7 Unexpected Ways Life Changed When We Quit Homeschooling

7 Unexpected Ways Life Changed When We Quit Homeschooling

For the past two years, I home-schooled my four boys. Now that sentence alone should clue you in to the great difficulties I was up against: 4 BOYS, home-schooled! Add that to the fact that I don’t enjoy teaching, and it was a sort of a pressure-cooker for my heart.

The stress was too much for me personally. I gave it up, and enrolled my children in a Christian school this year. It was a change I had to make to save my own sanity.

Let me stress here that I am not anti-homeschool or anti-any kind of school! I’ve tried just about everything over the years. Each family must choose what works best for them and their children.

Want to know how life has changed for us? Click here to read the rest of this article, over at Monterey Premier.




What I Learned from Our Time in Monterey

9th move

The boys will miss the California drought side-yard of this house.

There are 3 things everyone should do the week they are moving:

  1. Throw away as much junk as possible.
  2. Sell and giveaway as much junk as possible.
  3. Cry and hug people.

So that’s what we’ve been doing.

We’re officially under contract on a house I’m excited about too. Wahooo!!!  It has ZERO carpet in the living and dining areas. The master bathtub is gigantic, and so is the fenced backyard, so let me tell ya. I am happy.

Am I sad to leave? Nope! There ARE lots of people I loved here, and I will miss you all. I’ve been feeling melancholy about that for sure. I LOVED my friends at CC and my neighbors and our sweet, sweet church family. I will miss all of you.

The thing is that I will unfortunately always associate Monterey with 2 things:

What I Learned from Monterey

1. Homeschooling and how I felt like such a failure at it



2. The ocean and the delightful whales, otters, and seals that I loved so much

Well, okay, also #3…


3. My little health crisis (psoriatic arthritis-ugh!), which was mostly due to the stress of #1 and not visiting #2 as much as I should have.

There are so many if-onlys. But the positive is that we persevered. The past cannot be changed, but the future certainly can.

And so that is my best take-away from this little detour we called grad school:

Do not neglect fun. Do what you enjoy.

Having fun is far more important than I ever realized. The life that I am setting up for myself at our new house will look much different than what I was doing here.

Photo on 5-31-16 at 5.27 PM #2

Don’t I look goofy celebrating over the end of home-school? Let’s never speak of this teaching and trying to do too many things at once experiment again. I am not a teacher.

Next year the boys are going to go to school, where they will be taught by people who (hopefully) enjoy teaching. Our house will be so close to Dan and Caleb’s school that we can walk there. And I am going to make more time for being out in nature with the boys because that is what I love to do. I will also have more time to write because that is my calling.

God created this big, beautiful world. It is a healing thing to take time to enjoy it. Our creator also bestowed us each with different gifts and talents, perspectives, and leanings. He does not wish for us to be idle, but he doesn’t want us to spend all our time fulfilling other people’s callings. We each have our own calling. We all have work we are capable of enjoying.

We are most happy when we are doing what we enjoy and teaching our children to do the same.

But we should not work ALL the time. I’ve always been good about taking vacations, but the past two years it was very rare for me to do anything fun DURING the week. I was not a “fun mom.” I was so busy trying to wear all my hats. I forgot the importance of ever just having fun.

That was a mistake. From now on, I am making more time for fun, even begging, borrowing, and stealing time for fun. This summer you won’t see posts on lesson planning or self-improvement. You are going to see posts on Disney World, baking, getting my Southern accent back, and shenanigans, shenanigans, shenanigans.

And as for those people who may be disappointed in me for not home-schooling anymore? Oh well. I only hope that they know that there is more than one way to skin a cat, and our family needs to skin our cat in a way that doesn’t make me feel like poking my own eye-balls out.

All I know is it’s time for our family to start having a little more fun again. Wait. That’s not quite right. The boys have been having fun all along.

Photo on 5-31-16 at 5.24 PM #3

It’s time for me to start having fun again.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”  Psalm 30:5


9th move

Daniel at Caleb’s last baseball game



While I was learning to lighten up, the boys were learning the value of hard work. Those are hard-earned medals and trophies, not at all like the participation sports medals. All three boys received book awards, for finishing their entire books, a big accomplishment. Joshua even earned TNT Clubber of the Year! So proud!


Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift.   1 Timothy 4:13-14

From now on I’m going to focus more on the gifts I do possess and forget about the ones I’m lacking. Those things will be stealing my joy no longer.

Let’s all have a little more fun!!


Be still and know that I am God

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10






Exciting News, Dirt Angels, and Checking on Daniel



Playing peek-a-boo and look! He was holding his favorite toy airplane, Dusty! So this was before he buried Dusty in the sand. We spent 10 minutes looking, but Dusty was never to be found again. He’s hoping to get a new one for his 3rd birthday.

I’m sitting by the bathroom, making sure JD does not splash while he takes his bath. I can hear some other children of mine downstairs, voicing their disapproval of what I’ve cooked for dinner, and well….I’m thinking perhaps some of my summer vacation plans should be alone….maybe Alan can come, but that’s it.


When Aunt Janet and Daniel get together

So here’s my EXCITING NEWS. JD suddenly up and decided to start pooping on the potty this week. I’ve died and gone to Heaven, but first, there was that one day….


JD, you just made your momma so happy!!!

–John David excitedly met me in the hall way shouting, “I pooped in the potty! I pooped in the potty!”

Cautiously, I ran to the toilet to check his story. Odd. He seemed so proud, and there was a smudge in the bowl, but no poop….

“JD, where’s the poop?”

“Right there!” So it was. There was a shiny wet log, wrapped in a baby wipe like a poop-hot dog, sitting there on the bathroom counter.

“Oh!!  Ah!! Okay, JD, Mommy is so proud of you. Yeah!!  Good job!!! It is so great that you pooped on the potty. You are a BIG boy now, but please, next time, let’s leave the poop in the potty.”

“Yes, JD, so great. Big boy! Definitely always leave it in the toilet.”

….Then the next day he pooped in his underwear again. I wasn’t impressed. JD asked, “So I’m a little boy again?”


But ever since he’s been doing it the right way. He just suddenly shouts, “I gotta poop!”

We help him with his shorts, and then he runs off to the potty. Hurray!!!



“I’m making dirt angels!” (There aren’t enough baths in the world to keep this many little boys clean.)

So let’s recap the month of May:

Thesis: finished

Homeschool: DONE!


Field Trip to The Farm

Last child in diapers: Potty-trained!

Ablation: Canceled. Monitor inserted instead. I’m having lots of dizzy spells, though. I don’t know if they are a heart thing, but I have an appointment on Thursday.

Preschool: Graduated!


That was the last time my camera was seen or used, unfortunately…Sigh. No idea where he put that thing.

The move: all booked, scheduled, and planned. We are 3 weeks out!!!!

New House: Well, I’m still working on that one. Let’s not be hasty when it comes to my home sweet home.


The big boys: Improved their wardrobe by 100% by letting them watch The Sandlot. After that, they started dressing like Rodriguez, from the movie, and playing baseball ALL the time. They started their own league, at the elementary school baseball field, called The Sandlot League.


Don’t get too excited. They are already starting to go back to neon basketball shorts with shirts that don’t match.

The food: Emma introduced us to a delicacy that I sort of became addicted to, and you can buy them at the local farmer’s market:


Oh, yeah. Gluten free caramel apples!


Things are sounding pretty awesome, don’t you think?

It reminds me of that saying that you hear at church:

“God is good all the time. All the time, God is good!”

Alan and our friend, Tom, are taking the three oldest boys and Tom’s son to a minor league game today. JD and I are hopefully working on cleaning out drawers and cabinets in preparation for this move. I’ve already completed 4 closets, the buffet drawers, and the living room.

It feels SO GOOD to haul stuff off to Goodwill!!


One last story:

This is what my to do list looked like the other day:

-Morning Chores

-Check on Daniel.

-Shower/get ready

-Check on Daniel.

-Start sheets.

-Check on Daniel.

-Put away laundry. Move sheets to dryer.

-Check on Daniel.

-Well, you get the idea.  He’s such a good kid, and I can take him anywhere, but left to himself, he is busy, creative, and mischievous. You never know what he might decide to do!

Sometimes I do wonder what he will try next.


hehehe, fun with Aunt Janet’s iPad….And yes, that’s our thankful tree in the background. Yes, it’s almost June, and it’s been up since Thanksgiving. I couldn’t bear to take it down, I like thankful trees even better than Christmas trees. So much less stressful!!

Happy Memorial Day, y’all!


1 2 3 20