COVID-19 · Education · Homeschooling

Are you Homeschooling?

I’m hearing this particular question often these days. Whether from friends, family or mere acquaintances (who used to ask the question with a hint of judgement in their voice), now suddenly are interested, and inquiring as they make decisions for their own family.

“Yes, some of my kids.” Is the usual reply before I get barraged by a host of questions about curriculum, how I made my decision and where to even start with planning a school year.

I relax. Take a deep breath. And then reply that after 7 years of homeschooling, I have realized that I am not ever prepared to homeschool.

Yes, I’ve chosen my curriculum.

Yes, I’ve made a schedule.

Yes, I even have a special room.

But with kids, things rarely go as we imagine them to.

I have five kids and each one is unique. The have all been a blessing to teach, but every single one of them have had their struggles, in different areas. I can pick the perfect curriculum for one child, while the next child absolutely hates it. Then I switch things up for the next year and the other child loves the rigid teaching style, while the other four struggle to thrive. And then I face the problem with missing important things because I’m switching curriculum year to year. It’s never simple, but we’ve always made it work.

For those new to homeschooling, here’s a little secret: You simply will not achieve the perfect school year… BUT, you can definitely achieve a productive and rewarding one.

This year is different for everyone.

There are so many uncertainties each person has to face. Many, who would’ve never previously considered homeschooling before, are now delving into it.

I’ve also had some thinking to do.

I’ve homeschooled each of my kids through their elementary years. I always planned to send them back in middle school. The purpose of this was to make the transition to public school easier and for the opportunity for friendships to be formed before they entered a high school where one rarely has two classes with the same people.

Still, this didn’t stop me from reconsidering for this year.

I have never wanted to teach high school, and truthfully, I looked into it this year for my oldest son, but felt a tad overwhelmed. The stakes are higher with the older grades and questions that are pretty irrelevant for the younger years, are sobering now. What if I miss something and he falls behind? What if I miss the courses he needs for getting into college? What if the university/college he applies for doesn’t recognize a homeschool graduation diploma? And finally… these are his final years to form healthy friendships as an adolescent, how can I keep him home? So finally, I made the decision… he will be entering grade nine this fall in a local private school.

I was less sure about my middle schoolers, especially my son who struggles with asthma and can barely stand a mask on his face for five minutes before he starts flailing his hands, begging me to take it off. I offered both my daughter in grade seven, and my son in grade six that they could homeschool this year. I even ordered curriculum for them, but they both would really like to try out public school with their friends this fall. So, I agreed to let them try it out. If huge issues arise, we will simply take them back home.

As for my youngest two, they will be at home with me. They are in grades 1 and 3 and are the best of friends. Both enjoy being taught at home. They love the extra time they have in the afternoons to play and enjoy the slower pace of homeschool life.

I sit here and write, knowing full well I should be working and lesson planning because… well… school’s now just two weeks away, it’s canning season, and we are in the middle of basement renovations.

Each room is stacked with boxes and tables and furniture that should really be downstairs. I know some people fly through life with stuff thrown everywhere and don’t seem to mind. But as for me, when things aren’t in their rightful place, it leaves me feeling scatter-brained and frustrated.

Not a great way to start off the school year.

However, I know from experience that I can have the most organized classroom, but if my heart is not ready to teach, it will be a difficult year.

I have to be ready for a messy house some days, while I ignore the clutter and teach when I want to clean.

I have to be ready to adjust my plans when things aren’t working out.

I have to be ready to put away my phone during the teaching hours so that my children have their mother’s undivided attention.

I have to let some things be less than perfect.

I have to be ready for bad attitudes, sick days, children who are out of sorts ,and fighting siblings… I have to be ready for a lot of patience and selflessness.

I have to be ready to put of finishing my book for just one more year.

This year, my room doesn’t look ready… but my heart definitely is.

How about you? Are you sending your kids to school? Homeschooling for the first time? Are you ready? Let me know in the comments!

13 thoughts on “Are you Homeschooling?

  1. So I’m homeschooling my son kindergarten for the first year, and – so far – it’s going great! 🙂 I’m not even bothering with an official classroom to be honest. Ha, ha. We’re doing it at the dining room table, and – at the end of our lessons – I move all the school stuff back into a storage closet in the living room. It’s working for now, since I don’t need large maps or anything else at this level.
    It’s my first time teaching, but he is a second generation homeschooler. I actually was homeschooled from age 6 through 18. It sounds as though you know what’s best for your chilren! But just to take the pressure off… 🙂 My mom found an accredited homeschool program, and I had no problem getting accepted into college. I actually even graduated with honors. And I made awesome friendships at my part-time job as a 16 year old, and then I made lasting friendships in college (as well as at church and with neighborhood kids). So you definitely don’t have to worry that being homeschooled through highschool might hurt your child. I promise there’s a way to do it right, IF that’s ever on your heart to do that.
    All that being said, even I plan to take it year by year, and I’m not sure that I’ll homeschool my child through that level either. For me, it’s more a matter of tackling SUCH a challenge. It would be a lot of work and responsiblity on the mama!
    You’re doing AWESOME!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome! Good for you. Year-by-year, is what I’ve done for the most part because thinking of too far in the future is overwhelming. And thank you so much for the tips on highschool homeschooling! I only know a couple families who did it, and their kids did not go on to college or university, but worked on their family farm. Hearing you share your story encourages me that it is possible to do!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely agree! I’m only on my first year, and I’m also taking it year-by-year. Although our first two weeks have been GREAT, I feel overwhelmed thinking about teaching my son until he’s 18! I can’t imagine that… but I also know that I will do it if it’s for the best. (But things change so quickly that what’s best can change too…). So same! Year by year and child by child. Ha, ha.
        And YES, it IS possible. If you ever have any questions about that, feel free to reach out. 🙂 My brother, sister, and I all went on to attend different colleges and we all graduated with honors. (My brother and sister even went on to get their Master’s degrees). 🙂 So it’s not only possible but it can be done successfully.
        I’m glad I could encourage you!!! When the time comes, you’ll know if sending to school or homeschool is best. 🙂

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  2. First of all I have to commend you for even contemplating home schooling with such a busy household! We started to do so at the start of lockdown here in the UK back in March and there were so many great methods shared and everyone sort of jumped on the bandwagon a bit, but it’s definitely died out as the weeks have gone by. It’s understandable for everyone (not just the kids) to have good days and bad days but at least you understand it’s not going to be a walk in the park. You’re doing a great job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yes everyone was on the homeschooling bandwagon for a while. It seems now that many are going back to the public school route, but I still in the wall a lot of people in my area who would’ve never considered homeschooling before who are now diving in! Thanks for reading and for the thoughtful comment 😊

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  3. We are homeschooling again this year. We had considered public school for the oldest until all this happened. He can’t sit with a mask on that long..he’ll pass out. Plus, we have already had issues with traditional school with him. He’s learned so much more without all the suffocating rules and pressure of traditional school. In our state the governor keeps changing the rules too so I didn’t want to have to keep up with all that. So here we are starting year three of homeschooling. I do wish my kids could meet other kids their age, but who knows what will change later in the year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah the loneliness seems to be a huge issue for kids… Who am I kidding, it’s a huge issue for almost everyone these days!
      My older kid’s main reason for wanting to go back to public school is friends. I am still a bit leery of it all, but know that they are old enough to learn from their decisions and I think that they will have a little bit of a shock when they get back to school and see how different everything is! Well, I guess all there is to do is wait and see. 🤷🏼‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m going with public school again. I know it’s the best thing for my family for a variety of reasons and feel quite confident in our school division and teachers. Although I have a few concerns…not sure how the masks will go and whether proper handwashing will be enforced for children in those separate portable buildings. Personally, I can’t wait to have the house to myself once in a while for a couple of hours! I have missed that! Best wishes for a wonderful school year ❤️✌️ Oh and I can definitely identify with feeling bothered when everything isn’t in its proper place. That drives me nuts too. I am on an organizational quest in my home…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you! I could definitely use a few hours off 😆
      I do feel that we are blessed with an exceptional school division and I know that the teachers will do their utmost to make everything feel as normal as possible for the children. All the best in your decision! I know it was a bit of a tough call for everyone this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We are about to begin our fourth year of homeschooling. Every year we make changes with the hopes of improving the experience for both of my children. But like you said, there are a lot of variables and no matter how things go, we can still have a productive year.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I wondered about the older kids curriculum thing. I could definitely homeschool my 1st grader, and do better than public school -if only he’d listen to me and not melt down when I try to teach him anything. Why, oh why, did some of them hate me as a teacher? 🙂

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