Homeschooling is the hardest thing I have ever done. If you are homeschooling, I imagine that you feel the same way. Most would start with the good, but I’m going to start with the “Ugly” because that is where my journey begins.
Homeschooling the “Ugly”
My first day of homeschooling my now 14-year-old daughter was spent with me in and out of my bathroom sobbing uncontrollably. I had already woken up with much trepidation about what we were about to embark on, but I made the situation worse by browsing through Facebook where all of my friends back to school pictures were plastered everywhere. At that point every self-doubt I had about our decision became all consuming. Thankfully the days got better, and I eventually made it through a day without crying. You’ll be happy to know that I’m somewhat well-adjusted at this point in our journey.
But honestly the lingering doubt has never left. Are we doing what’s best for our kids? Should we have placed them in school? Am I really my children’s best teacher? Will they really be better off this way? On my best days I can answer all of this affirmatively, but Satan has a way of finding my weaknesses and exposing them in the ugliest of ways.
Despite what most of the outside world believes, Homeschoolers are not the most patient people you will ever meet. I mean we spend 24 hours a day with our little darlings, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year… you get it. We are exhausted. We love our children, we want the best for them, but we would also like some time away from them every now and then. Homeschooling doesn’t always offer us the opportunity to just be alone, or with friends or with our husbands. For us to have some time for ourselves we have to be very intentional. And so, on occasion (3291, 435 times a day) I might occasionally raise my voice or find myself in an adult temper tantrum because I just need some quiet.
Despite the Ugly, and the Bad, the truth is there is far more “good” in the real homeschooling. I think about my daughter who struggles with math and how she would have just been lost in the system, but at home we can take our time and really make sure she understands the concepts. I think of my son who has trouble with the mechanics of writing but is a great story teller. I consider how discouraged he would have been when he was younger to not be able to share his talent. I reflect on the relationships that all my children have with each other. They truly enjoy each other and appreciate each other’s God given gifts. They have learned how to love and forgive over and over. I think about my relationship with each one of them, and especially my teens. In a culture that tells our teens that parents aren’t “cool” my teens still want to spend time with us. My daughter will still hold my hand in public! There is a level of respect for our family that isn’t found in the outside world. My children aren’t oblivious to the culture, they just choose not to accept all of it. Our conversations can be real and authentic and hard topics are discussed without being tainted by immature peer opinions. We are teaching our children to be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Mathew 10:6)
Most of homeschooling is found in the In-between. The math, the reading, the chores…the mundane. There is so much beauty in just the mundane that we almost forget to take notice and be thankful for the gift that we have of being able to pour into our children each and every day. The In-Between, the mundane that is right where I want to live.
Angela is the wife of Steven, her Ninja Warrior wanna be husband, mother of 4 spunky children and blogs at Schooling With Grace
. Her heart and passion is that every homeschooling parent knows that they are equipped to do what the Lord has called them to do. Find her on her Facebook
, or hiding from her kids in her closet.