Homeschool Isn’t Working!
I have been homeschooling for over 6 years and it has been quite an amazing adventure. I have taught them to read, write, and identify colors. We have gone on countless journies through the covers of great books. We have laughed and joked and played and experimented. It has been a beautiful journey. However, homeschool isn’t working anymore.
What to do when homeschool isn’t working out
Last week my daughter informed me she wanted to go to school. I was terrified. I won’t lie. I ugly cried about it. Suddenly, all of my insecurities and fears reared their ugly heads. I was worried I failed her. I was scared about her dyslexia in a traditional classroom. I was scared she would get bullied. I was so wrapped up in my fears I didn’t stop at first to hear why she wanted to go back to school. Once I got over myself and sat and talked with her the truth came out.
She didn’t want to go to school but homeschool just wasn’t working the way we were doing it. Last year my husband changed jobs. It was a very needed decision that I am extremely thankful for. However, it brought a lot of change to our house. He was making less which meant I had to work more. I have worked most of her life from home but I wasn’t pulling the hours I pull now.
That’s when I realized I failed..
You see, when I added to my hours I changed everything. I found the most independent learning-focused curriculum I could and let them do their school work completely on their own. It seemed great to me. I could let them work and I could get my work done. Then the rest of the day was free for whatever we wanted to do. That’s what I sold myself but that wasn’t the reality.
My daughter informed me that she was feeling ignored and overwhelmed. She felt like she was bothering me because I was so focused on work. She knew my job was important but she needed to feel important too.
So we talked..
R and I sat down and had a long talk. We made a pros and cons list Gilmore Girl style. We listed out pros and cons of school vs homeschool. When we did this we found that it wasn’t that she wanted to go to school. She wanted her homeschool back. She wanted a mom who wasn’t just making her unit studies, but one who did them with her. Once I really heard her heart on this it changed everything. The schooling atmosphere and her temperament have changed drastically.
So what changed?
I have set business hours for myself.
These are unmoving. I know what times I have assigned to work and I stick to them. This has helped them to respect work time because there is an end in sight. It won’t be “let me hop on and just work on this one thing.” When work is over, it’s over.
We set a family schedule.
With my husband working an erratic schedule and my lack of consistency things were getting chaotic. R asked if we could have a schedule. Even better, she sat with me and helped me to figure out what the schedule would look like each day. Because of this schedule, I have more freedom in certain areas while offering more structure in others. It has been really good for our family.
I scheduled in alone time.
R was getting fed up with her little brother. What kid doesn’t? She asked for alone time separate from her daily quiet time when she had the freedom to tell him she didn’t want to play with him or talk to him. We put this time on the schedule for lunch and dinner prep times and it has made a world of difference. She hasn’t even used it much. It was more about having the freedom to say it is she wanted than actually saying it.
I’m teaching the way they learn best.
For a time I was really surviving with the best I knew to do. It wasn’t easy or pretty or perfect. I got away from the most important thing. I forgot to teach them the way they learn. Since going back to some of the basics of homeschooling things have improved considerably.
Are you feeling like homeschooling isn’t working anymore?
Don’t throw in the towel yet. Maybe it’s time to look at how you are handling things and have an honest conversation with your kids. Your homeschool may just be like mine and need a bit of tweaking for it to be the best possible homeschool for your family.
The hard thing about parenting is when you’re doing the best you know how, but aren’t actually sure about it. Is it enough? Is it the right thing? Is it the right time? These unknowns are what make it all so hard. I figured that out when we decided to stop homeschooling our 3rd child–just her–and put her in school instead. It was the best thing we knew to do–but, so many questions plagued me whether it was the right thing or not.
It’s hard. But, I think it was the right thing. At that time. For that child. (She’s thriving now–and still in public school).
That’s excellent advice. Funny how the simplest answers are often the ones we overlook, huh? Thank you for this post. It’s given me new insight on how to deal with our own homeschool struggles, and I’ve been homeschooling for nine years!
Thanks for this post. We are oy one year in with homeschool and I feel like I already messed it up because of my distractions also trying to work from home. I know I too need to schedule business hours and make my school time the priority.
This is so similar to my situation and such a great piece – thank you! It’s nice to know others are going through similar things.
Thank you so much for this post. My daughter has said on occasion that she would like to go to public school. Like you, I have talked with her and what we needed was to change HS not quit HS. I appreciate this as my husband isn’t really all in fr HS and is always waiting for my daughter and I to have a weak moment. So it helps to read about things you did to problem solve and keep going! 🙂
My soon to be kindergartener has told me she wants to go to school so she can ride the bus and play on the playground.. if I were to send her to public school shoe wouldn’t ride the bus because it doesn’t come down our road and the school is walking distance away. The playground is only for what? 30-45 minutes of the entire day? I’m finding she is bored at home so we will be taking more outings during the school year so we can learn more outside the home.
Great post. I have learned that my kids strive on structure…which isn’t my strong suite as a SAHM. Homeschooling has definitely taught me alot about myself. I like your work schedule idea. I need to do that with housework and cooking.