Confessions of a Reluctant Homeschooler

I’m starting a new series called: Confessions. Clever, huh? No, not really, but the purpose is to confess so many of the things I personally struggle with, keep hidden, and daily battle. My hope is that you all will join me in my confessions (Tell me I’m not alone) not to call you out, but to remind one another that we are all in constant need of His grace and mercy.

I shared with you quite a few months ago that God was indeed prompting me to homeschool my daughter for kindergarten. I shared how scared this made me, not only because I question my own abilities, but also because I never wanted to be labeled as a “homeschooling mom.”

That’s right. I’m vain. I’m selfish. Mostly, I’m vain. I so desperately wanted to avoid all of the homeschool stereotypes: denim jumpers, long hair, mini-vans, scrapbooking, soccer practice.

But alas, I submitted to the Lord and it’s official…I am a homeschooling mom. So maybe you’re wondering, is it really as bad as I had suspected? Am I already feeling the need to bake cookies and cloth diaper my babies? Well, you might be surprised….

Firstly, let me say that I sorta, kinda, like teaching my kid each day and I sorta, kinda dislike it. It’s easy, yes. She’s fairly easy to teach. But, it is another thing I have to do every.single. day. As if everything else I need to do everyday isn’t enough.

Big gripe #2. I’m selfish. Oh, I already mentioned that point up above. Well, it needs re-mentioning because it is so true. I’d really like to sit on my butt and browse Pinterest or watch Hulu than spend that 1 1/2 hours teaching her. Ugh. I sound like the world’s laziest mom, but it’s the truth.

But when it comes down to it, it really isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Granted, I’ve only been doing it for a week or so, but still. Now don’t get me wrong, if I think about homeschooling all three of my children for the next 10-15 years, I start to sweat and my heart starts to race. I believe it’s what they call a panic attack.

So my big confession, besides acknowledging just how selfish I really am, is that homeschooling ain’t so bad so far. I’m still reluctant. I’m still nervous and feel out of my element, but I smile at realizing that this is usually how God likes me…flopping around like a fish out of water, trying to breathe.

He has purpose in taking me out of the fishbowl so to speak and who knew it would come in the form of me as teacher and my daughter as student.

Got anything you’d like to confess? What situation has God placed you in recently that had you feeling out of your element, nervous, or unsure? How did you handle it and let Him work?

11 thoughts on “Confessions of a Reluctant Homeschooler”

  1. My recent adventure outside of my comfort zone has been associating with a different church. I’m still a member, and faithfully attend, a relatively conservative evangelical church. But, I tend to be very cautious about interacting with folks like that, as I’ve been bitten too often being judged by folks who consider me way too liberal.

    So, I recently started hanging out and participating at a congregational (and far more liberal) church’s small group experience. There is more of a freedom to share personal things there, without fear of getting called in for a chat with the pastoral leadership. Confession is actually good for the soul, and it’s good to be somewhere that I can more easily let my guard down and talk about things that are going on in my life.

    Now, that perhaps SOUNDS LIKE it’s not outside of my comfort zone, but it is. I’m out of my element theologically, and I often feel like I’ve shared too much and taken too big of a risk. I do have the occasional panic attack as a result. It’s not easy to let go of the fear of being called out, but I believe it is a necessary part of actually connecting, on an emotional level, with other believers.

    Thanks for sharing your confessions. It’s a good start, and I hope you continue it.

    1. Ed,
      I’m glad you’ve found a place where you can share freely and openly.

      Real community makes the Christian life so much richer, deeper, and in-line with God’s vision for the Church.

  2. As a homeschool grad, I just want you to know that yes, homeschooled kids struggle with being labeled with the stereotypes you mention. Sometimes, though not in my case (I like to think, anyway), the stereotypes are even true. But as a 20-year-old thinking about my own future and what I’d like to give to my kids, I realize that the 13 years of education that my mom gave me at home were an astounding gift. I am best friends with my family, I had time in high school to pursue the passions that my friends had to give up, and I made it to post-secondary with a love for learning instead of a weary tolerance for taking in and spitting out material.

    That’s not to say you’ll do this for all your kids’ school years. I just wanted you to know that it’s worth it, for one year or thirteen.

  3. I’m right there with you on being selfish. It’s my biggest struggle. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Oh, the kids need to be bathed and put to bed with songs and stories? Guess I’m not gonna read all those killer blogs in Google Reader tonight.

    Also, I’m a product of homeschooling and most would say I turned out alright. ;) Good on you for giving it a shot.

  4. This is not a confession.

    But, I thought, as I read your post, that perhaps you’re like me in that (well, maybe this is a confession) you don’t really like to undertake anything in which your success is in question??

    It took me until about our fourth year of homeschooling until I didn’t feel like a fish out of water, and I felt mostly confident about my abilities. Unfortunately, like many other worthwhile undertakings, the beautiful fruit of homeschooling isn’t ripe for a number of years.

    This is our (gasp!)tenth year, which *I* would never have imagined, on the outset. It’s only been in the last 3-4 years that the fruit has been really visible to others and undeniable by me.

    One note: If you’re not already doing so, mandate a quiet time for Riley, daily. Once our kids are too big for naps, I transition them directly into a 90 minute quiet time, daily. If they come out, it’s an added 15 minutes (within reason and with your own judgement). I separate each kid to their own room and they can read, draw, do puzzles, or other very quiet, independent play. It has ensured my sanity. It is amazing how much I need, and how much I benefit from that daily hour-and-a-half of un-kid-focused quiet time. It’s quiet time for THEM, and it’s quiet time for ME. It does give me a little tic when moms start going on about “me time” — I hate that, frankly. But, truth be told, especially if your kids are home with you virtually 24/7, you do need to set some boundaries to give yourself some time and breathing space to focus on things that can’t be done whilst reading a picture book or teaching handwriting, even if it’s just catching up on your blog reader while sipping an icy drink. :) OK, so maybe this is more than just one tip, but I do my very best to get all of my mom & school jobby-type stuff done before quiet time starts so I can really vege out, with no guilty conscience, during that time, because I know all my other responsibilities are taken care of.

    I’m proud of you!

  5. I have strong misgivings about home schooling, or even private Christian schools. I realize that there are some valid reasons for doing it, but overall I don’t think that, as Christians, it’s what God wants. I know it is risky sending your kids to public school, but how are we as Christians supposed to engage with and influence the world for God if we isolate ourselves from it? I know we can go and bang on doors and try to evangelize people, but we all know how well that works. How better to engage with the world than to have your kids grow up with the neighborhood kids and be involved in their lives on a daily basis? Christians already have too much of a fortress mentality. I realize this isn’t really what you were looking for as far as comments, but it’s my two cents worth.

    1. Should we send our American soldiers to the Taliban to be trained? Imagine 13 years of training in the enemy camp> What book is that soldier going to be trained with? American values or Taliban? Would you now expect that soldier to defend America? Would you want him retrained first? Is he going to be able to unlearn everything he was taught? How are those anti-American ideals going to affect his thoughts, beliefs and actions?
      Sending a child, that has not fully developed an understanding of their faith, without the intellectual capacity to defend it is going to be influenced by the environment we put him in. There is no way that a kid is going to come out without some retraining to be done, when the majority of the time a child is awake is spent with a government imposed institution telling them that the beliefs they have are wrong. (Tolerate everything except Christianity…) Home-schoolers engage in the world much more than most public or private school kids do. Not all parents are called to home educate. Not all are willing to make the sacrifices when they are called. Raising a maiden of virtue or a man of valor is so much harder when the environment they are is working against you. We started our homeschool journey 10 years ago. We graduated our first this month. Our oldest did go to public school for K- half of third. Three schools later, we “thew in the towel” trying to make the “system” accommodate our beliefs and values. I’m glad we made the sacrifices necessary to teach them “at home.”

      1. Elizabeth,
        I understand your analogy here, but I have to admit, I think it is a bit extreme to compare the public school system to a Taliban training camp. Those who are unfamiliar with homeschooling, if they were to read that, might think homeschoolers really are just scared and afraid, trying to insulate themselves from society.

        However, it seems that your heart was to raise children of “valor” which is admirable and I think in line with God’s will for our children.

        I think we have to choose and pray about homeschooling our children for the right reasons. God, and Jesus-loving parents, are certainly capable of producing children of valor within the public school system.

        If it weren’t for a few Christian kids in my own public high school who shared the Gospel with me, I might not have come to know the Lord. Praying about exactly where God wants our kids and when, has become my practice. I can still enter homeschooling reluctantly, but at least I know it is where God is calling me.

  6. Nicole. I must admit that that is the most thoughtful, balanced, response I have ever seen from a homeschooler. It’s almost enough to make me change my mind :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *