Homeschooling Woes…

I want to share something that is more serious than I am use to doing (I don’t like to be serious too much).

I feel the need to share what I have been feeling for quite some time, about homeschooling. For background info, we have been homeschooling 4 years now. 4 long years.

I was really starting have a strong disdain for homeschooling. As I sit and ponder why, lots of things come to mind. So I will share those here in a minute. I think it all started my second year of schooling. The first year I ever homeschooled or had a blog, I was picked to be a reviewer with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Yes, I was on the first Voyage as they call it. I was excited at first. I was getting to try lots of free curriculum, and that was great since we were on a very tight budget. But at the end, or maybe even middle, of the year I was so overwhelmed. I received several big in-depth curriculum all at once, or just too many at once. I was very overwhelmed and and stressed out, and I could tell my reviews were getting very “crappy” if you will. I started to just want to get them done and over with because there were so many different things, I felt I couldn’t keep up. After all, I was in  my first year of homeschooling. And we all know how difficult your first year can be on its own.

Then comes second year. I didn’t get to stay on as a reviewer, which I was a little sad but happy about it. I was asked to help review ebooks that next year. Then something happened. Rejection! I was not receiving any thing else to review. That made my emotional state worse. I felt I must be horrible as a writer or reviewer that they weren’t sending me anything else. I know my grammar is not always perfect, but no one is perfect. This really started me feeling bitter and angry about homeschooling. I thought homeschooling was suppose to be fulfilling (I have yet to see it). I will say I get excited at new curriculum, I mostly love the beginning of the school year so I can look at all the new curriculum, and I WAS a curriculum hoarder until I really get frustrated and started setting my self up for “giving up” on it.

So here are some of the things that really started festering over the past few years and have made me not want to homeschool.

  • Kids not into learning as much as I had hoped. I had lots of hopes and dreams of us sitting around reading together, doing activities together, listening to audio books and stories, experiments, pretty much what other moms want. I am sure this comes from residual public school tendencies. If they never would have been in public school, they probably would have been a lot closer and want to do more learning because its fun. Which I think kids are programmed some how to think education is boring when they are in public schools.
  • Budget issues (which I get told a budget but then it dwindles week by week). Every year I spend hours and hours poring over catalogs and online pages of curriculum on my WISH list. I mean I spend hours looking and researching. But what comes up most of the time, I can’t buy what I want. I end up settling for curriculum that is just the cheapest. Not the curriculum that fits my children’s learning styles. Curriculum that doesn’t fit us, and so we end up not liking it, which makes them not want to do it even more, and I feel like its holding them back. 
  • Budget issues again. we can’t spend money on extra things like field trips. My hubby has been laid off a lot (he is in the construction field and there is not much of that going on) so when we do have extra money, we are saving it for the next time. 
  • Doing unit studies really frustrates me. We try them and sometimes its good and sometimes it ends in disaster.
  • Feeling snubbed by other homeschoolers online and in person. I am such a quiet person but when you finally ask someone if they would like to get together, and they don’t respond, makes you feel worse, especially a shy person who is afraid to talk to people.
  • When I first started blogging, I read that if you want people to read your blog, then you read their blogs and leave comments. You should be friendly and positve about the post you are reading. I did that, A LOT of it. And still no one spent time reading or commenting on my blog. So then I felt I must be writing bad blog posts. So I stopped writing posts about homeschooling and started using this blog for family to read in other states. Then I started doing book reviews and product giveaways, so that helped bring in people, but only so they could win something. People still don’t really read this blog. Well I do have some readers, Thank You! readers that actually do come here and read my ramblings. 
  • Plus we have had some extended family drama going on for a long time and even though it is not connected with my homeschooling, it bled over in to it by way of my emotional state, stressed, depressed, and all those other things that went along with all that. I have really had a rough last 4 years. Living in this state I am in, has been full of drama. I have never had so much drama from others in my entire life. I don’t know what it is. But I will be glad to move from here really soon. This place breeds drama. Its not my drama, its everyone else’s, and it happens to be drudged into my life from others to include me. And I am a solitary person. I like piece and quiet!  I can’t wait for heaven!
There are some positives and things we have learned. Most I think are things that matter in life more than memorizing facts that you never use. I really could start on our looking more into unschooling, which I am considering for most subjects. 
So here are some things we have learned:
  • How to learn what interests us. The girls have learned to be self taught on things they want to learn about. Not spoon fed everything. 
  • Cooking from scratch is something they love to do.
  • We all learned to knit, some of us better than others 🙂 and Kiki likes Knitting better
  • I taught them to crochet, but Dede likes crochet better.
  • We do have bible studies with Dad at night and the girls even ask to do it.
  • They also get to learn about life, real life, not public school “surrounded by only kids their own age” life.
  • They learn how to interact with adults, because after all they will be adults forever and not little kids. 
  • They have learned things from all the curriculum we have tried. But I do feel that they are getting older, their education is, and should be, getting better, and learning more. 
Even with all the homeschooling bitterness I have been carrying, I still think it is way better than institutional schooling. My girls don’t have to be told when to eat, go to the bathroom, what to learn when… because I like that they can learn what ever subject they want. The smartest and wealthiest people are who they are because they have been self taught on more subjects than they learned, and forgot, in the public school system. 
Learning doesn’t stop when you leave school/college, it keeps going, if you want to better your self. 
I was totally getting off on another subject. 
This is just some of the thoughts I have been having. I am changing those thoughts back to positive and making a plan to change things.

One thing I am going to change, is going back to posting more real posts here. True, Honest, posts about our lives. If you want to read it you do, if not, then you won’t. But I am not going to let it stress me out.

Right now I am reading a book that is giving me a renweal on my homeschooling outlook. Maybe that is why I started talking more positive at the end.

The book is by Barbra Frank and called Beginnings and you can see it by clicking on HERE.
http://barbarafrankonline.com/blog.php/2012/01/27/stages-of-homeschooling-beginnings/

You should check it out. I will do a post on it when I am finished reading it.

Later Gator!

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