37 Encouraging Quotes for the Homeschooling Mother

37 Encouraging Quotes for the Homeschooling Mother // jessconnell.com

Before we jump in, let me say: if you are not a homeschooler, this list is not meant for you. Please don’t read these– intended to *encourage* one group– and take it as if intended for you. It is not. Just as words intended to motivate a woman to continue breastfeeding might unintentionally offend those who use formula and are not breastfeeding, and yet those words remain true and valid encouragement, these quotes are meant for a select group. If you are not a home educator, go in peace and do not take this as an attack or indictment.

These quotes are intended as encouragement and motivating fuel for the mother who has taken up the charge of home educating her own children.

  1. Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching,” ~Proverbs 1:8
  2. “Childhood is not a race to see how quickly a child can read, write, and count. Childhood is a small window of time to learn and develop at the pace which is right for each individual child.” ~Anonymous
  3. “Intelligence plus character-– that is the goal of true education.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
  4. “The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.” ~David O. McKay
  5. “The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.” ~Anatole France
  6. “When your child is close enough to you, he can be exposed to your adult life, and this is how he eventually learns to be an adult.” ~Ann Ortlund
  7. “Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child’s natural bent.” ~Plato
  8. “What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children’s growth into the world is not that it is a better school than the schools, but that it isn’t a school at all.” ~John Holt
  9. “All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.” ~Walter Scott
  10. “Once upon a time, all children were homeschooled. They were not sent away from home each day to a place just for children but lived, learned, worked, and played in the real world, alongside adults and other children of all ages.” ~Rachel Gathercole
  11. “We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.” ~Dr. Voddie Baucham
  12. “As regards moral courage, then, it is not so much that the public schools support it feebly, as that they suppress it firmly.” ~G.K. Chesterton
  13. “The essential thing measured by school is whether or not you are good at school. Being good at school is a fine skill if you intend to do school forever. For the rest of us, being good at school is a little like being good at Frisbee. It’s nice but it’s not relevant unless your career involves homework assignments, looking through textbooks for answers that are already known to your supervisors, complying with instructions, and then, in high-pressure settings, regurgitating those facts with limited processing on your part.” ~Seth Godin
  14. “Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.” ~W.B. Yeats
  15. “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” ~Luke 6:40
  16. “Recipe for genius: More of family and less of school, more of parents and less of peers, more creative freedom and less formal lessons.”  ~Raymond Moore
  17. “The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursing his own education. This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get over our odd conviction that education is what goes on in school buildings and nowhere else.” ~John W. Gardner
  18. “You will not reap the fruit of individuality in your children if you clone their education.” ~Margaret Howshall
  19. “So you think the best way to prepare kids for the real world is to bus them to a government institution where they’re forced to spend all day isolated with children of their own age and adults who are paid to be with them, placed in classes that are too big to allow more than a few minutes of personal interaction with the teacher-then spend probably an hour or more everyday waiting in lunch lines, car lines, bathroom lines, recess lines, classroom lines, and are forced to progress at the speed of the slowest child in class?” ~Steven James
  20. “From my great-grandfather: not to have attended schools for the public; to have had good teachers at home, and to realize that this is the sort of thing on which one should spend lavishly.” ~Marcus Aurelius
  21. “The process of socialization is nowhere near complete at age five or six, when modern children start spending up to half their waking hours taking their cues from other people’s children. Because they accompany their parents’ daily routine, homeschooled kids spend plenty of time interacting with people of all ages, which I think most people would agree is a far more natural, organic way to socialize.” ~Quinn Cummings
  22. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” ~Deut 6: 4-9
  23. “All this impressing, talking, sitting, walking, and getting up together takes the investment of time. The day in and day out living the life of faith.” ~Jamerrill Stewart
  24. “When I look at a child, I see a living, breathing person, made in God’s image, for whom God has a plan. As parent educators, we need to embrace a new notion of learning…we need to engage the heart in order to effectively educate the child. Our vision of a well-educated child is a child who has a heart for learning, a child who has the tools he needs to continue to learn for a lifetime and a child who has the love to want to do it.” ~Elizabeth Foss
  25. “I love afternoons like that, like when we talk about things like metempsychosis, when we learn so much, and explore so much, and ideas grow and take flight, like the idea about the universe and the egg. I love being home-schooled, when we don’t have to stick to subjects and timetables and rules.” ~David Almond
  26. “We ask children to do for most of a day what few adults are able to do for even an hour. How many of us, attending, say, a lecture that doesn’t interest us, can keep our minds from wandering? Hardly any.” ~John Holt
  27. “What’s the matter?” asked the teacher, seeing her bewildered face.
    “Why—why,” said Elizabeth Ann, “I don’t know what I am at all. If I’m second-grade arithmetic and seventh-grade reading and third-grade spelling, what grade am I?”The teacher laughed at the turn of her phrase. “you aren’t any grade at all, no matter where you are in school. You’re just yourself, aren’t you? What difference does it make what grade you’re in! And what’s the use of your reading little baby things too easy for you just because you don’t know your multiplication table?”This time Elizabeth Ann didn’t answer, because she herself didn’t know what the matter was. But I do, and I’ll tell you. The matter was that never before had she known what she was doing in school. She had always thought she was there to pass from one grade to another, and she was ever so startled to get a little glimpse of the fact that she was there to learn how to read and write and cipher and generally use her mind…” ~Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Understood Betsy
  28. “When we talk about homeschooling today, we’re amazed at how many people agree that they didn’t learn much in school, that school teaches kids to pass the test and move on rather than explore and investigate and inquire…” ~Linda Dobson
  29. “There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.” ~Mahatma Ghandi
  30. “My aim in homeschooling is to give my children the ability to be an adult learning, a skill set that will last the rest of their lives.” ~Nancy Pearcey
  31. “When you homeschool your children, you have to make sacrifices: of your time, of your energy, of your money. Speaking of money, you know, when I look back, living on one income all those years meant we didn’t drive expensive cars or go on extended high-end vacations. But that wasn’t important. What was important was that we had time together…nothing can replace that. You can have that time too. Concentrate on the positives, and enjoy your time with your kids. You won’t be sorry.” ~Barbara Frank
  32. “He that has trained his children for heaven, rather than for earth- for God, rather than for man- he is the parent that will be wise.” ~J.C. Ryle
  33. “When it comes to my children, my ultimate goal for them is heaven, not Harvard. If they go to the latter on their way to heaven, that’s great. But if I reverse that equation, I’ve failed them.” ~Barbara Frank
  34. “The child who is a skilled thinker and adept learner can adjust to whatever the future doles out. She can spackle in those holes in her knowledge, and she knows how to acquire skills she needs to do things she wants to do. On the other hand, the child who shoveled down his prepared education but lost his curiosity, whose interests withered away and were replaced by a general malaise and desire to just be left alone — that child has a bagful of knowledge and skills with varying expiration dates and dubious ability or desire to acquire more.” ~Lori McWilliam Pickert
  35. “Here’s the thing: public school is a completely unnatural environment. At no other point in your life will you spend 90 percent of your time with people your exact age, socio-economic status, and zip code. It is neither natural nor healthy for children to spend almost all of their time with other children, and this is what has brought out the culture we see of fads, teen pregnancy, drug use by younger and younger kids, and marketing to toddlers. Kids are looking to other children for guidance rather than adults.” ~Karen LaPan
  36. “I always wanted to be a hero–to sacrifice my life in a big way one time–and yet, God has required my sacrifice to be thousands of days, over many years, with one more kiss, one more story, one more meal.” ~Sally Clarkson
  37. “The question is not,––how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education––but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?”  ~Charlotte Mason



  • Did these give you food for thought or new motivation?
  • Please share other favorite homeschool quotes. 

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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10 Responses

  1. Kendra says:

    So fantastic, this aggregate of inspiration.

  2. Laura says:

    Great inspiration! However, I do not agree with #11. I homeschool my children, but I was public-schooled. All of my Christian friends I grew up with were also public-schooled. Most of us are all following the Lord. And the few who aren’t, it had to do with familial issues, not public school. I believe children CAN be raised for the Lord even while attending public school. Homeschooling is not a safe-guard against rebellious children, in my opinion.

    • Jess Connell says:

      I, too, was educated in public schools.

      That said, I still fight poor training picked up there. I still fight against judging people based on their clothes, hairstyles, and “coolness,” rather than the inner heart and beauty of the inner person.

      I still fight thinking that more money = more success, even though God’s Word says otherwise.

      I still carry scars from the sexual ethos I adopted by rubbing shoulders, in that place, with sexually promiscuous peers.

      No, I’m not a “Roman” and yet, I bear the marks of one who was educated by Caesar and has to work to erase those patterns, and their effects, in my life.

      Yes, God has made good of even the negative things in my life. And yet, are those things all best? Are those things wisest? Homeschooling does not remove the inner heart of rebellion- so we can not look to it to do that, and yet it does remove the influence of foolish peers and a sexually indulgent culture of permeating the THINKING and ACTIONS of our children while they are yet young.

      Surely, every child must one day grapple with the culture they are in, and yet, must they do so at such a young age, while their thinking and worldview is so very fragile? And who will be the primary influencers of their thinking while they form that worldview? I can’t speak for you, but for me, my (often-foolish, no matter how “intelligent” they were) peers were the primary influencers of my thinking… not my parents who loved me best of all. No, their influence I spurned and rejected– I willfully turned away from the people who loved me best and ran after the world. Praise God, He is the Shepherd who seeks the wayward sheep.

      For my part, though, I am not aiming for a lack of rebellion– that is a matter of the heart… and I’ve written about that before– we can not remove the flesh from our children’s hearts… and YET, we CAN be purposeful about the input they are receiving while they are under our roof. We can allow, or disallow, movies. We can allow, or disallow, foolish/wayward friends. We can allow/disallow certain activities that would become a controlling influence in their lives, etc.

      I am not contending that homeschooling removes the capacity for sin and rebellion– nor would Dr. Baucham say that, I believe. But rather, I’m contending that homeschooling allows us to influence our children’s thinking and moderate the influences in their lives, so that they are best positioned to honor God with their lives if He calls them to be His children. (And I pray that for all of my children!)

      There are no guarantees, and certainly a public schooled child can be greatly used by God. However, as the parent, I consider: who am I giving influence in my child’s life… and for my part, primary influence will not be given away to a wicked and wayward government or its educational entities.

      Thanks for your comment & interaction.

      • Andrea Studt says:

        I really appreciate reading your clear, balanced thoughts on the above comment….because I hear it so very often and haven’t quite been able to articulate it as well as you just did. It is tough because people can be quite defensive and put up a wall and not be able to even hear the truth you just shared. So, thank you.

      • Rashira says:

        Absolutely beautiful response… Many of these were uplifting and encouraging. #11 was one that I wrote down to go in my journal. You spoke my heart here! Kudos to you for being strong in your conviction yet humble in your response. BTW… I so love the disclaimer above!

  3. Jessica says:

    Beautiful. I really appreciate these!!

  4. KB says:

    Thank you for putting this together- it’s nice to have so many great quotes in one spot.

  5. EmilyV says:

    Thanks for this …. my kids aren’t school-age yet and so we are thinking through options. I feel drawn toward home-schooling but feel COMPLETELY unequipped. I agree pretty heartily with the quotes here, yet I’m not sure I’m “cut out” to homeschool. I’m not particularly organized or self-disciplined… so I don’t know how in the world I’d get my act together enough to educate them through the next decade or so. I can barely get dinner planned and on the table!

    I, too, went to public school my entire life. Although I’m a believer now I agree with you about what you said above about bearing the scars. I also developed a lot of my social cues and norms from my peers around me and I still struggle with the influence. I was motivated by “trendiness”, acceptance, popularity, socializing, caring about what I wore… and participated in lots of of “foolish talk & coarse joking” and immoral behavior because that was completely normal amongst my peers. I’m not saying that is what happens to all kids but I was raised in church and with professing Christian parents, yet they didn’t realize what I was bombarded with at school every day. I saw & heard many things from other kids at an age too young to be equipped to deal with it.

    I don’t want to homeschool my kids out of fear, but I nod in agreement with the philosophy as summarized in your quotes.

  1. February 3, 2016

    […] 37 Encouraging Quotes for the Homeschooling Mother […]

  2. June 6, 2016

    […] a list of my favorite quotes about homeschooling, one reader took an issue with […]

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