SummaryAmy Pawlusiak discusses common misconceptions about daily life as a homeschooling family and why, despite challenges, this life is better than most imagine.
Homeschooling Isn’t Always Easy, But It’s Worth It!
The other day I was talking to my well-meaning dad who asked, “Well, have you burnt out on this homeschooling thing yet?”
This is my fifth year homeschooling, and I was discussing with him all the things I had to do to prepare for the upcoming homeschool year.
I make sure all the books are ready, line up the activities, and hope and pray that our year is going to run smoothly. Is it tiring? YES! But it’s also rewarding. It’s what I’ve chosen to do as a mom in this day and age. My father loves me and is concerned for my welfare.
He knows I can get stressed out a bit by all that I need to do. His question made me realize that he isn’t the only one who may wonder if homeschooling is possible. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what this life looks like “for real” on a daily basis. Many may wonder, “Is it really just too much? Why would someone put himself or herself through this?”
Even with all the good press that homeschoolers are getting, a lot of people still don’t understand what a homeschool life looks like, or how it’s even possible to do.
There are many fallacies out there about homeschooling, and explaining to others (sometimes daily) that homeschooling is wonderful—and that they should consider it—can become wearisome.
For instance, some believe that we just hide away at home alone and do our work serenely. Others believe that we don’t allow our children to have many friendships or social contacts in the community.
Ironically, I often struggle with how many great activities I need to turn down outside of the home because we actually have to get the schoolwork done!
Between our homeschool group, church activities, sports, and the children’s active social lives, we are often pulled in many directions. Homeschoolers are also viewed as leading an idyllic life where we can decide all of our days and do whatever we want since no “school” dictates our daily schedule.
Considering the various activities, classes, appointments and daily distractions from well-meaning people who call or visit during the day because we’re home, this is just not the case.
Homeschooling is beautiful because we have choices in what our kids learn, and our Faith can come first.
This is most often why families choose to homeschool. But homeschooling is also awkward, because part of what a homeschooling mom must often do is educate others on this lifestyle so that they can see that their idea of what we do and who we are isn’t quite the reality!
Homeschooling Takes Patience While You Find Your Groove
Let’s face it; it takes a lot of personal sacrifice on the part of the homeschooling mom to do school.
I spend a lot of time preparing for each homeschool year so that my children are on-track and have all the benefits of a great curriculum, great activities, great friends, and our Faith intermixed within it all. (Note: I’m a bit of an addicted organizer!).
Then, when our family does begin the school year, it doesn’t always click into place right away. Like any new school year or routine, it might take a few weeks to get all the kinks out.
The subjects get harder each year for everyone, and we might be using an online version of a class that we didn’t use before, so there’s a learning curve sometimes.
I’ve learned over the years not to expect the first week or two to be perfect. Luckily, we now have a daily routine already in place that dictates when we start school every day, prayer time, work time, and breaks.
Daily Fruits of Homeschooling
At the end of each day, I take a few minutes with my afternoon cup of coffee and go through all the work for the day so I can make sure it was done correctly before putting it all away.
Even though this might sound easy or relaxing, it’s amazing how often I must call one of the kids back to finish a reading assignment or to go over something again that they obviously didn’t understand.
However, I get to see that they are genuinely doing the work. Their daily progress motivates me because not only are they getting it all done, but I can see that they are learning amazing new things! Moreover, as mom and teacher, I have a view of them that is unique and bonding.
I never realized how close you could come to your own children when you are discussing the tenets of the Faith one minute, and then helping them to find a small river on a map the next.
You just never know what the day might bring!
It’s All Worth It
In the end, even though there’s much to do, and much to complete, the struggle is worth it. I don’t worry about many of the social issues other parents have to worry about because I know my kids and their friends, and even their friends’ parents quite well.
I love having a great relationship with my children as they grow, and it has been an amazing journey that would not have happened had we not said “Yes” to God’s prompting years ago.
Now that the new homeschool year has started, I can see the year slowly unfolding before my eyes.
My worries at my choices of extracurricular activities and subject planning are working out fine. Although there will be rough days, tough days, and ‘when-will-this-child-finish?’ days, there will also be good days, great days, and ‘my-child-is-so-amazing!’ days.
The school year has started, God is good, and it is worth it!