I Hate Homeschooling

That gives me the pip

I feel the need to unburden myself today, but please don’t tell the ladies at my homeschool group. If my secret were to get out, I fear I may be lynched as the chiefest of all hypocrites. At the very least, I’m sure that they would cross the street when passing me by so as to not be tainted with my particular brand of heresy. I hesitate to let it out here, but, I simply cannot hold it in any longer:

 I hate homeschooling.

 There. I said it. Is that thunder I hear? Am I to now be smote mightily?

I hate homeschooling. At least that is how I have felt this past week. We just got back in the homeschooling saddle after a blissful two week break. I thought I was ready. I was not. Each day has felt like one of those nightmare sequences in a horror flick. Running, running, running…and getting absolutely nowhere. A feeling of impending doom weighing me down as I try another direction and continue running. I wake up with no eagerness for the day whatsoever.

This is our dirty little secret, isn’t it? I know that some of you feel the same. I’ll eat my hat if at least a few of you aren’t wishing that Christmas break lasted just a bit longer. Like another 30 years or so. I know that some of you are weary and the thought of weeks on end until summer comes is enough to drive you to drink. Or worse, to rotting your brain with cheap romance novels.

Yes, this has been one of those weeks. But then, a few days ago a strange thing happened. A young mom mentioned that she is considering homeschooling her kids, but is terrified. “It’s awesome!” I said excitedly. “It’s so much fun! I absolutely love it!” The words just popped out of my mouth. Even as the glowing words gushed forth, a small voice in my head hissed, hy-po-crite! I honestly meant it when I said it, yet here I am today at the end of an utterly exhausting week wishing we did not have to continue this madness.

So I’ve been pondering this. Am I simply a bald-faced liar, brainwashed by the homeschool community into spreading their anti-social propaganda? Or can I reconcile two seemingly opposing statements; I hate homeschooling, and I love homeschooling?

Upon reflection, I believe I can reconcile them. It is true that I hate much of the ‘schooling’ part of homeschooling. The broccoli of academia. You know, teaching grammar and times tables and all of that mind-numbingly boring stuff. I detest most history, geology, and anything relating to physical science. I’m not very good at explaining math (praise God for teaching videos!) and I am not terribly patient with simple concepts of any kind. Truth be told, I just want to get the school work out of the way as quickly as possible so we can get down to the fun stuff!

I would much rather look at the alien life forms teeming in a drop of pond water under my microscope. Or point out the vast array of interesting creatures on the lawn, in the trees or swimming in the bay by our home. I love to read my children’s stories, untainted by the red pen of correction. Unsolicited oral reports of books they enjoy is sweet music to my ears. Our morning stretch time before ‘school’ is the highlight of my mornings. I love to play games with my young people, to hear them laugh and sing and play. I enjoy the thoughtful conversations with my teens, and the geeky television programs we enjoy together.

Even as I write this I find that I could go on and on ad nauseum about the things I love to do and learn with my kids. I just don’t care for the boring parts. The bits that, unfortunately, we must learn in order to fully grasp the fun stuff. Sigh.

So why do I, this week, feel as though I hate this calling of mine? Why do I feel like locking the door, crawling into bed, and sucking my thumb? Experience tells me that I am either in need of a change in educational focus, or I am in need of a spiritual refocus. It really is okay to stop the regular curriculum and play educational games for a day. Or a week. It is also okay to scrap your curriculum and go in another direction if your child needs that. On a spiritual level, when I feel this way I know that I am probably not focusing on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8)   I sometimes forget how to simply soak in the unfathomable beauty of these young souls in my care.

I guess truth lies in both of my statements. I hate homeschooling. It’s hard. I dislike doing things that are difficult or uninteresting. But I love homeschooling too. It is fun and exciting to have the privilege of living and learning with these amazing people that the Lord has graciously given me for this season of my life. When I step back to view the bigger picture of this mission, the love wins out. Hands down. And in the end, when the last workbook is closed, I know…know in the depths of my being, that I will not regret a single moment of it!

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9, NLT)

12 thoughts on “I Hate Homeschooling

  1. At times I hated homeschooling also. The burdens of “Are my kids getting enough?” “Am I able to do this?” “Am I harming my children?” etc. can drive a homeschooling mom crazy! Not to mention the complaining and bickering from your kids. I use to tell my kids that I was going to find a school bus and put them on it. I didn’t care where the bus was going, but if they didn’t stop complaining and bickering either they were going to get on the bus or I would. LOL! You may need to shake things up a little. Maybe take an afternoon or a full day of for the “fun stuff”. Remember you have years to teach them everything they need to know and the life lessons we teach are much more important than the academic. Yes we need academics but it is the little things in life that bring us joy.

    And I can guarantee you that you are not the only one experiencing this. Hmmm…, maybe I’ll write a post or 2 on this subject. Blessings to you on your homeschooling journey.


    • Hi Pat! I would love to read a post or two from you on this topic! I will definitely heed your words, and my own. I need to refocus and maybe take a day to just play. Thankfully, I have been down this path enough times to know that our Lord is always faithful to get my heart back in the game. Writing my feelings out also brings clarity and eases the frustration. Thanks for stopping in, and for your always encouraging words!


  2. I have said it before and will say it again…..I just know you will become a famous author someday. I will buy every book you write and tell everyone I know! You have such talent at putting feelings into meaningful words that cut to the heart of an issue.

    Looking forward to seeing you Monday evening at the meeting.
    Lori 💕

    Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2014 23:19:37 +0000
    To: lorilerwill@msn.com


    • Lori, your kind words are so often just what I need at just the moment you give them! The only thing better is to see your beautiful smile as well. I shall have to imagine it until Monday. 😉 Thank you, my friend. Have a blessed weekend!


  3. Thank you for being so honest! 🙂
    I don’t have children yet, but I do plan on homeschooling. It’s good to know the good and the bad because I would never want to have a false hope or expectation about something.
    I enjoyed reading this post, you are so funny and it makes for a good read.


    • Thank you, Deborah! In all honesty, I could never say enough good about homeschooling. But it is hard–the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Surround yourself with like-minded people, and take advantage of those of us who have done it for awhile. I’ve never met a homeschooler who didn’t love sharing her experiences. 🙂 Blessings to you!


  4. I guess I had days like that…but now, 3 years past my last homeschool graduate, it is getting surrounded by a rosy glow. Here’s what is the best: my boys have great memories of homeschooling, they are each others’ best friends, they enjoy being with my husband and me, and are still self-learners. Hang in there. You have a ton going for you, including your honesty, your humor and your thoughtful analysis of your emotions and circumstances.


    • I can imagine about the rosy glow–I get that anytime we are on a break. It is easy to forget the down-in-the-trenches hard work of it when I am slightly distanced. And yes, the benefits totally outweigh the difficulties. My kids are best of friends, have little drama/conflict, and enjoy hanging out with my husband and I. We are blessed indeed. Sometimes I simply need to remember that. Thank you for your encouragement, and your perspective. It is so appreciated when those of you who are ‘done’ will share your wisdom. Blessings to you, Anita!


  5. Good news! You do not have to eat your hat. I hate homeschooling. Sitting on my bum in the morning, for what feels like hours, trying to engrain multiplication tables into my daughter’s brain. I stress out at the thought of her falling behind… even though she’s an entire year ahead of her age group. There are days, and the occasional weeks, I want to scream. But given a little time, we hit our stride once again. All is as it should be. She rips through a concept, smokes through her seat work, reads an extra book – just because. Plays her violin like she really enjoys it, pays attention in karate and earns a new belt. I love homeschooling.


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