Photo Credit: Amanda Petty
Homeschooling is tough (can I get a witness?!)! BUT, it's, seriously, the most rewarding thing I have ever done. It's ALL worth it, no matter what everyone says. All of those mamas that think you're crazy have no idea how crazy you actually are in that you love your kids and want to watch them grow in the Lord and knowledge.
Now, having said all that, it's still a struggle and here are my top ten.
Top 10 Struggles I Face As A Homeschooling Mama:
10. There are no "holidays" or "sick days". Sniffles, coughs, even strep positive tests just mean that we do school on the couch or in the bed. Of course, there are times that we call it all off, but mainly we tough it out. Who in the world wants to waste a non-school day sitting at home when we do that anyway?! We save those "off" days for field trips, vacations, and days with Grandma!
9. PJs are the uniform of the day. OK, you may think that's not a struggle, but tell that to my husband. He comes home to stretchy pants more often than not, and bras are reserved for guests.
8. Learning to say "no" to new curricula. I tell Y'all, it's a weakness! A new book, a new method, or a new kit make my knees go weak! Our first year, I spent hundreds on school to end up only really needing some paper and a library card. Now I have to be super realistic and say "No, thanks" to some seriously tempting programs and stick with what I know works for us.
7. Every cashier, bagger, greeter, and waitress asks "Are the kids out of school today?" I can never just answer this question with a simple "No." When I say, "We homeschool," I get either a puzzled look, look of disgust, look of pity, or a smile. Honestly, I don't care what others think of our methods of education, but it does get tiresome when the reaction is less than positive. Of course, this extends to all of those family members and friends that are concerned about your kids' "socialization". Ugh, shaking my head. However, when my kids recite the presidents and are are super polite, it can be an excellent witnessing tool.
6. I am the constant provider of all things edible. There are so many mamas that pack their kids' lunches and send them off to school, hoping they will eat their veggies and not trade their homemade bread for a twinkie. Then, there are the homeschool mamas that are trying to set up the next science project while cooking eggs and bacon before the kids are asking for a snack and lunch and another snack and another snack... If I had a nickel for every time, I heard, "Can I have a snack first?", I would be a very wealthy, braless mama.
5. I am always with someone. Now, seriously, I love that my kids are with me all the time. I would HATE for them to be gone all day and miss all of the moments of their lives. But, sometimes, I want to take a shower without a request or complaint. How many times have you only shaven one armpit because a group of adolescents are screaming bloody murder because one took the other's bouncy ball. Am I right?!
4. As a follow up of number 5, I suffer from envy of other mamas with tons of free time. You know the ones: hair always "did," nails done, house perfect, bra on... They "lunch" and organize and do charitable works... And I'm over here all,"Who forgot to flush the toilet again?!"
3. My house is a mess. All. The. Time. Whether it's scraps of paper and pencils, math manipulatives, snacks, or the remains of breakfast, my house is a constant testimony to the fact that we homeschool. There are rarely times when the kids are gone, and I can really concentrate on cleaning my house, it all has to be done in between lessons, meals, book reading, laundry, you get the picture! You just have to accept it and move on.
2. Comparison. Can I get another witness?! So and so teaches her kids four different languages and they are all going to college by the age of 12! We all know that one family that has a child that read before they crawled and can translate the Bible into Latin in Calligraphy. Yes, I compare my kids to other's and, no, it's not fair. I can only teach my kids the way they learn individually, which is different for everyone. Albert Einsteins, they are not, but I pray that they grow up loving the Lord.
1. Absolutely top of the list is: I feel like we never do enough. I'm sure you've all been there. You want your kids to learn to play the piano, and learn a foreign language, and learn a trade, and love the classics, and be able to divide by Pi, and paint a masterpiece, and... I have an overwhelming feeling of guilt when I think of all that we could be doing, that we aren't. Then, I have to remember that there are only a finite number of hours in a day and days in a year. My most important task is to love my kids and point them toward Jesus. Everything else is just icing on the cake. I want my kids to LOVE learning, but I want them to love the Lord more, which means that I can't fill their days with all that other stuff and not leave time for Him... and family fun.