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I have heard so many horror stories, in my local circle as well as all over the internet, of moms who homeschooled and then couldn't take it anymore and sent their kids back to public school. I've also heard horror stories from people who sent their kids to public school and couldn't take it anymore so decided to start homeschooling.


I can't decide which horror story will be mine yet, as my oldest child is only a few weeks into public school kindergarten. I dislike it very much, I find a lot of it pointless, I clash with the teacher big time and I am extremely irritated that she has homework every single night. However, my daughter loves it. She's utterly exhausted at the end of the day, but, she enjoys school and has gained a lot of confidence as she has been moved up to a first grade classroom during language arts.


If we were homeschooling right now, my guess is that I’d be telling you how I hate it. How she and her little sisters follow me around constantly, are underfoot, never stop talking (at the same time mind you), are always hungry, won’t play outside for more than 4 minutes, change outfits 7 times a day creating a ridiculous amount of laundry, etc. and so on. (basically how our summer went)


For those of you with a less than ideal dynamic (cause I see some moms who seem to adore spending every minute with their children – can’t wrap my head around that. I’m assuming we have a particular dynamic that makes me want to pull my hair out) HOW do you manage day in and day out spending so much time with your kids? Am I just one of those personalities who should NOT home school? (I struggle with focus when I can’t get a set amount of quiet time each day to get my head together. We have “quiet time” but they are age 5, 4 and 7 months so there’s always someone who needs something or something happens where they’re in a jam and need my help and it’s never truly quiet time where I could devote myself to something I need to get done.


**They’re not unusually wild and unruly kids. They are fairly organized and well behaved having spent a couple years in Montessori preschool. They are mostly polite and loving but, they’re still kids. They whine, they make messes, they bicker, they constantly want my attention and all that junk. My background is elementary and early childhood development so I know how to guide them through these normal things…but it’s exhausting and I it leaves me with no time or energy to take care of my house and family meals. Much less take care of myself. So part of me thinks homeschooling would be CRAZY dumb of me…and yet, public is very disappointing.
 

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I feel for you. I have 3 kids and that in itself is a BIG job. Being a mom is hard work! No matter the schooling.

Homeschooling is a lifestyle. Yes, some times I want to pull my hair out. Sometimes it is hard to find a quiet moment. But as the kids get older they learn to do things by themselves. I find ways of taking breaks. (DH works lots of hours) But I enjoy exploring the world with my kids. See them learn and grow. That makes up for the "bad moments".

I don't know if this answers your question. I just want to let you know that I just stand where you are coming from.
 

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I plan to homeschool my dd, but I worry about the same thing. By the time she is ready for kindergarten I will probably have another baby to care for on top of schooling. So I wonder if I will really be able to do it with out going crazy. But if she is happy and likes school I would let her finish the year and see how it is by summer. A lot can change in the year, the decision might be easier when it's time to start 1st.
 

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1. Regular schooling begins when children are at the age where they start to get easier to live with. Seven-year-olds are pretty awesome, you know? They get themselves washed and dressed, they can hold rational interesting conversations with adults, they get stuff out to play with, they can get ready when it's time to leave the house, they curl up with a book, they can tidy, help with meals, take bits of supervisory responsibility for their siblings. Four- and five-year-olds, not so much, lol! Just when we -- as a society -- send them off to school they're about to get easier!

2. Homeschooling means you have to work it out. You can't just let stuff slide, the inter-sibling conflict, the lack of respect for parental needs, the absence of co-operation around housework and activities. You don't have six hours a day most weeks of the year when you can recover from that crap and put the house back together. You have to work with your kids to figure it out. Yes, it can be challenging as an introvert or a lover-of-order to have kids underfoot. But if it's 24/7 you will be forced to find real solutions. Your kids will have to learn to understand your needs, to help out, to listen to their siblings' and parents' perspectives. Relationships have to work; family has to co-operate. There is no other option in a homeschooling situation. And because there's no other way, you will figure it out. And you will be that much stronger, your children that much wiser and more empathetic, for it.

Miranda
 

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For us, I get a break and have happy kids when I found plenty of out of the house classes or activities that my kids can be part of that I am not assisting in. This gives us both a break, they are around kids their own age and its a good way to make new friends, but my kids are still doing something that is part of whatever curriculum or approach we have chosen. So for us this has included everything from weekly art lessons, to outdoor/nature ed classes, classes at the zoo/aquarium/science center, and even co-op classes (for us this has just been once a month science club that meets through our local religious homeschool group). I stress things you are not staying to teach or assist with, so it is a true "break" from being a homeschool parent. For you, if you find you want/need more time apart from your kids, you could enroll them in a homeschool co-op that you drop them off to all day once or a couple of times a week.

I always tell my friends who say things like "I could never homeschool, I don't have the patience, etc" that you can nowadays find a way to homeschool in any conceivable fashion that makes the parents and the kids happy. There is so much available online, through museums or such or co-ops that you can piece together what you want. And if you don't find what you want, start it yourself, I'm sure there is a homeschool mom somewhere who is also looking for something similar and will want to join you :)
 

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I homeschool as a personal conviction. For me, this means the other options aren't options for us.

While it gets taxing, it's mostly due to outside societal influences that make my choice "odd", which is alienating. As a mom of 10, 6 of which are 6 and under, I'm isolated.

What makes it worthwhile? Much. When I feel taxed or lonely (I don't get invited to do things, participate, and I don't have "me" time), I remember my core values:

I am called by God to fully raise my children. This means no other can do the same job as me. This is my season, and I am just beginning to reap the rewards with a wonderful adult child and teens who are great people, and well educated. This life is not about me, but about serving others. There is no greater job than raising and teaching children, as they are a gift that I prayed for.

I pray to God for strength, wisdom and guidance daily, and He is faithful to give it. Our home generally runs like a well-oiled machine, and that comes with many years of practice and dedication. There are times of struggle, but it would be phony to say there aren't. In those times, I draw on what I know to be true, and usually it's followed by some sort of understanding I needed to learn.

I don't like co-ops or being busy outside the home, but for many, this is a blessing. That is always a good option for those mamas.

(I am a Christian and don't expect others to believe the same things as I do.)
 
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1. Regular schooling begins when children are at the age where they start to get easier to live with. Seven-year-olds are pretty awesome, you know? They get themselves washed and dressed, they can hold rational interesting conversations with adults, they get stuff out to play with, they can get ready when it's time to leave the house, they curl up with a book, they can tidy, help with meals, take bits of supervisory responsibility for their siblings. Four- and five-year-olds, not so much, lol! Just when we -- as a society -- send them off to school they're about to get easier!

2. Homeschooling means you have to work it out. You can't just let stuff slide, the inter-sibling conflict, the lack of respect for parental needs, the absence of co-operation around housework and activities. You don't have six hours a day most weeks of the year when you can recover from that crap and put the house back together. You have to work with your kids to figure it out. Yes, it can be challenging as an introvert or a lover-of-order to have kids underfoot. But if it's 24/7 you will be forced to find real solutions. Your kids will have to learn to understand your needs, to help out, to listen to their siblings' and parents' perspectives. Relationships have to work; family has to co-operate. There is no other option in a homeschooling situation. And because there's no other way, you will figure it out. And you will be that much stronger, your children that much wiser and more empathetic, for it.

Miranda
THis post resonates with me, and pretty much sums up my experience so far. My kids are 5 and almost 2, and often I think that this is ridiculous, when the house is a mess and the kids are fighting over every little thing... I often find myself complaining in my head as I'm tidying up the house, and somehow the job gets done, not perfectly, but things look better than they did when I first started, and the kids stop complaining and start helping, or playing, and life goes on. Teaching my 5 yo is something like that. I think I am getting no where, and not doing enough (because right now I do very little except read to him and talk to him), but then I see him begin to pick up on things or learn some concept that seemed far beyond him a few months ago. I can see it starting to happen.
Anyway, I don't have time to fully articulate myself right now, as I'm writing from the bottom of a kid pile, as usual, but just want to say that I hear your concerns, they are mine too, and things are often working out, even when they seem imperfect.
 
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