I took the pictures over a few random days}
We change things up often. Some days we do book/computer work first. Other days we do Bible first. On a side note, if you are not doing Bible with your kids {whether you home school or not} you are really missing out.

Just yesterday I was having a very serious discussion with Emma and Graham about some matters on my heart. The discussion then turned to home schooling. Interestingly enough, both of these teens of mine said that Bible was their favorite part of the day. They said they love it because we just sit and talk. Currently, we have been studying the life of David. It has been life-changing for all of us.

We always end our Bible study with prayer time. Gathered around the ottoman, on our knees, praying for needs: our family, Tyler on his depl*yment, our friends, our sweet friends who are missionaries and almost always homes for the orphan. Sometimes even praying for you, our bloggy friends.

It might all sound rosey and perfect, but trust me….it takes ten times as long with littler ones and there are always a bazillion interruptions. Someone pulling someone’s hair. Someone else is twapping somebody next to them. Someone else giggling for no apparent reason, other than it’s Bible or prayer time.

So if you are home schooling, be encouraged. Our days are not perfect and often, when we are done, I have to walk on the treadmill to burn the stress!! But in reality, I am spending my days with my favorite people in the whole world, and as a by-product, Lord willing, I am doing all I can to raise Godly warriors for Jesus Christ.

So here’s our day:
I found a giant Big Bird coloring book for Uncle Mark so he can “work” along side us. We are still working on him being willing to share his colored pencils with any one of us. *sigh*

Emma discovered that I was taking pictures and the hood went up. Looks so picture perfect….Of course one is already in the time-out chair….Some days some even fall asleep in the time-out chair….And some kids think that the time-out chair is part of the daily routine…ya’ know….get up, eat breakfast, stop over in the time-out chair for awhile, play, whack my sister, visit the time-out chair again, eat lunch….and so on…Elizabeth thought Emma looked pretty cool with the hood up….Liberty was sick this day, so she’s just reading on the couch. And then there’s the Bible time….and so I took some pictures over a few different days…so you could get the full feel for it all…..Getting so much done, as you can tell….They all love to sit together, but come on….
not one of them is even sort of listening to anything…
And yes, this was definitely a “treadmill” day…

Bible time at it’s best….anyone have a clue what’s going on? Me neither. Lastly, in case it still looks a little too perfect…..I remember like it was yesterday…

We were pastoring in Virginia. It had been some loooooonnnnngggg hard days. The MS was horrible. I have another auto-immune disorder that was also wreaking havoc. I stood in my kitchen and thought, “How many years do I have left homeschooling? I must not have many years left. I’ve already been doing it for 15 years.” At that point I did a little Math (remember I hate Math)……Let’s see, Liberty is 2. Oh my stinkin’ gracious, I have 16 years to go. I’m not even half way. My weary head fell on the counter. ugh.

Of course, currently I have a 3 year old {along with a 4, 6, 8, 10, 15 & 16 year old} at home. I have been doing this for 22 years. I have 15 to go, if Elijah is the youngest. Course, Dw’s heading to Haiti soon. Guessing Elijah might not be the youngest…I’m just sayin’… I give up. I’m a lifer and I may be home schooling well into my 70’s, with that treadmill humming beside the kitchen table…while the kids work away…..

63 thoughts on “My Day….

  1. Yep, yep, and yep….home schooling five and only in my second year. I would NEVER go back (LOVE IT! Love marinating them in God's love!). We have two more coming home from Ethiopia soon and we'll home school them too! There are days though…. There are days when my husband walks in and I say, "They're yours" and go hide….hee hee.

  2. Thanks for posting this.
    My hubby and I are in the process of figuring out what our daughter is going to do next year. While she was a foster kid we couldnt homeschool, and couldnt afford christian schooling.
    Honestly, we still cant afford christian school, BUT GOD can.
    I really want to homeschool, but I am scared! Im super UNorganized, I too HATE math, and Madi has a learning disablilty.
    Any pointers or thoughts? Where do I even get started?
    We are praying about it all now and when I read your blog it tugged at my heart a bit!

  3. Oh Thank YOu!!! I am sooo like you & our kids – yep that is us…..our homeschool days are not perfect. We do Bible, Bible History, Praise & Worship, and LOVE all of them. It is great when your 8 year old can have a theological discussion with you. That is when you say- Thank You Lord for revealing yourself to my children! LOVE HOMESCHOOLING, but it is not perfect, just wonderful.

  4. Thanks for sharing what a day of homeschooling looks like at your house. We, too, homeschool and as you said, I just love spending my days with the ones I love best! Unfortunately,I have been lax on Bible study with them the past few months–it should be the top priority! Thanks for the gentle reminder. I found your blog several months ago, and have read off and on, but the past couple weeks, your posts have really been so "on target" for me and my family. (We've adopted 6 children-open to whomever God brings us, seeking to simplify so we can be of greater use, dealt with infertility prior to having 3 birth children–one whom we lost, etc.) I feel like I can relate to so much of what you write about, and I just wanted to take an opportunity to let you know how much I enjoy your blog! 🙂


  5. Thank you Linny!

    i SO needed that little glimpse into the daily homeschooling life of someone that i respect so very much! i'm glad to see that your day isn't perfect. i have been struggling this year with it all, and i only have one at home! This is a new home, and we have new friends and a new life without our big sister, and we're waiting impatiently for little sister to come home from Ch*na….. it has been a rough school year!
    Thank you for giving me hope that they do learn despite all the interruptions and life beings so, well, daily!
    i appreciate you!
    P.S. i copied your quote about little Christians verses warriors…hope you don't mind. It is a good one and very thought provoking!

  6. Love the post and just the encouragement I needed today. I was feeling a little like a failure with homeschooling; but I know it is what God wants me to do so I will keep plugging along… maybe we need to invest in a treadmill though.

  7. You are a Life who inspires others! This has been one of the best years of my life! I've loved every minute of being with my kids, being able to stop and pray when there's a need, to laugh together, to help others, to love others.

    Thanks for sharing this with all of us!

  8. Can I just say THANK YOU(!!!!) for sharing that after all these years you STILL have to walk the treadmill? I currently am NOT allowed to walk a treadmill, so I sneak chocolates in the kitchen hiding behind the cupboard (pregnancy craving.)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You made my heart skip a beat… I love hearing from other homeschool moms that are further in this journey.. and STILL have days like I do! It is so encouraging to me! I have one "student" 7, a 3 year old, a 10 month old and I'm due in June.. Whoooooooo!

  9. How do you find time to do everything else needed to run the household? Do the teens help out with cooking and cleaning and laundry and … ?
    God must not only be stretching your legs but also your days.

  10. I'm a second generation homeschooler! I'm in my 11th year of homeschooling my kids.

    My mom started homeschooling us in 1977. I was homeschooled until I was 16. Cousins on both sides of the family were homeschooled as were tons of our friends and the kids in our neighborhood. We didn't have the plethora of homeschooling tools we have now… But we lived in Northern Canada – I wonder if it was more known and acceptable in some places sooner than others???? Because in the late 80's I knew a lot of homeschoolers (lived in BC by then).

  11. Linny,
    I have been homeschooling since 1989. Just 1 year behind you. The most kids I home schooled at one time was 4. Of course, I was pregnant with #5 at the time. Some of them have gone to Christian school for part of High School. People always say things like oh you must have so much patience. Sometimes I do and sometimes not so much. I just know it's what God has called me to do.
    Right now I have a 17 year old, 8 year old, and a 3 year old. I guess I'll be home schooling for another 15 years also. We may add a few more to that mix, but they probably will be older than my three year old. Guess I'm a lifer, too. Wouldn't have it any other way.

  12. I love love love this post! Thank you for sharing your HS day with us. I am pretty new at this- we've been going only 1 year with Sarah and I HS Mark and Johnny for 2 years until I had to go back to work. I feel so blessed to get this opportunity to do it again- I loved it the first time!

    I feel the same way- I can't give my kids to someone else during the best hours of the day! Plus it is so great for attachment!

    I am amazed how our Lord can calm our spirit- I was nervous to HS all 4 but I'm not anymore- it is so cool!

    I am looking forward toward your e-mail! I know how busy you are- send it when you can!

  13. Funny you should say you planned to home school until 4th grade. That is what I started out saying. I'm not sure where 4th grade came from either:-) We are in our 8th year homeschooling (not anywhere close to you) and are bringing home our 7th (3yrs old) this fall so I've got at least another 15 years to go. Yikes! If we don't have our bible time first thing in the morning, our two 4yr olds and our 5yr old keep asking for it until we stop and have our bible time. I love it and have to admit it is one of my favorite times too. I love your comments about raising Godly Warriors. I've never thought of it that way.

  14. Linny, I love this post because I can soooo relate. Wondering if you use a particular Bible curriculum or just do your own thing. I'm always looking for homeschool ideas and recommendations.

  15. Thanks for that post. After a rough day today it was nice to be reminded we all have those days. I don't have a treadmill so I made myself a banana split instead. I think your way sounds much healthier:)

  16. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT and so relate. One day, after the move and once we get our camera battery replaced, I will have to do something of these sorts to post on my blog. Glad I am not alone in the "not so perfect" homeschooling journey 🙂 As usual, thanks for sharing your heart and your home.

  17. I soooooo needed to read this! Today I wanted to march everyone…including the dog, down to the local elementary school for enrollment. I actually thought of you and wondered how you do it! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  18. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I use to teach school and we are starting our first year of homeschool this fall. I am ready, but terrified it will "take over my life". And realize how selfish and entitled that sounds, but it is honest. I am processing that HS won't look perfect and tidy, like I'd like… good to "see" the honest and sweet part of homeschooling. And, I love what you do for Uncle Mark. Hugs!

  19. I love you! Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting that!!! You just made my day, and I am going to bookmark this post to come back and read again whenever I have those treadmill days. : )

  20. Oh Linny—right there with you, my friend, I LOVE the highs and the lows of homeschooling. Wouldn't change it for the world.

    Thank you for sharing your day with us.

  21. What a great post, Linny! I sooooo relate…to the good and the craziness. I love how you have included Uncle Mark. And I love their sweet little Bibles. You are doing a wonderful job, my friend and such a blessing to this homeschool mama. {funny though…tonight I just said that I don't think I can homeschool Alaina another 11 years…LOL. After reading this, maybe I can.}

  22. Great post! We started homeschooling in 1986, our youngest is 2 years old, and we are #2 on the waiting list for a baby boy from Ethiopia. I guess that makes us lifers. When our newest little peanut is 18, we'll be … um … about 68. We can pay his college tuition with our social security check.

  23. Wow, I am blown away by moms who homeschool so many ages at once – I'll bet you sleep well at night, though! I am single and work full-time from home and when my two were younger, one as an ESL student just from China at 7, the school bus started looking pretty good! But we stuck it out because, like you, I waited so long to be a mother and I could not imagine them being gone all day with a stranger nurturing them – or not – instead of me. Now that they are 12 and 13 they are so self-sufficient and independent, and I can just assign them their seat work and they do it, though I spend as much time as I can reading over lessons and discussing them. Teaching Textbooks took over our nightmarish math lessons and made them beautiful and happy! It's my favorite homeschool product!

    But the most valuable educational thing we do is talk and discuss things. We take a long walk every day and talk about issues – everything from racism to purity until marriage to eating healthy and why to the stupidity of starting an addicting bad habit to be cool to the importance of character and inner beauty rather than appearance. I can see them now reflecting those values when they talk to me and they love to read and discuss the Bible. I am so thankful for homeschooling and the bond it has given me with my children.

  24. I loved this post! I am not a homeschooling Mom, it's just not my calling. I feel that some families God calls to home school, and some families God calls to have strong Christian kids in public school to influence other kids. 🙂 I strongly admire your determination to home school, you are a fabulous woman!
    I loved the pic of Elizabeth asleep in the time-out chair, that's classic!!

  25. Thank you for your encouraging words. I have a 5,3 and 1 year old. My oldest is in Kindergarten this year and we have been part time homeschooling and I continue to wonder how we are going to make it through. It helps to know that I'm not the only one who has struggles throughout the school day.

  26. Love this blog! Homeschooling is not easy, but so worth the energy. We have one little guy who visits "the chair" on a daily basis. As for Bible time, do you read through the Bible, or use some specific study material? Yep…know what you mean about the poking and giggling during prayers…is anyone listening???? At least I know God is, and he's probably giggling right along with my kids!

  27. Sweet, sweet days!!! All of our older kids went to Public School, Caleb started out in PS, but we soon came to realize how much things had changed and how much stress he was under at school. We have been homeschooling him since he was 7 and have never looked back! It is a wonderful way of life. God bless you and your family as you go through your days!
    Hugs from WV,
    Charlotte Spears

  28. Thanks for the encouragement as a fellow homeschooler of my 6 yr old daughter. We sent our 4 yr old son to state funded preschool this year but next year he will be home with us too. That is when the fun will really begin and the patiences will be tested beyond all reason.

  29. Linny, thanks once again for sharing your heart. So many outside our homeschooling realm think things are so smooth at home with everyone sitting in their desks all lined up, standing together to say the Pledge, and working away quietly and diligently. Oh my, that couldn't be farther from the truth for us! But, I love the coziness of snuggling together on the couch, praying together, experiencing the "aha" moments, seeing one kiddo help another, etc. And of course I love the flexibility of "quitting" school for the day to do some real life learning outside or when other circumstances lend themselves to a much bigger learning experience than book work. Lots of bumps along the way that make things far from perfect, but oh the joys that far outweigh these bumps and the privilege of being with my kids each and every day. May you be encouraged and carry on with the race, even as the race keeps getting longer and longer before you. 🙂 The prize is ahead of us and the race along the way brings little prizes each and every day!

  30. Thanks for the encouragement! I am 51 years old and this is my first homeschool year with a preschooler, Kindergartner and 4th grader. I'll be doing this until, well let me do the math..a LONG time. But I am having a blast and wish I had started sooner.

  31. I have been reading your blog for over a year now! I eat up your words of wisdom and am challenged by your life. I know you aren't perfect – I just love how you have spent your life on behalf of your children. Loved the homeschooling shots. You were right. It was encouraging for this homeschool mom to see so many similarities! Bless you today Linny.

  32. Thank you for sharing this…it is helpful to hear from other mothers…I find it especially hard when ALL the little ones are being naughty…I needed more than one time out chair, so we bought 4 little rugs, and it works great to say go get your rug and come sit by Mama…LOL….some days their little world is no bigger than a 3×5 rug.

  33. It's so fun to read about your homeschooling day. We have been homeschooling from day one too. I've never regretted it, enjoyed every minute of it even though I had many days like yours and would do it all over again. I also had the same questions asked of me.

    I remember when we first moved to our small town of just under 500, everyone was SO excited because 3 kids would be added to their school population. Um no, I homeschool. The looks and questions I got were something else. Now there are 3 families homeschooling in our town and all loving it. Hugs and love

  34. First of all I love the sentences that Tyler wrote, made me laugh. Very funny!
    I think its great that you homeschool. I homeschooled two of my four children for a total of four years. I remember one time my daughter who was 14 at the time, we were working on history,and we were reading about a war, I believe it was one that took place in Mexico if I remember correctly . Well we use to take turns reading. It happened to be my turn to read and when I was finished I asked her to tell me a little about what I had been reading. She said "Well, I know it was about China." UGGGG!!!! Anyway we actually rolled laughing.
    I remember before I chose to homeschool that the whole idea was overwhelming, but once the choice was made and the girls were home, all that fear was tossed out the window. It was great!

  35. This is what I needed to hear. I am afraid that I will not do a good job or that my children will not do well in life because I failed them as an educator. Thanks for the positive insite.

  36. I LOVE hearing about how others do school and and get new ideas.
    If you and your family think of it would you please pray for our little Naya? We are planning to bring her home from Eastern Europe this summer. This is our first adoption and it is definitely stretching my limits 🙂


  37. Linny, thank you so much for sharing with us about your homeschool days! It sounds like my house, but I just have less children. It is anything but normal here and I am so encouraged to know that I'm not the only one:O) LOL!!! I love the pictures and feel the same way about sending my kids away when I want to be with them(most of the time,hee hee). I feel like I may be homeschooling next to forever too if God gives me more little ones like I hope:O)
    Much love,

  38. Thank you!! You have encouraged me and I only teach 2 right now. 3 in September. There have been days that I have come up from our basement classroom and said, "That's it, they're going to public school!" But my husband and I know that's exactly what the devil wants (not that public school is wrong, he just wants me to give up!). I won't give up and I know that there are others that have the great days and the "I'm finished" days.

    PS: Happy Birthday Abi:)

  39. Wow! I have been one of those who has said "I could never….!" The idea of it *is* intriguing. But thank you for inviting me inside your day so I could get somewhat of a feel for it.

    Question – when you say you "do Bible"…what does that look like? Is it everyone individually reading their Bibles and discussing. It is similar to "small group study"? Is it reading a bible story and talking about it?

  40. Thanks, I appreciate the truth. My 2 kids, coming from Ethiopia are all so young and so close together.. How really do you teach when there are little "wild" toddlers running around? Is there a good thing for them to do? What study/curriculum's can you recommend. Thanks..

  41. I enjoyed this post. I am not a homeschooler…..for the safety of my children I chose to work at their school instead….just kidding….maybe!! I am one of those that think you are a saint to be able to get your kids to write essays and do math. I have battles over homework let alone a lesson and homework. I am however going to add Bible time to our daily life. I love the way you described it in todays post. God Bless You your kids are very lucky!

  42. So it is the treadmill I needed today!!!! 3rd year schooling…8,6 (next week) and 2! Even when the veins are popping out on my neck–I love being with my favorite people.

  43. Loved your post! I'm Sherry a homeschool mom in Pagosa and i was wondering if i could link your post to our homeschool group's blog. We basically use it as events communication page, but i would love for all our moms out there to be encouraged with your experience and velveteen rabbit realness.

  44. HAAAAAAAAAA! LINNY! How I wish you were sitting here in my living room so you could see how, quite literally, you have me laughing out loud! Today (and yesterday, but that is beside the point) I had what you call, "a treadmill day." I thought to myself, "Linny has twice the number kids I have. How does SHE do homeschooling?" Reading through this post, I am so encouraged. Thank you!

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