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 monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Top 10 Fequently Asked Questions

While the homeschooling movement is gaining traction, it's still a rather against-the-grain form of education. And like all unconventional lifestyle choices, it tends to raise a lot of eyebrows and garner its fair share of question marks.

I've been around the block a time or two thousand and have heard all the questions and have received all the sideways glances.

But, not all curiosity comes from a place of judgment. More often than not, folks are just after a little information, not an inquisition.  

Here's a list of the top 10 questions I receive most often and my GO TO answers.

What curriculum do you use?

I tend to be rather eclectic, picking and choosing the best from various styles of education and publishers. Feel free to browse my curriculum lists from year-to-year Since our schooling needs continue to ebb and flow, so must my list.

Why did you choose to homeschool?

Like all of life's "big questions," there is no simple answer. I have put together a series of my Top 4 reasons. The main one being that my husband and I felt called of God to do so.

animal collage

What about socialization?

As I have already answered at length about that in part 4 of my Why Do I Choose to Homeschool series, I'll give you the short version. For the most part, people who ask that question know very little about homeschooling and even less about a traditional classroom setting. I taught in the classroom for seven years prior to homeschooling and know that by its very nature, a school tends to be quite institutionalized. What little socializing does actually take place, typically comes in the form of bullying and unnecessary peer pressure. The peer pressure isn't always blatant, but often subversive as in the case with popular clothing trends, music & movie choices, and attractions to the opposite sex. Children are only encouraged to have relationships with children born the exact same year as them. If that is "socialization," I think I'll pass.

Have your children ever asked to go to school?

Nope. Not even once. Part of the reason might be that one of our co-op moms lives right across the street from the playground of a local elementary school. She obviously hosts our group occasionally. When getting out of our car to enter her house, my kids have looked across the road and have seen several fights break out with groups of children, teachers yelling at students in rather unkind tones, and many students looking tired and bored in their "pen." I wish I were exaggerating these facts, but unfortunately, I am not. It might also make a difference that my oldest kids each have public schooled friends who have mentioned to them at various times their own desire to be homeschooled for a number of different reasons.

Cooking lesson

What do you love most about homeschooling?

How do I pick just one answer??? As a school teacher, I looooved teaching but hated all the school politics. I suppose my favorite thing about homeschooling is that I get to teach...my very favorite kids in the whole world...and I don't have to deal with all the "extras" that come with the job.

What is your least favorite thing about homeschooling?

Sometimes it does get a little overwhelming. When I was a school teacher, I only had to prepare one lesson a day per subject. Next year, I will need to prepare three lessons in most (but not all) subjects, provide educational/intentional play for a toddler, and nurture/chase after a crawling baby. Pheewww...just writing that makes me a little dizzy!

Blow painting

How do you know what to teach and when?

I do the same thing that a classroom teacher would do...follow the general scope and sequence laid out for me in various teacher's guides and manuals. Since I've been doing home teaching for a while, I feel freer to "invent my own wheel." But if I'm ever in doubt, I can refer to the curriculum. There is NOT a single classroom teacher that I know of who has taught every single grade. Therefore, every teacher has to...at one point or another...be directed by a pre-determined guide. A homeschool mom is no different. She just has the advantage of being able to tailor/tweak the "guide" for her specific child. As an added bonus, I get to include my kids in the plan. Their own passions and interests get to steer their learning much of the time.

Do you ever fear that you might not be qualified to teach a particular subject?

Well, the short answer is that many new homeschooling moms fear that they will leave something out or that they might be ill-qualified to teach a particular subject...that they will sabotage their child's education. On the contrary, a MOTHER, more than any other person in the world has her child's best interest at heart. Most homeschooling mothers go ABOVE and BEYOND to ensure QUALITY for her children...to invest all her time, energy, and resources to do the job well! And in the end, if I am not the best at algebra or a foreign language, I have to rest in the fact that God gave ME these children and called ME to educated them. It was not by accident. It was by design. He knows what their futures hold and will provide them with all that they need to do His will for their lives...with or without me and my inadequacies.

And here's the long answer...

The Unlikely Homeschool

How do you juggle it all...homeschooling, mothering little ones, home keeping?

What mother doesn't juggle a myriad of balls? I often feel that my schedule is no different from a working mother's. We typically school from 9:30-3ish, which would be considered normal working hours for some moms. With God's help, I do the best I can each day. Some days feel like a success, while others are quite a bit more challenging. It helps to have a great support network of family and homeschooling and non-homeschooling friends. Organization and household habits are essential. But those help to make ANY household run smoothly. With the addition of the Newbie, our day has had to evolve a bit. But, it IS POSSIBLE to homeschool with a newborn or a toddler, there are just adjustments that need to be made to the day.

What do you do with your toddlers while you are teaching your older ones?

That answer is a whole post in itself! Two very successful tools that I have in my arsenal are an assortment of small hands-on "tot school" activities; and, what I, affectionately, call blanket time. My two...almost three-year-old...has graduated from being on his blanket, but it won't be long before the newbie can have his turn.

Investigating a sink hole

What homeschool questions do you find yourself answering often?


  1. Great list! And I so agree with this: " I often feel that my schedule is no different from a working mother's." During the summer in general and especially when my kids are at camp or on vacation, I think about how it feels like an actual holiday for ME--because I do have a full-time job.

    1. I sometimes don't think people realize what a time investment it is.

  2. Michelle Duggar got me on blanket time-- except we haven't really been doing it yet. I love that it teaches self-control and toddlers can feel like they have a special 'place to work' and do their play (like their older siblings have a place to go sitting at the desk or table).

    1. That's where I learned about it too! Love it.

    2. Sweet! Michelle taught me about "blanket time" too, and it worked beautifully for my toddlers while nursing newborns, and teaching older children!

  3. I'm excited that I found your blog. I just learned about Tot School last week and I have been brainstorming ideas and getting some stuff together to start it with my little man this week. I always joked that I was going to homeschool my kids and now that I actually have one I definitely want to. Not sure if hubby is on board, for one thing I never finished college. But I like that you said a mother will go above and beyond to give quality to her children. I know that if there's something I'm not sure about I'll be up late studying so that I can teach it. I am hoping that once hubby sees the growth and structure that comes from Tot School he'll be willing to give homeschool a chance.

    1. My husband was very similarly skeptical. Just continue to show him your commitment and pray that God changes his heart towards homeschooling.

  4. We are entering our 19th year of home education, and the most frequently asked question has been about curriculum. People are surprised to hear that we don't use the public school curriculum, and are very curious about where we find these books. They are always shocked to hear about all of the resources available. A lab tech remarked just a few days ago, "Well, whoever invented this homeschooling, did a good thing!" ;)

  5. Can you tell me how your co-op works? It sounds like maybe you each host a meeting.

    1. Here's a brief introductory post about our co-op. http://www.theunlikelyhomeschool.com/2012/02/introducing-gang-homeschool-co-op.html
      Last year, we veered away from the book study and did a Geography unit instead. This year it will be a combination of the two. I did a week-long series about co-ops. It had a preschool emphasis, but could be applied to all ages. I hope to do a nuts and bolts post about our co-op plans at the end of the month.

  6. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts. I just found your blog today! I am just starting this journey with an almost 4 year old, mostly getting myself ready and just playing and encouraging him, an 18 month old, and pregnant. The one question I keep thinking of is: how do you turn off mom and become teacher? Or how do you blend them? I am fun but strict as mom. I don't want to make homeschooling boring or to where he dreads it. Should there be a difference? This is where I am struggling most, at the moment.