Several years ago we lived two doors down from a homeschool family. This was an amazing family! When we were first introduced shortly after moving to the neighborhood it was obvious there was something special about them. The mom of this sweet family just had the most gentle loving spirit about her. While getting to know each other she told me that she homeschooled her five children. Really!?! But she looked completely normal! She talked normal and her kids acted normal. I was wondering where she kept her bonnet and flowing skirt. Did she churn her own butter (makes me laugh since I make my own butter now too, but that is not for this section), whittle. or make her own soap? I told her my thoughts and she burst out laughing. I will never forget that conversation. This was my first introduction to homeschool. She began to explain to me what they do on a daily basis and why they decided to take this road in their children’s education. After getting to really know this family and fall in love with each one of them, my husband took it upon himself to make the decision that we would homeschool. Hold up! “You want us to do WHAT?” “Do you have a mouse in your pocket?” We are not homeschooling! I can’t do that! Well as time would have it, yes I would. Ultimately the decision was mine since that huge task would be my responsibility. I continued to push the idea to the side since my oldest daughter was only two at the time. Well, as you know kids grow fast! Two turned into five before I knew it. The time had come for me to decide what my plan was. In the meantime my dear husband started thinking I wasn’t up for the challenge and couldn’t handle it. He began to change his mind about this whole homeschool idea. Yes, I had three very young children at the time and pregnant with my fourth. Life was just a little hectic and I was definitely on overload in certain areas. Maybe he was right. Maybe I was in over my head. The doubts and negative thoughts started rolling in. The several years spanning the time that my husband first fanned the flame of the homeschool fire to decision time, I had met many homeschool moms while out and about with my kids. Of course after learning they homeschooled I bombarded them with LOTS of questions. Not one time did anyone ever tell me not to do it. Not only were these women very real and honest with me about the sacrifices that come with schooling your children at home, but also the deep reward that is worth much more. That first homeschooling mom I met said something I will never forget. She said to me, “I would rather my kids know the Lord in such a deep and meaningful way than be academic scholars. Yes, I want them to be smart but their relationship with the Lord is much more important.” Wow. Ok. I am in. She was right. At least in my opinion. I have been schooling my children at home now for three years. Each year has brought new challenges and each has been completely different. Every single day is a new learning experience for me. I have learned that I need a plan. When it comes to lesson plans and knowing what to do each day, someone needs to lay it out for me. My first two years trying to do it all on my own was a disaster. My days were full of tears, frustration, and lots of confusion. I felt like tossing in the towel. But as He always does, the Lord put people in my path to help teach and guide me. I know that the many moms I have met along my journey were not by accident. The Lord knows exactly what we need and when we need it! There are days even today I could pull all my hair out and the Lord will show me in some way that everything is ok. My hope is to encourage each other and share lots of amazing ideas on how to do this really flexible thing called homeschool.