God’s grace is forever amazing us. God has blessed our blended family, and we praise Him! Originally, homeschooling was just a thought—something others did but we were not ready to commit to. However, when our youngest entered first grade, we began homeschooling. And thus a new journey began—a new chapter in the book of our life.

As with all journeys, one does need to know where he is going in order to get there, and I’m a planner by nature, so this part was going to be easy. Well, let me go ahead and inform you that planning for a journey is one thing, but being the person responsible for educating a future President of the United States is a whole different concept. Our son Dillan began informing us at age 7 that he wanted to be President when he grew up. We knew that with his black and white concept of the world and his honest, truthful nature, he would make a great leader of our country. Just trying to raise a child to follow God’s plan for his life was challenging enough, but this brought the challenge to a whole new level. We eventually tailored a plan for each year, with room for changes to help him achieve his dream.

A few years passed quickly, and then we were blessed with grandchildren. Our first is a grandson who is completely 150% boy in all the ways one can imagine. He knows not how strong he is, makes his way into anything “full speed ahead,” and has a sense of humor that lights up our world. At age 3, he began coming into our homeschool environment a couple days a week. And as with siblings, uncle and nephew behaved very much the same. Well, that’s a little on the polite side. Really, in the beginning they collided a dozen times a day. I thought, “How do all those homeschooling parents do it with so many children, and I struggle with two?” Well, three at this point. We have been blessed with another grandchild, a little girl. She currently is here during her parents’ work week.

This was not in my original plan for this journey, to say the least. As in the past, I have found that my plan and God’s plan sometimes do not line up. Thankfully, He is perfectly capable of giving us the resources and strength we need in order to be the parents and grandparents He wants us to be.

Speaking of resources, we have tried many and left many. The Institute for Excellence in Writing has by far won us over with the reluctant writer in our home. Thank goodness. We also are currently using Alpha Omega Publications, Sonlight, and Prima Latina.

One of our biggest challenges is time management. We do not always know when we will have a grandchild or two and maybe three in our home, as we also have another grandson who has joined our family, staying for the day. Flexibility is one of the things I have to keep in the forefront of my mind as I go through each day. Grandbabies grow up fast, just as our children do, and every moment is one when we can plant seeds in their lives for the future God has planned for them. The bonus with homeschooling is that you can adjust your day and change how it flows to fit in those moments or hours. The day I discovered that it was okay to get off schedule was a very beautiful day. It was a better day when I let go of the “I must perfectly clean my house because my mother-in-law is coming over” kind of day. Yes, that spotless floor has been replaced with the joyous sound of children playing and remodeling a room with remnants of toys.

We are fortunate to live in an area where urban farming is allowed. We have a small but efficient garden to learn from, as well as chickens that naturally provide us with eggs. The awe in a child’s eye when he sees where food comes from is quite priceless, and the unit studies are endless. Certainly we have been known to barter with our eggs. After all, we do have plenty, and the barter system actually led my husband and me to the beginning of our relationship.

As the days pass, we feel very blessed to have a wonderful family that continues to grow, learn from one another, and maintain a humble unity. With all that God has blessed us with, it is a joy—and a challenge—to have all these things happening under one roof!

Terri Lore and her husband Michael homeschool and have an electrical contracting business they run from home in Florida. Terri enjoys urban farming, raising chickens, quilting, writing, and being a mom, as well as being a Nana. For more information about any of her hobbies or wisdom with a blended family, email her at terri.lore@yahoo.com.

Copyright, 2011. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse®Magazine, Fall 2011. Visit The Old Schoolhouse® at www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com  to view a full-length sample copy of the magazine especially for homeschoolers. Click the graphic of the moving computer monitor on the left. Email the Publisher at Publisher@TheHomeschoolMagazine.com.