Struggles With Homeschooling And Help!

It is that time of year where I live!  School is beginning for many homeschooling families, and some of the most common struggles and pitfalls of homeschooling come to light yet again.  I thought it would be fun to tackle some of these struggles and questions straight-on…

Here are the most common things I hear mothers mention regarding some of the difficulties in homeschooling:

1.  How do I know I am doing the right thing?  I think the answer here is that often we do not know if we are doing the right thing.  Homeschooling is much like parenting in this regard; sometimes we don’t see the true outcome of it all until years down the road.  Many homeschooling families look at the decision to  homeschool each year with each individual child.  Decisiveness counts, however.  When one makes a decision, whether for school or for homeschooling, one must project confidence, not waffling.  And that confidence must carry you through the days when things don’t go so well!

2.  How do I know if this is the right curriculum or way to homeschool?  Again, hard to say as each individual family is different and each child is different.  The kiss of death, I truly believe, for any homeschooler is to pick a curriculum or a type of homeschooling just because that is what their friends are doing or using.  Pick what works for your family!  There will be more to come on this as I am writing a post on it.

3.  How can I fit in my (doctor’s appointments, time to exercise, time to run errands)?  Time organization is a priority, but this is often compounded in homeschooling families because spouses are often working super long hours or traveling a lot in order to make enough money for mom to stay home and homeschool!  Many mothers tell me sincerely that they let themselves sink to the bottom of the list – they haven’t seen a dentist in years, they have not had a physical in years, they don’t  have the time, money or child care to really exercise at an optimum level, etc.

I think this can be an area in which we all struggle, I know I do!  I have a hard time asking other homeschooling mothers to watch my children even though I know they gladly would.   However, it really  is important to pull in support of your spouse,  family, friends, place of worship, in order to help you take care of yourself or what has to be done.  Have some frank discussions with your spouse and see what can be done.  Homeschooling may go on for years and years, so it is important to not think that these are things that can just wait indefinitely.

4.   How can I keep my house running smoothly on top of homeschooling?  In a way, expectations must be adjusted.  You live in your house all day, and whilst children are away at school and other mothers are cleaning and such, you are schooling. In the afternoon, your older children may need to go somewhere that if they were in school they would have just stayed at school for (like sports or drama or art club or whatever!)  I don’t mean this to sound negative, but it is a reality as the children hit the grades and are involved in more things.  Things become busier, and in the Early Years you are trying to figure out how to de-mechanize and involve children in work, but in the grades you have a lot going on around that work!

I personally like Flylady, because I think her small and frequent method is helpful to mothers who have a hard time initiating de-cluttering and cleaning, but I think it is just as useful for those perfectionistic mothers who must have everything clean from top to bottom and just can’t stop cleaning and picking up.

The other important piece of this is that with homeschooling the entire family must be involved with the care and nurturing of the home.  It is vitally important, and practical, common sense life practicalities are an important part of Waldorf homeschooling.

To those of you who are homeschooling:  are there questions, challenges, struggles that seem to come up at the beginning of every school year?  I would love to hear from you in the comment box!

Many blessings,

Carrie

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4 thoughts on “Struggles With Homeschooling And Help!

  1. Oh my goodness, Carrie, you’ve hit the nail on the head with this one! In fact my husband gets your blog too and actually forwarded this one to me to make sure I read it. These issues are exactly the sort of thing I’m challenged by at the moment. I’ve been thinking about some of the activities I do, and trying to figure out a way to minimize their disruption mentally. I’m sure I turn a molehill into a mountain some of the time. I seem to live with ‘stuff happening’ and if I let every little thing bog us down, and keep waiting for the perfect moment to get ‘back into rhythm’, its never going to happen.

    • Thank you Carla! So nice to hear from you! I think in one sense you are right – in homeschooling, life happens so the ability to meet that with humor and a steadiness is important.
      Just keep on going!
      Love,
      Carrie

  2. This is very timely for me too! I FINALLY decided to homeschool the Friday before the Monday school started. I know I have not planned adequately but we are slowly getting started. I waffled and fretted about what to do. Even after I had decided to do it and my 7year old didn’t go to her old school on Mon, I was so anxious about the decision that I could barely function. Now, a week and a half into it, I feel much better. It feels good to just have decided and go with it. Yesterday we had a small break from the heat before noon, so we went on a walk. We saw aligator gar and turtles and other fish in the river, picked leaves to identify in our tree book, and I thought to myself this would NOT be happening in public school. So, days like that boost my confidence. But, I also worry that I can’t give her the enrichment she needs in other areas like art. And, she misses her school with all the people. Reading your post, I know I need to get rid of the negative thoughts and stop wavering. I struggle with rythym anyway, but now I feel like it is super important. I have been having a hard time getting it all together. I have a question about rythym, school work and chores…. I am trying to spend 20 min or so on a lesson and then do another activity… the in and out breath. BUT, do chores count as a break from schoolwork? I am having a hard time getting into a flow. My 3 and 7 year old daughter seem to be constantly pretending. As soon as I “let them go” they are off pretending they are a cat or baby or waitress. I have a hard time getting them to focus on the real object at hand. I want to encourage play and pretending, but again am having a hard time finding a balance. Any tips would be appreciated.

  3. thanks for your post. it came at a good time for me as i am in my third year of homeschooling. this has helped sift through some of the questions that have come up for me in regards to the big ‘why do i homeschool’?

    bless you.

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