November 18, 2017

Last Week(s) of School

 Dear Diary of a Homeschool Mom,

I’m sure I am not the only one.  I know for a fact, I’m not.

Along with countless other mothers, in spite of our best efforts, I’m confronted by the fact that I am at the end of the “school year”, but not at the end of the school books.
Two stacks of books next to each other
Big sigh.

I have my options.

  • Like other moms, I will consider pushing the boys HARD to finish every page of every book, and hope they grasp most of it.
  • I can assess each boy’s skill level per subject, and have them skip over things that they might already know.
  • I can subscribe to year round homeschooling…. (NOOOOOOOooooooo!)
  • I can have the boys stop where they are and pick up where they left off next year.

Or I can just relax and be okay with where they are now in each book, do my best to finish in the next couple of weeks, and know that most of the last chapters of each subject are discussed again next year (most of the time, depending on subject and grade)….

I was flipping through my seventh grader’s English notebook this morning.  I had been giving myself a really hard time for allowing him too much independence the second half of this year.  I wondered if he had really applied himself, if he had really read and studied as he went, or if he was just skimming the page.  I entertained thoughts like, “maybe he would have learned more in a school setting”, and “what if I have done him a disservice by keeping him home to learn with me?”  But the notebook……

It reminded me.

Because in it, he had written

  • about how the letters from the word L O R D sound like breathing in Hebrew.
  • about how happy he was that Drew was tough and would be a really great UFC fighter someday.
  • how a wise man loves God, fears God, and honors God with his words, thoughts, and actions.
  • a story about a man named Bob who went skydiving and SMACK broke his leg in half, but required no surgery.
  • how to make potato chips.  (He’s a good cook and they were so yummy!)
  • that “duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do things beautifully.”

I could go on, but that was enough.

Duty makes us do things well.  It’s true.  I chose to homeschool these boys because I feel it’s my duty.   But more importantly, I do it because I love them and I love God and want to be obedient to Him.

So whether or not we’re at the end of each book at the close of this school year, it is okay.  Because I’ve seen with my own eyes the beauty of watching my boys draw closer to God.  To their parents.  And to each other.  I’ve witnessed them learn more about God as they probably would not have done in a different school setting.  I’ve  eaten the potato chips.

Maybe it’s been messy.  Maybe I haven’t stuck to a rigid schedule enough.  Maybe I should have slept more this past year.  And maybe a lesson goes unfinished til next year.

It’s okay.  We’ll work it out.

Love makes us do things beautifully.

photo credit

Humbled and grateful,


  1. beautiful, indeed. nice blog. = )

  2. Jennifer says:

    Just wanted to say this post touched my heart and was a good reminder of WHY we are homeschooling. Like reading your blog. (:

  3. I’m new to your blog, clicked through Smockity’s FB page. I had to snoop around a little when I saw that you’re homeschooling, esp. homeschooling with 8, not mention boys…while being pregnant….did I mention you’re one of my heroes?! I’m pregnant with my 3rd. I have two girls and this one is a boy. My oldest is 4 1/2, so I’m planning on “starting” pre-k this coming year. I say it like that, because she already knows most of what pre-k students learn, but we will continue and make it “official” homeschool. Anyway, enough about me….this post was very encouraging to me! I’m a little scared of my decision to homeschool. Will I be disciplined enough to stick with the new schedule/routine? Will I be doing her a disservice? I want SO much for our children and my husband and I to grow closer to the LORD and put Him 1st in their lives. I truly believe educating them at home is the best way for this to happen, but I am so nervous about my capabilities—I never wanted to be a teacher growing up! So anyway, thank you for your honesty and transparency! Believe it or not, it is encouraging!

  4. I just found your blog via Smockity Frocks and can’t BELIEVE I haven’t stumbled on your blog sooner! Beautiful words, Brandy! I just starting my 7th year of homeschooling and I still question myself every so often. Your words are bang-on. Thank you for the encouragement.

  5. Reading this made me breathe a big sigh of relief! Thank you!!!

  6. If it makes you feel better, when I was growing up (in a Christian school) we never finished our books either! 😉

    We’re planning to homeschool when the time comes, and I’m always encouraged when I read thoughts from mamas who give themselves grace when it might be easy to give themselves guilt trips. Hope I can do the same, because I know I’ll never measure up to my self-imposed standards! Thank you for writing 🙂

  7. Thank you for this great reminder.

  8. Missy Ing says:

    Amen! Our daughter went to public school through the 5th grade. We began homeschooling for middle school and she is now finishing up her 8th grade year. They don’t finish everything in each book at public school either. It was my observation that the last week or two was spent mainly cleaning and sorting through the school supplies, watching movies, having assemblies with guest speakers and giving the children “busy work”, like worksheets. In Kentucky, once the achievement tests are finished, there are no new skills/lessons taught. Every time I start thinking “she might be learning more at public school” I remind myself “yes she would be learning more, seeing more, and hearing more…but mostly things that would weaken her spiritually, and she would be worse for it, not better!” Our main objective is to help our children reach heaven, and if we accomplish that then nothing else really matters. Hang in there and thanks for sharing your thoughts about your son. 🙂

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