Monday, July 06, 2015

August Start Day Planners are Currently Sold Out

The August 2015 to July 2016 Day Planners are currently sold out.  We will be filling all open orders the week of July 15th.  If we have any additional stock after all orders are filled, then we will make those Day Planners available in our shop that same week.  If you see an active listing in our Etsy shop, that means that we have some planners available for immediate shipment.

If you would like to be notified if planners become available, please go to our Etsy shop and sign up to be notified when we are off of vacation mode.

XO,
Emmy

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Personalize your Cover

One of my favorite things about Much Ado About You was creating beautiful, personalized covers.  It was also the part that ate up all my profits.  Making personalized, handmade products is very time consuming when you are filling hundreds of orders a month.

But if you want to make one cover for your own planner, it only takes a few minutes!



I made this for myself yesterday, and I am crazy in love with it.  It's so me.  [Also, did you notice that YELLOW pen loop???  How fun is that?  Get yours at throneofgrace.com]

So here's how to make one for yourself:





You know what stinks?  There are no scrapbooking stores left around here.  Do you have one???  Well, if you don't, check out some online stores like A Cherry on Top or Scrapbook.com.

You will only need one sheet of paper, but if you're like me you might order 30 or 40 and then use several.  I actually only ended up using one piece of scrapbook paper on mine, and then three solid pieces [a yellow, a black, and a white] as accents.



The finished size of your cover should be 7.75" x 9.5".




There are two ways you can swap out your cover.  One you can do at home... the other, unless you happen to own a binding machine, you will need to go to an office store to do.

If you don't want to have to have your planner rebound at an office store, simply glue your new cover onto the provided cover of your Day Planner.  I intentionally left it white, so that it would be easy for ya'll to highlight your own creativity.

If you'd like your cover to be bound into your planner, you can take it to your local office supply store, and they should be able to do it for you.  Our local Staples charges I think $3.99 to bind something... they may charge you less since you already have the binding.

If you decide to go this route, you could also swap out the back cover.  I laminated a plain black piece of cardstock [with 10mil lamin] for mine.  It will stand up a little better than the cover provided [I'm working on improving that back cover for the next line].  I like rounded corners on my covers, so if you want rounded corners on your back cover you will need to round the correct corners before and after it is laminated.

I would LOVE to see what you guys come up with for your covers!  Please post pics on IG and tag me [@itsjustemmy].

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Day Planner Resources for Days

The Day Planners are in the shop!


I'm so excited for you to see the new Day Planners.  I am IN LOVE with the paper that my printer used.  It is so high quality, and bright, and beautiful.  

I kept the planners simple to keep the cost down and to make this business work for me.  And now I can't wait to jazz mine up with some of the resources below.  To get to each shop, just click on their shop header image.

[These are all shops that I came across myself.  None of them have asked me to share or are sponsoring this post.]




You will want one.  Then you will want one for every book in your house.  



I have to admit... when I first saw this post I COULD NOT figure out what this product was.  I looked through her whole shop trying to figure it out, and then I *almost* convo'd the shop owner to ask her, but I was too embarrassed.  Then Robyn came over and started telling me about these rad things that you can use to snap anything into your spiral binding.  Like you could stick an invitation to them.  Or a zipper pouch.  Or an appointment card.  And EUREKA!  I realized THAT'S what I was looking at this morning.  And now I want a million of these.  It's brilliant.


She also has snap-on laminated covers that you could add to your planner easily.  Select "It's Just Emmy" from the options menu on her listings and she will make sure that your order will fit your planner.  *FOR 15% OFF YOUR ORDER ENTER THE CODE: ITSJUSTEMMY15 AT CHECKOUT*


I miss my fancy, pretty, personalized covers.  But those days are gone.  Or at least on hold.  So perhaps I can interest you in a Fabric Planner Cover?




All of these vendors have said that they can make a cover to fit my planner.  Just be sure to let them know when you order that you are covering the It's Just Emmy Day Planner.



Again, My Pretty Week let me know that she can make these tab pages to fit my planners.  There is a drop down menu on each listing to select the planner style that you want your dividers to fit in.  Select "Just Emmy Planner" [she was limited on characters, so the It's was nixed] before adding the time to your cart.










And last, but not least... my favorite thing... STICKERS!  As my friend Jen said the other day, looking through these shops is like looking through calendar porn.  I want to buy ALL THE STICKERS.  I kept my layouts really simple, crisp, and clean black & white on this planner, which means that these stickers will really stand out!  You can find hundreds of options on Etsy, but here are my favorites.








Tell them I sent you!  And don't forget to tell your friends about the NEW and IMPROVED, used-to-be-Much-Ado-About-You Planners!

XOXO,
Emmy

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Instauctions

Okay, so I haven't really blogged in almost a year.

Instagram ate my blog.

But I have recently had the opportunity to help a couple of friends who are trying to organize Instauctions for big causes, and since I have run so many I can practically do it with my eyes shut [and have learned all the what-not-to-dos along the way], I thought it was high time I resurrect my blog and put this out there for anyone else needing help.

So here you go.  You might wanna grab a glass of wine and settle in...



Choose a date, start and end time, and a title for your auction.

Here are my recommendations about these things.

For the date: I recommend ending on a Thursday evening.  Midweek is definitely best.  People are busy with their families on the weekend.

For the start and end time: Keep in mind that you need to consider time zones.  If you close the auction at 9pm PST that means that your East Coast followers will have to stay awake until midnight to place their final bids.  You will lose some bidders.  I generally close between 6 and 7pm PST, which seems to work best for everyone.

For the title: Keep is simple.  I *highly* recommend opening new IG and gmail accounts for your auction, so keep that in mind when choosing your name.  Don't make it too long for a good hashtag.  [Be sure to check availability of usernames for IG and gmail before settling on a title.]




As I said before, I *highly* recommend opening new IG and gmail accounts for your auction.

You will need a gmail account in order to use my system, and just trust me on the fact that having a separate account for the auction will make your life much easier.  [You may even have to open multiple email accounts, but we'll get to that later.]  I suggest using the title of your auction, for example if your auction is called "The Smith's Adopt" make your email thesmithsadopt@gmail.com.

Same goes with the IG account.  Make it @thesmithsadopt.  Opening a separate IG account will keep you from flooding your follower's feeds and possibly losing them.  I always post reminders and sneak peeks on my regular account for all my followers to see, but all the auction items go on the new account.




Click on the links below to open my spreadsheets.

Auction Vendors
Auction Winners

You will need to save a copy of each one to your own Google Drive account [be sure you are logged in under your auction gmail account]. To do that, just click on the File menu and select Make a Copy.  Title them whatever you'd like.  Now you will have an editable file in your drive.

The Vendor Spreadsheet is where you will store all the information for your auction and eventually you will just cut and paste information from the Vendor Spreadsheet into the Winner spreadsheet. You will use both of these spreadsheets for your mail merge, but more information on that in steps 9 & 11.

You can adjust the column titles to whatever works best for you, add or delete as you like, but THERE ARE TWO COLUMNS ON EACH SPREADSHEET THAT YOU CANNOT CHANGE.  On the Vendor Spreadsheet, do not change columns C or Q, and on the Winners Spreadsheet, do not change columns B or F.  These are the columns that make the mail merge work.  I have highlighted them in green so that you will remember to leave them as is.



Contact shops that you have relationships with and ask them to donate an item for your auction.  If you don't know them personally, be sure you explain who you are, how you know of them, and why you are fundraising.  Keep it short and sweet, but pull on heartstrings as best you can.  Chances are these vendors get lots of requests so don't be offended if you don't hear back from them or if you get a no.

Be sure you include the following in your initial contact:
  • Who you are
  • What your cause is
  • The date of your auction
  • What they need to do if they would like to donate an item
  • The date that you need their donation information by
  • Ask for their email address
No matter how you are contacting them [IG DM, Etsy Convo, text} be sure that you get their email address so that you can email them the info on their item's winning bidder.  To use my system you have to have email addresses.  You'll see why later.

As you receive donations be sure to record all the appropriate information in your Vendor Spreadsheet.  This is where you need to STAY ORGANIZED.  Keeping all the info in your spreadsheet will save you lots of time and headache.  Make it a habit of adding at least the vendor name into the spreadsheet as soon as you hear from them so that you won't forget about their donation.  You can always fill in the rest of the information later.

Be sure to let vendors know that they will hear from you via email once the auction is closed, and remind them not to ship anything until they have confirmation from you that the winner has paid.




Because you are using a separate IG account, you can start posting your donations as they come in.  This will make it much easier than trying to post them all on auction day, and it will get people excited about the auction items!

For each item I use this format [feel free to copy and paste]:

Item 1: Item Title
Donated by: Shop IG
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Retail Price: $
Bidding Starts at: $
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 
To bid please leave your email address and bid amount and TAG THE PREVIOUS BIDDER. 
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Auction opens Thursday, March 12th at 9:00am PST. ALL BIDS POSTED BEFORE THIS TIME WILL BE DELETED.

IG is terrible about line breaks and does not always keep them once you post.  The dotted lines will serve as line breaks and will help keep your information clear and easily read.

You need to be sure to use item numbers for my system.  It will make your life a lot easier, trust me.




Before you begin your auction, post rules and information that your bidders will need.

These are the rules I post:

The Smith's Adoption Auction starts Thursday, March 12th at 9:00am PST and will run through 7:00pm PST. For more information on the cause we are supporting click on the link in our profile. 
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 
To bid on an item, please leave your email address and bid amount and TAG THE PERSON YOU ARE OUTBIDDING. 
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 
Please bid in whole dollar increments. 
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Shipping is included within the US.
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 
We will begin closing items at 7:00pm PST. This will take some time. Each item is open for bidding until it is marked CLOSED 
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 
Happy bidding! 





Be sure to post that BIDDING IS OPEN!  Then keep an eye on your items.  Try to answer questions when you can.  If you notice that someone bids out of order, for instance someone has already bid $40 and someone below them bids $38, comment to recognize the highest bidder.  I usually say "Oops @soandso, it looks like @theothersoandso had a higher bid.  @thethersoandso is the current high bid at $40."

If a bidder forgets to tag the previous bidder, I will usually comment and say "Don't forget to tag the previous bidder!  @soandso, it looks like you were outbid."

You will get the most bids in the first and last hour of the auction. Don't panic if you aren't getting tons of bids all day.





Be sure to give good warnings about the close of the auction.  I like to start with a 1 hour warning, then a 30 minute warning, then a 15 minute and a 5 minute warning.  At the 5 minute warning I remind them that we will START the closing in 5 minutes, and that each item will remain open to bids until it says CLOSED.  This usually makes for a good bidding frenzy and also makes it a little more fair because people can't just swoop in at the last second.  They don't know when the last second will be.

If you have a lot of items, you will have trouble closing.  I'm just warning you.  IG freaks out when you are posting quickly and can shut you down.  If you have more than 30 items I suggest having friends help you with the closing.  In that case I will say when I post the rules that items will be closed when marked CLOSED by... and then list whoever is helping me.  If you have friends helping, just assign each person certain numbers to close.

When closing, it is best to not use the exact same phrase on each post.  That is what makes IG freak.  If you just vary it slightly, then you should be okay.  I will post things like "this item is CLOSED", "CLOSED", and "all done, this is CLOSED".  By varying it a little, you should be able to keep posting.  If it stops allowing you to post, wait a minute or two and then you should be able to continue.

Just worry about getting the items closed, and then you can go back and tag winners.

Once every item is closed I then go back and tag each winner and remind them of their winning bid amount.  I also let them know to expect an email within the next 24 hours from [whatever email address you created] with payment instructions.  I say something like "Congratulations @soandso!  You are the winner at $40.  You will receive an email from thesmithsadopt@gmail.com within the next 24 hours with payment instructions."




Now you need to get all the information into your Vendor Spreadsheet.  The awesome thing about using Google Drive is that you can share your spreadsheet with friends and they can help you with this part.  Anyone that you allow editing access to will be able to input information into the spreadsheet.  So again, you could assign each friend a certain set of item numbers and they could input all the info into your spreadsheet for those particular items.

You are now going to use your spreadsheets to send your first mail merge, which will be the Payment Instructions email to all the winners.

One note: It is very helpful to know how to sort your spreadsheet.  If you don't know how to sort, click here for Google's explanation.  I go back and forth between having the Vendor Spreadsheet sorted in alphabetical order by the Vendor and sorted by the item number, depending on what I am doing, and you will need to be able to sort the Winner Spreadsheet in alphabetical order by the winners.

Once you have everything filled out in your Vendor Spreadsheet, it is time to copy and paste into your Winner Spreadsheet.

After you have all the information in the Winner Spreadsheet, sort it by Winner.  You will probably have people that have won more than one auction item.  You will only want to send one email to each winner.  Sending more than one is likely to send you to the spam folder.  So at this point you need to go through your spreadsheet and combine information on people with more than one item.  For example, if Jane Smith won item 3 for $25 and item 35 for $40, then in one row under Item Number you put "3 & 35" and under Bid Amount you put "$65".  Then you will want to delete the second row for Jane.

Once you have only one row for each winner, you are ready to send the mail merge.

To do the mail merge:

1. Open your gmail account that you have created for the auction.

2. Click compose and draft an email that you will send to the winners.  Leave the Recipient email blank.  Here is the email that I send:

*PLEASE BE SURE TO READ THIS ENTIRE EMAIL THOROUGHLY AS IT SHOULD ANSWER ALL YOUR QUESTIONS*


Dear $%Winner IG%,

Thank you so much for participating in the Smith's Adoption Instauction!  We cannot thank you enough for your support of our family.

Congratulations on winning the following item number(s):
$%Item Number%

The total that you owe is:
$%Bid Amount%

In order to save us HOURS of time invoicing and to avoid losing money to PayPal fees, we are going to attempt to have you all pay by simply sending the amount you owe directly to our Adoption Fund through PayPal.  {Of course please feel free to send more if you would like to make an additional donation.}  

Please send the amount stated above to: janesmith@gmail.com

Once you have sent your payment, reply to this email letting us know that you have paid and please be sure to provide your full name and shipping address so that we can pass that info along to the vendor.

If you purchased an item with custom options, the vendor will contact you directly.

If you do not have a PayPal account you will not be able to send money in this way.  In that case, please reply to this email and let us know that you need us to send you an invoice.  You do not need a PayPal account to pay an invoice.

To pay with a PayPal account, please see the detailed instructions below. 
1. Go to www.paypal.com and login
2. Click on the "Send Money" tab
3. Fill in the email address: emmy@choosejoyevent.com
4. Fill in the donation amount {at least the amount above}
5. Select the "family or friends" option {this will send the money without incurring fees}
6. A new screen will come up for you to review your payment and confirm.  PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED THE CORRECT EMAIL ADDRESS. 
7. In the "Message" field please make a note of the item number(s) you are paying for
8. Click "Send Money"
PLEASE MAKE YOUR PAYMENT WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS OR WE WILL MOVE ON TO THE NEXT HIGHEST BIDDER. 
Thank you again for your generous support and for making our auction a HUGE success!
XO,
Jane Smith


You probably noticed some funky characters up there within the email.  This is how the mail merge works.  In the places where you see something like "$%Winner IG%" gmail will pull the information from your spreadsheet to fill in the correct name on each email it sends.  

3. Save the email to your drafts folder.

4. Go back to your Winner Spreadsheet and click on the Mail Merge menu.  Click on "Step 1: Initialize" and then click "Accept" to give this application permission to run your mail merge.

5. If it doesn't take you directly to the next step, then click on the Mail Merge menu again and then "Step 2: Start Mail Merge".

6. Under "Please select your Mail Merge template" you will want to find the subject line of your winner email and select it.  Under "Please write the sender's full name" you can either put your name or the name of your Auction.

7. DO NOT CHECK THE BOX THAT SAYS "BCC YOURSELF".  You are limited to sending 100 emails a day through gmail Mail Merge.  If you BCC yourself it counts each email sent as 2 emails.

8. Click "Start Mail Merge", and now watch the magic happen.  As each email is sent EMAIL_SENT will appear in the Mail Merge column.  It will only take a few seconds to send all your emails.

*PLEASE NOTE: GOOGLE WILL ONLY ALLOW YOU TO SEND 100 EMAILS PER DAY.*
If you have more than 100 winners, you will need to open a second gmail account to send more emails.  If you have to do that, then I suggest just adding a 2 to your original email.  For instance, if your email is thesmithsadopt@gmail.com, make the new one thesmithsadopt2@gmail.com.  You will need to put a copy of the email in the drafts folder of this email account, and you will need to share your spreadsheets with this email address so that you can send the mail merge from here also.

This is kind of a pain, as you will have two email accounts you will have to check and track, but unless you have a VERY large auction you probably won't need to do this.  I ran an auction last year that had about 135 items, and I had enough duplicate winners that I still had less than 100 emails to send.




Be sure to post on IG that you have sent the payment instructions.  If you have time I would also recommend tagging the winner in each item post and letting them know that you have sent the email.




As the payments come in and you receive replies from the winners, be sure to record everything in your Vendor Spreadsheet.  Within 24 hours hopefully you will have the majority of the payments received.  It's important to get the winner's information to the vendors as soon as possible so that they can get the items shipped.

After 24 hours I suggest sending your first round of emails to the vendors.  So here's how that process should go:

1. If you have not received payment from a winner, type "No Payment" in the Winner column.

2. Compose an email in your gmail account to your vendors.  This is the email that I use:

Good Afternoon!

Thank you again for participating in the the Smith Family Adoption Auction.  It was a huge success, raising over $5000!!!  Well beyond our goal.  

Below is the information for the winner of your donation.  If you donated more than one item you will get separate emails for each item.  If under "Winner's Name" it says "NO PAYMENT" that means that we still have not received payment on your item and are working on contacting the buyer.  If we don't receive their payment by today we will move on to the next bidder.  As soon as we have a paying bidder we will forward the information on to you.

Item: $%Item%
Winner's Name: $%Winner%
Winner's IG Name: $%Winner IG%
Winner's Email Address: $%Winner Email%
Winner's Mailing Address: $%Shipping Address%

If you need any information from the winner like color or size choice, please contact them directly.

Thank you again!

XOXO,
Emmy and team
  
3.  Do another mail merge, this time from your Vendor Spreadsheet.




No matter how organized you are, there will be some people that won't pay you on time.  Even though you have asked them to pay within 24 hours, they won't.

At the end of 24 hours I go through my spreadsheet and anyone that has not paid I tag again on their item post.  I will say something like "@soandso, did you get the payment instructions email?  I have not received your payment confirmation and shipping address.  Please pay by tonight at midnight PST or we will move on the the next bidder.  Thanks!"

I try to give as much grace as possible, but usually if I have not had any contact within 48 - 72 hours then I will move on to the next highest bidder.

On rare occasion I will repost a few items in a mini-auction that I will run for maybe 3 hours or so.




If you need to resend an email to a winner or a vendor, it is super easy to do through the mail merge.  Simply erase the EMAIL_SENT from the Mail Merge column of anyone that you would like to resend the email to.  It can be one person or several, or all of the people... so if you wanted to send a different email than the first one you sent you can compose a second draft, delete all the EMAIL_SENT text from the mail merge column, and redo the mail merge.

For the vendors whose winner's pay late, you will need to resend their emails as you collect the winner's information.




I think that pretty much covers it.  If you have any question at all, please comment below and I will respond.  If you have a question, I'm sure that someone else will have the same question.

Good luck with your auction!  If you use my system, I would LOVE to hear from you about how much money you raise so we can keep track and celebrate all the people that are being helped.  Because if you know me, you know that #peoplehelpingpeopleismyfavorite.

XOXO,
Emmy

Monday, June 08, 2015

Day Planners are Back!

I started this blog to start over after closing my planner business.  I honestly never thought I'd be back.  But I have tried and tried to find a planner that makes as much sense to me as mine did, and I just haven't.  I have tried several of the more popular ones, and even a few cheapies from the office supply store and Target.  Nothing that works for me like mine did.

So here I am.  Getting ready to open sales on Day Planners once again.


Those of you that have used my planners before will find that the layout and quality of this planner is just what you expect.  The main difference is that I will not be offering personalized, decorative covers.  The cover will be a very simple white cardstock, with a clear protective cover over that.  I will be posting some tutorials on how to fancify your own cover [do you like that word I just made up?], and I will even suggest some Etsy shops where you can purchase fabric covers if you'd like.

If you've never used my planner, here's a little low down on the layout:


The planner includes Monthly and Weekly layouts.  The Weekly Layouts include hourly columns for the weekdays, and large spaces for the weekends.  Each weekday has an area at the bottom that you can use for whatever you like.  I like to use that space for meal planning, to do lists, and it is where I put things like birthdays and anniversaries.


You will also receive a sticker sheet of Monthly Tabs that you can easily insert yourself in the clearly marked locations on the appropriate pages.  You will get instructions... don't worry... I promise YOU can do this easily.  It should take you no more than 10 minutes.

The planners are spiral bound with plastic spiral binding [not metal... I hate metal bindings].

There are 12 notes pages included in the back of the planner.  You will also find Year at a Glance pages for 2015 and 2016, and a two-page spread for August 2016 thru July 2017 that will give you ample space to start planning events well in advance.

The best part to me is the price.  $25 [plus shipping].  Even the cheapy office supply store planners are more expensive than that.  I guarantee you will find this is the best value for your money!

Soon I will post a Planner Resource Checklist with lots of awesome vendors and products that I think you will find helpful.

I'm hoping to have my sample in hand very soon and can post lots of pics for you.  And if all goes as planned, the planners will be on sale in my Etsy shop on June 15th.

Questions?  Please feel free to comment below and I'm happy to answer and questions you have.

XOXO

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

A Guest Post: Jessica Johnson

My friend Jessica Johnson wrote this amazing blog post the other day and I asked her if I could share it here.  As I get older I find myself being less and less judgmental.  I guess it is part of maturing and realizing that you don't, in fact, know everything, and that indeed everyone is fighting a hard battle so you should just be kind as often as possible.

I have also come to realize that we win people over through love not judgment.

So as I read Jessica's post I just kept saying, yes! yes! yes!  I hope you will too.  You can read more of Jess' writing over on her blog at A Million Things.



Sometimes on Sunday mornings Dave turns his back to the congregation and faces the stage, mid-sermon.

He preaches to himself.

He even says that.

"I'm preaching to myself here, guys."

And I type with that sentiment.

I'm mostly blogging to myself here.

But I'm only half the equation.

So I realize it kind of falls short.

I guess I just want you to feel like we're in this together.



Because we are.

And anything otherwise would contradict the heart behind my words.

But I think we need a reminder, Christian moms.







Enough is enough with the judgment over schooling choices.

The conversations we have with like-minded friends under the guise of "encouragement" or "fellowship" that quickly turn south.



And we start them knowing they will turn south.

The screen shots and snarky texts we send.

The comments we make under our breath and the thoughts in our heads.



The finger pointing and misguided passion.



The delighting in weaknesses and short-comings to prove our stance is correct.




The public school mom who scoffs at the homeschool family learning in their PJs.

Or having a math lesson at a convenience store.


The homeschool mom who, although she may not say it, carries herself with arrogance and believes in her heart she loves her children more.




The public school mom who ignorantly assumes homeschool moms are overprotective, overwhelmed and raising children ill-equipped for real life.



The homeschool mom who shares news articles about our failing public school system every chance she gets.



Even though she's never stepped foot on a public school campus.



The public school mom who arrogantly comments on posted news articles, proudly proving she's not sending her children off to the wolves.



Even though she doesn't know for sure.



The homeschool mom who judges the public school mom for having her head in the sand and being lazy.

Or even worse?

The implication that she can't possibly love her children if she is willing to expose them to the "evils" of the public school system.




The public school mom jealous of the greater influence a homeschool mom may have on her children.


The homeschool mom jealous of a public school mom's late morning pedicure.


The public school mom who doesn't "like" a picture on Instagram because it has a home education hashtag.


The homeschool mom who doesn't post a comment on a picture on Facebook because it has a public school location geotag.

None of this is good, you guys.

Or healthy.

Or edifying.

Let's stop.






Because here's the deal.

Homeschool mom is doing her best.

She loves her children.

She takes seriously her role as parent.

She messes up.

She is tired and weary and scared.



Public school mom is doing her best.

She loves her children.

She takes seriously her role as parent.

She messes up.

She is tired and weary and scared.



We need to trust that we're each doing what's right and best for our family.

We need to love each other.

And support each other.

And not let feelings of inadequacy, insecurity or envy cloud our emotions.

Or worse?

Fracture our friendships. 

Because there is a wedge.



And as the American Christian homeschool movement gains momentum, it's getting worse.

I see it.

Online.

In churches.

I see friend circles based on schooling choices.

I even see divide within the homeschool community over curriculum.

I see popular Christian preachers calling for a mass exodus out of the public school system.



I hear it in our tone when we talk about it.

It's getting kind of crazy, you guys.

It makes me sad.

And honestly.

I think Paul would be angry.



He might even swear.



Because it's rubbish.




It's imperative that we abandon the mindset that there is only one way to educate our children.

That homeschooling produces anti-social, uneducated and narrow-minded individuals.


Or that homeschooling is biblically mandated.

And that Satan himself is running the American pubic school system.


And he isn't.





Here's the reality.

The public school system has deep flaws.

It also has great triumphs.


The home education system has deep flaws.

It also has great triumphs.


Through all of it, God is still in control.

And without relinquishing our own control and relying on Him,

we don't stand a chance.


If I, public school mom, want zero judgment.

I need to judge zero myself.


If you, homeschool mom, want me to respect you and your choices.

You need to respect and trust mine.




We all want our kids to be decent humans and know and follow Jesus.

But that happens through prayer.

And study of Scripture.

And implementing the things of God into your family time.

At 10:30 am.

Or 3:30 pm.


Ultimately, it happens through God's sovereign work in our children's hearts.

It's not contingent on any specific learning environment or curriculum.

Likewise, it can't be thwarted by any specific learning environment or curriculum.


Press on in confidence, mamas.

Be praying.

Be learning.

Be loving and unified.

We miss out when we're not.

We're all doing our best.

Be quicker to give each other the benefit of the doubt than to say I told you so.





Public school moms, let's be praying for our friends that homeschool.



For patience and wisdom and endurance.



Homeschool moms, let's be praying for our friends that choose public school.



For encouragement and assurance and that their families would make a difference on campus.



Our children learn the most from watching us.



All day long in a homeschool setting.



Or after they are done with a full day of public school.



Our influence is the same.



And we want them to see Jesus.

So let's be sure we're showing them what He looks like.