I don’t homeschool because I hate the government.  Nor do I homeschool because I think the public school system is all evil.  Nor do I homeschool because I want my kids to be smarter than yours.  In fact, raising super smart kids isn’t even my main goal of education.

I homeschool because I want to spend the time with my kids.  That’s it, in a nut shell.

But, if I may be honest and come clean with you, it’s hard.   In my head I have this picture of me sitting round the table with my four children dutifully working on their studies… a quiet calm in the air.

yea… stop laughing….

And every once in a blue moon, such a solitary moment will occur and I’ll snap a picture because it makes me smile and I want to remember it forever.  (or on those days when I am crying in the living room amid piles of dirty dishes and laundry and children screaming that they hate spelling)  And sometimes I’ll post these pictures to face book because I am so overjoyed to finally have one of those moments… one of those moments that as I mom I thrive off of.  And some one will inadvertently get the wrong idea and assume that’s what school looks like every day at my house.

It’s not.  School at my house almost always looks like mom in her pjs with the two older working on their studies.   There’s almost always a fight over who gets to sit by the window.  My 4 year old stays at the table to color for a few minutes then she’s off singing at the top of her lungs or playing with her baby brother.  Meanwhile my son will complain that he can’t do math/spelling/history/whatever it is I want him to do, b/c he can’t concentrate.  I’ll send him to another room but that too will result in a excuse of some sort being made for why this task is too unreasonable.  Meanwhile my 5 year old will complain b/c she wanted to do math first, but I’d rather start with reading b/c she needs me for reading and I am free at the moment….

See, my homeschool room is full of sinners.  Me, being the chief one of them.  Some days we start late b/c I got distracted by face book.  I’m usually in my pjs b/c I hit snooze when my alarm when off and I didn’t shower yet.  This typically has me wishing today could have been the day that I rose a different person, a chipper morning person who got up before my family, took care of my self and was ready to begin the day on a great foot?  But no, that's not me.

And I am teaching/raising a brood of sinners as well.  And sin is messy.    And it has to be addressed.  Selfishness, disrespect, meanness… it all must be addressed, discussed, confessed, given consequences for, forgiven… and this takes time.  Lots of time.  Time which could be spent round that table angelically working on those assignments.

And most days when I am in the midst of battling sin, I think of that clock ticking in the background and those assignments waiting for me… assignments which will get done but since it now took twice as long as necessary, the house work won’t get done before it’s time to head out for evening of activities.  This frustrates me b/c I hate having a messy house, I hate having to let it go for tomorrow when I know tomorrow won’t be any different.

And as I battle this sin… in myself and in my children, I am more and more aware of the fact that I can’t change myself nor can I change my kids.  I can’t change their hearts.  Only God can.  And so I plead with tears in my eyes as I sit on the hallway floor, begging God to please work in their hearts, please work through me.

It’s a daily battle.

And this spring, I found myself growing a little weary.  A little battle worn.  A little fearful that maybe things weren’t going to get better.  That I didn’t know what I was doing.  Sure we were learning our history time lines and phonics rules… but where was that heart change?

But, the past few weeks, I’ve seen some growth which fills this Momma’s heart with hope.  God is working in my kids hearts.  I see it.  I see a genuine desire to show love to each other.  Not all the time, not every day… they are still human in fact.  But I see God changing my child’s heart.  I see love where before I saw selfishness.  I see HIM at WORK!  And I praise Him.  Because I can think of nothing, not one thing more exciting than to see the Lord at work in the hearts of my children.

This morning I posted this picture on face book.  And I was kinda afraid to post it b/c I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea.  To think I was bragging or to think that I had these perfect kids who angelically sit at the table and help each other with their studies.  I posted it b/c when I saw this scene… when I saw a sister accepting help and correction from her brother… when I saw a brother lovingly helping, not being bossy or showing off that he was right, but gently correcting and encouraging…I saw God at work in their lives and I couldn’t help but smile and rejoice.    We had tears of frustration later over noisy sisters and people using their crayons… but in this moment I saw that all those heart to heart talks this past year, those tearful pleadings for God to soften hearts and mold us to be like him… I saw them being answered…and I couldn’t help but rejoice!


  1. Wonderful post Crystal! I always appreciate how you keep it real and share your heart. I love how you pray for your kids! Keep up the great work!!

  2. Crystal, this is such an excellent snapshot in time of a homeschooling mom's perspective. Homeschooling or not, isn't all parenting about heart-change? Thanks, I needed this reminder as today has not been our best day and Eli, at 2 1/2, is starting to show that independent streak I hear so much about. It's just the beginning and already I've lost sight of the goal. Or at least today I did. Thanks for the pep-talk. And thanks for doing 110% every day to raise some of the coolest nieces and nephews a girl could have. :)

  3. This post sounds like something I could have written as well. We have so many moments like those you described, and yet those glimmers of growth and the joy of the time spent together (even when it's crazy, and stressful, and messy) are so worth it!

  4. I love your truthful and well written perspective on life as a homeschool mom. Great job sticking with it through all that craziness! you really are doing a great job (education AND heart issues :) ). These moments that you "freeze in time" are the ones you will remember best 15 years from now.

  5. you girl and every single one of your loves! I need to get my tissue!

  6. Crystal, you are an amazing, honest, loving woman who truly has a heart for the Lord and for the spiritual growth of yourself and your children. Keep it up girl. You are an inspiration to us all. I love you!

  7. Thanks for sharing this. I'm not a champion of homeschooling, but I can appreciate the work and dedication you are putting into raising and educating your kids. Being able to recognize the awesome moments in the midst of chaos is amazing, something I have to work on. Thanks again!

  8. Thanks Chrystal,

    I am going to have my oldest and youngest at home next year...for the exact reason you stated...I want to spend time with her (the oldest) while she still wants to spend time with me. There are days already that I think I am crazy for making this switch. "What in the world do you think you're doing?" and "You really think you are gonna be able to homeschool...." go through my mind often as I just contemplate what next year will look like. But I know these are attacks from the evil one. I will be praying that you stay strong through all those battles and rely on Him!!

  9. I love this! Thank you for being so real!


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