The Stresses of the Homeschooling Family

 

People often ask about the more challenging side of homeschooling when they are thinking about planning their homeschooling journey.  They don’t always need to be convinced about the benefits of homeschooling, about socialization,  or about the ability to get into college, but they just want to know some of the harder aspects of homeschooling so they are prepared.

 

The top three stresses I see commonly in homeschooling families include:

1. Finances.  Many (but not all) homeschooling families are sacrificing an income so one parent can be at home to homeschool.  Financial stress is real and many homeschooling families are on a shoe-string budget as far as food, housing, having one car instead of two, and plan their homeschooling adventures around the library or what is free.

 

2.  Insecurity.  If a child isn’t “catching on” or learning well or things in general aren’t going well and that child is in school, the school is not usually blamed.  After all, the folks at school know what they are doing, right?  In a homeschooling family, these same situations can lead the homeschooling parent to feel a lot of insecurity or possibly even being blamed, especially by extended family members.  Is it my fault? Maybe I should be teaching according to a different (philosophy, curriculum, materials, presentation)?  What am I missing? What am I not doing correctly?

 

3.  Having very little time to oneself to focus on such things as basic self-care.  Almost every homeschool parent I know will tell you they love their children and love homeschooling, but wish they had a little bit of time to themselves.  Homeschooling is a full-time job.   Balance can be elusive!

 

What are the things that you have found most difficult about homeschooling?

Blessings,
Carrie

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13 thoughts on “The Stresses of the Homeschooling Family

  1. 1. Judgement from others. Being asked, “When are you going to LET your girls go to school?”

    2. Keeping balance of wife, mother, teacher, housekeeper, cook, etc….

    3. Developing and sticking to some type of routine. I have high goals next year of being more planned out. The first two years I was totally planned and stuck to it. This year was way more lazy….and I felt it affect our daily lives.

    But, I would not trade a day of my time with my girls for anything. It is what makes our family THRIVE! We are all happy and content and that is all that really matters.

    • Jenny – oh Yes! When will you “let” them go to school….ha, one of my favorites!
      Rhythm is always a challenge because when you are homeschooling, you are always juggling life as well.

      Great list!
      Blessings
      Carrie

  2. - Judgement from others. Being asked, “When are you going to LET your girls go to school?”
    A friend keeps asking me every year: “Are you going to send them to school next year?”
    Kind of like when are you coming to your senses…

    Regarding the socialization issue, I get that strangely enough from other homeschoolers in the area. Some of them think when one does not take part in some type of co-op that the children do not have friends…..

  3. I could echo all of these – especially since the “school” questions looms even larger as they approach high school.

    However, the one that makes me the most angry is #2. It reminds me so much of breastfeeding. If the infant/baby is not exactly where they should be on the all-mighty weight charts, supplementation with formula is always suggested. However, it never, never, never goes the other way. Problems with bottle feeding? Hmmm . . . maybe supplement/switch to breast milk. In full disclosure, I had chunky (exclusively breastfed) babies who turned into skinny (weaned) boys. LOL

    Yes, all these are real and I think holding the big picture of why you are on this journey of homeschooling is so important.

  4. It is the small pockets of time during the day, the breathing space. Most days I would like 15 minutes or so of ‘down-time’. We have resting time but with mixed ages the definition is different. I enjoy this post, thanks.

  5. two friends and i were just talking about this!!!! we all also have part-time (home-based work), and we find that balancing family/work/homeschooling/household management is a HUGE load. we get our “own” time in tiny little pieces here and there and often count our time of doing chores/cooking as “alone time” (if papa is around to help out!). and being home all day adds to household management a lot (not even including eating from scratch). basically, we just feel like there is a LOT in our lives, and a lot of it is ON US to keep in some kind of order and motion. but it’s a rich life too of course!

  6. I have been thinking of homeschooling but I have a few worries. SO far I have found nobody near me that homeschools their children, if any of you are in the same situation how have you found friends for your children to play with and have parties with? when you need to teach your child(ren) something you don’t know well do you need to get in a tutor?

    • Hi Metalmama,
      There have been past posts about that subject (the social end) so definitely search the archives. I think the other thing is not to get ahead of yourself in thinking you will need tutors and such. Most of the veteran homeschooling families I know feel that they can meet their children’s needs quite well. Some families are fortunate enough to have homeschool classes or tutors available, but these are not necessary to homeschool effectively.
      Thanks for being here,
      Carrie

  7. When I have lots of energy to have a go with my child, for learn , play, and laugh , movement and game, … My boy love it , but, but, he also ask for alternative teacher for some changes in rhythm ? Next, as teaching our own children can be tricky as, we know each other too we’ll and some thin line of loves , and authority application . Iam not sure how to balance it , anyone can share on these ?

    Thks lot. Bee

    • Hi Bee
      Depending on where you are homeschooling groups do have classes. Most children take outside lessons in something at some point, whether that is in music or a foreign language. So classes or tutors can be an option depending on where you are. Even things like a youth orchestra often are open to homeschooling students. Authority and teaching are tricky at times. I think things can get more emotional at home than they would in a classroom with peers, and that is something every family has to work out for themselves. Authority in the classroom always carries with it the responsibility of love, whether you are teaching at home or in a classroom full of children. Love is the answer, and making things realistic enough in your expectations so things are not a struggle. It is an interesting juggle!
      Blessings,
      Carrie

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