Homeschooling Isn’t All Gold Stars and Happy Faces

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My kids and I finished our 8th year of homeschooling two weeks ago. It was the very best year we’ve ever had, in spite of being interrupted by endless sessions of editing my book and then launching the book in March, complete with lots of interviews and excitement.

As I think about our 8 years as a homeschooling family, I have to be honest. It hasn’t all been happy faces and gold stars. There are some downsides that not many of us like to talk about.

  1. At times, your children will be outsiders. They won’t be hip to all the latest fashion trends, video games, music, and fads. Many of these are fun and harmless, but it will be your kids who may seem like the odd man out because they won’t fit in.
  2. Sometimes you will be the outsider as other moms talk about the teachers at their kids’ school and which sports their kids are into this year.
  3. There will be times when school will be no fun at all. For anyone.
  4. You’ll have to listen to public school parents brag about their kids being accepted into gifted programs and how great their kid’s school is. You might detect a bit of defensiveness but it wouldn’t be polite to point that out.
  5. Sometimes virtual strangers will confront your decision to homeschool. “You can’t shelter them forever, you know.” Yes, I was told that when I informed someone I would be homeschooling our 5-year-old.
  6. You’ll spend a lot of time second guessing yourself:
    1. Should we have chosen that other curriculum?
    2. Am I doing enough?
    3. Am I doing too little?
    4. Are my kids well-adjusted?
    5. I thought homeschooled kids weren’t shy but my daughter is. What did I do WRONG???

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