August 23, 2012


wether your kids attend private, public or charter schools, are homeschooled, unschooled, etc, all parents have a common goal: to provide our children with the best education possible. let me preface this post by saying that paul and i do not view our educational choices for our family as superior to anyone else's choices for their family. we do what works for us and others do what works for them. we are constantly praying, researching and taking in as much information possible to ensure that we continue to make the right decisions about our kids' learning. i do feel very strongly about learning outside of school and i plan to share in a series of posts about what we do and how we do it. i think it would be best to start with why we do it.

two years ago, we put madison in kindergarten at our local elementary school. she was a creative, lively, intelligent, social girl and we fully expected the joy of watching her thrive in her new environment. each week that passed brought more disappointment and discouragement. despite her quick leap into reading, which we are still grateful for, she barely resembled that little girl we sent off to school weeks before. she no longer wanted to spend time with her brothers after school, as she was so exhausted from the eight hour day and only wanted to be alone. she was being bullied by other classmates, telling her that she wasn't their friend and they hated her. she had wet her pants twice on the playground because her teacher wouldn't take her to the bathroom. the humiliation on her face upon my arrival with clean clothes those days, was infuriating and heartbreaking. she would come home with thirteen pages of math homework and keep in mind she was only five at the time. this would end her already long day, sitting at the kitchen table crying over the worksheets in front of her. she didn't finish one lunch the entire school year. she is by nature a slow eater and a chatterbox, which left her hungry for most of the school day because she couldn't finish before the bell rang.

at our first parent teacher meeting, her teacher let us know that madi was excelling in phonics and reading. her two biggest criticisms were that madi drew with too much detail, thus running out of time on a project and that she was always talking to the other kids. ironically, we sat there listening to her teacher negatively categorize two of the things we loved about our daughter the most: her love and creativity in art and her love and passion for others. we smiled, thanked the teacher for her time and walked to our car frustrated nearly to tears. we realized then that we needed to take a second look at our decision to put our kids in public school. we talked about our goals for our kids' learning experience and mapped out what kind of time, energy, resources and environment it would take to achieve those. below is our list of goals and we have since decided that our kids will be learning without school.

our desires for our kids' life of learning:
  • to nurture and encourage their love of learning.
  • to allow them the freedom to learn their own way, in their own time and according to their interests.
  • to expose them to as many rich experiences as possible. art, music, travel, language, etc.
  • to focus on their individual strengths, not dwell on their weaknesses.
  • to prioritize character development before academic achievement.
  • to set a foundation of learning by modeling and inspiring them by pursuing our own passions and interests.
  • to guide them in discovering their passions in life and becoming equipped to achieve them.
  • to build strong, healthy relationships.
  • to provide an atmosphere of love and trust where learning can thrive.
  • to remind them that they are fearfully and wonderfully made and that they are a gift from God.

i have so much more to share but, for now i hope this will express our heart for our kids' learning adventure. more to come soon. 


"All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children."
 Isaiah 54:13


  1. You wrote this post so well! Sounds like you guys are really tuned into what your kids need :) We've made similar schooling decisions. Education is not a one size fits all subject, each family has to do what is right for their kids!

  2. I have to say, I have never been a very big advocate for homeschooling since most of what I had seen was basically kids being stuck in a house all day with workbooks that were a sorry excuse for an education, and with no real guidance or teaching from the parents. It was horrible. And I also hate government-ran education, but what you guys are doing is absolutely amazing. It is, to me, exactly what education should look like. Investing in your children to cultivate their intelligence, passion, and creativity. I commend you :)