Breaking into the Home-School World

I just spent an hour typing out a blog post that I was unusually happy with. I thought my computer was plugged in and all was well. It wasn’t.

I thought, “No big deal. It automatically saves…..” It didn’t.

You will be happy to know that I did not panic. I felt sad, but I internalized all of my bad feelings rather than annoy anyone by “venting” my frustration. That’s right. You can look for an April explosion from this suppressed disappointment later……

I’m not the kind of person that can re-create awesomeness. It’s gone. It will never come back. So we will just hit the highlights. Forget my brilliant essay, and since no one will ever get to actually read it, I can call it brilliant. 😉

We will just stick to the bullet points:

  • Home-schooling. It’s happening. We are really going to do it, ya’ll. I’ve ordered the curriculum. I’ve attended information sessions, book fairs, and read copious amounts of information. I’ve been planning, and planning, and planning. I’m even getting excited about this.
  • Embarrassment:  I’m not too thrilled about announcing this to the masses. I admit it. In my mind, I’m still wondering if this officially makes me a weird-o. Many of you are nodding your heads…. On our trip out West, Alan would tell people, “Actually, we are home-schooling.” I would all but elbow him, as I wanted to hide under a rug and whisper, “Would you please stop telling people that!?”
  • Does this make me crazy? Nah. I’m just doing what I think is best for my family. Neither of them listen well in a large class setting. Their teachers have told me that repeatedly, so I know the normal-for-these-days classroom setting of 28 kids to 1 teacher just isn’t working. At least I will be working a 4:1 ratio. Why stick with something that isn’t working?
  • Clarification: The boys are doing okay in school. They even do really well at some of it, but the thing is that I know they could do better. So we try something new. They are smart boys. I know they can do well.
  • This was the answer to my prayer, and it was loud and clear. Do you ever get loud and clear answers to your prayers? It makes the decision so much easier.


What I worry about:

  • Making friends: The boys are really good at making friends. We are as social a family as you will find. If I am unable to find friends for them through our tutoring service (Classical Conversations), church, or extracurricular activities, this may not work.

Hope:  It’s been AMAZING to see the 4 of them playing together just fine this summer. Also, they have been making friends everywhere we go: church, the playground, the library. They always walk away telling their new friends, “Come back tomorrow!  We’ll play some more!!”

  • Fitting in in my neighborhood–Will anyone else in my neighborhood be doing this??  Or will they label me “that crazy home-school lady”???  Noooooooo
  • Fitting in with other home-schoolers–These ladies seem so much more “together” than me. As a group, they are thin, accomplished, healthy-food-eating, conscientious, seemingly- perfect- people. What if they find out about the way I down soda when I’m stressed or that my baby is 12 months old and still wakes up once each night????  😉 Shhh.  Don’t tell them.
  • Also, when do I get to go to the dentist….or the hair stylist???  You can’t do those things with children in tow, and Alan does not work flexible hours.

Hope: Of course, there are no perfect people. I should be fine as long as I’m nice, accepting, and friendly. Right?? I will quote Reese in Legally Blonde, when she went to Harvard, “Relax. Everyone will love you.”


What I’m not worried about:

  • Curriculum– I’ve done a little of this before, so I’m well acquainted with what works and what doesn’t for my boys. I think I have found some awesome materials, through Classical Conversations and A Beka. I LOVE the lesson planning part.
  • The teaching– I’ve been teaching Joshua all of his math for years, since he doesn’t listen in class. Thankfully, this past year his teacher picked up on that, and I got a break! I also taught in Texas, ages ago, so I feel comfortable with that portion. When you have children, you teach all the time.
  • Okay. That’s about all I’m not worried about!  Haaa!  Excited but nervous first-year home-schooling mom here, ya’ll!!!  Any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated. See the comment box below!!

I have high hopes for this year. We all do what we think is best for our family right? And as we say in the South: “There is more than one way to skin a cat.”




  • Alan Stephens

    Looking forward to that explosion down the road! :/

    J/k, great post!

    Sent from my iPad


  • Good luck, April! I think it will be amazing, and I applaud you for seeing that traditional classrooms weren’t working for your boys and making a change. You rock!

  • McMom

    I think it’s awesome you guys are doing this and I don’t think you all will have ANY trouble making friends. Easier to give this advice than you take it, but don’t worry about fitting in with anybody – homeschool moms or the masses. Be a trendsetter! We Christians are called to be set apart, and that’s something God can use to draw others to Him. Now, the dentist and hair appointments??? That’s a good question…

  • Angela Riffel

    You’ll do great!! I’ve honestly never gotten any rude remarks about homeschooling. And I’ve told a lot of people. I’ve gotten asked about it several times, but it usually comes across as honestly curious. I think it’s accepted a lot more today than it was when we were kids. I have also been surprised at how large the homeschooling community is down here in South Florida!

    • Thanks,Angela! I was amazed at how many people were at the A Beta book fair. I was even more excited about the 25% off! I was reading your blog or Facebook the other day, and Joshua saw the pics of your kids, and he said, “Hey! I know them! Luke is really funny! “

  • erin

    I have some friends here that love classical conversations! Can’t wait to here about your journey April. Much love, E

  • Yah!! I am actually a homeschool kid! And so is my hubby! And we are totally normal, made friends, and not weird-os! Or at least I don’t think so =) I plan on homeschooling all my kids. Good luck, you will be awesome!
    Thanks for linking up with me!

    • Thanks, Jennie!! OH, now I feel so bad about that weird-o line. I totally think home schoolers are not weird–I can’t wait to try this myself. I’ve just encountered a little bit of criticism for this decision, which makes me hesitant to talk about it sometimes. But oh well, right? I’m just going to have to focus on pleasing God, not people. 🙂 I am always needing to be reminded of that….

  • Life Breath Present

    Congratulations on venturing into homeschooling as the best choice for your family and your children. I’m unsure what our path will look like once we’re ready to ‘officially’ home school. And btw, you’re not a weirdo. I’m fond of thinking that more and more families are choosing homeschooling for their children, for different reasons, but reason that work for them! 🙂

    Swinging by from Manic Mondays hop!