School Happens: Other Homeschool Moms Make Me Feel Bad
By Adrienne Bolton on October 24, 2012
This is a post I've been mulling over for a while now and I've been scared to publish it. That being said, I know that being scared to publish something is usually the first step in writing a post that other people can relate to. Perhaps they're just too scared to say it themselves? Maybe that's the case with this topic or I'm alone and will wallow in my own self-pity for another week of failing as a homeschooling mom. Surely, there has to be other homeschool moms out there that struggle with this insecurity? If there's not, shoot me now, because that will just suck.
Here's the thing: I read other homeschool blogs and moms are smiling as they let their children lead the way through the grace of an "unschooled" environment. Johnny is off writing his own book about rocket science and Mary is learning to be a fashion designer as she sews her life away. They don't need math or regular structured learning because they're so damn smart already that books are pretty much a waste of time. That's so NOT what things look like here. I wonder, am I alone in this?
Other homeschool moms make me feel bad.
By bad I mean... inadequate.
In our home? School happens. It isn't something that I particularly *love* everyday. I do it because I believe in it. I do it because, in spite of its challenges, I believe it's what's best for my family. I am committed but, I can't say I love it all the time. In fact, some days I hate it and wonder if I'm doing the right thing.
If you saw me on the streets and randomly asked me about homeschool, which happens a lot as we're often out and about when most children are in school, you'd get the textbook (no pun intended) response. Oh, we love it. (Move along kids.) The questions from strangers are just a natural part of being a homeschool family. People are curious and they will ask you why your kids are not in school. Which I for one think is nosy, but we're used to it. Sometimes I want to say, "Well, I lied to the school and told them my kids had chickenpox, so I could make it to Target before the crowd arrives," but mostly I just smile and reply, "We homeschool."
This ends with that short and sweet "oh we love it" type response and then we're off. But, the truth is: I don't always love it.
I don't love it when my kids are complaining about doing their work.
I don't love it when I feel like I'm always behind in the lesson plans I've painstakingly mapped out for the week.
I don't love it when I can't keep my house clean, have any time for myself, or forget to take dinner out of the freezer because I'm too busy teaching.
I don't love it when I see other homeschool moms building the The Eiffel Tower out of LEGOs while they learn about France, baking croissants from scratch, studying French as a second language, and then have time left over to learn how to master the piano -- all under the guise a of a "unit study."
Say what? I can barely get through the basic phonics lesson I had planned for the day! Forget about all this fun let-your-kid's-interest-guide-you type stuff. Do I have it all wrong?
I read other homeschool blogs and I see those moms crafting, smiling, and sending their prodigy children off to college at age 12, and think: What the hell am I doing?! Don't those kids whine and complain? Don't those moms scream and yell and cry? Where are their husbands? Because, on a bad day? Mine is at work on a roof sweating his you know off while my youngest is off in the back corner with my iPhone complaining that "mom is being mean, and I have sooooo much work."
So I ask you this Pro Homeschool Moms...
What does a bad day look like? I know you have them!
Because here? Some days it's a miracle if school happens.
God I hope people don't hate this post.
P.S. I Googled "famous French composers" to go with that whole rant on French stuff above, but didn't recognize a single one of them and just decided to type "master the piano." See what I mean? I don't even know of a French composer. I think my kids need a tutor.
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