Homeschool S.O.S.

I have been homeschooling my two boys for nearly four years. I also homeschooled my daughter for three years before she transitioned to college for high school credit.  Here’s where I want to say that I’ve had the time of my life, wouldn’t trade it for anything and am just one big giggling happy homeschooling mom! But…I can’t. This is hard. Really hard and possibly the only thing harder is finding other homeschooling moms who will admit to having more rough days than happy ones. (Or, perhaps they don’t and I just stink at this.) While that is a possibility, I look at my daughter, who is getting her bachelor’s degree in neurobiology at the University of Washington and think perhaps there is hope. After all, I homeschooled her for 7th – 9th grade and she’s making quite the name for herself.

My second child recently received his home high school diploma, (by the squeak of his teeth and the grace of God) and now I’m down to one.

One 14 year old who is smart but stubborn. And rather lazy. And unenthused about learning in general.  I fear that I hadn’t pulled him out of traditional school soon enough.(middle of 5th grade) and he had developed a loathing of learning. He had already had ingrained in him the idea that learning was hard and never fun.

Knowing this was going to work against me (and him) I learned everything I could about  interest based learning or Unschooling as it is sometimes called. That went well for a while. Soon he became bored and getting him to complete a day’s work was like pulling teeth. I bought a few different curriculums in hopes of finding one that clicked with him. None did.  Then I tried developing a curriculum based on his interests now and in the past. That was a lot of work on my part and like other things went well for a while. Until he lost interests in his interests.  We were back to a school day that should last 4 hours lasting 12 and keeping me from my work as well.

Exasperated, I talked to my husband about enrolling him in private school. Outside of his education I put in 12 hours a day with my own work and am fast approaching burn out. We crunched our budget and found we could barely afford it if he took a higher paying job, we cut out a few things and went to the cheaper cat food. But then it occurred to me, my cats would claw my couch to shreds if I fed them generic cat food and if my son has no interest in learning and is harder than hades to motivate, what makes me think paying someone else to try is going to solve that problem? He has to want to learn. He has to be excited and on fire about his education and dive into interest based learning. Problem is, I have no idea how to motivate him to do that. I’m sitting here on a Sunday facing another week of struggles and frustrations. And I’m out of ideas. I’m hoping that someone reading this has possibly been in this position and can offer some advice. Or at least, a shred of hope.  Anyone?

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