Hey. It’s quite the thing nowadays. Homeschooling. Everyone’s doing it. They’re telling you why they love it. Why it’s right for them. But what about the flip side?
We love homeschooling! We think it’s the tops! Every good thing, though, has its drawbacks. So to be fair, here are some of its challenging aspects.
Title One, Which Draws Interest: Why I Don’t Like Homeschooling.
Title Two, Which I Prefer: What Makes Homeschooling a Great, Fun Challenge?
Lack of alone time. “I’m sorry, brain, did you say something?” There’s just about no such thing as alone time. On the spectrum, I require high levels of alone time (in my house), and this has been my biggest challenge! A helpful spouse and skillful use of a babysitter has helped ease the pain.
Messy house. Entropy at its finest. Oh, the clutter. Glitter. Glue. Shoes. Dishes. Laundry. Spills. Another spill.
Three meals a day. More dishes. “I know it’s 2 o’clock, but come on, can’t we just get through history and poetry BEFORE I make lunch?”
Dealing with sassy. “‘Don’t-ch-you’ roll your eyes at me…” When my first instinct is to yell, fuss, and holler, my newly trained response has become to bite my tongue ’til it bleeds and speak softly with a voice dripping sweet tones of kindness. It works. My tongue is so swollen I can’t say anything I’ll regret.
Rainy days. Indoor recess.
Juggling different age-levels of learning. “How about some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse?” I’d say my youngest child is the rate-limiting factor in progression of our school day. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep the older ones focused with little interruptions and disturbances.
Also, we try to do the same subjects at the same time for each child, but this gets challenging for math, grammar, phonics, and spelling due to age differences. So I’m learning flexibility.
Flexibility. Just call me a wet noodle. It is no longer, “My way or the highway.” It’s all about finding a, maybe creative, way to get needed tasks, living, and learning accomplished. Sadly, I still prefer it my way.
Wondering if “I’m doing it right.” Most of the time a homeschooling parent knows everything is going fine, but sometimes doubt creeps in. Especially when you talk to another homeschooling parent or see a friend’s extra-bright school kid. “Your kid does what/reads what/plays what/memorizes what/writes how? –Oh, well, that’s great.” Shoot, I’d better get on the ball!
Losing my identity to the world. Nobody knows what you used to do. Nobody cares where you went to college or what you majored or mastered or doctorated in. You are a stay-at home parent. H-o-m-e-m-a-k-e-r. Heck, your kids don’t even know or care. Once, my husband said to my kids, “Your mom’s a doctor.” “Nuh-uuuh. She’s mommy.” And that, folks, is why I do this. That is one heck of a compliment.
It’s all me. School doesn’t happen without me. My devoted presence allows school to be conducted in about a quarter of the time. If I manage a phone call, the plumber’s visit, or try to clean the kitchen, pretty much school stops. (Probably because I’m not doing it right.) It’s a bit annoying that I can’t get anything done sometimes without falling behind in school! (Flexibility. Yuck.)
Bad days. Scrap days. The days you throw up your hands and say, “Get outta’ here. Go. Go play.”
My kids. Oops. Slip. I guess homeschooling wouldn’t be an option without my kids. They’re the best. But I won’t lie. Homeschooling (and parenting) is a lot of work and a great challenge. It requires a lot of time and energy and creates so much worry, frustration, and fear. (Wish they’d say that when they show all those stupid “baby bumps” in People magazine.) But spontaneous hugs and “I love yous” as the kids speed through the living room on the way outside –well, I can’t even explain what that’s worth.
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” Neil Postman (NOT John Whitehead)
All the best to you today. Hope maybe you found something useful here. Terri
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