Not The Mommy I Thought I’d Be

I wish I can remember the exact date when I wrote this. I believe it was sometime winter 2016 or early 2017.  Last year was a hard school year. New baby. New home. New routine. A lot of growth I had to do as a wifommy. This was something I wrote when in the thick of things. 

download-1I am not the mother I want to be. I am not the mother I thought I would be. wifommyhood is harder than I thought it would be. The dishes, the laundry, the education, and that is just the daily grind. Not to mention everything else! I yell more than what is effective.  My patience often comes after the fact.  I still suck at making lunch. And dinner? My husband no longer eats white (bread, rice, flour etc) which makes thrown-together-meals just about non-existent. I am increasingly behind in grocery shopping which seems ridiculous with only having a four person household. By 4 o’clock, I’m done! I’ve had it for the day. I want to do NOTHING! I don’t want to listen to anymore 8yr old thoughts. I don’t want to train a 14 month old on the importance of “listening to Mommy” and “don’t hit sister!” My husband comes home and I try not to be a shell of a woman for him but he has his own needs and I will often see him as someone else who needs something from me. I am thoroughly stumped with my life right now. I’d like to hope that this getaway I have coming up will help but I am not so sure.

Homeschoolers left and right showing accomplishment after accomplishment talking about “the magic of homeschool”. Bah! Can I get some of that? Feels like I’m slouching in at least two subjects with her (Jazmine) while our peers are taking field trips, completing projects and what not.

Next year, I will be the outsourcing Momma. Yes, she will have five subjects taught via tutorial or a co-op. Yes, she will be in “only” two extra curricular activities and not 3 or more. Yes, I will “only” be teaching 3 subjects at home. Yes, I will be looking into house cleaning help sometime this summer. Yes, I will leave the house to come home and expect it to be clean. No, I will not be ashamed. Why? Because I am going to remember this time in my life right now and know why we are doing what we are doing.

Update: I am outsourcing 5 subjects. She “only” has two extracurricular activities. I did have someone clean my house after we moved it. I have learned that others decisions for their household is not a judgement against mine. Amen!


Who Do I Follow?

images-1I like math.  Specifically, I like Algebra. I like its absolutes. I like its formulas. I like its predictability. I know if I follow a particular formula, I will get the correct answer (as long as the formula I am using is the correct one). Once I understood algebra, all of its rules became comforting to me. It was fool-proof.  I couldn’t go wrong as long as I followed the formula.

I tried to apply a formula to God once.  Needless to say, it failed miserably.  I had to learn to really walk by faith and not by formula sight. Praise be to God I have steadily learned how to do that in my married years. However, I still find myself wanting to emulate someone. I would like a pattern to follow.  I would like to see someone who does it well, whom I can follow, and get the same results: a husband who has no complaints and spiritually obedient and successful children.

Because I am prone to attaching myself to something successful and riding it like a rocket, I am often distracted by the success of others. I used to drop everything I was doing, well and poorly alike, and totally change to be just like the newest superstar in my book. That behavior became a serious detriment to my household.

I have since learned to glean. Glean the good that I see emulated and put into practice any truths that person possesses.  I don’t necessarily have to put those truths into practice the same exact way but the kernel of truth that supports their practice is what I am after. For example, I’ve struggled with being consistent with outdoor physical activities with my girls.  The basic truth that I’ve heard over and over is that I need to incorporate my children in my physical activities. When I go for a walk, I use that walk as alone time instead of making my girls go with me. I need to incorporate my girls with me for more things. I need to make more statements about what we are going to do for physical exercise instead of asking and hoping I hear the response I am looking for.

I have learned to glean from others while fully leaning on the Lord.  No one person is going to meet all the areas I’d like to see emulated. No one person gets it all right, even on their best days. The only wifommy in my specific family dynamic is me. I am the right person for the job because God said so. He wouldn’t have put me here otherwise.

So who do I follow? I follow Christ first, and I follow others as they follow Christ. 

The Melancholy Homeschooling Mom


Myers-Briggs Type Indicator INTJ = Littauer’s Melancholy Choleric

Years ago, I took the Personality Plus test by Florence Littauer. In it, I found a name for my personality. I am a Melancholy Choleric. What is that?  Read below:

They are systematic, precise thinkers and follow procedures in both their business and personal life. They are attentive to detail and push to have things done correctly, according to their own predetermined standards. They are sensitive and conscientious. They normally behave in a diplomatic manner except when it comes to deviating from standards they have accepted. They can then be very forceful in insisting the right way be followed. They are not socially active, preferring work and privacy to people. They tend to have difficulty in relationships because they are not flexible and they can be abrasive when communicating with others. They make decisions slowly because of collecting and analyzing information until they are sure of the best course of action. To be highly motivated they need a structured environment with clear rules and procedures, time to organize, collect information, think and the freedom to develop a plan.


I used to take so much pride in my personality type; not understanding why others weren’t more like me and my way of thinking. Because I analyzed everything and came to the “best” possible conclusions, I found it absurd for anyone to disagree.  I lost, killed actually, many relationships in my younger years because of this. No grace. No love. Not that I didn’t love. I did. I loved hard. My tone? My demeanor? Too hard. Too tough.

Fast forward to the present.  I am a homeschooling mom to two girls.  My 8-year-old has only had me as a teacher. Me. The “attentive to detail and push to have things done correctly, according to their own predetermined standards” me as a mom. (sad emoji)

I am not excluding Baby Grace although I am speaking exclusively of Jazmine.

How in the world can I mom, let alone be a homeschooling mom, with traits like these! “Does not like redundancy”, which is true, but come on! How can you teach a child and avoid redundnacy? “Lack of emotion”, which is true, but again, I am a mom! You can’t not have emotions and be a decent mom! I love my girl. I want only the best for her. I want her to be the best she she can be. I see her potential.  I want to it drawn out of her. I want her to shine. But I don’t know how to do that.  Not well anyway.  I am in the process of learning how though.

I am listening to a book called Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie. It was recommended to me by a mother of five.  I figured if this book helped her and she has smart kids, this should be able to help me. It’s helped me alright but not in the way I thought.

In chapter 20, Sarah speaks of her strengths and weaknesses.  We are so different.  It is hard for me to find familiarity when I already feel that someone is “better” in the ways I think you need to be in order to get smart kids from a homeschooled environment. Don’t get me wrong.  This book is FILLED with gems of wisdom that I have already begun to apply and I have several suggestions to be implemented when our official school year begins in September. However, it is at times hard to hear. I do not doubt her having the purist intentions, but I receive it as just another jab at what I’m not good at.

Until today.

Something struck me today.  As I was jotting down other things to implement (slow down math, group remaining math lessons accordingly, pick and choose pages in workbooks to complete), I realized a good hunk of my problem is that I am a slave to worksheets.

I like worksheets.  They are quantifiable work that I can show to a reviewer to prove I do educate my child. They are a defined body of work. There is no guess-work with worksheets.  You do what it says. (This may have something to do with liking “clear rules and procedures”)

I like them! But I am also a melancholy choleric which means worksheets are a task to be completed. Finished. Checked as done. Having things left unfinished is unnerving for me.

Before I fell deeper into the ‘I’m not good enough, what is wrong with me, I can’t possibly be the best teacher for my child, I’ve ruined her for life’ destructive thought process that has gotten more plays in my mind then you would think possible, I went to Jesus.

I admitted that I am a slave to worksheets, tasks, schedules, and my own standards.  I am easily swayed when a person I admire mentions something they do that is successful in their family. So swayed am I that I get home and talk about how we are going to start doing the same thing. I am ALWAYS comparing what Jazmine is demonstrating that she’s learned to what her peers are showing that they’ve learned to see how our homeschooling measures up. Am I not doing enough? Am I doing too much? Am I doing the right thing?  That is a very tiring existence.

As I’ve said, I have gotten better. MUCH MUCH better but I have not arrived at a place where my melancholy choleric does not show up in a way that I don’t think is beneficial for our home education. So, like I said, I went to Jesus.  He knows my personality type. He gave it to me.  He told me to homeschool. So He can tell me how to use what He gave me to do what He called me to do.

I have no fear. God will show me how to be the best melancholy choleric homeschooling Mom I can be for my Jazmine.  He will remove the shackles tethering me to all-things-quantifiable (worksheets). He will show me how to make substitutions and be comfortable with it. He will guide me in my authority as Mother and not a slave to whatever resource material (curriculum) we’ve chosen. He will show me how to live life without school hanging over my head like Joe Btfsplk in Li’l Abner.


Joe Btfsplk

I need to be free.  I am seeking Jesus for my freedom.

I will keep you posted on our progress.

Homeschool Jealousies


In the culture of homeschooling, there is no “right” way to do it.  It is all based on what is needed, wanted, and works for your family.  As  long as you meet the requirements of education set forth by your state, you can get there as creatively as you please. That is a beautiful part of homeschooling.

On of the subsets within the culture is not pretty, biblically or otherwise. Homeschool jealousies. Homeschool jealousies can arise in almost any aspect of homeschooling. curriculum used, activities attended, activities completed, co-op group choices, child development, etc. etc. I have found myself wrapped up in homeschool jealousies at one time or another. It’s not pretty, it’s not fun, and it wars on your family.  God prepared me for this most recent bout.

Kelly is a very dear friend of mine and I’ve had the privilege of watching her children grow up. When her eldest was in elementary school, she had a very best friend.  They were in the same class and all the same activities.  Kelly stayed home so the very best friend was often over after school.  One day while I was there after a school day ended, the girls were doing their homework.  Kelly told me that the very best friend was very behind in her education.  I sat down to work with the her to try to assess where the disconnect was and offer encouragement. The very best friend was SEVERELY behind. Not because she wasn’t capable or didn’t want to learn.  She was behind because she needed more help in getting the lessons. I recognized it in how she tried to get the right answer just so she could be seen as keeping up even though she had no understanding. Kelly talked to the mother of the very best friend about this and the mother said she and Kelly’s daughter were the same and her child could keep up just fine without any additional support.  This did not address the issue and years later, it is not better.

My Jazmine has a very best friend. They are the same in many ways and participate in many of the same activities.  However, in this case, my Jazmine, though not behind, is on par (if not slightly advanced) in her second grade education. My Jazmine’s very best friend however, is advanced. Most recently, and this is often a occurance in homeschooling, her very best friend moved up in grade level. At my first hearing this from my Jazmine, I was taken aback. My initial Mommy reaction (thought in my head not said out of my mouth) was, ‘how is she moved up? You both are the same? She can’t out learn you!’ Immediately, in my mind, I was trying to decipher ways my Jazmine could keep up. After all, she’s not incapable.  Perhaps she could be challenged more? Perhaps she could benefit from an increased workload? Perhaps I could move her curriculum up a grade level too? Perhaps we could add more educational activities/opportunities to allow her to further flourish? Perhaps…perhaps I could get a dag-on grip!

I could have smacked myself.  I IMMEDIATELY remembered the mother of the very best friend. I sounded just_like_her! NO FREAKING WAY! Children can remain friends regardless of educational prowess. Activities may change but, especially in homeschooling families, as long as parents make the effort for the child to be with their friends, that friendship can flourish! My Jazmine’s very best friend will remain her very best friend because all parents involved are committed to that happening!  All parents involved in this situation are actual adults, not children pretending to be adults.

So to my Jazmine’s very best friend, fly baby fly! achieve! We support you!

To my Jazmine, your Mommy is not going to move hell and high water to keep up with ANYBODY! You move and grow at your own pace and your father and I will be here to support you always!  Fly and soar sweetheart!  We remain proud of you!

I Am Not Afraid Of Tomorrow’s Homeschool Day!



Last year, because my pregnancy was so taxing, we used Time4Learning, an online curriculum, as a supplemental and then primary curriculum for Language Arts (LA), Social Studies, and Science.  It was such a God send. It was easy to do.  Jazmine learned how to log-in herself.  It taught her computer skills while she was learning other things. It was super engaging. School was as it should be after we started using it; FUN instead of this necessary evil we had to complete.

Because of our great success with it during the Spring semester of our school year, I chose it as a go to for this school year. I didn’t even look at the lessons for the next grade.  I assumed it would be much of the same delivery just filled with the next grades material.

I was wrong!

The amount of LA that needed to be completed in order to finish the school year was WAY too much for us.  The pace of the concepts was too much for one day. For example, she can put things in alphabetical order but one lesson for A-B-C order included exercises in proper names (remember to use the last name first), entry words in a dictionary, and numerical order.  Plus, they were referencing the Dewey Decimal System! It just wasn’t for us this year. After speaking to a fellow friend and homeschooling mom, it was clear the curriculum was too advanced for us. After reading a blog with another mom’s opinion, we switched to BJU Press for LA and have been enjoying it ever since!

The Time4Learning history and science was just as disappointing. It was not engaging and required materials to do each lesson.  That was very different than last year.  I wasn’t prepared for that.  I did not see a Thinking Ahead section to know that I needed supplemental books (from the library) or materials to do a science lesson. The science materials needed for the one lesson we did complete was doable. We looked at the three states of matter so I needed some ice and an ice-cube tray. Not hard but when I sit down to do a lesson, I need to be prepared up front, not floundering around. It didn’t work for us. We returned to our K-2 Geography book for Social Studies and Nancy Larson for Science. Everything needed for science is in the box which is right up my alley!

I purchased Horizons health curriculum. I thought all I would need was the student book and student workbook.  They offer a teacher’s guide but I was thinking that the two student books should be sufficient.  The student book had coordinating lessons in the workbook so I assumed it would be easy to follow; read from the student book and do the lesson in the workbook.  Nope! The student book had no reference to activities to do in the workbook. The workbook had coordinating lesson numbers on the pages but the information they were reinforcing weren’t wholly explained in the workbook.  I decided to purchase the teacher’s guide thinking that would tie everything together. NOT. In order to complete a health lesson with real learning occurring and no parent frustration, I review it the day before and star the information that needs to be taught and any activies that need to be done in the teachers guide and piece together what needs to be read from the student book and/or activies in the workbook.  Its more work then I bargained for and I will NOT be purchasing this curriculum again.

All other subjects not mentioned were seemless from the start. When there is no subject area that stresses you, school is so much more enjoyable! A concept may be hard and take longer for Jazmine to understand but that is the richness of learning and the beauty of homeschooling. A difficult curriculum is a different matter entirely!

I Think I Grew Today

It was a Friday.

I was scheduled to spend the night away at a conference that evening. I planned on dropping my girls off at 4PM. My plan for the day was to get in a days worth of school while I tidied up some and packed for my night away.

I had planned on doing some preparing the night before but fell asleep on the couch so I wasn’t ahead of the game.  I decided to go back to sleep after baby Grace woke up for her 5AM meal. She went back to sleep around 7:30AM. I missed my opportunity to get ahead again.  I chose to sleep.

School went well.  Jazmine was prepared to learn. I chose an easy subject to begin our day with. Health. Well, that was not as easy as I thought it would have been. During the lesson, she got one of the comprehension questions incorrect.  I told her to go back through what she read to find where they talked about the question so she could find the correct answer.  That was a HUGE deal. She did well. It took her some time but she got it. I didn’t realize at the time that that was a comprehension lesson within the actual school lesson.

The health lesson was about respecting others and this section spoke specifically about respecting the United States Flag. Somehow, we got on the topic of culture and that led to talking about the Pilgrims, and that lead to talking about Native Americans. We had a mini history lesson within health!  It was great learning but that simple subject, which I projected to take all of 20 minutes and that was being generous, took an entire hour!

Next was math. Again, she did well.  To help keep Jaz focused and not day dream, I used a timer and gave her 15 minutes to do the front side and 15 minutes to do the back side of her math sheet.  She already understood the concept so it was just a matter of her staying focused to do it. She finished and I went to check it. By that time, I was tired. I already didn’t want to have school that day because I was already tired but since this weeks school was sporadic, I didn’t think we could afford a “parent-teacher conference”.  So, I pressed on. Between the combination health, history, comprehension lesson, attending to baby Grace, washing clothes, packing the girls up, and tidying up, I was worn out! I still hadn’t packed for myself yet! I went to check her math and just totally bombed.  I misread a math problem on the paper and tried to tell her it was incorrect when it actually was correct.  To make the matter worse, even though I misread the problem, she verbally answered the problem correctly as I was saying it out loud. That is when I called it quits.

I said, “That’s it Jazmine. That is all Mommy can do for the day.  I will leave this out and ask Daddy to check it when he gets home tonight.” If I had tried to “push ahead”, no more real learning would have occurred.  The only meaningful thing remembered from that day would have been Mommy’s frustration and my off spring thinking she had done wrong.

It was hard for my linear thinking mind to not complete a plan or task that I began and expected to complete in the time frame I set for it but I am OH SO VERY GLAD I stopped.

I only wish all the significant learning that happened today could be quantified for our homeschool review…



No Schooling Is Easy

Jazmine is the only homeschooled child in our peer circle. Outside of our homeschooling community, she has no homeschooled peers.

This can be challenging because her peers usually talk about how great going to school is. They talk about how they get to raise their hand in class, take the bus in the morning, change class rooms, and see all of their friends. All this bragging usually leaves my homeschooler feeling like she is missing out on all school has to offer.

I have talked about how this pregnancy has not been easy. Adding homeschooling to the mix of pregnancy fatigue, moodiness, aches and pains, does nothing to enhance the experience in a positive way. I have often considered that it might be better for Jazmine, and myself, if I sent her to school instead.

I started to suffer from stinkin’ thinkin’.  I began to think that afternoon homework would be easier than homeschooling for a few hours.  I began to think that Jazmine would do better without me.  I began to think that, a charter school schedule would allow for her to get outside play time everyday and not just when I was up to it.

Praise God for clarity!

I have read too many Facebook posts from parents who have nightly struggles with homework.  Too many posts that do not like their child’s learning environment. Too many posts where parents fill in the voids of schooling with other enrichment activities.

I have read too many posts to believe that ANY school is easy.

Hard times in school come to us all regardless of how we choose to school our children. Some concepts are going to kick our butts.  Some subjects are going to be nightmares.  Some schedules are going to be hard to bear at different stages of life.  We struggle through it.  We push through it.  We persevere. Period.

There is no easy out. There is no alternative that makes it all go away. Parenting is hard work.  That does not change.  If its not a school struggle, its a discipline struggle.  If it’s not a age related struggle, its a time management struggle. Nothing makes it disappear. So do not despair. Plow ahead.  You are doing great!


Dear Snobby Homeschool Mom

Dear Snobby Homeschool Mom,

Let me begin by first saying that I am not in opposition to you or your choices for your household.  I am not coming against you for your choices.  I do, however, not appreciate how you go about declaring your choices.

As a parent, you decide what and how much technology (TV, mobile devices, computer, etc) your child is allowed to partake it.  As a parent, you decide what curriculum you use for your child(ren). As a parent, you decide what fashion indulgences you allow your offspring to show to the world.

Those are your decisions for your household and rightly so.  I take no issue with your choices.

However, at every homeschool gathering, I do not need to nor do I want to hear your dismissal of all things other than what you do in your house.  In speaking about your curriculum choices, it does not need to be said how much you loathe another.  Specifically speaking, you do not need to trash a math curriculum that you know another family uses!  That is rude.  You should not need to trash another in order to make your choices seem more relevant.

You don’t need to talk about the amazing field trips you and yours take without offering the same information to others in the group.  We are a homeschooling community.  Your family doesn’t have to take other families with you on your trips if you prefer to go it solo but sharing that information does not cost you anything.  I am pretty sure I am correct in assuming that someone else told you or made you aware of more than half of the information you know.  Share and share alike!  Quit the hoarder of information attitude.

You have made it abundantly clear that your family does not watch television.  At every opportunity, you’ve made it known that you don’t even own a television.  I get it. Good for you! It takes great sacrifice to do without something if you have grown to rely on it. Again, I do not fault your choices but tooting about the absence of television in your home and how that is so beneficial for your children after a conversation centered around the next episode of Big Bang Theory, is ill timed. It did not need to be said and it certainly did not need to be said at that time.

It is hard enough to homsechool in an environment that causes us to defend our position. We should not have to defend ourselves amongst ourselves. You don’t have to agree but you also don’t have to speak your disagreement.

Determined Not To Lose

With the end of the school year fast approaching, inevitable changes are on the horizon. A chid gets older, matures more, and spends the summer preparing to enter the next grade level. We take this time, between now and the beginning of the new school year, to critique our calendars. We look at all the activities we are already committed to, new activities we are deciding on, the interest of our child(ren), time commitment, money commitment, family time etc etc etc to see what can or needs to be cut or added to our calendars.


As the sun sets on one part of life, it simultaneously begins anew.

As the sun sets on one part of life, it simultaneously begins anew.

I was with a group of homeschooling moms yesterday at a rare night out without children.  (Yes, I do get out but it is hard to wrangle a group of homeschooling moms together without children.)  I heard a variety of summer plans and school plans for the following year.  Each family has been and continues to go in the direction that works for their family. I admit, it was hard to hear.

My little group of ladies, whom I was introduced to at the very beginning of our homeschooling journey, was parting ways. Some of those I was closest too, I will not see on a regular basis through shared activities. This exciting time, this relaxing time, this winding down time, this time of planning for next year, has come with some sadness. Jazmine and I will be going into new directions alone.  I started to feel so left behind.

My initial internal response was to pull back. I was readying myself to take the if-everybody-else-is-parting-ways-then-I-will-to.  I will leave them alone while we each pursue other directions. Quite frankly, I was pouting.  I remembered another time when I pouted.  I had a good friend in college.  She graduated before me and I pulled back from our friendship internally citing not wanting to take way from the new direction she was going in. That was the wrong move and I am determined NOT to make the same mistake again.

I will not pull back my friendship.  I will push forward into whatever direction the Lord has for me to go into without unnecessarily losing any friends in the process. I will be open to meeting new homeschooling families, not to replace, but to add to my current village.  I am excited for the other families and their journeys and I am also excited for ours and however it will look like for us…the Lee’s.

Homeschooled Not Standardized

The Lord’s words come to me at the oddest of times.

LamborghiniA woman’s mind works faster than a Lamborghini! (That is assuming a Lamborghini is one of the fastest cars.  I’m not a car chick so I wouldn’t know and I do not feel like doing the due diligence Google search to find out for the purpose of that sentence).  We can think on and about several hundred different, yet connected, things in our mind within the space of a few minutes.  I was on that Lamborghini ride of thought when the Lord cut in.

At the time, my thoughts were swirling about homeschooling, the curriculum purchases I made for the upcoming year, and how Jazmine compared to other kindergarteners.  I knew I should not have been comparing her but found myself skirting that line of thinking. I was thinking about all of this while brushing Jazmine’s teeth this morning.

First graders attending Zeta Public Elementary School can be compared with the first graders in Tau Public Elementary School. The third graders in Mrs. Chin’s class at Hanover Christian Academy can be compared to the other third graders in Mr. Lin’s class at the same school.  Both first graders in each school use the follow the same curriculum.  Both third grade classes at Hanover use the same curriculum.  They are following the same syllabus. The difference is the teacher and the classroom environment.  The subject, topic, and main points are all the same!  A first-grade parent of a child going to Zeta should have a lot in common with the first-grade parent of a child going to Tau when they discuss the woo’s of the first grade science project.  The science project is the same assignment for every first grader in every public elementary school in that state.  A parent of any third grader at Hanover Christian School will be familiar with any subject, homework, or test difficulty any other third-grade parent brings up because their children are following the same course outlines.

Homeschooled children can not be compared to anyone.  Each homschooler is different.  A family of five can use five different curriculums depending on the needs of each child and that’s just in ONE family!  Jazmine does not know currency yet.  She does not know the value of a nickel, quarter, dime etc. I picked up a Kindergarten math review book I was considering for the summer and it had currency problems in it.  I immediately felt like I had let Jazmine down.  She doesn’t know that and it seemed like every other Kindergartener was taught something that I missed.

God’s words broke through my haze.

Jaz isn’t behind.  She is right on par with learning math the way my husband and I decided we wanted it presented to her. She can count by fives and, in her math curriculum, will be learning currency in the fall.  Homeschooling isn’t standardized!  If you use Apologia science for third grade, you will learn Zoology the entire year.  Someone else will be using Abeka science and will not be learning Zoology for the entire year.  Those two students can not be compared to see who knows more.  They are both using good science curriculums and learning good stuff.  They are just not learning the same stuff at the same time.

This was such a freeing moment for me.  I hope it encourages you personally or use it to set someone else free from the comparing game.