Homeschooling: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Part One)


In my last post, I answered some questions I hear frequently about homeschooling my children. In the next few posts, I’d like to share some personal experiences so you can get a feel for what homeschooling is really like. Any choice we make will have its pros and cons, and homeschooling is no exception. Here are some I’ve found to be true for my family and many of my homeschooling friends.

Spending time with my children

The Good

I am the one who spends the most amount of time with my children. I know intimately their strengths and weaknesses, their struggles, and their successes. I am the one who teaches them to read, to write, and to count. I am with them the first time they write their names and the first time they read words on their own. Because we are together all day, I can answer their hard questions about life, pray with them, and help them work through their conflicts and emotions. I have the opportunity to teach them the tenets of our faith and family values and to spend quality time with each of them. In short, I am training them and teaching them and walking through life with them all day, every day.

The Bad

Having the kids with me all day requires planning ahead for doctor appointments, errands, and grocery shopping. If one of us has to go, we all have to go. There is no morning when they’re at preschool or Mother’s Day Out, and if I do need to see a doctor or go somewhere without them, I must find friends available and willing to keep them all. There are no lunches with friends or meetings for coffee after carpool drop-off. My being out of town for a day or two requires a lot of schoolwork and meal preparation in addition to finagling childcare, which often makes the trip seem not worth the hassle.

The Ugly

When you homeschool, the only time you have away from your children is at night. When there’s also a baby or a child who doesn’t sleep well, you might not even have that. If you’re thinking about homeschooling, you need to consider the obvious fact that you’ll be with your children all day long, so they’re probably going to drive you crazy quite often. The wonderful Pinterest pictures and blog posts fail to mention that you’ll be so sick of them some days, you’ll scream and say hurtful things. You’ll want to hide in your closet or lock them outside, just to have a moment of quiet. Conversely, your children will probably get tired of you and their siblings. They’ll lash out and fight with each other. Some days, by the time dad comes home, you’ll be tagging him “It” as you run out the door on the way to anywhere, just as long as you’re alone!

I absolutely love homeschooling and being with my children all day. I honestly wouldn’t trade it for any other job in the world, because I see it as both my calling and my privilege. That being said, some days are hard and others seem nearly impossible. Knowing other moms out there are having similar experiences can be encouraging and helpful in pushing through those difficult days!

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Originally from Memphis, TN, Robin has called Bay St. Louis home for the last 10 years. One of her favorite things about living on the coast is taking the long way on Highway 90 so she can enjoy the view of the beach. She and her husband Mark met at Mississippi State University and have been married since 2002. Robin taught elementary school before she and Mark added their 5 children (2 boys, 3 girls, ages 3-13) to the family. When she isn’t homeschooling the older 4, running after the 3 year old, folding laundry, cooking dinner, breaking up fights, nursing boo-boos, or driving to soccer/ballet/swim/piano/art lessons, Robin likes to run, sew, binge-watch old episodes of The Office or Grey’s Anatomy, and sing 80’s songs at the top of her lungs. She’s never considered herself a “typical girl” because she’d much rather eat Skittles than chocolate, watch a disaster movie than a romantic comedy, and drink a beer than a glass of wine. The BBC version of Pride and Prejudice? She’s never made it past the first hour, but she could sit and watch football all day long. Robin’s faith plays a central role in her life; she is an active participant in her church and in her denomination’s regional women’s ministry. In Robin’s eyes, the glass is always half full.