Is Homeschooling Hard: Added Responsibility
Chances are, if you're the parent responsible for homeschooling the kiddos, you are also the parent that spends the most time in the home. Single parents and families with two working parents are also able to find success in homeschooling, but a majority of homeschoolers have at least one parent that stays at home (and sometimes works from home!) and this (usually) means that you are also responsible for all that is included in managing a household. Laundry. Meal planning. Grocery shopping. Cooking. Cleaning. Chauffeuring the little darlings here and there. Adding the title of "teacher" is no small task, especially when you're schooling more than one child! As your children get older and their subject areas become more difficult and technical, the need for careful lesson planning and preparation increases. Though I am hoping that as my boys get older their list of responsibilities gets longer too. Some families are able to find balance easier than others but even if two parents (or grandparents or other family members) share the responsibility of developing the home education system, it is nonetheless another “thing” on top of your pile of “things” that you’re already trying to juggle.
The Silver Lining: Choosing What to Add to Your Plate
When parents send their kids off to school, I think many believe that they’re getting off easy. My friends often say, “I don’t know how you do it.” But the truth is I don’t know how THEY do it! PTA meetings, book fairs, parent-teacher conferences, helping with homework and projects like what's currently popping up in everyone's newsfeed-100th Day of School collages and costumes. In other words, added responsibility. AND these are all things that are done outside of the school day! Not to mention the fact that you are on someone's timeline. As homeschoolers we choose our activities because we enjoy them, not because they are required of us and there isn't any added pressure to meet certain deadlines. And parent-teacher conferences? Well...
I have come to the realization that I can be a good mother and I can be a good wife and I can be a good teacher. I have also come to the realization that it is extremely stressful for me to be all three at the same time. Some mornings I snuggle in bed with my kiddos for a little too long and don’t get up to turn the coffee pot on for my husband. Some days I let the boys watch an extra show so I can finish up some cleaning or organizing. Some evenings I sit on the couch talking to my husband for a few extra minutes while the boys play, even though bedtime is quickly approaching and the last thing I want to deal with the next day is cranky kids. I’ve decided that it’s okay to purposefully put one ball down every now and then in order to keep from dropping them all at the same time accidentally.