When You Don’t Love Homeschooling
There was a time when I loved homeschooling. I loved researching ideas for lessons. I loved finding interesting books and creating unit studies. I loved spending time with my kids as they enjoyed learning new things. It was a lot of work, but it was fun and I loved it.
These days homeschooling has become more of a chore than a pleasant activity. As my children are now teens, the focus is more on getting things done while making sure certain standards are met. Regrettably, my kids are mostly focused on getting things done quickly so that they can move on to other things that they deem more enjoyable than school. This makes my job as their teacher even more difficult and less enjoyable. Who wants to teach students that you know would rather be doing something else? Sometimes, you fall out of love with homeschooling.
Well aware of my lackluster disposition at the beginning of the school year and with a desire to change it, I had decided to choose a geography curriculum that was somewhat similar to the creative approach I used in our early homeschooling days. I had high hopes that this would be the change that we needed. Unfortunately, I didn’t fully understand the curriculum and instead of engaging with and completing the suggested activities, I mostly glossed over them in an effort to just get it done each day. No wonder we weren’t enjoying homeschooling. I was skipping the fun stuff!
Two weeks ago, when I fully realized the error of my ways, I decided to make a change. We were no longer just going to learn geographical facts as we studied the continents, we were going to interact with them. We would make recipes of different countries and watch videos of the places that we were studying. We would do art projects and listen to relevant music. I was saying goodbye to my lazy way of just dishing out information and would replace it with something that required more thought and planning. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you can change things up whenever you want. If something needs tweaking, you have the freedom to fix it.
So far, so good. We have already made one recipe together and I have the ingredients and library cookbooks on hand to make several more. Twice this week, we even played a free board game that I found online. As we sat in front of the wood stove on a cold winter day, I remembered why I loved homeschooling. My kids were enjoying the game. They were fully engaged. No one cared what time it was or how long we’d been playing. There was nothing else that any of us wanted to do in that moment than spend time together playing that game. We were all fully present and it was fantastic!
Maybe you have fallen out of love with homeschooling or maybe you never loved it in the first place. I can’t say that I always like homeschooling, but I know that the Lord has directed our family to it. If you have committed to homeschooling, I urge you to find what brings joy to your school day. It make take some experimentation, but it is well worth it.
Heidi Kinney is a freelance writer and editor. Her background includes professional teaching in the area of mathematics, as well as writing and editing for several educational publishers. She has been homeschooling her children since 2007. She shares homeschool resources and lessons on her website, SharedLessons.org.