Homeschooling is still very rare here in Scotland, and so when I tell someone who's just asked me about my kids' schooling that I homeschool, a variety of reactions come my way.

We have the:

'What! You have your kids around you all day' 

... kind of reaction. When I smile and say with genuine enthusiasm, 'Yep, I have them with me all day. It's great!', the reaction normally translates into some version of, 
'You need your head seen to'.

Then we have the 

'Homeschooling? What's that?' 

...ones. They have truly never heard of such a thing, and can't quite get their heads around it.

Then we have the

'Er, are you really allowed to do that?' 

...ones. When I point out that these kids are my kids, and that legally, the responsibility for a child's education actually rests on the parents (though most parents choose to deligate the day-to-day education to a schoolteacher), they normally react with an, 
'Ahh... I suppose you're right. I never thought of it like that'.

And then there are some who react with:

'What? You teach them at home? Aww man, that's fantastic. Oh, I'd love to do that', 

'Oh I wish I'd known about that when my kids were school age'.

When we first began homeschooling, I had no idea the whole concept would grip me like it has done. I had no idea I would grow to love it like I have done. I had no idea that I would genuinely come to the place I'm at where I can imagine no other life but that of homeschooling my kids.

Is it hard work? Yes.

Are there days I would love to put my feet up and have silence in which to read a good book? You betcha.

Would I swap it for any other way of life in the world? No, I wouldn't. Not for anything in the world.

To anyone who has ever considered homeschooling but has real doubts as to whether they could do it, I say: Try it.

Try it. If it genuinely doesn't work for your family, then it's not the end of the world - the kids can go back to school.

But, if it does work, you will never be more glad of anything you've done as a family than this. 

Homeschooling is so much more than simply 'doing school at home'. It's a whole way of life which does, of course, include formal education. That part can be fun at times, or tedious at times, or mundane, or exciting. Some days, the kids will be enthused with what they're learning, and other days, they reckon pulling teeth would be preferable to the work they're having to do. Hey, that's life, and a lesson worth learning in itself. Whether a duty is fun, or horrendously boring.... there are times when it's just gotta be done. 

But it's all the rest of what homeschooling means that makes this life, for me, more than I could ever have hoped for. Here are just some of the aspects of my day to day life which I love:

I love that we can linger around the breakfast table and noone is rushing for a bus;

I love that when we sit for our morning devotions, we have as much time as we want. I love that any questions can be discussed, and that the Bible has something to say about pretty much anything and everything that life has to offer.

I love that our kids are part of each others' lives every day. I love that the Wee Guy knows his brother, who is ten years older than him, as well as he does. This level of intimacy would be difficult with this age gap if they were at school or college.

I love that in the middle of a Maths lesson, I can be told that I'm loved, or that Genghis Khan was amazing, or that Big Brother's sheep are going to be moved that afternoon and so schoolwork has to be done quickly, because - as you all know - Big Brother can't do anything with his sheep without a certain Wee Fella helping. 

I love knowing that at any given time, I can have any of my kids wander into the room and say Hi. 

I am constantly amazed that God brought this homeschooling life to me. I am one of the least likely candidates you can imagine. I am what is not suited to being a homeschooling Mum in a thousand different ways, and yet God saw fit to gift me in this way. I am humbled. I am grateful. I am blessed beyond words.


  1. All of us homeschool moms are just moms, aren't we? Our desire to raise and teach our kids just has to overcome the challenges of daily life with them. Only I believe it's harder for you since you are a homeschooling pioneer in Scotland.
    You are welcome to use content on my blog about why we homeschool.

  2. It doesn't matter where you live, people all think the same because I have had exactly the same responses from people - almost word for word! I am always saddened when a Christian parent says to me 'I couldn't wait for them to go to school' or 'I couldn't have my kids around me all day, they would drive me crazy'. I now would go crazy without them around - what would I do? Clean a few more windows I guess! And I am with you - in total agreement with every single statement you just made. Oh how I love that the school bus drives right past my gate and doesn't stop. My son went to school for one year, he was first to be picked up and last to be dropped off - the day was gone and he was shattered - we lived a kilometre from the gate, getting there on time each day was so much stress - I dreaded it. After just one month of homeschooling a relative observed 'You have your son back' - meaning the happy little boy I used to know, that was enough incentive for me to keep going. He's now 18 and as I type the boy who never sat a formal test in his life, is sitting another uni exam and I think of all the people who said to me 'But how he will he get into university?'(when he was 10!) My daughter is meeting the man from the council today who will inspect her kitchen set up for her dessert business. I don't know if he knows that she is only 16. Huge day for her. I know she would not have been able to do this if she had been in school or on the bus which takes so much time out of their days when you live in the country. She is also living proof that homeschooling does not produce socially inept children without an ounce of confidence. I am now asked 'How old is she?' Keep on going Anne - it is so worth it. There is a harvest in homeschooling. I'm cheering you on all the way from down under!

  3. Your post makes me smile! I feel the same way about getting to spend the days w/ my children. What an amazing gift..and responsibility...who'd a thunk :) someone like me would be teaching these beautiful children at home. I can't see it any other way now...wouldn't trade it for anything... It's fun to share those feelings all the way across an ocean and a country! - you worded it perfectly!

  4. Ann, I too am so used to people asking me what all my kids are going to do - like you, from the age of about 10! For some reason, 'schoolkids' can not know until they're about 16 and that's ok, but all and sundry seem to feel the need to know my children's plans years in advance! It can be tiresome, but mostly it just makes me smile.... a bit ruefully, mind you :)

  5. God has graciously blessed you with the ability to homeschool your children. Wonderful. My mom homeschooled us 5 children and it was hard work for her! I didn't help much with my hatred for math, either. Enjoy your children while they are with you.

  6. Yes, homeschooling is a way of life! Well said, my friend! I also encourage families to try it out. We have been homeschooling 9 years and I have enjoyed every minute of it. You really said how I feel about homeschooling in this post. I am going to share this with others!

  7. Hi Anne,
    Oh how I agree totally with all you've said here. How I remember those comments back in the '80's when we first started homeschooling. It was a "new thing" then. :-) I am so glad the Lord led us that way. I would have missed so much with my children if they had been in conventional school. 7 have graduated from homeschool highschool and all have gone on to university. 5 have graduated, and we have 2 in university now. Yes, it works! Ever get that question?? Will they be able to go to university? !
    I wouldn't have traded those years for anything!
    Anne ♥

  8. Beautiful post! Your joy and passion in homeschooling your children simply shines through. And I can see how grateful you are to be so blessed! I was homeschooled, and I loved it. I truly did. All the way from the beginning of school with learning how to read, to graduating at 17. I wouldn't have traded my experience, and am seriously considering homeschooling our kiddos when we have some! :)

  9. I love having been home-schooled! Knowing first-hand all the benefits of it, I would never consider doing anything else (if the Lord so chooses to bless me with children "someday" :)!

  10. You should post this on the other blog. I'm having a bit of an Eeyore Day right now, so your enthusiasm is refreshing.

  11. Interesting to read your perspective of homeschooling. There are so few being taught at home in Scotland these days that I wondered if you have any concerns about the children's social lives and interaction with other kids?


  12. Best of all try home schooling before they go to school. It is easier to home educate from day one than to take a child out of school. Little ones can, and should be taught from every day life. Taking older children out is more complex in terms of their expectations and providing a suitable curriculum.

    Sarah who has children in both groups!

  13. I can honestly say I heard these so much 19 years ago when I started but now it has grown so much almost everyone now knows a family or two that homeschool.
    I am so thankful I took this journey~ it is almost over for me. Bittersweet for sure!

  14. Anne, I love this post. I've been thinking and have 1/2 written one with responses to the two comments I often get. 1. "I'd never have the patience." and 2. "Well, you were a teacher, so it make sense you could homeschool."

    I love homeschooling for the many examples you posted, but I never would have known those benefits had we not started when my hand was forced, so to speak. God uses circumstances to guide my way. I'm so thankful we too are on this journey and I also feel quite the unlikely candidate!

    thanks for this post.

  15. Love, love LOVE this post! Thanks for sharing your heart and thoughts about homeschooling. I couldn't agree with you more!!! :)

  16. Thank you all for commenting.
    Ann - good for your daughter.... wish I was nearer - I suspect I'd be one of her best customers!

    Niseach....er, I assume you have connections with here, so maybe I know you really well... I have to be honest that when I first heard about homeschooling, socialisation for the kids was never one of my concerns. Even when our first two kids were in school, and I'd never even heard of homeschooling, I just never thought that putting a load of kids of the same age into a classroom for quite a few hours of the day was terribly condusive to producing well-adjusted, social kids. It just never seemed to 'click' for me, and now, years on, having homeschooled - the socialisation issue *really* doesn't come up at all. I really think that kids become more adept at being sociable if they mix with many age groups and in many different settings. As it happens, my kids are very social - however, I don't claim that homeschooling *made* them that way - it just allowed their natural social natures to flourish, I guess.
    (btw - I'd love to know who I'm talking to!!)

    And Heather, our hand was 'forced' too, and boy, do I praise God for it now! Oh, and yes, these responses are very familiar here too :)

    Thank you all for your comments, questions and your encouragements :)

  17. I just thought I'd comment (not in response to the social question, I was going to say this anyway), how social strange high schooled children are. I was recently in a house where when I was leaving realised that there were 2 teenage girls in the house, I never saw them while I was in, and when I commented in how quiet they were, I was told that they stay in their room when people come......

    Ok imagine the reaction if these kids were home schooled, it would be blamed wholly on the fact they were home schooled, but no one blinks an eyelid when school schooled kids are socially strange.... Actually I do, as I think that it's rude, but I do think it has a lot to do with not having the first clue as to how to interact with an adult. They mix with their own peer group, and have little adult communication. Most home schooled kids that I have met have been able to communicate easily with me.

    Even when the teenagers turn into adults, they are still quite distant, I have neighbours in their early 20's, and the most they can say is "hi". I would like to be proven otherwise but it seems schools really don't teach the art of socialisation after all.

  18. Hi there, just stumbled accross your blog (searching for tweed curtains actually!) and it's amazing to find a blog of someone homeschooling in Scotland! We stay up in Caithness and have 2 babies, a 2 year old and a 1 year old and we're planning on home schooling when the time comes. I've got you bookmarked and am planning on keeping up with your blog and watching your progress as you're a few years, and a few uncomfortable conversations ahead of us! Thanks for putting this page up and GOD bless your homeschooling work! Sarah

  19. You won't know me Anne as I'm a bit younger than you (sorry!) and haven't lived at home for quite a while!

    I worked in (non-teaching) Education for some time, which is why I was interested in your choice to home school. These days it's the norm for kids to regularly mix with other children from around 3 years of age. Of course, many are much younger than that when they go to childminders while their parents work. I just wonder if the knock-on effect of this is that the children you don't mix at that stage are at a bit of a disadvantage once they reach school as they won't be as confident interacting with the "old hands" who've been doing it for a couple of years.

    The world is a very different place to what it was 20 or even 10 years ago and it seems to me that kids aren't really kids once they're past the age of 8 - they're more like mini adults. When I think about how naive we were at 11 or 12 compared to the kids going into secondary school nowadays I'm shocked at the difference. Kids are much more worldly from an early age now, which I would imagine can at least in part be attributed to mixing with others at school.

    I was wondering if those of you who home school worry that your kids will be disadvantaged in any way when they leave to go to uni or to work as they won't have had the same life experience as the other young people they'll come into contact with? Please don't think I'm criticising in any way, I'm genuinely interested. I sometimes think that if everyone was home schooled it would do away with the moody teenager syndrome mentioned above - that's surely partly caused by the whole "gotta be cool" type of bandwagon!

    PS - I LOVE looking at your photos, especially the sunsets and any that look towards Traigh Shanndaidh!


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