Homeschooling is hard, and sometimes you'll think you're a complete failure at it. That’s normal.
I don’t believe in supermoms who are able to get through homeschooling their kids day in and day out with all smiles and laughter and joy — no matter how great a parent you are, homeschooling will test your strengths in all new ways, and really show you what you’re made of.
Homeschooling my disabled tween is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but in a way it’s also one of the most rewarding.
I know that my daughter doens't belong in public school so I took it upon myself to facilitate her education in the best ways I know how.
But like I keep saying, it’s hard.
Homeschooling tests my patience every day, and some days I don’t think I can get through it.
Mostly, because so many days are exactly the same.
We have our routine because my daughter needs routine, and I stick to it even if I’d rather just say “oh, forget it, we can do this tomorrow,” because I know that it’s important for her, even though sometimes it feels like it’s killing me.
I call it ‘homeschooling fatigue’ because there’s just no other way to put it — sometimes I just get tired of being the one solely responsible for trying to get my daughter to learn new things.
But, here we are, a year and a half later, and we’re still carrying on, because I’ve found a few ways to deal and get through it.
I’ve realized there’s no one right way to do it.
Every homeschooler does things differently for their child. There’s no manual for homeschooling like there is curriculum in schools, so we have to just make it up as we go along.
I had my daughter doing a combination of online schooling and some of what I call ‘unschooling’ which for us is a lot of reading and working on life skills that she is going to need in the future, but even then, my plans changed.
I realized that my daughter wasn’t getting anything out of her online social studies program — it was just too advanced for her, even at an adjusted, lower grade level, and it was taking her forever to read and comprehend what she was reading, and so I decided to approach it differently.
I scrapped the online social studies and went out and got a lot of age appropriate history books and I’ve been reading them and forming my own questions for her to answer, and since then she’s been enjoying reading about history and doing well writing answers in her own words.
When something doesn’t work and you’re both frustrated as hell — change it!
That’s one of the beauties of homeschooling — you get to decide what your child learns, and how.
I’ve realized there are going to be really bad days.
After all this time, I know that some days are just not going to work out.
Even as an adult, there have been days when I just don’t feel like doing what I am supposed to do.
I’ve canceled appointments and stayed home because I haven’t felt like going out of the house, and I’ve called out of work before just because I don’t feel like going.
There’s no reason to believe that my daughter won’t have days like that herself, when she just doesn’t want to do the work and will fight with all of her being against me until I give in and give her the day off.
When we have really bad day, sometimes I give in and let it go.
I relent, and that’s okay.
In the end, it’s better for us and our relationship if we aren’t constantly fighting about school.
Math is not the mountain I want us to die on.
I know that this isn’t forever.
When we’re having those bad days, it helps me to remind myself that this isn’t forever.
I have plans for her to go to a special needs high school, and that is only a year and a half away.
Then, she will be in the care of professionals who know how to teach kids with disabilities, and will be with peers who hopefully will become her friends.
When we are struggling, there’s nothing more helpful than envisioning that light at the end of the tunnel.
Yes, there are definitely days when I think I’ve made the wrong choice to homeschool, that I can’t handle it, that I’m doing us both a disservice… but then I remind myself:
I know I’m doing what’s right for my child.
And there is the crux of it.
No matter how hard it is, no matter how many bad days we have, no matter how many times I want to throw in the towel and give up, I know that homeschooling is what is best for my child right now.
That belief is what keeps me going on the hardest of days.
When I feel like I can’t bear one more lesson on fractions or hear one more complaint about an hour of reading a day (when I’d be happy if I could read all day, every day), I remind myself again that I chose this path for a reason, because it is the best one for her.
That’s part of parenting, right?
Sometimes you have to put your child’s needs before your own.
Even though I don’t always want to do this, even though I often feel like giving up, I know that I can’t, because this is what is right for her, and it’s my job as her mom to do the best I can for her.
Even though I’m really, really tired of it.
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