We have been homeschooling since my oldest was in Kindergarten, and soon he’s going to be a sophomore in college. This fall will begin our fourteenth year. And while I don’t consider myself a “model” homeschooling mom (in fact, I could make a long list of all of my mistakes), there are a few things I’ve learned along the way.
#1: Homeschooling Isn’t Easy
When we first started homeschooling, I was anticipating some great experiences. After all, I’d be spending hours of quality time with my children, learning and experiencing and enjoying the days together. We’d do lots of hands-on activities, immerse ourselves in great literature, and delve into a variety of cultural experiences. We’d grow our own garden, can our own vegetables, sew, paint, sing, play musical instruments, get involved in team sports, learn life skills, and give back to the community, and everyone’s life would be so enriched by it all.
Well, I have spent a lot of hours with my kids. Many of those hours were spent disciplining them; many others were spent trying to just get the schoolwork done. We did some of the things I had envisioned, and we have had some really good days, but there have been some really hard ones, too. Times when a child struggled so much with a subject that it was the only one we could get to that day. Times when a child threw down the pencil and declared, “I just can’t do it.” Times when a child fussed so much about a lesson that hours of school time were wasted. Math has more than once brought forth tears in our home.
And to be honest, at one time or another, I have told each of my children that I was going to quit. Quit homeschooling. Quit teaching them. Quit trying. Because homeschooling is hard.
But I didn’t quit, and if you believe homeschooling is the best choice for your child, you shouldn’t quit either. Homeschooling isn’t easy; it isn’t for the faint-of-heart. But like they say, nothing worthwhile ever is. So push through the whining, the tears, the distractions, and the struggles. You’ll find those good days, those rewarding moments, when you’ll know that you made the right decision.
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