34 In Homeschooling

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: {Adventures in Homeschooling}

Here we are entering our second full week of homeschooling.  Can I be honest?  I am thoroughly exhausted and emotionally drained.  I knew that trying to pull this off while working full time was going to be a challenge.  There have been some very hard days.  I have thought about quitting.  But quitting is never the answer.  I know what God has whispered to my heart for this season, and I must continue to run the race, although I feel as if I might get run over in the process.

I thought I would share with you this week a little bit of the good, the bad, and the ugly of what I’ve learned so far.

The Good.

There are actually several good things that I’ve realized so far:

  1. I do not have to try and get my daughter dressed, fed and out the door at some ungodly hour.  She is not a morning person.  No matter how much I try to rush her along, she will not be rushed.  We’ve been late to school and church in the past because she just needs time.  Since my 9yo has to be at school at 8:30a, I drop him off and come back and pick up my daughter and my 18yo son and head on into work.
  2. I can be flexible with the teaching schedule.  Even though I’ve taken the curriculum and calendared out her lesson plan for the entire  year, we have already had to move some things around.  There might be days where she needs more help, or extra study time for quizzes.  There have been days where she actually likes what she is doing and has gone ahead.
  3. She gets to come to work with me for a day and a half each week.  I love having her there.  Not only can I supervise her studies, but she is spending time in the house of prayer, which is huge.
  4. We can take days off when an extra curricular activity arises during the week.  She went to the beach last Monday with friends so we did some extra work so that she could take Monday off.

The Bad.

Let’s just call them “challenges”:

  1. Attitude.  Let’s put it this way:  Trying to homeschool a hormonal 12yo who is very strong willed is a challenge.  One of the reasons I wanted to homeschool my daughter is for our relationship.  By spending more time with her, I am hoping that her heart will open up more to me, not just as a teacher, but as a mom and a friend.  We’ve had our share of struggles. I think we are so much alike.  And I am not perfect.  I can throw a fit in a minute and I can say things I don’t mean.  This by far has been the most challenging, learning how to work with her and not crush her spirit in the process.
  2. We are behind on math.  I received my curriculum, but our HP laptop is broken so I haven’t had her begin lessons yet.  I am not a math whiz and I know she will need to rely on the video lessons for assistance.  I am going to have to start this week and we will have to download videos on the internet or get help if she is struggling.  *Please pray the Lord provides for a loaner laptop or a way we can purchase one.
  3. I’ve told her I wanted to quit.  Yes, I have told her I was going to put her back in school, that this was too hard.  We have both cried tears and slammed some doors.  I’ve told myself I cannot do this.  Oh how I need His grace.

The Ugly.

There isn’t really anything ugly about homeschooling.  It really can be a beautiful thing. I think the only ugliness I am dealing with so far is in my own heart.  I really am in need of God’s grace.  I want to be able to lay down the need to control, and lighten up.  My daughter needs a mom who loves and encourages her heart.  Not one that points out everything she’s not doing and tries to control her.

Let’s just call these “fears”.

  1. I want to have the patience for this task, but I am afraid to ask for it.  We all know what happens there.
  2. I want to be gentle with my daughter, so as not to crush her spirit.
  3. I want to be firm with her so she doesn’t fall into laziness.
  4. I want to make sure she is learning and retaining the information that she is working through.
  5. I do not want her to fall behind.

I am considering adjusting her schedule to allow for a “four day teaching” week.  I would like to use Mondays (my day off) as a time for her and I to go out and explore together.  We could do filed trips or just learn through every day life.  I think it will help us to grow in our relationship and make things easier along the way.  This is not an easy transition for her.  Most children are home schooled from a younger age.  I am feeling a little guilty that I choose not to do this sooner, or could not do this sooner.  I really want to work on our relationship and have fun together.  I think it will help her to trust me and help me to to want to control things.  I want this to be a beautiful experience for both of us.

I want to thank all of you who have already encouraged my heart in this journey.  If you know of any great homeschooling blogs or homeschooling moms with blogs, I would love to visit them.  I am especially looking for support from moms who homeschool while holding down full time jobs.

Continuing the adventure……!

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    Child of God
    September 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Barbie,
    I sure do have those days and I have so wanted to quit schooling my son. He has a mind of his own and sure does not like to obey rules. :s I can totally relate to you and I can give you encouragement. Keep going!! Don’t give up, for there is always a new day with a new slate. A fresh start. One thing I appreciate about home schooling is the schedule can be flexible and if need be you can go through the summer months.

    I wish I knew of home schooling blogs but the only two I am familiar with is Finding Joy and Ordinary Mom, and I believe you read these two already. If I see any that look good I will pass on the info. to you.

    Keep at it. I know you both will do fine.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      Thank you so much my friend. Just knowing I have you alongside on this journey is encouraging!

  • Reply
    Larri at Seams Inspired
    September 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I feel as though I could have written some of this post, Barbie. I brought my 9yo daughter home this year, and every day has been some kind of struggle. I have no wise words, but do know that we can pray each other through it; which is what I will do for you. 🙂 Hang in there, and thanks for sharing your heart.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      I appreciate you Larri!, more than you know! I’ll be praying for you on this journey as well my friend.

  • Reply
    Angie M
    September 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Prayed for you on the spot, asking the Lord to give you everything you need. Lean into Him!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you Angie!

  • Reply
    Adoption Mama
    September 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Wow! And all these things you’ve stated I have done also. We are in our 9th year of home schooling and there are now so many positive things I have learned. Keep up the good work.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you so much my friend.

  • Reply
    Marybeth Thielke
    September 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I am just on the verge of tears, in awe of your vulnerability, your openness with your struggle. Your relationship with your daughter sounds like mine with my oldest son, Jeremiah. Almost to a T.
    I am praying for you sweet Mama! Sometimes the best thing we can do is just keep picking ourselves back up each time we fall, resting on the enduring strength of Jesus to push us on.
    Much love, Marybeth

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Thank you so much Marybeth for your encouragement and your prayers. I will keep on keeping on, and I will be sure to keep you and your son in my prayers.

  • Reply
    Christina@toshowthemjesus.com
    September 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I’ve had many days like that. It’s tempting to want to quit. I remind myself that homeschool is different from other school settings, we can do school on the weekends, we can spread it out to do it year round, they can learn at their own pace. Praying for you for grace, wisdom and peace. Blessings!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Thank you Christina. Because I am under the covering of a private school PSP, they do not allow us to count days on weekends, although I am sure I could do them and swap them out. Also, year round school is not an option under the PSP. I am sure God will provide the way.

  • Reply
    Wanda
    September 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Although I don’t have any children, I have just been in awe of all the homeschooling mothers I have discovered across blog land. I can’t imagine the disciple it takes to undergo such an endeavor. I appreciate you giving others a glimpse of the not so pretty side of homeschooling.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      Thank you Wanda. I try to be vulnerable. I know it will help others.

  • Reply
    Judith
    September 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I just want to encourage you to keep on keeping on. Keep your eyes on Jesus for the good days and the bad. You are doing a wonderful thing for your children by homeschooling them.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you Judith!

  • Reply
    Lea
    September 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Oh, Barbie, I wish I had some words for you but I know absolutely nothing about homeschooling. I don’t know that I could have ever done it and I have the deepest admiration for those Moms that do. But, I do know that the Lord cares very deeply about the situation and He wants it to go smoothly and not be an endurance contest for you and your daughter. I pray the way will get easier and you will begin to feel good about things and find “joy in this journey.” Blessings my friend!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you so much Lea. So many tears today. But I have to believe that things will get better. Thanks for your prayers my friend.

  • Reply
    BethFerrell
    September 18, 2012 at 2:20 am

    I think you’re brave Barbie. I can’t imagine homeschooling my daughter. I, like you, would struggle with pointing out what is wrong. I often catch myself wanting to point out the negative (I guess that was done to me). It is a conscious effort to just bite my tongue and move on without everything looking “just so” …

    I pray God will order your steps and bring a sweetness between you and your daughter.

    God bless you on this adventure.

    Love,
    Beth

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 18, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Thank you my friend!

  • Reply
    Rosann
    September 18, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Barbie, you and I are so much alike, I think. I have a strong willed, very smart, spirited 7yr old. I too, try to control her, not to steal her spirit but because I’m afraid of letting her potential go to waste. I’m afraid she’ll get bored in school. I’m afraid she’ll focus too much on socializing and not enough on learning. I’m afraid she’ll drift away from the teachings of God that I work so hard to instill in her. Motherhood is hard. Everyday is a new challenge and a new learning experience for me as a mom. I have often thought about how much I’d love to homeschool my kiddos. My husband is not on board with that idea right now. Maybe one day he’ll have a change of heart. Maybe not. I think you’re doing a really admirable thing in homeschooling her and trying to build a closer relationship with her. It’s a fine line we walk as moms. We have to remember no matter how much we try to control the situation or our children, we can’t. Control is only an illusion. I’m trying to work on accepting and growing rather than trying to control. It’s hard! I’ll pray for you. Will you pray for me? 🙂

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 18, 2012 at 9:57 am

      I will certainly pray for you my friend. I keep asking God to take away my need to control. I’ve seen it happen to my oldest two, and now the younger too. Whatever that root is, I want it gone. Blessings for a beautiful week my friend.

  • Reply
    Susan Shull
    September 18, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Barbie-Whoa. You are trying to accomplish a lot! Since I am new to your blog (thanks Veronica!) I don’t know the back story of your decision, but I admire you for trying to do what is right for your daughter. Hang in there! I bet you will be great at it when you get all the kinks worked out. Have you checked out lifeingrace blog? She is a homeschooling mom who seems to have it all together. It is fun to get glimpses of their days together. Best of luck!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 18, 2012 at 11:47 pm

      Thank you Susan! It’s been rough, but I will be making some changes to hopefully make our days go a little smoother. I will definitely check out that blog you mentioned. Thank your or following along in my journey.

  • Reply
    Beth Zimmerman
    September 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Not an easy task, Barbie! I homeschooled all my kids (20+ years) and the last 2, with our youngest, I was working full time. I can’t imagine trying to START homeschooling while working. How does your daughter feel about being home schooled this year? I know it helped us that Josiah wanted to be at home. I’ll be praying for you!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 18, 2012 at 11:46 pm

      My daughter wants to home school. She just doesn’t like school in general and has poor study habits. I am changing some things up a bit. Hopefully it will make things go a little smoother.

  • Reply
    Carissa Graham
    September 18, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    i love how you are willing to put it all out there. it seems like homeschooling definitely is sanctifying in a lot of ways. i can’t imagine all the patience it must require. we will always keep homeschooling an option in our family. excited to see where the Lord leads us in that decision as the time comes!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 18, 2012 at 11:45 pm

      I am definitely being refined and sanctified! I am changing things up a bit. I think a light bulb went on. Look for a future post, my next installment in my adventure!

  • Reply
    SouthernGalThoughts
    September 20, 2012 at 4:32 am

    You’ve voiced the concerns and snags most homeschool moms face each and every day. Don’t give up. Stay the course. We’ve been doing this for 19 years and it’s amazing how God is so faithful to get us through each year, minute by minute.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by to encourage me today!

  • Reply
    Heather Hepler
    September 21, 2012 at 5:14 am

    You made me smile this morning. I realized I’m not alone in my struggle. I’ve just started homeschooling my eleven-year-old son this semester. I work full-time, but I have the luxury (and challenge) of working from home. Yesterday: mom, can you help with my spelling? Me: I’m working. My son: but you’re my teacher. The Lord is growing us both in this. In Him, Heather

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 21, 2012 at 9:24 am

      Oh Heather, I am so thankful you found me. And that I’ve found you! I totally get that…having to balance all of the hats we wear. Thankfully I work at my church and can bring my daughter with me on a few days and supervise her work. I hope to post on my homeschooling adventures at least every couple of weeks. I hope you will follow along. Do you have a blog? I would love to visit. But for now, I am off to check out your Facebook page.

  • Reply
    Janette Wright
    September 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    After 23 years of home schooling I can so relate…I did a post this month on the Reluctant Teacher…and yet, through all the years and all the struggles…God is faithful….enjoy the journey as you see Him teach you both and you reap your obedience

    • Reply
      Barbie
      September 22, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Thank you so much Janette! I’ll have to go back and read your post. I can’t remember if I did or not.

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