After homeschooling for about 19+ years, I’ve given up thousands of hours of free time, a lucrative career, put my health on the back burner, and some years I regrettably spent way more time with my kids than my husband. I felt like quitting homeschool many times, hated homeschooling more times that I can count, and many times I’ve felt like all I was doing was arguing with kids. If I wasn’t debating with one of them, I felt like my brain cells were being agonizingly sucked out by doing another mind-numbing math algorithm.
I’m pulling back the curtain to reveal the ugly side of homeschooling. Today, I’m sharing just 4 undeniable reasons people hate homeschooling because you and I both know there are more. In the spirit of keeping it real and because I want you to know that I’m not a supermom, I hope by exposing to you the overwhelming struggles that homeschooling moms endure, you’ll be prepared to confront them head-on.
I need to tell you a story first. It won’t take too long, I promise. But you need to know where I’m coming from.
In my last weeks of pregnancy with Mr. Senior 2013, he was breech. The doctor told me he wanted to perform a version, an external procedure where the doctor turns the baby. With both hands on the surface of your stomach, one hand is by the baby’s head and the other by his butt. The doctor pushes and rolls the baby to a head-down position.
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With my husband beside me and a staff of doctors ready to do the procedure, my doctor gently reminded me again that this procedure is one of the most painful procedures in childbirth. By not sugarcoating it, I could somehow prepare my mind and body or so I thought.
Though the experience was one of the most agonizing of my life, the result was that my son was born healthy and headfirst after the procedure. Nothing could of prepared me for the pain. No mindset even came close.
Some years of homeschooling are similar. No amount of mental preparation seems to make you ready for the fact that homeschooling takes over your life.
Like that procedure, I needed to have my mind and body ready for the task ahead.
Homeschoooling is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and there are more times than I can count that I hated it.
I’m hoping by sharing these 4 not so glamorous things about homeschooling and a few ways of how I coped that you’ll also be ready when you have times when you flat out hate homeschooling.
►You’re never alone. You can’t even hide out in the bathroom.
Oh sure, homeschool moms will tell you to hire sitters. I did. And when my extended family live closed, I got help. The truth of it is that a lot of homeschool moms don’t have the luxury of family living close or knowing a lot of people in the beginning that they would trust with their kids.
Homeschooling is pretty much about being around your kids most of the time. From the time they were babies, even getting a shower for the day was a major feat. Many days, I cried in frustration because I was not able to homeschool, let alone clean my house. Those years were very hard. They didn’t equal to anything I had coming up though in the preteen years. More on that in a minute.
However, the time did come when my sons were old enough to respect my alone time. At first when they were little, I used a timer. I set it for 25 minutes. The rule was they couldn’t come into my room to talk to me. Like all moms that love their kids there is always exceptions for emergencies and fighting kids, but for the most part they knew to leave me alone. They thought it was a game and I didn’t care. But making a plan for self-care propelled me through that time.
Now, when my young adult sons throw their big hairy arms around me as young men, drive me to places, cook food for me and tell me how much they’re glad I homeschooled them, the hard years seem like a fading mist.
Words can’t even express the love I have for them and how very, very grateful I am that I didn’t get bitter, give in and send them to public school.
No, but homeschooling is not easy.
►Kids are unmotivated, lazy, back talking, and disrespectful.
I’m not talking about other homeschooler’s kids, but about my own kids. Yes, I’ve experienced all of those things.
At the time when those things were happening, I thought it was because we were constantly around each other. It wasn’t.
Instead of being a homeschool issue, it was a discipline issue. It’s hard to see that at the time because homeschooling gets blamed for everything.
I learned homeschooling brings out not only the good in your kids, but the ugly too. When habits haven’t been formed for learning, then you can’t go forward. Homeschooling gets blamed because that is how we spend most of our day.
The truth of it is that negative behavior exhibits in homeschooling because it’s hard work.
The easy thing in parenting is to not deal with the disrespecting at the moment and to blame homeschooling because our kid’s attitude toward any work is much pretty crap all the time.
First, I had to correct their attitudes and save my energy for those upheavals in our day. No amount of homeschooling or excellent and superior curriculum will correct that.
Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. When you have to diligently parent and meticulously homeschool in the same day, it makes for many rough years.
Because I did both parenting and homeschooling at the same time instead of sending my kids away where bad behavior may possibly be nurtured or overlooked, I’m grateful that I could deal with it as it came up.
I won’t win the parent of the year award now that two of my sons are adults, but I have won their hearts and have a wonderful relationship with them. It’s built on mutual respect, dignity and love for each other.
►People are going to think your kids are “weird” regardless of what you do and how well-rounded out your kids are.
Although two of my sons have graduated with high grades, are successfully pursuing their interests, and have tons of personality, people still look at them and me weird.
And no, we don’t milk goats, raise chickens, or homeschool my kids under a rock. But I don’t have a problem either with people who choose to do that.
It’s important for you to know that I’ve never cared much about what people think about me or my choices. And I’m PROUD that my kid’s don’t get their chains yanked by people who are mindless and bend to every current whim or ideology by the masses.
What will not ever go away is the stigma attached with homeschooling kids. That they are awkward and social misfits. Some days you just don’t want to see the eye-rolling or hear the muttered, “Ohhhh”.
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► Many times, the house just doesn’t get cleaned. Easy to deal with when it’s not your home.
I’ve heard a lot through the years about the house cleaning thing. In the beginning, I didn’t have the right attitude either or I thought, again.
As a neat freak, overbearing, critical about the details person, I had to do a lot of soul searching if I wanted to survive homeschooling. Balance is not easy when you already don’t get any time to yourself or have hormonal teens.
Looking back now, I’m so glad that I didn’t give up the need to have clean surroundings, but learned that I was not balanced in how much I needed to do.
All that matters is what you and your husband want when it comes to a clean house. Now, a lot, but not all of our friends are homeschool families like us. They understand books strewn about, projects growing on the counter, and science projects with foul smells in the refrigerator.
The most important thing I learned was that unless I was feeling calm about the house mess, I couldn’t be at my best while teaching. However, I too had to compromise. Instead of doing everything I wanted to do on my house cleaning day, I learned to do the important things to me, like a clean toilet, clean linens, and clean floors.
House cleaning is about compromise and that means it will never be done your way as long as you homeschool.
I’m not finished yet, do you want to know a few more things that you will face in your homeschool journey? Have you encountered any of these things so far?
Look at my 31 free Boot Camp for New or Struggling Homeschoolers where I keep it real, Why My Homeschooled Kids Are Not Given the Choice to Go to Public School and Homeschool Quitters, Dropouts and Wimps (Want to Join Me?).
Hugs and love ya,
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