Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not Always Sunshine and Lollipops

A homeschooler to be asked what the downsides to homeschooling are for some of us in the trenches. I didn't have to think to hard, they are things I have the luxury of griping over with some of my fellow hs mom/friends. The kids run off and play while we sip tea and discuss whatever is on our minds. Very cathartic. Not just getting stuff off your chest but hearing other families are in the same boat too.

Anyway, here was my response to the post at motheringdotcom:

Everything in life isn't perfect...

...and neither is homeschooling. Though I find it infinitely better than the alternative.

Down sides for me are:

- Less me time. I am always on. I am a mom, chauffeur, teacher, friend, disciplinarian, librarian, guidance counselor, therapist, cook, shopper, etc. It never ends. Not that this isn't the way for most moms and dads. Still, dh gets to take a vacation from work and I realize there is no vacation from homeschooling mom.

- Money. It is flying out the window. I know homeschooling is only as expensive as you make it but in order to accomplish what I want, it takes cash. There is no funding where I live. I want my dks to have art classes, french classes, go to gym, join scouts, is not cheap. I find the material for the few curriculums we have chosen are relatively well priced but there is always the consumable stuff you go through...or something you may not have laying around needed for a science experiment that week. Playdates and field trips can cost too, whether is be gas or the cost of a yearly pass to the zoo.

- Driving. There is a lot of it. Homeschoolers tend not to live next door to each other. In my area we visit 4 cities (that border each other) regularly to visit our closest hs friends and parks. Activities for us are clustered but not in the same building so we drive to art, then 15 minutes away to gym, then, well you get the picture.

- My own level of motivation and guilty conscience. I am I doing enough? Does ds know X. How is dd's writing coming along? Have I spent enough time on lessons? Have we read enough this week? Has ds been on the Wii for 3 hours now? The further I go along in this hs'ing adventure, the less guilt I feel - probably because I see they are fine and I haven't completely ruined them.

- A clean house. I have neighbours who have the house to themselves for more than 6 hours a day. They can clean it while the kids are gone. Not us. Also because we are one income and because we spend a good chunk of change each year on the kids we have bought a small house - which is filled to the brim with books (that are everywhere ) and just life.

- Not getting many breaks from each other. The dks and I are together a lot. Sometimes it would be nice if someone else would take them for a few hours each week. Just long enough for me to miss them.

I love homeschooling but it isn't always easy. I still wouldn't trade my life for anything though. I love this life, warts and all.


Julia said...

You read my mind. Couldn't have said it any better.
Thankfully we have lots of hsing friends and families around us for support! Not sure how our journey would be without you!

yofed said...

:D You said it!

In my case, not having a clean house ever and not having a break from the kids is what is the hardest.

Kez said...

oooh yeah! I totally agree with everything you wrote!

M.J. said...

Thanks everyone! Julia, I feel so lucky to have found fellow homeschool moms that I like, lol, and that I count on as friends and not just folks I have to put up with while our kids play together ;-) Very lucky!!

Butterfly said...

Great post, M.J. Thanks for sharing those thoughts. I agree : )

Sometimes I deliberately refer to HS friends just as 'friends' if I mention things in conversation ... it helps me to appreciate more the place they have in my life. And that I like them (and you) for who they are. We ARE lucky to have such a great support network!