A couple of people have asked why we’re not home schooling any more. We will be, a little bit — my six-year-old son will be at home for first grade, and my four-year-old daughter keeps handing me notes composed of random letters, in a pathetic plea to be taught how to read and write.
And of course we’ll keep our feral three-year-old, whom no school can hold, and the smartest baby in the world (16 months old), who is not only putting together two- and three-word sentences, she can say “Come ON!” just like Gob Bluth. So clearly, we will be maintaining a richly educational atmosphere, even though I’m sending the oldest four off to a classroom.
I don’t know, is it too passé to say I’m burnt out? It wasn’t the hard work that wore me out; it was the crappy job I did, and the worrying about it. That’s what was so exhausting. And then there was this:
(This was the first day of school last year. We wondered why she was letting us get math done.)
We had nice times, when the kid would have revelations about free will, or when they’d groan because it was the end of our Latin lesson. The dining room is still decorated with the heraldic coats of arms we designed for our Medieval unit, and there were some thrilling moments in stovetop meteorology experiments.
But I was sitting here ordering the math books for the school year (yes, now. Shut up! It isn’t even labor day yet) and feeling nothing but weariness. We enjoyed some of the benefits home schoolers promise: the closeness, the leisure, the freedom, the intensity, the depth. But really just not often enough. We did it for six years, and I’m about ready for something different (not necessarily easier!) for a while.
If I’ve learned anything in the last twelve years (and I haven’t), it’s that you never, never know what your life will look like this time next year– so who knows? Maybe we’ll go back to home school next year. Or maybe the world will come to an end, and I won’t have to explain place value again.
The four oldest kids have a lovely, rural charter school to go to, and I want them to be happy and busy. Also, a couple of them turned out to be more complicated than we thought. And I’m not the kind of mother that it’s okay to be around all day.
I do know that all my kids have learned that reading is a wonderful way to spend your time, and that figuring out things and hearing new ideas is thrilling. They aren’t embarrassed to talk about ideas, and they have no idea how dorky they are. So I feel more or less okay with the start I’ve given them.
Boy, I wish I still had that gin in the photo.
That picture is precious! We did homeschool our children for 5 years. At that point we took in my in laws and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Truth be told, every single year I was in tears and worrying that I was doing a horrible job. I wasn’t doing a great job & DD#2 did suffer due to it.
I wasn’t prepared for the backlash. The homeschool friends who scolded us and told us we are throwing our kids in the pit of Hell to send them to traditional school. OY! First- we did Catholic school. That was an abysmal failure. We did it for 3 years, but it felt like 30. I was so disappointed by the way the PARENTS of these children treated and spoke about each other.(which of course meant that the children modeled their parents behavior) Now the children are attending public school. And those ‘friends’ who saw my kids not fall into the pit of Hell with Catholic school, were mortified that I would even consider sending them to PUBLIC SCHOOL!
Public school, for us, so far has been great. Last year my DD said to me ” At St. R a couple of the kids were nice, but most of the kids were mean- at Truman, most of thekids are nice and there are only a couple of mean ones.” We just started our second year. I have one in high school, one in middle school and 3 in elementary- and the baby at home with me still. Nothing is perfect- not homeschooling, not Catholic school, not public school. We live in a fallen world. But, for our family having the children in traditional school is what is best for us at this point. I will never say never- that I will never homeschool again, but I don’t plan to.
So in case you receive a backlash of how you are sending your children to the pits of Hell by sending them to traditional school- please know there are those of us who love you and support you.
LOVE the picture! I came to the same conclusion about myself and home-schooling — before I even started. And I have a teaching degree, so felt pretty guilty about it. But I do think the combination of “regular” school plus a really rich home environment has done our kids well.
best picture ever. i think that’s why i WILL homeschool, to get shots like that. When John is three he will probably be doing dangerous chemistry experiments when i’m not looking. Thomas gets in the jelly.
I grew up homeschooled, and I’m not sure if that’s my plan with my own kids. Imagine the family backlash for that one!
That picture is AWESOME! I keep going back and looking at it and discovering new elements of funniness.
My SIL homeschools and has always maintained that they do it on a year to year basis and that they are open to God’s leadership – whatever that may be for them. I feel the same way about our choice to public school. We know this is what God has called us to for now. In a few years – who knows?
I have been a lurker for a little while and had to comment on this one… I stopped homeschooling last year and still struggle with it all. It can be very isolating to be a mod/trad Catholic and NOT hmschl. We have a large and growing family and I still feel like a fish outta water in the Catholic school. But I also know how hard it has been this summer with 4 kids home and preg. with #5…. I guess I’m just not cut out for all that togetherness. Anyhow – I don’t read about STOPPING homeschooling nearly enough in the Cath blogosphere, and I’m grateful for the sisterhood wherever I can find it. Good for you for doing what is right for YOUR FAMILY, right now. Blessings on your school year.
I can relate 100% to what you are saying! I am a trad Catholic mom to 5 kids and I really feel at home with the homeschooling families because they are living the faith too (also it is nice to not get the question are you done having kids). After homeschooling for 4 years I needed a break! I was stressed to the MAX and I was not being the the kind of mommy I would like my kids to remember (you know the screaming crazy crying pulling my hair out threatening to send kids to school non-stop kind of mom). So last year after being on the phone with my husband (yet again) crying about our life we decided they need to go to school. I struggled with that because I was feeling like a failure etc… but we are blessed to have a terrific Catholic school ! And I feel that the Lord is using this as an opportunity to show other families what a larger family looks like (yes we are the biggest family in the school) and I hope our family can be a good influence …. and evangelize with in our small sphere of influence. Will I go back to home-schooling? I do not know … but for now I am very very happy to have my kids in school – thanks be to God – I am now less stressed and able to be more of the gentle calm happy mom I hope my kids remember.
I hear you! Sometimes the whole scene just gets old. Really, whatever decision works best for the family is the right one. Oh, and I was just ordering our math books also…glad to know I’m not the only one!
Enjoy hanging out with “just” the younger 4 – you’ve earned it!
What, you didn’t feel like your NFP post were generating enough heat?
Just kidding. Steubenville is a VERY interesting mix of people, and we have lots of “failed” homeschoolers here. My next door neighbor with 8 kids homeschooled for years, then put her kids in school, and has never looked back. Other friends of mine who transitioned out have done it with more mixed emotions.
My favorite was a friend of mine with seven who really had to put the kids in school due to her health problems. She was telling me one doughnut Sunday after mass how heartbroken and anxious she felt about it when her 11 daughter marched up and hearing the word “school” volunteered, “I LOVE going to school. It is SO MUCH BETTER than homeschool. I NEVER want to be homeschooled again!!!” [she did end up homeschooling her kids again.]
Life is hard! We will all feel anxious about our children, if we love them. We will all make mistakes, they will mostly go through a phase of resenting us no matter what decisions we make – we should not give each other grief!!!
I think Justine and I are a marvelous example of how the farmer and the cow-man can be friends. She dabbled in homeschooling but now has her children in the catholic school system, and she has the nicest children of anyone I know. She calls me and complains about her frustrations with the schools now and then, and I confess to her that I’ve locked my self in the bathroom with a package of frozen waffles because I almost killed Augustine for refusing to add. I know she’s doing her best, and she knows I’m too crazy to do things differently, and we almost never try to guilt each other.
I think the time when good catholics were blind to the sickness of the culture has mostly passed, and so I feel confident that all my friends, where ever their kids are, are trying to raise them in the faith the best way they know how. I’m homeschooling my kids using K-12, which is really the public school system at home, for the first time this year. My neighbor down the street wrote a page-long tirade against just such a thing on our Yahoo homeschool list the other day, and I couldn’t help but wonder if it were aimed at me…?
Oh, well. It would probably be good if we all had a mind-set open to homeschooling if that were necessary, and a commitment to reassess on a yearly basis for each child. Or not. I went to public schools, loved it, and I’m a freakin’ mess, but I’m here, aren’t I?
By the way, my neighbor claims she’s going to write a book, “How I Failed at Home Schooling,” so you’re going to have to hustle if you want to beat her to it.
I went to a home school group mothers’ meeting the other day. I told my husband that being there made me want to get a job. I’m ready for a change. I have too many photos like yours digital and mental.
This up coming year I’ll have children in school for the first time and children in home school.
I am glad for the home school experience for all of the positives that you listed, and because I have two children with learning disabilities who would have been lost, at least for a while, in the school system.
So — in an attempt to simplify life before entering the season of homeschool plus institutional school plus try to remember to buy toilet paper en route to practices/lessons/house-avoidance culture trips so as not to be thinking about always thinking about buying toilet paper while making vain attempt at mental prayer, I got rid of any possible extraneous email lists I was on. I could not, for my sanity’s sake, however, knock yours off, even if it means I only get to read them once a week or so.
If the rural charter school makes it more possible for you to keep posting, I say — go Big Government.
You are so sane. Thank you. I know I risk entering groupie status, but — thank you.
I’ve never homeschooled my kids, remembering (and resenting) the egotism on the part of my own parents for assuming I wanted to be exposed to them 24 hours a day on a farm in rural NY. But some homeschooling gene must have activated within them because they loathe Lady Gaga and Twilight with a Christian fundamentalist intensity. I think I had children that were meant for my mother.
Another Julie —
I so cracked up reading your post.
My parallel universe:
Setting: Major metropolitan commuter train on a special day in the Big City with my daughter and her friend. Clearly-Not-From-The-City super-friendly tourist bunch, two moms and daughters and a grandmom, sits down around us on all sides. One of the bubbly moms starts chatting with my daughter, who stays a bit uncharacteristically reticent since she has been warned that talking to strangers on the subway could result in a life of white slavery. The mom persists very sweetly, clearly trying to get her daughter and mine to talk to each other, and finally asks my daughter, “So do you like Hannah Montana?”
My daughter (remember — we have another solid twenty minutes together in this subway car before we hit the city.): “No. I don’t think I’m that kind of girl.”
With salsa! That was great. Sounds like my eldest. I think my younger daughter would like to like Hannah Montana, but the older one is determined to save her from pop culture mediocrity, and she’s a little cruel in her zeal.
I’m getting ready to homeschool this year. I really don’t want to do it. We “homeschooled” a few years ago, which means we got out the books once a month or so and said, “This time it’s for real!” and never really did anything. We put our two oldest in school in the middle of the year. My oldest went into first grade a bit behind the other kids. She’s smart and caught up quickly. Knowing our own track record has me super uncomfortable about this. But at this point, it’s basically either homeschool or divorce. No, I’m not joking or exaggerating.
That said, there are some things about it that I’m looking forward to: no more coming home singing stupid teeny-bopper pop songs, for one.
I just had to ask: homeschool or divorce? Your hubby is adamant about the homeschooling?
In our homeschool journey I found I had to be willing to accept the divorce option (or at least separation) before hubby realized how serious I was that homeschooling was NO LONGER WORKING for either the kids or me. (debilitating illness-Lyme disease). It was scary, but I prayed my knees off and stood my ground. We have 7 children, one preschooler, one just graduated last year (hs all the way through) 1 jr. higher in a good classical co-op that meets his needs, one 11th grader in awesome online Great Books program that she loves. The 3 grade schoolers were the ones who were not thriving, and were stressing me out the most. This year, they are attending Christian school which my husband has to drive them in to. This meant he had to set up a secondary office in town, since he works from home telecommuting as a statistician. We live not quite an hour from anywhere. I still find myself in shock and disbelief that he agreed to all of it. But there was much, much prayer, and I had to stick to my guns. I figured with all the stress homeschooling was putting on our relationship it would end in divorce anyway if I didn’t take drastic measures. This isn’t necessarily counsel, just sharing my from my experience. Hubs experienced a great blow to his pride I think b/c he had been very vocal about how we would *always* homeschool. He was in a lot of denial about how poorly they were doing. I think he already sees how much better this is, and we have agreed to reevaluate each kid, each year. B/c that’s what it’s about, after all. What is best for them.
“It wasn’t the hard work that wore me out; it was the crappy job I did, and the worrying about it.” – Ack, that’s me!
“Also, a couple of them turned out to be more complicated than we thought. And I’m not the kind of mother that it’s okay to be around all day.” – thank you for saying this…
We currently homeschool and I think that most homeschoolers understand that each family, for the most part, is taking it year by year. Just because we are homeschooling now does not mean we’ll do it next year.
I so appreciate this conversation.
I struggle as well. My daughter is autistic and not on the high functioning section of the spectrum so, to take advantage of my tax dollars and the fact that private insurance in my state will not cover the speech and occupational therapy that have helped her so much and send her to public school. My boys, I don’ t know about. My husband and I were both exclusively public schooled which in my case was almost definitely the right decision because I have social anxiety disorder and might never have learned to communicate with non-family members otherwise. My boys are extremely social beings but I want to ensure the religious aspect of their education through daily living. I still have a couple of years to decide for them. But I respect that nothing is forever in this life. Including school.
Hey, you’re a household that appreciates the comedy genius that was Arrested Development, there’s no way the kids can turn out wrong in a place like that. Congrats on the new change, you know its going to work out fine.
Delurking to say: I LOVE this post! I love the picture, I love the comments! So hilarious!
I’m starting my second year of homeschooling (1st grade) and will admit, I’m still enjoying myself 🙂
Did I tell you that five of my kids are going to public school at least part-time this year? They start Thursday, and I’m dreading it like crazy. But what you said about worrying about the crappy job I’m doing — that’s a big part of why I’m doing this.
I’m getting nothing BUT “support” for my decision — from all of those people who were never supportive of us homeschooling anyway, like my parents and sister. But their support comes with an air of “told ya sos” and “thank goodness you’re not ruining the kids anymore” attitude about it. There is no perfect solution.
But if they start ACTING like many of the PS kids around here, I’m pulling them out again lickety-split. I like my kids. I have two teen-age girls without bad attitudes. I enjoy spending time with them. I don’t want that to change, and that scares me a lot about sending them out into the ocean that is public school. I’ll pray for yours, and you pray for mine, OK?
Charity, I always wondered how you taught home school and wrote grant proposals and worked on a farm and served three course meals for lunch and dinner! I bet your kids will surprise you – and probably the school needs them. You’re doing their classmates a favor! We prayed for your family last night.
I can see us doing this in a few years. I’m starting my fourth year, and we take it year by year. Two of my children spent a year in school, and that sort of made it lose the “We’re going to DIE if they go to school feeling.”
A lot of what is motivating me at the moment is listening to my friends and neighbors complain about the TWO HOURS of homework their 1st through 3rd graders have to do. I’d like my kids to have time to play when they’re that age. It makes me wonder if you have to create more evening hours for school work when you get to high school if they have that much in the primary grades. I’m starting to sound like my parents. “Well, we didn’t have homework when I was in 1st grade and I turned out just fine . . . “
Wow – reading these replies, I’m really grateful at how much support I’ve had over the years (and didn’t really realize it). My mother, for instance, will say “I don’t know how you DO it!” no matter what I do (even though she raised eight kids herself!), and my husband just wants to do whatever keeps everyone the most sane.
And maybe it’s a NH libertarian thing, but most of the homeschoolers I’ve encountered around here aren’t even religious, so there hasn’t been any bogus moral pressure put on me, either. I know a lot of people who’ve gone back and forth, done a year of this and a year of that — so I guess I’m just lucky.
Thanks, everybody! I think Gnat said it best – there is no perfect school.
I have home schooled since my now senior was in kindergarten. Every year I get a pit of fear in my stomach and I am awake worrying at 2 am at least twice a week.
This year, I have sent my high schoolers to the local Catholic school, and will continue to school the 4 others at home, and care for the baby. I still have the pit of fear in my stomach, but “only” having 4 students this year, doing material I have already covered at least 3 times, and the fact that all my high schoolers tested into honors and AP classes, my confidence is rising.
I am so, very relieved to read this post. Very. Relieved.
I am loving this discussion. We stopped homeschooling four years ago, due mostly to a medical situation, but I quickly realized how nice it was to lose the “I’m doing a terrible job” guilt. Our kids are in public school, and I worried some about religious influences….but as it turns out, most of their friends are raised with no religion at all and my kids are viewed with a degree of fascination. These kids have all been taught that “tolerance” is just about the highest virtue going, and since they have not had any negative experiences (or any experience at all, really) with any Christian religion, they view it as something exotic and intriguing.
I guess I’ve been lucky, too, because none of our homeschooling friends were anything but supportive. I know quite a few “failed” homeschoolers from my original group, and I like to think that we are having a good impact on the public school system that now has to deal with us.
This makes me feel so much better in my decision to try out the local public for my oldest going into K. Will echo the sentiment that I sometimes feel as an orthodox Catholic I’m somehow putting my kids in peril by going down this path. Glad to know I’m not the only one to at least give this a try.
Not that you should ever feel like you should justify yourself or your decisions to any of us in the blog world, I sure glad you did this time. We’ve home schooled for 12 years and we plan on continuing for now, but you never know. I do love it and I’m sure the kids hate it at times, but it works for us. Home schooling isn’t for everyone.
What I love about this is that I’m sure there are struggling moms out there that feel they need permission to drop out of homeschool. This post let’s ’em know it’s absolutely ok to try something else.
Thanks, Simcha, for the levity!
Love the photo!
If people don’t understand WHY you homeschool, they certainly don’t understand WHY you choose not to. But I can totally relate to and respect your decision to make a change.
I truly believe in the merits of homeschool, just from having briefly homeschooled my two children, 3rd and 9th graders at the time. I also believe that sometimes “homeschool” is a season of life, much as winter, spring, summer, and fall are seasons of the year. We learn a lot in every season, but we have to be willing to embrace the changes if we are to enjoy the season we are in.
I wrote my first book, Good to the Last Drop: Refreshing Inspiration for Homeschool Moms and Other Busy Women, during the first four months of our homeschool experience, which lasted only one year in my son’s case and a year and a half in my daughter’s. I wouldn’t trade that brief experience for the world, as difficult as it was at times, because it cemented my relationship with my teenager, who is now a junior and laid a rich foundation for my daughter, who is now a 5th grader. Although my children learned a lot, I certainly learned the most! We are all happy in the places we are now — both children in a good suburban public school and I in the process of publishing my second book of devotionals. We are all still growing, still loving, and excited about all that God has in store for us.
At some point I, too, may homeschool my daughter again. As you so aptly pointed out, it’s just one of those things that you have to take a year (or in our case, sometimes a semester) at a time.
Enjoy where you are and look for God’s little lessons :-).
Schooling choice is a new decision fro each kid each year. Families and kids have phases and seasons. I wish you the best with this one! Honestly, this statement “… my kids have learned that reading is a wonderful way to spend your time, and that figuring out things and hearing new ideas is thrilling…” indicates that you have done extremely well by them. Wonderful job! (How often do moms hear THAT?!)
Hi Simcha, your children sound lovely and I bet they will do very well at the charter school (wish we had those here in WA). I recently discovered your blog and love it. Very refreshing. I had to laugh when I read in another of your articles that you survive the tough homeschool days with really, really long baths. I do that too. I don’t homeshcool though. We’ve been happy with Catholic School through 4th so far. Like the Church says, parents are the primary educators, even if the kids are in school. I’m hoping that if I parent them well enough in off-school hours, and parent them through the challenges -good and bad- of school, then hopefully, by the grace of God, it will all work out. Best to you this fall. (btw I find dorky children very charming).
As a homeschooler who hung in there for 15 years I loved this post. My identity was far too wrapped up in being a homeschooler and being right. I used to tell people, when they marvelled at how could I homeschool, that it hadn’t driven me crazy yet but then one year I had a nervous breakdown.
We all survived but I wish I had been open to other doors in the journey instead of rigidly set on one option.
Interestingly enough, it was when I searched out Catholicism and eventually converted that I became free to be human and began learning to let go of being rigid. To some people that will seem like a paradox but to me it makes sense.
It makes sense to me. 🙂
My fav statement is that you never know what your life will look like this time next year.
When we got married, we planned on homeschooling and having zillions of kiddos. 🙂 We didn’t plan on our first child being Deaf. But she is, and she is wonderful, and she needs to be in school outside of our home. We moved to a whole new city/state to send her to a Catholic school for the Deaf. After a semester there, she did a summer program at a different school, and now she is going there full time. Never thought I’d have a 3 yr old in all-day school but she loves it, and I am so.much.happier without the constant stress and anxiety of educating her (b/c not only was I educating her, I was also having to learn an entire language, and then teach her that language, at the same time). Also, we’ve discovered that parenting is a lot of freaking hard work. lol. So, the zillions of kids has been adjusted to…we’ll take ’em as they come, but hopefully they’ll come slowly???
We moved to a fantastic school district in order to get funding to send her to out-of-district schools. And it’s possible our son will go to public school eventually and I like knowing we’re in a good district. Maybe he will go to pre-school at the Catholic school for the Deaf (their pre-school is mixed with hearing and deaf students). Maybe I will convince my husband to let us send some of our kids to the Catholic Montessori school I drool over (his first and only response was “get a job” but I mean…a girl can dream right? lol). Who knows how it all will work out.
[…] Blog posts like this (and the numerous comments following) telegraph to me loud and clear that homeschooling cannot be for every family. I am not yet a homeschooler, but I can surely appreciate how very difficult it is and that it can sometimes be too much. And, it doesn’t need to be horribly extreme circumstances which cause a mother to close up the kitchen classroom. […]
I have nothing to add re. homeschool angst, but may I say, “Ahhhh, Bombay Sapphire!!”
“And I’m not the kind of mother that it’s okay to be around all day.”
Yeah, me too. My oldest is starting K this fall and we went around and around and around about what to do, we even have an incredibly active and excellent homeschooling co op through our parish and we are still sending her to public. As much as I think I want to homeschool, I can barely keep the house clean and running smoothly and prepare healthy food and keep up with the laundry pile at this point and along with trying to retain my sanity and I’ve only got three little ones. I’m not sure when I would be able to squeeze in teaching my 5 year old to read and whatnot and keep all the other balls in the air.
Great post, thanks!
Love the pic. We make the decision to homeschool year by year, or sometimes quarter by quarter. We’ve been all HS, all public schooled, and this is our second go-round with one in public school and the rest homeschooled.
I think I have to homeschool. Otherwise I’d get lost surfing the internet all day, and become one of those zombie-types like they have in Japan where they are online for 72 straight hours because they didn’t have a reason to get off. Gives me something to do, you know, instead of sitting around and eating bon bons.
Still curious. 🙂
Was there anything in particular that led you to pick homeschooling over the charter school, in the first place? Was the decision to send the kids to the charter school one you agonized over much, or was it pretty easy to decide to try it?
Does the charter school not offer first grade? Is that why the 6yo will be at home?
Oh, and I’m dying to know what the stovetop meteorology experiment involved. 🙂
Best wishes on adjusting to life with a stricter schedule! 🙂
Thank you for the great laugh! My kids are going to school in a week, after being homeschooled for 3 1/2 years. And I too have one that is way more complicated than I can handle….and I too am a mom thats not much fun to be around all day long!!
Love the story!
Blessings to you on your journey!
Oh, my gosh, that photo is hilarious. I love it.
Even with only three, I sometimes feel burnout — I can only imagine (and wouldn’t really succeed at conjuring the vision) what it feels like with eight. I’ve always said we’re doing this one year at a time, and I’ve meant it. We all have to do what works, and everything works better when we respect each other’s decisions about these kinds of things. All the best in your upcoming year.
And, ummm, even though four of them are headed out to school, I’d replenish that gin supply.
From the photo, I’d say you were wrapping up a unit on British imperialism, what with your Aboriginal child and Bombay gin. I hope the school thing works out. I sent one to high school, and won’t ever do that again. Blech. Rather have them home wrecking the place, smoking and gambling under my own roof. Of course, my husband is rather less than amused by scenes like your photo. I guess he misses the big picture.
I’ve never met any homeschoolers in real life, only in the bloggosphere. I learned that as a fairly traditional Catholic mother, I felt the need to apologize for sending our children to school. There seemed to be three tiers of “good Catholics” homeschoolers, Catholic schoolers and lastly those poor shlubs who send their children to evil public schools. I know this is just a stereotype by an outsider. But I have to wonder sometimes if there is an element of truth in it.
Our children have been in both Catholic and public schools. There are positives and negatives to each one, and a good school may not be a good fit for a particular child. My oldest will be attending a private Catholic high school in the fall. The others go to public. But I have to say, I love September – I look forward to it every year!!!
I also love that my childrens’ successes or failures in school are a relflection of their personal efforts, not mine. My kids need outside accountability.
[…] Simcha is getting hilariously real about why homeschooling didn’t work for them (the photo in her post is amazing […]
Good luck with your decision. I’m not going to scold you for your decision — I understand it too well (and I haven’t yet ordered math books!), but I hope your kids remain ignorant of their dorkiness until they are old enough to embrace it!
[…] On Not Home Schooling This Year: […]
[…] 31, 2010 by lydiacubbedge Random idea, I know, but I read a really funny post at I Need To Sit Down and became […]
I am so glad that I stumbled across this blog and particularly this post. Being the conservative catholic family that we are, I’ve always felt I “should” be home schooling. I did actually home school our oldest son last year for 7th grade. It was a good experience, but extremely challenging for me. I think it took a toll on my marriage because I was so stressed with the needs of all the children. I also had 2 in public school and a baby. I was driving all over town getting my kids to and fro different activities with different schedules. I was a mess. I considered home school again this year and finally decided no. My husband and I are healing after a difficult period in our marriage and I need time to myself to breathe. We as a family have a very busy lifestyle because my husband likes to recreate. I can’t do it all. I just can’t. I have so much on my plate it is unbelievable. My hubbie works long hours an hour away from home. He is extremely helpful, but is unable to help much with school. School rests on my shoulders. I have found that some successful home schoolers have both the mom and dad teaching and doing chores, etc. This is not the case in my family. And any mom who can do it all, my hats off to her. I can’t. And I am not going to explain myself to anyone. Anyone who doesn’t understand why some of us choose to put our kids in school is being judgmental. I certainly don’t judge those that home school. As you can see by my comments, I’m just wiped out. I just want to thank everyone who commented about why they are choosing to send their kids to public school. It made me feel not alone. I think what is important is if me and my husband are good and healthy in our relationship and if we are spending time together as a family outside of school and praying together and dialogging with our kids, etc., etc., etc. We instill the faith every day and dialog about what is going on in the world with our kids.
Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble. It’s been a challenging year trying to make the best decision for our kids. By the way, they are great, happy, joyful, loving, helpful kids who love to be with not only their family, but with their extended family as well. Thanks everyone.
Thank you for posting. It seems I could have said exactly what you did. This is my first yr. putting kids in any kind of school and low and behold “It’s public”. I have 9 kids total. Please know you have my full support. God bless,
I’ve been homeschooling for 17 years (doesn’t that make you feel like a whimp). My two oldest are in Catholic colleges (so I didn’t do too crappy a job), but I have 5 more to go through. I have no enthusiasm for this year (same last year). I AM TIRED. Hello, I’m almost 50 and flirting with Menopause. I’ve talked to quite a few hs moms lately, who whimper “I just wish someone else would do this.” But we don’t have any alternatives. We live in a small town – one jr. high and high school with terrible reputations. The turn-over rates of the principals are legendary. So, I assume God wants us to keep doing the hs thing and He’ll make up for my deficiencies (because if He really wanted to He could very easily produce a good Catholic school here or get my husband a job near a great school, no?) But I’ll be expecting some time off purgatory.
Wow, I am so glad you are posting again, Simcha, because you can see the need for a reality check for all of us. We’ve got two in college, and the younger six, for the first time in my 20 years of mothering…are all in school this year.
We’ve tried all the options, even the online K12 charters. Half my kids have IEPs that we have had to deal with, though thankfully they have all outgrown them eventually.
Charter, homeschool, Cath school (where, yes, I have found some REALLY unkind families), public school, I’ve tried them all, because I am always tired. And I can honestly say that it is just a different set of issues and time constraints, no matter which we choose. No one who would seriously consider homeschooling would be a “disengaged” parent of a kid in school. You just end up volunteering for the bake sale, or selling more chocolates, or popcorn or wrapping paper, and spending time on homework, or having discussions about Heather and her two mommies, or whatever. (Actually, more often, it is how to not engage in cross-proselytizing with over-zealous new Prot friends…why is that? I always refer my kids back to some line int he book of Peter about not going in for an argument on purpose…)
THis is the first year I have had no kid at home…all in school. I’ve been amazed at how my kids have adapted, so easily. Me, well, I’m trying to find a real job that will fund the eight college tuitions. Guess I better revisit that Edith Stein novena…
I’ve homeschooled for 4 years and last year was awful with an uncooperative ADD/ODD boy, a bipolar/ADHD girl and a stressed out mom that tried everything to teach.
This year I am heartbroken at the thought of sending them to the devil- aka public school, but they need more than I can give them. Realizing that is sad but necessary so we can all have some sanity.
Thanks for the laugh and cry. God help us on Wednesday when we drop them off at the school bus stop. I’d better bring my tissue box with me!
Thank You from the bottom of my heart for posting this. I gave it my best shot, but have sent my kids back into public school this year. I really needed to read this tonight and all of the replies here. I’ve spent the last week crying my eyes out feeling like an utter failure of a mother for not being a super amazing homeschool mom. I am trying to fight through my feeling of gulit and the notion that I have sent my kids to the “wolves”. I come from a homeschool church, everyone there either has or is homeschooling, and the pressure is intense for me. The kids have been in school now for a week and nobody know it yet, what a head trip I’ve been on. I appreciate that you said “And I’m not the kind of mother that it’s okay to be around all day”, This is one of my main reasons for sending them back. I just am not pleasant day after day, they need a break from me, heck I need a break from me. Thank you for easing some of my guilt, I needed to know that I am not a horrible abandoner for sending them to school.
Such a real and funny post with great (and some heart-wrenching) comments! I linked from The Wine Dark Sea.
I have been ashamed that I did not homeschool after watching younger women with larger families do this heroic task.
I breathed a sigh of relief each September (after the first lonesome day of sending them off to their “fates”). I did spend time teaching them the alphabet prior to school, doing crafts and taking my children on nature walks and allowed them much more freedom to wander on their own than parents permit these days.
They are successful adults in spite of my limitations and failures of patience (that must be the #1 sin in Confession for mothers of young children!).
Interestingly, our town had had an influx of Catholic families from Chicago (in the 1970’s) so our public school system was loaded with believing Catholics which helped set a good tone for our family. Also, our society had not yet become totally pagan — it tended to support many Christian values.
Far too many of our friends who sent their children through Catholic grade and high schools have grown children who are no longer Catholic while three of our four still are Catholic (in various degrees of faithfulness).
I thought that the mother who said that our children can always criticize us for how they were raised had a very wise insight. If you’re lenient or if you are strict, there will be benefits and debits either way. So do what you think is best for your children and give up the guilt.
The son with whom I clashed for decades is now closer in many ways (not married) than the children who were easier, but who married and have families and are too busy with their own lives and families to call much. Life never turns out how you imagine it will. It certainly is an adventure.
God bless all you young mothers in the trenches!
I’m a little late for supper….but thought I would chime in because I chose a bit of a different solution. FInding myself preggers with #8 mid August, totally overwhelmed at the failures of last homeschool year and not prepared for the year to come, we had to make some changes. I agree, NO situation is perfect but we are called as Catholic parents to find the best solution for our children, in our circumstances. I chose to put my older 2 (8th and 9th grade) in an online catholic classical school (Regina Coeli Online Academy), fully homeschool my 5th grader, send K and 2nd graders to catholic school, and still have 3 yo, 21 month old, and wretched morning sickness. The youngers in CS are loving it, not watching tv all day while I help the olders, and are not old enough to have to deal with the bigger problems that I see in the upper grades. I have more time to help the older three as well as read a book or play outside a bit with the little ones. The 2 in online school are getting excellent instruction and are meeting other amazing, traditional catholic friends from all over the world. But I still maintain their “main” influence and educator.
We will take it year by year. If I see “issues” coming up with the kids in school, they will come out and maybe the other young ones will go for the first years. It is fun to teach the younger grades but terribly time consuming when you have lots of kids. It took many, many sleepless nights and lots of tears to finally make the decision to turn over some of my God given job to other capable hands. But now I realize that much of the difficulty in the decision came down to my own pride and the fact that now everyone would know that I am not, in fact, anyone especially talented or amazing. Just a mom trying to raise my kids in the faith to be amazing, well-rounded adults that love God.
Ladies, Thank you ever so much for posting! I can’t tell you what support and kindness you’ve shown in sharing. I have truly been blessed to have come across this. (1rst time here). I delivered #9 this past May. I’ve only homeschooled all my children. This year was the 1rst year of putting them in school. It is our local public schools. I wrestled with, cried, and most of all prayed about this decision each fall for the last 3 yrs. Most of all the peace came when I realized that this was God’s will for my family (at least for this year). So easier said than done, but try to be at peace knowing that if this is God’s will for your family (no matter what schooling you do) then that is truly all that matters. On judgement day, you’ll come face to face w/ God and I’m sure he’s not going to condemn you for the type of schooling you do. Just that you are trying your best to obey His will in your life and only you and your husband can make that decision through prayer. May God bless all of you on your journey in educating your children, bringing them closer to our Lord.
I just now found this post from another bloggers link. Love the picture! Thank you for what you wrote. I am a burned out hs mom too. Been doing it 15 years, with 6 school aged. I am ready to send some to school.
[…] to admit that this year I am doing a bad job and I must consider a change. It rang true when I saw this and read this […]
I’d love to read all the comments, but there’s a LOT!
I am not sure if I should laugh or cry right now. This month I made the decision to quit homeschooling after 5 1/2 years. I’ve cried everyday of November. To help me sort through how I feel, I’ve been googling “quitting homeschooling” and have come up with nothing … until this post from you. And THANKYOU for it. There is no support in the evangelical Christian blogworld for going back into school. I was so relieved to read this. It perfectly described us. I tried my best, but my best wasn’t good enough for the needs of my kids. And that’s OK. We had some good times, but bad ones too, and it’s time to try a different strategy.
I missed all this discussion the first time. Again, you really have a knack for bringing out some much-needed honesty and airing of feelings. Thank you!
[…] But she doesn’t always come across as having the beautiful life. Her post on why she quit homeschooling is a masterpiece of comically brutal truth-telling. Of course, I think there’s space in […]
I really needed this. I’m not Catholic, but I understand about feeling like I’m sending my kids into the mouth of the lion, so to speak. They’ll be starting school next year because the hubby doesn’t agree with me homeschooling (more because I’M doing it than anything.) The encouragement here is wonderful. I know God’s in control. Maybe I’ll be a better mother without having the official “teacher” title tacked on, too. Thanks.
[…] to a miracle: I was able to figure out how to post videos on a new platform while propitiating the feral kid, who sits behind my back and makes me play the squish game while I […]
Hi Simcha, You probably don’t remember me but I’m from Claremont and we’ve happened upon one another in the past, now and then before you moved. My friend from NY state posted your blog post of May 14, 2011 on Facebook and that is how I came upon your blog.. “HEY, I know her!”.. So happy to hear of your new additions. We took a year off of homeschooling ourselves–a few of them anyway (we have six now). It was a good change..pro’s and con’s all around, one year at a time. Now we are back to homeschooling w/vim and vigor in our 14th year.. sending one off to college in the Fall! At any rate, your post made me laugh and I am glad you’re finding what works for you and your family for this season. Carry on, Anna 🙂
Hey, Anna – of course I remember you! I often think of you guys, especially when I look around at the house we bought a few years ago, and remember how Rick advised us to run screaming away from the house we didn’t buy, the one with the bad foundation…
So great to hear from you. I can’t believe one of your kids is college age already!
I meant.. May 12th 🙂
I was homeschooled and (mostly) loved it. I think I turned out pretty well, partly because of it. Some of my siblings…not so much. We all, of course, blame our parents. But gee – so does everyone else before they start realizing their own children aren’t perfect! I haven’t decided if I’ll homeschool, but I do know that when I hear homeschooling being presented as the infallible key to churning out perfect people, I want to run the other way (or warn the parents that they are setting themselves up to blame themselves when their children don’t turn out perfectly, which they won’t). There are advantages and disadvantages to whatever you do, because every method involves fallible human beings.
Thank you for this. I just gave myself permission to do the same thing. My oldest two will be headed to school this year. The little ones (2) will be at home. I felt like a failure, but this helps a lot. THANK YOU! Also, congrats on your pregnancy! We’re having number 4, and we get that a ton. I linked it to my facebook page to explain to all the naysayers, including my husbands parents that we are not overpopulating the earth, just our hearts!
Wow. I must live in a bubble. I think each school system has it’s merits. As a teacher, some have asked what I think of homeschooling. I think there is some beauty to it and know many mothers who do it well. I think the catholic school system here does its best even though recently the Catholic High School wasn’t too happy with graphic abortion pictures. Since our Catholic Schools are also public funded they are a mix. I find the major difference is that they will have religion and teach Bible Stories, so no I don’t think the Catholic Schools overall teach children the faith. I do not friends who were not Catholic but went to Catholic High School and became Catholic. My son goes to a French Catholic High School and they have a Rosary Club. I find the public school system very interesting and they have a good program. A very interesting program is the blended program. A child can be taught 20% at school and 80% at home or vice versa. You can pick and choose the classes you want your child to take and how to take. (going to school or by computer) The parent also gets the funding to teach at home. If the child is taught 80% at home the parent gets 80% of the funding. It seems that our government trust that parents know the best way to teach their child. Also, some children can learn or function in the school system and they are best taught by their parents. In certain circonstances I have thought of homeschooling as the best education possible for my children. That being said, if you are tired, not enjoy it, it may not be the best situation for your family.
When you child goes to public school, talk to your children about what other people believes and how the catholic faith differs and how it is unique and special. Your children can then become witnesses and stronger in their faith as they have to explain what they believe and why. I don’t necessary think it is a bad thing for our faith to be tested. Even if your child goes to school, you are still his first teacher. Our children are only loans to us. God will direct their lives and their search for beauty, truth and love. I don’t think it is correct to see sending our children to a public/catholic school as sending them to the wolves. Each system has its place and ultimately God is in their hearts and will protect and guide them towards Him. I worry more about teaching my children to love God and seek truth. If they do that and I pray for them, I don’t think I can do much more.
I homeschooled my kids for five years, one of them being autistic. I have had my two older boys in “public school” now for three year and it was the best decision we made as a family. The school staffs have been incredibly supportive and helpful in embracing my children and having them go leaps and bounds in their education. I decided to stop homeschooling because we weren’t having “fun” anymore. This year is the first year I actually enrolled a child in kindergarten and when I picked him up, he was super happy to see me and tell me about his day. My two older boys, a preteen and a teenager, love their full days in their respective schools. Homeschooling had its moment but five years was enough for us. No regrets but it was enough. I think every family knows what’s best for their family and too bad if others don’t like it. Your children’s faces speak volumes. It was a difficult decision stop but their happy faces let me know I made the right decision and that’s all that matters.
Good for you; I’m firmly convinced that when homeschooling becomes a philosophy we adhere to rather than a tool to help our children thrive, we can lose perspective. works for some of them, some of the time. I don’t think a lot of people realize how much pressure there can be not to quit. I’m not a quitter myself, so I kept on slogging through 3 miscarriages, lyme disease, my father’s brain tumor….8 moves…I’m really glad we did but this year I see needs that I’m not really able to address and think it’s time to call in some reinforcements. And I do not feel guilty about that.
Simcha, this is about the 5th time in a year I’ve gone searching for this post, just to sit and read, re-read and re-ponder. I appreciate your words, as well as those of your commenters. Still don’t know what the heck is the best plan for us, here on the 13th of September, but the tears have dried for now.Thanks for putting it out there. That’s all, just: thank-you.
Thank you Simcha and all of the commenters for their thoughts. My kids go to public school and have gone to public school since day one. I have been guilt ridden since I found out about so many Catholic families (in other states) that homeschool their kids and how “evil” they make public school sound. However, I already worry that I will not be a great teacher for my kids and I want my kids to get, at least, a decent education. I would love to homeschool, but I don’t believe in myself. I don’t think I’m “fit” for the job. Hmmm.
This was a very comforting post to me. I am coming to the decision that homeschooling isn’t for us anymore. I HS’d my DS since he was 4, he’s now 7. DD is 5 and I’ve HS’d her since she was 4 also. DS is very bright, and well ahead of his “peers” in reading. DD is average I would say. DS is not very social, pretty attached to me, but getting ‘braver’ day by day. DD is a social butterfly and begs to go to school with her neighbor friend every day.
I have HS friends (UNschoolers, even) who think public is the devil, the worst thing I could possibly do.
I like your line about not being a mom you want to be around all day. I am pretty dull, actually, enjoy peace and quiet. I also suffer from depression and arthritis (an autoimmune disease) and so the discomfort from that is a struggle to overcome and be ‘up’ and ‘happy’ and ‘positive’ to teach my kids well. A lot of the time I feel like I’m just acting.
I think they would do ‘just fine’ in school. They know many of the kids on our street who attend the school they’d be going to so are quite comfy with the idea.
I just have to get over/through this myself. I am heartbroken. I am worried. I am trying my best but I honestly think 100% of their learning coming from me wouldn’t be such a great thing.
If it sounds like I’m trying to come up with excuses… maybe I am. I keep waffling. Today we’ll keep homeschooling and I’ll try changing this or that…. ultimately, I am stressed and tired and NOT enjoying being around my kiddos.
Thanks again for this blog post. It is reassuring that the kids will turn out ok (hopefully) whichever education route …
I recently put my kids in school this past year. Mostly because I was overwhelmed and really did not feel like I could do them justice. 2 of them are in High School and 2 are in a Charter School. I have a little one at home and felt as if I was cheating her out of mommy time.
It has been 3 and half months and I cant tell you how sad I am not being such a huge part of my kids lives. The academic portion of public school is not bad. Its the lack of respect students have for their teachers and the kids that want to take as many with them into the pits of despair. Its the teachers that really don’t want to be there and have decided to curse and make the students feel as if they are not worth their time. Its the teachers that have no control over a class room and just allow the students to do what ever they want to do.
My kids are doing well but they come home every day sharing stories about how bad the students are. My oldest has become somewhat taken over by the dark side of school would rather be hanging out with friends than doing what she is there for. She has started lying or not telling me the whole truth about things. My second spends her time making sure she is working hard and doing the right thing in school. The 2 little ones love school and want to please their teachers,thankfully they both have great teachers. It worries me that people with more than questionable values have such a strong influence on my kids.
I am sad that I barely get to see them now and that my little one misses them so much. I wonder did I make the right decision?
Great post! Education is so much more than book-learning. To get along well in the world, most people need to be able to understand protocol and be around many different kinds of people. There are certainly exceptions, but as a general rule, that’s true. Those who go against the grain often don’t do as well and set their children up for failure. I’m glad that I had a mom who tried to provide all of those opportunities while I was homeschooled, but I have found that to be INCREDIBLY rare. We had the advantage of living in a big city, and she was pretty liberal as far as homeschoolers go. I’m not sure I’d homeschool my kids, but I’m interested to see how the movement changes.
I’m glad you gained some positive things out of homeschooling and that you feel like you’re able to provide a good alternative schooling option!!
Wow! I’ve been looking all over for you girls and am I glad I’ve found you! I woke up with the “guilts” again about not homeschooling and was praying about it. Just as I was starting to beat myself up, I think I received a divine inspiration to google “catholic homeschooling failure”. How pathetic, I thought, that this is how I still view myself. So I googled away and I found this and I just absolutely love it!!! I don’t know why I never thought of searching this out before because I’ve been struggling with guilt about not homeschooling for years. Mine has been a slow and anxious homeschooling death, as I have slowly sent my six moderately dyslexic kids off to schools year by year, but this year, I’ve officially hung up my denim jumper and quite homschooling. Up to today, I’ve felt very alone and isolated in my decision to stop. It’s been a long road. However, I think if I hadn’t had the courage to put them in school, I really would have done emotional damage to myself or them. I believe that if I stuck with homeschooling. knowing how badly I was failing at it, I would have shown a great deal of pride in myself and a great lack of trust in God. People in my ardent catholic homeschooling community act like God won’t continue to bless and protect us just because we go to a public school but He has helped us all and we continue to pray for His blessing and we are receiving as many! Homeschooling is not for everyone, just like anything else. Know thyself! It took me way too long to admit that it just wasn’t for me and therefore, it wasn’t the best for my children, but that is okay, because I am giving them the best that I can give them and we will be judged on our efforts, not on our successes. Thank you all again and I encourage you all to keep trusting God to guide ane enlighten you as to the special plan He has for each child he blesses you with!
Dear Shalimar, As a mother you are called to do what is best for your family. Never feel bad or feel the need to make excuses. It is nice that you have a charter school nearby. After private schools they usually are the best.
No one is you nor does anyone know your family like you do. So if you get criticisms just let them run off your back. Sometimes people
think they know best for everyone and some people become very closed minded.
God bless you my friend.
What a melting pot of feelings it is to send the kids back to school. Glad I found this post. I am meeting with a school counselor today to send my kids back to school. It is a heartbreaking decision. I am literally in tears over it. I am worried about things my kids will see and hear. And I am literally making myself sick worrying about it. I worry about sending them; I worry about keeping on with the homeschooling, what books we will order, what we may miss, if my kids will be able to function when it is time to “grow up”, if we spend enough time on each subject, and the list goes on……We’ve homeschooled for four years. And have loved almost every minute. I enjoy my kids so much, but I am finding that homeschooling is making my kids too dependent on me – for everything. I fear that my kids aren’t going to be able to function in “the real world”. That is probably an unnecessary fear, but it’s so hard to decide the right thing. They are super smart kiddos, but even the smallest things cause them to withdraw or not speak up for what they want. I cannot figure out why. We are a close family, happy, and encourage them to try new things, but they just won’t “venture” out there for new adventures. (They are 8 and 11) Where does that come from??? We do have some financial limitations right now, and have not been able to provide extra-curricular activities for the past year (or closer to two). We do scouts and we spend alot of time at church (where the majority of kids are also homeschooled). And they opted not to join co-op this year – none of the classes interested them. I know I am going to have alot of backlash from announcing our decision to put the kids back in school. And I am heartbroken about it. I intended to follow this all the way through. But besides the issues of our kids seeming “withdrawn”, we also spend ALOT of time at the hospital with my mom, who is waiting for a liver transplant. My dad also has some health issues. I work weekends as a CNA/Caregiver, and I am finding that I feel like a crazy person most of the time. I know I have it easy compared to some moms. I just am not sure it’s fair to my kids for dragging them all over the place, and schoolwork gets put on the backburner sometimes for all the other things that go on in our life here (besides having a grumpy and tired mom…..they don’t seem to mind that). I am sincerely afraid I am going to short-change them educationally if I don’t make a change. I have prayed much over this and it is continually on my heart. Why is it never an easy answer?
It’s never easy b/c we love them so much, and we want it to be perfect, and it never is. But it can be BETTER. Ask yourself, not what would make it ideal, but what would make it better. I have Lyme disease and 7 kiddos that I am supposed to be ‘schooling’, and a husband who is much more committed to the ideology than I am, but doesn’t have time to put it into practice. End result: no sending them to school, no matter what. I worry about it regularly (the satisfactori-ness of their education). In the end, I’ve had to release it and do my best w/ the situation I have. Our options other than homeschool aren’t that stellar here and none of them want to go anyway….it’s only me that thinks it’s a problem. They are age 17-3, and right now I feel like with the older ones I’ve done almost everything ‘wrong’. There’s a real vulnerability there to the Enemy’s discouragement, and believe me, He never misses an opportunity. So many spiritual directors have told me this that I have to believe it: condemnation is never from God. I hope you find peace with your decision.
THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS!!! Like others who have commented, I have also Googled “stopping homeschooling” and come up empty. After 8 years, I put my oldest daughter in school this past fall. Her two younger sisters joined her January, after my world was rocked by a major personal crisis. I totally relate to what you said about doing a crappy job and worrying about it! I, too, felt like I just was not doing a great job. I don’t think I was even giving them a comparable education to what they are getting now at our parish school.
Thank you again for writing about stopping homeschooling! I really needed to read this, to know I’m not the only Catholic ex-homeschooler out there!
I don’t have children, but my sister has homeschooled, as has my niece. Just out of curiosity, do those of you who have returned to public or charter schools find that they are incorporating “character building” into the curriculum these days? I know that certain charter schools, like the KIPP system, are beginning to do so.
I think it would be wonderful if all public schools would incorporate “character lessons” into the day.
I think it comes down to what’s best for each individual family. And hey, you tried, right? You’ll never have to look back and wonder “what if?”
Love this stuff! I, too, homeschooled until my oldest was in 5th grade. By that time I had had about 5 years of feeling like I was the “World’s Worst Home-Schooler” whose children would never make it out of 8th grade. I then sent my kids to school and endured the slings and arrows of those same people who scolded me for being a sucky breast-feeder (no pun intended). Fortunately, the criticism was nothing compared to the sheer glee found in the realization that there was academic hope for my children.
I have to say that we have been blessed with good schools that have made my decision much easier. At any rate – here is what I have found – most of us go through the same challenges at some point in our parenting days. Unfortunately we go through them at different times – so those who hit the stage first are many times criticized by those others who haven’t hit that stage yet. As Christie said, we all need to do what is best for our family. Try not to judge others’ decisions. And similarly, if you hit the stage first and are now safely passed, try not to say “I told you so” to those who hit it after you and find it a little rocky, or worse yet, crash and burn.
Lastly, I am happy to say my kids are coming along ok. We just celebrated the College graduation of our oldest. Our children’s ages span from 23 to 6 so we are not yet out of the woods but by God’s grace, I think we are making it.
Hi! I really appreciate this article, too. I have homeschooled my DD starting in Kindergarten and just finished 4th grade. I have two more kiddos coming up, 1st grade and PK4. My question: did any of your children struggle going into the “system”? Were any behind? Did you do anything special to “get them ready”?
I put several of my eight children into the local Catholic School after 6 years of homeschooling. I wondered if they would struggle much, as the previous 2 years were unschooled. They did wonderfully, and the school staff loved having them–said they were refreshing. My children were beautifully “dorky”.
The school wanted very much to make them welcome, so they worked hard with the other school children to make sure our children were welcomed and accepted by their peers.
Sending them to school is not less busy for me. In some ways it is more difficult because the schedule is necessarily unflexible. However, I do enjoy the relative peace and quiet the hours they are gone, and I am a more pleasant Mom when they return…I am very happy to see them when they come home, and they are so happy to see me and tell me about their day.
Honestly, it is a relief that people no longer quiz them in the streets (I’m not kidding…it really happened).
I did sit down with them and talk about what makes our family unique and special. I told them about pressures they might face, and about television and radio. I said that we would not be changing the way we live at home, because we value all that is good and beautiful. Would they be able to handle this? They all said yes, and for the last 2 1/2 years, they have thrived. Word got out to other school families, and they have ensured that their birthday parties have only themes or movies that are lovely so that our children will come.
I did not do anything special to prepare them academically, except I keep my children enrolled in ReadingEggs.com so that I am confident in their reading abilities. Anyone who struggles in math is signed up for the free online Khan Academy online. That’s all.
That being said, each one thrived in their own time. Some excelled immediately, and others got mediocre grades the first term or two. Now they are all excelling. It is an adjustment that requires some patience.
All the best to you!
This post and the comments are so easy to relate to. What a refreshing experience! Our children experienced Catholic, Christian and finally, home school. While home schooled, they participated in many public school and community volunteer activities. We are a very socially oriented family and isolation was never an option. We just took it one year at a time, and one moment at a time, always open to the possibility of returning to school outside of the home. Each child is unique, each year is unique, each moment is unique. I think it is so important to be open to wherever the Lord is leading–and to always have a good sense of humor. Thanks for this wonderfully candid post and all of the heartfelt comments.
Have you ever considered Unschooing? I don’t think we can be perfect Christians, wives, mothers, daughters, friends, siblings, cooks, homemakers etc., etc., ad nauseum. Being your kids home to enjoy life together as if we won’t all be here another week. God didn’t mean for life to be tedious, a guilt-fest etc. Read A Little Way of Homeschooling and welcome to REAL LIFE! Peacefully the way family life can be.
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thank you for posting such an honest, vulnerable, and REAL perspective for the benefit of those who stumble upon it at the most opportune times. Tomorrow my husband and I meet with the principal and administrator of the local school to discuss enrolling a portion of our children after homeschooling for 8 years. I can’t tell you the range and depth of emotion I’m experiencing at this time. It’s crazy. It makes me feel like *I’M* crazy. One moment I’m giddy with anticipation and excitement for what potential positive change this could bring, not to mention, a much needed break for me. The next, I’m bawling with fear of what “might” happen and with disgust over my “failure.” And so the pendulum swings. I’m praying that a much-desired peace falls over me after meeting tomorrow and all will be well. That may be pollyannish on my part, but one can dream, right? 😉 Thanks again.
Ahh, reading this was a nice breath of fresh air. I am the youngest of 6 home schooled children. I now have a 5 and 3 year old that I have been trying to dutifully homeschool but feel so stressed from it…My mom home schooled all 6 of us from birth until graduation. She did a great job, except that she was SO FREAKIN” OVERWHELMED!!! to the point that she SURVIVED us instead of enjoyed us! Now that we’re all grown and married she never calls and she and my dad moved across the country. They visit now and then but keep their distance big time.My mom said this is like heaven for her to finally be free of all the work of kids and now just relax. I was taught that Public school is the PIT OF HELL. And if you sent your kids there they WILL turn into LOSERS! Well, let’s just say this: Most of my bros and sisters have all done Marijuana,didn’t go to college, got drunk a LOT, and more. We were so over protected that when we finally got a taste of the real world, we went nutso! Of course we never told our mom this, she still brags to everyone how PERFECT we all turned out ( because of homeschool of course)
I love my mom, but I don’t want to make the same mistake she did. She burnt herself out so bad. She got mad so much when I was growing up it was so sad 😦 She got so SICK of us kids ( and we of her). I am thinking that i just want to be a MOM to my kids and leave the EDUCATION to teachers so that I can just enjoy being a mom!! Maybe homeschooling WOULD be the best way, but I just don’t know if I can handle it. Besides, the best people I know were public schooled and the worst were home-schooled! So all that to say: I am open to doing something OTHER than homeschool even though it goes against everything I was ever taught. I feel so free when I think that I’m not obligated to home school and that I can STILL BE A GOOD MOM. I feel literally high! :):):) We’ll see how it goes, I’m just glad I realized that I’m not tied down to it just because everyone I know does it (dreading the judgements:( Anyway! God loves all of us and He is everywhere! 🙂 The most important thing is that the child has a happy, stable, loving and supportive home with a mom and dad. 🙂
I really like this post and completely agree that there is no perfect education to be had, and the needs of each individual kid and the sanity of the parents all have to be weighed and balanced. I would like to add a thought, though. I know so many people who tried homeschooling for a year and then decided against it, and I know so many people who say they’ll take it year by year, which is a good idea overall. Still, I think the first year, it might be a good idea to make a 2-year commitment because honestly and truly, that first year is the hardest. After that, I think for most people homeschooling gets easier, and it would be a shame to assume that every year will be like the first year and decide against it based on that. Any new job is hard. Learning to enjoy your children’s company 24/7 is also hard. Give it 2 years (barring unforeseen major life changes) and then revisit the question. Just my 2 cents.
[…] I ever really do give up homeschooling, I hope I go out in a blaze of glory like […]
Wow. I read about the first fifteen comments and had to quit. I am beginning my third year of homeschooling with four children eight and under, and for me this post – and especially the comments – were just completely discouraging. So much homeschool bashing! I’m sure among the many comments you received there are a few that aren’t so discouraging, but I couldn’t bear to continue reading. Homeschooling IS hard. It’s also WORTH it. And I know that with God’s help I can do it, and do it well. It makes me sad to see people throw in the towel, but I understand it’s not for everyone. I just wanted to be on record saying that if someone out there reading through these comments is four weeks into their school year and is struggling, DON’t GIVE UP! Yes, it’s hard, but if God has called you to this, He will equip you!! In just three years I see such a difference between my children and the neighbors going to public school. I am so grateful that I have had the courage to begin and remain on this journey.
Laura, I meant no disrespect. My issue is that sometimes, home schooling is not the best option for everyone, and there is a blanket mentality among Catholic families (and I’ve seen it in more than one setting so it’s not something I’m just making up. I’ve had good Catholic friends been affected by it as well) that home schooling is hard. Which is it, but to perservere no matter what. I don’t think that’s a healthy attitude for some, and it may be taken by some that if they DO want to quit, be it family circumstances, health issues, or (heaven forbid) they just don’t WANT to home school, that they are not able to express this for fear of not getting the support they need. These women found in this post a place to lay their emotions of their home school experience. Which was not a positive one. The don’t give up mentality I think can be a dangerous one with the wrong person because they may continue at all costs. I’ve seen children be neglected, both academically and emotionally, because the mother was too overburned with the demands of her household and life to give them a proper education. Like I said, I’ve been home schooling for seven years. I have a middle schooler, a 4th grader, and a repeat 2nd grader. I also have issues with the comparison of public school kids and home schooled kid. It’s judgemental, and we don’t know what the family life of those kids in public school are. When my oldest was in public school, there was a girl in her class that had a bad home life. She was withdrawn, and my daughter took the time to befriend her. Others had tried, but she was not responsive. Also when my son was in public school, the entire class chipped in to help him learn the ropes and feel more comfortable. That has never, ever happened in any of our home school co ops or outings. In reality, most families distanced themselves from us once our son with autism started having major sensory issues. My point is, home school is not the end all be all for everyone, and if some people need to vent that they feel much better NOT home schooling, it should be supported.
Thank you. Wow, when I read this, I just about cried. I feel like I was that neglectful. 2 of my 6 children whom I homeschooled had to be put back a grade due to the huge gaps because I was not physically making it to do the teaching they needed me to do. (my 2 oldest however went on to do advance placement work and 4.0 gpa). I would never ever bash homeschooling! It was also the joy of my life. I would strongly encourage anyone to do so. I miss many things about it. I did witness alot of the judgements both ways. I admit, I “feared public school” influence. But that is where God put me in my place. The only thing that saves me is knowing that I prayed long and hard to make my decision by what “GOD’S WILL FOR MY FAMILY” was. Then no one humans’ comments could really get to me.
My goodness, what a firestorm of responses. Clearly this is an issue we each feel passionately about in different ways. I think it’s time for me to bow out of this discussion and focus my mind and heart entirely on loving and doing well the work God has called me to – not arguing about it. Honestly, at this point in my journey I never should have spent time reading a blog post entitled “Why we are dropping out of homeschooling,” and I certainly shouldn’t have spent time reading the comments of strangers who are in a completely different place than I am. Just as you all need to feel encouraged in dropping out, I need to feel encouraged in sticking with it. I am turning off my notification to receive other comments on this post, and don’t plan on visiting this blog again. May God bless each one of you as you follow His leading. I know He will.
I said the same thing my third year of home schooling. I also wasn’t planning on having a child diagnosed with autism, having a fifth baby with kidney disease, another child with dyslexia and reading issues, another with ADD, then being pregnant again with my sixth child. This is our seventh year of home schooling, and yes it’s hard, but I’m not going to have my family become a martyr because it’s the “right” thing to do. I will be sending some to public school next year (we sent the older three for six months to get through our other child’s diagnosis and issues). In my experience? There is a ton of pressure to home school as the only right way to raise good and holy children. I feel that breeds guilt and narccissism. Not exactly lifting up and supporting all of those in the Body of Christ. Those who are honest about their feelinngs for not wanting to home school are the most honest and courageous IMO.
That’s fine. I understand why you would want to choose a different option given the challenges your family has faced. Certainly if my family faces unforeseen challenges in the future, we may need to pursue other routes for educating our children. My resolute decision to stick with homeschooling right now despite the fact that it’s hard does not make me a martyr. It makes me courageous, determined, sacrificial, and obedient to the call that God has put on MY life. IMO.
Laura, I had the same reaction that you did. It’s not to say that homeschooling is absolutely for everyone or that one’s family is somehow less virtuous for doing something else, but there is a great deal of good in homeschooling. This post and a few other concurrent events inspired my own post here, for what it’s worth: http://aquinashomeschool.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/give-it-2-years/
Thank you so very much for your reply. I read your post and it was as if you took the words from my mouth! Thank you for taking the time to encourage a stranger.
I wish I knew what a calling from God was like.
I know this is an old post. I just had to comment and give my testimony. I know not everyone is called to homeschool, it is a vocation.
We were called to homeschool our children early on. We are in our third year, eldest in 2nd grade. Truth be told, for most of last year, “I wasn’t the Mom one wanted to be around all day.” I thought I misheard God’s call for homeschooling. Then I went to the Lord, begged him for the graces to succeed as a mother and homeschooler. He, in his infinite wisdom, suggested daily Mass. One week later, I was transformed, as were my children. That was over a year ago and I now know what Jesus truly meant when he said “Peace I leave you, my peace I give you, ” Daily Mass is the key to feeling the Lord’s grace and preventing yourself from being someone you don’t want to be (as well as reconciliation). The days are so much more grace filled and peaceful. Am I a Saint? Nope, but we have been transformed by the Daily Bread of the Eucharist. If someone is struggling, don’t give up, run to the Lord. He will deliver!
As a homeschool graduate with an engineering degree, now a SAHM of 2, almost 3, in the third year of homeschooling, I just wanted to say this the most balanced discussion on schooling I’ve heard. The PS/CS/HS bashing that occurs is so discouraging!
I also wanted to thank you for your note on Mass. While I am not Catholic, and we are rigorously academic, the times when homeschooling goes the best are when I take the time to invest in personal devotions and leading my children. It’s amazing, but it transforms the math homework, and my attitude, 3 hours later! I wish I could tout a program, schedule, or method, but prayer – prayer is what works!
It can be discouraging to see mothers giving up because they are stressed over kindergarten curriculum (really??? Play! Read books! Enjoy life, and do your best!!), or because they have pangs of jealousy seeing friend’s kids leave the house each day. Once again, YES, the jealousy and self pity can be VERY real…but can’t it be about more than our needs? If its not working, that is a serious time to evaluate. But I’d like to suggest (as someone who daily struggles with this and has grieved the loss of working), that sometimes it has to come from the heart first. Not just happiness quotient. And sometimes, at the end of that, it is completely necessary to change educational options.
I appreciate that there are many schooling options to fit many needs, and look forward to enrolling my son in private high school. But I would like to pose this question – what is the role of the state in education? This is my primary problem with PS. Do we really want government controlled teachers, educational best practices that change every few years based on politics, and teachers willing to leave the children and go on strike? Perhaps we live in an area (Seattle) where the PS education is significantly liberal, but I’m always hesitant to leave my children, not out of fear, but with people whose interest is necessarily growing my child to the best he can be. Just a thought!
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After my husband tragically died a few years ago, I continued to home school our 3, now ages 5, 8, & 9. I am to the point of over exhaustion x a million. My 4 SIL’s all homeschool their kiddos. And do a fine, fine job I must add. They have supportive husbands. (emotionally & financially) I continued
I adore all the stories shared above. I can also relate with many of them. I do accounting from home at night for $ after the kids are asleep. For 2 years of no sleep, schooling by day- counting beans by candlelight. I fear I’m failing them and myself. I’ve aged 20 years from stress. My kids think I’m the meanest mommy ever. Always commenting that I was much nicer before daddy died.. I can only hope that I’ve given them a strong foundation to stand on when they enter the Public system next week. My heart is heavy for feeling like I failed. Unable to do it all.
My work load has increased (thanks to the prayer team of our church, asking to send more money our way? Prayer-works BTW..- careful what you pray for..lol) Extra money in our home could benefit us greatly. I’ve fine tuned my frugal so far it squeaks. Bills are still paid on rotation.
I wish to express that some families flourish under home-schooling. Some do not. It appeared to others that homeschoolers where being bashed.here. I didn’t see it this way. It just may be the ONE PLACE where us mommies can be honest and real. Talking/sharing about our inner thoughts that we put into a box and labeled UNSPEAKABLE TOPICS. We have all learned to be guarded in our responses to other non-homeschooling parents in our community. Keeping out fears to our self. We never wanted to hear anyone say “I told you so.”
Thank you ALL for stepping up and speaking your inner truths.
Okay, after 19 years of homeschooling my six children I decided to “let” my six year old first grader go to school. We bought a game six months ago and being that our other daughter is 22 the little one has no friends here. She was so excited to go ! Now 4 days into it she’s telling me she is sooooooo nervous and doesn’t want to go back. She cried quietly on and off all Friday. It is now Sunday night and she said she feels Like she is going to throw up if she has to go back. I talked with her and she said she hates recess and lunch the most because her teacher isn’t there and people (kids) tall to her and he doesn’t like it. WHOA ! That makes me think she really needs to go because she needs to overcome some shyness. Of course the teacher says keep her there, she will get over it eventually. Ok, so I take this precious little gift from God, gagging and nervous as heck and force her out of the car ??? Wil she “get over it ?” Her teacher is very sweet and says it will just take time. HELP !!!!!! Opinions ??
A farm, not a game ! Lol !!
If six year old doesn’t want to go, I wouldn’t force it. My kids jump out of bed in the morning, and the school bus can’t arrive soon enough. If one of my kids cried and felt sick about going, I’d bake cookies with her and read beautiful stories on the couch. And play games…lots of games. Teachers think school is for everyone.
[…] course, if you have to abandon the project, that’s what you have to do. There is NOTHING wrong with that. It won’t work for everyone — and it may not work for us. Only time will tell. But I […]
So this was written years ago, and today it resonates within moms minds. Today I sent my husband with Catholic School registration to enroll our oldest two in the nearby school. The two littles and soon to be three littles will stay at home next year….if they get in but doign it made me feel like a failure, and maybe, just maybe I am not 🙂
Wow, what a hot topic!! Here’s what I noted in most of the posts…it seemed as though many homeschooled because someone else told them they should, or they felt guilty for not doing it. I rarely heard anyone say that they were determined and called to home school. I also sense that many, if not most, were doing this on their own without a strong support group, or at least other friends that were also home schooling and enjoying it. Some were even single Moms, which I know must be really hard. Another thing I “heard” in the frustrations of those now quitting, was that there was alot of chaos, insecurity and even stress about the job being done. Just my observartions, and I can see why all these things would make a person give up!! I am retired from home schooling our three little ones, who are now grown adults. Let me tell you how I survived the 15 years of being at home with them.
1. I am a certified public school teacher, have worked in a Childcare center, private Christian school and public school. I know what goes on and what doesn’t, that should. I saw problems with behavior and discipline that were the main cause for problems in the classroom. I formed my opinions before I had my own children. Being a teacher did not make me a beter home schooling Mom, but it did make me a more informed Mom when making the right choices for our children.
2. My husband and I were on the same page from day one, about the choice of school for our children. Given where we lived, it was an easy choice. We did not want our children growing up with the local racism, nor the unBiblical viewpoint. We, the parents , set the standard and the schools (public, private and christian) all fell short, so it was up to us to take up the baton and run with it. (Note I said “us”).
3. I believe that being the oldest of 8 children prepared me for working with children. I also know that we were expected to listen to our parents and be respectful. My siblings and I fell short, many times. But, as a parent, I decided to be a bit more strict than my parents were and we set loving consequences for misbehaviors, and were consistant, from the get go. I started training the kids when they were babies, yes babies, to respond to my voice. None of this ignoring the Mom and Pop in our home. I called it voice training. It was done with lots of positive reinforcement, until, by the age of two, they already knew Mom and Dad meant business. Terrible twos did not happen in our home. Independence and curiosity did, and it was expected and encouraged, but always with obedience and respect as the default. If your children don’t listen and obey you, your home school experience will most definitely meet its demise.
If you wait until they are of school age to instill this in them, it will probably be too late. Oh , by the way, we did not have the terrible teens either. The only problems we encountered was when they left our home and went off to Christian colleges. But that’s another topic. I am creating a web site as we speak, so maybe you could look there, for my opinion on this subject.
4. There are organizations that help home schooling families to organize, grade, test, monitor and guide you as a teacher. Some are faith based and some are not. But the point is, you don’t have to do this in the dark groping around and hoping you find the way. Oh my…so sorry it has been like that.
5. Once you have decided that this is best for your child, children and family, then you need to pray for strength to carry out the mission. You also need breaks, back up(for when you are sick or others are sick), refreshiment in a new environment or change of pace, (field trips maybe? Or shopping trips without children) and most definitely you need to let Dad in on the wonderful process. Let him take over for half a day, and do whatever he is good at with the kids, but with a plan and purpose. Dads are great at sports, games, mixing up the fun from the routine. ANd, don’t forget the family home school co-ops where friends and family can switch off babysitting, teaching a specialty course, etc…
6. Having said all this, I just want to say….study your children and how they learn best. Some learn best by hearing, seeing, touching, socializing, independent study, ect…and then, develop a plan that will maximize their interest and learning. This cuts down on boredness and also produces great results for testing. And its a lot more FUN!!! Families with more than two chldren definitely should explore unit studies…they are great and everybody is using the same topic to learn and practice facts and skilss at their own grade level. Lots less paperwork for mom, that’s for sure!!
7. YOU CAN DO THIS if you approach it with the right attitude and motivation. The process requires lots of character growth, both in ourselves and in our children and spouses. It is a sacrifice of love, for a higher calling and better outcome. We teach character first, subjects second. Hope this has encouraged some of you and clarified the pitfalls for others.
If only more moms could be this honest with themselves…I think your post makes you a hero! Thabk you for leaving the guilt condemnation and shame behind out of this post! Really-whether we use homeschools ,public, private or charter schools-we must remember God loves are children more than we do! Everything will be alright 🙂 I have homeschooled 3 out of 5 (the other 2 are preschool) for the past 5 years and with this move to another state and leaving our wonderful church family, I hit burnout. My oldest 2 are now attending private school and the transition couldn’t have been a smoother one. I’m thinking fall we may enroll the others!! And that’s ok 🙂
Bravo and Bless you for being real!! 🙂
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I have four beautiful girls. 15, 14, 9 and five. we, actually I, homeschooled my daughters for 12 years. After almost divorcing my husband, we decided, actually I again, decided I needed to stop.
my husband was not ready, and I couldn’t keep fighting to homeschool.
I hated the place we moved to and I was unhappy.
we used to homeschool in California then went to the UK . I hated it there, and went into depression
I have been guilty ever since I sent my daughters to school. I was actually googling ” going back to school” when god (through Google) sent me your blog ( yes, I believe that, deal with it).
you said what I thought and didn’t know how to say.
I confess, I couldn’t teach abc and 123 anymore. I didn’t want to be the sole person responsible for my children’s future. it was exhausting.
2 years later. my older two are enjoying school, my younger two are objecting the discrimination of treatment and ar demanding to homeschool.
I miss it, but terrified to go back. I don’t know if I still have it in me.
and only those who homeschool know what that “it” is.
thank you for helping me word my feelings.
Good for you for knowing what u want in life.
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COMPLETELY understand….I had to stop too for the same reasons…..not because of the work, but because I felt I was not doing a good job for my kids, and that was not acceptable in my eyes. As a dear friend said to me once, not everyone is meant to homeschool, and I have tried more than once. It’s enough to teach them what they ask about, and keep an environment where they can learn, and unfortunately unteach some of the things they learn at school! Be blessed!
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[…] Why we’re dropping out of homeschool […]
[…] Why we’re dropping out of homeschool […]
I get officially divorced on Wednesday. My parents hate my guts, as do my in-laws. My best friend turned on me. Thank you for making me laugh for the first time this week.
My husband and I applied for our kids to go to a private school this fall. It’s an amazing, montessori type amazing place, and I am still dying, feeling like I am failing. My 6 year old boy is the big reason for this transition, he just fights me all day, and with 2 babies under him, I just dont have the energy to keep up the patience all day. Plus, i too have struggled through the wild swings of, we’re doing great, we’re doing horrible… I have cried all day, this post helped my heart feel a little less broken. Thank you.
[…] mindset mostly through the example of my sister, who wrote about her decision to stop homeschooling here, and chronicled some of her kids’ positive experiences with public school here; but it was […]
Thank you for this post. I have been home schooling my 6 year old for a year after she was unhappy in school. I haven’t done a good job and have decided to put her back in public school (UK). I am yet to get her a place at the local school, it might take a while as there is a waiting list, but I’m hopeful and it is the right decision for us all. I think I will be better prepared to communicate with the school to make sure both girls (my youngest will be starting in September if she gets a space) love school.
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I’m curious how it went for you and your children since this post is several years old. I’m a former public school teacher/ now homeschool mom and I will say that I have seen ps kill the love to learn in many a child. I’m hopeful this has not been the case for you all.
No, not at all. We have tried a few different schools since then, and have settled with a charter school for elementary and a gigantic public high school for the older kids. It’s not perfect, but neither was homeschool. My two oldest kids are headed to college in the fall, one to art school and one to get her teaching degree. Some teachers are better than others, but all of my kids have learned a lot and have curious, active minds. Sorry you had a bad experience. Schools vary so much from region to region.
I dread doing lessons each day. I recently voiced my feelings and found out my husband and kids are miserable too. After 3 years, homeschooling is not working. The kids are learning, but every other aspect of our lives is suffering. Going to get through the rest of this school year and give public school a shot in the fall. Husband and I both went to PS. We did well and didn’t hate it. I can’t even remember anymore why we homeschooled. We are secular. Just thought we could do it. Thought it would benefit the kids. It did, for awhile. But no longer. It’s time to make a change. It’s hard. But better to do now than continue to struggle.
I’m so thankful I stumbled across your blog post! I know it’s many years old, but I’m going through this right now! I was homeschooled and felt like it’s what I HAD/wanted to do with my three kids. It’s been 5 years and I’m just not a very nice person being around my kids all day long and their teacher. Three weeks into the new school year, due to financial strain, we’ve just enrolled all three in our local rural public school (4th, 3rd, and 1st grades) and I’m getting a full time job. It’s culture shock to say the least! Gut wrenching, embarrassing, guilt inducing. But I’m relieved. SO relieved to have the burden of being their primary educator lifted from my shoulders. I’m at peace about it.
I just wanted to say thank you for being honest and putting yourself out there to write this so many years ago!!!
Blessings to you and your family!
P.S. I love your name! I haven’t come across anyone with my name before! 😉