We get to do this…together

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and writer at Steady Mom

Dear Trishna, Jonathan, and Elijah:

I’ve watched the school bus go by for years now–sometimes with envy, longing for a bit of extra “me” time and a bit less responsibility.

Lately, though, I watch it through the early morning fog–with a deep sense of rejoicing.

You mean, we get to do this…together? The learning, the living, the loving–all of it?

It’s almost too good to be true.


My girl, age 9

You spend your inspired work time each day writing and illustrating books, always the same characters. You read with such expertise now–a book in hand or nearby often.

You learned to tell time recently, combining your newfound confidence in counting by fives with the bedside clock your dad and I gave you for your last birthday. The rest of math doesn’t come quite so naturally yet, but never fear.

There are more important lessons to learn right now–your four years spent in an orphanage have gifted us with perspective. We know what really matters. You’ve started learning, much later than most, the basics of love and family. We step forward and back again in this dance of knowing (and trusting) each other. I don’t have to tell you that I often have no clue what I’m doing, but that’s okay.

The important thing is that we are doing it–together.


My Jonathan, age 8

I see myself so strongly in you, little yet-wanting-to-be-big one. You astound me with your confidence, your compassion, your loyalty. You’re a visionary in the body of an eight-year-old boy, and that’s hard sometimes, but it’s mostly beautiful.

You have grown in maturity lately, and are desperate for responsibility. I’m reminded again how you live up to your name, “God’s gift,” as I watch you grab the vacuum and clean without being asked. You have a voracious appetite–for food, for knowledge, for books, for life.

Often I don’t know how to answer all your questions or how to nurture your many ideas. You’re used to me saying, “I’m not sure, but I’ll think and pray about it.” And though it’s tough to keep up with you, I’m thankful that you have all these hours to come up with ideas…this time to dream.

So thankful that we get to do live our dreams–together.


My Elijah, age 7

You’re on the cusp of reading now, and I watch as you slowly string sounds and words together. It’s painful at times, for both of us, but we praise and high-five over your progress.

You are all boy–physical, strong, energetic–and have just recently become interested in sitting down to focus. Your new passion for all things airplane motivates you to pore over books, pictures, and facts. It’s fun to have a front-row seat at this transformation.

I love that you’ve been able to choose–that you haven’t been rushed, you haven’t been labelled. The thought of attempting to teach you all you need to learn is scary, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’re traveling life’s bumpy roads–together.

I see all three of you from the kitchen window now, climbing the grassy hill behind the house. All of you trying to sit on the tiny tree swing at once–always together, for better or for worse.

I’m amazed at this unfolding path God has us on, wonder what He thinks as He sees the eclectic group we make as a family. Nothing but faith in the impossible could have launched us on this educational path.

But the thing you’ve already realized, sweet children of mine, is that your mother is an impossible-believing optimist.

And in spite of the challenges, the fears, and the messes, my heart beats proudly about the rightness of who we are…the rightness of the ways in which we live and learn–together.

You are loved, wanted, appreciated, and cherished–forever.

Love, Mommy

How has homeschooling brought your family together?

This post originally published on September 17, 2012.

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She is the co-founder and editor of Simple Homeschool, where she writes about mindful parenting, intentional education, and the joy found in a pile of books. Jamie is also the author of a handful of titles, including her newest release, Give Your Child the World.


  1. Beautiful.

  2. Hi Jamie, I don’t know how I started to read your post since I’m (actually) in the middle of preparing tomorrow’s day but had to stop and write you that: You have three so precious kids !! Loved reading a bit about each of them.

    How did homeschooling bring us together? I see it as our quality time since we sit together, learn, and as you wrote we do this together !! It’s a blessing having so much time with our children that are growing up way to fast..

    may God bless and protect your family,
    Myriam’s latest post: Some Thoughts about Homeschooling

  3. So beautiful. 🙂
    I love that I get to spend each day with our children learning and loving and living at our own pace. It’s this constancy that brings us together. We are moving at the moment, mostly to enrich our lives by being part of a thriving homeschool community (which doesn’t exist where we currently are) and I am so glad to be making this choice and excited about exploring our new area together! 🙂
    Lovely post. x
    Laura’s latest post: This week

  4. Absolutely beautiful. And just what I need to hear on the days when I want a little more alone time! I really do love doing all this together!
    Johanna @ My Home Tableau’s latest post: Make a Fall Bucket List

  5. I love this family!!! xo
    Caroline Starr Rose’s latest post: Author Visit to Greater Atlanta Christian School

  6. Katherine Barron says:

    I feel the same way about homeschooling. Though where we live, even if my kids were in school, they would not ride the bus. My husband drove a bus route as a favor for a week, and he said that it was one of the worst experiences of his life.

    That being said, there are so many positives to being a homeschooling family that I don’t know where to begin. But what you say about watching your kids just be good friends – I don’t know that this happens in the same way for siblings who are in school. That’s not to say that all homeschooled siblings are best buddies for life, or that siblings who are schooled are not good friends. But the level of shared life experiences are different. They know each other in ways that they wouldn’t – they have TIME, something that it seems many schooled kids don’t these days.

    My boys are upstairs right now – organizing their room, together. Because they can. Because they are here on this GORGEOUS fall morning at their home together. Unhurried. Unstressed. Being boys, being brothers.

  7. You’ve inspired me to sit down for a few minutes today and write a letter to my kids about our own homeschooling journey, which began early last school year. I can’t think of a better way to start a new “school” year than by telling them how much I love this new path we’re on, how much I love spending my days with them, and how much I rejoice at being a witness to and mentor in their learning and growth.

    Thanks for your thoughtful posts. I am always inspired and uplifted by what you have to say!

  8. That was beautiful. You have beautiful children too.
    shelli : mamaofletters’s latest post: On Homeschooling, Socialization and Religion

  9. Even through the fights and foot-stomping and dishes piling up and moments of boredom, I am also glad that we get to do this together…
    tracey’s latest post: Admit it…

  10. Wow this is inspirational 🙂 I love the word “together” – it really encompasses the wonderful foundation of home education.

    Home schooling has brought our family together as we get to be a family when my husband has the day off, or when he wants to take one of them to work to teach them about what he does, or when we want to vacation outside the normal “season” etc. It’s beautiful to get to see all the lit up faces as they learn and for them to see my clueless faces as I learn with them. 🙂

    Lana Wilkens’s latest post: aiding and abetting?

  11. This is wonderful! It inspires me to write my own letter! I love the photos of your beautiful family. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Alice’s latest post: My sweetie pies!

  12. I so love reading your posts! They most often seem to be just what I need to hear (thankyou God) Im a mamma to 4 boys 7, 5, 3, and 1
    Its a wild and crazy life, beautiful in all the noise and mess. I have been struggling with the labels, “Homeschool” “unschool” “intrest led” “child directed” just to name a few… I know we dont fit neatly into any box, what I love is learning beside my boys watching their excitment grow and their lights come on. How do you silence the noise and just be? Not striving, pushing but trusting? I would love to hear.

  13. Such a beautiful and encouraging post. Thanks for the glimpse into your family’s togetherness.
    Steph’s latest post: On Mundane Bravery

  14. I love this! Very encouraging!

  15. How beautiful are your children and your special relationship with them. I love the celebration of each of them. The joy of spending hours and hours together with our children is that we can see how awesome they are… it really is the difference between snapshots and the whole movie…
    se7en’s latest post: Se7en’s Save the Rhino’s Campaign…

  16. gorgeous post. how sweet to be able to look back at this exact moment at life together!

  17. Catherine Vos says:

    Reading this brings tears to my eyes. I had 3 babies in 3 years and my oldest is almost 6. I brought her home from school a month ago and pulled my middle child out of kindy (preschool equivalent here in nz) and we too are doing this together. I watch them play together – they truly are friends again. It is such a blessing to know my precious children are not being pushed, they are learning and living at their own pace without all the pressures they were under before. It makes my heart sing!

  18. I am so thankful to have come across this blog. This piece is so beautiful and perfectly articulate. I couldn’t have read it at a more critical time. Simply Beautiful… thank you for sharing.

  19. This post is beautiful – inspired and inspiring. Thank you for the gift of perspective. Sometimes in the moments of wrangling an active three year-old who dropped her four-hour nap overnight last week while simultaneously attempting to teach about illuminated manuscripts to my nine year-old, I can call into question whether or not I’m doing right by both of my girls.

    What perspective you gave today. I am so grateful for that.
    Cari’s latest post: A Life Reflected

  20. Jamie, this was so beautiful to read – I bet it felt good to write it, too. In fact, like others have said, I think I’m going to write a letter to my own children after reading yours.

    It seems like it would be a good reminder to me, and to them, on those days we are questioning why we do this, that part of homeschooling’s merit as a choice is that we get to do it together.

    And that certainly shouldn’t be underestimated!

    Best wishes!
    Kara @SimpleKids.net’s latest post: Coming in October: 31 days of unplugged play, no batteries required

  21. What a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing a bit of them with us.
    Jessica’s latest post: New Kittens and Gerbils

  22. Annie Mueller says:

    Totally crying in my coffee cup now…
    Annie Mueller’s latest post: 10 ways to deal with resistance

  23. What a beautiful family! Love love LOVE this!

    I fell so very grateful and blessed to be gifted this time with my children. To watch them grow, learn and become the beautiful people they are turning out to be. I love being here to see the proverbial “light bulb” turn on above their heads. That’s not to say at times things don’t get overwhelming. But when they do, I know I can look to your articles and get filled with your optimism. Thank you.

  24. Jamie {See Jamie blog} says:

    I looove this post. This is exactly why I homeschool. Love this as a letter to your kids. 🙂
    Jamie {See Jamie blog}’s latest post: Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Ministry

  25. amazing. Thank you so much! I will be sharing this. 😉
    monica’s latest post: Maybe I’ll Start a Bucket List: {Hiking Napali Coast Kauai}

  26. Thank you for these loving words! I do not have kids and i dont do homeschool but im a teacher and i love my students. I have been following your posts and have been blessed by your passion for learning and teaching. I would normally just read through your entries and admire how you have been raising your wonderful children but today, after a long day at school, you made me look forward to being a mom and doing homeschool with my own kids! I also want to thank you and your husband for the ministry of helping young girls in the Philippines, where i am from. God bless you, Jamie!

  27. Christi {Jealous Hands} says:

    What a beautiful, precious post. I feel much the same way!

  28. Absolutely beautiful! I shared with all my friends that homeschool their little ones. It makes you remember why you are doing it in the first place and exactly what it means to your family.
    Shelley @ThatGirlShelley’s latest post: Monday Motivation: Positive Thinking

  29. Beautiful!
    When someone once asked what our family’s philosophy behind our homeschool was, I remember standing there wondering what thoughtful answer I should come up with, and then simply shared the truth….I wanted to spend the days with my children. Together. Not always easy, but wouldn’t have it any other way!
    Kristy’s latest post: Our Ornament Fundraiser – The potential impact of ONE!

  30. I love this, Jamie! It’s almost too good to be true – my thoughts exactly this year. I love it and I’m so glad it IS true! Thankful for the moments when gratitude is so tangible this year. Thank you for this post!

  31. Tears in my eyes.

  32. What beautiful words to share with your children. They need to hear that. One of the biggest reasons I chose to homeschool was because I love my children and wanted to share in their journey. I didn’t want to miss that look of accomplishment or wonder on their faces when the learned something new. I am a lifelong learner and I have a passion for education, and I love that every day my children and I get to share that passion together.
    Jennifer’s latest post: Some Love for My Homeschool Group

  33. Jaime,
    I love this blog post. Thanks for writing it. It was really nice meeting you today at the Waldorf fair. My kids had a great time and from the smiles, yours did too.

  34. BEATA GERGELY says:

    Dear Jamie….
    It is hard to find the words to thank you… for all the things you do for us, “mothers-in-arms”.. (as Mark Knopfler/Dire Straits would put it)
    As I read and learn, and absorb all the things you teach us through your children, I feel powerful, full of strength, and realize.. hm, maybe after all I CAN do this, too. Again today, maybe tomorrow, maybe for a lifetime.
    You have become the light at the end of the tunnel, the inspiration, the role-model, the distant yet dear friend..
    Gratitude and appreciation for ALL that you do, share and teach. To your children. To your fellow homeschoolers. To me.

    Beata Gergely

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