Topic | Homeschooling for the Long-Haul

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  • Christine Gayfer

    I’m preparing for a conference talk in the spring on sustainable homeschooling — or what helps moms/families to homeschool for the long-haul.

    If you have been homeschooling 10 years or more, can you give me your thoughts and practical ideas of what keeps you able to continue for the long-haul. (It can be anything in any category — financial, career/work, emotional, spiritual, educational, etc.) Thanks so much — hoping this thread will also help newer homeschoolers on this forum!


    Remembering my “why” for starting to homeschool, and  picturing what the alternative would look like for my children. We are a creative bunch who have trouble fitting into typical school boxes.

    I  love homeschooling!  My first mentor told me that if I sent my son to school because of his difficult behavior, that I would still have to deal with him at the end of the day.  At least with homeschooling we had more time to work on behavior, and with less distractions.  She was right!

    We had some tough days, but it was worth every one.


    I have written my own “Philosophy of Education”. I reread it ever so often to remind myself of what I know to be true and important for our family. A B&M school would never accomplish what I deem important or education.

    Schooling year-round has made homeschooling possible for us. With all of the changes we have had in life, the constant of schooling and being able to take breaks when needed has been the only way for us to accomplish it.

    Being stubborn and determined is also a big help in continuing on ;), and knowing it is my calling. I refuse to quit or give up. I have been called by God and given the responsibility to educate and raise my children. If we hit a bump in the road I know quitting is not an option, so I have to work at it till I find a solution.


    When I think of sustainable homeschooling for the long haul a couple things come to mind:

    1. Buy reuseable materials where you can. For example I often choose to purchase student books in e-book so it can be printed for each child down the line, while I will do the teacher’s manual in print. (Fix It Grammar is an example of this.) I will choose living books and make my own list for various ages as we use them and when the next time around we reach that time period I already have books for the younger and middle kids planned out that the older kids used. I like a basic science textbook like Apologia that can be reused for each kid down the line.

    2. Do some study on homeschooling high school (transcripts, credits, and preparing for college) BEFORE you reach those years so you don’t panic. It’s not hard to homeschool high school within the laws of your state, it just takes understanding the rules.

    3. Don’t default to the grass is greener syndrome. Yes, it may look easier/more fun to just send your children off to public school on your hard days at home but you can’t see the struggles that come with that educational choice. Both have their easier and harder points, you would just trade one set of difficulties for another. If God has called you to this he’ll make it possible, or he will clearly call you to something else.



    For us it’s just a decision. We decided it’s better to homeschool, so we do it. It’s what our family really wants, for a lot of reasons. Those reasons aren’t going anywhere. Similar to any decision we make for our families; we don’t just quit if it’s hard. Everything is hard sometimes.
    I also think that not comparing ourselves to other families is valuable. That gets easier as the years go by. I find myself caring less and less what public school kids are doing. I think having kids that have graduated from homeschool makes this more possible. So if newer moms can believe what the long-time homeschoolers tell them, it can help them push through hard times.
    We have a lot of things in our lives that we just do no matter how hard it is, especially when it comes to our kids. This isn’t any different. When they have a fever, we sit up at night with them. And when they have a hard time learning algebra, we sit by them again. Homeschooling is just parenting. It’s love.


    I have loved reading the posts on this thread.

    This is my 15th year of homeschooling. As others have mentioned here, homeschooling is a calling for me. There is no other option since I believe it to be the best choice for my children. That is my number one reason for sticking it out over the long haul.

    I am nearing the end of my homeschooling years and I now have the privilege of being able to see the fruit of all that hard work. It is so worth it.

    Homeschooling gave me so much precious time with my children. Some times it didn’t feel so precious but, in hindsight, I know it was oh so precious. Hours and hours of reading aloud, taking nature walks, and playing board games are times that my children and I will treasure for the rest of their lives. Homeschooling helped us to form such close, and loving family bonds. I can’t imagine not having homeschooled. It has changed me in ways I would have never imagined. As we homeschool our children, God is homeschooling us. 🙂

    Make plenty of time to enjoy learning together as a family. You will never regret it!



    This is my 15th year of homeschooling, and I have graduated one so far.

    I agree with the others here who spoke of remembering the “why” of your homeschooling journey along the way.  I felt from before my oldest had reached kindergarten that God was opening the door to homeschooling for me, and I have always told myself I would keep doing it through high school unless He closed that door.  I have not seen that happen yet even through becoming a single mom, having a child diagnosed with autism, and now being caregiver to my dad with Alzheimer’s disease.  With God’s help, we press on.

    I also firmly avoid comparing my children and the methods of education I have chosen with those of other parents–homeschoolers or not.  It is too easy to get discouraged when you second-guess yourself as you start comparing your journey to that of others.

    Also, I have sustained our homeschool by relying on very budget-friendly resources such as used books/curriculum and local libraries.  These have enabled us to homeschool without breaking the bank.

    Christine Gayfer

    Thank-you everyone for your thoughtful responses.  I hope this thread has been as helpful and encouraging to other as it has to me.  I think I have the best part of the bargain, being able to prepare for this talk!

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