Hey guys, I’m back to talk about homeschooling and how hard it is. I know, a homeschooler admitting that homeschooling is hard work? It can’t be real.
As homeschoolers, we often have a bit of a superiority complex. It’s no wonder. All our lives, many of us have heard about just why we’re being homeschooled and why homeschooling is superior to public school. I always looked at ‘public schoolers’ like the strange one. Why would you spend eight hours in a classroom when you could just stay at home and play whenever you wanted to? My parents told me stories about their times in public school and it sounded terrible. They told me about the way my education was different because I had the option of learning topics I was interested in.
I agree with all of the things my parents told me. I do think that I had it better than a lot of my peers because of the way I was raised. That doesn’t make me better than them, but it does mean that I appreciate my education more.
That being said, homeschooling is tough. Homeschooling is rocky. Homeschooling is fraught with tears and temper-tantrums and my mom howling “welcome to hell on a Monday morning” when she got fed up.
So, in the spirit of embracing the troubles that homeschoolers face, I’ve decided to create a list of homeschooling issues that you’ll run into at some point or another.
- I’m not good at the subject my kid is learning
I was probably around 11 the first time I went to my mom with a math question I didn’t understand to be met with a blank look.
At some point, your child may very well surpass you when it comes to a particular subject, and that’s okay. My mom sat down with me and read through the teacher’s manual until she understood the topic and could explain it to me.
It’s a small problem, but one that will inevitably crop up.
2. My child just can’t learn a certain subject (or is convinced they can’t learn it)
If you have more than one kid that you’re homeschooling, there’s a good chance you’ve happened upon this problem. Is it handwriting? Maybe your twelve-year-old can’t spell if their life depended on it. Or maybe science makes your child moan, groan and cry because they just can’t do it. Regardless of what topic your kid is unable to grasp, the frustration that goes along with it is the same.
The thing is, there’s no simple solution. It’s trial and error. Maybe changing the curriculum will be enough, but sometimes it’s just spending hours labouring over the same lesson/subject until your child understands it. No matter what the answer is for your family, you just have to approach it with patience.
3. How the heck am I supposed to be a parent to my younger kids and a teacher to my older ones?
One thing that new homeschoolers haven’t considered is the struggle of achieving a work-life balance— that is, your work as a teacher and your life as a parent. That alone is hard enough. To top it off, you’re probably going to have to balance the two simultaneously, especially if your children are different ages. It can be hard to teach your ten-year-old math while also taking care of a toddler.
Again, there’s no simple solution to this one. It’s about finding a system that works for you, and that’s easier said than done.
4. My child hates *insert subject* and it’s a constant battle
When I was a kid, I really hated doing history. It was so dry. I would prop up my favourite novel inside the pages of my history book instead of studying, or read the book for two minutes so when my mom asked if I had done history yet I could say yes.
I never found a magical love of history, but the change came when I discovered historical fiction. The Royal Diaries provided history in the form of a novel, which in turn sparked my desire to learn more about that era.
For me, the answer was finding a way to incorporate the topic I disliked with something I loved. In this case, my distaste of history was countered by a love for well-written novels.
Maybe it’s not as simple as finding a historical novel that your child will like, but with a bit of imagination you can combine anything.
5. I don’t think I’m capable of teaching my kids. All of the other moms/dads I know have everything together and I’m a mess
As a homeschooling parent, it’s far too easy to compare yourself to other homeschooling families. The homeschooling mom that arranges the co-ops, the gym nights, and the email list? She doesn’t have it together any more than you. Just because your parenting style is different than your peers doesn’t make you a better or any worse parent/teacher.