I’ve had several questions about home schooling, whether I’m doing it, what I’m doing, etc.

The answer is yes, I’m home schooling Claire, but only for the last hour of her day which is English.  And really, what we’re doing is really not “home-school” English, it’s more what I like to call “experiential” English.  This has been an experiment because it can be right now.  When she’s in junior high her grade doesn’t go on an transcript needed for college and I figured we could kind of take the liberty to figure out what works for us.  I figured this is really the last year I can do this before she goes to high school.  I don’t anticipate being able to try this with Lucy since she needs specialized help I don’t think I can do from home.

And what have we learned?  Well, we’ve learned that being a good at home-school isn’t for the weak of heart!  Ok, I never thought it would be, but I sure have an admiration for those mothers who do this.  We’ve gone through stages where we’ve been really on-the-ball and other stages where we haven’t.  I looked into a few different curriculums and Claire and I set up a schedule and it’s been a pretty good learning experience for us both.  We don’t have a set “program,” and sometimes we let things get in the way of our “class.”  Sometimes we’ll have class at Costco, other times we’ve read a book about teens and social media.  I had her pick someone famous in history to research and she chose Alexander Hamilton…who we learned some good things about.  She’s memorized poems and right now she’s memorizing “The Living Christ” bit by bit.  Currently we are reading the same book they are reading in junior high English classes: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Am I pushing her as much as I hoped I would?  No. But have I accomplished what we set out to do?  Yes.  We have learned so much.  She has memorized, written creative essays, read a lot, and worked here and there on grammar and we’re both pretty happy about it. 

This question came in on the blog the other day and I answered it in the comment section but thought it was a good question so I’m putting it here as well:

Off topic but last night two mormon missionaries came to our door. i was more than happy to thank them for taking the time to say hello and wish them well in their endeavors in our urban area but i am not interested in becoming mormon. the boys were incredibly polite and seemed quite nice. my question for you (and perhaps more aptly for Max) is: what is the best way to support the missionaries as individuals and give them a good experience without committing to a conversation i am just simply not interested in having about religion? basically i didn’t want to slam the door on them or be rude but also didn’t want to give anyone false hope about our spiritual situation.

I hope this makes sense and doesn’t come across as rude but i’m genuinely curious what is the best route here!

Good question. You are awesome to simply give them kindness. My missionary-mom heart thanks you πŸ™‚ Max says he’d recommend telling the missionaries in a nice way that you don’t have much interest right off the bat. That way they won’t get their hopes up for a promising gospel conversation. But hey, if you have a minute, still engage them in a conversation! Ask them where they’re from. Sometimes missionary days are long, and they’re far from home…they’ll feel so grateful for your kindness. If you’re really feeling extra awesome, ask if you can take a pic of them with your cell phone and text it on over to their mothers. I’ve done that a couple times with missionaries, SO easy and their moms write back with all the appreciation they can convey through a little technological device…they think it’s the greatest thing ever to get a text in the middle of the day with their son (or daughter) popping up out of no where on their phone πŸ™‚

Missionaries are out there to teach the gospel. They are pretty excited about it and because every personality is different…some may be pretty persistent. But if they know you’re not interested right from the get-go they will just appreciate your friendliness more than you can know!


  1. Love the advice about what to say to missionaries. Great question. I am not a "quick thinker" and I seriously lack social skills– but I love how simple this is and at the same time shows kindness. The world sure needs all the kindness we can give. Love your example and encouragement.

  2. If you want to go a little deeper with those missionaries, invite them to help with any service your community group or church or school is doing. They want to serve and be a part of the communities.

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