The Hardest Part of My Homeschool Year

I have thoroughly appreciated the Simple Homeschool series about the hardest part of its contributors’ homeschool years. There are so many posts where I thought, “Yes! Me too!” I’ve shared some of my favorites in this space.
hardest homeschool year
Even the posts that I didn’t immediately identify with were encouraging. After all, it’s nice to be reassured that these homeschool writers we admire or look up to don’t have everything figured out or Pinterest-perfect lives.

As I read through the series, I tried to think what the hardest part of my year might be.

I could write about:

  • homeschooling and parenting six children from a Newborn to a Teen
  • the challenge of homeschooling an easily distracted child.
  • homeschooling an angry child.
  • the creativity required when homeschooling on a tight budget
  • homeschooling when you feel guilty about not bringing in an income.
  • the loneliness of homeschooling alone – when it seems like you’re the only ones homeschooling
  • or homeschooling in a tight living space

I’m sure I could come up with more possibilities. (And hey, some of those might make great future blog posts!)

But that’s not the hardest part of my homeschool year.

The hardest part is…me.

I am the hardest part of homeschooling.

(You may be thinking this sounds like G.K. Chesterton’s response to the “what’s wrong with the world” newspaper story where he wrote the editor simply, “I am.” Well, I have had Chesterton on the brain recently.)

I love to make plans.

I love to fill in calendars and notebooks. But executing on those plans is sometimes another question entirely.

I love my children.

They are truly my six favorite young people on the planet. I adore them so much it can hurt my heart sometimes.

But then their little (or big) wishes and desires come head to head against mine and we have conflict.

I love learning.

Books have been my refuge, my joy, and my inspiration since I learned to read.

But then, I have a lazy tendency in my nature too. I could sit down with a book OR I could fritter away my time with other things. And alas, frittering wins out too often.

I can start a homeschool year full of ambition.

We will cover every subject known to man.

And we will rise up when it’s dark and go to bed in the small hours and not sit down in between.

Certainly we will maintain a perfect home.

And absolutely we will eat fully nutritious meals all three meals, every day.

I will always respond patiently. I will know the answers.

And then reality smacks me in the face.

We have to sleep sometime.

No one has ever, in the history of mankind, covered every subject.

Eight people living in a home cannot hope to have every room completely clean at a given moment.

Sometimes supper is pizza or takeout, because One. More. Thing. will break all of us.

Where do these ridiculous expectations come from, anyway?

Not my husband.

Definitely not my children.

I don’t have many close friends who homeschool and the ones I have will admit they’re not perfect.

I know enough about blogging and homeschooling to trust that the homeschoolers I read about online aren’t perfect either.

So, I know that perfection doesn’t need to be the standard.

But what about the flip side of that? What about the part of me that is prone to laziness?

What if I’ve come up with a routine (not schedule) that works for us, but then I don’t make it happen? I’m the one getting in the way there, too.

Plans are fantastic, but they have to be realistic and they have to be implemented.

They may have to be changed if they’re not working and I may have to kick myself in the, erm, seat of my pants (metaphorically speaking) to get moving if I’m just wasting time or avoiding responsibility.

I have to allow for rest, for the children and myself.

For sure I have to remember that toddlers are different from teenagers and each of my children has unique needs and wishes.

My desire to learn all the things must be balanced with the reality of a limited amount of time.

I have to actually get up and get the books (put on the DVD, start the program…) when it’s time to teach.

Even the Apostle Paul knew this struggle. After all, he’s the one who wrote (inspired by the Holy Spirit):

For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
(Romans 7:19 ESV)

And all of the potential challenges I listed at the beginning of my post, those just are (or have been) realities of our life. How I respond to those challenges is the real problem or real triumph.

What’s wrong with our homeschool? There are probably a lot of answers to that.

But the simplest is “I am.” Fortunately, I am the one person that I can control, with the Holy Spirit’s help.

Controlling myself is a class I will never graduate and probably the most valuable lesson, of many, homeschooling is going to teach me.

What a gift that the hardest part of my homeschool year may also be the most beneficial.

Favorite Homeschooling Resources:

Simplified Organization
Notebooking Pages Free Resources
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hardest part of my homeschool year

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  1. Ayup. Completely identify.

  2. Yes! This is definitely me as well! I already slacked off on our monthly theme for August and am trying to just adjust as I go along. Good luck!

  3. Beautiful post!