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“Oh, you homeschool? Hm. That must be hard.”
YOU HAVE NO IDEA! Homeschooling is H.A.R.D. Let me tell you the WORST parts of homeschooling.
When I tell people that I homeschool, the comments are varied. I get comments about the abundance of patience I must have, and how I must be so brave or so strong. I get the typical questions about socialization, how long do I plan on doing it, why did I choose to, etc. I usually reply politely with all of the great benefits and why we love it so much. Those are the reasons I stick with it. And don’t get me wrong, the benefits are many. There are not many regrets about my choice to homeschool.
But today is about the worst parts of homeschooling because sometimes that’s what I really feel like telling them. Especially on those harder days/weeks/months. If I dumped all of this on people, I wonder if they would still think I was brave/ strong/ patient/ super mom…
The Worst Parts of Homeschooling:
My house is so messy.
There I said it. Sometimes I am embarrassed when people drop by in the middle of the day. We do projects and experiments, we spread our books across the living room and kitchen. We have piles of things from nature that we are observing on the front and back porch. We often leave the dishes until later so we can plow through school work. We clean at the end of the day. When I visit other people whose kids are gone all day I get little pangs of jealousy at how clean their house is. When people visit my house, hopefully they see that we are happy and busy.
I accumulate stuff.
Homeschoolers need more things. We need (or think we need) books, school supplies, learning games and toys, papers, projects, art supplies, etc. Where do we put all the papers, book, and projects? Where do we hang the calendars and memorization passages? There is just more stuff all around. I am lucky to have a dedicated school room!
I am totally OK with my kids missing out on the whole school socialization scene, but every once in a while I feel like my kids are missing out on fitting in a little bit. They have NEVER been to school and sometimes don’t even understand what some of their friends are talking about when it comes to school things. My kids have a lot of friends and don’t struggle at all with that. But the fact that they do not go to school with their neighborhood friends distances them just a little bit.
And while we are on the subject of friends, my kids’ friends can NEVER play until SO late in the day. I HATE that! We finish school so much earlier than the kids in public school. My kids want to get out and run and play with their neighborhood friends and nobody is home for hours. Then they have homework and chores to do so nobody can even play until 4pm.
I get SO tired.
Homeschooling just plain wears me out. I have to be so involved with them for so many hours. Sometimes I just want to have a day off. I have to gear up for starting school each morning and really have to find my inner strength each morning for it. I need so much mental and physical strength to get through each day.
Even my voice gets tired. I read to my kids a ton and this really wears my voice out. It’s funny to me when we take a break from school, I notice I have to work up to reading a lot again, as if my muscles lost their strength!!
My kids argue with their teacher.
I KNOW my kids would not argue with their teacher if they went to public school. My kids are quite respectful most of the time. But, when it is family, it is a whole different story. We butt heads often and that is always a challenge. If they don’t want to do an assignment, they whine and complain to me. Sometimes I think they would work a lot harder for someone other than me.
I never get to do things with friends/family during the day.
This is totally selfish. I know. But sometimes I really wish I could be like those other moms who go out and do fun things together while their kids are at school- go to lunch, get a pedicure, go to the gym, etc. I made this choice so I have no room to complain. But there are those thoughts in the back of my mind from time to time. There have been many activities I have been excluded from because I am busy schooling my kids. I get a little sad about that.
I am never alone.
I think this may be one of the hardest parts for me. I am NEVER alone. The kids are always here. The noise is always here. The mess is always here. I crave downtime. I beg to go to the store alone. I hide in the bathroom for moments of peace and to regain my sanity. It is hard, very hard!
The Rant is Over. . .
This post is not meant to be a long stream of complaints. I want you to know that it is not all roses at our house. I am not a super mom. I am no better that the average Jane. I struggle. All Homeschool moms do. However, I think all Homeschool moms would also agree that EVERY ONE OF THOSE THINGS is worth sacrificing to be able to have the experiences we do teaching our kids. I treasure these times with my kids, even though they are hard. I love reading to my kids and learning along with them. I love doing experiments and projects with them and seeing the wonder on their faces. I love teaching them about the beautiful things of this world. Homeschooling has made me better.
I would not trade ANY of the above challenges. I could have many times over and each year I choose to continue on the path less traveled, the path that is a little harder. I do it because I feel it is best for my kids and for our family.
Yes, homeschooling is SO stinking hard, but it is worth it. Hang in there! You CAN do it.
If you are looking for more support, check out my post: When you Feel Like You Re Failing at Homeschooling.
Want more homeschool tips? Check out my podcast: Called to Homeschool!
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