The Reality of Homeschooling

The reality of homeschooling is that it is not always easy.  Many of us have days where we think, “Hey! Our children would probably be fine in school!”.  But that feeling passes quickly, because we remember that homeschooling is first and foremost about our relationships with each other.  That is always the lesson.

The reality of homeschooling is that it can be financially challenging due to loss of income, but we have chosen this path and we are happy in it.  The reality is that some families would be financially better off if they were not homeschooling, but they would not be happier.

The reality of homeschooling is that it is often not until our oldest child goes through the nine-year change that we finally realize that we must do a better job to make time for ourselves without the children, and that we must do more than just give lip service to the idea that we must take care of ourselves.

The reality of homeschooling is that people may judge us for our decision, but they may also end up pleasantly surprised by how wonderful homeschooled children really are.

However,  the reality of homeschooling is also that there are no guarantees for the future of our children because of homeschooling.  We realize that homeschooling is not a way to isolate our children from the world nor so we have complete control over everything that will happen to them.  All it guarantees is that we are all connected in love to meet whatever challenges may come our way.

The reality of homeschooling is that it takes time to find our path and be comfortable in our skin, because there are many ways to homeschool, and that homeschoolers often have very strong opinions as to how homeschooling should happen.

The reality of homeschooling is that you can homeschool as an isolated family, people do it all the time, but that many children really blossom in community.

The reality of homeschooling is that it takes a whole family.  Everyone needs to help take care of the home, not just mother.  Everyone needs to have chores and jobs and responsibilities.  This is just true in family life.  Mother cannot be all.

The reality of homeschooling is it is much easier if one has support – from one’s spouse or partner, from one’s community, from friends and family.  The reality is that some of these people really cannot help us homeschool, but they make us better people and therefore better teachers since we are teaching in the essence of what we are.

The reality of homeschooling is that the good days need to outnumber the bad, because homeschooling should be pleasurable.  If it is not, then we need to look at how we are doing things.

The reality of homeschooling is that it requires organization and time to plan.  It makes life go so much better!

The reality of homeschooling is that it is an always evolving journey.

What are your realities of homeschooling?

Many blessings,
Carrie

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12 thoughts on “The Reality of Homeschooling

  1. No matter where I go or who I meet I am judged for having been home-schooled. Usually people are pleasantly surprised that I can socialize and that I wasn’t raised in a cult. I’m equally surprised that having been publicly schooled (or privately) they can string three or four words together in a sentence…

  2. The reality of homeschooling is the larger your family, the more patience you will need. Also required with a large homeschooling family is flexibility and an ability to handle imperfection. A sense of humor helps goes a long way too!

    A thick skin is needed not only with people you meet and family, it is also required for what your children will say and do when frustrated. Remembering that you and your children are not perfect helps as well!

    Finding a community that supports you and loves you is important. Homeschooling in isolation is the hardest journey a family can walk. Encouragement, shared tears and laughter with others makes all the hard moments more bearable. It also is also good to share the joy of homeschooling with others who understand your chosen path. Your children will thank you for this because community is a blessing to them as well.

    Finding joy and gratitude in the every day moments goes a long way. Homeschooling’s reality is it is a beautiful, bonding journey and you are blessed if you get to do it!

  3. I needed to read this! We have been homeschooling for a little more than a year (from public school) and it has been hard without a community. We are getting there, but we didn’t know anyone who homeschooled when we started. If one person, particularly an extended family member, questions us or suggests we go back to public school, it throws me off for weeks! That happened recently so I have been questioning myself, wondering if I really am doing the right thing. Deep down I know I am, but some days are harder than others! I have been dreading the holidays because of more questions!

  4. Hi Carrie :)
    You say after your oldest goes through the 9 year change; why then? Also, do you have any back posts on how important it is to take care of ourselves? I’m afraid I’ve only been able to give it lip service in the past, but am trying to change. – I think I’ve been through a lot in my childhood and am used to having things heaped on me and only relying in myself (as the people I was supposed to be able to lean on as a child were not, well, there to be leaned on).
    Thank you,
    Mia

    • Mia,
      I find those with multiple children often run on adrenaline and ideals until their oldest one hits a certain point…and then realize they cannot continue the next ten years the way they have carried the first. Some realize it before this point, I just think if you are in babyland for ten years or so, it takes time to emerge. There are many, many posts about self care on this blog. Yay for you for considering yourself worthy of self-care!! Hip, hip, hooray!
      Blessings,
      Carrie

  5. These two quotes really caused me to pause:

    “We realize that homeschooling is not a way to isolate our children from the world nor so we have complete control over everything that will happen to them. But that feeling passes quickly, because we remember that homeschooling is first and foremost about our relationships with each other. That is always the lesson.”

    “All it guarantees is that we are all connected in love to meet whatever challenges may come our way.”

    I am afraid my homeschool home has drifted from these two points. I think I have been a little focused on control. Of language and stories that don’t fit with our values that they pick up from mainstream media/ads/cousins, etc. Of behavior that sometimes takes me by surprise as rude or mean (but is probably developmentally appropriate). I have not been ‘helping’ them be better listeners by making things fun and speaking in pictures. I have not been guiding them toward kindness when they are mean or don’t listen, instead I snap at them and get upset.

    But wow, these two quotes are REALLY good reminders! WHY are we doing this? Not for control, but to foster love and trust and compassion. MUST remember this every day throughout the day. Thanks Carrie for getting me back on track!

    • Meg, It is so, so easy for ALL of us to lose sight of that. I do too and that is why I have to constantly remind myself, this is about family, family IS the lesson in homeschooling. Yes, the academics will come..yes, we get irritated sometimes when we feel like we work hard to bring things in at the right time and others are not mindful of this…but we should always remember that love and family carry many things. :)
      Many blessings,
      Carrie

  6. Thank you for this post Carrie! It was so timely for me, I really needed to hear it just now! My mother has been pushing me and pushing me to put my son in school. Siting very outdated reasons, but she has been so unrelenting I have started to doubt myself. Not anymore! Thank you!!!

  7. I will have to work my way through a new reality of homeschooing from today. This morning I lost my step dad who gave me unconditional love and believed in me (including homeschooling my son) 100%. My world seems colourless and there is an empty space as big as an ocean in me at the moment. I also feel hugely protective of my mum. My son will be in the heart of this grieving. I don’t know yet how this will affect our days in the short and long term but just needed to share.

    • Oh Tania,
      I am so very sorry. My deepest sympathies. There really are no words for this, but I hope you know I am sending you and your family my love.
      Blessings,
      Carrie

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