Monday, September 20, 2010


It's a beautiful cool Sunday night. The moon is out and there is a cool breeze.

I was sitting working on the lessons for tomorrow. And as you may or may not know, we decided to home school our daughter this year. It started back at Christmas time of last year when our daughter asked about doing something different as she was not happy were she was and we could see she was challenged.

At first I thought to my self (are you crazy we would kill each other). Over the weeks after that I saw how much she wanted to try it. She was researching online the different schools and teaching methods out there and about conventions.

I started to play with the idea of MAYBE. I started off reading about the Duggar family from TLC. This amazing women home schools all her children. 19 kids. Can you imagine. I thought to myself if she can do all that I surely can help my one daughter.

We got in touch with a great family and women from London who home schools her children in town and she really showed us the ropes and where to look and what to get involved in. A wonderful lady Robin Saylor.

In April we attended a home school convention in Hamilton Ontario called Ochec. which was great. We meet so many wonderful families and speakers who really opened our mind to the possibilities and new things that we could do. I must tell you my husband was unsure until we attended that weekend. We were heading home with lots of great ideas. We were blown away at the statistics of how well home school children do.

Since then we told people what we were doing and let the school know, which was kind of scary as we heard from others that not many receive it will or think it is very wrong. I quickly learned that those who talk ill about it do not really know much about homeschooling at all, they just here from someone else when they think they know without really learning about it and how amazing it truly is. The school my daughter was at was very supportive which was wonderful as we love the school and think it's the best in our city.

We ordered our material from Sonlight. which has been amazing. They have a years package with everything planned our for you. It is a great way to get started if you have never done home schooling or any teaching before.

My husband and I have talked about school and what they teach at schools in great lengths about how most of what is taught in school is not really inline with life today. I feel today sending your kids to public school is like sending your kids to war. With all that distraction kids are unable to focus, grow and learn. This was one key thing I picked up on with our daughter, as there was a few girls who were making life at school not very friendly which I was very disappointed with which in turn made my daughter feel very sad and distracted in turn her school work was not so good and she could not focus. Since being at home over the past few weeks she had taken off full force and aced just about everything she does and loves what she is learning.

I learned that with homeschooling we can help our daughter expand her mind and she can learn at her pace and a way she understands. We can now help her learn and work on things she is passionate about in the afternoons once she gets the key things done.

Then there is the social part that everyone is worried about. The home school groups out there are amazing. We are involved in one were we meet every Tuesday and they have a different topic, teacher and subject. On Wednesdays in town there is a group called Original Kids which is a theater group. Starting next month on Thursday we meet at the YMCA and had sports. I feel sad for those who think there is no social or not enough of it. When you look at the public school there is not much in my opinion. When your kids are in class they are not aloud to talk or they get in trouble. You may have a few min recess time and then lunch about 1/2 after you eat to play and that is it. With home schooling you can talk when you like ask questions get the help you need and with the groups there is a ton of social time. I know what some are thinking write now, with all that how can you get your work done. My daughter works from about 9 until 1 and gets more work done then she did in a whole day at school.

I will say there are days I feel like, can I do all this and teach everything. I am very thankful that my husband works from home. When I have challenges I can ask him for help and from one of the many amazing families in London who are doing the same thing. I love this journey as I am learning along side my daughter. Many things I have forgotten over the year and some thing I never learned well.

I will continue to post on our journey and the new and inventive things we are learning.

Love always

Julie Elliott


  1. Hi Julie,

    It's wonderful there is so much support for homeschooling now. You're daughter will thrive from it, I'm sure.

    Thanks for being brave enough not to just 'accept things the way they are'. Every time someone says, 'I do not accept this' they open the door for everyone else.

    One Love,

  2. Hey Julie,

    First I have to say WOW, 19 kids!! I though my mom was from a big family with 10 kids (8 girls and 2 boys) but 19 definitely takes the cake ;)

    On the home schooling note, my mom home schooled my little sister and seemed to enjoy it.

    I wish you and your daughter much success with the process!!

    In Success,
    Howie Perks

  3. Good for you Julie!. I know some people who homes schooled and essentially they finished the curriculum in April..which worked out fine for the good weather. More and more you see the Ontario curriculum based on survival skills rather than educating the mind in ongoing learning and critical thought.
    social is a lot bigger than the 30 min lunch however...when you are in a collective environment you learn a lot about human psychology and interaction whether or not you are allowed to speak or not.
    Good luck in your new endeavors.

  4. Julie - I love the new look of your blog - I hadn't been by in awhile - very nice!

    We live in AL and a lot of people home school and it seems to have worked out just fine. With your love and dedication I know you and your daughter will be successful! Keep up the good work:)

  5. Hey Sweetie,

    Great to be on this family journey together. I am blessed to be your husband. This is going to be an awesome adventure. It was great to have the chance to be teacher yesterday while you were out.

    Love you

  6. Sounds like homeschooling is going to be beneficial to the whole family. I think it is awesome that your daughter was smart enough to suggest an alternative and that you were willing to investigate it.
    All the best to your happy student!! :)


  7. Hi Julie,

    Several years ago I was the accountant for a private school. They offered a homeschool umbrella. I personally saw the test scores of these students and how well they did. The social is easily managed and it sounds like you have a grip on that as well. I think you and Ed are great parents by going against the flow to do what is best for Abbie. That's what really counts. Thanks for sharing.

    Debbie Stevens

  8. Thank you Debbie L. We are still working out the kinks and getting a good routine going, but we are loving the journey and opportunities this has opened up for us. Love ya

  9. Thank you Howie. I Agree that is a lot of kids and to think she is trying for one more. CRAZY. I thought having one was hard.

    We are have fun learning together.

  10. Thank you Rebecca. It truly is a great journey and opportunity to be apart of and learn with my daughter as well which I am loving. Love ya

  11. Thank you Ed. Love you. I am so glade you have a good time working with Abbie for the day. I really greatful you helping me. Love ya

  12. Thank you Wendy. My daughter loves to research, thanks to the great school she was at and I think for both Ed and I always learning and reading she has developed a great love for learning.

  13. Thank you Wendy. Our daughter has taken a great interest thanks to the great school she was at and the fact that my husband and I love to ready and learn and share with others.

  14. Thank you Debbie S. Ed and I went to the Homeschool convention in Hamilton Ontario this year and we saw the reports on the marks the kids were getting from being Homeschooled and it was amazing. I can see why. Abbie has been doing so well with just about everything we are learning as before at school she was not doing as well and having a hard time understanding. No more distraction and now she is doing great.

  15. Hi Julie,
    I applaud your and Elliot's decision to homeschool your daughter. I seriously looked into homeschooling our son a few years ago. I did all the research (found rules, local resources, and studies). Our son was tentative about it, and in the end, we decided to keep him at his school.

    His middle school is a charter school (part of the public school system, but they can choose their own curriculum and educational models). He's excelled there. We loved that they combine all areas in learning -- social studies may include drama skits, math may include reading, language arts may include science...It's hands-on and very focused on nurturing and supporting learning.

    I read the arguments about 'socializing', but as you pointed out, the opportunity is greater in homeschool settings. I also remember studies showing that homeschooled kids 'socialize' better because they're with kids of all ages, not only their age-specific peers.

    Our next big decision is to choose a high school next year, and I find myself wondering about homeschooling again (at least, for 9th grade since he wants to go to a school with a 10th -12th grade that offers an A.A. degree with his HS diploma).

    Every time, I see homeschooling parents, my mind wanders there again. BTW, there is a huge homeschooling group on Squidoo (and they also have FB pages). I love their ideas - a wealth of information from experienced parents. If you'd like to connect with them, let me know. :-)

    I know you'll see great growth and success in both your daughter and yourselves. Kudos for your proactive parenting!


  16. Julie,
    Thank you for this.... I've been considering this for our two little ones when it comes time to decide on school. My concern has always been whether or not the education at home would match or exceed the one at a formal school. I haven't yet checked out any of the programs, but will be looking at the one you selected...

    Thanks again and I look foward to reading more of your journey!


  17. Hi Julie ~ Congratulations on a decision that sounds like it is going to be amazing for your entire family!

    This is a topic that I wrestle with a lot. We have an amazing community of friends here who are starting a co-op for homeschooling as a group of families. I work so much that I don't see how I could make it work in terms of my participation, but I fully agree that our school systems are a mess both academically and socially.

    My son is not even 3, so we have some time to sort it out. His pre-school is great, but we pay an arm and a leg for it! When we hit public school time, I know we'll have a tough decision to make. I definitely look forward to following your journey....thanks for sharing it with us! :)

  18. Great post. I always promote the joys and benefits of homeschooling.

    I homeschooled my children way back in the 1970's and people thought I was absolutely crazy to do so. Believe me, it is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your children.

    I was a school teacher - taught just about every grade K-12, and now one of the things I do is help students get accepted to the colleges of their choice. I am not trying to drum up business, but this is an area I am really passionate about.

    Please feel free to check out some of my videos about homeschooling in particular - - and about education in general. Good luck, and if I can be of service, just let me know.

  19. Hi Julie,

    We homeschooled our son Brandon from 6th grade on. We had moved to a different county and a new school system. They mistakenly put Brandon in the wrong group with kids that had learning problems. Then the teacher kept praising him in front of the other kids which made him a target for angry kids who started beating him up. His safety became a serious issue and we yanked him out of that school and never looked back.

    It was a wonderful decision because Brandon worked at his own pace and graduated at age 16.

  20. Hey Julie…I applaud you in your decision to homeschool. I realize it certainly can be scary…like all unknown things are.

    We homeschool all of our school age children (6 of 7). We have never done anything different and we believe in our case our children are much better for that decision. I could probably write well over 100 pages of why I believe it has been so good for our children…not only for learning, but for socialization, relating with one another and also becoming true servants and leaders.

    I don't have a problem for whatever anyone chooses…but my heart is always happy to find other homeschoolers.

    Many, many blessings in your endeavor.

  21. I am a 1 year home school myself. That was a long time ago, when i was in primary school. The fact is the following year, when i went back to traditional school system, i was the best student for several consecutive years before my average drop.

    I think the best way to teach is on one-on-one basis. During my 1 year home schooling, my home teacher had all the time to make sure i understood what he was teaching me before he left the house. That is not the case with the traditional school system.

    It is also important to focus on teaching the child what he/she wants to know and not what we think they should know. With respect to that i think the school system needs some serious reforms.

  22. Kudos Julie. I think this will be a great way to teach self accountability. There are a lot of children in our area being home schooled and there are a lot of home school groups for the kids to interact with other kids. keep us posted on how this goes.

  23. Julie, this was a very brave step and it looks like you went to great lengths to ensure you were making the best decision for you child. I know you will have challenges but I pray that the rewards far exceed them. Don't give up!

    Go be great!


  24. Hi Julie,
    I am a homeschooling mom too. I started in January of 2010. I have 3 children and we are doing grades 4,6, and 8th grade. We also use Sonlight and absolutely LOVE IT!!!! While we have good days and some harder days it has been the BEST decision my husband and I have ever made. Most of all our children are much happier. :) Great blog!

    LeeAnn Townsend

  25. Hi Julie

    I dont have Kids yet but love to have
    and i will go also for home schooling.

    If i whant to tour the world i can
    take them with me :-)


  26. Thank you Larry and Jennifer. We are always learning and growing in this journey. I have found we are really starting learn more about each other which is a beautiful thing.

  27. Thank you Robin. If you are able Montessori schools are very good if you can afford it but doing home school is great.

  28. thank you Angela, Thank you very much. I have a much greater appreciation for teachers through this that is for sure.

  29. melodiekantner. Nice. I found that as well. She does very well with most of her work as well. It is truly great to see them be proud of there work.

  30. Thank you Bruce. We are loving the learning as we go. I find it great to re-learn myself along with her.

  31. Thank you Cobbinaloic. I totally agree with you.

  32. Thank you Nicole. It has been a great learning lesson for all of us. We have found so many groups out there. We are apart of three which is wonderful for Abbie to be with other kids and as parents we are able to get together and share and learn.

  33. Thank you LeeAnn. That is awesome. Sonlight has been a great program and helped us out a lot. I could not imagine trying to put a whole year together myself just starting out. I love how we are learning as well along with her.

  34. Theuns that sounds beautiful. Maybe we will all meet up one day on our travels.

  35. I homeschooled all the way from grade 2 through to graduation.

    I didn't turn out bad at all.. (twitch-twitch) LOL

    regarding the social aspect... I ask people who say the same thing about us and our decision to homeschool our kids ('They won't develop social skills!!!')

    Tell me a time when has your child come home from school with a social skill you were really glad they learned?

  36. Hi Julie,
    Great to be here as I have not visited in a while. Homeschooling is GREAT! Having done it myself for a year. I pulled my son out of public school in 8th grade to give him one on one attention with teaching and learning and it was the best thing I did. Now he's back in a school where he is learning culinary arts. That mom is amazing, and she said something really special - children are our teachers ... they are indeed a gift...

  37. Julie,
    I have to say that I completely admire the time, energy, commitment an love that you've invested in your daughter in choosing homeschooling. Education is a tough decision, I've certainly faced many choices with my daughter who will be graduating high school this year.
    Thanks so much for sharing,