Updated: May 1, 2022
You want the truth? Parenting is hard! Like so hard! Like keeps me awake at night wondering if we did all the things, if we made the right choice when it came to whatever the situation of the day/month/year was, if we instilled the right things in our kids, etc. So hard.
Homeschooling/education is just an extension of parenting. Our kids are educated by everything they see, hear, watch, read, play, and by all the people they interact with. Homeschooling means you have a far greater impact on all of those aspects. It means knowing who they’re interacting with, and having a say in who is influencing them. It means knowing what’s in the curriculum they’re using and what they’re being taught. It means knowing what they’re hearing/seeing on a daily basis. It means being there to help them navigate tricky situations, and to help them learn skills for interpersonal relationships. It means being the biggest influence in your child’s life since they aren’t gone to school for seven hours a day, five days a week, for thirteen years of their young lives.
Homeschooling will be hard in some ways because raising kids is hard, parenting is hard, trying to do what’s best for your kids is hard. It’s hard to be a good parent. However, homeschooling can also be easy. It means not rushing your kids out the door at the crack of dawn five days a week, not waiting in line at pickups at three different schools for your kids, not rushing to get kids fed after ball practice so they can get their homework done and get to bed at a reasonable time, not trying to figure out how to help with homework when you’re not the one teaching it (with a handy teacher’s manual in your hand if you want), and so much more.
It means the freedom to let your kids sleep in as needed. It means enjoying a peaceful morning together while you read a book aloud over breakfast. It means being there when a concept finally clicks for your child. It means snuggling on the couch watching a documentary before you all work together to get chores done and prepare dinner. It means watching your children learn and play together. It means being there for every field trip and every project and seeing what your kids get really passionate about so you can guide them toward resources that fuel their passions. It means dropping everything to help a family member or friend. It means making meaningful connections in your community at the library, grocery store, and museums when things are quiet during the week. It means being there to watch your kids blossom. Of course, it also means getting to hop right on rides at the amusement park because you’re there in off season, or being the only ones on the beach, and being able to really enjoy vacations because you’re not there when most of the country is out of school.
I am not going to tell you that homeschooling isn’t ever hard, but you can do many things to make it easier and more peaceful for you and your kids while still giving them an amazing education: deciding between rigid schedules or gentle rhythms; deciding to be school-at-homers or homeschoolers; deciding whether academics are more important than mental health on a rough day, and on and on and on. Talk to experienced homeschool parents to see how things like meals, chores, and time-management can all be handled as part of homeschooling and can make your life less stressful, while really teaching your kids what they need to be successful adults who know how to manage their time, their responsibilities, and their households.
Discussing expectations with your family, working together as a team, valuing and respecting each other, being kind and loving to each other, making your house a joyful place to be, apologizing to your kids/spouse when needed, discussing what is okay and what’s not in terms of how others are treated, so many things go into creating a peaceful home. Those same things help create a peaceful homeschool environment.
Many a tear have been shed and many a fervent prayer have been prayed over the raising of our children. Parenting is the hardest gig in the world, but it’s also the easiest and most natural.
Like parenting, homeschooling may not always be easy, but it will always be worth it.