OK. I think I am ready to give myself permission. I am ready to commit. I am ready to say that I am homeschooling ALL of my kids this year.

(Gulp. Deep breath.)

Last year when people asked me why I homeschooled Elle, my short answer was “personal revelation.” My long answer was in this post: 9 Reasons I Am Homeschooling Elle.

This year my short answer to this common question will be different.  If anyone asks me why I am homeschooling my children, I am just going to say “Roots”.

I want to give them ROOTS.

I want to give them roots in our family, in our values, in our work ethic, in our character, in our country, in our home.

My “roots” inspiration came from different thoughts I have been pondering for a while now.

I gave a talk years back about testimony. At the time my 5th graders were studying for end of year tests and I remember one of their science questions. It went something like this: “What is one way to prevent erosion?” The answer was to “plant a tree”. We learned that the roots of the tree help keep the soil in place through wind and storms. So I based my whole talk on this idea. I discussed what spiritual erosion is and what the roots are that hold our testimony in place.

Years later when I was setting up my blog, I found this quote from Harold B. Lee: “Beautiful, luscious fruit does not grow unless the roots of the tree have been planted in rich, fertile soil and unless care is given to the proper pruning, cultivation, and irrigation…” It’s been on my sidebar ever since.

Just last week I read in Alma 32:37,  “And behold, as the tree beginnith to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us.”

Then on Facebook last week someone mentioned how there is the idea of good, better, best and branches are the “good and better” things like dance, baseball, drama, band, etc. and roots are the best — things like family scripture study, family dinner, family prayer, etc.

So like I said, “Roots” are the reason I want to homeschool my kids this year.

You don’t have to homeschool to develop roots. In fact I believe there are lots of ways to grow roots.  But for me, at this time, I didn’t have sufficient time to plant sufficient roots unless I brought my kids home.  I particularly felt the need to establish roots with both Elle and Crew, my two oldest. They are accelerating in dance and sports and are gone away from home an increasing amount of time at night and on the weekends. I couldn’t see them gone all day and then gone all night at practices.

When would they have time to grow roots in our family?

I didn’t want our home to be just a drop off place between school and extra curricular activities. I wanted our home to be a place of life-long learning and character development. I wanted our home to be the rich, fertile soil President Lee talked about.

Using all of these thoughts and ideas, the kids and I decided to name our homeschool: “Lemon Tree Learning Academy”. Croft made this cute sign for our school room door.


lemon tree 2

We are still working on our mascot, logo, and mission statement.

If I am being completely honest, I have moments of complete panic and regret and moments of complete clarity and peace about our decision. I am scared to death. But I am trying to remember my initial inspiration and I am trying to doubt my doubts. And I also must continually remind myself of my purpose.


5 thoughts on “Roots”

  1. You know, you REALLY inspire me! These are all the very same reason’s I want to homeschool all of my children, but I just don’t feel it is the right time yet. Or maybe I am afraid to find out? I am not sure yet. But I do greatly appreciate you sharing your thoughts and feelings on this subject. If you have the chance, and if you don;t mind sharing it either, would you mind doing a post on which curriculum you are using? There are so many options out there.

    1. Michelle, I don’t feel comfortable recommending curriculum yet.I’m too new and it depends so much on your philosophy and your child’s interests and learning style. Right now we are using a very eclectic approach – not one packaged curriculum. I do like Saxon math for older grades though. I know there is a website out there that compares and contrasts and reviews all the different options out there. If I come across it again, I will send it to you. Good luck.

  2. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog! I have 5 kiddos ranging from 12 down to 4. We have just decided to homeschool all of our kids, we haven’t taken them out of their school yet though. This decision wasn’t taken lightly and I prayed and fasted and prayed and researched and listed pros and cons but ultimately it came down to almost EXACTLY what you stated in this blog post. I felt I needed my kids home and with me so I could provide them a good strong gospel foundation. I felt like my role as a mother consisted too much of, “Hurry let’s go!” “Did you get your lunch packed?” “Hurry we need to do family scripture because it’s getting late and time for bed!” I just felt rushed and that is NOT how I want to be as a mother. For us, it is the right thing to do and I am extremely scared to take it all on but I feel peace in knowing that “with God all things are possible”. I will continue to check back here for any insights or recommendations you offer! Thanks!

    1. Heidi, I completely understand the “hurry” thing. That is probably my favorite thing about homeschooling. My kids get more sleep; meals, scripture study and bed time snuggles aren’t rushed; there is more time to play and relax. Just today we had a wonderful gospel discussion around our read aloud book all snuggled on the couch in our pajamas. Did you see any other of my homeschooling posts? Just type in “homeschooling” to the search bar and several will come up. Here are two that may help right now and Good luck. I hope you feel the rewards as much as I do.

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