I’ve been here before.
I’ve wanted to throw all this homeschooling out the window and have my days to myself. I wanted to stop having to fight children to do what is assigned each. and. every. day.
We are wrapping up our 10th year homeschooling, and we’ve been in this place a number of times.
Why we want to quit
Most times I want to throw in the towel because of the micromanagement that it takes to create and maintain healthy habits. I have trouble enough on my own maintaining my own positive habits. Working to help someone else build their own, and fight me on it, is more than I can bear at times.
And there’s my patience. It’s always in limited supply and it’s rarely enough to get through each week without me getting irritated about something. You see, the kids are at an age where they bicker, a lot, and they forget to do their chores without constant reminders, and they don’t want to start lessons for the day and act like it’s some new routine I cooked up overnight and sprung on them.
It’s a lot.
Why we haven’t quit yet
So here’s the thing: I just can’t see sending my kids to school and losing all these hours with them.
When I do get them to complete their chores, and get them to the table (either with our without whining in the process), learning is a beautiful thing.
I love watching them learn new things and seeing it click.
I love seeing their eyes light up when we open a book they love, or to see them sit back with their handicrafts project while I’m reading one of their literature tales aloud.
I love taking them to the park with friends and spending hours there.
I love taking them to numerous plays throughout the year.
I love planning museum trips nearly every six weeks.
I love all the things I don’t hate, which maybe sounds obvious, but the love and joy when added up is greater than the frustration.
Not always. I have contacted a local private school to ask for their tuition fees. I’ve been desperate this year.
But after we get out of the winter and we can get outside more often, I always come back to looking forward to picking our books for the following year.
The hard work is where the gold is
Like I said, the hardest things for me are the micromanaging of daily tasks. “Did you finish your chores?” “Did you finish your project?” “Did you clean your room?” “There’s still a toy on the floor, this room isn’t clean.”
Honestly, it’s these repetitive questions and reminders that really get under my skin, but I know that’s the biggest rewards I’m going to reap later.
Since I’m putting in all the effort to make sure they can do their chores well, in a few years I won’t need to direct them so much.
Since I’m making sure they finish one thing before they start another, I can hope for children who have a good work ethic and check their own work without me having to ask.
It’s hard work. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done and it stretches me in ways that are uncomfortable and messy, but while they are growing, I’m growing as a human being as well.
And even though they see the messiest side of me, big emotional meltdowns of my own and all, I hope and pray that they love me even more for the effort I’ve put in to be their teacher, guide, and mentor through their most formative years.
After all, I could be working and getting told how wonderful I am and handed money every week.
I don’t homeschool for the glory of it. I homeschool because I want them to be their best selves, and that takes a sacrifice on my part. I hope and pray my kids see that, hopefully before I die.
That’s why I don’t quit.