Did you know that?
I did. For 6 years.
So, when Hubby and I decided I was going to stay at home and homeschool our children, I imagined it would be a piece of cake.
After all, teaching 3 children that I loved would be so much simpler than teaching 180 (or more) kids whom (although I cared about) I would only know that year and never see again.
I am now on my 3rd year homeschooling and I have to say, it is not the sunny path of roses I imagined it to be.
I Love Homeschooling Except that it comes With LOTS of Chores
I knew before leaving the work force that running the house would be part of my job. Children need to eat and need clean clothes and it would be nice if they lived in a sort of clean house. But I had no idea how much time and effort that was going to take. Or maybe I just didn’t realize how little I like cleaning and cooking.
Unfortunately, the house will not clean itself. Bummer.
It’s helped having much less toys and less clothes. I have found tricks to make dinner easier. And “Chores” is now a subject of the highest priority (even over math and reading). Including children in the chores really helps my attitude. “If I have to do it, you have to do it.” Heh, heh, heh.
Not only do I have all of the house chores but I also have specific homeschooling chores that only I can do like, lesson planning. I actually really like lesson planning (one of my favorite parts of being a teacher) but lesson planning for three different ages and for multiple subjects that I have never taught before is overwhelming and takes sooooooo much time.
I have learned to simplify. We all do school together (even math).
I Love Homeschooling Except When My Children Don’t
What do you mean you’re not going to do this activity I spent hours researching and preparing?!
There have been time periods in our homeschooling that involved screaming, screaming, and more screaming…and possibly some crying.
Okay, always some crying.
Isn’t Kindergarten supposed to be fun and easy? Why is there screaming and crying!
I have (very slowly) learned to back off and take the time to understand my students. Strange that I have taught hundreds of children but it took my 3 children to teach me about diversity.
I’m pretty sure this is one area I am going to struggle with until they are grown.
I Love Homeschooling Except When There’s a Baby
I really love babies. They are so cuddly and soft and they smell so wonderful. But babies and homeschooling do not always mix.
Having a baby in the house complicates everything. I wait 2 or so months after new baby comes before I start really homeschooling. I need about that long to figure out a good routine for baby.
Even when the routine is established, babies are still somewhat unpredictable, especially once they are mobile. Poopy diapers, teething, getting into everything (like the toilet, again!). I try and fit all of the school that requires my attention in during baby’s nap time. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes I have to call whatever we did get done as good enough.
I Love Homeschooling Except When I am Sick
This is going to sound harsh, but I would much rather the kids be sick than me. When the kids are sick I can take care of them. When I am sick, everything falls apart and nothing gets done.
I don’t homeschool when I am sick, but I don’t get a break either. There’s no one to call in and cover for me for a day or two. There is no substitute for Mommy.
A day or two isn’t a huge deal in the big scheme of things. What’s really hard is dealing with an illness that lasts for weeks or months. I just do the best I can and sing “Let It Go” all day.
I Love Homeschooling Except When I Compare Myself to Others
I have this image in my mind of the perfect homeschooling mother. She bakes bread every morning. She leads the children in a quiet and reverent Rosary every day. Always speaks kindly. Knows exactly how each child wants to learn and tailors lessons to them. Her home is clean, orderly, and calm. Her children are clean, orderly and calm.
I am not this mother.
Where did this mother even come from? I certainly don’t know anyone who fits this description. But she has plagued me for many years now. I cannot live up to her. When I accept my best as my best things are fine.
When I compare my home to Perfect Mom’s home, I am a horrible failure.
Is Homeschooling Worth It?
You might be saying to yourself, “Wow! Danielle, you are really struggling with homeschooling, why don’t you just quit?”
I’ve thought about it. I’ve even dabbled in online school. But the reality is that I believe that it’s worth doing. Whether it is easy or comes naturally doesn’t matter. Some things are worth the struggle and I believe this is one of them.
What Do You Struggle With?
All life has struggles, whether you homeschool or not. No matter how perfect someone may seem, there is something they are struggling with.
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