Welcome!  
I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Ugly Truth About a Blog

The Ugly Truth about a Blog


A few weeks ago, I gathered with a small band of exceptional homeschooling moms that meet every-other-month to support and encourage one another on the journey. I'm proud to call so many of them my friends. Out of loyalty...or maybe obligation, in a few cases...many of these dear homeschooling sisters have begun following The Unlikely Homeschool.

As the meeting progressed, it saddened me to hear how some of these women were beginning to feel defeated in their calling to home educate because of...ahem...this here chronicle of mine...or others like it around the web.

I was quick to point out that blogs...mine included...show such a distorted view of the everyday. While reading a blog, you are only privy to the truth that fits on a fourteen inch screen. You only see the parts of life that a blogger wants you to see.

I guess, in truth, I should only speak for myself and MY BLOG...

The Deceiver would like nothing more than to use my blog...meant to encourage and equip...to whisper his lies of self-doubt, insecurity, and insufficiency into the hearts and minds of some sweet mommas.

Yes, in reading my blog, you are welcomed to see the fun...the meaningful...the successful moments of our homeschooling, but please keep in mind all of the things that you don't see....

the big mountain of toys that I pushed aside in order to capture the PERFECT picture

the dirty dishes piled to the ceiling

the five baskets of clean, but UNFOLDED laundry that have taken permanent residence at the foot of my bed

and for that matter...the laundry that HAS been folded but is inside-out because I am too tired...or lazy...to turn them around the right way

the jammies that I am sometimes still wearing at ten in the morning

...I think you get the idea.

The point is, we are ALL just imperfect mothers with imperfect children trying to find God's PERFECT plans for our homeschooling in a very imperfect world.

 
folded clothes

This blog was started as a ministry...an opportunity for one stay-at-home mom to use her passion for writing and her love of homeschooling to reach out to the "uttermost parts." I have been so encouraged to have so many of you walking along beside me each day and would like nothing more than for that to continue...but ONLY ON ONE CONDITION!

Do you agree to these terms?

Repeat after me:  "I promise that as I read The Unlikely Homeschool, it will be with the understanding that the writer of said blog is a woman who...

  • LOVES but doesn't always LIKE homeschooling...
  • burns dinner more times than she'd like to admit...
  • doesn't even cook dinner some nights and opts for....shock of all shocks...frozen pizza instead...
  • doesn't really care to wipe off the germs on the handle of the grocery cart before depositing her little tyke into it...
  • applauds those who make their laundry soap from scratch, but would much rather head to aisle 8 for hers...
  • opens her mouth louder and more often than she should...
  • can't always remember the last time she gave her kids a bath...
  • has a large pile of dishes, laundry, dust bunnies, on her "HAVE to, but don't really WANT to do" list...
  • likes taking her kids to homeschool co-op...but mostly because she likes chatting with the other mommas...
  • spends far too much time reading about the Christian walk and not actually walking it...
  • and most importantly, is blessed with a great circle of readers who continue to share in her journey in spite of all of this."

If you agree to those terms, I invite you to keep reading. If you are here looking for perfection, you might want to try googling Martha Stewart, because THIS homeschooling momma will disappoint you EVERY TIME!

81 comments:

  1. Your post was great! It's wonderful when I read how not perfect others are so that I don't have to think I'm the only imperfect one out there!
    Thank you, Heather

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    1. Rest assured, Heather, you are not! Perfection only came once on the earth. If only we all could remember that more often?!

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  2. A couple days ago I wrote a post for Heart of the Matter Online (will be posted in Feb.) that talks about this very thing. Except, it was me feeling like every other homeschool mom has it all together and I don't! But I go on to state the reality of LIFE - that no one has it all together. Great post! So funny that I was just pondering this very same thing...

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    1. Oh, I'd love to read it. You'll have to let me know when it comes out.

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  3. So true! It's easy to start comparing if you don't watch how our mind wanders. I always find its best to find something fun to do with my kids when I'm comparing. It reminds me that their little minds and belly laughs are what matters on my journey.

    Side note, do you live in Georgia?! I need a group like the one you mentioned! My friend and I have discussed starting one but I'm not sure what wed talk about or how to gather it. I'd love your opinion on how yours goes!

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    1. Nope not Georgia. But I've been there...lovely. I started our little group about three years ago. I hope to post on it...someday soon.

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    2. Not strictly homeschoolers but maybe you would still find that support in a MOPS group? www.mops.org

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    3. Yes, MOPS is a great organization. I was a co-coordinator and served in other forms of leadership for a local group for years. I highly recommend it for any young mom!

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  4. I totally understand where everyone is coming from. I keep a small blog (not anything like the resource you have going on here!) and occasionally make what I call "For Real" posts. They are by far the ones with the most comments either on the post or on my facebook page. Often, I get emails or messages from someone to pray or just talk more deeply!

    Thanks for your great blog and your continued honesty!

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    1. There is definitely something in all of us that responds to the real honest truth...even the UGLY truth.

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  5. Thank you for being SO honest, this is so encouraging!

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  6. that was so great! Love
    the transparency! I'm actually considering starting a blog of my own. I already write monthly for another blog. Still praying about God's leading about starting it but...I hope to "keep it real" and let others know me and my day in and out, not what looks good on a computer screen! Blessings to you! That was awesome!

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  7. YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!

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  8. Your description of yourself reminded me of . . . me! Thank you for sharing. I can get discouraged reading different homeschool blogs-it is nice to keep hings in perspective.

    I do, however, make my own laundry soap! ha. But I live about an hour from town and one batch lasts me abut 4 or 5 months and does not take long to make. :)

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    1. Actually, I did too for about a year. I used the recipe on the Duggar's website. But after a while I found myself throwing away so many clothes because stains just weren't coming out. I should think about finding a new recipe.

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  9. I have a blog as well and I have heard comments about people discouraged at the "bloggy moms" who have it all together. I guess we need to start posting more behind the scenes posts.

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  10. Can I just thank you for sharing your pile of dirty dishes. Truly. I am one of those moms that have spent the past few weeks in tears more than in smiles. Angry at myself for allowing my children to "fall behind" in their schooling. Angry that I've been failing at my wifely duties to care for our home, prepare dinner, and shower on a semi-regular basis.

    I've felt that I have been a huge failure and there is no way that I can even be 1/10th the homeschool mom that I see on Confessions of a Homeschooler, THIS blog, and well just so many. Homes perfect, craft projects completed, and gasp even regular posts to the blogs.

    Even if I were to gain another 24 hours each week I still would not have enough time to get everything done and still sleep. So now I don't feel as bad about my pile of dirty dishes or the mounds of laundry.

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    1. I guess in the end, we homeschool moms need to cut ourselves some slack regarding a clean house. We are investing in what really matters...the dust will always be there tomorrow.

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  11. YES! Beautiful. Thank you for saying it. To be honest I stopped reading most homeschool blogs a while ago for the exact reason that your friends talked about. I also write a blog, but I tend to put all my mess on there, so I SO appreciate when others tell the truth too. THANK YOU!
    www.piecesofamy.net

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  12. I'm grandma to two homeschooled kids and am so proud of my daughter who chose to follow this road. Awesome blog!

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    1. She's a lucky momma to have your support in her choice!

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  13. Yes! This blogger/homeschool mama knows what you're talking about. I had my son wear shorts yesterday because of his lack of clean pants. Good think we didn't have to go anywhere in the cold winter weather. That's why I'm just an Average Housewife;)

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  14. Best blog post I've seen in a good while! You are setting a lot of mamas free today with the truth. The truth is, we all have this passion to homeschool our children in a safe, loving environment, but that comes at a great price. We have to put on airs for everyone around us so that they don't see the fear of failure on our faces. We don't have people over to see the chaos that is our home during a school week for fear that they will think we are failing in our home. But the truth is, we homeschool moms are working so hard every day to see our children succeed and that is our main goal. I'd like to see any public school teacher take on several grade levels at once and also be responsible for getting those kids' laundry clean, folded and put away each day. Not only that, but she has to be the lunch lady too (and the maintenance staff that comes to clean up after lunch)...and the gym teacher AND she has to be the principle who has to deal with those inevitable nasty attitudes that most teachers can send out of their class (but,that's probably just my kids...everybody else has perfect angels for homeschoolers). And to top it all off, she has to do all of this with a baby on her hip and still be sane at the end of the day so she can make a gourmet meal for dinner. Just the fact that we TRY to accomplish this in a day makes us heros and, I think, HIGHLY underpaid :) I say congratulations to any homeschooling mom who has made it to the end of the day having completed their lesson plan and getting a load of wash all the way to the dryer and a load of dishes into the dishwasher and done just in time to have clean plates for dinner. (Forget about the hand washables....maybe the hubby will see the look of desperation on your face and make you a hot cup of tea so you can relax and blog about it while he does the dishes for you...woah...what was that? A unicorn?)

    Thanks for this post. It was very encouraging and I'm going to go share it with my homeschool group now because we were JUST talking about this yesterday.

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    1. Unicorn...ha! Too funny!
      I wore the classroom teacher hat for many years and although I can say most of them work very hard...I have never worked harder in my life as a homeschool teacher. You are right...teaching multiple grades while caring for little ones AND keeping a house running is tough stuff. I have the full support of a wonderful husband and that helps a lot. But, I know of many homeschool moms who don't and my heart brakes for them. I don't know how they do it.

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  15. These are the blogs I like!! These are sometimes way more encouraging then a blog about how to do math or spelling. You know what I mean. Thanks for being honest and letting us know your not "perfect". =)

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  16. A blog is just a tiny snippet of someone's life! I guess it's hard to remember that sometimes. I have "Blog Rules" posted on my blog along the same lines: http://fromthemrs.blogspot.com/p/me-with-no-makeup.html

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  17. Totally agree! If you're already familiar with Hearts at Home you'll know about this book, but if not, check out the book "No More Perfect Moms" by Jill Savage (to be released on Feb. 4). The book will address our unrealistic expectations and our comparisons to other seemingly-perfect moms, and how to change it all. Here's the link for more information:
    http://www.hearts-at-home.org/index.php/nmpm-home

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    1. The title speaks volumes! I'll have to look into that one.

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  18. I hear this all the time about Pinterest. How it makes moms feel like they aren't doing enough with their children, but I just don't see it like that. I guess I just see how much inspiration there is out there for us. Don't worry, you have blessed a lot of people! Those who are discouraged are that way no matter what you post.

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    1. *those who are discouraged are SOMETIMES that way

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    2. I hear this about Pinterest, as well. I personally find GREAT inspiration there. But maybe it is just a difference of personalities.

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  19. LOVED this entry. I've just recently started a blog myself about homeschool and I don't know how many times I've moved a project to take a picture or decided not to post a picture because of all the junk in the back ground. When I look at other blogs and see wide spans of their clean house, I think to myself, "that pic must have been snapped at the exact perfect moment." Although, I would have previously compared their home to mine.

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    1. Looking through my blog sometimes makes me cringe when I see piled up shoes by the front entry or stacks of papers/receipts on countertops, etc. But, oh well...other people have shoes and receipts too...right?!

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  20. Great post! Jill Savage is working on a "No More Perfect Moms" campaign and this post goes along with what she's talking about perfectly. Thanks for sharing! I'm linking to this post on my blog: www.wanibug.blogspot.com

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  21. You should see my house! It's the blogging that takes the time, educating the kids is easy. Mess is inevitable in a homeschool environment, it's only people that are out all day that have show homes. And yes, my kids drive me insane sometimes, too. I walked out and left them with their Dad yesterday morning, had to get out and have a coffee ON MY OWN! But mostly it's all good :)

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  22. I think that all of you need to be commended. I am so proud of you and so thrilled to see so many moms are now homeschooling. Keep up the good work and may the Lord richly bless each of you. Mary

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    1. What a kind affirmation to all these wonderful moms, Mary! Thank you. We all needed that.

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  23. Yes, yes yes. Thank you. I love truth. I'm glad I found this blog today. :)

    http://www.statusofmyheart.blogspot.com

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  24. I have so thought about doing a post like this and showing everyone a true picture of what my house really looks like! A big mess! Thanks for your honesty, and it gives me a picture of what some of my readers might be feeling when they see my "perfect" pictures. (Although sometimes a little of the mess still manages to sneak into my photos and I usually just leave it in, but it's more because I'm lazy than anything else. Now I don't have to feel bad about that, right? :)

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  25. Love this! It's exactly how I feel when I am blogging and someone comments on how "organized and together" I seem. LOL! Thank you! You could put my name on every item on your list... AMEN!

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  26. Great post! Thanks for summing up the reality of homeschooling!
    Jan
    www.MomsWhoHomeschool.blogspot.com

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  27. I love this! As much as I try to be real on my blog, I worry that those who find it via Pinterest for some kids' craft project or google via a search phrase and don't take the time to read more than that one post will leave feeling more discouraged than they came. Those who are regulars readers know that much of your list applies to me to and then some! But I do worry about sending out the wrong idea and therefore discouraging readers. Really great read...thanks!

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    1. Yes...Pinterest definitely has its PROS and CONS...this being one of the CONS. But, hopefully, like you said, regular readers will be able to see the big pile of papers on the shelf, the laundry baskets sitting in the corner, and the unswept floors in my photos.

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  28. Seeing someone else's dirty dishes - great reality therapy! Thanks : )

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  29. beautiful, honest, and heartfelt post!

    Jen
    Creative and Curious Kids!

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  30. What a wonderful heart you have to be so open and honest for the sake of making others feel comfortable! How selfless of you!

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    1. I mostly wanted to just show how we all have the same struggles as homeschool moms...even when someone seems like they have it all together.

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  31. Great post! Just found your blog through Hip Homeschool Moms. Blogs and FB can show such a distorted view of real life. I try to be open and speak truth on my blog and from time to time do a post such as this. There are too many people who get caught up in posting the "good", the "pretty" and never show the real. Thanks for sharing the not so pretty with your readers.

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  32. Tears!!! I needed to read this today, and yesterday and probably tomorrow too!

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  33. Thank you Jamie, for your honesty and integrity. We are all so blessed to have you as part of our "blog" family, and our heavenly family! You are an encouragement and you really have changed my life relating to homeschooling. I so appreciate your photo of your dish pile...it looks like mine :) You're doing an amazing job!

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    1. What kind words, Donna. Thank you! And I'm so glad to know that someone else has a daily mountain of dishes like me!

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  34. Amen and halleluiah! We do what we can, when we can, however much we can. Surely no one wants to hear about the pile of dirty clothes that has an affectionate nickname (Mt Washmore), or the grunge around the sink in my boys' bathroom, or the well laid out lesson plan that didn't go according to plan. I can tell you what does work, though! Somehow that seems like cheating now. Maybe we ought to let the grimies have some sunlight just to let other moms know, we suffer, too. Thank you for the dose of honesty.

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  35. Love it!! It's so true...we be inspired by a blog (one another) but also have to guard against comparison/envy.
    Thanks for sharing :)

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  36. I love this. It's so easy to think that the tiny picture of perfect we see on a blog is their whole life.

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    1. It's always nice to be reminded that it's not. I know I need a good reminder of this from time to time myself.

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  37. Thank you! I needed that :)

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  38. It's definitely nice to see somebody willing to admit to having faults. We women are always comparing ourselves to each other, whether it be over home schooling, parenting, pregnancy, physical attractiveness, spousal worthiness, etc. I think the way we compare ourselves as women is worse even than how we compare ourselves to our siblings. Everyone wants to be a super-woman worthy of praise. Maybe if we praised each other more often instead of singing our own praises or cutting each other down we wouldn't feel the pressure from those deep, dark, secret faults we try to hide in our search for approval trying to get out and expose us for being less than perfect. As you said, not one of us is perfect, but we are all made in the image of God. Let us remember both.

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  39. Thank you, I needed this soooo bad. Bless you.

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  40. I only recently found your blog, but can I just say thank you for this post, this was something I truly needed to read. <3

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  41. PERFECT timing for me! Our journey has gotten off to a rough start this year. I'm feeling so overwhelmed with keeping up with the demands of the house, school, everyone! Soooo nice to see how "normal" it is to get behind in some of the "juggle". Thank you for keeping it real!

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    1. You're welcome. I think it is always nice to put a little "REAL perspective" on the web.

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  42. To be honest, I rarely read most HSing blogs anymore because I really don't feel a connection to the whitewashed types where it looks as if the houses are all clean and the children just sit dutifully at the table being angelic all the time. I like the "warts and all" blogs where I feel like I'm hanging out with a friend and a real person.

    I have had a "full disclosure" tag on my HS blog for years (http://magicandmayhem.homeschooljournal.net/category/full-disclosure/). I like looking back on the posts tagged full disclosure the most these days because even though they made me crazy at the time they often make me smile the most now. :)

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    1. I think it is such a balance. On the one hand, candidness is always so encouraging to read and to write. But on the other hand, I also think bloggers have to protect the ones they love from "the fish bowl." I never want to air out my children or husband's dirty laundry. This is MY blog. Not there's. While I never mind letting all my "junk" hang out for all to see, I have to remember, that their story isn't mine to tell. I love and respect them all too much to embarrass them by telling all the nitty-gritty. Definitely a delicate balance.

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  43. Thank you for this. I am not a homeschool mom (although i have considered it more than once), i am just a mom that works a rotating schedule so somedays i GET TO (trying to remind meself that part) be home with my 3year old son. For a while i have been really searching for ways to teach my son about giving and being kind to others. So today i spent several hours gathering things like food, toys, clothes, dog food ect. to take to differrnt places/people around town. I tried really hard to get him excited about doing this but his response was well... Not what i was hoping for. Meanwhile, hes being very disobedient and HYPER. Then i sat him down to decorate some cards for passing out and he did maybe two and had no interest in anymore. Despite all this, i loaded him up and we went out the door (i think i should note that IM extremely frustrated at this point!). I had to go by the post office before we got going... His very minor disturbances in there were enough to put me over the edge. Next thing i knew i found my self back home, nothibg donated, my son in timeout and me sitting on the kitchen floor crying out to God "why? whats wrong with me?! Im a horrible mother! How can i teach my son kindness if I cant be kind myself?".

    Finally... Here i am. Reading a post on a blog i have never been to before that reminds me I am not the only one that has a hard time.

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    1. Bless you, sweet momma! You are certainly NOT alone. We are all just messed up people. I'm so glad you were led to these words and that they were a good reminder to you that there is NO ON perfect this side of heaven.

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  44. I've had a rough morning in my homeschool. This is my 2nd year homeschooling with a 5th grader (and a just turned 4-year-old). I decided to spend lunch at the computer looking at homeschool blogs because I need inspiration. I need a new idea. I need to shake it up a bit to renew our love for learning. I need to be reminded on why I don't spend my days in solitude while my girls are at school. God used you today to help me. I don't think I need to compare - I'm just taking inspiration from you. Thanks for the help today!

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    1. I'm so glad you found this post! I hope you find inspiration here but most importantly ENCOURAGEMENT...to keep on the course. You can do it!

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  45. I just found your blog today, and have been so encouraged by it. There were so many pages on which I wanted to comment, "Oh, we think so similarly on this subject!" I am an eclectic home schooling mom to 6, ages 1-11. Many times, I have fallen into the comparison trap, so, thank you for writing this particular post!

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    1. Don't we all fall into that trap! I know that I do. I'm so glad you've found my blog. I hope you'll stick around.

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  46. YOU ARE AWESOME!!!! I love your blog and have found myself very encouraged by it. I love it even more after this blog. Thank you for being authentic and vulnerable. I totally agree to your terms, and will continue reading! Blessings!!!

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  47. Hhahaa! That is my house! Especially the part where there is 5 loads of "clean" clothes at the foot of my bed! Oh the wonders of raising 5 children for His Glory!....sometimes I just wish I didn't have the perfect family living right next to me with two kids and a clean house all the time...ughh...guess its just a reminder of God's grace-and that I need it! Everyday!

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    1. I can relate to having a "perfect" neighbor. Only mine are all on Facebook. I have to remind myself that I only see a glimpse of their reality. Only the shiny parts.

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  48. Yes!! I was just clearing off some things last night to get some blog pictures without random stuff in the background :)

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