When I was homeschooling, one of the most difficult parts was being able to afford curriculum. There wasn’t much available in the 80’s, but I needed to buy the math books (we used Saxon — I only recommend the books for grades 6-12), the chemistry, biology, and physics books/videos/equipment (Apologia didn’t exist at that time, but later on we were able to help Dr. Wile with testing the Biology curriculum), the Latin curriculum (we used Artes Latinae), the logic books (Critical Thinking Press), and music lessons. For the rest of the subjects I used a variety of sources such as libraries and old books — which is actually how I preferred it. It’s my observation, though, that figuring out how to afford curriculum is one of the most common difficulties of homeschooling.
Another difficulty was the cooking — how to get meals on the table, especially since I was pretty particular about what we ate. No sugar, no white flour, no pre-prepared foods — I think I might have been a bit overly particular. I solved that problem by teaching my three girls how to cook (starting at age ten), and they took that job over completely. I gave them total jurisdiction over the kitchen, which suited me just fine.
Also, it seemed like we had to spend a good deal of time in conflict resolution — addressing problems as they came up. How to live peaceably with one another when you’re living in close proximity with brothers and sisters and mother and father 24/7 — that is a true challenge. It’s hard for all of us, and those who don’t appear to have this problem are just good at hiding things.
Here’s another difficulty — one that can drag even the strongest person down and is especially hard for women to handle — dealing with the rejection and disapproval of friends and relatives. When we started homeschooling in the late ’70’s — well, you can probably imagine what most people were thinking. I don’t remember being too bothered by it, though, mainly because my husband and I were 100% united on the issue plus we quickly made many friends who were also homeschooling. If you surround yourself with people who oppose and disapprove of what you do, you will quickly experience homeschool burn-out.
I have two special “wishes” for homeschooling families — no, wait, I have three:
1. Don’t be afraid to get help when you need it, and EVERYBODY needs help once in awhile — help with an academic or learning difficulty, help in a marriage, help with a personal problem, help with an addiction.
2. Read to your kids, even when they’re way too old to sit in your lap.
3. Don’t just study the “regular” subjects. Mom, study things that interest you. Like pottery or genealogy. Bring the kids along with you as you learn.
OK, I guess I have four:
4. This is one you won’t want to hear but I’m going to say it anyway……. maybe I’ll save it for another time. You probably know what I’m going to say anyway. It starts with a T and ends with a V.
What do you see as the most difficult part of homeschooling?