Demaerre / Getty Images
If you ask a homeschooling mum about homeschooling you will hear only the best things about it. We can’t help it. People have been second-guessing our decision since we began. Everyone wants to know how our kids will learn to socialise and what qualifies us to be a teacher.
The decision to homeschool has put us on the defensive so you will rarely here us complain. But here’s the deal, it’s not all sunshine and roses. There are things I like, love and dread about our day. If you promise not to ask me how my kids are socialized, I promise to tell you, honestly, what I don’t enjoy about homeschooling.
5 things I don’t like about homeschooling.
You know how you plan your longest errands for when your kids aren’t home? I don’t need to make those plans because if I’m home so are my kids. All my errands involve all my kids. Sure there are days when I wake up full of patience and I incorporate weighing and estimating into our grocery shopping excursion. But most days I’m dragging them all past the sugary cereal saying things like, “If you hit the back of my heels with the grocery cart one more time I’m swapping the chocolate chips for kale flakes.”
My kids are close in age and since the day they learned how to make noise our house has been noisy. On a good day I embrace the chaos and feel lucky to have them home. On a bad day I’m literally searching my house for a quiet space to hide, knowing my hiding spot is only temporary, because I need to head back out there. There’s no substitute teacher showing up for the afternoon shift.
My daughter wants to be a veterinarian. She also hates doing math and only likes our science lesson if it involves an elaborate experiment. Knowing my children’s future success rides on the material I teach them and how well they grasp it is a lot of pressure.
Not only do they argue over who breathed on who in the car, they can stall an English lesson like no one else by debating over who took the red coloured pencil. In many ways I feel my kids have a better relationship because they are homeschooled together. But that doesn’t mean I’m not refereeing arguments for a decent part of our day.
Defending our decision
This one is slowly getting easier as more and more families homeschool. In our early years, when I told someone we homeschooled, I was looked at like I had two heads. I still sometimes get this reaction followed by questions about how I know what to teach them or where I bought my patience. I’m no more patient than any other parent (see numbers 1-4). Homeschooling is an educational choice that works for our family just like general schooling works for many other families. I hate feeling like I have to prove that our children are getting a good education.
I know we are extremely fortunate to be able to homeschool. Despite the negative aspects, it’s still a decision we’ve made that I’m 100% sure of. I’m reminded daily that we’re doing the right thing– except for when I’m standing in 20 person line at the post office with four kids– at those times I could use someone to stop by and remind me why we started this crazy journey.