Confession of a Homeschool Mom on the Downsides (& Upsides)

Here is a confession of a homeschool mom: some days I can quote a great musical, “We got trouble in River City…”

Might be me, might be them, probably both, that is the trouble.

Parenting does that for you, revealing the whole scary mess.

Here is a confession of a homeschool mom: some days, it’s a mess.

All our messy insides get thrown out onto the table. Parenting while homeschooling gives us an opportunity to see our internal mess a whole lot more regularly.

a homeschool mom's confession on the advantages of homeschool

Having said that, I’ll remind myself, there are some distinct advantages to this homeschool lifestyle:

1. I get to be with my children.

Yes, I know, there are days when nobody wants to be with somebody all the time. And we know that when we get to be with our kids, it’ll just reveal a lot of interpersonal work that seems, um…daunting. Yet, I get to see every moment that they grow, see them approach a new topic or skill with verve and curiosity. When I get to see those chubby hands, mile-wide smiles, and be surrounded with loads of cuteness, I am so very thankful I fell upon this lifestyle.

2.  We’ve got freedom.

We can follow our rhythms, no school hours for us. We learn what we want when we want.

3. I don’t have to fuss about bedtimes and wake times.

Though I do have my routine, I can be very flexible.

4. I don’t rush out of the house…

  • in the morning,
  • rush out of the house in the afternoon,
  • or organize kids’ extracurricular activities in the evening hours when they, and I, want to rest.

5. I don’t have to report to anyone why I’m doing what I’m doing.

6. I don’t have to buy school clothes, indoor shoes, or prescribed school stuff.

I buy clothes for the season…thankfully with three girls, long pants in September can still be capris next summer.

7. I don’t fuss that my kids aren’t learning math concepts at the same rate as their similar-aged counterparts.

They might learn about fractions when they’re six or twelve.

8. I don’t need to waste their childhood helping them to recite for standardized testing.

Instead, they spend time learning about topics about which they are curious.

9. I learn about things I never thought I would learn, ie: the rise and fall of the US dollar, all things geology, zoology, British history, or quantum physics.

10. We can pursue stuff no one puts in the typical curriculum anymore, like Latin, classical composers, and Impressionist art. 

And learning laundry, household management, and cooking.

11. I get to spend more time doing things I love too.

I get to learn my own learning, like reading, writing, reading about writing, going to coffee shops to write, hanging out with people who like to write, and journaling.

12. I have learned not to care what the mass culture cares about…

  • stuff,
  • stuff management,
  • and thinking I’m important cause I own the right stuff.

13. I have learned to befriend people that I like and who make sense to me.

14. There is always an opportunity for a connecting moment each day with each child.

It might mean different things with different kids: moments involving Legos, discussions of the recently watched episode of Full House, chopping mushrooms for lunch, staring intently into one another’s eyes, and kissing our faces in many creative ways…yes, this really does happen with one child.

15. I get to seriously influence them.

My attitude, my focus in life…these are imprinted, for good or for bad. Who else would I hope would imprint my children?

“Strength of character may be learned at work, but beauty of character is learned at home.”

Henry Drummond

16. I get to work hard to bind their heart to mine.

The only things that get in the way are my imperfections and theirs….which, haha, is an awful lot of stuff actually. But those are just opportunities for personal growth, for both of us.

And hopefully, one day, they’ll look back and say, my childhood was my family, the good, the bad and the ugly. And on the days when the downside seems awful down, I can know that the way through it is to focus on the upside, because there are a whole lot of upsides.

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