Homeschooling: Living, Breathing Education

“I feel ashamed that so many of us cannot imagine a better way to do things than locking children up all day in cells instead of letting them grow up knowing their families, mingling with the world, assuming real obligations, striving to be independent and self-reliant and free.”
– John Taylor Gatto

Think Outside the Classroom

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Are you a homeschooling mother who worries that you aren’t “doing enough”? Are you thinking of homeschooling but feel afraid that you aren’t qualified? If so, read more…

15 Responses to “Homeschooling: Living, Breathing Education”

  1. Terry @ Breathing Grace says:

    I highly recommend Kelly’s book. It’s very informative and full of resources.

    And these pictures are great, Kelly.

  2. Bethany Hudson says:

    When I first started researching homeschooling, I was surprised that there are so many boxed curriculums out there. To me, it seems like half the joy of homeschooling will be to draw from our own sources and the issues and subjects that my kids are excited to learn about… When we get closer to beginning homeschooling (3 years from now), I will have to get a copy of your book 🙂

  3. Deanna says:

    Your children are precious. I think you already know this, but just had to say this.

  4. Mrs. Lady Sofia says:

    I don’t have children (frowns), but the pictures of your children together with the quote from John Taylor Gatto make a GREAT statement about the importance of homeschooling.

    Also, I agree with Deanna, you have precious children (smiles).

    Oh, btw, I know this is off topic, but I just got a copy of your new e-book (yesterday) for beginning homemakers and it’s great! My husband is ready for me to make the cinnamon rolls and the pizza! LOL!

  5. Kim M. says:

    Yes, your book is great and I highly recommend it too!

    If I had known back when my kids were pre-schoolers what I know now, I would have started home-schooling a long time ago.

  6. Word Warrior says:

    Lady Sophia,

    Yours is the first “official” comment on my new ebook–I’m so glad to hear it!!!

    I hope it is helpful–I really want to see women “take control” in the kitchen and making such important contributions to the family economy 🙂

  7. Ivy in the Kitchen says:

    I don’t have children yet (unmarried), but if I do, homeschooling will be the preferred method of education.

    The second commenter made an excellent point about the boxed curricula: for me, one of the most appealing aspects of homeschooling is the possibility for variations and personalization regarding interests, level of intelligence and even type of intelligence that one’s children posses.

    Not that the boxed set are inherently bad, but I look forward to making up a curriculum with flexibility, depth and pace equivalent to the child. I guess that comes from being a teacher’s daughter. 🙂

    -Miss H.

  8. Tracy says:

    Amen! I use whatever works for my children in my homeschool. All sorts of curriculm and life experiences. My husband is remodeling our laundry room.The kids are helping(that’s school!) I love using real life. My kids have a hard time when the neighbor children tell them they have to raise their hand to go to the bathroom! lol

  9. authenticallyme says:

    ***”I feel ashamed that so many of us cannot imagine a better way to do things than locking children up all day in cells…**

    Mr. Gatto could have figured out a way to say the positive, without insinuating the rest of us who DONT hyomeschool, somehow miss the mark, or cause him ‘shame’.

    For someone who places homeschooling on a pedastool, one would think he would figured out linguisitically, how to do so.

  10. Rachel says:


    From the numerous comments you have posted on this blog, including this most recent, I get the feeling that you are easily offended. Perhaps it would do you well to realize that just because someone has a different view or opinion than yours, does not mean they are trying to “insult” you.
    You sound like you would like everyone to tolerate your views and opinion, without offering the same toleration of theirs.
    Is there a reason you have such easily offended sensibilities, or are you unconscious of the fact that you do?
    I’m not trying to hurt you, only understand why anytime their is a view on this blog that does not mesh with yours, you get so “offend” or “insulted”. Just curious…

  11. Rachel says:

    Sorry for the last comment Kelly.
    I love anything you have to say about homeschooling. I plan on homeschooling my children and I have a lot of family and friends that discourage me. It’s nice to be able to get some encouragement from somewhere.

  12. Sheila says:

    Just another plug for Kelly’s “Relaxed Homeschooling” e-book. LOVE it! Worth it! It’s very encouraging and helpful.

  13. authenticallyme says:

    Hi Rachel,

    No, I am actually not easily offended….I am quite tolerable. Too tolerable for some. I have worked a lot on ‘accepting things as they are for the moment’ in the last few years. I *will* say I am sensitive, but this is not a flaw, I have learned. While, yes, I do overreact at times, I also have learned/am learning to use my sensitivity in profitable ways(mostly artistically, or via mercy/compassion) I am considering what you are saying though. I dont know everything/every blind spot about myself.

    I will say I have seen many people hurt from authors such as this. I understand Kelly’s blog encourages the homeschooler, but as a christian, not all of us homeschool, or even fell caleld to sdo it anymore. it is *those* people and that harm I wish to point out. It has hurt me in the past, but I know it hurts/harms others. I do not keep my child locked in a cell (public school?) nor do many other christian parents. That is offensive, and not a ‘good’ type of offensive, unless people here believe the only righteous way is homeschooling. Perhaps I do take it a little personally, as Ive explained for the 100th time….if we are to speak like God and like Christ, lets be sure we arent saying anything THEY/HE/THE SPIRIT would not say. Id be really surprised if God thinks I keep my kids, or that the many parents I know keep their kids locked up in a school all day. Most I know, didnt *blindly* do so.

    Ive said this numerous time, and it is painful/sad/frustrating/annoying/hurtful to see how this type of mentality divides the body.

    Mr Gatto’s phrase of ‘real’ obligations insinuates the rest of us who dont do things as He thinks is appropriate, dont allow our children to ‘assume REAL obligations’? I mean, cmon…..

    What I do take personally, is the arrogance I read in his words. I mean, I agree with the overall point….the world isnt perfect….

    I feel “ashamed” to call myself a christian, when people and the Mr. Gattos speak this way. I talk to people day in and day out about christianity, and the one common denominator I find is unbelievers find christians judgmental, and holier than thou. And believers I know have been made to feel less than….if they dont follow this or that doctrine…..this is a REAL problem, and a COMMON one today. Whiel some here may find that to the ‘rightly dividing the word of truth’, I dont think it was meant to add things like homeschooling to The Absolute Truth.

    I *do* think Mr. Gatto could have found another way to say what he wanted about homeschooling and all the beauty it brings….without the put-downs weaved in.

    I bet if I posted this on my blog, critiqueing it, youd see it isnt my hurt I care so much about….its OTHERS made in the image of God being out down that is flat out wrong. And I will advocate for that the rest of my life.

    I am really surprised that people on this blog dont see how the words in that paragraph can come off as a guilt/shaming tactic. I really dont. And its confusing Rachel, that you think because it frustrates me, that somehow this means I am ‘easily offended’. I DO know how you all feel and what you do….your convictions, and I believe thagt a person must hold true to their convictions. But the way these convictions are stated need to be out of strength, and not looking for excuses to point out that ‘others arent doing this’, ‘why do so many christians not get this’…etc etc etc. Talk about what you DO do all you like, but why find it necessary to talk about what the rest of us *dont do*? Normally, that shows a sign of control, guilt, or measuring. I am allowed to be angry about that, and the consequences it brings.

  14. Word Warrior says:


    You make a point worthy of consideration, and I certainly can see how his comment would step on toes.

    Would it help you to understand why I post things like this if I said I also did it out of concern for others?

    If you felt something was indeed harmful for your friends’ children, what are you willing to say to make them see it? Doesn’t it sometimes take a “shocking” statement to break through our standard way of thinking about something? Maybe it doesn’t, I don’t know, just thinking out loud.

    I don’t think it is ever good to offend on purpose; but I think we are to afraid of offense in general to speak the truth.

    Mr. Gatto was a school teacher for 30 years and has earned a great deal of right to speak about what he observed there. Perhaps his greatest concern is to say whatever needs to be said to shake parents into realizing that being cooped up all day can, in fact, be harmful to their education and growth.

    What if it is, and we just don’t believe it because we’re so used to it?

    Again, perhaps I don’t need to defend what he said; but maybe it helps to look from another angle…to understand that people sometimes speak strongly out of nothing more than a desire to truly help other people.

    He is obviously passionate about the way he feels. He didn’t say that “the Bible says so”…and neither do I.

    But as I’ve stated my reasons for being *against* public school so many times (and none of them included being “locked in a cell”), I only have the deepest concern and desire for Christian parents to take charge of their child’s education and world view.

    I don’t mean to offend.

  15. authenticallyme says:

    Thank you very much Kelly, and I add an emphatic *YES* to what you say. You articulated well enough that I think, amidst limitations of writing behind a computer, I can capture the meat of what you are saying.

    I admire your passion, as well as Mr. Gattos, and I did watch a video on YouTube yesterday of him, and of course he has points. I was a homeschooler, (a ‘relaxed’ one…hardly any real curricula)and loved it and see how my children benefitted in many ways, not to mention how *I* benefitted, and others benefitted too. I was very ANTI-public school. I had my lists of reasons, and my doctrine.

    Anyway, I was *humbled* by the fact that half of what I thought to be true about public school, wasnt true at all. Not to mention I see the teachers as frustrated as anyone….for the record, I do not believe it to be an ideal. I encountered my experiences backward of you….so I am usually going to come from a different angle than you, simply because the whole experience made a different impression on me than it did you( homeschooled my girls since birth…public school afterward) I am only against us telling everyone to homeschool, or claim it is the best way, becasue I do believe God works differently in peoples lives, calling them to different things… if someone is led down a path to place their children in christian, charter, performing arts, catholic, montessourri-type, or public school….i hate for them to feel by following an authentic path, they did the wrong thing????

    Mr Gatto also, yes, has much experince in his field and I do not claim he doesnt have a ‘right’ to his freedom of speech….he does. It is only the ‘ashamed’ comment and the ‘real obligations’ that made me wonder how others who dont homeschool….how this makes them feel if they are indeed at peace, having truly sought God, with having their children in public school. I am all for speaking the truth, but who decides what is true? That seems to be a common problem amongst christians….where do we draw the line for truth? I hear many say there is ‘no interpretation’, or ‘one interpretation’….which deems their mind right, and the rest of us wrong. Its maddening, sometimes. I am sure you feel the same way, but coming from the opposite side of the argument.

    For me to say it is sin for me to have my children in public school, would be essentially me telling God He lied to me and led me to register them….so what is the purpose of telling someone like me, who confidently placed their children in public school after much consideration…..that what they think they heard from God was really them being blinded? The bible says God can make us stand….it is before our own Master that we stand or fall. I feel very confidently that I stood on God when I and my husband made that decision. I submitted myself to it, with the same spirit I submitted to anything else…and it was NOT easy.

    and you did not offend me….its not offensive, as much as it concerns me, for reasons stated within my posts here.

    Thank you for adding your post; I know you are VERY busy with your responsibilities.

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