Homeschooling has its ups and downs. There is no need to tiptoe around the truth; we can be honest here, right? Now that several (looong) years have gone by since we started to homeschool, it’s time to get real.
I hate homeschooling.
I know. I’m as dumbstruck as you are.
Or maybe it’s not that I hate homeschooling per se, but perhaps I’ve finally discovered certain homeschool disadvantages that I never knew existed.
Look, homeschooling has obvious undeniable benefits. Homeschooling IS awesome. Truth be told, every day I consider myself lucky for being able to homeschool my kids, and I don’t see us quitting homeschooling anytime soon. But the truth is…
The life of a homeschooling parent can get pretty INTENSE.
9 Reasons you shouldn’t homeschool your kids
#1 Constant chaos
Show of hands: who loves to listen to the ode of sibling drama over the silliest things of all things silly all day long on repeat starting at 7:15 a.m. sharp? Exactly. I would pay money to drink coffee in peace.
Without the yellow bus taking my kids away for the day, my hopes of mental clarity are fading away faster than an inflatable swan floating down the Mississippi River.
#2 You’re never, ever, EVER alone. Everrr!
No matter what your approach to homeschooling is, be it strictly school at home or radical unschooling, let’s be honest here: you are stuck with your kids. Every day. All day long.
If long-term lack of privacy and zero personal space isn’t enough to score you your very own legally prescribed bottle of Xanax, then I don’t know what is. I’m surprised they don’t hand these out when you’re initiated into a homeschool group or a co-op.
It’s like living with the Gremlins, but worse.
I love my kids. But I clench my fists every morning in jealousy of all SAHMs on our block who drop their kids off at the corner of the street and kiss them and smile and wave and won’t see them until at least 4 p.m.
#3 On-call cafeteria lady
Preparing 385 meals and snacks each and every day and cleaning up after said 385 meals and snacks each and every day? Hate it. HATE. IT. And just for the record, I used to love to cook.
Look, I know I’d still have to feed my kids breakfast and dinner and make a sack lunch for them if they were in school, I’m not an idiot. But they were born with two hollow legs each and the reverberation of “I’M HUUUNGRYYY MOOOOOM” makes my skin crawl 7 days a week for the vast majority of my waking hours.
#4 Constant mess
Oh dear God, the constant mess.
Did I mention the mess?
The mind-numbing hamster wheel of managing the growing mess with your kids at home 24/7 is exhausting. Sucks the life out of me. It’s debilitating, really, for a neat freak like me. How much is a boarding school in the Swiss Alps?
#5 Knowing that I can make them. Or break them.
Both education-wise and on a social level.
Are there important skills or things I’m forgetting to teach them? Am I paving paths for success or the unemployment office? Will my kids hate me one day for not bringing them to their full potential?
The weight of my kids’ future well-being rests entirely on my shoulders, and I won’t know the extent of the good OR bad I’ve done until my kids are all grown up. At which point it’s pretty much too late to fix anything major like screwing up someone’s whole life out of LOVE.
It’s all on me. And it sometimes scares the crap out of me.
#6 Being the Worst. Person. Ever…
The super-un-fun mom that’s relentlessly enforcing barbaric tasks like no more copycat burping at the dinner table, teeth brushing at least by lunchtime?!, capitalizing every street name on every envelope in the pen pal pile because, come on, how many times have we gone over this?!
Yup, all courtesy of the homeschool mom. Day in, day out.
#7 Kids can be lazy, know-it-all, back talking, eye-rolling MONSTERS!
So here’s the thing. The emotional security of homeschooling doesn’t only bring out the good in homeschoolers, it also brings out the bad and ugly. And you can’t pretend it didn’t happen and let the principal or a teacher worry about that.
Some days I’m flat out struggling with trying to be the best parent I can be, but that’s not even the scariest part. Having other homeschool parents paint vivid pictures of the hell called Homeschooling A Tween Girl is.
#8 It’s hard to find balance.
Like, REALLY hard. Balance just doesn’t come easy when you score the unlucrative gig of a homeschooling parent.
Well, let’s see here… Homeschooling is like volunteering long hours at a position with high demands and no lunch break in a company that’s perpetually disorganized and low on staff.
Honestly? Homeschooling sometimes makes me want to jolt out of my house screaming and hitch the first truck ride for my solo backpacking stint across South America.
I’ve put my sanity on the back burner for now. We’ll see what comes out of it.
Belize sounds nice.
#9 “Oh you gave up your career to stay at home and homeschool your kids?! That’s niiice…” [Gives me THE LOOK.]
Fair enough. But I’m not going down without a fight.
I actually know quite a few females who have gotten out of the “full-time mommy gig” by purposely finding a job to commute to daily, the farther away from their home, the better. Their numbers are growing.
People need to realize that being with your kids nonstop is not for the weak. Stay-at-home moms that don’t have help can have incredibly tough lives.
Being with your kids nonstop AND being solely responsible for their well-roundedness and education AND keeping them fed and alive for all these years should score all homeschooling moms a straight ticket to heavenly lounge no matter how many husbands they’ve tried to kill along the way.
There you have it.
The ugly side of homeschooling.
All the reasons why I hate homeschooling, often at least once a day.
Honest and uncensored.
Are you familiar with any of these homeschool disadvantages?
Do you have a love-hate relationship with homeschooling yourself?
If you’re here reading this post because you’re having a total “I HATE HOMESCHOOLING!!!” moment and you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to juggle housework, homeschool, and just, well… life… HUGS. Here is what I want to suggest to you (it helps me stay sane, maybe it will help you, too).
Make a list of all the BENEFITS you see in homeschooling your child(ren). Think about all the things you and your child love about homeschooling, no matter how big or small. It could be anything from allowing your child to learn at his or her own pace, more play time and exercise, avoiding an underwhelming school district, adhering to specific health or emotional needs of your child, there are no limits. (Here are our homeschool benefits.)
Seeing the bigger picture of the positive impact that homeschooling has on your child can help you ground yourself and work around the negatives. It can be a real eye opener (it was for me).
Do you hate homeschooling???
It’s OK to not love all homeschooling moments and every minute of homeschooling. What’s not OK is feeling enslaved to the idea of homeschooling, whether you have put that upon yourself or through an action of someone else such as your spouse.
If homeschooling no longer brings purpose to your family or if the load of homeschooling brings more stress to you than you think you can handle, it might be a good time to consider other educational alternatives. Quitting homeschooling is not a failure. It’s a healthy outcome to an unsatisfactory situation.
Homeschooling isn’t always all sunshine and rainbows even though many homeschool blogs or homeschoolers themselves might make you feel that way. In fact, homeschooling can be super hard and stressful, especially if you don’t have the right kind of support.
Let’s talk! Tell me why you hate homeschooling or what you dislike about homeschooling the most. Assuming you’re not reading this post solely out of curiosity… Which is totally fine.
PS: If you’re a more put-together homeschooler than me and still pretty sane after years of running the show, I’d LOVE to know your secrets! 🙂