Home School Vs. Public School, a word of encouragement…

This isn’t a debate, this is a from my heart and our experience as a family.  Many of you know we homeschooled our children for the first 2.5 years of their schooling.  Recently we made the decision to put them in public school, there were many factors that played into our decision and we sit today covered in peace.  About a week ago we had our first Parent/Teacher conferences.  We really had no idea what to expect.  Would they say what I had feared all along?  “Your child is behind and has many gaps in his/her education.”

You see daily I questioned my ability, all to often I cried myself to sleep fearing that I was “messing the kids up” somehow.  On the days we schooled I wondered if they were getting any of it, then on the days we didn’t school the guilt rode me to no end.    Mr. Frugal and I were managing a business full-time at home and schooling the kids full-time.  Stress was a common factor in most of our days sadly.

This is however what we heard and it brought me great joy.

Tyler is in Kindergarten.  His teacher just smiled when I asked about his temperament.  You see he is a ball of energy and I wondered if he was able to sit still and focus at all.  She described him as bright, playful, sweet, and obedient.

Then we met with Cody’s teacher, he is in 2nd grade.  His reading and math levels are currently 2 grades higher (doing 4th grade work) and he ASKED for more homework. He is also in a book club where they compete against other schools and are tested on their reading comprehension.

Our only daughter Haley is in 4th grade.  Her teacher said she is very mature,  loves to help in any capacity and always has a smile on her face.  She is also advanced in reading and is very sweet and caring towards the other kids.

Then there is Travis, will you pray for us?  Hahaha, just kidding but he is QUITE the character!  He’ll start Kindergarten in the Fall.

Why am I sharing all of this?  I know it’s not frugal related and we don’t often share about our kids but this was heavy on my heart.  I know most of you are parents and I would venture to guess that many of you burden some amount of guilt about the choices you’re making in regards to your children’s education.

For my homeschooling friends, family, and readers.  You ARE doing an amazing job.  I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.  If you’re called to homeschool – you will be equipped. You may never get to sit down and actually hear this from a teacher, but trust me it is sinking in.  If we were able to impart what we have in to our children, you most certainly are too.   For those of you that have chosen public education, I stand with you in prayer for our children.  There are certainly things our children will see/hear/experience that we wish they could be sheltered from but kids are very resilient and when fortified at home by a loving family they’ll do just fine.   Our kids are thriving and yours will too.

Go in peace today, you’re doing just fine.


  1. Cheryl says

    So if time with the business wasn’t an issue, what would you choose? The reason I ask, we are contemplating when schooling years begin, whether it is homeschool or public school for our little ones.

    • says

      That’s a great question and it depends on so many different personal factors, but I’ll be the first to say that there is something amazing about homeschooling your children and being the one to teach then and guide them. If you’re able to that would be my first choice.

      With that said, there are so many great ways to teach/train them at home EVEN while they’re in public school. It’s their heart in the end that we’re most concerned about.

  2. treasure says

    thank you for this today. as a homeschool mom, this is something i do struggle with often. so thank you for your words of encouragement!

  3. Susanna Burke says

    Thank you for sharing that, I am sure it wasn’t easy to publish! I do appreciate your openness about it, though, and it makes me feel better about my situation, as we are a homeschooling family exploring the possibility of signing on with a charter school ISP next year. I am very nervous about what that will mean for us, whether I am going to be told my kids have educational “gaps” and how much extra work I am making for myself, to list a few worries- but I hope and pray it turns out to be a good move for us!

    • says

      Susanna, no it wasn’t easy! I always felt like I need more direction, a charter might just be what you need. But with that said, I bet you’re already doing a great job. Try not to second guess yourself.

  4. Jean says

    I appreciate this note of encouragement. We have never home schooled, but did choose to transfer our child to a better public school within our district. Our kids are active in Sunday school, we do Bible times at bedtime, pray together, and Jesus is just a regular part of our daily life.
    Recently my son, who is 2nd grade, won a writing contest at school. It was read out loud to his class and now moves on to compete at the district level. His topic: “Jesus, You are My Hero!” He wrote out the path the salvation, who Jesus is, what praying is… everything. It was a exciting in two ways; 1st that I know the truth has sunk in and he knows and loves Jesus, but also that his entire class was able to hear all about Jesus! Children so easily share their faith and to think that he may have introduced Jesus to his classmates is really cool!

    • says

      Jean, that makes ME proud of your son and I’ve never met him! What an amazing story, sounds like God has a special plan for that little guy!

    • tanya says

      Praise the Lord for your son!! How wonderfully proud you must be of him. If only we adult were so outspoken about our faith in Jesus at times.

  5. says

    Thanks for this article. I just finished our lesson for today and I am always wondering about this. We are missionaries in Mexico and there is a Christian English school he could attend. The problem (beside the cost) is that it’s about 40 minutes away on a toll road. Traffic in this country can be a nightmare. Even on a good day we would have been in the car for almost 3 hours a day! Then he would be in school for 7 hours. I feel like I would never get to spend any time with my son. I love that we can home school. He attended an amazing Christian school while we were on furlough last year and I am so grateful he had that opportunity.

    • jaime bobbitt says

      I just wanted to say from one christian sister to another how blessed I was by YOUR post…what an amazing example you are on daily basis for your son of what living life for Jesus looks like. You couldn’t manufacture that lesson in a classroom…Isaiah 41:9 and 10.

    • says

      Oh Janell, you are in a season. What a great mom you are, and it sounds like your son is getting the BEST of you which is so wonderful.

  6. jaime bobbitt says

    God used your words to speak to this mamas heart today…as one that just started homeschooling our oldest(we placed him in public kindergarten but then removed him 2 months later) I have already felt like a failure as we have had to do so many things differently lately as his upcoming surgery for sleep apnea approaches hes so sleepy alot of the time which makes focusing for him nearly impossible. Putting aside my fears that I’m messing up already has torn me apart on many days. Your words from the heart spoke to mine. Our Lord Jesus is so much bigger than our faults, and our fears. Thank you for being real.

    • says

      Oh boy Jaime! My mouth just dropped when I read your post, your sweet boy will be just fine – give him the rest he needs. They’re amazing at playing catch-up AND in the end it’s all about their hearts right? That they know and love Jesus.

  7. Maria says

    Amen! Thanks. Some days are hard….no matter which road you chose. THere are days I want to throw in the towel…and then He blesses us with a really good one.

  8. LIZ says

    I feel that homeschooling children for the first one or two years of school is great. After that ,I would definitely enroll my child at a school because they need to get used to the routine of waking up early and having to go to work.It’s hard for a child that never had this responsibility stablished to be able to deal with the daily routine of going to the same place every single day. Also, when they grow up they will have to deal with all types of people.School teaches them to deal with the good and the bad people. I always drill my daughter that she must not copy bad behaviors from other children and to choose friends that “Do the right thing.” She’s only four years old, but going to school in Miami, I must do the best I can to keep her from following the wrong examples. Easier said than done, but with God ‘s help all things are posible. And yes I know, at her age all kids are innocent, but some see a lot of bad stuff going on at home and share this with other children. Sad, but true. Oh, and by the way, I do support homeschooling because I feel that no one can teach children with such much love and effort as their own parents can. Even for kids that attend school, parents play the number one role in their kid’s education. Your child can have a wonderful teacher at school, but if the parents don’t reinforce homework and study habits, the child will never accomplish his/her full potential. Please keep working with your kids as much as you do while homeschooling them.Best of luck,

  9. Melanie says

    That was lovely. Thank you for sharing. I’ve often thought of homeschooling, but haven’t yet made the leap. I loved reading your story.

  10. Beatriz says

    We didn’t homeschool our children because I felt inadequate to teach my son the things he should learn. Well, actually, I guess I did homeschool him for a bit because when he hit pre-k he knew his alphabet, numbers, shapes, addition and some light reading. Anyways, we decided to send him to a private school and it was great! The only thing was the money (obviously). My husband lost his job and we soon realized that he wouldn’t be able to continue onto kinder in the same school. My husband and I I contemplated homeschooling, but I didn’t feel like he would benefit from it. We went to different schools in our district and finally decided on where to enroll him. He is now in kinder and doing wonderful! He is learning and developing in ways that I know I wouldn’t have been able to provide. There have been times that I want to keep him home and hide him under the bed, but I know that; for us, this is best. Just this week he FINALLY made friends with his class “bully.” He is learning things that I wouldn’t have been able to learn at home and I’m thankful for that. I am thankful for his sweet teacher who takes the time to teach my son and all those other children. I have learned how to work with her in order for my son to get the most out of his public education (and he truly is).

    Thank you for sharing.

  11. cjkrist says

    We are right in the middle of trying to decide how best to educate our children next year. Our oldest is enrolled in our local Christian school. We made that choice before we knew we were going to adopt 2 younger children. Now our middle son is ready to go to school next year and the tuition for 2 children is just too much. I’m so afraid of homeschooling but I’m more concerned about the quality of education they’ll get in public school. We are praying for the right way. God will show us.

  12. Barbara Burgess via Facebook says

    I homeschooled my granddaughters from 2nd grade to 11th grade an the other from 4th grade til graduation. I wouln’t have changed a thing. I loved it. One is in college now and the other a senior in high school. I wish I would have continued home schooling the senior. She has learned how to be a lazy student in public school. Makes me so sad!

  13. JenMathews says

    Thank you for posting this Julia my 17 year old and 11 year old are in public school not so much by choice but have to be because the other parent makes us have them there. Our babies we plan on homeschooling starting with preschool we have a 2 year old and 7 month old. But I hate the things I am seeing in the schools. They were teaching a out Islamic culture by reading the Koran among many of the things I dont like. How can they read the Koran but not the bible? Anyway I worry about my choice to homeschool the babies but this post helped me to see we will be fine!

  14. Kim says

    Every situation is different. There are kids in public, private, and homeschool with “gaps”. Do what is best and right for your family. I wish I had the access and money for my child to attend a Christian School but I’m not sure it would be right for him given his personality and mine. I had a teacher pass away when I was in school followed by many subs so I didn’t learn much in Spanish 3! As a public school teacher I can say mapping the curriculum out or purchasing a decent curriculum is helpful for homeschool families. There is so much on the internet these days to help.

  15. Lori Chibante-Thomas via Facebook says

    And Barbara helped me homeschool my oldest for a time when I could not do much due to chemo and radiation effects. I only homeschooled him from 6-8. He did go to public school Algebra class for 8th grade and I had him in the art class too. I had planned to continue with his 9th grade year, but his father had other plans for that. It turned out it was a mistake but thankfully I found the right school. Barbara helped me check that school out too. Better to have the input from someone who knows your child so they can give wonderful advise if you are uncertain.

  16. Shelley says

    We have always taken one year and one child at a time. We have homeschooled, private schooled and public schooled and at one point had a child in each as that was truly the need for each child at the time. The most important thing is trusting in God’s leading for each one…His plan. I remember a time putting our son in public school. I was scared to death of the “influence”. Then God reminded me..”I need my people everywhere” and I had that inner peace that only comes from Him and trusted my son in His hands. At one point all of our kids went to private school as my husband was a teacher there and I thought “we are finished homeschooling”…a little relief and a little sadness all at the same time. Little did I know! Now we have one in college, one doing independent study through the public high school and another in high school we are homeschooling…..trusting in Him, day by day.

  17. Kayla says

    Thank you for this! I just found out my soon-to-be 3 year old is autistic and have been considering homeschooling. After all the evaluations and testing that we have to go through, it is discouraging. What if I could have done more? What if I could have been there more and she wouldn’t have been this way? Thank you for your kind words- “you’re doing just fine.” That’s what I needed.

  18. Heidi says

    Thanks for posting this. I have 3 in public school and yes, they are exposed to things that we wish they weren’t, but those are the realities of life. You mentioned that “He equips”, so I am assuming that you consider yourself a Christian. How else are we able to minister to the public schools without our children? There is still hope for revival, and through prayer, our children can do just fine and be the light that Christ asks us to be. Putting my kids in public and quitting homeschooling has brought so much peace and less stress to my home and we believe that it is Gods plan for us at this time (this is not in any a cut on homeschooling, if done right it is a great way to educate and I admire the parents who can do it).

  19. Natalie says

    We also went from 2 years of Homeschooling to Public school this year. My fears were the same. Did I mess them up? Will they fit in? Would they be on track with what the other kids were learning? I worried so much! Come to find out, my youngest is at the head of his class and my oldest (after a slight adjustment period) is thriving!! I was so worried that I had not done it right, but I knew in my heart that I needed to home-school them for that time period. I am proud of who they are, and who they are is so much more important to me than their scholastic achievements. My kids are kind, funny, respectful, thoughtful, helpful and just plain amazing. I thank God that I followed the path that he laid on my heart.

  20. Judy Barbosa Trent via Facebook says

    I admire those who can and are called to homeschool. My son is on the Autism Spectrum and I knew I could not teach him at home. We’ve been blessed to find an awesome program at school that is specifically geared for children on the spectrum. He gets Occupational Therapy at school and every day for 2 hours a day after school, he gets ABA Therapy at home.

    • says

      I am not saying that you should be homeschooling, only that it can be done. 3 of my 4 children are on the Autism spectrum and we have been homeschooling successfully for 7 years. Prior to that my oldest, who has Aspergers, was in public school and homeschooling has been better for her and us.

  21. Gerri Baker via Facebook says

    Training them up and teaching them the Truth and the truth in all facets of life, including education.

  22. Mara Sharpes Maxwell via Facebook says

    That was really nice to hear you say we are doing a great job 😉 That is we got the calling then we are equipped that is the truth thanks again 😉

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