Homeschooling When a Parent Lives With You

Homeschooling When a Parent Lives WIth You


Three years ago (March 2010) my mom came to live with my family of 6 due to a recent diagnosis of dementia. It was very difficult to bring her in, especially when we were living in a 3 bedroom, 1600 square foot home. I was in the middle of homeschooling my three boys, which at the time were 14, 12, and 9 years old.

This wasn’t the first time that my mom had come to live with us. But, this time was a permanent move, since her health had deteriorated to the point where she needed assistance. Within a few months we were scrambling to find a bigger house to move to, so that we could feel less pressured with everyone in the same room all the time! It was quite challenging to homeschool and have an elderly mom sitting and commenting at us 20 feet away all day!

2010 was a difficult year for us. We filed bankruptcy due to my husband’s job loss (and no hope of finding a new job during the recession in 2009). We had to take my mom into our home so we could be caregivers. We were trying to move so we could short-sell our home of 11 years (which ended up in foreclosure). We were living by pure faith as my husband was trying to work from home as a freelance web designer. We were homeschooling the three boys while I was going to college online as a half-time student. Later that year we also took care of my husband’s father, who was diagnosed with stage 2 (almost stage 3) breast cancer. He spent two months with us after recovery from a partial mastectomy. Yes, men can get breast cancer, even at 78 years of age!

It is definitely not an easy road when someone has to walk a path that is unknown by most people. Most of our friends have said at one time or another, “Why don’t you put your kids into school so you can get a break?” Or, “Why don’t you just put your mom into a nursing home?” They don’t understand that we have thought through all of these options, but our family works best when we are all together under one roof.

Fast forward to the present time, and we still have my mom living with us. Her dementia has progressed only slightly since it is not Alzheimers. Yes, we have had to move twice since we left our sweet home. My husband found a full-time job this past February, and for the first time in our marriage we are finally getting caught up with our finances. Still, all the days seem to blend together as we continue to do life together. It is hard to get through some days because we do not get any reprieve from the care-giving. But, the one lesson I have learned through all of this is that God has ordained it from the beginning, and He knows what is best for us. When the time comes for us to stop homeschooling, or to put my mom into an assisted living facility, we will know for sure because we will have full confirmation from God.

Until then, we remain faithful and loyal to each other. We are showing our children to think about others (and not just about self); we are praying with our children that God will continue to bless us as we reach out to our friends; we are hoping that God will use our story to encourage others to stick with Him during the hard time. Both easy and difficult times are temporary; the only constant thing is God’s presence and provision.


Jeanne CerroneJeanne Cerrone is a homeschooling advocate and mother to four children (three teenage boys and one girl). She has been married to her sweet husband, Robert, for 17 years, and she currently lives on a 1-acre homestead in Peoria, AZ. Her passion includes teaching, reading, sewing, exercise, and nutrition. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Northern Arizona University. You can follow more of her story at


  1. Bless you, Jeanne. You have really had a rough season. I’m sorry. But you certainly are showing your children and our Lord that certain things matter more than others. I pray you continue to prosper and are blessed for what you’re doing.

    • Hi Gail,
      Thank you for your kind words. I think it was a bit ironic that three days after I contacted Sarah about posting this article, my sweet mother passed away (June 13). It was such a shock to our whole family, since we had no idea that she would be taken by a massive bleeding stroke. But, God is good to us, and we have been on a path of healing since that time. I now believe that God will use my story to help encourage others who are facing similar circumstances. I am so thankful that Sarah posted the story, and that its message will be heard.

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