Homeschooling When It’s Hard

I have four children. They range from ages 9-15. I have it pretty easy most of the time. They are self-sufficient. They mostly do as they are told and we are having a period of everyone’s “got it” in their subjects.

In the past this was very rarely the case. I have two with learning disabilities and we had a long period of very difficult years. Reading was non-existent, ampoule math produced meltdowns, viagra buy history and science?—haha! Needless to say we all had a big ol’ case of the I don’t wannas!

Homeschooling is supposed to be relaxed. This idea is to provide an atmosphere that will produce active, illness continual learning. I was stressed and they were too. Continual learning? I wanted to cry.

I finally had to succumb to taking a hard look at where we were in their individual abilities and become satisfied that while they were not on grade level yet, they would be! This is where it became very, very hard. In fact, it felt worse than when we were fighting against the tide.

Why?

It felt like we weren’t accomplishing anything.

I felt like a failure.

We still had meltdowns and I thought easing up would relieve me of that side of schooling.

I truly believed regularly that my children would never, ever, ever read.

Math made all of us cry.

I had to change my attitude. We took a HUGE step back and I brought them to the actual grade level they were on. For example, my son was in third grade but could only comprehend preschool and kindergarten level skills.

I am not joking.

I avoided those conversations with other homeschooling parents that discussed reading levels, grade levels, and the extra-wonderful ‘Look at me! My child speaks fluent Greek, knows Algebra, is reading on a college level and he’s only in [insert grade level]’!  I wasn’t looking for any attention.

It turned out to be the very best decision we have ever made for our children since beginning to homeschool. There was no pressure to push them past what they were truly capable of learning at the time so we had the opportunity to take as long as they needed to master the core skills per subject. And reading? They both mastered it at age 9. Math? My 11 year old is doing multi-digit multiplication now. These are huge milestones compared to only a couple of years ago.

Homeschooling gives you the gift of time.

It is very easy to allow yourself to believe that you are not capable of teaching them reading or math or writing. It is easy to give yourself the title of ‘failure’. It is easy to wonder if you are cut out to teach your children or if someone else would have better luck.

Stop.

Let yourself take a step back to evaluate what is working and what is not and tweak schedules, grade levels, etc. It can still be hard but I promise the extra time will be worth it. These are the type of changes that can instill confidence and encouragement in a child over time. These are the type of changes that can instill confidence and encouragement in YOU over time.

Comments

  1. Excellent post! You’re so right–homeschooling gives us the gift of time, to work with each of our kids and bolster their strengths while addressing their weaknesses.

  2. Thank you Angela for this post today. This is exactly where I am right now and this was souch of an encouragement:) God bless you

    • Thank you, Diana. I am so happy this resonated with you. We still have waves of needing to step back and re-evaluate where the kids are in their lessons even now but what a blessing we have in being able to have time to do it! God bless you too!

  3. This is such a great post I have been in that place whereI had to take a step back and evaluate.

  4. Thank you! This was one of those “bad days” and it is no coincidence that I came across this blog. God bless you!

    • Isn’t it amazing when God leads us to the right place at the right time? I am happy my post helped. I have been blessed with be encouraged with so many homeschooling moms at “just the right time”. I am so thankful you have been too. God bless you too!

  5. Excellent read, thank you for sharing, It is very encouraging.

  6. Thank you, very encouraging on a difficult day!! Who am I kidding, it’s been many difficult years! I look forward to getting to know you better : )

    • Angela, I look forward to getting to know you better as well. I know those “difficult days” and still have them. I am so thankful for an online community of those who know what they are like and can validate that we’re doing the best we can.

  7. Multiple that by 2 and you have MY story! lol I have 8 kids (ages 11-1) with 4 of them having learning challanges. I always disliked, and still do, when other homeschool moms started talking about all their kids were doing. I’d just shrink away hoping they wouldn’t ask me what we were doing. We are starting to “get there” but it has taken time and a forced effort to be ok with them not being at their “grade level.” Thanks for your post. It’s great to know I’m not the only one out there that has, or is going through homeschooling hardships like this.

    • It is hard when we feel the desire to “shrink away” from those who have what appear to be an effortless journey in educating their children. This is so not often their entire snapshot of their homeschool experience–just the highlights. I relish the times that I am around those who know what it feels like to have a child who made a huge milestone in their learning. For us it was little things like my son when he finally realized (at age 8) that letters meant something and weren’t just a picture, for example. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more of those times in our fellowship with others? Thank you for your encouragement in your comment.

  8. Kyla Angeles says:

    This really DID come at a perfect time. I’ve been having some health problems and feeling “behind” It’s nice to have someone else out there telling a version of “our story”. Thank you=))

    • Kyla, I don’t know what type of health problems you have but I will be praying for you. I’ve had a couple of seasons of the same and can relate to “feeling behind”. I’m glad this post came at a good time for you. ((Hugs))

  9. Felicia Colón says:

    Reading this made me feel a huge relief… like I can take a breath of fresh air! Just this morning I was crying, not knowing who was more frustrated with my 6 year old sons reading (him or me… since he started crying while trying to read a word). I have no homeschooler friends or family and not to mention coming from a family full of teachers and principles whom are completely against “kids not getting real educations in real schools”. I usually have everyone breathing down my throat about how well and how much he learns, so it is easy to feel like I’m not doing all I should be to utilize his max potential. It feels awesome to know I can relax a bit and not second guess my decision to homeschool him!

    Thank You & God Bless!

    P.S. I will continue to follow your blog so I don’t feel so alone in this world of homeschooling! 😉

  10. Christina says:

    I just started homeschooling this week I have four kids they all have special needs I have two with autism. I so needed to read this post it has helped me a lot thank you.

  11. Kris Daza says:

    Thanks you Angela , It’s the first time that I find a Blog like this.
    Homeschool is a way of life. And sometimes it’s complicated.
    I was thinking : I was alone. And now… I see is normal. A problem can give us a change and a new energy. Another way to see, to make our Homeschool days.
    Thank you very much. God bless you and your family and all the family homeschooled.
    Sorry for my bad English

  12. I did what you did a year or two ago. I had been desperately trying to keep our ten year old autistic son at grade level and failing desperately! It was very hard to get our son to do JUST one page, front and back of his math assignments! I thought he should be able to do the math in about an hour and he would take all day. Even then, very often he wouldn’t get more than a half dozen problems done in a day. I stepped back and cut his assignments in half or even thirds sometimes but had him do his math more often during the week which made both of us happier. He would even get his math done in thirty minutes or less most of the time!

    We also had a horrible time finding the RIGHT reading curriculum. Before finding it, we went through a period of both of us near tears trying to learn the way I did when I was younger, with phonics. Then kept hitting brick walls with both sight words AND one of those expensive reading programs! Finally I remembered my mother showing me my grandmother’s copy of an old McGuffey reader. I found a really great site where I was able to download the entire series for FREE! I created my own reading flash cards to go along with his reading along with worksheets, like find a word or fill in the blank. Although we did have one setback in reading after taking the summer off a couple years ago, our son is now very good with his reading although he doesn’t have the greatest confidence in his own abilities.

    Our biggest problem at this point is that our son JUST doesn’t want to homeschool but at the same time, he doesn’t want to go to public school either! It doesn’t help that my son has moved back home and brought my four year old grandson with him. It’s okay some days when I can get the grandson interested in learning something but his father doesn’t have ANY interest in homeschooling his son so he doesn’t encourage his son to homeschool with me at this point so that gives our son the idea he shouldn’t have to do school work too! I’m ready to throw in the towel at this point. I’m really pretty depressed with the idea of trying to homeschool one more year! I’ve told my husband that either he teaches our son in the coming year or our son will be going to public school, at least for a while to see if that would encourage him to do his school work instead of running outside or into his bedroom when he knows it’s time for school. I desperately need advice and I’m sorry if it seems like I’m dumping on you but I’m disabled and we live in a rural area. I don’t know anyone else in our area who also homeschools that I could talk to. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?

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