I would never have imagined myself a homeschooler. Heck, I never really imagined myself a mom. But here I am a homeschooling mom of 5. I wouldn’t change it for anything, but I really have to admit that homeschooling is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Here are 5 reasons why:
BRAIN POWER. The sheer amount of things that I have to put in my brain in a week is really insane. And then to have to keep them in my brain for any length of time is a monumental feat. Schedules. Lunch menus. Units. Reading strategies. Presidents. Capitals. Grammar. Algebra. Life cycles. Periodic table. Memory verses. Learning styles. Busy boxes. Grocery lists. Passwords to all the websites. Philosophy. Government. Nap time. Holidays. Library books. It’s really just way too much all the time. Thank the heavens for coffee, emergen-c and occasional sleep.
LIBRARY BOOKS. My weekly book routine looks something like this: Researching and finding books for each subject and each grade level and each topic for each week, unit and year. Reading all the reviews to make sure I’m choosing the right ones. Compiling all of these books into lists for each week. Requesting them from the library at least a week before we’ll need them. Picking them up from the library before we actually are supposed to be reading them. Keeping them free from spilled milk, kool aid, soda or juice. Keeping them free from permanent marker, accidental hi-lighting, stickers, stamps or boogars. Then, when we’re finished with them: locating all of the SAME books from under covers, under beds, in the bathroom, backyard or stuffed down in a laundry hamper. Finding time in my ridiculous schedule to actually return them to the library. Raiding my kids’ imaginary college funds to pay the fines. Lather, rinse, repeat.
3 MEALS A DAY AND SNACKS IN BETWEEN. I hate to cook. Always have. But these darn kids have to eat – every. single. day. It seems as though they’re literally hungry all the time. Do you feel stressed about wondering what to make for dinner every single night? How about what to make for breakfast and lunch and dinner every single day?! Chick-fil-A is my best friend. It’s also probably the reason my kids will have to go to community college and live at home. Don’t you even judge. Three meals a day and snacks in between for me and five picky kids is enough to make anyone want to live at Chick-fil-A. That and their yummy tea.
LAUNDRY AND STICKY FLOORS. To be fair, this is probably also true for anyone with bunches of kids whether or not they homeschool, but I feel as though it might be worse because my kids are home all day every day. The heaps of laundry in my laundry room are big enough that a grown man could hide behind them. Doesn’t have to be a small man either. A big hairy mammoth man could hide behind my piles of unwashed laundry. Sometimes I just want to throw out all the clothes and start over. Not kidding. I forget about the laundry in my washer so often that I actually have to buy new towels regularly because I can’t get rid of the smell on the old ones. And sticky floors. Oh my. I haven’t gone barefoot in my house since before my second child was born. There are at least three or four spills every single day. If I’m lucky it’s just water – but I’m not usually lucky. Good thing we have so many dirty towels all over the house to wipe up the spills though. We clean off our table no less than five times a day. We use it for eating, crafting, reading, eating, schoolwork, snacking, sewing, coloring, eating, painting, baking and the occasional fort. Sticky has just become my decorating style. Everyone has a decorating style. Sticky and smelly is mine.
I MISS GROWN UPS. One of the biggest reasons that we started homeschooling is because I love being with my kids. They’re really cool kids. They’re fun and silly and sweet and kind and a whole lot of fun to be around. But I miss grown-ups. Grown-ups can cut up their own food. Grown-ups don’t need a buddy to go to the bathroom. Heck, grown-ups don’t usually need to be reminded that they should GO to the bathroom. Grown-ups don’t climb in my clothes or sneeze in my face. They can make their own sandwiches and wipe their own noses. Grown-ups won’t yell at me when I refuse to let them watch another hour of their horribly annoying TV show. Grown-ups wouldn’t leave dirty underwear all over my house. They don’t throw toys and they don’t throw fits. I love my sticky, smelly children, but sometimes I really, really miss grown-ups.