Confessions of a Homeschool Rookie Mama


This year marks my second year of homeschooling.  I have one first-grade boy, one kindergarten girl, and one crazy two-year-old who likes to take off with school supplies at random. Crazy toddler man gets shipped off to a Parent’s Day Out program two mornings each week for the sake of homeschool sanity.

I am very new at this!  I NEVER thought I would homeschool.  I don’t have a teaching degree.  I grew up going to public school.   Not to mention, I believed the negative stereotypes about homeschooled kids.  Those aren’t very flattering.  I didn’t even know any kids who were homeschooled until I was an adult.

Now, here I am with my cute little class sitting at my own horseshoe-shaped table with pushpins in my walls holding up posters.  I have relearned the names of the US Presidents whose faces grace our coins.   I can count by nines easily for the first time in my life (thanks to a painfully catchy counting CD).  I have learned the phonics rules right along with my new readers.  I’m doing this thing!

Here’s what I want to confess…  I AM SO INSECURE ABOUT THIS!  I don’t know the answers to the questions that come at me like rapid fire.  I am not a wise expert on the why and how of education.  I have no idea if I will do this through high school.  I want to quit about every three weeks.  No, I am not a naturally patient person.  This teacher gets no break from her students.  No, I don’t think you are a bad mother if you send your kid to public or private school.  And finally, the big socialization question is just really annoying because there is just no winner to that argument.  Weird people are weird no matter where they go to school.  (It’s true, and if you don’t remember the weird kids from school when you were growing up, you might have been one of them, just sayin’.)

As my second year is coming quickly to the halfway point, I have gained more experience and a bit of amazement at myself.  I discovered I had some undiscovered skills…


1.  Put makeup on in my kitchen while teaching, reading, and eating breakfast. (Whew! Take a breath).

2.  Teach both a left-handed perfectionist and a right-handed free spirit proper handwriting technique while hiding the fact that my own pencil grip is “incorrect” according to the handwriting gurus.

3.  Read history, science, or a chapter book with so much enthusiasm that it captivates and engages their little minds.

4.  Stop the day in motion and jump for an unexpected visit, opportunity, or adventure. (This is still really hard for my type “A” list checker self).

5.  Motivate my children to make their own lunches by saying it is a “test.”  (I am still kind of proud of that one 😉 ).

In all seriousness, my true confidence comes from knowing that today and this year I am doing what I am called to do.  Each year my husband and I pray and consider what is best for our kids for that year.  Homeschool parents are the same as any other parents; we all want what is best for our kids.  So, for now, I am thankful to be a homeschool mom.  I am thankful for those sweet faces each day sitting at my horseshoe-shaped table.   Being a homeschool rookie is hard, but my hope and prayer is that we continue to grow together as we learn together.

So what about you?  How did you decide on education for your child?  Have you ever considered homeschooling?

A version of this story was published on Dec. 11, 2013, by author Quad Cities Mom; it has since been updated.

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  1. So wonderful for you! I am a stay at home mom to a 4, 3, and 1 year old. I was a teacher before deciding to stay home with the loveys. I have tossed around the idea of homeschooling for a few years now. My oldest will be entering kindergarten next year and I’m still not positive on what I going to do. I’d love to learn more about what made you choose to homeschool and some of your tips and tricks!!

  2. So amazing! I have toyed with homeschooling my three kiddos. My oldest will be in kindergarten next year and I’m still not 100% sure what I’m going to do. I do have a background in education and this makes me feel even more like maybe I should. I’d love to know what made you decide to homeschool and what tips and tricks you have to share!

  3. We love how homeschooling looks at our house! I agree with the insecure part- we get through one day at a time and move on to the next!

  4. It was so much easier to get started thinking, “It is just kindergarten, I can’t screw this up too bad, right?” 🙂 Don’t look into the future and try to make this big commitment to homeschool all children through 12th grade. That thinking overwhelmed me so much, and it paralyzed any decision. If you are thinking about it, do some research and start talking to your spouse about it. It has to be a team decision, because when you want to quit in October, your spouse will help remind you why you chose to homeschool in the first place. I love checking out homeschool mama blogs to get some ideas. My favorite is because she is so encouraging! Homeschooling has been so great for our family. Blessings on your decisions!

  5. I loved reading your post. I was homeschooled my whole life and I am now halfway through my third year with my own kids (7,6,5,2 & 1). I live about 30 minutes outside the QC and was wondering if any of you awesome ladies are a part of a moms group or homeschool group? I recently moved back here from FL and am having a hard time finding a group to connect with other moms.. Thanks!

    • Kathryn, I just saw your comment on a blog post I wrote in December. There are some homeschool groups here in the Quad Cities. I am involved in Classical Conversations and CLIFF. Let me know if you are still looking for groups.

  6. This is a great post! I think you are doing an awesome job as a mom and a teacher. Your kids are smart and sweet. So proud of you for disspelling stereotypes and encouraging those moms on the fence that they can do it too!

  7. grew up in the QCA and back 3-4 times a year to visit my family. Made the decision to homeschool over 16 years ago we have three (20, 17, 12) and live in New Mexico. Love to keep pulse with the Quad Cities – excited that I am bringing the homeschool robotics team I coach to WIU in July to staff a robot building camp… hoping to encourage homeschoolers in the QCA as homeschooling in Illinois was much more difficult than New Mexico. Feel free to check out our team:

  8. I just wanted to encourage you in your home school journey. It is all worth it! I home schooled both my daughters from preschool through high school. They are 21 and 23 now. They are wonderful women. They have plenty of friends and they did not have any trouble being accepted into college. My oldest has already graduated and is engaged to be married, and my younger daughter will graduate from Black Hawk in the spring and continue at Judson to become a teacher. Home schooling was the most wonderful experience of my life and I still miss it. It can be challenging at times but the rewards are great!


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