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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

In Which I Consider Sending My Kids to School

Educating your kids yourself is hard work.  It’s a job that I’ve never taken lightly.  In fact, it’s a job that I originally didn’t want to do.

But I found myself with a 1st grader who was waking up every morning with tummy aches from the stress of attending a school where he was being bullied and whose academic needs were not being met.

My husband and I had talked about homeschooling before our oldest son ever attended school.  It had always been a possibility.  Now it seemed like our only option.  Numerous phone calls and in person meetings with the teacher, as well as volunteering at the school had done nothing to help the situation.

It wasn’t getting better, but worse.  And my son was learning to hate anything that had to do with learning.

Let me tell you something---doing 2nd grade with a bright kid is a breeze. 

That was 6 years ago.

Doing 8th, 4th, and 3rd grade  and having a precocious 4-year-old to occupy is a very different story.  Teaching my kids is a full-time job.  The only trouble is that it’s not my only “job,” and I just can’t seem to get it all done.  Things have had to give.

The seams are showing.  I’m not loving what I’m doing.

Of course, into each life a little rain must fall and all that.  But I’m completely stressed and ain’t nobody happy when Mama’s like that.

Is it time to Quit?  Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

I’m telling you this because I want you to know that it’s ok.  Everyone has those moments when they need to reevaluate what they are doing.

Everyone who homeschools sometimes has doubts or even considers packing it in.  At least I think they do…people aren’t always open about that. Winking smile

We choose to learn at home because that’s what is right for our family at this time but when that dynamic doesn’t work well for someone involved, it needs to be changed.

So we’re pondering and praying over the situation.  We’re going to try some different things.

Right now I’m working on what needs to be changed from within, but we may find that that is not enough.  We’re fully committed to offering our children the very best education we can from the available resources, but academics are not the only consideration (and not even the most important one).  We’re looking at the whole child, the whole Mom, the whole family. 

It may well be that it will be better for everyone if one person attends school while others stay at home.  Or something like that.

I wouldn’t like it if that had to happen, it wouldn’t really be my dream situation, but I would be ok with it if I knew it was what was best for us as a family.

All that to say, we’re having a rough time at the moment.  There’s no blame to be placed, but some changes need to be made.

One of those changes you are going to see---I’m going to be cutting way back on curriculum reviews.  In fact, I may stop doing them altogether or just do one or two long-term projects. 

I’ve come to realize that having to fit in all these deadlines is having too much of an impact on our life of learning and my own “free” time.  We’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to try out so many different things that we couldn’t otherwise afford, but the personal cost has been more than I anticipated.

I have a number of reviews coming up over the next couple of months that I’m already committed to, but the reviews are going to become an occasional “fun extra” after that.

As for the rest, we’ll see how things go.  One day at a time.


  1. Thank You Thank You Thank You for sharing this post, this is exactly where I feel like we are right now. We are using Sonlight and although its a wonderful curriculum my kids hate the reading parts, on top of that we live 1500 miles away from our families and our kids havent had any friends where we live, so at this point I am really praying about what to do now, I give you so much credit for sharing this because some people dont realize its ok to let your children go to a school and no longer homeschool, you get those pointy fingers and judgments and that is horrible, but I think every family is different and only God knows what we really need...I wish you the best in this journey...Kristen

  2. Kristen,
    Thank you for commenting! Yes, there is no one right answer for every situation. We try really hard to do what is best for our family, even though we know our choices may not fit into the the norm or what our friends would choose.

    It is hard to live that far away from your family (we lived 1200 miles from our families when we started homeschooling---we did grow to love our home there, then we moved closer to family ;). I wish you the best in navigating your kids' education.


  3. I'm struggling too. I help run our business and homeschool. I can find the good in any situation, but it is something I go back and forth with. I turned down two charter spots for my older two and sometimes I think it was a mistake. Other times I feel it was the right choice. I'm torn. We will see how the next few months go. Junior high is definitely harder.

    Thank you for posting. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

  4. I am likely going to give p reviewing too. I really enjoy it but it does get stressful to be adding something new into the routine regularly. And where has my free time gone? Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I have the "I want to ship everyone off" thought but it doesn't last long. Good luck!

  5. Mistifaery,
    Yep, junior high is definitely harder. It seems like the "finish line" is so close and yet he's not ready for the finish line, that's for sure. ;)

    I read an article the other day what was actually on blogging, but it pertains to homeschooling as well---my take away is this: it's a marathon, not a sprint and if you run like a sprinter, you'll burn out and lose the race. I'm looking at how I'm running this race, because I know I'm pushing too hard.

  6. The Mrs.,
    Yep, we all have bad days. Sometimes, though, a bad day becomes a bad week, month, even year...I'm determined not to let that happen, which is why I'm trying to be really diligent about seeing what's really going on. It may be we are just in a funk, but there are some indications that it's a little deeper than that.

    Of course, we can't discount hormones. My 2 oldest kids seem to be bathed in hormones at the moment. ;)

  7. This is exactly where we were this time last year. We made the big leap and put one in school. It was not the best decision for me, but so far it has been the best for him.

    I miss him every second he is gone. And I still have four at home to drive me bonkers.

    You know what needs to be change. You really do. Don't read blogs about what they all did. They are not you. Follow your heart on this one Susan, or you will regret the choices you make.

  8. Thank you, Modest Mama. Part of the reason I posted this is because I'm tired of the guilting I see all over---there is no one best solution for everyone. Today has been a better day. ;)

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  10. I recently ran across this post.Thank you for sharing your thoughts. There is not much out there for moms considering putting their children in school. Way too much guilt going on. I am a veteran homeschooling mom (18 years) who chose to put 2 children in school and thinking about adding 2 more after Christmas. That will leave me with just 1 at home. But I have found very little info out there and it is a lonely place for moms. I have started a whole blog for veteran and former homeschooling moms.

  11. It makes me sad to see the "divide."


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