Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Pressure to Continue Homeschooling

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Homeschool families are pretty open, honest, and forthcoming when asked about homeschooling. We readily talk about the whys, hows, how longs, socialization inquiries, and the long list of curriculum questions.

But there is a black cloud that hangs over many homeschool families. A deep, dark struggle that many of us refuse to put voice to. If we ignore it, the problem will just go away. One day we will wake up and that inequity will be gone. As if we ignore the issue it will just disappear.

Sadly, this will never be the case. We will always feel the pressure to continue homeschooling.

There I said it, I put voice and writing to the unspoken truth within the homeschooling community.

If you have been homeschooling for more than a few months you have most certainly had a day or more when you just want to throw in the towel. Your kids are frustrating you, you can't get lessons completed to save your life, and all you want to do is close yourself in a quiet room to get away from it all. But you can't, not for your sake and not for the sake of your children. We've all been there. Some of us more than others.  The longer you've been at this homeschooling thing the more rough days you are bound to have. These days pass however, a new day dawns, and like magic everything comes together and you have a great day of learning together as a family.

The good days are what sustain us through the rough patches. We cling to those "aha" moments like beautiful diamonds scattered in a coal mine. Those sweet, tender, and loving learning moments remind us why we chose to homeschool. Our children are our treasures, our blessings, and we enjoy being with them.

But what about those situations when you need to throw in the towel? For your sanity, for your child's stress level, and the happiness of your family you need to stop homeschooling and send you child or all of your children to a public/private/charter school.

What do you do then?

Well if your need to stop homeschooling is real then the choice to stop is obvious. But what about your heart? Ever thought about what it would feel like to actually throw in the towel and give up homeschooling your children?

There is an unspoken rule in the Christian homeschooling community.

Once you start homeschooling you have to see it through to the end. God has called us to homeschool so we HAVE to continue homeschooling no matter the cost to our sanity, happiness, and relationship with our family and friends.

If we stop homeschooling we will suddenly be out cast by our homeschool friends. Afterall, we've sent our kids to "school". We've let them loose and they are now adrift in the sea of public school. We've failed. We couldn't hang with the "big boys". We've given up on our children. Our homeschool friends will now look down upon us because of our inequities.

I don't have the answer.

But I do know that I have felt this way countless times when I feel pushed against the wall. I struggle nearly everyday with one of my children and can see one of my younger children quickly becoming just like their older sibling. So I will soon have 2 children that will test my limits and push me everyday. I want to throw in the towel, I really do. Just being honest. I want to keep my "easy" learner at home, skate through the day, and drink tea quietly while my gifted learned thrives and learns under my tutelage.

When I think about sending my challenged learners to a mainstream schooling option I feel the "cloud". I feel the pressure and despondency. What will my friends think? Am I giving up? Am I failing my children? My family? My Father in Heaven? I'm swimming in the homeschooling sea and struggling to keep my head above water.

Yes, there is a cloud. Yes, there is a pressure for Christian homeschooling Moms to continue homeschooling. No, we don't talk about it. No, we don't write about it. Well, until now that is.

I am taking it one day at a time and so can you. Step back, reevaluate, relax, breathe, and most importantly pray. We can and will conquer our challenges. The way we conquer our challenges and achieve our goals will differ depending on our family situations.

No matter your situation however, please do not let the cloud, the unspoken truth, affect your decision. Pray about it and do what is best for your family. Don't worry about what your friends or the homeschooling community at large will think. You need only answer to God.

Be Blessed,
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  1. Honest and beautiful post Alexis! We all feel that struggle. I was blessed that I had online friends who totally supported me, and stayed my friend, when I had to put the boys back in ps. And they were still there when I was able to bring them back home again :) Love you!

  2. Thanks SO much for your honesty. (Audible sigh here) This year has had so much struggle...and I'm not sure why. I had a refreshingly honest discussion with a college friend about this very topic and it was so stirring to my soul! I increasingly feel to pull to make a change with our schooling...yet it is so hard to separate the stress of this never ending move, my emotions, what is best for each of my kiddos...ahhhhh. Thanks for opening the conversation. I'm sure I'll read this post more than once as my hubs and I go through this year and make decisions for the year ahead!



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