Thursday, September 08, 2011

What is Hard About Homeschooling

The thing that makes parenting hard also makes homeschooling hard.  You never know what you're doing or if your making the right (or wrong) decision.  And once one thing is figured out - oh she likes to sleep with her blanket over her head - doesn't work for the next, who wants nothing to do with a blanket at all.  It is always a guessing game, an elimination game, a "well-lets-see-if-this-works" game.

Same with homeschooling.  What worked for the first or second, doesn't always work with the third or fourth.  The learning style of the later children are almost always different from the first ones.  What one picks up almost by breathing (the prayer for returning thanks after a meal), takes another threats of embarrassment (you're almost nine years old - you should have known this!).

Don't forget that while homeschooling multiples, the parent is also trying to keep track of where everyone is and what has been taught.  It is all fun and exciting the first time around, but by golly, the xth time gets to be a bit boring and sometimes not thought about.  "Didn't I just teach this?" runs through the mind quite regularly.  Trying to keep up (or fake) that enthusiasm isn't always a strong suit.

It isn't easy and most of the time I'm floundering about trying to keep my head afloat.  I wonder often how it will all work out, but I won't know until it has (or hasn't).  Until then, I have to keep making decisions in the here and now, hoping they're the best, and trusting that the children are more resilient than I realize.


Laura said...

Oh dear friend...I really think it will all come together in the end. My messy girl now keeps her home rather nice...the same daughter that had no cooking experience (bad mom that I am) loves to cook! Philip came all together in college...kept his grades up, found a wonderful young lady, and is one of the most hardworking (at a job) people I know. I had to laugh that Paula's family is astounded at his vocabulary and he did proof reading for Paula's dad! You don't know how hard I struggled with that boy for years! Hannah just flowed right into music naturally and Mary....well, I am just not worried about her.

You do so much with your kids that is filling in all the areas of life that are truly important. This is a lifelong process...and you are part of the foundation. It is hard work...but you are adapting things the best you can to fit their needs and that will serve them well.

None of what I am saying will lighten the load, for it is more than a full time job...but I encourage you not to worry if it is enough...I know one day you will be pleasantly surprised because it all worked out so well.

I love your home school!

Susan said...

Glenda, I don't know what to say except, "YES." You've certainly expressed the concerns of my heart. The one thing I've found to keep some enthusiasm going is give up on trying to teach the same thing over and over. But, thing is, some things do need to be covered in pretty much the same progression, for each kid.

Anonymous said...

You know, sometimes when I go back and teach the same thing for the second (or third or fourth time), I feel like I'm doing a better job of teaching and not just relying on the curriculum. But for every time that happens, there's all those times that beating my head on a brick wall sounds less painful than making sure all six children learn the things they need to know. At the moment, I think I'm just going to be glad I'm done teaching boys to use the toilet--ugh! ;)

Anonymous said...

What Laura said :)

Melrose said...

Sigh, I just started Kindergarten with my FIRST (and am weeks away from giving birth to my fourth) and I'm already freaking out. It's funny how naive one can be when just starting out, you know, coming up with the "perfect" method and thinking you can produce this brilliant little disciplined mind with this PERFECT method? HAHAHAHA right. That "perfect" curriculum has been anything but and now I'm having to be way more creative than I thought would be necessary just to do a year that's not even mandatory. But you know, all the relatives are watching waiting for me to fail and send him to I feel like I have to do something "real" with him for them to see. sigh. I'm so thankful to have blogs like this to read.