The end of this school year was awful! It was not what I had wanted it to be, and I felt like a failure.
I was homeschooling two elementary students and my special needs daughter with my preschooler always present. I also had a son catching the bus early to a private school, plus a middle schooler and a high schooler doing cyber at home, plus two adult children going in and out.
I love being home with my children and I enjoy homeschooling. I am thrilled to investigate new wonders or to travel to storybook worlds with my children. My joy is complete when they are thrilled right along with me!
We started in the early summer, so we took our laid-back time. We enjoyed field trips, reading books, and doing whatever we wanted. How I adored homeschooling then!
In the fall we settled into a good routine with the Pledge of Allegiance, prayers, Bible reading, flashcards, workbooks, and reading out loud to each other. The children were excited to have new workbooks, and they worked happily beyond what I assigned each day.
However, as the year went on, we got a little tired. I should say that I felt exhausted, and the children felt bored. We took a break from the normal routine for Christmas and studied Swedish customs, food, and Kristen, an American Girl from Sweden. In early spring I took a week and a half off, hoping that I would regain my joy and strength.
The problem was life kept on going with all the same errands and doctors’ appointments to attend to. I love being at home with the children. I despise giving up that time to get the necessary things done. Somehow, I had scheduled more appointments than usual right before our evaluations this year. Other events popped up and accomplishing days toward our required 180 became like feats of great strength.
“It will be fine. It always works out,” I kept telling myself.
Still, I felt so overwhelmed that some moments I could hardly remember the next thing I should be accomplishing. A wild mob of other tasks were on my calendar and on my mind, taunting me ruthlessly. Every time I had to leave the children with their workbooks to tackle another pressing concern, I felt like a failure.
“This is not what homeschooling is about!” I would lament. “It is not about workbooks and crossing off days. It is about a love for learning, a love for God and each other.”
The love was growing cold. I was stressed out and my children were noticing. My children were not excited about school anymore and I was noticing. Were they learning anything at all? What about that travel video I wanted to watch with them that we never got to? Had they remembered all the states in the US, or had they forgotten them already? Annalise just flew through her 1 grade math, but why couldn’t she remember her addition facts? Was school doing any good for Ashlyn as she remains at a preschool level year after year, or should I just graduate her already and admit defeat?
These questions were plaguing me one morning, about a week away from our evaluations. I felt like a horrible teacher and a very un-fun mom. Courage (who was completing 3rd grade) turned to me and said, “You’re the best mom ever!”
He had been saying this a lot lately. He had even taken up the habit of making it a song, “You’re the best mom ever!” He would sing out raucous notes while bounding through the house. I hadn’t given it much thought other than, “How am I supposed to think around here?”
But just then I stopped and let the moment sink into me. Courage truly thought I was the best mom ever. He was sitting next to me smiling and hugging me ferociously, and I finally just relaxed and received it.
I felt the Holy spirit Remind me, “You are not a failure. Your children love you. And they love me. What could be more important than that?”
As I began compiling all the homeschool logs and workbooks and writings and field trip pictures, I began to remember the joy again.
The Joy of exploring Virginia for the first time on vacation.
The joy of butterflies and kids’ games in the sunshine at Paulus Orchard.
The joy of listening to Dr. Dolittle on CD for the first time, and then the second, third, fourth….
The joy of learning about the ocean and then taking our very first family beach day.
The joy of celebrating Santa Lucia day with our own Annalise as Santa Lucia.
I was still feeling nervous about the evaluation. We really hadn’t accomplished very much in my mind. No large projects or epic masterpieces. But as our sweet, wonderful evaluator looked over our logs she said, “My, you have been busy this year, haven’t you?”
It was a busy year! But only what was done in love had any value. As I look back, I can say that MOST was love. Perhaps next year ALL can be love and joy!
I figure I have a month to soak in summer and God’s loving kindness before I need to plan and begin again. Perhaps I will feel so refreshed that I will finally be able to write that article that was alive and active in me two years, “I was a Homeschool Dropout, what I learned that allowed me to begin again with joy.”
Blessings to all you homeschool moms! Your love and faith are never in vain, and you are not a failure!
At the beginning of the 2021 school year, I was still homeschooling three children. The other three children wanted to return to public school. Masks had been made optional over the summer. I suspected that the School Board would change their minds right as school resumed in the fall as they had done the previous year. I wanted to keep my three sons enrolled in 21st Century Cyber Charter School which was a very good school. However, I went through the tedious work of enrolling my three boys back into the school district.
“I Made My Voice Be Heard” at a school board meeting in August. I was so encouraged by what God had done in the parents, giving us boldness and confidence to speak. The school board voted to make masks mandatory anyway, one week before school started. Not only that, but they had instituted policies that pushed experimental injections on the students as well as discriminated against the students who didn’t comply.
I knew that this decision was likely, and this was just the beginning of the fight; not just for mask choice but also for medical freedom, parental rights, and true education that leads children to American Exceptionalism rather than socialism.
But what to do now! One Week before School!
I refused to submit my children to these man-made rules that violate their God given immune systems and Constitutional rights.
“What is the big deal?” some might ask. It is just a mask, right?
First it was just two weeks to flatten the curve. Then it was mandatory masks during an emergency. Now it is, “Submit to our rules or forfeit your education and career!” What will it be next?
I cannot comply with something that violates my conscience.
I decided that it was too late to switch back to 21st CCCS because the enrollment process takes a month. We opted for the district’s new cyber academy for Chai and Cooper. We were not happy with the option, and it was a bumpy road getting it going. We enrolled Calvin in a private Christian school because he didn’t do well with cyber.
God has worked it all out for our good!
We love the private school, and it has been wonderful for Calvin! The tuition was a stretch of faith, but God has provided!
The cyber academy has not been great. Chai and Cooper are begging me to put them back into 21st CCCS. However, this alone is a breakthrough; for them to want to be enrolled in a school that just last year they said they hated! Plus, they can complete their cyber school in a few hours and still have time each day to work on their lawn care business. This business has taught them more about hard work, honor, respect, customer service, business practices, and budgeting than public school ever could. They were able to save up enough money to buy a pick-up truck which will only expand their business!
Another important blessing from this ridiculous governmental overreach is that many parents are waking up! Before this “pandemic” I never knew who was on the school board, when their meetings were, or what they did during those meetings. Many of us parents have learned a lot, gotten involved, and have demanded accountability. School Boards are now on our radar!
When this school year is over, I plan on enrolling Chai and Cooper in 21st CCCS. Then all my six school-age children will be out of the school district. I am so thrilled! I love not getting emails about every COVID case and every issue going on in the district! I love the freedom!
I love the fact that my children do not have to strap on a mask and wait for the bus each morning. I love that they don’t have to enter the school building and leave their rights and facial expressions at the door! I love that I don’t have to worry about them getting detention for allowing their noses to pop out above the masks. I love that I don’t have to think about quarantine protocols!
HOWEVER, THIS IS STILL MY TERRITORY!
I grew up here and graduated from the local High School. I still live in the district and pay their taxes and vote for the school board members. I will not abdicate.
The Kingdom of God will rule and reign here and not a political machine!
I have been asking God what He wants me to do. How do I stay involved? How do I bring His kingdom to come here? The answer is not always clear and it may change from day to day.
Cooper and Chai still do sports with the district. Thank goodness they do not require masks outside! In November I went to the High School with Chai because he needed his picture taken for “Athlete of the Week.” As I waited in the parking lot at the end of the school day, I watched the students emerge from the building and make their way home. I prayed for them and wondered how each was doing this year; physically, emotional, and spiritually.
I spotted a bird overhead, above the building. I saw a glint of white in the tail. Chai quickly joined me in the truck, and I asked, “Do you see that bird? Is that an eagle?”
“Yeah, that looks like an eagle mom. I can see white in its head.” Chai replied.
As it circled, I could see clearly, IT WAS A BALD EAGLE!
This was the 13th eagle that I have seen, and each time God has something to tell me. Many of His messages have been about the coming revival. (I heard Dutch Sheets tell a story during one of his Give Him 15 episodes. He had been writing the episode about the next Great Awakening and he saw two bald eagles soaring above him in his back yard. I was so excited to learn that God confirms the coming revival to Dutch in the same way He does for me!)
I was stunned to see a bald eagle above the High School, a place I consider unfit for my children. Immediately thoughts dropped into my mind with the force of the Holy Spirit.
“God is right here, right now. Revival is coming to this school and there is nothing that the school board can do to stop it!”
In my imagination I began to see students kneeling in repentance, hugging other students with forgiveness and compassion, preaching about Jesus unashamed, and working miracles. I began to see students who have been harmed in these past two years receive healing and restoration. I began to see students who have been depressed, cynical, or just bored begin to burn with a passion for truth and love. I began to imagine the answers to the prayers that friends and I had prayed in early morning prayer meetings when we attended high school in this district.
“I have not forgotten your prayers,” I heard God whisper.
My perspective just gotten elevated! I wasn’t fighting against the men and women of the school board. I was fighting principalities and powers, and Jesus has already won!
He told me that revival is certainly coming! A divine visitation, a sovereign work of God!
I did speak at the next Board Meeting after Eagle Sighting #13. But I did it with a confidence that God has got this. I referenced the article I had emailed to all the members, “More Than 400 Studies on the Failure of Compulsory Covid Interventions.” I tried to speak truth the best I knew how, but only God can plow up the ground and water the seeds. Only God can break the deception and change the hearts and minds. I plan on going to the next meeting early to walk around the school campus and pray! “Every place where you set your foot will be yours.” (Duet 11:24) If God gives me something to say, I will say it. “For to everyone I send you, you must go, and all that I command you, you must speak.” (Jer 1:7)
I know that God will bring justice and make all things right. Someday everyone will know the truth behind the propaganda. But to stand with God now, when the truth is shrouded and most people can’t see it, that is my glory! My small actions of prayer, emailing school board members, and speaking at the meetings may not dramatically turn the tide. But they will help, even if just a little.
And if I can be found standing with my LORD, doing what He is doing, saying what He is saying, when He comes in His glory…it will have been worth it.
“We can no longer stay silent! We must speak out!” says one impressive leader.
“We can no longer hide inside the church walls! We must take the kingdom of God into every mountain of culture!” says another leader.
“As Christians we have access to the most powerful, creative, intelligent and compassionate being in the universe. We should be at the top of every mountain!” says another.
I whole heartedly agree! God put us on this earth, not to find comfort and happiness for ourselves, but to bring His kingdom into this war-torn battlefield. Whenever I hear a call to action, my first reaction is guilt. In my estimation, I haven’t done very much to impact culture. Second, I feel overwhelmed with the enormity of the job and the smallness of me.
How CAN I make my voice heard?
How DO I make a difference?
I try to be connected to the Holy Spirit everyday and simply obey what He is telling me to do. Most days obedience is spending time with Him, serving my family, educating my children, and researching important topics. I know that if I can love my family and teach my children God’s ways, I have accomplished my destiny. There is nothing more powerful than being part of a living, breathing example of God’s Love.
Sometimes I feel pushed to do more. Over a year ago I began emailing my school board and superintendent. This has led to great conversations. I have started to learn about our school district and follow the school board meetings.
I didn’t want to enroll my three older sons in public school this year. I had a bad feeling about it. They were adamant about wanting to attend in person school rather than cyber school. My husband felt that we should give it a shot, since masks were optional.
I took my son to the “New Student Orientation” at the High School. We all sat in the auditorium for a message from the principal. He seemed like a good leader, and I loved his message.
“This could be a good place for my son,” I thought to myself.
My opinion changed as the principal started giving the parents and students medical advice. Because of a new quarantine protocol, he advised all students to be vaccinated and wear a mask. That way, no one would have to lose days of school. Any student who had been in contact with a sick student would have to quarantine for 10-14 days if they were not vaccinated or not wearing a mask. His advice had nothing to do with health. From his perspective, his job was to see all his students successfully through to graduation, and this was the most effective way to do that.
It was obvious that the protocol was designed to push students to vaccinate. This is not the place of a school district. And here was a principal advising that my student get experimental gene therapy with no idea what the short-term or long-term effects would be, simply for the sake of CONVIENIENCE! How could I let this go unchallenged?
“You should speak at the next School Board meeting,” I felt the Holy Spirit whispering to me the following weekend.
“Really! I don’t think I am ready for that. Is it really that important? Couldn’t I just email them my views,” I whispered back.
I COULD NOT shake the feeling. It got stronger Sunday morning in worship. I asked God for a verse. He gave me Eph 5:8-11
“…for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as Children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true) and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
These words made me certain that I would please the LORD if I would speak the truth at the school board meeting. It may not change the dynamics or decisions of the school board that much. It may not make a huge difference in my children’s schools. But at least I could please God! At least I could speak out truth and know that it would not return void!
I had watched school board meetings over the summer, and the high school auditorium was empty except for the school board members in the front and a few people in the audience. The last time there were only two public speakers. It would likely just be me and the school board, no big deal. I could do this!
Monday morning came and I planned on spending most of the day working on a 5-minute speech. I asked my oldest if she could manage the younger children so I could focus.
I looked on the district website to check the agenda for the meeting. Close to the beginning was time for public speakers. There were already nine speakers scheduled to speak! Most appeared to be in favor of universal masking. One was someone I knew who had previously ripped into me for supporting the Republican platform. One was the principal himself! The man who was to be the central focus of my speech to the school board.
Instantly arrows of palpable fear ripped through my body!
It wasn’t just me and an empty auditorium anymore! I would have to stand up in front of those who oppose me. What if I was the only one? What if I was attacked? Public speaking can be daunting. I used to be petrified of the mere thought of it, but God had healed me of that. I wrote about overcoming my fear of rejection in my article, “Fear Won’t Steal my Voice.” I have been able to speak in front of others by His power, but I had never done it in such a circumstance as this.
I retreated to the bathroom to be alone. My heart was thumping!
“I don’t think I can do this! How am I going to do this?” I asked God.
God impressed upon me that it was even more important that I speak up. I HAD TO BE A VOICE FOR MY CHILDREN. In fact, my children had a voice also. If they were going to attempt to thrive in the public school system that was designed to persecute them, they would HAVE to find their voices.
I called on some close friends for prayer coverage. I told the three boys that they would be speaking tonight and to write out something to say. I prayed that God would give me a strategy for the day. He did! Step by step I followed what I felt He was telling me to do. I was trembling literally and figuratively, but I couldn’t stop to think about it, I had to keep moving forward.
I looked at the entire agenda again. Sure enough, right after the public speakers, a new health and safety plan would be approved or denied. I called the school district to get myself and my boys on the agenda. The woman told me that the new plan should be uploaded to the website soon. I only had to wait a half an hour before my hunch was confirmed. The plan contained universal masking for every person inside school buildings.
After I had gone to the trouble of registering my students for school and one week before school was to begin, they wanted to change the plan!
I decided to call the school board members who had given me their phone numbers. I got through to one. We had a long conversation, and I learned more than I was bargaining for. Previously I had thought the board was populated by good meaning people who cared about my students. Perhaps they were just misinformed. I learned that it is much bigger and much deeper than that: A political and spiritual battle with political and spiritual forces. Thank goodness I had a prayer covering!
I also learned that 90% of the parental feed back had been pro-mask. Come on PRO-FREEDOM parents! We must make our voices heard!
I called two families in the district to ask for their support. They didn’t realize that a new plan was going to be voted on, probably like most parents in the district. They couldn’t come to the meeting, but they would pray for me.
I figured that I should talk with the principal who I was going to reference in my speech. He actually answered the phone, and we had a great conversation. I first thanked him for his strong leadership. Then I explained to him my position:
We could have in person school and STILL give students medical freedom.
He said that they all had to follow the protocols given to them by the Dept of Education. I explained to him that those were not laws but guidance, and that our school board had the ability to create their own protocols. He didn’t think that was true: they had to follow other rules given to them by the DOE like the requirement for all 11 graders to get a physical or be prevented from graduating. I replied that the physical requirement was state law. It had been a bill that was passed by the Senate and the House and signed by the governor years ago. This new protocol was NOT law, but rather something that the Dept of Health and Dept of Education were telling them they should do. He admitted that he never realized that there was a difference.
I knew that this battle was not about health at all. It was about politics. It was about freedom. I asked God to show me exactly what He wanted me to speak. I could have spoken for hours, but I only had five minutes.
I started typing and it took a long time to express all that was rolling around in my brain. Once I was done, it was way too long. I cut it, cut it, and cut it again. I had certain objectives:
To please God
To speak truth that had power behind it
To address the concerns of the school board (personal and district liability)
To treat everyone as my advocate or future advocate. I didn’t want to build a wall. I wanted these people to work for me and with me!
I then researched information on the Senate hearing where the Secretary of Health and the Secretary of Education both stated that the details of the Health and Safety plan were up to the local school boards to determine. I found the videos and sent them to every school board member and the superintendent. (Since then the Gov. and Sec. of Health have issued mandates that they promised they would never issure, but those mandates are ILLEGAL!)
I read and reread my speech out loud to make sure it sounded right and was within time. I read over my boys’ speeches and gave some pointers. I had them read them out loud to practice.
All of this took most of the day. My stomach was churning, and I didn’t feel like eating, but I made myself eat all three meals. Finally, the time was drawing near. I didn’t see how I was going to be able to function as nervous as I was. I had been praying all day, but I finally decided to pray out loud the scripture I had put up on my mirror, Jer 1:7
The Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy,’ for you will go to all to whom I send you. Do not be afraid of them for I am with you to deliver you.”
As soon as I spoke out that scripture, a peace descended. My nervous trembling stopped. I felt confident. God would do it!
I encouraged my boys to speak loud with confidence. I told them how very proud of them I was! My husband and oldest daughter were able to come along for moral support. As we pulled into the school parking lot, a good friend (who is also my sons’ youth pastor) pulled in next to us. What an encouragement!
We entered the building and there were many more people than I had ever expected! It seemed half were wearing masks and sitting alone, and the other half were showing their faces and sitting in groups. We found seats and were joined by another friend from church.
It seemed to take forever for the meeting to start and to get through all the boring stuff. Finally, it was time for the public speakers. One speaker after another lectured on the same theme: we have to protect our students and staff by instituting universal masking. Nine speakers all had this opinion, and the meeting was very boring. My confidence had grown into a burning desire.
“Let me up there! Let me speak a different word!” my spirit was screaming. I was excited when it was my turn. I began in a loud and enthusiastic tone. (My family told me later that the audience roused from their stupor and looked up at this point.)
When I mentioned that I had 6 children in the district and 10 children in all, I felt a small shock wave ripple through the auditorium. A man sitting close by who had been on his computer got up and began recording me with his phone.
“At least they are waking up!” I thought.
I was able to speak out truth! For the first time that evening, I heard exclamations from the audience. Outbursts of support! My sons spoke next (the only students to speak) and they all did an excellent job. Thankfully after that, many others spoke for freedom and truth including parents, the county coroner, a lawyer, and a bus driver. It was a wonderful discussion, and a few points became very clear.
Freedom was the primary issue.
Students are not at risk from this virus.
Masks are only effective if they are N95 and properly fitted and there are no child sizes.
The board listened to everyone respectfully and then began to discuss their own views on the subject. One board member asked the district doctor to come and explain the situation. It was very clear that she was uncomfortable, nervous, and was gasping for air under her N95. She hemmed and hawed around the point, and I couldn’t understand how the school board found this testimony compelling enough to support universal masking.
When it became clear that most of the board had already made up their minds before the meeting even began, anger erupted from the audience. This was quite distressing for the board. When the vote was taken, 7 voted for the new plan and 2 voted no.
Praise God for those 2 glorious, rebellious NO VOTES!
I counted the evening a victory and an important step in winning the entire war. Here is why:
I spoke the truth and truth will prevail. Who knows where all those truth seeds have landed? For some they are just an irritant. But for others they will take root and grow!
I got to meet many of the other speakers and audience members and expanded my knowledge and sphere of influence.
My children learned how to participate in the process of freedom.
In the weeks following I have heard from many people who were watching the recording and who were cheering me on!
A father saw my speech. He reached out to me to explain how he is devoting a good portion of his time to fight for freedom in our school district. He has been talking with school board members and lawyers. He has been talking to parents and community members to pull us together into a larger force. He told me he has a “fire in his belly” and he is not going to stop. What an answer to prayer he is! I don’t have the time to do what he can do, but I can support him!
One school board member emailed me, “Thank you and your children for having the courage to speak. Although I was prepared to say something, I didn’t feel it was necessary after you all spoke. Your words have power.”
Another member emailed me, “You and your incredibly well spoken, thoughtful and intelligent children did an amazing job of driving home so many important points… you can be so proud of your family and the wonderful human beings you are raising. It can be so difficult speaking up when you find yourself holding a minority opinion- but it is so important that we have these dialogues, and we voice concerns about giving our government more latitude than they may deserve out of propagandized fear.”
Most importantly, I experienced in my own life that God’s words are true, and He will do what He said He would do.
The Lord said to me, “Do not say ‘I can’t do it, I am only a mom with no credential or experience.’ I will put my word in your mouth. You will go to all whom I send you. You will not be afraid for I AM with you!”
Those words were true for me that night at the school board meeting. Those words are true for me every day. Those words are true for you as well!
Here are the words I spoke that night (modified to take out specific names).
Members of the school board, thank you for all you do for our students! Thank you for responding to my emails and talking with me on the phone.
I am the mother of six children in the school district. I have 10 children and have been studying nutrition, health, brain development, and education for the past 23 years. I concentrate on building their health from the inside with good food and good habits. We never have to go to the doctor for being sick. We have no asthma, allergies, or take any medications. We didn’t change anything about our lifestyle when this pandemic began and have continued to be extremely healthy.
Thank you, High School Principal, for your wonderful leadership at the high school new student orientation. Your speech is what inspired me to come tonight. You encouraged the students to come to you if they had a conflict with another student. You said that we could work out any situation if we just get together and talk about it.
It is pretty clear that we have a situation now, and I know that we can protect our students and staff while still protecting their most sacred rights. The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the foundation of our country. To protect life, we must insure medical freedom. Life is in the breath, and my students have the right to breathe fresh air. I have seen many studies that prove that masks are not effective in stopping the COVID virus. I have never read a study proving that they are.
Masking violates that very way our immune systems were designed to work. The respiratory system is an open system, always receiving foreign gases, particles, and microorganisms along with oxygen. The way our body cleanses out the bad is the exhale. To trap my child’s exhale against his nose and mouth in a warm, moist environment doesn’t allow his immune system to work properly.
I have heard from many in the district that we may have to return to mandatory masking and that is just the way that it is. Whenever you say, “That is just the way that it is”, you eliminate all discussion, all questions, all research, all individual freedoms. That is not what I want my children to learn when they are in school. I want them to learn to think for themselves, to question, to study, to research, to come up with new and better answers.
This is what the Principal talks about when he calls on his students to “BE Great Every Day!” This is the way of all inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs. When we issue one size fits all mandates, it is not teaching our children to be great and to make informed decisions. We are teaching them to comply to a socialist system.
I have heard it recommended that all students be vaccinated and wear masks, so they won’t have to miss important days of school to quarantining. It is not the virus that is interrupting school, it is the quarantine protocols. It is very clear that the unvaccinated students would be the ones denied their right to a public-school education even if they are perfectly healthy. With all the talk about inclusion and equity these days, I am very surprised that you would discriminate against one group of students.
My entire family probably had COVID in the past year. For us it was a mild cold that didn’t even slow my boys down. Yet now they have a robust and durable immunity. Did you see the recent study that looked at people who recovered from SARS 19 years ago? They are still immune to SARS today along with SARS-CO-V2! Our natural immunity not only lasts but recognizes all 29 proteins on the surface of the corona virus, rather than just one spike protein as with the vaccine. The vaccine does not prevent infection or transmission as the head of the CDC recently admitted. There were over 10,0000 breakthrough cases reported before the CDC stopped counted them.
I sent you all links to the Senate Hearing where you can hear both the Secretary of Education and The Secretary of Health state that the details of the Health and Safety Plan are in the control of local school boards and will not affect the Esser Funding.
Please correct this illogical protocol of masking and quarantining healthy students. Please protect their freedoms. Thank you!