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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What Homeschooling Moms Won't Tell You

The benefits of homeschooling, in my humble opinion, far outweigh any downside.  However, there are some things that most homeschooling moms aren't willing to admit.

I have been homeschooling officially now for seven years.  Though, most homeschooling parents will tell you that as soon as you look into the eyes of your newborn, true learning at home begins.  Since the birth of my son almost 12 years ago, I have been a stay-at-home and work-at-home mom who homeschools.  This means I have pretty much been with my children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 12 years now.  This is how I wanted it, and I love it - usually!  I will be completely honest to admit, that I may be the exception to the rule of needed alone time.  For me, it usually happens about every 2 to 3 months.  I have a day when I feel like my kids are just on top of me and I can't catch a break.

This day usually comes after I have been up all night with a sick child, had at least one child join me in bed or near my bed for fear of a storm, or have stressful deadlines through work (I write online for various websites as well as helping my husband with his self-employment of being a Christian DJ and talented solo performing musician, vocals, sax and guitar).  And, I realize I may be among the rare breeds, but my needed time alone usually only requires about 20 minutes before I'm ready to cuddle up and be around my children once more as the loving, caring, giving mom they know and love (I can dream right?)

This 24/7 time where at least one child is in your charge is something that isn't talked about much among homeschoolers.  It is, after all, like the mother who longs for a baby and then adopts only to find she has a stressful day where no one will listen because of all her previous begging for a child.  Onlookers may respond in disbelief wondering why you choose to homeschool if you need an occasional break from your child.  Still, the need is there.  Homeschoolers just tend to have a higher level of tolerance I guess.

Regardless, if you choose to homeschool you should know that you will not get the "normal" expected stay-at-home mom break that comes with private and public schooled kids between the hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  A no brainer?  Perhaps, but the realization really sinks in when you are a parent who actually once had that daily break and now have chosen to educate your child at home.

There is no longer the ability to sneak out to pick up a birthday or Christmas gift to surprise your child.

There is no longer that occasional lunch with just you and a friend.

There is no longer one-on-one hubby/wife time without careful planning.

There is no morning Bible Study or adult meetings of any kind unless childcare is provided.  For years now, it has been "If there is childcare or the kids are welcome, I'm in.  Otherwise, I'm not coming."  This is not always understood by others.  So, I have opted out of a lot of social events where my children were not part of the invitation.

There is no sneaking that bag of chips out of sight.

There is no out of sight.

All in all, the benefits far outweigh this sacrifice of personal time and need to be alone on occasion.  Still, it's nice when churches and other adult-oriented events realize that you may not have a babysitter you can rely upon to drop and go.  It's nice when someone you trust comes along and offers to take the kids for the afternoon every so often.


  1. I've been homeschooling for 7 yrs too! And you're right -- the "no break" part is something that homeschoolers don't often advertise. It's good to talk about it, though, b/c if the homeschooling parents doesn't find a way to get the breaks he or she needs, homeschooling will fall apart. I've found it useful to connect with other homeschool families; you can help each other out if one of you needs to go somewhere. I've also relied on a daycare in town that has "drop in" care.

  2. Love this. It has been a shocker to have previously been afforded a break every weekday to having them around all the time, but wouldn't go back for anything. Thanks, Tere