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Confessions of a home school flop

There were very few fights over who was going to be the teacher when my friends and I played school back in the day. I always knew exactly what I wanted HAD to be and no it wasn't the teacher. My main role as a young'un was the naughty kid sitting in the desk in the back of the classroom. Seriously, I never wanted to be the teacher. I never made up worksheets for my little brother to work or gave mock spelling bees.

When I got married and soon children started arriving I had to start thinking out this whole education thing. I mean how were my kids going to learn to read or add for that matter. We had already decided that they wouldn't be going to public school and with hubby being a preacher private school was financially out of the picture. So while he worked a full time job, went to college full time and was heavily involved in our local church surely he could make a little time for his own offspring. Right? Wrong! Apparently most of that job falls on the wife I soon found out. I think someone should have warned my and my kids ahead of time.

When it was finally time to start our oldest son Cody things weren't as hard as I had expected. I was nailing this whole home school thing. I was an excellent teacher and he was reading at 3! Okay now's the time to fess-up, Cody's first couple years of home school were done using Abeka video. I know what you're thinking...what did I do if he was doing video? Hey, someone had to put that VHS in the player and make sure he stayed seated and paid attention.

Then Josh came along and we were off to Croatia and we defiantly didn't have the cash flow as new missionaries to pull off Abeka video again. So guess who became solely responsible for Josh's schooling? Yep, you guessed it...the naughty kid from the desk at the back of the classroom. Poor Josh! The fact that that kid can read probably should be recorded by Ripley's Believe It or Not. To top off all the fun of Josh's first couple years he was extremely dyslexic. The kid turned everything backwards including his pants, no kidding! Teaching that kid his blends was impossible, I thought for sure he would never learn to read. Alas the Lord has mercy on us both and things eventually clicked. Truth is that Josh is unbelievably bright, that kid forgets nothing which is good and sometimes a real pain.

Hannah, oh poor Hannah she is our last child and you know what happens to the last child. Okay don't play stupid with me. How many photos do you have of your first child compared to the last? Point understood proven! Anyhoo, Hannah was even more of a challenge, she was so much more dyslexic than Josh. She would write whole paragraphs completely backwards so that if the paper was held up to a mirror it read perfectly. She was a trial but she's doing awesome. The girl is very bright and she writes like a seasoned author.

Look, the truth is that I stink as a home school teacher. I've never been good at planning out the week or even following up on assignments no matter how hard I try. I know that some of you are super teachers and your kids are blessed to have you but I'm not one of you. I wish I were and I've tried to the best of my ability but I'm not. We do have very bright and witty kids but did they get the best academic education? Sadly I would have to answer no but my kids know their Bibles, they know what is right and wrong and they have character that they wouldn't have learned if they had been in a public school and they're smart.

So you're worried terrified about home schooling your children. Maybe you were my cohort at the back of the classroom. You feel inadequate and you may be but the fact of the matter is that if it's right then God is going to help make up for your inabilities and weaknesses. You children may not be the next Harvard graduate but your children will know that you thought they were important enough to spend time daily trying your hardest to make then better Christians and students.

So here I am 17 years of home schooling, struggles and tears along the way but it's worked out just fine. My kids are smart and they know academically what they need to know to go on to the next step in life and their hearts are rooted in the Word of God and that is the most valuable education ever.



  1. Thanks for stopping at my blog.
    Kudos to you for home schooling. I wish it had been more available when my kids were young. I think it's a great option. In your situation it's wonderful. I know someone who was a MK in Africa and they got sent away to a school every year from a young age. That would be tough.

  2. I cannot believe that here I was thinking what a failure I am as a teacher this morning, when scrolling through my reader, there you were. Right where God wanted you to be. Thank you!!!

  3. Hi Tori, thank you for visiting my blog :)

    I homeschool my kids but for the moment we use an online homeschooling curriculum and they do very well with it.

    I too have my good days and my bad days. I know a lot of homeschooling moms who buy their own curriculum and plan it all out etc, but for now, I just can't do that, I don't have the brain for that LOL

    I think you're doing an awesome job, we all do the best we can and that is what matters :)

  4. Hi Tori!

    I'm so glad I found your blog! It looks like we have some things in common- we are both Christians (I'm a pastor here in Pittsburgh) & we are both on weight loss journeys (I'm near the end of mine but am still very much on the journey).

    Looking forward to following your blog!

  5. Thank you for being so open and honest about your homeschooling experience. I had some troubles with my homeschool experience growing up, and at one point was (really!) four years behind! It's crazy when I think about it, because I was so discouraged about it, but that was a giant step in my spiritual journey, learning to work hard and trust God for the rest. God helped me to catch up three of those years in one year.
    When I started homeschooling my own littles I thought I knew a lot more than I did, and I did kindergarten with abeka (all the bells and whistles included) ON THE ROAD. I would not ever do that again. (My oldest is dyslexic, as am I. She started writing everything backwards too!) Last year was an epic fail. We put the kids in an online program, but it has NO repetition of learned concepts, and they forgot everything! I've been humbled with all my ideas and opinions on education. All I know is that God is faithful, and He can use the worst honest mistakes we make for good.

  6. Amen and Amen!!!!! When Christa went off to college I was so relieved that she passed the English entrance test! Her first day of college I kept thinking, "It's someone else's turn now!" Thank you so much for these thoughts! All of us home school mom's, past, present, and future, needed this!!

  7. The Lord has brought me through many valleys, and homeschooling has been both valley and mountain-top experiences! I'm thankful that He helps us do what we cannot do. I thought I'd be a good teacher, because that's what I wanted to do, but it didn't come naturally. I failed then and I fail now. Your kids are blessed to have such a great mom! :)

  8. Just what I needed today! Thank you, Tori!

  9. Anonymous8:51 AM

    Thank you! I really needed to read this today.

  10. Homeschooling has been one of my great challenges...but I so love it! I am thankful that most of what our daughter has learned in her life--she learned from her parents. We still have a few more years...high school next year...but with the Lord's help, we will continue. Great post today!

  11. If you're kids are able to go to Bible college or on to the next phase; you did just fine with homeschooling. Your sentiments were ours also. I actually remember saying "I don't care if they know what 2+2 is as long as they know Jesus and love Him and what is right and wrong". Now, they are grown and about to get married...both of them and one is a teacher and the other is a welder both serving the Lord!Cody is already in college and Josh is about to go right? So, goal accomplished!


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