Doing it all: The hardest part of Amida’s homeschool year


Written by Amida of journey into unschooling.

Homeschooling should be a piece of cake. Spend time with the kids. Surround yourself with books and educational materials. Go places. Learn together, every day, 24/7.

But sometimes, let’s face it — filling in all those hours is a drag.

Kids have the uncanny ability to drive you nuts, the laundry never seems to end, and the house is never clean enough. Add to that the pick-up and drop-off schedules of every person in the family, the inadequate food supply (because teenagers eat everything), and the never appropriate question of what’s for dinner (just stop asking and eat).

And oh yeah, you are totally responsible for educating them at some point in the day. No pressure.

I find that the hardest part of homeschooling is the expectations, real or otherwise. In addition to all the other household responsibilities, I feel I always have to be in learning mode, especially when someone directly asks me “what did you do for school today?”

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The unexpected gift of homeschooling


Written by Rozanne Dioso-Lopez of Tomfoolery and Shenanigans

During a recent bedtime tuck-in, my daughter was restless. She was already tossing and turning before I turned off the light.

I asked, “What’s up?”

She said, “Mama, I can’t sleep. I keep thinking of all the things to draw but I don’t know which one to draw first tomorrow.”

I smiled one of those all-knowing mama smiles and said, “Draw them all. Take as much time as you need.”

She hugs me and breathes a sigh of relief and settles herself into bed.

It is moments like these when I am grateful for homeschooling.

I am reminded of the most important gift that homeschooling has given my family, and more importantly, the gift I have given my children.

It is the gift of TIME.

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Being outnumbered by babies and toddlers: The hardest part of Sarah’s homeschool year


Written by Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things

No one likes to be outnumbered. If you’re in a soccer match and the other team has more players on the field than you, it feels like defeat before you begin.

I don’t just have more children than I do hands- I have more children than I do appendages. Juggling three kids under three while trying to teach my older three (13, 11, 9) was my biggest struggle last year, and it was a doozy, if I do say so myself.

And I do.

Being outnumbered is daunting enough. But to have three toddlers? All at once? That’s a madhouse even if you aren’t trying to teach the oldest pre-algebra and cover the details and implications of The Louisiana Purchase at the same time.

My friend Trina recently said that the difference between surviving and thriving is the simple act of savoring… there is always something sweet worth leaning into. And I think she’s right.

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Homeschooling an angry child: The hardest part of Jamie’s homeschool year

Homeschooling an angry child The hardest part of Jamie's homeschool year
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom, with the permission of my angry child, who “hopes this story will help others”

The whining starts before breakfast. It rapidly escalates to full-blown screaming, and we never know how long it will last.

Maybe ten minutes, twenty, or thirty. Maybe one hour.

On our worst days, maybe two.

When it’s over, the heartfelt remorse finally kicks in:

“Sorry, Mommy.”

The hardest part of my homeschool year

Then it’s damage control and recovery time:

How many things have been thrown and need to be cleaned up? Is anything broken? Our nervous systems now shot (especially my highly sensitive one), we may or may not continue with our learning rhythm for the day. It depends on whether or not we can pick up the pieces–literally and emotionally.

“Hi, my name is Jamie, and I homeschool a child with anger issues.”
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Working from home & homeschooling: The hardest part of Kara’s homeschool year


Written by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera

I was laid off from my job as a newspaper editor the day I turned nine months pregnant with my first child.

I remember trying to carry my box of desk-junk and pilfered Swingline stapler out to my car. What the heck am I going to do now, I wondered.

Months before, I had worked out a sweet deal with my boss for a 12-week maternity leave, followed by working from home, then going back just a day or two a week.

But our company was purchased and I was let go, told I was welcome to submit a resume again after my baby was born.

(I like to think that that’s why I took the stapler.)

I freaked out a little, but when my son was born I realized just how lucky I was. I had an opportunity to reinvent myself.

I started to consider freelancing. I applied a few places and got some writing work.

I’ve been working in some form or fashion ever since (taking a short break when my daughter was born three years later).

Freelance writing was a great fit for a mom of littles. I would get a job, followed by a month or so of silence. Just when I was convinced my phone would never ring again, I’d get another assignment.

It was very manageable. Until last year.

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