are you homeschooling now?

Today’s post has been a while in the making. I’ve gotten some questions here and on Instagram asking if I am homeschooling. If you are one of those that have asked, I apologize for seemingly ignoring your questions. I just wasn’t ready to talk about it here. Today I am ready. Yes, I am homeschooling. I actually started last July before we left for China. I know a lot of you noticed more pictures of the older boys and probably guessed this was the case.

I haven’t talked about it here because I really needed to work it out on my own. I needed time to figure out where I stood and what my family needed. Education is a hot topic and sometimes all the opinions of others can feel overwhelming. Sometimes as parents we can become very passionate about the decisions we make (breastfeeding, homeschooling, nutrition, etc.) and the way we word that passion can at times be hurtful to others. When my boys were attending a private school, there were instances where the words of well meaning moms that chose other modes of education came across very hurtful. So, that has played into my avoiding talking about the topic here. I wanted to be sensitive and delicate in how I shared about this change in our family.

I don’t think homeschooling is the best option for every family.

I don’t think private school is the best option for every family.

I don’t think public school is the best option for every family.

Some parents have the means and freedom to choose what they think is the best form of education for their kids.

Some parents don’t have those means or freedom and that can be a hard place to be.

It breaks my heart to see how often we use our words to build ourselves up while unintentionally causing hurt to others. I am a fan of parents that love their kids and are striving to do the best job they can in raising them. I’m a fan of parents and teachers before I am a fan of a specific mode of education.

I’m a fan of moms…whether you have one kid or 15. Whether your kids eat candy or gluten free donuts. Whether you homeschool or public school. I’m a fan of moms.

I’m a fan of moms that blog about homeschooling. I’m a fan of moms that blog about feeding their family well. I’m a fan of moms that blog about crafting and baby wearing and gardening. I’m a fan of moms that love others and seek to shine a little light in this world.

I’m not going to go into the reasons why we are choosing homeschool because they are reasons unique to our family. It has been the right decision for us this year. The plan is to continue next year. After that…I don’t know. We’ll see.

So there you have it ~ I’m a homeschooling mom. Since the cat’s out of the bag, I guess I can post zoo pictures now and call it a class field trip…minus two. The empty zoo on weekdays is an obvious perk to our new schedule.

There was a parrot talking to him…

These boys. The oldest taking care of his sister, not about to climb up that rock. The younger brother all about climbing and jumping.

The zoo is one of my favorite places to visit – when there are no crowds. I don’t handle crowds of people very well. The boys want to camp out one night at the zoo (which is possible on certain nights), so that might be in our future. I like the zoo, but I am not sure I would sleep soundly knowing nearby sleep lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

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  • emmybrown - One of the things I love most about you is your thoughtful way of putting/wording things. The intentionality to share your true heart and understanding of the “messages” that are in words (not just words themselves). LOVE!

  • Catherine - I was wondering too. I love, love, love how you write. You just capture everything so well and put into words what is in my heart too.

  • Pam - Great post. I am a homeschooling mom of two boys and have been a follower of your blog for quite some time. I am a fan of moms too! I wish you the best and I look forward to your adventure as well as mine. We’ve been doing it since the beginning and our boys are 12 and 10 but every year is a new adventure. Also I first discovered Art Lab for Kids on your blog and then saw a review at Curriculum Choice. We check it out at our local library and have enjoyed a few of the projects. Thanks for sharing your creative side here.

  • Jessica R - Wow! I am amazed that with everything else you’re juggling, you’ve taken on homeschooling too. I’m kind of in awe of you.

    Of course I respect your privacy and your right not to say, but as someone who has (admittedly, only halfheartedly) considered homeschooling, I’m always interested in why parents make that choice. Would their reasons apply to my family too? And could I even do it? Raising them seems daunting enough, especially in today’s society – to take on their education as well requires confidence that I’m not sure I have. But then, there is zero doubt in my mind that you’re doing a great job at it. Maybe I could do it too.

    Do you have any resources you might be able to pass along for those of us who are thinking about possibly homeschooling?

  • Amy - I had wondered! That is very exciting!! Our daughter is only 6 months old, but our minds are already pretty set on homeschooling (for as long as it works for us). I would LOVE if you spoke more about this topic and ideas you have for lessons, curriculum you are or are not using, how you set up your schedule, etc. I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years now and it’s the only one I definitely try to read every single day. Have so much respect and admiration for you and your approach to life and family!

  • Tara - I’ve been homeschooling for over 15 years.. my two oldest have graduated, and I have five, soon to be six, still at home. The first year was the scariest.. It has been and still is an amazing journey. It will get hard. You will doubt yourself. Just press on and I promise it will be fine!!!

  • Melodie - well put.

  • Asha - I think it’s wonderful you’re homeschooling! My kids go to public school and it’s something I’m considering (homeschooling) but for now, I’m putting it my back pocket. I love that today we have so many options and it gives me comfort knowing it’s an option that’s there.

  • Jennifer - I always thought you homeschooled. Shows how observant I am! I am a fan of moms as well! Well said! xoxo

  • Jill - Great post! My kids are on the public school route. I really don’t want to homeschool, which I think means I would be pretty bad at it πŸ™‚ I love how you see the layers of complications behind decision making and respect the choices of others. You ARE a fan of moms first. Love it.

  • Kristi - You are rad. Thank you for wording this the way you did. I know that I am super passionate about whatever it is we are doing at the time and I know I have totally unintentionally hurt others in talking about whatever it is/was. You are a very wise woman and I’m thankful for you today.

  • Anja - I’m pretty sure, your kids really will love your decision! Granted you have a great time together!
    Oh Ashley, I would be so glad just to have half the energy you seem to have. After reading your postsevery now and then I find myself thinking β€œWhat? Where does she take all that energy/time/blank space in her brain from?” I’m just dealing the basics here and still do I feel like hardly keeping my head above water. But that’s exactly what you meant regarding the moms-communication, right? Not feeling discouraged or jealous or bitter when seeing how another family lives her life but feeling encouraged and inspired. So I’ll really try not to feel like a not-so-good mom and keep the sparkle! Thanks for the reminder!

  • Alyson Thorson - Great post! I linked to your page somehow through adoption and find your writing to be inspiring. I too would love to hear more about your decision to homeschool. I feel in my gut that this might be the best option for my family, but have found it hard to not be overwhelmed by the whole idea! I understand how it is a personal decision but would love even a list of resources you used to make your decision! Thanks again for your willingness to write and share!

  • Reesa Heilaman - Very well said Ashley!

  • Nichole - When I drag the kids out of bed in the morning, bathe someone quickly because they wet the bed, rush them off to school, bring them home and sit to work on homework (we have kindergarten to middle school)……I often wonder, is this the best I can do for our kids? Thank you for the post.

  • Rachel B. - Very exciting news! We are a homeschooling family of 2 children, my daughter is 6 and my son is 3. It is one of the most amazing things that God has called us to do! I love that there are options about how we educate our children. Continuing to keep you and your family lifted up in prayer.

  • Laura - Agreed. Well said. πŸ™‚ Love the pics!

  • Sarah{Handbags*N*Pigtails} - I agree with you 100% on this. Both my husband and I attended public school all our lives and we’re both teachers now. But I’ve been the homeschooling mom and our girls are now both in private school. You just do whats best for your family, based on what you and your children need. I’ve even heard of families who home school some of their children while others attend an actual school, based on the needs of each child.
    I led a MOPS group( for two years before going back to teaching and while that group of women was my lifeline during the early mothering years, sometimes I dreaded talking to certain women/moms because they were so judgemental about everything, if you didn’t mother the way they did. I had a really hard time with that.
    All in all, I’m glad you’re doing what you need to do. I hope its going well! I know I loved having that one on one time with my youngest daughter when we homeschooled. There’s nothing quite like being there when they learn something brand new or read their first words all on their own.
    Blessings to you!

  • Victoria / Justice Pirate - Excellent post!
    I went to private school and then my last three years of high school were at a public school and I homeschool my kids, so I have had a taste for all three in some way, so this was a really lovely way to say that you just appreciate when parents love their kids!!! That’s how it really should be. Parents in general need to invest time into their children and help teach them and encourage them to learn in their schooling. My mom taught me a lot about the Bible and helped me study when I was in schools and I think that was really important. My dad taught me nothing so that still hurts me to this day that I have no pride in him. >.< Long story though.

    I blog every so often about homeschooling, but because the homeschooling process takes so much time I usually skip out because I don't want to mix the "pleasure" with "work", granted homeschooling is a pleasure, but it is hard work so I try to blog without mentioning much of the work. haha. Hope that makes sense.

    I think a lot of people have either good or bad examples of each type of schooling. I hated private (protestant) school but loved public school. When my children finish 8th grade, I'm going to give them the option to continue homeschooling, go to private, or go to public school. I chose to switch to public school and my mom was okay with it (and I knew no one) and liked that I had that freedom to choose.

  • charla - The careful way you craft your words is beautiful .. cheers to moms! πŸ™‚

  • the inadvertent farmer - Smiling out west…I suspected as much but didn’t want to pry. Enjoy the blessing that homeschooling is… which happens to be the hardest thing that homeschooling is…being with them all day long, lol! My only advice is to make sure you get time each day to just be you, whether it be first thing in the morning with a cup of tea and your Bible, or last thing at night with cocoa and a good book. I am going on year, oh goodness, 15 or so. of homeschooling and it is the hardest, most fun, most rewarding thing I have ever done…I know you will rock it! Kim

  • Rachel {A Cupcake for Moose} - Good Morning!

    I am deeply encouraged by your “I’m a fan of moms” thoughts. To hear you lift up everyone who is working hard and trying to be the best mom possible, in their own way, is so inspiring. In the end, it’s just about loving God and loving each other as authentically as possible. You express that so well on your blog. It’s refreshing to hear your confidence and kindness shine in lovely post.

    I’m glad you’ve found a path that is working well for your family. Who wouldn’t LOVE the zoo on a quiet day…how nice! πŸ™‚

  • Abigail Carpenter - LOVE THIS POST!!! I totally agree with you. Each family is unique and us mothers need to support each other in our decisions for our own family. We are doing the same thing…taking things one year at a time!! May God bless your year!!

  • Nelly - Thank you for writing this – I am a fan of moms too! πŸ™‚

  • HeatherD - Well color me clueless.. I hadn’t even thought about why there were more pictures of the boys.. I did wonder how they handled being in china for so long in the fall without being behind at school πŸ™‚

  • Nicole - Great post. We homeschool too and I try to walk the fine line between being excited about it and not sounding judge mental of others. Love seeing your kids more and from what I see in our house they will be great friends!

  • angireid - I just assumed you home schooled! I guess because I started following sometime last spring? In my family homeschooling is pretty common though so for me I guess its my starting point? Anyways, yay moms! I haven’t yet thought about what we will do when our boys are older, its a few years off but its a lot to think about which ever way you go…

  • Katie - Rock on! My mom was a SAHM who ran an in-home daycare so I never did the pre-school thing. However, I did attend public school K through 12th. My parents couldn’t afford private school and she wanted me to have that social involvement that homeschooling would have lacked (at the time in our city, there weren’t any established groups for like-minded homeschooling parents to have group days and I am an only child so no siblings to keep me company!).

    That being said, my mom sat with me every day to go over homework, spelling words, studying for exams, etc. She did all the legwork of talking with my teachers at the beginning of every year to see what our anticipated curriculum would be.

    As my children approach school age, my husband and I have been considering all our options. Given that my mom watches my children at her in-home daycare πŸ™‚ that gives me the peace of mind to currently work outside my home full-time. What I will do when my oldest starts kindergarten, I don’t know, yet. But I do know that us as mothers (and fathers!) can do the best by our children by being involved, offering support, and encouraging creativity. My mom is definitely an example of that for me.

    As are you, Ashley…You rock at that!!

  • Kristin - I appreciate your blog and point of view – the thoughtfulness here breaks through my preconceived notions and stereotypes. Wow. I have so much respect for you and your approach, and am grateful that you share your story. Thank you!

  • Rachel Nolen - “It breaks my heart to see how often we use our words to build ourselves up while unintentionally causing hurt to others.”

    Great stuff Ashley. I’m currently expecting twins, and my-oh-my have I heard it ALL about breastfeeding, working F/T vs. SAHM, etc. Thankfully I can usually just let people’s opinions go in one ear and out the other when they do just as you are indicating. I know they mean well, but sometimes people need to realize everyone’s situations are different and therefore each mom/dad must make the right call for THEIR family.

    Thanks for this post, I certainly related indirectly.

  • tessa - Very well put. I completely agree. I would, whenever you are ready, love to see a post on your transition into homeschooling. Things that would be helpful to moms just entering the homeschooling world. My oldest is Firecrackers age, but I already plan on homeschooling and love reading experiences of others trying to “prepare” myself. What information did you found helpful in the beginning, any routines you thought would work, but didn’t, or anything else you are willing to share. Have a great day!

  • Jenni - Oh how I love this:) I have wanted to be a mom since I was a little girl. Before I had kids I knew exactly what kind of mom I would be. I would be put together all of the time, my kids surely would sleep in their own beds, nursing past a year was just ridiculous, organic everything of course! Four kids later I am the exact opposite of everything I ever thought I would be. I don’t think I have an article of clothing without a stain, my hair is always dirty in a pony tail, I nursed all four kids until the age of two and our bedroom is a constant camp out for all the kids. Oh and are m&m’s organic? I love it, I love me, I love being a mom. I was so self conscious about my decisions after my first because of what other people thought. I think you really come into your own when you have kids. I have never been more accepting of other people or of myself. It is funny how even with dirty hair, bags under my eyes from lack of sleep and clothes from yesterday, I have never felt more beautiful and more complete. Such a great post!! One of favorites:)

  • Shan - Ive been a public school mom, a homeschool mom, and a private school mom. And, unfortunately, I have been one of those moms that have unintentionally offended people by supporting one or the other of those :(. Your words are appreciated.
    By far homeschooling was my favorite. Our go to thing was the zoo too.
    God Bless

  • Emilia - WOW, right now I feel like giving you a standing ovation for the way you worded yourself.
    Well done! Actually beautifully said!

  • Katie - I also wanted to add…

    I LOVE little one’s stare from her stroller. Not sure if this was towards the end of your zoo trip or what, but it is definitely a “Mamma, I’m done!” look.

  • Lisa@FireflyFlickers - That’s awesome Ashley! I had wondered about that last Summer when you went to China. We homeschool too. I’m with you-let’s all just support each other no matter what choices we make as moms. Being a Mom is hard work!

  • Alice H - I love how you love people. And how you don’t want to hurt others by your decision.

    You are so very lucky that you have this opportunity to not only stay home with your children but that you get to teach them now too.

    I would love to have that opportunity and you are so blessed. I hope your homeschooling journey turns out to be better than you expect!

  • Kendra - I think you are amazing! I am not a homeschooling mama but i so love the way you wrote this post.. you inspire me in so many ways i love reading what you have to say because you say it in the sweetest from the heart way – a way that all of us can understand. xo

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - You said it very well. I’m a fan of moms too.
    ps- one of the absolute perks of homeschooling is an empty zoo. We went to Sea World last week and had no lines to contend with!

  • Ruth @ Living Well Spending Less - Yay Ashley! We started homeschooling last summer too, after a rough experience with Kindergarten. I totally understand your reluctance to share it….it is such a personal journey to find your way down that path! I wish nothing but the best for you and your sweet family! xoxo

  • sarah jonsgaard - I have been following your blog, every day for almost 4 years now. Is that creepy? Hahaha anyways I have been super blessed and inspired and I am excited to hear you are homeschooling. I will start homeschooling my oldest this fall and it is nice to know that you might become a great additional resource. I hope you post about your experience sometimes. This is my go to blog for homeschool help Thank you for honoring all moms as well and our decisions to do life the way that works for our families and not what people may expect of us.

  • Kimberlee Jost - Well said.

  • Marit - Is there any way that you are comfortable sharing which homeschooling curriculum you are using? And/or which sites have been most helpful? I have been interested in homeschooling my own kids. I am reluctant, because I am terrified of getting in over my head and my children falling behind.


  • Crystal Prychidko - Welcome to the homeschooling family!!! This is our first year homeschooling too and we love it! It was a perfect fit for us πŸ™‚

    I know there are tons of great groups you can be a part of online, but if you would like to be invited to the one I’m in just message me on Facebook. Crystal Prychidko. I’ve commented on your photos a few times. We would love to have you all!!

    But, either way, happy schooling πŸ™‚


  • Ellie - So glad that you homeschool! I am homeschooled and love the freedom. Your family reminds me so much of another i know. (even though the kids are 6, 9,10,12 they homeschool also and are always learning about nature, and often do their work outside.) I wish the best of learing to all of you! You are an amazing mom!

  • Sarah Pratt - Thank you for your post. I love your blog! Just like the comments before, you have a way with words. I am a mother of three, homeschooling one-this fall with be two. It brings comfort to me when I find other homeschooling moms out there. I have been a recipient of hurtful words on this matter and the hurt always seems to soften when I discover people, that I do admire, homeschool. So thank you!

  • Sarah K - That is the beauty of living in the USA, there are so many education options.We have used our public school as well as home schooled. Each child and family is different and what works for on may not work for another. May God bless your endeavors.

  • Danielle - I am a big fan of an empty zoo also πŸ™‚ My favorite time to go to the Tulsa zoo is when it is 40 out. No one comes πŸ™‚

  • Paige Yelle - Thanks for this! It’s so easy to judge myself based upon the ways of others. I wanted to homeschool so bad, but over the last year I decided to apply for a dual language charter school for my upcoming pre-K daughter, my oldest. I’m delighted she got in, but still uneasy in my heart sometimes hoping I’ve made the best decision. I try to remember that it can change my mind anytime! I can still bring her home if its not a fit.
    I’m wondering if Firecracker and littlest brother are at home or at a preschool currently. My daughters currently go to a part time preschool until next school year. Thanks again for your wise words!

  • Karen - Great post and very well said. I think that homeschooling is awesome if it is right for your family. It is not right for ours and thats ok. My kids love their school and enjoy going, once I can get them out of bed. My husband and I actually had a conversation about homeschooling in front of the kids and before we could even get started good, they both were shouting NO! Guess we got our answer.

  • Annie - Well said. Thank you for your honesty and sensotivity. And high five from another homeschooling mom of five!

  • Sarah W. - Perfectly said, Ashley. I want to make sure I’m constantly being a fan of moms too. I think moms are hard enough on themselves without the added pressure of the rest of the world trying to tell them what they should or shouldn’t be doing.

    We’ve talked a lot recently about whether we should homeschool or send to public school, as our daughter will begin kindergarten in the fall. She has been going to a private preschool 3 days a week this year. I would love to hear more about how it has been going for you, why you made the decision to homeschool, etc.

  • Lisa - LOVE your zoo….I used to,have season passes when the kiddos where little….the train! But alas, we moved away.,,in STL now. I also homeschooled for 5 years, then Lutheran school for 5 years, the olders are in high school public which I am very impressed with. Done it all! Blessings!

    Who used to live in OK

  • jenny - First, let me say that you did an awesome job on this post. Your words were wonderful and very thoughtful and well written/typed. πŸ™‚
    We homeschool as well. We always knew we would. I am passionate about it but I also know that, like you said, it is not the best option for every family. And I also know many moms that would love to be home schooling their children but due to certain circumstances, they do not have that option. So, like you, I try to be very careful about what I say in this regard because our passion can definitely be misunderstood and hurtful.
    I am SUPER excited for you and your family though! πŸ™‚

  • Amber Johnson - As a young adult who has attended both public, private Christian and homeschool for a good length of time in each domain, I AGREE with you 100%. No one mode of schooling is perfect for every family (or even every child within a family!).

    Anyone who tells you different is smoking crack. ;D

    Thank you for this beautifully written post. Your sensitivity is infectious and inspiring and I hope your children inherit that gene! πŸ˜€

  • Amy L. - You are one amazing mom!!

  • molly - I pulled my older boys out of public school and began homeschooling 4 years ago. Now we have 4 kids so I am schooling a teenager down to a preschooler. I had trouble at first defending my reasons for homeschooling, and people asking “so are you gonna send them back to school next year” but now I am beginning to feel strength in my decisions, and realize people ask because they dont know what else to say, so I can be gentle but not ashamed or defensive. I love/hate homeschooling, it gets hard!!! but I would not do it differently now that we have started. I support all moms too, I dont judge anyones decision for how they choose to raise their kids. Love this post, love your blog!!!

  • Emily - Homeschooling is definitely on our radar when the time comes. Thank you for sharing with us!

  • Becca - I love your posts. Thank you for sharing.

  • Juliemara - You are so lucky to have this opportunity. If I could home school my ideal curriculum would be to travel the world and let my little ones take it all in as we go. Did you hear of the family that biked from Alaska to the southern tip of South America, Amazing!

  • becky - we always planned on homeschooling due to where we live and the limited education opportunities (plus we like to travel a lot and there are no restrictions now)…but i’ve been very hesitant to speak about it to family and friends – no matter how passionate i am about it or how much i love it…because i have the same worries as you. though slowly, many friends and families have approached us and come over “to the dark side” via seeing how our family lives and how our kids are turning out. so, good luck and enjoy. sure, you’ve now lost the ability to ever keep your house clean for more than 34 minutes ever again…but you’ve also gained a really precious gift – time. lots and lots of time with your kidlets (which really is a blessing, no matter how the rough days make you feel πŸ™‚

  • Lindsay - Thanks for being so encouraging to all the different options. We are so blessed to live in America where we can choose what works best for our family. We’ve been homeschooling for two years, and I’m always discouraged when I hear other people say it is the only way. Thanks for always being so encouraging and thoughtful as you share your journey.

  • Alicia Millis - love this post. love the love. i agree with you, i just love moms, lets all support each other more πŸ™‚ yay homeschooling, my eldest is 4 and i can’t wait to start homeschooling!

  • Emily - Ashley, great post. I would love for you to share more about homeschooling as you feel comfortable. I really respect and admire you and would love to learn more from you about it all, making it and life and daily to dos all come together, along with time for business. I think I want to start homeschooling when my oldest begins school next year but am baffled by how I will balance it all.

    PS – we go to a different zoo, but it is one of our favorite places too!

  • Linda - I echo what your other commenters have said: very well written! We need to learn how to rejoice with those who rejoice. Every family is different and all the moms I know are trying to do the best they can.

    I can’t wait for your post about Little One’s cracker tasting! So exciting. I have a little guy with major eating/feeding issues. At almost three he still does not feed himself at all. Cleft lip and orphanage life was not easy on him. Looking forward to your words on the subject.

    Keep up the good work, Mama!

  • Jend - We just started exploring this as an option…total departure from both of our backgrounds but feeling very called to it all of the sudden. Please let us know more! What does your day look like with two smaller ones in tow? Any awesome resources or books you recommend?

  • christa - I love reading your posts everyday!

  • Laura - Hi Ashley,

    I’m a follower of your blog from the other side of the world, I’m writting from Madrid, Spain. Also a mom, but just of one (for now!)

    It’s been a while since I think about leaving a comment, I read your blog almost everyday. You are a very very inspiring person for lots of reasons. I’m so glad of having the chance to “meet you” through the magic of internet.

    What amazes me most,and I always wonder, is how can you find time to do all the things you do!? Take care of a huge family, your house, the snap courses, your blog, crafting!!!! It’s overwhelming! And now homeschooling!

    You have to tell me your secret! How do you do it!!!???

    I’m not a fan of homeschooling above all for the reason that I believe that children need to be with other children that don’t belong to their families, and have a life and experiences apart of their families. Anyhow I respect your decision.

    But lady, someday you have to tell me how do you find time for everything!

    Lots of kisses and blessings from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean!

  • Kristin S - I’m a fan of moms too!

    This is great, Ashley. So much hurt can come from words. Words that don’t mean to hurt but do.

    I’m a fan of moms.

  • Angie - First year homeschooler here too. I agree it can be very easy to be offensive and sometimes it’s best to not talk about it at all. I have learned that the hard way, I was a little to enthusiastic at first. It is SO much more important for my friends to feel loved unconditionally by me than for me to explain my choices to the world. Because it is in the explaining that so many get hurt unintentionally. I love what I do but it IS NOT easy. It IS what is best for my family right now though. Thank you for you tender heart. For your thoughtfulness. For your sweet blog that brightens my day. πŸ™‚

  • Seamingly Sarah - Good for you! Yeah for moms, any and all kinds. Yeah for parenting. Yeah for people. Yeah for God!

  • Lisa - Well said! Good for you. “I’m a fan of moms…” I like how you think πŸ™‚

  • Amy - Well said!!!

    It just doesn’t matter what we decide to do or not do…what matters is loving each other!!!

  • Melissa Madden Truncale - Is there a way that I can privately email/message you a photography question? I would hate to post details, and end up ruining the surprise!

  • Judy Beltrez - wow great post. So love how you worded everything.
    I have a 15 month toddler and still deciding on that.
    Love reading how you care for your children.

  • Hannah - I knew there was a reason why I loved your blog so! Your beginning section about how we use words to build ourselves up but end up hurting others was very powerful.

    I just want to let you know that I read all of your blog posts, I love your family and photography. Thank you so much for the inspiration you provide.

    Just beautiful.

  • emily - ashley- you have such poise and way with words! I appreciate your sensitivity and insight. Good luck with home schooling!

  • kelleyn - So well said! I would have loved to homeschool, but I had a boy who had some learning challenges and being with him all day would not have been healthy for him nor I. I am starting to re-think that decision for another child in my family where this child would benefit from being homeschooled. I still don’t know as like you it probably took a while to decide what is the very best thing to do!

  • candice - Like some others, I’m interested in why homeschooling works for your family. I mean, I read your blog because I’m interested in your ideas and experiences!

  • marcy - Kudos for being brave enough to make hard decisions that are right for your family.
    We homeschool our two boys. Our daughter goes to public school (grade 8). Like you there were various reasons, and luckily it’s been the right decision!

    Now I’m curious on how you organize your day/time! That’s something I always struggle with. πŸ™‚

  • Miranda - As a public school teacher, I love how you wrote this post. I think that sometimes people think that the way they live their life is the best or only way to live, but as you said, there are so many different options that work for different families. I love your blog! You seem like the nicest person! Your children and husband are lucky to have you in their lives. πŸ™‚

  • Alycia - Just when I think you have amazed & inspired me as much as possible… you go and do this! πŸ™‚ Motherhood looks great on you, you make me excited for my future. Your children have a beautiful light in their eyes, you are doing a great job flourishing that.

  • Melissa - thanks so much for your transparent heart! i also love that you are keeping the details to why you are homeschooling private, not everyone needs to know everything. we are going to be homeschooling next year, and i’ve always felt that there isn’t just one right way. every family and child is different in what they need and different is absolutely ok.

  • kate - what a beautiful and Christian way to address the subject..

  • Jill Magliato - I am a fan of mom Ashley Campbell. Thanks for being so genuine, honest, and tactful. You are teaching us all how to be better. I’m sure that’s not your intention, but it is a byproduct of the graceful way you write and live! Thanks so much.

  • Big D & Me - I completely agree with your post. Although homeschooling is not right for my family right now I can completely appreciate the value of it for others.

    Being a mom sometimes feels like a competitive sport. It shouldn’t be. When they got their first tooth, when they walked, how late you had to stay up with them, best speller in class, scored 4 goals on Saturday, etc.

    We are all doing the best we can and should be supporting one another, not try and “one up each other.”

    Great post Ashley.

  • kiley - Another reason to admire you…not because you are homeschooling but because of your sensitive heart toward others. You encourage, inspire, and gently remind us to love like Christ.

    But, secretly, I think it is SO special for Little One to have her siblings home with her all day esp. in this first (and second) year at home… One of my favorite blessings of homeschooling is growing and strengthening sibling friendships. It’s hard to be quiet about my passion for homeschooling when talking about building relationships πŸ˜‰

    And, I *was* becoming suspicious myself…he, he!


  • Lyn - I am overjoyed but the news that your boys want to sleep at the zoo. My oldest wants to as well. The zoo is one of our favorite places. So much to see and learn. Happy to here you are homeschooling as well. Best of luck with it. We have many homeschooling friends. We have not made the leap yet but maybe 2014.

  • Abigail - Well said! and Woowhoo–this is our 2nd year “officially” homeschooling and it has absolutely been a great decision for our family right now πŸ™‚

  • Anya - Awesome that you are homeschooling, but it would be awesome if you weren’t as well. I was homeschooled K-12 and it was a great experience for me. Now I work in a public school in an Autism classroom. School is wherever learning is happening, and that happens everywhere – home, school, library, park, grocery store. I love your blog and I am excited to follow along in your new adventure.

  • Tricia Cope - Loved this post! We have always homeschooled our kids (7! of them now), but I have recently enrolled the eldest two in public high school for this fall. We morph and change as individuals and as families, and that plays into what we all need from year to year. That said, we have loved this awesome lifestyle, the freedom it has given us, and the empty zoos. πŸ˜‰ And I am a fan of moms too. Very well said! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Julie - I’ve been reading your blog for quite awhile now- but this is my first (I think?) comment! Really wonderful wonderful wonderful post. Just perfect. I’ve never found any other blog like this one. Thank you!!!!

  • Trish - love the way you worded this! it’s so refreshing to read your posts! you are real, you are honest and i love that about you! in a world overwhelmed with social media and the likes it can become discouraging at times! your blog is always a ray of sunshine, even with the heavy posts! rock on ashley! MOMS unite (doing my very best “super” mom pose!) πŸ˜‰

  • geezee - I think I assumed you homeschooled and since we did that for years, it never occurred to me to wonder about it. You had me all excited with your words. You made me feel like you are my fan. Silly me, you don’t even know me. Thank you for the kind words. You do have a way with them. I am fairly new here and have enjoyed reading what you have to say. We have an adopted child as well and I was nodding my head the other day when you talked about this child being “my child”. I felt a kinship to you then and now. We are no longer homeschooling and I miss it, but that time for my family has passed. Thank you for your thoughtful approach to something that I have noticed over the years. Even well meaning excitement about our lives and choices can be considered as threatening by other. Good Job!

  • amy Cornwell - I love how you always speak with such love and wisdom and gentleness. You took the words right out of my mind…just love other moms. Wether they feed their kids something different from you, homeschool, breast feed, work full time, etc. such a great post. Thank you for sharing!

  • meg duerksen - excellent post my dear!

    AND….you do NOT want to sleep at the zoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    we went to a concert one night at the zoo and then it got dark and all of a sudden there were little mice running around EVERYWHERE!!! like…. ALL OVER THE PLACE.
    it was too dark to see them all.
    it was sooooo gross.
    mice everywhere!!!

  • Jenny B. - As always, you are so very thoughtful. I think it’s great. Your thoughtfulness and homeschooling. πŸ˜‰ I do wonder how you manage to accomplish all the awesome things you do. I think some people are just born with the productivity gene (I am not one of them). More power to ya! πŸ™‚

  • katygirl - goodness there are a lot of comments on this post. πŸ™‚ mine is probably gonna get lost up in the mix but i’m still gonna leave it. first of all, the first thing i noticed was your “cat out of the bag” line. so. that’s all about that.

    but really, ashelyann, i think this post is awesome. your entire 2nd paragraph is basically what hinders me from sharing my feelings on numerous topics – such as why i think God has called my husband & i to send our children to public school. i appreciate the way you talked about this in such a gracious and accepting manner. i hope that when discussing decisions or beliefs that i have for my family, i can be the same way.

    what a purrrrfect post. πŸ˜‰

  • Laura@Ms Smartie Pants - How can I say this without it sounding creepy, but I just love you! I love that you are all about what you are about and I think this post shows that more than any I can remember. I am probably not your typical reader, my kids are grown and I’m not into photography or many of the other things you blog about, but I am into loving others and I think that’s what attracts me to your blog. If only we had more people like you… who were sensitive and worked to lift others up instead of tear them down. Thank you, thank you, I’m so glad you said this, I’m glad you put it out there for others to read, may this little grow big and somehow become what we are ALL about!

  • Marty Ann - You will love homeschooling, whether for years or just a year. We homeschooled our 6 children, all are grown now and have children of their own. Yes, 2 of them homeschool their children,and 2 send their children to private schools. The rest haven’t had children yet. They all have done well with their lives. I think you put it all very well. Be praying for you.

  • Sadee Schilling - Beautifully said! We live in Germany at the moment, but are moving back to the US this summer, partly because here homeschooling is illegal. My girls are nearing Kindergarten age and I will probably send them to school at first, but definitely thinking about homeschooling them in the future. Just having the option is reassuring–like you said, the needs of families are different and changing all of the time! I love everything about your blog already, and will look forward to seeing if you decide to share some of your homeschooling resources here!

  • Debra - You are so right …I have been hurt and also I’m sure, inflicted hurt on others unintentionally πŸ™ Thank you for writing this!
    so happy that homeschooling is going well for you!

  • mara - What a beautiful post. I have the hardest time organizing the day with only three little ones so I came up with this idea:

    its involved washi tape which reminded me of you!

    many blessings.

  • alamama - As a retiring home school teacher I applaud you. You are going to be a great teacher, as you already teach them SO much.

  • aimee bee - Thank you for your vulnerability. I don’t have kids yet, but one day I dream to. I am a public school teacher, but I desire to home school my kids… maybe. This was just great to read. Thanks!

  • lexi - beautifully written. we hybrid homeschool–2 days private Christian, 3 days homeschool. it works for us. every child and every family is unique. so happy to see this post πŸ™‚

  • Lauren Klouda - Hugs Ashley Ann. You are AWESOME.

  • Amanda Torres - Proud of you for choosing the best fit for your family. How exciting!

  • JanElle Hoffman - I so appreciated your honest and thoughtful voice in this piece! I am always on the lookout for “good stuff” about homeschooling. Would consider granting permission for to re-post this blog entry? One purpose of is to inspire and encourage both homeschool families and those considering that option. Your blog post would fit beautifully! We would include a link to your blog as well.
    Thanks for considering it!
    Janelle Hoffman (also a mom of 5 with adoption as part of our story!!)

  • JanElle Hoffman - Ooops! Sorry about the duplicate comment!!!

  • elizabeth H - ahhh Ashley {wink} i had a feeling about the homeschooling!!
    more picts of the kiddos, drawing,etc…
    You hit the nail spot on about “types of schooling options”
    I’m also crazy, crazy, crazy about moms being passionate MOTHERS!!
    schooling truly is a discussion btn the Father & each of His children…
    personally, I.LOVE.IT!! We’ve homeschooled exclusively since the get go {my oldest is 12)
    is it always easy, no way! rewarding & fruitful ~ YOU BET!!
    {now if school ever sends you to Nashville … we must meet :0}

  • Kathy - I love your words. In the fall We are returning to a university model school (2 days of school, 3 days of homeschool) after a year in public school. I too echo your sentiment. Not every school situation is perfect for every child. I’m looking forward of the journey of having 2 doing work at home (and occasionally tagging along with me as I teach my university classes). I’m so glad you shared this.

  • Amy - I love this post. Love it. Love it. Love it. When my oldest started school, we prayed about homeschooling, public school, and private school. We chose private. Mainly b/c at the time they offered half day kindergarten and I had a newborn. Plus my oldest was starting school. πŸ˜‰ And I’m kind of attached. Anyway, we prayed again and chose public school for 1st grade. I now have 2 in public school and other than one year both boys have had teachers who are strong Believers. My boys have shared their faith and have not been silenced at any point. Awesome. But over the last few years homeschooling has been on my mind. I truly believe my kids are lights in the darkness at their school. And fortunately we’re so sheltered here that they’re not exposed to as much as other kids in school. But I keep coming back to homeschooling….and praying…and thinking….so thank you for this post. The honest to goodness truth is…i miss my boys when they’re at school. And I only have one more year with my little lady before she starts school. Some of my friends are rejoicing. I tear up every time. Thanks for sharing.

  • Elaine - I just love that we have soooo many educational options here in the US. For us, homeschooling is best, and we love it! But my kids have friends both in public and private school. All are great choices!

  • mosey - Beautifully written and SO SO SO true!!! Congratulations on making the right choice for YOUR family!

  • Jacci - This was all perfectly worded. Sensitive & insightful. You’re a blessing, Ashley Ann Campbell!

  • ashlee - we love the zoo in the middle of the week too…i also dont do well with crowds:) enjoy this season of having them at home, however long it lasts. its so precious. i enjoy living life with mine and watching them learn its such a blessing.

  • Julia Leinen - I love this. Love. love. love.
    We are homeschooling through a Christian blended model here called Veritas Classical Academy. They go two days a week and the school give me curriculum and I homeschool two days a week. I NEVER in a million years thought I would homeschool. NEVER. When looking at schools, we prayed. God clearly led us to our current school, despite the fact that I was kicking and screaming the whole way. We were obedient. It was right for our family.
    Now, my whole viewpoint on homeschooling has changed. Some days it’s rough, somedays it’s awesome. But I love it. I love teaching my kids and I love watching them discover. It’s a privilege. I am SO blessed.
    I bet you are a terrific homeschool Mom. I’m glad to see any other Mom that doesn’t fit the “stereotype” speaking positively about homeschooling. yes, I homeschool. No, I’m not crazy. : )

  • Tonya - Love this post…and the preceeding one on chickens! I am a homeschool mom, with three kids (12,10 and 2), 1 cat, 5 teenage chickens, and two foster chicks. I love my crazy life! I agree with so much of what you said about the decisions we make. I get lots and lots of questions about homeschooling. Most of them bring about the same responses…no, homeschooling isn’t for everyone…they go to co-op classes, because they have already passed my academic skills ;)…I don’t know how long I’ll homeschool, I guess until it doesn’t work for us anymore. I love homeschooling, and would probably grieve if I were to stop, but it is certainly not for everyone. Chickens, on the other hand, should be mandatory…they are awesome!!!! If anyone would like to talk homeschooling with me, I have a *neglected* blog (see above “about me” sentence for cop-out reason)… where you can message me πŸ™‚

  • Sarah - Referred to your post from The Anderson Crew and so glad. It takes a strong parent to be proactive for their children regardless of what others may think about it. It was tough to realize the peer pressure in parenting outdoes high school any day. Your kids, your choice. You know what’s best. Good for you!

  • Cory - So proud of you…not because you’re homeschooling, but because of your heart. I completely agree…we love our children & make the best choices we can for our individual families. You do a wonderful job at communicating that with grace & I’m always encouraged & inspired by your words & actions.

  • Jeanette - You have such a lovely way of writing that really builds other people up. I enjoy reading your blog so much because after I read it I never feel judged for my choices on how to be a Mom, but instead I just feel extra encouraged to just be the best Mom I can be. Thank you.

  • Kristina Carter - you are such an amazing mother and i am in awe of you! what a great post! i start homeschooling this year! i would love if you did more posts on it πŸ™‚ thank you for your honesty and our heart!

  • Emily Kinsaul - Congrats on becoming a homeschooling mom! I love how you said “I am a fan of moms”. Your posts are inspiring and encouraging. Thank you for sharing!

  • Kelli - We can do a sleep over at our zoo also and this year the 11 year old is going to do it with dad. I’m excited for them.

  • Genevieve - I like this. Every family has different needs at different times.

  • Jenn Hays - I understand. I shared my heart on my blog today…

  • Nuria - What a great post! Beautiful clever words, one of the most respectful posts about home schooling I’ve ever read. I fall into the category you so well describe “parents that donΒ΄t have the freedom to choose what they want”. I think home schooling would be the best option for my family for a number of reasons and yes I can’t take that road because where I live (Spain) it is illegal. Yes, I know, unbelievable! So never take this wonderful choice for granted, it is a luxury.
    P.S. those jumping pics are amazing!

  • The Whyte house - I’m not a homeschooler, simply because I cannot do math and science, let alone teach someone else how to do either. πŸ™‚ I do enjoy using a lot of homeschooling mom’s tips for learning/teaching, especially over the summer months to keep my kids occupied and constantly learning. Moms who homeschool are my hero. I’m excited to hear more about your journey, so please don’t be afraid to share!

  • Lynn - From another homeschooling Mom, I congratulate you on thinking so solidly about your family. And for the respect that you have in everyone’s choices in life. There is no easy walk in this world. So I say you are right for doing what is right for your family and leaving everyone else to their own choices. I wish you success. It has been the best solution for us too.

  • Jen - Excellent post!

  • able mabel - Very well said. I hadn’t realized you homeschooled, good for you. I think it’s important for each family to decide what works best for them and run with it.

  • Specifically | Butternut B - […] I realise when I wrote my last post on homeschoolingΒ it was a bit of a splurge of passion for this new topic. I didn’t make clear that this is for our children not everyone’s, and I support whatever decision parents make for their own children. I appreciate that people won’t want to follow the unschooling path, that people might want to but can’t because they need two incomes, and people who agree somewhat but want to do it differently. It’s put more beautifully than I ever couldΒ here. […]

  • Cristina - I’ve only been reading your blog for a week and I enjoy it quite a bit. I think it is great the way you handled the homeschooling question. I’m one of those moms who can’t afford to homeschool and I’m glad you’re lucky to be able to. After the scary stuff happened at that school with all those young children I cried and wished I could homeschool my little guy. He’s still young (only 16months) so maybe by the time he’s school age I can home school him πŸ™‚ Although I think a lot about socializing etc, my husband seems to think that my little guy is a momma’s boy because he’s around me and his grandma all the time.

  • Stephanie - How exciting!! For as long as I can remember I was the mom who said “I would/could NEVER homeschool” and we are starting our first year now. I question myself daily and still lack confidence but it is the best decision for our family right now. I must say the free evenings and no homework rock! Would you mind sharing the curriculum you have chosen, or maybe even your daily schedule?? We have 4 (ages 7 and under) so I would love to see what your day looks like.

  • Heidi - Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  • Ilse - Your eldest son has the most beautiful green eyes in that picture from above!

    I really like the way you talk in this post, indeed sensitive and in no way offensive to anyone who has a different upinion. You are being respecfull and understanding and I love that.

    I am from the Netherlands and homeschooling, as far as I know, is illegal here and only happens whan a child might have a serious medical condition that prevents them to go to school or when they are (on their way to becoming) top athletes.

    Because of this I am very curious about homeschooling and what possible advantages/disadvantages might be. So if you are ever ready to talk about that, I will be very interested. If not, I respect that too.

    Leaves me to say that I really love your blog and your kind and gentle personality that shine’s through it. Keep up the good work!

  • Rebecca Lundin - Hello! I have been following your blog for years now, although I think this might be the first time I have commented. I know you might not get this since I am commenting on an old post but I hope you do! My son is going into kindergarten this fall and I seriously thinking about considering homeschooling. I was just wondering if you are affiliated with any co-ops. I am in Oklahoma as well and I thought you might have some good first hand knowledge! Thank you so much!

  • IrishMum - Hi, from one homeschooling family to another. A friend sent me a link to your blog, and I’m glad she did. Your photos and stories are great. We homeschool in our zoo regularly too πŸ™‚

  • A breast feeding post- importance of skin to skin - Life To Table - […] Β “I am a fan of moms”. Β I first read this quote from a blog post of my favorite blogger Ashley Campbell, while speaking on a potential controversial topic and I LOVED her message. Β Regardless of your […]