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Sometimes, Homeschooling Ain’t All it’s Cracked Up To Be- agree or disagree?

Posted by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 7:09 AM
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1 mom liked this

homeschool at table Sometimes, Homeschooling Aint All its Cracked Up To Be

image by whgrad

My kids and I finished our 8th year of homeschooling two weeks ago.  It was the very best year we’ve ever had, in spite of being interrupted by endless sessions of editing my book and then launching the book in March, complete with lots of interviews and excitement.

As I think about our 8 years as a homeschooling family, I have to be honest.  It hasn’t all been happy faces and gold stars.  There are some downsides that not many of us like to talk about.

  1. At times, your children will be outsiders.  They won’t be hip to all the latest fashion trends, video games, music, and fads.  Many of these are fun and harmless, but it will be your kids who may seem like the odd man out because they won’t fit in.
  2. Sometimes you will be the outsider as other moms talk about the teachers at their kids’ school and which sports their kids are into this year.
  3. There will be times when school will be no fun at all.  For anyone.
  4. You’ll have to listen to public school parents brag about their kids being accepted into gifted programs and how great their kid’s school is. You might detect a bit of defensiveness but it wouldn’t be polite to point that out.
  5. Sometimes virtual strangers will confront your decision to homeschool.  “You can’t shelter them forever, you know.”  Yes, I was told that when I informed someone I would be homeschooling our 5 year-old.
  6. You’ll spend a lot of time second guessing yourself:
    • Should we have chosen that other curriculum?
    • Am I doing enough?
    • Am I doing too little?
    • Are my kids well-adjusted?
    • I thought homeschooled kids weren’t shy but my daughter is.  What did I do WRONG???
  7. It will be hard to gauge how “normal” your kids are because you will seldom see them in a large group of kids, all the same age.  I’m pretty sure my son is really big for his age, but it’s hard to tell because he hangs out with kids of all ages.
  8. When it’s time for your “female annual exam,” you may have to bring the kids with you.  My doctor is used to it.  They sit in the hall and she gives them each a lollipop.
  9. Ditto for bra fittings, but no lollipops.
  10. There have been lots of time when I wanted privacy just to have a good cry.  Maybe I was discouraged, disappointed, sad, whatever, but it’s hard to cry when you have little people examining your face for any sign of tears.
  11. Did I mention that a mom’s privacy is pretty much a thing of the past?
  12. Friends and relatives look forward to sitting you down with the news that your child doesn’t know their math facts, or your son has terrible handwriting, or your kids don’t know how to play dodgeball, and you suspect they gossip about this behind your back.
  13. When your kids are confronted with bullies, they will be completely unprepared for it.  Life with bullies is a way of life for public school kids. Not so much for the homeschooled.

So why are millions of us sticking with our commitment to homeschooling?  Our kids are worth it.  Our family is worth it.  At the end of my life I’ll never be able to say, “I missed out on some of their most important moments.”  Nope, I was there for every single one of them.  Our family bonds are tighter than ever, in spite of, or maybe because of, the squabbles and rubbing each other the wrong way because we are together so much.

Homeschooling may not be perfect, but it’s perfect for our family.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.

by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 7:09 AM
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by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 7:20 AM

Scools are nevr fun for my kids DS is worried about what others are doing.  DD needs to go back to the doctor cause her ear is hurting again.  I never gossip about my teachers we never really talk to anyone anyway.  Its ok if they are big/little for there age! who is to judge them? and pick on them?.  When you go on a field trip you don't have to worry about lines cause there really are none because all the school kids are at school.  They can brag to them and other parents if by all means i went to such and such place.  They will be more excited about school work :). there are many pluses to being homeschooled.

by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Those "negatives" aren't very strong negatives! Looks like the author of that article really has it all together.

Homeschooling is like being hired on for a job--24/7. You are mom and teacher all rolled into one. I think that can be a negative. Moms who send their kids off to school daily get a break from that. I don't want to be away from my dd9. She is my youngest and only daughter, so I want to take advantage of every chance to spend time with her. The negatives for me are some days I just don't want to be teacher. LOL But, like any other "job" you do it anyway.

I'm not sure about some of her comments---do they never go anywhere where there are kids her kids' ages? She seems to be concerned about how they compare to other kids.

by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 3:06 PM

 Thank's, I needed to read that today!

by Sonja on Oct. 4, 2012 at 10:51 PM

pretty good article even given the concerns. :)  



by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 10:37 AM

I don't believe there are any negatives to homeschooing when done correctly.  At least not any they wouldn't encounter in a public school in some way or another.  If I encounter a gap I simply find a way to fill it.  Many children are outsiders in public school.  My son has been pinched and had dirt thrown in his face while homeschooling.  Homeschoolers are not perfect.  They are just like other kids.  I have as much privacy as I need. Whenever someone confronts my decision to homeschool I look at it as an opportunity to inform.  If school ever became not fun for us then we would just change gears and do something different.  

by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 10:46 AM

 I never experienced those negatives but we were always just happy being with each other. Our family was our main thing. We did everything together.  Some people think kids have to be around other kids in order to be "normal". Not true.  All but one of mine is now grown and they are all quite "normal".   Most are already married with families of their own.  I also was one that couldn't care less what others thought so that didn't bother me.  Privacy?  Didn't mind being with family.  Glad this author  believes it is worth it though :-)

by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 10:52 AM

My kids like home schooling when I like home schooling... make sense?

If I'm on a down swing and stressed out, they will complain and want to go back to PS...   but if I'm enthusiastic and involved and gung ho, then they really enjoy.

I try my best, but part of me can't wait until they start doing some independent work without needing mom to be the big driving force.     I only have four kids... and having to have energy for a newborn, a wild preschooler who has more energy than I have ever seen contained in one child, a 3rd grade boy who is bright but has problems focusing orally and is highly impulsive, a 5th grade girl that has some issues that are borderline autism.  (no, I've never had her diagnosed.)  

I just can't be all things to them all the time.   So, yeah, sometimes hsing is def not what it's cracked up to be... but it's still the better option!

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