If I can encourage one person in their homeschooling today...
If I can encourage one person in their homeschooling today…

Do you face any challenges with your homeschool? Are you not sure you even CAN homeschool? Are your challenges physical issues? Financial? Do you feel you lack the education or simply don’t have the personality to homeschool? Maybe you have child with special needs?

I am here to share with you that if I can homeschool through all of our families challenges, you probably can to!

Homeschooling From The Bottom 10%

I recently read an article in the 2015 print edition of the Old Schoolhouse Magazine – “Getting Started: Light A Fire”. In the article, Dr. Heather W. Allen uses some statistics from NCES – the National Center For Education Statistics, including Gross Family Income of Homeschool families. Guess what? Our family’s income was in the bottom 10% of all homeschoolers. Or to be clear, 90% of homeschool families make more money / have more income per year than our family. And yet here I am, paying for my children’s homeschool, staying home instead of working outside of the home, and somehow still living decently off of our meager income.

Now, do I love being in the bottom 10%? Not really. Do I wish we did have some of the things that most others have, like more choices in curriculum or a second car to go do more field trips and activities? Yes! Will I stop homeschooling to have more money? NO WAY.

God convicted me to homeschool, God promised to provide at least the basics of what we need, and He has made good on His promises. And so I continue on, even though it isn’t easy.

Homeschooling From a Broken Background

Unfortunately, I come from another “bottom” group, although you won’t find this one in the statistics article. This is my background. There seems to be this thought out there that homeschoolers must come from happy, well adjusted, Christian homes to be able to do what they do. I did not. I came from a completely broken background  – abuse, divorce, no encouragement, public school bullying and teasing, addiction, and more. I come from a place where most people would never consider that I could turn out to be someone who follows God and who homeschools.

I am not a woman of patience, an encouraging attitude, perseverance, discipline, gentleness, etc… And yet, God has been instilling these things in me throughout this process. He has been working them out in me by homeschooling. I literally change month by month, year by year, as I commit to the course.

I really am a story of Beauty From Ashes. When once, many years ago I did not even WANT children, I now find myself delighting in teaching them, spending time with them, growing them, and seeing them get to do and experience a better life than I ever did.

All Is Certainly Not Perfect

I still have much growing to do. We are still in our first years of homeschooling (4 so far) and I know there is much for ME to learn and change. I have encountered some serious challenges the past two years, mainly physical with a miscarriage and now a challenging pregnancy, but also a relational and spiritual setback.

My patience is a little “soft” right now and I have to repent and try again daily. I have seen that I have not been encouraging the children as well as I could and have been negative towards them at times. Again, I have to repent daily and try again. I have wanted to give up so many times, but I can’t and I won’t. So sometimes, we lighten the load and sometimes, we take a week off.  Sometime mom just needs a day to do something different. We do whatever it takes and still make forward progress.

Even with our imperfection and struggles, we still get complimented out in public at how well behaved (not great, but better than average) our children are, how happy they seem, how sharp they are, and how quick they are to make friends with those who they meet.

No, not perfect, but worth keeping on for.

If anything I said resonated with you, please let me know.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Hip Homeschooling

18 comments on “Super Simple Homeschooling: Homeschooling From The Bottom 10%”

  1. yes, I can relate! I too struggle with patience-and need mommy breaks. Thank you for your honesty-it helps to know I’m not alone!

    • Thank you – This was hard for me to write – there was some real fear of judgement to reveal so much.

      BTW, It looks like I have the girls to almost match your boys (girl #4 is due in 6 weeks)!

  2. I wanted to comment bc 1: you are not alone and 2: thank you, thank you for letting me know I’m not alone. I struggle daily with patience/temper issues. I am sometimes not encouraging to my children and it makes me feel so guilty inside. I just hope that God uses my shortcomings to show my children how I daily need forgiveness and his grace, too. We, also, are in the bottom 10% and sometimes it makes me sad. Not because I wish we had more but bc I feel we could be better stewards with our money and we would have more. Don’t get me wrong, more money would be good, though. Lol No complaining if we win the lottery.

    • Thank you!

      As I have been homebound for many weeks due to my pregnancy, I have found I struggle with these issues more than “normal.” So I am being stretched, which will hopefully help me to be better in the future.

      I find that I do better when I can have a “just me” date every couple of weeks – i.e. a half day where I go out and have lunch, do a little (thrift / bargain) shopping, or a movie or just sit in a park.

  3. It’s almost like I wrote that article myself! We make slightly over 30k a year with6 in our home it’s not a lot. I suffer from medical issues that don’t make life impossible, but challenging to say at the least. I’m not patient and don’t share the mind of a child, so wrapping my brain setting homeschooling was inconceivable to me. But, this will be yat 3 and wet are still trucking along. It’s nice to se see that I’m not the only one who desires to give her children better even in my circumstances. Several people have told me to put the kids on school so I can use more time for myself and my medical problems, but I can’t. Does this extra work stress me at times and possibly even cause flare-ups? Yes, but it’s worth it to me to give tthem a quality education that I’d individualized to their needs as well as one that leads them to know more about the God who loves us enough to send his only son as atonement for our sins. This is my personal mission field for Christ. I will keep working this field, though laborious, one day I’ll see the harvest.

    • Bless you for persevering! A lady at my church, who has such issues with pregnancy that she has to spend most of it in bed shared with me that she is going to hurt anyway, so it makes more sense to her to keep busy than to send them off and sit there and just hurt. And someday, the season of pain will end.

  4. I can relate, as my family is also in the 10% group and I did not come from a Christian background either. We live off one small income and do the best we can. I love homeschooling my kids!

  5. Thanks for sharing your story. My background sounds a bit like yours. It is beautiful to see that our beginnings do not have control on our endings, and how bad situations can turn into something beautiful. I am always in awe of my life. We aren’t financially rich, but spiritually and emotionally we are wealthy.

  6. Thanks for sharing!
    Why do people who don’t homeschool think somehow sending our kids AWAY to school would be “less stressful”? I had a medical issue in 2012 that was stress induced and so often was told to send the kids “to school”. SORRY, getting them on the bus at the crack of dawn, being home with the bus gets back (or traveling to school for pick-up) and coming home with 3-4 hours of homework is NOT “less stressful” for this momma! Much easier to have a relaxed morning and move at our own pace. Sit down and do lessons for 2-3 hours and then “be done”. That is less stressful. Non-homeschoolers don’t get that!

    • Totally agree. We take our time to get going each day as needed. Sometimes I have to school from my bed – and I can! My only delima is keeping them busy in the late afternoon.

  7. I love this so much! I can so relate with the lack of patience. BUT… I have to tell you, from the other side. I was homeschooled. My mom struggled greatly with her patience, she got frustrated, she would sometimes raise her voice, she could have encouraged more. She had faults.

    And yet it was the best and most special thing and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I knew she loved me, I grew from it, she grew from it. We are not perfect people, I think for our kids to see that, to see us fail and try again, teaches them so much about God’s mercy and grace and life in general. And most of all, our failings show all of us, that God is bigger than us. He can fill in the gaps we miss. He can even use our failings to make our kids stronger, better, more resiliant. Not to say they are right, of course, I am always working on being the best mom I can be. But when I feel like I am failing, I hear His voice whisper to me that He’s got this. 😉

    Thanks SO much for linking up at Favorite things Friday! Hope to see you again this week my friend!

    • Thank you Rebecca, that is encouraging and a blessing to hear from someone who has been homeschooled and is homeschooling. Encouraging writing must be one of your gifts and it has very good timing!

  8. This post was so encouraging to me, that it’s ok to be less than perfect and let the rules slide a little, giving yourself grace. Thank you for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *