Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool?

Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you:

  • the best of the homeschool blogosphere,
  • current happenings in education-land,
  • and great quotes that will refresh your homeschool mama mind.

Yes, I want Thrive Together!

* indicates required



Recent Posts

Some links on this site are affiliate links. A percentage of qualifying purchases support this site. 

HFC is powered by SiteGround.

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Privacy Policy

I Could Never Homeschool Because…

I Could Never Homeschool Because…

“I could never homeschool.” “I could never do that.” I hear it all the time. Easily half of the parents I meet respond this way when they find out I have five kids and homeschool—and since I’m a military spouse who settles into a new city every few years, I meet a LOT of parents.

I suspect that the reasons are really quite simple. Homeschooling takes three things:

  1. Some semblance of organization
  2. Some knowledge—or vast quantities of curiosity, and
  3. A LOT of time with your kids

Let me address all three of these.

I could never homeschool because I’m not very organized.

Ladies, if you’ve ditched any fleeting thoughts of homeschooling because you’re the hot mess mom who wears pajama bottoms in the school drop-off line, stop right there.

Most of the homeschool moms I know fit squarely in this category.

You only bring store-bought goodies to your kids’ classes? I would absolutely be that mom too. You look at the farmy/hippie/homeschooling moms on Facebook or Instagram and think they’re out of your league? Girl, I feel ya.

Don’t believe what you see on social media.

That is the tip of the iceberg—the beautiful, homemade, sacrificial tip. Under the water every homeschooling mama is drowning in some category everyday.

The only reason I ever started cooking homemade food is because I was too overwhelmed to take five kids to the grocery store and there wasn’t enough money in the budget for yet another Dominos order. So I googled how to make homemade french bread to go with our store-bought sauce on top of our store-bought spaghetti noodles.

There’s no actual way to simultaneously accomplish a clean house and a solid homeschool day. We’re all hot messes usually; we can’t even get our schtuff together enought to get in the dropoff line, let alone wear real pants in said line. That’s not just a glorious perk of homeschooling, it’s one of the reasons why we homeschool.

I could never homeschool because I don’t know enough about…

One of the main worries that scares parents off from homeschooling is that they don’t feel like they’re smart enough or equipped enough to handle some of the academics they struggled with during their own school days.

This is a worry for every homeschool mom I’ve ever met. It is the entire reason co-ops exist. Personally, I stink at science. I’m working hard to change my attitude because I don’t want my kids to hate science, but I just could never get into all those labs. I never saw what I was supposed to see in the microscope. How the ever living heck am I supposed to teach science?

Luckily, I have a fallback plan. It’s called “making friends with people who like science.” And don’t give me that introvert/extrovert schpeel: I test at like 85% introverted. There are people out there who get giddy about science like I get giddy about a beautiful hardback clothbound volume of Jane Austen. Mmm.

My job as a homeschool mom is to find people who are skilled in the areas I’m not and enlist them in my children’s education. (Actually, that’s my job as a mom.) Whether that means joining a co-op, hiring a tutor, or hounding my husband to help out, it’s up to me to do what it takes. And it’s easier than you think.

Science lab projects and dissections for me conjure memories of frog legs spazzing up in a metal tray during high school biology. But I have made friends who have helped my kids do everything from plant seeds to dissect owl poop. Thank the good Lord I didn’t have to do that. I try to outsource the things I’m not great at.

Outsource all the dissecting and all the poop, I say!

That said, not a single homeschool, public school, or private school kid has ever had a perfect education. Every one of us has holes in our education and we’re fooling ourselves if we think the standard is to muster a perfect education for our own kids.

I could never homeschool because I don’t actually want to spend all that time with my kids.

Some moms I’ve talked to come right out and say it. Homeschooling looks a lot like a 12-year version of the baby years—you know, those years spent drowning in diapers and barely speaking to other adult humans, while your brain slowly turns to mush and you have more goo on your shirt than you ever thought possible. They baby years can be both awfully sweet, and plain awful.

I wonder, too, if the reason people say this is that they think those who homeschool their kids are somehow more sacrificial. Kind of like when Christians look at missionaries or pastors as unattainably holier than ourselves. Obviously missionaries who have devoted their entire lives to sacrifice, preaching the Gospel, feeding the hungry, and working in Third World countries are better believers than the rest of us who can’t bring ourselves to give up our Netflix and our paved roads and our Amazon Prime. Right?

No, not actually. Talk to anyone who is actually in ministry and they can tell you stories for hours about all the unholy drama that unfolds between pastors, their families, and their congregations.

None of us are more holy or more sacrificial than anyone else. Let’s just chuck that idea right now because it ain’t true. Homeschooling moms are not better than other moms. Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.

Also untrue is the myth that homeschool moms must interact with only their kids all the time (and love it!).

Homeschool moms I know? They yell at their kids. (Me.) They hide in the closet/bathroom/pantry/garage/car to get away from their kids because their kids drive them C.R.A.Z.Y. Crazy. (Also me.)

I can totally understand any non-homeschooling parent who says, “I could never homeschool my kids,” and really means, “We’d kill each other if we spent that much time together.” I get it. Deep in my bones I understand.

While it’s impossible to avoid that part of the homeschooling equation entirely, you can mitigate it some. There are co-ops, classes, field trips, and groups you can join (or create). Even the back yard can be an amazing respite. If you get creative, there are all sorts of ways to avoid being one-on-one with your kid all day long. Most end up being a ton of fun, too, like the Mother-Daughter Book Club a friend’s enterprising daughter invited us to, or the spontaneous hikes or doughnut shop runs we take because we’re all about ready to throttle each other.

But here’s a secret I’ve learned after homeschooling for the last eight years: there’s something weird and magical that happens when you do spend so much time together: you start to like each other a little more. There’s not so much peer influence shouting nonsense in your kids’ ears like, “Parents are dumb!” And with a little less of that influence, there’s a litte more grace and understanding in the relationship.

Related: 7 Reasons to Consider Homeschooling


Photos by Pixabay (2) and Daria Shevtsova from Pexels.

Rhiannon Kutzer

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Nice to meet you!

I’m Rhiannon.

You can call me Rhi for short (as in “rejoice”). I’m a fiercely independent homeschooling mom of five, a Navy wife of 13 years, and a creator of various things: articles, a semi-regular newsletter, quilts, furniture, and the occasional knitted scarf. This is the site where I write about our homeschool journey and news and happenings in the homeschool world. more about me.

Rhiannon

Subscribe & Follow

Popular Links

Let’s Thrive Together!

Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool? Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you:

--the best of the homeschool blogosphere,
--current homeschool news,
--and great quotes that will refresh your homeschool mama mind.

Latest Posts

Instagram

  • Maybe you’ve never had a loved one on a ventilator, so you don’t know. I have. You don’t know the fear in your gut as you await the next minutes and hours until the doctors bring you updates and treatment plans.
.
You don’t know the darkness and silence next to the bed of your (beautiful, vulnerable) person, kept alive by a machine. The respiratory therapists making adjustments to help your loved one’s brain get enough oxygen so she can make it to tomorrow.
.
You don’t know the holiness of that bedside, where Christ meets you with His peace when everything is out of your hands. That bedside, where literally all you can do is read scripture and pray.
.
I am telling you, that is a bedside you do NOT want to be at.
.
I have been there and I never want to go back. God and an army of prayer warriors got us through that. Our person is still vulnerable. There are people in your life who are vulnerable.
.
We were at that bedside with decades of collective medical experience on our side to develop best practices and treatment plans, and learn from mistakes made on other patients.
.
Our loved ones who end up fighting COVID-19 with the help of a humming ventilator will not have that benefit. This disease is just too new.
.
If you’re a leader of people, your job right now is to take care of your people. Be honest. Take this seriously. (We can do that without letting fear take control.)
.
If you’re an employee, protect yourself, so you can protect your family. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, eat your vegetables, exercise, get good sleep, take some vitamin C.
.
Above all #STAYHOME to #flattenthecurve so that you don’t end up by that bedside with not enough resources. Stay home, so that when the vulnerable person in your life needs it, they’ll have access to the ventilators and care they need.
  • FYI, your #Navy #submarineforce is still operating...even in the Arctic. My guy is finally out from under the ice! And I finally get pictures of his #ICEX2020 adventures. Unbelievably good to talk to him, even if we don’t get be with him in person #thanksCOVID #staythefhome #beagoodcitizen #submarinerscantsocialdistance
  • Blue Wyoming skies and wind blowing in the curls. Magical.
  • PSA: Don’t let curriculum publishers and internet ads scare you into thinking you NEED to buy their products to get your kids a solid education. #askamom #momsmentoringmoms
  • #Homeschooling when you didn’t choose it:
.
I would feel totally overwhelmed and underprepared if I were in your shoes. Homeschooling is hard even when you did choose it. We’ve changed a little, too. Every meal is a reading meal these days if the kids want that. (They do🤓.)
.
So, please ask me all your questions. I and other HSing mamas in your community have YEARS of experience with this atypical version of education. How can we help you and your specific kids in your specific situation? We have learned a lot of things the hard way and we are happy to help make this time smoother for you.
.
What I desperately hope: those of you stuck in a situation you didn’t want AT ALL, might come to see education a little differently. It can be flexible. It can happen over the course of a whole day, with snacks, outside time, screen time, and play interspersed between lessons.
.
This type of education is more about LIFE and HOME than you might think. While your students may be doing the same work assigned by the school, the setting change from school to home will change almost everything else about their educational experience this semester.
.
Here are my two favorite tips to get you started:
1. Use short lessons. 
2. Alternate between types of work.
.
The younger the kids, the shorter the lessons. Ballpark: elementary should be 15-30min/subject max. Middle school 30-45min/subject max.
.
How does this look? Have your student read for 15 min, then do something physical for 15, then do handwriting for 15. That kind of a thing. “A change is as good as a rest."
.
Don’t expect elementary kids to complete the whole assignment in such a short lesson. Just expect focused attention for that time, no matter how far he gets in the work. That builds the habit of, “when we sit to do school, we focus on school.” If you have to do 5 or 10 minute lessons because that’s all he had the attention for, that’s totally normal. Build up to longer periods, but it’s not really reasonable developmentally to expect hour-long math sessions for very young students. Those lead to tears. Ask me how I know.
  • Some days are just “pull your big girl panties on and handle your business like a grownup” days. Cheers to all of you who handled your business today. #navywifelife #adulting

Follow @rhikutzer

Twitter

Find me elsewhere:

×