7 Reasons homeschooling Is kicking My Ass
Homeschooling your kid is a special kind of hell. Yes, there are cozy morning snuggles while reading aloud and fun, messy art projects that bring on the belly laughs. There’s the freedom to study what brings your kid joy. And I mean, pajama day is pretty much every day. Who doesn’t love pajama day?But homeschooling is far from rainbows and butterflies. Homeschooling can drain your lifeforce quicker than a stranger can say, “But what about socialization?” It’s rewarding but exhausting, frustrating, and even at times lonely. Here are seven reasons why homeschooling is totally kicking my ass.
#1 I’m always with my kid.
Let’s start with the obvious, shall we? I love my kid. He’s funny and sweet and he makes my life. But being with him 24/7 (or just about) and being not only his mom but his teacher, principal, guidance counseller, classmate, and partner in crime is just a lot. Sometimes I fantasize about packing him off to public school for a day just to hear myself think. Oh, but then when the opportunity arises and I do get time to myself, I have no clue what to do because my every waking moment is spent catering to him.
#2 My house is a disaster.
You can clean your house every second of every day and it still won’t be clean because you’re always in it. And then there’s the science experiment growing on the counter, the art project drying on the table, and the engineering structure taking over every square inch of available floor and there’s no hope of tucking any of it away. That’s your life now.
#3 It’s expensive af.
If I thought buying my textbooks for university was painful, that’s only because I hadn’t looked into the price of twelve years of homeschooling. There are a lot of cheap and free resources for curriculum, but they usually come at the cost of time and sanity. Add on homeschool association fees, field trips, and a multitude of extracurriculars (because if your kid wants to play basketball, it’s not like you can play in a class of one) and say goodbye to financial security.
#4 It’s a full time job.
I am constantly researching activities, requirements, and resources to help my kid learn what he wants to learn. There are books to help me be a better homeschooler, books on how to be a better educator, but no professional development days or time to read them. It’s not like I can walk into my fellow math teacher’s office and get a professional opinion on how to best serve my student. And while other homeschool moms are an invaluable resource, they just haven’t taught the wide range of students that a teacher has, so finding advice that works for you and your kid can be difficult. And for the love of everything, do not utter the phrase “self-care” in my direction. I’m just trying to survive.
#5 I have to be the “enforcer.”
I always saw myself being the fun mom, but homeschooling requires me to stay on task at least some of the time and I suck at it. My kid will be halfway through a LEGO creation when I’ll realize that we’re both still in PJs, neither of us has eaten, and it’s noon. An idyllic morning quickly becomes a game of catch up. Staying organized is difficult enough for me, but even more so when I’m also the person responsible for creating structure.
#6 Snacks. And more snacks.
You know how in the summertime everyone jokes about their kids asking for endless snacks? That’s every single day. And as much as you can say, “I’m not your personal chef!” the pantry is calling and well maybe we’ll just have a handful of nuts. And some apple slices. And don’t we have cookies somewhere? It’s impossible to think when you’re surrounded by so much deliciousness. And now we’ve been sidetracked from our studies and how do we come back from this?
#7 Surviving the comments.
Everyone has something to say about your parenting, but double it when you’re homeschooling. Even when I tell myself that people mean well, it’s still doesn’t change the fact that it’s none of their damn business. I want my kiddo to grow up to be a well-adjusted adult and I’m doing everything to make that happen, but I shouldn’t have to defend my choices as a parent to every stranger that we meet. Whether we chose to homeschool or came to it as a last resort, we’re doing it because it’s what works best for our families.
Homeschooling may be kicking my ass and hard, but at the end of the day (most days anyway) I love watching my kid learn and knowing that I helped him get there. And that makes it all worth it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tiffany Hunter is a sleep-deprived Canadian mom homeschooling her profoundly gifted son. You can find her writing at her blog, Life at Tiffany’s, and making jokes about parenting around social media as @lifeattiffanys.