Want to know if homeschooling is hard? There is so much turmoil going on in our society today and lots of reasons why more and more parents are considering homeschooling their children.
The thing that stops most of us is that homeschooling is a big unknown. We’re familiar with sending our kiddos to school because that’s what most people do. And most of us attended traditional schools when we were growing up as well – whether public or private.
So, we ponder homeschooling but we aren’t sure if we’ll be able to handle it.
How will we know what to do?
Will our kids thrive at home or will they pine for their friends back at school?
Will be be able to properly socialize them?
These questions swirl around in our minds but we can sum them all up with the following: How hard will it be to homeschool our children?
That’s a loaded question. It’s sort of like asking how hard is parenting, or marriage, or life. Are all of these things hard? Yes. Are all of them worth the hard? Absolutely.
Homeschooling is simple but it isn’t easy. Every state/country has different homeschooling regulations but fortunately homeschooling is legal in all US states. If you’re contemplating homeschooling and aren’t sure where to get started, here are the first steps you need to take.
Parents who are asking if it’s hard to homeschool usually are really wondering if it will be harder to homeschool than it is to send our kids to school. And the answer to that question is yes and no. Some things about sending our kiddos to school are much harder than homeschooling them and some things are easier.
Mornings are definitely more stressful for parents and children when sending our kids to school. The alarm clock goes off much earlier. The amount of time required to get out the door in the mornings is much shorter. Tensions are often higher in the mornings when getting the kids off on the bus.
The opposite is true for homeschoolers who choose not only when their mornings will start but how they will fill them. We enjoy beginning our day with breakfast together while I read aloud to my sons. This has been a gentle way for us to start our day and it gives my kids the opportunity to wake up a bit more before they have to tackle some of the harder and less enjoyable subjects such as math. Eek!
Homework and projects which have to be completed on someone else’s timetable fill the evenings of schoolchildren and their parents. You don’t have a choice about how you will spend your evenings. And no matter how many or few extracurricular activities there are at night, the homework still needs to be completed before your kids can go to bed… which perpetuates a vicious cycle of them not getting enough sleep and being even harder to wake up the next morning. And grouchiness ensues for them and for you.
Again, the opposite is true for homeschoolers who choose how they will fill their evenings as well. There’s plenty of time during the day to get all of the schoolwork done so we either decide to fill our evenings with family time or extracurricular activities. We have the freedom to choose how much or how little we will do. And if we have a busy or late evening, we can decide to let the kids sleep in longer in the morning to make up for it. Way more peaceful.
Granted, the daytime hours of parents are more peaceful for schoolchildren if they stay at home alone. However, many moms with kiddos in school feel pressured to go to work, so there are few who can experience that solitude. Most families get their kids off to school in a rush so that they can head to their jobs.
There are definitely some things that are harder when homeschooling than when sending your kids to school. Ironically, the freedom we experience can be one of the hardest things because that means we have a lot of decisions to make about what and how we will teach our children. And that means we experience pressures that parents of children at school don’t.
However, there are so many other blessings that come with homeschooling. Time we get to spend with our children and experiences we get to have with them that it more than makes up for that added pressure.
Is homeschooling hard? Yes.
Is sending our kids to school hard? Again, yes.
Choose your hard. There are hard aspects to both. However, if you want to homeschool your children, you absolutely can. People find ways to do it whether both parents are working, they are single-parent homes, they are dealing with disabilities or unexpected issues, and a myriad of other factors.
If you’d like encouragement and camaraderie from other homeschoolers, please join us over on my Facebook page or in my book group, where there are many other parents who have chosen to homeschool their kiddos. And if you have questions about homeschooling, I’d love to have you post them below so we can help you work through them.