Thursday, October 14, 2010

On the Other Hand

Homeschooling is one of the greatest decisions we ever made for our family.
On the other hand, it is one of the hardest things I've ever done.

Usually, my facebook posts (and those of many of my homeschooling friends') contain all the sun-shiny things we get to do because we homeschool.  Like, "we did all of our school outside today!" or "we took a field trip to play in the park!".
On the other hand, I know that I've never posted something like "I just yelled 'For the love of ALL that is HOLY--DO! YOUR! MATH!   NOW!' at the top of my lungs at my son."

Homeschooling allows all my children to be home with me and with each other all the time.
On the other hand, homeschooling, for our family, means that all of us are home with each other pretty much all the time.

Because we homeschool, I get to see "the lights come on" when a child finally grasps a concept we've been working on.
On the other hand, when things are still dim, I'm the one who has to figure out whether to keep on the same path with that child, or try a new avenue.

With all my children home, I have helpers with my younger kids for playtime and some school time.
On the other hand, I admit that sometimes I'm a bit envious of all the "alone time" other moms get when their kids are at school/daycare.

There are so many different aspects of homeschooling--and home education will look different in each home.  I try to remind myself of that all the time.

Sometimes I think, "if only it could quiet down a bit around here right now so Nathaniel could concentrate on his Algebra."
On the other hand, how many 9th graders get to do Algebra with "CAN SOMEBODY COME WIPE MEEEE??????!!!" resonating in the background?

Many moms look forward to snow days...stormy days with no school.
On the other hand, at our house we take "way-too-nice-to-be-inside days" and play ball on the yard, or take our work out on a blanket and read together. We use stormy, blustery days to get a lot of work done.

Some days, what I wouldn't give to have a lunch lady at our home.
On the other hand, I get to teach real-life skills to the kids by having them help with meal preparation.

I guess I'm just trying to keep it real.
There are moments (hours?) of mayhem in our homeschooling household.
It isn't always rosy.
It isn't always pretty.
It isn't always orderly.
It certainly isn't easy.

On the other hand, I know I will never regret our decision.
Even when it's hard.


  1. Melissa,
    I live in Minnesota, too! We are just starting to homeschool and I'm wondering what advice you would have for me as we begin. I'm scared as scared can be! Thanks for all of your great posts!
    Zimmerman, MN

  2. Nicki:
    First--don't be scared!! Homeschooling rather naturally follows being a mother. It's teaching, all the time, how to to to to get to count/add/'s just life, really.
    When I first started homeschooing six years ago, I went online and requested every free catalog I could get my hands on so that I could read, read, read about all the different methods of homeschooling.
    Are you pulling any kids from public school or just starting to do school with your oldest (as in, never-been-to-public-school)?
    Home education is so much more than "school at home". I've heard it called "home-based Christian discipleship." I like that description.
    I would recommend two websites to you: and
    I belong to both of these organizations and find them to be a wealth of information.
    My personal curriculum recommendation would be Sonlight. I LOVE it.
    Another would be Five in a Row. I am using both of these currently. I'll think some more about what else to tell you...for now I'd better get my dishes washed!
    Thanks for reading!


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