homeschool, Simply...Living For Him

The Unchecked Boxes in Homeschool: A New Perspective

As we are in the thick of our homeschool year and it has not matched my plans from the beginning of the year, I am constantly reminding myself of this truth that I wholeheartedly believe:

Homeschooling is not our whole life. It is a part of our life. We do not homeschool and try to fit life in around it, but rather, we live life and fit our homeschool into that life.

Sometimes life gets crazy. Sometimes we have seasons of change, loss, birth, and all kinds of transitions. And that often means, our pretty neat and organized lesson planner is left with a lot of unchecked boxes. But please don’t let those checkmarks define your learning.

Our kids have been immersed in our life everyday for years. They have walked through many seasons with us. And we all walked together. Don’t underestimate the lessons that are there. We have taken them with us on many of life’s journeys:

Buying and selling a house

Death and new births


Family emergencies

Job loss


BIG family transitions


These are just to name a few. And as I look at my to grown children now, who are graduated from the “formal” years of schooling, I see a few very important observations.

They have been well-equipped fo LIFE. Not just a test. Not just a paper. Not just a class. Not just a syllabus. They are equipped for LIFE. They are both independent. They are making a life for themselves. They are making wise choices. They are confident. And most importantly, above all, they are following the Lord.

I have always said, the very most important life skill you can teach your child is to follow Him. I mean, if they are doing that, what else is there to worry about?

I have also observed that they are continuing to LEARN. I believe we lay a groundwork for education in their formal schooling at home, but the real learning begins after graduation. They will always be learning, and in the world we live in, you can literally learning anything you want at any time. There is an abundance of information out there, so learning is constant.

As an adult, I can definitively say that I have learned more in my years post high school, than I ever did before graduation day. I have learned much, much more in these past decades than in 12 years of schooling. So parents, please don’t think you have to teach them everything they need to know. They are going to learn far beyond these years. Give them the tools to learn. Give them the desire to learn. Teach them how to learn.

If you are like me, with boxes unchecked and days constantly interrupted by life, refocus. Shift your perspective. Ask yourself, what is GOD teaching us in these days? Maybe, just maybe, it’s those interruptions that are the real teacher. Watching Mommy and Daddy walk through a crisis is a lesson. Learning how to navigate life’s various ups and downs is a lesson. And teaching them to rely on the Lord through it all, is the greatest lesson there is.

I see it now in my older children. They are following Him, relying on Him, growing in Him, and learning along the way. Their foundation was our focus. Because if we had focused solely on academics, when life came at them with difficulties, the math curriculum wasn’t going to be the answer. God was and still is.

So, rest assured today. Eyes on the Lord. This life goes by quickly. At the end of your years, it won’t matter what language book you used, what science curriculum you chose, but that you built a family on the foundation that lasts beyond the homeschool years.

Read more about our journey in my book, The Simple Homeschool Journey: Building a Family, Not Just a Transcript

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  • Reply Jenica January 29, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    Thank you! I needed this encouragement right now. Not only did we welcome a new baby in December, but my Dad also passed away unexpectedly. I’ve been struggling with the lack of school I’ve been able to do with the kids in this difficult season of life. I pray God will use the time to draw us all closer to Him.

    • Reply Karen DeBeus January 31, 2022 at 7:02 am

      I am so glad you were encouraged. I am so sorry about your loss. There are so many seasons throughout the homeschooling journey that your kids will learn way more about life than from a textbook. And most importantly, they can learn to draw near to Him. God bless you!

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