Mothering Forums

Mothering Forums (
-   Learning at Home and Beyond (
-   -   What do you NOT like about homeschooling? (

boysmom2 12-29-2009 01:58 AM

I'm going to be trying again to convince DH that we should hs (I ALMOST convinced him before DS1 started 1st grade). I want to be as informed as I possibly can be, so I'm looking for some honest assesments of what might not be so fun about it. So, is there anything you just don't like? Things that are more difficult than you expected?

Right now we have 3 boys: 2nd grade, preschool, and 7mo. We may end up having more, so I'd be hs multiple ages, + preschoolers/babies.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

living_organic 12-29-2009 02:13 AM

I don't like all the comments I get from people (family or otherwise) that think we are going to turn our kids in to freaks who can't function in society.

I don't like that random folks in the store, or wherever, think they can quiz my children on any topic to see if I'm doing a good enough job! LOL

There is nothing about it that I don't like that only involves my children, husband and I...just other nosey people.

RiverSky 12-29-2009 02:22 AM

Originally Posted by living_organic View Post
I don't like all the comments I get from people (family or otherwise) that think we are going to turn our kids in to freaks who can't function in society.

I don't like that random folks in the store, or wherever, think they can quiz my children on any topic to see if I'm doing a good enough job! LOL

There is nothing about it that I don't like that only involves my children, husband and I...just other nosey people.

I so agree!

There's nothing about homeschooling that I don't love, except for the random annoying comments we get from strangers and sometimes relatives and friends (old friends from facebook, for instance). It gets very tiring to have to constantly explain our reasons as to why we homeschool and still have those people not understand.

DH and I both agree that homeschooling our children is one of the best decisions we've ever made. Our DS went to kindergarten in a public school, btw and now our children are 11 and 8.

EviesMom 12-29-2009 02:33 AM

On the convincing, I found that getting started and getting DH on board was much easier as a "let's do this for 1 year and then re-evaluate" rather than a "let's homeschool forever and ever and ever." We avoided questions of "what will you do when she wants to learn high school chemistry, what about prom, etc. that are just totally irrelevant to homeschooling a K child. I also say to family and friends "We're homeschooling this year and then we'll make a longer decision," which I think serves us well in terms of relatives not starting a stink about it when we're getting settled with it, etc.

Things I don't like:
Trying to homeschool with a toddler underfoot is HARD!

Getting into a routine and keeping it is HARD! but we do much better with one. When we're "off," like now around the holidays, DD is much more whiney and wild I find. I thought our "off" weeks would be great and leisurely but they aren't. So I'm shifting that to have a more steady routine of "schoolwork" to do.

Making sure we all get out the door and burn off outside energy even when its is HARD!

Making new friends for she and I both (she'd be doing some of that in school too though) is HARD! It's hard to talk to and get involved with a new social group.

Ruthiegirl 12-29-2009 09:44 AM

People's comments stink.

I was floored this weekend when having lunch with dh's colleague when it was mentioned that my kids seemed a little advanced and maybe they should go to school to slow them down. "You know, a 7 year old with a vocabulary like that is a little weird."

Or my MIL who insists that she likes to spend time with my sil's kids so much better, because they are in school all day and she doesn't have to actually be in the same room with them.

I love, love, love homeschooling. I love it. It's the outside world I wonder about.

Mama~Love 12-29-2009 09:51 AM

The reporting requirements. It's none of their business!!

elizawill 12-29-2009 10:09 AM

i hate having to drive so far to hang out with other homeschoolers & do anything worthwhile. that is definitely what i dislike the most. i live in a small town though, so it usually isn't an issue for other people.

meetoo 12-29-2009 10:15 AM

We just started homeschooling this year. We agreed by making it a trial basis. There are a few things I don't like about the day to day of homeschooling, mainly involving the impossible task of keeping the house clean, and if she has an attitude about school work. Butttttt house keeping is not my strong suit, and she gave me crap last yr about doing homework so I'm not sure that either of those would be any different if she was in school. For the most part we really love homeschooling. It has brought us so much closer together and really has been a positive both for our family and our DD. One thing I don't like is that I constantly worry about if she is "on target" to the point where I make myself crazy a lot. I'm working on over coming that. I also have a preschooler and a baby (who is actually more like a toddler now ). I would say it has been good for both of them too. My preschooler is doing more advanced work because he sees his sister doing it. They spend much more time together then they would other wise. The baby LOVES having her big siblings around. Nap time can be a little tricky, but seeing has she is number three I imagine that would be tricky not homeschooling too......

zebrachick83 12-29-2009 10:20 AM

sticking to a schedule is tricky for pps, we have varied ages, 5, 16 months and 4 months, so keeping things consistent is a struggle. but, that's where the real beauty of homeschooling is, because we can decide to unschool for a year or two until everybody gets older and then add in more structure if we choose!!!

other people's comments don't bother me at all. they can go jump in a lake for all i care...

bdavis337 12-29-2009 10:28 AM

We've only been hs'ing for a few months, but the hardest things for me are juggling the needs of my younger children with my older one. It never fails that I'm in the middle of a math lesson with him, one that he really needs my involvement for, and the toddler needs some long string of my attention.

It's also hard, for me (and this is my own personal issue) is that I am WITH THEM 24/7. I have 3 boys, ages 8.5, 4.5 and 2.5. We live in a small apt and things get very intense when we're all in the house together all day long. I would LOVE some time during the day when there wasn't a child laying across my lap, begging for something more to eat, another train movie, comptuer time, fix this, find that, etc etc. I think it's important to remember that it's ok to NOT love having your kids with you constantly. It's ok to say that you really need some time without. So during naptime I still put the 4.5 year old in his bed and if he doesn't sleep he'll at least stay there quietly for 30 minutes or so. And I ask my 8.5 year old to do his quiet reading during that time, so I buy myself a little bit of peace and quiet for a few minutes.

pigpokey 12-29-2009 12:16 PM

Originally Posted by Ruthiegirl View Post
People's comments stink.

I was floored this weekend when having lunch with dh's colleague when it was mentioned that my kids seemed a little advanced and maybe they should go to school to slow them down. "You know, a 7 year old with a vocabulary like that is a little weird."
Oh, dear, that's funny. You know 200 years ago when almost all 7 year olds were "home schooled" they must have had a bunch of genius kids running all over the place.

There is nothing I don't like when I think about the alternative and what costs it would bring. But, I do think it would be nice to have to do less driving and waiting. E.g., the home school co-op and the home school music conservatory require parents to wait there during class time because they don't have insurance or something so it can't be a drop off class. It would be nice if the government would pay for a bus to come collect my kids for their classes LOL. And indemnify the providers if there is an accident.

For the most part comments and assumptions people make are generally positive, e.g., people tend to assume my kids are bright with a long attention span. We also pay less for several activities because we can do them during off-peak hours.

completebeginnings 12-29-2009 01:17 PM

3 things mainly all of them minor:

Having to pay for sitters for 4 kids instead of 1 or two. Sometimes I need sitters during the day for appointments and I have to pay for my 1st and kindy kid as well as my toddler and baby.

Keeping the house clean.

Feeling the pressure that you alone are responsible for providing opportunities for your children to educate themselves. I do not believe you can educate someone only they can educate them self.

Collinsky 12-29-2009 01:29 PM

Never having any time alone in the house to just clean without interruption or new messes being made in another room. Cleaning while homeschooling is like an awful lot like shoveling during a snowstorm, because they're always there, DOING things. It piles up, as you clear it out.

Granted, even if the two school-age kiddos went to school, I'd still have a preschooler, toddler, and soon a new baby at home... so basically I would have sent away the two that were able to really pick up after themselves and help mama out with cleaning.

Tigeresse 12-29-2009 01:29 PM

I would say that unless you're involved in a religious group or well populated area finding social opportunities and friends for kids becomes quite a challenge when the kids get older. Even if you have established a strong network when they're young often people move away or go back to school. You can meet others at conferences and the like, but then they're far away. Sometimes homeschool co-operatives and groups can become clique-y too.

lorrielink 12-29-2009 02:04 PM

Originally Posted by Collinsky View Post
Cleaning while homeschooling is like an awful lot like shoveling during a snowstorm, because they're always there, DOING things.

annethcz 12-29-2009 03:53 PM

We HSed for several years, sent our kids to school for 2 years, and will be HSing again next year. Here's my list:

1. Feeling like I need to be everything to everybody.
2. Lack of time to myself. I'm an introvert- I need time to myself to recharge, and that can be a challenge when I'm at home with kids 24/7.
3. I have difficulty sticking to a schedule, but our household definitely runs more smoothly when we stick to a general routine.
4. The bickering between children and the whining. I have 4 kids. Sometimes they get along. Other times they enjoy picking on each other just for fun.
5. Having a messy house. This is somewhat related to my point #3 (routine). I get crabby when I'm living in a messy house. With the kids in school (even though I'm working), I have more time to maintain a clean house and it makes me feel more comfortable.
6. Having to drive a long distance to participate in HSing groups and activites.
7. Socialization/friends. Yes- REALLY! I've found that my kids have been able to make closer friends with the children they see on a daily basis at school. It's been much harder for my kids to make good, tight friendships with children they see once a week for only a few hours at a HS group. The quality of the relationships just aren't the same. (and since we live in the country and I have 4 kids, driving a long way to facilitate a playdate for one child just doesn't work well for our family)

Surprisingly, comments from other people is not on my list. In the years that we homeschooled, I rarely received unwelcome comments from others.

As you can see from the above, I don't think homeschooling is without it's negatives. For MY family, there are pros and cons to both HSing and institutional school. My kids have enjoyed both, but ultimately, I think we prefer the HSing lifestyle.

dachshundqueen 12-29-2009 04:05 PM

The crushing responsibility of not only being responsible for my children's upbringing and education but also of being the home manager (DH only works - nothing else, other than home fix it projects that exceed my skill and ability).

The irritation of others consistently questioning my choices regardless of explanation or my completely ignoring them.


ohiomommy1122 12-29-2009 04:10 PM

just all the extra books and such cluttering up my house we use the library often and have books everywhere, I need to work on better organization but thats it!, but I do love all the kids projects all over the walls and maps and such lol

Kreeblim 12-29-2009 07:12 PM

The additional costs. We had to buy a laser printer because the amount of ink used alone was going to bankrupt us. We are very lucky to be in an area with tons of activities and classes close by, but they all cost money, and this year has been one of our worst. There are a few programs I wish we had been able to participate in that will have to wait until things pick up next year.

I mean, even if one third of our district's money that would have been for my child in public school had gone to his classes as a homeschooler....ah to dream.

goobergrl6 12-29-2009 07:18 PM

The never ending workload.....I used to clean during nap/rest time. Now that is homeschool time with the 5 yo, while the 4 yo runs amuck, and the 1 yo naps. So my house is a mess, but there is no time to do everything. And like a pp, DH does little more then go to work. So it is all on me. I often find myself just plain overwhelmed at my ever growing to do list.

SagMom 12-29-2009 09:28 PM

Well, I wasn't expecting to have to drive so much, and sometimes that gets to me. Part of the reason is that our homeschooled friends are spaced out through several counties, but also because, as the kids got older, they've become involved in more classes and activities and volunteer jobs etc. So I'm running quite a bit.

For the most part, I don't see it as a negative--we get to talk a lot in the car, listen to books on tape or music--but every so often I just feel DONE with the driving. (Of course, living in the most densely populated state in the nation in an area with no public transportation probably doesn't help!)

But we're in our 10th year now and I can't come up with any other negatives.

midwestmom 12-29-2009 10:48 PM

As others mentioned....mainly not having any time to myself as an introvert and the never ending mess. Pretty much the same list as annechtz except we haven't ever tried regular school to compare. I don't personally give a hoot about other people's comments.

lach 12-29-2009 11:24 PM

Can I just say that this is a very refreshing thread? I think there's a feeling among many people who homeschool that they have to put on a "Everything is perfect. All the time. No, really." face, because they feel that so many people are looking for little chinks in the armor just to get in their criticisms. But the reality is that no situation is ever perfect, and homeschooling families aren't perfect either. It's nice to have a safe space where people feel they can be honest without criticism.

Thank you to everyone who shared downsides, it has been very interesting to read this thread.

Savoir Faire 12-29-2009 11:34 PM

1. Sometimes I feel as if I never get to sit down. It'll be 4pm and I realize I've literally sat down for five minutes, and that includes two meals.

2. I also hate the days where my daughter is fighting on everything and I feel as if I'm going to fail her completely.

3. If there's a problem, I, as mom/teacher, am responsible for figuring it out. it can be quite stressful, especially when it comes down to things such as Learning differences.

4. Driving....I. Hate. Driving. Everywhere.

5. The comments from others. Santa really quizzed the kids on what they were learning. He asked my 3-year-old if he "was learning about the Indians."

6. Most of this wouldn't be so bad...but with no downtime/me time-- it can really add up.

boysmom2 12-29-2009 11:37 PM

Wow! Thanks so much for all the replies! I really appreciate the honesty and all the different perspectives. I also like the idea of talking DH into 1 year of hs to see how it goes - much less overwhelming that way!

Thanks so much everybody! Keep the ideas coming!

AAK 12-30-2009 01:54 AM

I will be honest. I sometimes feel overwhelmed. I want to have a clean house (not perfect, but generally clean--dishes done and laundry manageable) and I want to do all sorts of cool at home learning things too. Sometimes, it is hard for me to find the balance with it all. I am getting better. So are my kids--we are all getting better at picking up after ourselves, etc. That way, I can have both. At the same time, I have accepted that sometimes, it won't be the 'coolest learning experience ever'. Sometimes, it is a worksheet or whatever. Sometimes my kids don't thing something is as interesting as I hoped. All that.

Also, and it doesn't seem to be a problem for other people, but I sometimes feel guilty/selfish/or something. In regards to guilty about not liking the public school system, selfish about wanting more for "my" kids, etc. Sometimes I feel selfish about wanting some ME time too--this is harder when homeschooling.

Overall though, I really do like homeschooling. I don't have people quizzing my kids like other posters have (thank god! I would probably be rather rude in response), but I do feel like I am supposed to have a special reason to homeschool.


gaudynight 12-30-2009 02:25 AM

The claustrophobia - sometimes I just feel trapped inside the house trying to do it all.

The pressure of feeling solely responsible for my children's future and waking up in the middle of the night suddenly and irrationally terrified that I will miss out on teaching them something important.

Feeling like one or more child is being short-changed - that I'm skimping on DD1's reading to change the baby's nappy or play with DD3, or that DD3 is missing out on my time and attention while I teach the olders.

Other people's questions/reactions/nosiness.

2xy 12-30-2009 03:10 AM

I'm coming from a different place than most of you, since we've been doing this for over ten years and my kids aren't climbing curtains anymore.

Yeah, my house gets messy. I think it would get messy even if the kids went to school, so I don't blame that on homeschooling.

I dislike the nosiness of other people. I'm tired of answering the same questions over and over again, and have started to disengage from those sorts of conversations when they arise. If people want to learn about homeschooling, the information is all over the Internet....they can do their own homework. If they're just asking to be critical and judgmental, then that's one more reason to not engage.

Lately, I've been getting a lot of "Is he going to go to college?" type questions. I'm like, "He's sitting right there. Why don't you ask him?"

Social time has been more of a challenge lately, but that's more because I have to work than because we homeschool. Back in the day, I had way more time to drive kids here and there. I'm also a part-time student. OTOH, my kids are old enough to take a bus if they want to go somewhere, and they don't seem motivated to do that, so I guess they must be content with the level of socializing they're getting.

MamaMonica 12-30-2009 03:25 AM

I don't like the driving. But I would probably be driving them to activities anyway- there's no getting around it.

I prefer the homeschooling lifestyle even though it has some negatives. It's positive experience overall and the best choice for our family.

calmom 12-30-2009 03:39 AM

um, well... being at home with all my kids every day all day.

i'm only sort of joking. i LOVE so much about it but everything falls on me and it can be overwhelming. we unschooled for the first several years and honestly, the unsupportive comments from people and feeling like we had to "hide" the way we did it was really difficult.

for me, finding classes, curriculum, workbooks, was the very least of my concerns. getting the kids to sit down and do their work is not even that hard on a daily basis. it's really mostly been emotional stuff on my end, things that have already been mentioned, like loneliness at home, driving time, messy house, etc.

but it has been a wonderful experience and i wouldnt trade it for anything. it's only gotten better and easier over the years.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:50 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 5.26%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.