You’re a Teacher? (the BIG picture)

(I’ve had this post written — mostly — for over a week. I set it to post last week, then changed it to post today instead. But then I was going to chicken out and postpone it til next week. Or the week after that. Or maybe the week after that…)

Two years ago, Lindsey had never seen me; she’d never even heard my name. Now, she calls me Mama. I can’t imagine the mental shift required for that to happen. Once a stranger; now her mother.

Is it any wonder that she can’t seem to wrap her mind around thinking of me as teacher, too?

I realized this a few weeks ago when I received my invitation from our homeschool moms’ support group for our end of the year Teacher Appreciation Tea. Lindsey saw it and said, “Where are you a teacher?”

She honestly believes that the only way she is capable of learning is by sitting in a classroom being taught by someone officially known as Teacher.
classroom teacher
We’ve told her we believe that public school has become an idol to her, and we’ve expressed our concern about how badly she wants to be, in her words, “a normal kid.” Maybe she wants too badly to be not only in the world, but of it. Then again, since she grew up in foster care, only recently has her life begun to have any semblance of “normal.”

Since she first joined our family, she has said time and time again that she wants to go to public school — but she usually doesn’t mention it until she’s been stewing on it a while. This time I thought she was truly on board with homeschooling, but she tends to tell us what she thinks we want to hear. A few weeks ago it came up yet again. God has shown me that this issue is beginning to build resentment in her towards us. Lindsey is already sixteen and our time with her under our roof is short; we cannot afford to allow bitterness to come into our relationship.


We have decided to enroll Lindsey in public school next year.

To be completely honest, I still feel a little like I am throwing her to the wolves. And taking her last week to meet with the guidance counselor about registration and classes made me feel a little bit like throwing up.

But God is big enough. He protected her for years through things I cannot fathom, and He can certainly protect her in public school. I am not naive enough to think that homeschooling guarantees that my children will grow up to be godly adults, and I know plenty of very godly adults who were educated in public school. I cannot allow my desire to homeschool my children to become an idol either.

Lindsey will tell you that if she was still with her birth family (and quite possibly if she was still in her old town in foster care), she would most likely be on drugs and/or pregnant by now. I have to keep the big picture in mind. It is still possible to disciple her spiritually even if she attends public school. We’ll just have to be more intentional about it. By putting Lindsey in our family, I know that God has already used us to make a huge difference in her life, and He will continue to do so. I keep telling myself that, and I’m thankful He reminds me of it, too.

It’s just hard.

(I’ll be sharing more of my heart on this in the coming weeks – and months.)

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Tricia @Hodgepodge

You are a wonderful example of Godly parents. I’ve always said that in our house, we’d take it year by year. Assessing the needs of each of our individual children. Sounds to me like that is just what you are doing. Yes, our God is greater, our God is stronger. He indeed has plans for Lindsey and is continually revealing His plan for your family! You encourage all of us so with your honesty. Thank you for that.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

My daughter went to public high school and it wasn’t my first choice either. She had a purpose-to be in the marching band. I told her that if I saw *anything* that made me suspect things were going downhill as far as association and behavior I would pull her back home for school. She did brilliantly. It was a good choice for her. My oldest son wanted to try public school for high school and it lasted a short time and he begged to come home again. It was not a good choice for him. My other two who were… Read more »


I was going to write a huge long comment, but I might as well just make it a post on my blog. Let me just say that I can so relate. I admire you for doing what you feel is best for your daughter, that is all God expects of us, to follow his leading. I pray for a blessed journey for you both.


Wow. What a difficult decision. “I cannot allow my desire to homeschool my children to become an idol either.” That really hit home with me! I homeschool two of my children (ages 14 and 5) and two of my children go to public school (ages 16 and 7). My 16 year old has NO DESIRE to be homeschooled, and knowing what her future goals are, public school is okay. My 7 year old has some delays and mild Asperger’s, so we have felt that he needs to be in public school where all of the special needs resources are at… Read more »


Be encouraged. God is with you. While you question whether you are doing the right thing, let me assure you you will KNOW if you are NOT doing the right thing. And if you don’t KNOW…then the hesitation and reservations you feel are most likely based on things other than God’s plan or purpose. He’s quite capable of revealing Himself and His will and does so in the right time and way. Lindsey knows you care more about her than your preferred method of doing life. Priceless. This reminds me of the prodigal son…the dad must have known it wasn’t… Read more »


Jamie…what an amazingly honest post. And so thought-provoking. “But God is big enough. He protected her for years through things I cannot fathom, and He can certainly protect her in public school. I am not naive enough to think that homeschooling guarantees that my children will grow up to be godly adults, and I know plenty of very godly adults who were educated in public school. I cannot allow my desire to homeschool my children to become an idol either.” Wow. That is so true. And I have to admit this is something I need to surrender. It can be… Read more »

Tonya @ Live the Adventure

Oh Jamie, My heart really goes out for you. I can only imagine how difficult it has been to make that decision. Homeschooling used to be my idol; I couldn’t fathom a homeschooling parent sending their child to school. Over the years He has shown me how flawed my thinking was. Homeschooling is not the only choice. There are reasons, like yours, that it doesn’t always work for every particular child or family. Kudos to you and your husband for recognizing that, even though it is so hard. I’ve come to realize that when it comes to homeschooling, the Lord… Read more »

D. M.

Hey Jamie, Blessings! With the bits you shared about your heart, and Lindsey’s heart … and the current situation at hand; I can’t help but to say, ‘I think you’re doing good :o) ‘ … and I just can’t help but to agree with you that if you’re noticing resentment or bitterness trying to take root- then taking it to the Lord, and trusting HIM in all things is the best way to go…. even if it means letting her go to public school. It’s okay. Although, I LOVE homeschooling… I also believe that it’s not the public school that… Read more »


These folks have already left really encouraging comments that make many excellent points! I would add to these that you can surely trust that God is already working in the lives of children in Lindsey’s new school. It is quite possible (maybe even likely) that He has a place for her there that would allow opportunity to be a help to others, which as you already know can be a tremendous blessing and growth experience – to see that God is allowing you to be part of what He’s doing. She has a tremendous testimony for a young person, and… Read more »


This is beautiful. I have often wondered how a teen would take to all of a sudden being homeschooled after going to a traditional school for so many years. We’ve always said we would strive to do the best thing for each child as they grow up. You are living it! May God bless both of you on your journey.


Oh Mama. My heart is heavy for you. Thankfully, we serve a very Big God who has plans we can’t even fathom. 😉

Praying for you, Friend!



Oh, Jamie. I can only imagine how hard this decision was. I look forward to reading about this new aspect of your lives.

Tina Savasuk

Thank you for continuing to share so openly about your heart and the ongoings in your awesome combined family and schooling! I know this was so hard for you. You are very wise and mature for taking this route after realizing the things you have realized. Now, it is just time to trust God. I am so sure you will see Him work in tremendous ways through this and I can’t wait to hear about them. Love you, {big squeeze}!


I know this wasn’t a decision you came to lightly Jamie…and I know it was bathed in prayer by you and your husband. There are two kinds of peace. Peace that makes us feel just what we want to feel…no worry…no fear…no need to have to trust in anyone but ourselves, our decision and the wonderful sweet feeling we are left with because it is all the way we want it to be. That peace is awesome and we experience it many times within a day. I do at least. But it is built on a false of control. The… Read more »


I’ll be praying for your heart and Lindsey’s spiritual and physical protection. I know how hard this is for you, but you are right, God IS bigger than this and if she is His, then no one can snatch her from His Mighty hand!

Big hugs for a brave and loving mama!

(((Hugs))) I know that has got to be a hard decision, but I can hear your heart in your post. I think you’re doing the right thing because you’re letting Christ guide your decisions. God is bigger than educational choices.

Traci's Teaching Times

Hi Jamie, I haven’t been following your blog very long, but I have always sensed a devoted prayer life. That being said, I know you and your husband have prayed about this and I feel like you would only follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost. I’ll be praying for you and your family.

Stef - Layton Family Joy

Jamie – you are such a beautiful mom! To even consider this and be flexible, when so many other mothers would push the strife between them and force feed homeschool down a child’s throat! Who knows how God will use this opportunity. You’ve been obedient to put your faith in HIM ! He will do the rest. She is not in her old town, in her old school or near anything familiar. She is now in your love. And God went with Daniel all the way to Babylon and shined favor on him there – and Daniel was resolute not… Read more »

Cheryl @ finding the beauty

This was a great post! You are absolutely right – God is bigger than our school choices. Thank you for sharing!!


Wow! What a great mom! It’s hard to make the difficult decisions when you don’t feel right about it.. (((hugs)))) and covering all of you in prayer. God is bigger than all this!


Just curious if her specific request was for PS or if you could explore Christian school or a co-op as a sort of middle of the road compromise?


That’s what I was wondering. Thinking of you as you are on this journey!


I enjoy reading your blog so much and I like this post because we go back and forth about the right school for our son. We are trying a new thing this year – public charter school that is a homeschool/public school hybrid. They go to school one or two days a week and we homeschool them the rest of the week. Thank you for sharing your heart. I think the parents are the biggest influence anyway on a child’s spiritual life.

Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home

wow. I am about to write a post on a similar issue. God has provided for our kids to go to a nearby Christian school next year. We have never done anything but homeschool. I feel for your situation.


First I want to tell you that God has blessed you with the wisdom to see the whole picture. When we started homeschooling so many years ago, my son could not see me as a teacher. At first he thrived at home, in homeschool. However, it wasn’t long before he couldn’t handle it any more. After a lot of prayer, and discussions, we put him back into the public school, but a different school district. He thrived, even decided on his own to repeat one year to catch up on some things he was behind in from the other school… Read more »


I will pray for you in this transition.


OH Jamie I just want to give you a huge HUG because I’ve been there. I’ve done that. Sending my big kids to public school for high school was the scariest thing EVER. I know some really amazing public schooled kids who love Jesus and are passionate about following Him. All is not lost. I’ve also known some very sheltered homeschoolers who grew up and basically went crazy, doing everything their parents never let them do, TIMES TEN. There are no guarantees about our kids. Each one is an individual and makes her own choices. If you are connecting with… Read more »


[…] This is the first year I’ve ever been a public school parent. I’ve explained the whys in greater depth on my blog, but the very condensed version is that we felt this was the right […]


I love this post. I am a homeschooling mama of three children who are11yrs, 9yrs and 7yrs. old. We currently have a foster son living with us who is younger and is in the public school system. What you have described in this post I can relate to. I praise you on your decision to choose love over who’s right or wrong. God is BIGGER then this and God’s love will wash over those unwanted influences!

Jen @Gricefully Homeschooling

I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve read this post {I stumbled on it}. I knew you, too, had an older child who attended public school, as I do, while you homeschool the other {also like I do}. But never read why. We recently lost our child, somewhat to the world, so our decision to allow our oldest to attend public school has been in question {for us}. But we also try to remember that it is not my or my husband’s path, but our daughter’s. His Will will be done! And God does use bad to make… Read more »

Susann Gehring

When Jeremy came to us (foster care), he was in public school 7th grade. After he was adopted he wanted to live a “normal” life. 9th grade was hard, two fights, alternative school for 20 days. Two days into 10th grade he asked to be home schooled. It was the best thing for him. It took me a while to warm up to it.
Now I homeschool three and have one in public school-kinderdgarden. That too may be changing next year!

We have much in common!:)

[…] This is the first year I’ve ever been a public school parent. I’ve explained the whys in greater depth on my blog, but the very condensed version is that we felt this was the right […]