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THE HARDEST PARTS OF HOMESCHOOLING (THAT NO ONE LIKES TO TALK ABOUT)

 

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I watched the other moms from the basketball team laugh about a joke I didn’t get. Something about the school counselor or someone who forgot to bring treats for the class party–again. It stings a little, being the outsider. We’re beings created to feel like we belong to a group of people. I love homeschooling, I’m not saying I want to give that up just to get the joke, but it’s worth noting that there are things people don’t tell you when you start homeschooling–the hard stuff no one wants to mention.

Homeschooling is a road less traveled. Sometimes we overlook the hardest parts of homeschooling, just to prove we're confident in our decision. It's ok though. We mamas have doubts and worries no matter what. Here's the hardest parts of homeschooling no one wants to talk about.

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The hardest parts of homeschooling…

We homeschool mamas spend a lot of energy defending our choice. Just like bottle-feeding vs. breast-feeding or working vs. staying home or an entire list of other choices we make as human beings, we defend our choices because we obviously feel pretty strongly about them or we wouldn’t have made them. Sometimes though, in the midst of the defending, we start to sport the rose-colored glasses and spread the sugar to coat each and every aspect of our choice. We skip over the not-so-pretties because that casts a shadow and we don’t want shadows over things that are already items on the road-less-traveled list.

We don’t talk about the “school club” of moms that we aren’t in–even when we’re friends with these women, there’s still a big difference in our daily lives which causes, well, differences.

We don’t talk about the heaviness that can come when it hits us that our children’s academic life is almost all our responsibility. That’s a lot to bear some days.

We don’t always share the self-doubt we feel because that would be admitting we don’t have it all figured out and if you’re homeschooling your kid shouldn’t you have a lot of this figured out?!

We don’t share the math struggles when we don’t understand a lesson so how the he** am I supposed to teach it to my child?! Or the tears over fact sheets or a writing lesson.

We don’t want to admit when we felt overwhelmed with it all so we declared a documentary day(s) and plopped the kids in front of Netflix for a marathon of “educational” shows.

We don’t talk about the isolated feelings that homeschool moms get because, let’s face it, we’re the minority and it can be hard to find other moms near us to hang out with. We also don’t want to share the amount of time we spend chatting with online homeschool friends because they do get it and it feels good to know people that do.

We don’t generally jump at the opportunity to tell others about the weird looks we get in the grocer’s at 1pm on Monday afternoon or the passive-aggressive comments that well-meaning family members can give or the fears or pressures or doubts we have because that’s the hard parts of homeschooling,  and that doesn’t exactly recruit the troops over to Team Homeschool. But those things are there and they’re true and even though I don’t think we have to talk about them to everyone we meet, especially those already in the nay-sayer crowd, let’s at least be honest and admit that there are downsides to this homeschool gig.

Every choice we make as parents has pros and cons. Our challenge is to weigh them out and make good decisions based on the resources we have at decision time. For us, those pros outweigh the cons 25 to 1. We love this crazy life. Yes, I worry. Yes, I doubt myself. No, I’m not in the School Mom Club. But you know what? That’s ok. Because had I chosen differently, there would be worries and doubt too, just about different things.

Happy Monday, mamas. Own the decisions that you’ve made. Own it, live it, love it, or choose something else. Life let’s us change our minds, too.

 

18 Comments

  1. I feel that the hardest part of homeschooling is confidence. We often second guess ourself, wondering if we are doing it “right.” I appreciate all of the support from forums and this blog along with others. Thank you for all of the insights and tips. I’m grateful for all who continue to share valuable information to help homeschooling moms learn and stay focused on the big picture.

  2. I love this post. There is so much truth in it. This is my 9th year of homeschooling and I still struggle with not wanting to admit to other non homeschooling moms how completely overwhelmed I am. However, 80% of my friends are fellow homeschoolers. That is such an important part of this lifestyle. We need other people who know what we have going on in our lives to support us and encourage us on those hard days. It was lonely in the first year or two before I made these friends. Now, I consider them a part of my journey.

  3. We just finished our first year homeschooling, and I’m the only one I know who is doing so. I know in my heart that I’m making the best choice for my kids and for my family, but I’ve felt all of these things this year… a lot. Choosing the road less traveled is hard, but I think it will prove to be very rewarding. Thanks so much for this article and for putting into words all these thoughts and feelings I’ve been having!

  4. beautifully said!
    love your thoughts and I agree.
    I’m so sorry I’ve flaked with communication lately.
    I love being online friends with you.
    life is just so much sometimes and I often shut down into tunnel vision so that I don’t panic. ??

  5. Very inspiring and encouraging! Like other moms, I’m also in the beginning of our homeschooling journey and have recently made peace with myself that kindergarten this year is just going to be lots of play and outdoor fun! But I still find myself justifying my choice of a curriculum free kindergarten to others! This post and ll comments came in a really good time for me! The new look of the blog looks amazing too ?

  6. Thank you for your post! I just spent a sleepless night worrying about how far behind my kids are this year, realizing it’s almost April and we’re only halfway through our Sonlight history and Apologia science. And my high schooler is only on lesson 40 in Precalculus. How are we going to get it all done? I have to remember that my children are not behind anyone when we’re homeschooling. They’re learning and they’re right where they need to be.

  7. Took the words right out of my mouth. Thanks for posting this. It is a lot of much need encouragement 🙂

  8. Great post, we are in our first year homeschooling and slowly coming to realize some of these cons. But we do love the freedom that this lifestyle offers!

  9. site looks fab, Alicia! and great post. the homeschooling gig can be crazy challenging in many areas. online friends UNITE! 🙂

  10. This is lovely…and so much truth here. I’m still at the beginning of our homeschooling journey and truly, the utter isolation I feel sometimes has been difficult to endure. Even isolation from other homeschooling moms…because I’m not using the same boxed curriculum choice, so then I’m not a part of the group’s get togethers for learning enrichment. It’s a hard decision to stay this course, but in my heart I believe it is the right choice for us, and so….if I build it, they will come right? I’m in the process of starting my own group for the fall, so I’m looking for all the encouragement I can get. Thanks for this. 🙂

  11. Love this! I think the worrying and stress over the responsibility of it is something others just don’t/ can’t get. At times in not even sure my husband gets it!?

  12. Oh my goodness! Look at this new blog design! It looks great friend! Loved the post too!

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