just like that…

we have another homeschooler.


Isabelle is home-schooling, y’all. And honestly, Isabelle and homeschool are two words I never thought I’d put together.


We mamas do what we have to do.

Because, in my opinion, the public school system let my girl down. She “tested out” of her special education class at the end of last year, which is wonderful. She is reading great, her math is close to her peers – I can’t even put into words how far she’s come.

But she’s far from typical.

In an inclusion class (a class that is 1/2 typical kids and 1/2 special needs kids) she very much fit in and felt safe to be herself.

But this year she was moved into a regular classroom. And although we knew it would be a challenge for her academically, we had no idea what a struggle it would be for her emotionally.

It’s been heartbreaking. Because kids this age can be cruel. And Isabelle’s heart is especially tender.

So we pulled her out.

And let’s just say, she injects a lot of activity into our typical school day.

The adventure continues…



  1. That’s awesome…she will love it.

  2. What’s one more, right?? :) I know she will thrive on her home turf. Glad she has a warrior Momma! :)

  3. Congrats on being your daughter’s greatest advocate! And is that a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book she’s reading? GO, ISABELLE!!!!!! That’s some serious forward motion, girl :)

    I sat through a very muddled, stressful and overwhelming parent association meeting this week, whereby our principal (who is awesome by the way) tried to explain the new state standards scoring system and the factors that all go into it. Came home thoroughly irritated and tried to explain to the hubby why we might not be far behind you in “pulling out.” Aaargh.

  4. thegangsmomma says:

    Congrats on being your daughter’s biggest and best advocate! And is that a Diary of a Wimpy Kid I see her reading? GO ISABELLE! That is some serious forward motion!

    I sat through an incredibly messy and confusing presentation at our local home and school association this week, giving an overview of the district’s score by the state dept. of education and all of the factors that go into the score. And a brief glimpse into why some teachers and admins are so opposed to Common Core. (here it’s called PA Core Standards,but 6 of one and half a dozen of the other if you ask me). I came home frustrated and irritated and trying to explain to my hubby why we might just be heading back to home education or private school for our younger gang. Aaargh.

  5. Congratulations on doing what’s best for you daughter! Sometimes you do what you never in a million years thought you would do……………..We have been a longtime homeschooling family (I’m mom to Miss Courtney K!) but this year enrolled our 14 year old in a small town public school. It’s just what he needed at this time. Homeschooling Isabelle will be fun and I’m sure she will thrive!

  6. It breaks my heart too hear that kids were cruel yet I know it is true. You are an awesome Mommy, Stef. Thankfully, Kate is having a greta year but I would bout be surprised if someday I do the same for her. You inspire me!

  7. Doing what we gotta do, right, Mama?!? She will no doubt excel!

  8. You know your girl better than anyone, & it sure sounds like you are doing right by her! Kids this age can be very cruel, especially girls…we have had our fair share & Miss K is a very tough cookie, Blessings to you & Isabelle…I think you will both ROCK IT!!!

  9. We have been homeschooling for over ten years now. I previously taught and worked in the public and private sector. They all let my kiddos down. God is bigger and I would not change one day of it. Some days are easier than others, but the opportunity to love and teach our children is such a gift. I am so glad you are open to God’s leading, one by one for each of your children. You are an awesome mama and I just love seeing her curled up in the big comfy chair loving learning. You go mama!!

  10. Aww! She’ll do great! You will be so glad you didn’t wait to pull her. We waited until Olivia had a horrible 5th grade year. My husband didn’t think it would work with all of her challenges. It hasn’t been easy but she is so much happier and way more relaxed. On those days when it gets hard go for a hike and start fresh tomorrow! With Liv I used to stress about getting stuff done everyday but soon discovered that she will plow through a ton of work in one day and then fiddle around for 2! Don’t stress over it. Those days are good for art projects, hiking and cooking! Sheri

  11. Glad you guys were able to make the decision that was best for Isabelle. Breaks my heart that she was receiving mean remarks from the other kids. May she grow and flourish ten-fold in the safety of her home!

  12. Way to go Isabelle and momma!!! God will walk you and your family thru this awesome path! So excited to hear about your girly continue to excel…miss you family

  13. oh good for you! i have one on the verge . . . yet he loves school :( i’m praying that i will be able to switch him to home schooling if that really is what is best for him.

  14. Hi Stefanie I regularly enjoy your blog from Liverpool in England and I know you as a result of years of work have ‘influence’ and readership over your blogs and so maybe able to repost or link to the post here http://findingmeimei.blogspot.co.uk/ published on the 21st November ? Just in case we can help?

    Love from Liverpool, Katie

  15. I’m so sorry she had to go through that. I have a unique son and he struggles in social settings sometimes too. It hurts my heart like nothing else.
    You are a great momma! God gave her to you for a reason.
    Blessings & Hugs

  16. Karen Grabowski says:

    I teach special education/math in a high school. Let me tell you kids can be cruel. I will say you are one brave mama but we mamas do what we have to do because that’s how we are wired. It will all be fine in the end. Keep smiling and when you can’t smile, have a good cry, then smile. Enjoy your weekend!

  17. My son just went through an incident at school this week. Kids, they will find anything to pick at. It just happened to be his hair cut that brought on the abuse. My son would love to homeschool but I am honestly scared to do it because he is so strong willed and stubborn, especially with his momma. I have homeschooled before in the past with my older girls and it seemed to go fine. Have you come across that yourself(the strong willed child). I know you homeschool Asher and its still new for you with Isabelle, but do either one of them have a strong will with you and if so how do you handle that so that everyone stays sain throughout the day. : )

    • I do have a strong-willed child in Dalton. I struggle to keep him busy, on task and out of mischief. We are finding our way – I am still trying to figure out what motivates him best. Thankfully, with homeschool you can make modifications daily… and I do!
      If your son really wants to homeschool, I’d have a serious conversation with him in which you can discuss expectations in terms of behavior, etc. You might be surprised at what he’d be willing to commit to in order to homeschool. I know my Asher was desperate and has been continually grateful that he can do school in the security of his home. It has made teaching him much easier.
      Also, you could have a trial season of homeschool with your son over a break – using free online resources, worksheets and such – and see how he likes it, how he behaves, before making the leap to homeschool. Just some ideas!

  18. God bless you dear Stefanie!!!!!

  19. Good for you, Mama! It does not matter where or how our kids school–what matters is that we always consider them and their needs in the decisions. Many blessings to you all the rest of this school year. : )

  20. You GO girlfriend and keep doing the hard mama work that needs to get done for His precious girl! There is none better than you and your were perfectly chosen to do it for her. LOVE that she’s right where she belongs. ~Nancy

  21. I hope this is another success for you. It looks like Isabelle is very happy already

  22. We have been so lucky thus far that the kids in Leahs Kindergarten class have been very good to her. While we still dont truly know what her special need is ( genetic testing underway currently) how others view her small stature was a concern. At conferences recently her teacher told us that when other kids ( outside of her class) made a comment on her smallness, her class stood up for her saying” Shes not little, shes 6 and a half” I didnt know wether to laugh or cry! It was my biggest concern when she started school.

    Lisa in MN

  23. Jennifer S says:

    Bless her… my sweet girl faced a bully at her old school. It really hurt her heart. Changes in her vision led to changing schools and now she is thriving. I know Isabelle will continue to blossom in home-school.

  24. You are an inspiration to me Stefanie. I have no idea how you pull it all off, but you are an amazing sister in Christ. Love that you jumped right in and are doing what is best for her!

  25. Very cool that you are doing what each of your kiddos need at the times they need it :)

  26. Wow. I think I could talk to you alot about this. I started homeschooling Judah when he first came home. And although it seemed to me he was very smart, the language barrier along with homeschooling the other ones proved to be too much. After much prayer, we put him in public school this year thinking a grade behind where he would be would be good for him and he would catch up. He is doing terribly though, and yes, kids are so so cruel. It has not been good. Now, I find myself thinking that I should homeschool him again, but I know it will be a challenge. I think you and I could have a cup of coffee over this one. šŸ˜‰ Praying for you. I may soon be joining in.

    • Would be happy to talk. I know it’s a tough decision, especially for those like me who don’t feel especially gifted at homeschooling šŸ˜‰ I have to remind myself regularly that God fills in the gaps!

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