freaking out. a bit.

Sorry about Sunday Snapshot y’all.

I forgot.

Seriously, I woke up Sunday morning and realized I had nary a picture. And as the day went on I found I didn’t even want to take a picture. We went to church. We ate. We played. And I left my camera on the shelf.

So I skipped it.


Honestly, it felt kinda good. I’ve been hosting and posting Sunday Snapshot for almost 4 years now and a little breather was just what I needed. Hoping to actually think ahead this week and be ready by Sunday.

But no promises. Because this is what I’ve been drowning in freaking out over working on lately. Homeschool stuff.

I decided to start our 2013-2014 year this week – before regular school – so we can start slowly. And have more vacation days during the school year. But just getting last year’s stuff organized and put away and then getting this year’s stuff pulled out and just looked over, well… oh my goodness. We have so much ahead. So much I need to do. So much they need to do. So much to do together. I don’t think there is enough coffee in the world to get me through this school year as I attempt to teach a 6th grader and an 8th grader.

Because I am so not a teacher, y’all. Not an organizer. Not a planner. I don’t think I have teacher bone in my body.

But right now, this is where God has me. And I don’t see any replacements on the horizon.

So I shall teach.


The good news is that Seamus isn’t too worried about it.

In fact, he appears to be quite confident in my abilities.

He might be the only one.

Any homeschool mamas out there freaking out, too? And if you’re a homeschool mama and you’re not freaking out? Tips, pretty please.



  1. Seamus is awesome. I hope your year is great, Stefanie! I am sure your homeschool is the most fun school around : ).

  2. Breathe!
    My kids haven’t even been tested for last year yet…it definitely gets easier as the years go by.
    I just ordered the last of my books yesterday. There didn’t seem to be a big rush since,….. they haven’t been tested for last year yet. In my defense I have till Sept. 1 to turn in my results and I like to be relaxed about things.
    As a mama who called her best friend ever year on test day in a total panic; they hadn’t learned enough, I hadn’t done enough, we didn’t finish, they were going to fail, yada, yada, yada………..
    And every year she was cheerfully allowed to say,”I told you so,” when I would call her ecstatic over their results.
    Trust me when I say the time and attention they get from you will far outweigh what they would be doing in a brick & mortar school. I’m starting year 13. We will start on Aug 20, do “school” M-TH, take 4 weeks off at Christmas, (and several other little vacations), 2 weeks of spring break and finish the early part of May give or take.
    You can do this Steph!!! You will not teach them everything. You are teaching them the skills they need to find out ANYTHING they want to know.
    The single most important thing you are modeling for them everyday is Faith, Obedience, and a Love for the Lord. That is what is really matters. If God calls them home tomorrow He won’t care about multiplication tables or prepositions.

    Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
    9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

    Be blessed sister!

    • Man, I get on here to chime in with Stefanie at my almost-freak-out-mode and find this very reassuring comment! Thank you, Amy! We’re entering into our 3rd year of homeschooling and I’m going from having two of my school age children home to all of my school age children (four of them) home this year — in addition to our toddler. But your words were spot on! I especially loved the ‘You will not teach them everything. You are teaching them the skills they need to find out ANYTHING they want to know.’ LOVE IT! And, of course, I love your comment about multiplication tables and prepositions. Can’t even remember what those are! Better go FIND OUT, eh!? :)

  3. How about a combo of freaking out and being relaxed? It’s normal, and your kids will be just fine. You will be too with ample amounts of coffee. We’re trying Easy Grammar Grade 6 this year, too…can’t quite figure out the format, but we’ll get there. We start back next week…I think…I have to organize…:)

  4. Kelly Payne says:

    Woke up with a panic attack about it just this morning! Sigh…. We start in 2 weeks and I am double checking to make sure I have everything we need!!! That in of itself is a monumental task! Good luck my homeschooling friend!

  5. I’m I’m a homeschooling mom of two going into those same grades starting 8/19. I have a lot to get done before then. It all seems to work out, though, and it will for you, too.

  6. grtlyblesd says:

    I actually had my Sunday Snapshot post all written, LOL. Ah, well. It can wait a week.

    I’ve been homeschooling a long time, and I still don’t feel like doing it some days. I told dh recently, “We’re probably not going to get anything done this year, anyway, so I shouldn’t even bother buying math and spelling curriculum.” (We just brought home 2 non ambulatory toddlers. It’s a little overwhelming.)

    Kids are pretty forgiving. Even when things don’t go according to plan, it still works out okay in the end.

  7. I wish I could home school my girls, but I wouldn’t even know where to begin and I’m afraid it would be more then I can handle, however it is certainly something I have been praying about. We’ll see where God leads me in this.
    All the best to you, I’m sure you will do great!

  8. breathe in.
    breathe out.
    stock up on chocolate now.
    remember– you’ll mess up- but you’ll also do wonderfully–

    i’ve loved it– not every minute of it– but over all, i love it–

    it helps me to get my weekly schedule and work around that-and then i plan my homeschool schedule around that– i do the tough stuff in the AM– i write it out in a homeschool planner (got it on amazon) with the kids’ names- they know to look at that first thing- and they know to get their work done and make a pile for me to correct– during this time- i work with my 1st grader as he can’t read well yet- but even he knows to get his books out and ready. after lunch we do the fun stuff– i use My Father’s World for History — and apologia for science–
    don’t schedule too much per day– i’ve done that and it hurts.

    i’ve also found that after 8 weeks we all need a break b/c we’re ready to hurt each other– so we take a 10 day break every 8 weeks :)

  9. We start on Monday…I’m kind of ready and kind of dreading it. I just want the summer to go on a bit longer….

  10. First year homeschool mom to two boys 5 and 9, add to that a wild two year boy and adopting a little girl from China….yeah, I’m freaking out.

  11. Pray. Start the day with some time alone to pray and get centered in His Word. Then pray before the school day starts and at lunch and then again and again. I set a cross in front of me so I remember the why and how I am even able to get through each day. And pray for other families …we’ll pray for yours;)

  12. Don’t freak out. Have fun. Enjoy them. Remember that learning stuff like Easy Grammar is only a part of the reason you are homeschooling….you’ll learn a lot of really important stuff just experiencing life together. Start slowly if you want. If you were still in the NE, school wouldn’t be starting for 3-4 weeks anyway (so pretend you are still here :)). The beauty of homeschooling is that you can do it when and how you want. Some homeschoolers “unschool” and don’t follow “school” schedules nor do they try to recreate school coursework or curriculum. I knew a bunch and they were great kids from great families and knowing how laid back they were took some pressure off of me trying to do the “perfect” thing or trying to recreate school at home. I don’t think that you have to be super organized or a professional teacher. I think that you just need to be attuned to the needs and passions of your kids so you can help provide the resources and guidance they need. Our minds are so accustomed to “school” looking and feeling a certain way but if we think of homeschooling as education or as human development rather than as “school” it allows us to see if as something more interesting, more holistic, more individual and more creative, and more fun. Many of my homeschooling friends said they homeschooled precisely because they weren’t organized. For them, managing the constant paper flow from school, the homework, the projects, etc., made homeschooling seem far less chaotic and actually easier to keep organized. I love the freedom of homeschooling and managing my own schedule rather than the school’s. Good luck! You’ll be great!

  13. Good luck with the new school year ahead!

  14. I agree. Stop. Take a breath. Maybe another.

    Then remember that when you are schooling with older kids, it is more guiding them, helping them understand HOW to learn. And the fun thing is that you get to learn along with them.

    We started school 2 weeks ago. (which I know is crazy, but we are trying to anticipate a l-o-n-g stint in the US this year as we finalize our adoption). And so far, so good.

    Wishing you happy, stress-free learning!

  15. You are *not* alone!

    Right now I have a table covered in curriculum and the stacks are taller than me! I’ve got 7 kiddos this year, from pre-K to 9th grade.

    My problem is I am an admitted curriculum hoarder. I love school stuff. So I have to sort through and make my ‘we have to have’, ‘we want to include’, ‘we can donate already’ piles.

    I am also not a good planner. I love teaching my kids but I hate making lesson plans. I use this site called Better Lesson, it’s been a life saver.

    Good luck hun! You can do it, God will see you through.

    • LOL, You are not alone either! I am a total curriculum hoarder! There is just so much good stuff out there. This is my first year of really cleaning out and trying to let go of the good stuff “I might use later” Simple and neat is my goal for this year.
      I’m going to check out Better Lesson, maybe it will help with my goals of low stress and organization.

  16. Teachers of all grade levels are feeling similarly. Please give a shout out to teachers all around as they do this -what you’ve just written about- but for much larger classrooms, and multiple sections. Sometimes under tight budgets, with many other responsibilities outside of teaching students. It’s a tough job, and yes, I think you have gotten a taste of it. Just stay the course.

  17. I’m right there with you. The good thing, though, is that you have some great texts that make teaching easier. I’ve used all those and loved them. This year I decided to join a co op. I teach HS History to 7 students. I need to write a full year’s syllabus, a weighted grading system, supply list, etc..That is on top of school my 4 at home. I’m overwhelmed at the moment. But, I think I prefer that than too much down time. Enjoy!

  18. I don’t homeschool so I have no real advice. I am just chiming in here to say I believe in you. I have no doubt that you rock this homeschooling thing.

    I often think about homeschooling Harry (his migraines are WAY more frequent during the school year–from stress likely) but I am not sure how I could juggle it with work. I see a lot of my clients while they are at school. I admire your willingness to take this leap again Stefanie!!!

  19. kate hawk says:

    Don’t let the Joy, freedom and blessing of homeschooling be stolen from you! This is my 4th year. It took me 2 years to see that you take each day as it comes, and God supplies everything you need! This year, I have a 9th grader and a 2nd grader with learning disabilities. I am not a teacher, and I don’t have a college degree. We have a Heavenly Father who knows absolutely all our deficiencies, yet He has given us this responsibility. He’s with you, and YOU WILL DO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

    This is what I have learned from my time of stressing out about “not being ‘properly equipped’ to teach”. All God asks for me is to be willing to do the work and do it to the best of my ability, and He will take care of the rest. Finally, this year, I feel at peace! If anyone can do this, Stefanie, YOU CAN!!! You are an amazing Momma with a HUGE heart who loves each and every one of your precious children!! You Got This, Sister!!!!

    Blessings to you ~ Kate Hawk

  20. Stephanie M says:

    We are starting school on Monday – this will be our 13th first day of homeschool! Thirteen years! This Monday we started our new chore schedule, because chores change for the children each fall. That gives them one week to learn the new chore routine before we start school. The spring of my first homeschool year I purchased a book at the homeschool convention called Managers of Their Homes by Teri Maxwell. It is about using a schedule to run your day. I started it that fall and we have never looked back. The day runs so smoothly when you know what you are supposed to be doing. You never have to think on your feet! We can accomplish so much this way. And if we have an off day where we can’t meet our goals, or a day where we need to leave home, we just pick up where we left off. Flexibility is the key to success! Having a school schedule and a chore schedule have made our home a peaceful blessing. I am not weary after all these years teaching these kiddos. I only will have four in school this year, and one of them is starting kindergarten – my favorite grade!
    Check out the book. You won’t regret it!
    Blessings, Stephanie

  21. Heather B says:

    First of all, you don’t have to do much to have the kids learn during the year. Yeah- I know home schoolers are supposed to be so far advanced in the studies and all. But….learning is fun- and if you do anything near what the public school kids do – then you are way ahead. I have 6 kids from 17 to 2- and I have learned over the years not to sweat it so much. We have brilliant kids and ones with learning disabilities. We do have to push them and get good books for them- but really God is the one who passes out the “smarts.” I know people try to take the credit for how smart their child is- but really it is God who is in charge of that. I am not for laziness, either. I just know that if someone struggles in school usually God has given them an amazing gift in some other area. It is fun to figure the kids out- and find out what gifts God has given them- and to truly know them and what they need. So try to relax and get good books and teach them to do their best. You are a good mom and that is the best for kids to feel loved and cared for. The best thing about home schooling is that the kids get to be themselves- with no one making fun of all their flaws all day. May God bless your school year!

  22. All I can say is “I ADMIRE ALL HOMESCHOOLING PARENTS/HOMESCHOOLED KIDS”!!!The End! *Please do NOT GRADE me on this short essay* (smile)

  23. Jeunesse says:

    This post with all the comments has been so encouraging today as I am deep in the throes of preparation as well. I think I am a mix of most of the things commented. I will purpose to pray for you all!

  24. remember your true goal: raising up your children in the fear and knowledge of the LOrd. train their hearts to love beauty, virtue, Him…not being focused on checking off the list every day but creating a love of learning…and how HE is in every subject…remember it is only done in His strength.

  25. I am organized *mostly* and I do love the planning. I really do love it! I know, weird, but I do.

    BUT, I am freaking out and wondering as I do this time of year every year, “What in the world am I doing? Who am I kidding? I can’t do this!”

    I love what Tish said just above. That is really the key and so simple yet so profound! You CAN do it too with His strength and purpose leading the way!

    I have a HIGH SCHOOLER this year. ACK! It counts! But I’m feeling good as I have his all laid out well, and he is off to a great start. We started on Monday as well. Slowly getting back into it. Feels good to be back in the books, but yeah, I’m still in freak-out mode too!

  26. We’re starting next Monday “officially,” though my girls have already started to dig into some of their school stuff. Mostly I’m super excited to get going with them, but I have occasional freak out moments, and we’re only doing pre-school :) I’m sure that will only intensify once we’re in the years where things really count – but I do trust that God will direct our steps, and I love the curriculum we have (which is huge for me, being able to feel like I am a facilitator instead of needing to create everything from scratch each week and worrying I’d leave out something major), and for the most part, I’m really looking forward to this time I’ll have with my girls and doing more exploration with them!

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