21 Aug

Why I Hate Homeschool

The door was closed. And locked.

The fan was on.

And still I could hear him.

Standing on the stairs, our sweet little boy was telling me how he was waiting for me so I could see what was in his hands and he was going to hide it behind his back so that I couldn’t see it when the door opened but maybe he would just put it on the top parts of the stairs so then I couldn’t see it when I came out but I still could see it and it wouldn’t break cuz he had worked a very long time on it and had I ever worked a very long time on anything did I like legos cuz he liked legos did they have legos when I was a kid because that was a long time ago and maybe girls didn’t like legos back then but….. (oh, it went on, but I am sure you get the point)

Here I was in the bathroom. I wasn’t hiding. I was, well, using the bathroom for its intended purposes. And, yet, there was no peace.

In that moment I hated homeschool.

(please, don’t lecture me about all the moments I’ll miss when they are older or they grow up so fast or blah, blah, blah…I’ve heard. I know it. But let’s be honest, it’s hard this motherhood thing…no matter how fleeting or sticky sweet the memories seem in the rearview mirror…it is hard. And sometimes a girl just wants to pee in peace.)

I had been up since 5:30. Saw hubby off to work with fresh brewed coffee and a kiss. I had my Bible time, showered, gotten dressed in real clothes (knew I was gonna rock the day when even had on matching bra and undies….okay, I know TMI but you and I both know that makes a huge difference and somehow don’t you feel more like a grown up?) and reviewed teacher’s guides. As I unloaded the dishwasher, I prepared a hot breakfast. The kids helped unload the dishwasher and chatted excitedly about the first day of school. We ate breakfast together (even remembered to pray over it!). We took first day of school pictures. We did our prayer sticks, devotion and Bible study. The kids were excited to investigate their new school supplies (especially the super big eraser that said “Oops!” on it).


The morning had gone perfectly. Sure there had been a few shed tears over drawing arms on a self-portrait and the fact that there were no breaks for the Wii in the middle of our first lesson of the day. But hey, the end of summer vacation is a shock to their systems and I could shrug it off. I was “Big Mama” (yep, totally still rocking that Superhero thing) able to homeschool, keep a neat home and look after my man…all while looking cute, keeping up with my girlfriends and blogging!

And suddenly I was in the bathroom wondering why there is no peace, even in here.

This hating homeschool feeling welled up in me.

I felt angry.

Then I felt sad.

Then I felt guilty for feeling sad and angry.

Then I just felt numb.

I should pause here and tow the party line that homeschooling is a delightful experience for your family. Learning becomes the heartbeat of your family — discovery and relationship guide your days. The chance to influence our children’s character by teaching them and surrounding them with love in a godly atmosphere is a blessing.

And really all sarcasm aside, it all totally is, but…

Right now. I’m sitting numb in the bathroom. Hating homeschool.

I see those moms at the street corner waving goodby to their smartly dressed scholars as they ride away on the big yellow bus. I see them high-fiving as it turns the corner. I can taste the mimosas they toast as it roars out of sight. Do they go home and jump on the bed? Or nap? Or eat ice cream for breakfast? Or wander every aisle of Target just looking at all the cuteness with no runs to the bathroom and never once uttering “don’t touch”? No, I bet they enjoy a trip to the bathroom in silence and wonder what their children are doing at school.

The curse (and ultimate blessing) of homeschool is that I’m with my children ALL day. We do life together. And we enjoy it!!! Last week, during that mirage called summer vacation, there were video games, movies, outdoor adventures, sleeping in, and lots of other things that occupied their minds and time. I was invisible, except for when the phone rang and summoned them inexplicably to my side to talk incessantly. Oh, yes, there was even peace in the bathroom….sometimes.

But this week, when the school bell rang it shifted the atmosphere in our home. It was time to learn and it is my job…as mom…as teacher…to help keep those little brains turned on. Funny thing about our kids (maybe all kids?!?!?) is that the more you engage, the more they engage. They soak up all we pour out and they seek us out…and follow us to the bathroom.

The numb feeling begins to subside and I begin to realize that the kids aren’t the only ones that have to adjust to school being back in session.

“…and I didn’t use special blocks on this one cuz (oh, he really did talk the WHOLE time I was in there) I didn’t have the right colors you know I had to search through lots of boxes to find the pieces I want we sure do have a lot of legos mom but I can never find those flat ones you know the ones that are flat that have…” (bathroom door opens) “…oh, you are FINALLY out of there!! Do you want to see my creation mom?”

His blue-green eyes are so full of pride, and rocking back and forth on the step he is so squishably cute.

I tussle his hair and climb the stairs with him to investigate his latest creation.

“Mom can kids play legos during reading time at public school?” “No probably not, pal.” “Oh? Well, I love homeschool mom.” (yep, he totally did say that!!) “Me too, buddy, me too!”


4 thoughts on “Why I Hate Homeschool

  1. Seriously, the only time I get to potty or shower without interruption is when kids and husband are not here. Otherwise I’m bombarded with questions and come see this and so & so is being mean. My FAVORITE is when I’m IN THE SHOWER and I’m asked to tie shoes or fix hair or button pants.
    Now that mine are back in school, there were no high-fives, no mimosas (although what I’d do for one is NOT going to be mentioned here). I’m glad to have found a few friends that DON’T celebrate their kids going back to school (like “yay! It’s all about me time” or “thank God school is starting cuz my kids were getting on my nerves”. Last night I cried and cried. This morning, I was still sad but happy to see them kinda ready for school. Both were nervously excited.
    I can’t wait until they get home and I can SQUOOSH them and hear about their day. *sigh* motherhood

    • Joy, I know how much you love and enjoy your kids. And I know they were probably excited to share all the details of their first day of school with you! Praying for you all, mama!! (yes, *sigh* motherhood)

  2. I stumbled across your blog on a google search and am so incredibly encouraged by this post. Homeschooling after 7 years has become a burden. I love my kids and I want to homeschool. I really do. But I felt so alone. Your honesty is refreshing and I am glad to know someone “out there” goes through this transition period too. We are back from a break too; I Haden illness and took time away for treatment and health. Yesterday I began to question why we are doing this at all. You hit the nail on the head with, well, everything. Thank you. -Jackie

    • Jackie,
      Thankful for google and the places it takes us!! It is so easy when we are stuck in our own four walls and in our heads to feel like no one gets us or shares our struggles. But, really, I think many of us struggle…and we need to share those struggles. Cuz, girl, we are so NOT alone. Take a deep breath and lean into God….allow Him to refresh your Spirit and whisper your whys. Praying for you mama….hang in there.

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