That Time I Almost Quit Homeschooling…

That Time I Almost Quit Homeschool

A couple of weeks ago I found myself looking up a local charter school for my youngest. I found pictures on their school website of smiling uniformed children building robots and for a day or so I wondered if that would be better because well, would it?

I started looking up all sorts of alternatives to homeschooling and daydreamed about what life would look like if we didn’t homeschool anymore. 

Mornings to myself don’t sound so bad. 

Would I go back to work?

Get involved at the school?

How would my youngest do in a classroom setting when he’s never been to public school?

 

We’re definitely at a transitional stage in our journey. 

My oldest is off to 10th grade and I feel like we have a path we plan to take with the remainder of his high school years, but my youngest is only going into 4th grade. 

He’s just at the beginning of what will become his middle and high school years. 

It’s a good time to think about the changes that are ahead. 

 

If there’s anything I’ve learned about homeschooling in the past six years it’s that every school year is different.

Each year has it’s own struggles and strengths.

Each year holds it’s own memories and milestones.

But this one?

This past school year has officially been the hardest. 

 

There were days that left me in tears and days that filled me with joy.

There were days when I felt like the best homeschooling mom on the planet and days when I was sure I was depriving my children of a quality education.

 

We didn’t complete every single lesson on the plan. Some subjects turned out looking nothing like I thought they would and many days of the year left me questioning my decision to homeschool in the first place.

 

 

Each year I make the decision to homeschool again. 

Homeschooling wasn’t something I started and thought to myself, “I will most definitely be able to do this forever.”

In fact, when we started homeschooling 6 years ago, I figured I’d try it for a few years and see how it went. 

I wanted to give my oldest a chance to regroup and get past some struggles. I wanted to give him a change to grow and mature at his own pace. I wanted to help him gain back confidence that had long since left him after years of struggling at public school. 

And we’ve accomplished that and so much more! 

 

It was so great for him that we followed suit with our youngest and six years later we’re still hanging in. 

But, homeschooling looks very different than the early days of 5th grade and preschool. The Play-Doh that used to keep my youngest occupied hasn’t seen the light of day in three years. ABC’s and 123’s have turned into 5 paragraph essays and division. 

Sigh…

I didn’t know six years ago that my youngest would hate math and that some lessons would make me want to run and hide. I didn’t know that on some days I actually would hide! In the bathroom.

I didn’t picture our worst days. I didn’t picture the weariness of it all.  I didn’t know that juggling all.the.hats would be so hard. 

But, don’t even get me started on the blessings! The good days. The best days. They’re wonderful. 

I’m not going to start a pros and cons list right here in this post. The point is: Quitting crosses my mind. 

Not in a quitting-giving-up-sort-way, but in a next-phase-reevaluate-be wise-sort of way. 

 

 

The truth is? I consider quitting homeschooling every year. 

Wouldn’t I be fool to not consider what’s best for my kids each year?

I’ve never been do or die. I know that children change and the needs of those children change with them. 

 

 

Each year is it’s own new beginning and I’ll be praying about the direction our family is headed in the fall.

There’s one thing I know.

Every summer I obsess about the upcoming school year.

I drive myself crazy with worry over school, decisions about curriculum, continuing on this path, etc. 

Why would I think that this moment of panic is any different than all the other times quitting has crossed my mind?

 

 

For now we’re taking a good break and enjoying our summer!  

 

Deep down I believe that homeschooling is still the right choice for our family, but I’m wise to know that it doesn’t always have to look one way. 

I’m seeing how making the decision to quit homeschooling is just as big of a decision (if not bigger!) than making the decision to start. 

 

 

The beauty of homeschooling is that there are so many avenues a family can take to make their journey successful. 

What worked one year doesn’t necessarily mean it will work forever.

I’m not sure what fall looks like yet, but I’m open to change! 

 

Do you ever think about quitting homeschool?

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Adrienne is a Florida homeschooling mom of two boys, follower of Jesus, and lover of words. She's an imperfect parent surviving on God's grace and mercy, lots of yoga, and regular doses of salty ocean air! Find her as @TheMommyMess on Twitter and connect with her on Facebook.

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Comments

  1. says

    Love this post! Been there…so many times. I’m finished now. So many things I would have done differently. You are wise to take it one year at a time, one month even. And because you are seeking you will find the answers you are looking for…every year.
    Laurie recently posted..Father’s Day and a BirthdayMy Profile

  2. Michelle says

    Oh, this post could have been written by me! I, too, have a son going into 4th grade who has never went to “regular” school and this school year was the worst. Every single day was a fight. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with my husband about this. Is it the age? Was it the curriculum? Is it me? Have we messed our son up by homeschooling? The list goes on. We’re taking a few weeks off but it crosses my mind each day, numerous times. I’ll add you to my daily prayers for guidance.

    • Misty says

      Maybe it IS just the age. I also have a boy going into the fourth grade. Third grade was our hardest year, by far. I’ve cried more about homeschooling in the last year than I did from K-3 altogether. I’m also wondering if THIS is the year to send him to school. Surely the summer break will help us all put things in better perspective:)

      • says

        It’s comforting to hear this year/age has been a challenge for others. Thank God it’s summer! I’m positive it’s just what the Dr. ordered. ;)

    • says

      It does cross my mind and more this past year that any before. That being said, my natural tendency is to automatically assume my only option outside of homeschool is public school, but we have to remember there are homeschooling options that can make a big difference too! I’m hoping to share more about this transitional phase with you all. I definitely feel a new season coming, just not sure what it is just yet. Praying and trusting in God’s wisdom and guidance.

    • says

      Glad to see this, Leesa! CC is something I’m heavily considering for my youngest. Praying and taking a good break for now, but the program seems like an excellent fit for him/his learning style. It’s a big commitment though and not one I want to jump into. I do really like that he’s at a grade level that fits with his transitioning into the program. 4th grade seems like a great time to start!

  3. says

    I would not be able to homeschool, I just do not have the patience to do it and now my girls are the mothers and out of them I can only see one being able to homeschool and that would be Kathy she is such a hands on mum really teaching and interacting with her girls
    Jo-Anne recently posted..Dear DaveMy Profile

  4. says

    As a retired homeschool mom of 3 daughters for 17 years., we did pretty well until February, when I had bad days and told them I was putting them in school. I actually called one school one of those days and asked about the tuition, and then I got off the phone and said, “It’s too expensive. I guess you’re stuck with me!” The rest of that day went better! I loved teaching my girls about 99% of the time. The girls were obedient and we had a lot of fun days. I would do it all over again! And it was their choice to finish at home, so that made it easier.

  5. Lynn Marie says

    I can’t believe I woke up and read this, this morning. It is truly God who lead me to this site. I live in the SF bay area, and there are not a lot of people who home school here, there are a lot of working professionals dropping their children off at school and hoping for the best. It is very expensive to live here, but due to family circumstances that is what lead us back here. I am an only child, who now has 6 beautiful children. His, mine and ours. :) Four that are home with us ranging from 1st grade to 11th, and one moving in with us for the first time at age 18. I have been thinking all of the above, with work? School for the kids? In fact last night I had a dream that my six year old wore a tie with his uniform, and thought how cute he was in his outfit with his little curls. He is my excessive talker…. I day dream a lot, about putting him in a special program. This will be my first time joining a blog community, I am looking forward to hearing what you have to share, because it is super funny, that someone could be going through the same thing on the other side of the country! Thank you Adrienne! God Bless you sweet lady..