No Mom Left Behind: Homeschool Pitfalls

Spring is here and I have found myself reflecting on how school has gone for us this year. I remember the beginning of our school year, when all the kiddos were headed back to school. This had to be one of the best feelings for all moms. I know, we love our kiddos and we love spending time with them, but we still need time away from them.  Even if it’s just for a couple of hours.  Not to mention, who isn’t excited to see their little one off to school with their backpack?  Another year, another grade level down.  Right?  So, what about us?  What about the moms that homeschool?  Welcome to one (or two) of the pitfalls of homeschooling.  Womp, womp.

One thing you never really notice about your children until you homeschool, is how much they talk. It’s excessive. I mean…please be quiet. When I found out how many questions they had, I would freak out because I really didn’t know the answer. The beauty, of course, lies in discovery. Which is something you can do with your children. This, however, did not stop the anxiety that continued to creep up behind me.

Sometimes there is this constant nagging thought that says, “you can’t teach your children. You’re not even a real teacher! They are really going to fall behind with you in charge of their education.” Am I the only one? I didn’t think so. So what do I do? I go into a full blown panic mode and start stacking lessons like poker chips (I don’t play poker, it was just the first comparison that came to mind). Then what’s next? My schedule goes off without a hitch for the first two weeks. All of sudden, we spend an extra 30 minutes at the library and the rest of the school year is thrown off. Okay, im being dramatic…it’s just a month’s worth.

Even though the job is rewarding it can be discouraging at times. There are times where I’ve felt out of control with my schedule and times where I’ve felt too in control of THEIR schedule. Anyone else? I don’t think that anything compares to how I felt last September. How I feel every year during the fall season.

At least for me, it’s the worst…

I rolled into my third year of homeschooling this year and could not have been more excited.  I couldn’t wait to see what new things my children would learn this year.  I had planned an exciting year and I had so many great activities for them to do.  Still, there was this small window where I was not feeling my best.  Confusion started to come in and I began to doubt everything that I had planned for my homeschool year.

See, every new school year I start to see these “back to school” pictures on social media.  I love to see them actually.  The children always look nice with a big smile and their backpacks strapped.  It’s an exciting time, but seeing those pictures also remind me of those “moments”.   Let me make this clear, I am on the side of education.  So, whichever format you’ve chosen, I’m sure it’s the best fit for your family.  That being said, as a homeschooler there are certain moments that you recognize you’ll miss out on.  I know that I can take “back to school” photos with my children if I choose to (and I have).  My children also have backpacks, but it’s more than that.  It’s what that photo represents.  It’s a small moment that reminds me of other moments I may miss out on as a mom that homeschools.   Now, homeschools have come a long way since back in the day.  In some states, different homeschooling communities have their own sports teams and host their own proms.  There are so many activities for children who homeschool, but a lot of parents who homeschool have not been homeschooled themselves.  This means, on occasion, we recognize the small moments from our own school years that our children likely won’t get to experience and sometimes I do feel left out. It’s something that I have to deal with and I don’t know when this feeling will completely go away.  What I do know is that I have made peace with my decision to homeschool and I rest in the fact that I am doing what I feel God has called me to do.  I do not regret homeschooling and I accept that certain things are off limits for our family, but that doesn’t always make it easy.

Resting in truth doesn’t always equate to a comfortable situation or even an easy one.  However, I remind myself that I have chosen to answer this call on my life and God can redeem and restore anything that has been lost.  This includes those “moments”.  Homeschool moms, I love you and I am here with you.  School moms, I love you and I am here with you.  You are not alone in whatever format of education you find yourself in.