Tuesday, April 1

challenges of homeschooling

Welcome to day three of Home Education Week! To follow others who are talking about the topic of the day, be sure to stop over at Dana's place at Principled Discovery and follow the links

April Fool's! Tuesday, April 1
And we have likely all felt the fool in one way or another. Share your greatest challenge. Or one of those terrible, horrible no good, very bad days where the only thing there is to do seems to involve moving to Australia.

Our greatest challenges through the years have come in two forms: babies and caring for our parents as they aged.

The arrival of babies is something you can somewhat plan ahead for when homeschooling. The schedule and routine can be talked about ahead of time which will hopefully prepare the children for the needed flexibility when the time comes. That doesn't mean the challenges disappear, but hopefully it lessens the frustration. There were times when I had been up all night with a new baby and had to close my door in the morning and let Grandma run the household while I finally slept. Or maybe an older sibling had to correct a younger sibling's math lesson. Or we had to do a lot of reading on mom's bed. At least life could be kept at a manageable level - well, except the Good Housekeeping Clean House Award was taken away - and everyone was fed (thank you friends from church) and had clothes (fortunately the little ones had favorite outfits they liked to wear, um, a lot).

The departure of parents is something you cannot plan ahead for when homeschooling. As my in-laws and my mom all developed health concerns around the same time, our routine took unexpected twists and turns. Either my husband or myself were traveling to doctor's appointments, following up on tests, making hospital visits, or taking care of a host of other things that were new to us. Fortunately when we went through this season there were older children in the house who could babysit or work with the younger ones. Meals could be prepared, laundry could be done, and play was supervised. In less than two years these three special people in our lives passed away.

Looking back at the two biggest challenge areas in the life of our homeschooling family, there are several things that were evident. Children learn even when we aren't formally teaching them. Learning never stops. Learning doesn't always come in the form of books, but in the form of living life. My children learned responsibility as they took care of additional chores. They learned compassion whether it was walking with a colicky baby or helping feed a grandparent who could no longer hold a spoon. They learned about the life cycle as they held a new sibling for the very first time and kissed a grandparent good-bye for a final time. And if there were areas where they fell behind in their schooling, it was temporary as they caught up quickly as soon as life settled.

Everyone's challenges come in different forms. What's yours?

Tammy ~@~


Christy said...

My f-i-l passed away two weeks ago. We were gone for two weeks. We stayed with m-i-l and her sister. This sister told me, "I don't know what else you teach those boys, but I know you teach them to help." I really needed that to remember that it's not about book-learning at all. Thank you for this reminder as I try to get back in the groove after being gone for two weeks.

Digging for Pearls said...

I've been homeschooling for twelve years.

I am in the process of researching for a book I would like to write that addresses ten struggles that Christian women face. I would love to have your input as well.

Thank you for any help you can give me. All I need is the list of ten things as well as your age. Thank you!

Tammy said...

Aside from the obvious trials of babies and toddlers, I think my biggest challenge has been learning to adapt my teaching and expectations to meet the varying needs of my children starting with my oldest ADHD son.

mom said...

{{{{{Christy}}}}} I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Don't rush back into things, but be kind to yourself during the transition.

Ahhh, that would have been my third thing on the list, Tammy - the challenging kids of the family. BTDT and still DT!

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