Overview: Thinking about homeschooling? Wondering if homeschooling is hard? It is. And there are some hard truths about homeschooling you should know before you get started!
If you’ve read even one of my blog posts before, then you know that homeschooling is one of my very favorite things ever. I love the freedom that it affords my family. I love being able to spend so much time with my boys. I love seeing the spark in their eyes when they learn something new. Homeschooling has been a wonderful educational option for our family.
Having said that, there are some aspects of homeschooling which are less positive. Sometimes, my husband and I will be talking about a difficult situation we’re dealing with and we’ll admit that we wouldn’t have to deal with that if we weren’t homeschooling. Sometimes homeschooling can be hard!
Here are 7 Hard Truths About Homeschooling:
1 – Organized Sports
My boys love being involved in sports. As they’ve gotten older, however, we’ve found that there are fewer teams for them to play on since they are homeschooled. I believe part of this is because lots of people put their kids back into school once they hit the middle school or high school ages.
Fortunately, we have quite a few sports options for homeschoolers where we live. Both of my sons participate in a competitive basketball league.
They’ve also been on a baseball team for homeschoolers in past years. Unfortunately, that team didn’t exist the following year which put us in the position of having to search for other options for our boys if they wanted to continue playing.
One option we discovered was to call smaller Christian schools in the area to see if they might have room on their teams for our kids. We found a school which was willing to allow our boys to play on their varsity baseball team but our 13-year-old was a bit reluctant to play with a bunch of boys who would be 3-5 years older than he was at the time. He didn’t relish putting in all of that time and work only to spend most of the season sitting on the bench.
If our boys were in a public school, they would have more age-appropriate sports teams from which they could choose on a consistent basis rather than having to punt year after year due to lack of players. And it wouldn’t require so much effort on our part to be sure they had the opportunity to play. Forms would come home from school and we would sign them.
2 – The Buck Stops Here
When you homeschool, you are taking on a lot of responsibility. You are the principal, the teacher, the guidance counselor, the lunch lady, and the janitor among other things. You prepare all of the lessons. You come up with an overall plan of what your kids will and won’t learn during their schooling career. You are in charge!
This is good and bad. You’re responsible for making sure they are prepared to live on their own someday. There’s no one else to blame when you are afraid your child is falling short. There’s no one else who can tell you exactly what to do. They can suggest, but they aren’t in a position to give you a plan of action. Homeschooling puts a lot of weight on the shoulders of the parents.
3 – Lots of work
Any teacher will tell you that being a first-year teacher is incredibly difficult. That first year is when you have to come up with all of your lesson plans, compile reading lists, dream up great science experiments and field trips, etc. Being a homeschool mom is like being a first-year teacher every year for multiple grades at the same time!
And this is true for every year that we homeschool. Each year brings new challenges and requires lots of investigation and experimentation on our part.
I’ve heard people say that some moms homeschool because they’re too lazy to get out of bed and get their kids on the bus in the mornings. Ummm, no. I think not!
4 – Togetherness
One of the best things about homeschooling is that you get to spend so much time with your kiddos. Sometimes that blessing can also be a bit of a curse. Let’s face it! People who are together all of the time have a tendency to get on each other’s nerves. Homeschool moms need to work harder to find time to focus on themselves. Depending on the ages of your children, this can be hard to do.
5 – You Work from Home
When you homeschool, you are basically working from home. This means that it’s harder to get away from your job. Some families have separate homeschool rooms, so they would theoretically be able to shut the door and put their homeschool day behind them. For many of us, however, we do our schooling in our living rooms and dining rooms. This can make it harder to get schooling out of our minds.
6 – No Snow Days
Do you remember how exciting it was to listen to the radio the morning after a large snowfall and to hear that your school was canceled? When you homeschool, there aren’t any mandatory snow days.
Fortunately, there are ways around this one. You can still take a “snow day” when it’s convenient for you! One thing I love about homeschooling is that you can also take off the first warm day of spring, birthdays, days to visit grandparents, and other various days that tickle your fancy. That brings us back to that benefit of flexibility that I was talking about earlier.
7 – Messier House
When the kids are home all day long, your house can have a tendency to be messier. Homeschool moms are busy teaching lessons and have a harder time making time to keep the house in tip-top shape.
Training our kids to do practical life skills is just as important as teaching them typical academic subjects. As adults, most of our kids will need to clean their houses more often than they will ever diagram a sentence or solve a quadratic equation!
Fortunately, there’s a fix for this one as well. Our kids are home all day long so we can put them to work. Train your kids to help out with the chores. Initially, this takes longer than doing them yourself. However, it won’t be long and your kids will be able to help out immensely with the housework. And that kind of training is extremely useful for them when they’re on their own as well.
Yes, homeschooling can be hard. And homeschooling does have a downside. But I have to end this post by saying that homeschooling our boys has been one of the best decisions that my husband and I have made.
As Teddy Roosevelt once said,
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
Homeschooling definitely requires effort. But the end result will be so worth it!
Question: What are some of the harder aspects of homeschooling you’ve struggled with? What are the biggest blessings you’ve experienced? Please leave a comment below.