When I tell people that I homeschool my children, I am met with one of two responses. “Wow, that is great.” “There is no way that I could ever do that with my children.” Occasionally, someone will surprise me, but those are the general responses I hear.
I will admit that sometimes I respond with “you and me both” when people tell me there is no way they could ever do that with their children. I think there is this common misconception that people make about parents who homeschool. They think we have the patience of Job and that we love every single moment.
Let me be real with you for one second. There are days that I have hated homeschooling. There, I said it. Sometimes, I feel like I am pulling petals off a flower. “I love homeschool. I love it not. I love homeschool. I love it not.”
My children are stair-stepped. I have a 6th grader, a 5th grade, and a 4th grader. Their curriculums are the same with the exception of spelling and math. Everything else we work at a 5th/6th grade level. Even with these common classes, it is hard. Homeschooling is harder to me than being a public-school teacher ever was. But why?
For one, I am always with my children. I love them from the very depths of my soul. However, I really don’t get time away from them. Even now, when they are spending quality time with their dad, two of them have come upstairs to talk to me. I am their constant; therefore, I am their go-to person. I love this, but there are times when I need to not be. Times when I have deadlines to meet or when I am not feeling well.
Another reason homeschooling is harder is because of the many hats I must wear. Kid not feeling well? I am the nurse. Kid acting out? I am the principal. Kid making a huge mess? I am the custodian, with their help. In addition, I am the counselor, the librarian, the cook, and every single job in between. It all falls on me.
I am at a point where I have times that I fall out of love with homeschool. I know that it is best for my children at this point in time, but I am not loving all of it. So, how do I fall in love with it again?
First, I must look at what aspects of homeschool that I love. I love being home with my children. We have had many laughs and made a lot of memories during our homeschool time.
I love the freedom that we have. Because we can homeschool from anywhere, we can take vacations any time during the year. We have taken school work with us when we went to Tennessee, at hospitals, and doctor offices. We have done work at the ball field while a sibling was practicing. Instead of us living our lives around school, we work school into our lives.
I love being able to control what my children learn about. I control the social issues they are made aware of and get to explain these issues in the way my husband and I see to be the best.
I love that I can meet my kids where they are at. They had a weaker understanding of science and social studies. We started at a 3rd grade level last year and are now working at a 6th grade level in science and a 5th grade level in social studies.
I love that my children are fostering important life skills. They have learned how to help with lunch, how to grocery shop, and how to mail letters. They have learned how to socialize with people of all ages.
After looking at all the things that I love about homeschooling, it gets harder to see the things that I don’t love, but I can still see them. The bickering among siblings, the stress of getting everything planned, the feelings of whether I am doing enough.
How do I fix those things? Truth be known, I am not sure that there is an easy solution. However, all I can do is keep reassuring myself that what I am doing is making a difference in my children’s lives and focus on the aspects that I really do love. All-in-all, I do love homeschool. The problem is that I see it as a job, one that I am not paid for. I don’t know that anyone loves everything about homeschooling, their job, their spouse, their house. As humans, we tend to pick things apart and analyze everything. I need to focus on the experiences and the joy that it brings me so that I love homeschool as much as I possibly can.
Joanna Yates – I am a 36 year old mom of 3 beautiful children. My husband and I adopted our 3 children from foster care. We live in Kentucky, but live to vacation anywhere with a beach. I taught public school for 12 years before stopping to homeschool my children. I am a Christian.