The hardest part of YOUR homeschool year: A reader linkup

The hardest part of your homeschool year: a reader linkup
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

Sometimes the image of homeschooling online appears bright, peaceful, and glittery.

Very much opposite of real-life homeschooling, which can be loud, messy and downright difficult at times.

This summer we’ve written about what makes homeschooling hard: from homeschooling with depression, to homeschooling an angry child, to homeschooling teens and much more.

As a site whose mission is to “deliver regular doses of homeschooling inspiration, confidence, and freedom to parents worldwide,” my contributors and I feel like it’s important to write vulnerably–so you know you aren’t alone.

The hardest part of my homeschool year

We’re hoping that since we’ve opened up, you’ll feel safe to do likewise. Burdens are meant to be shared, after all.

So feel free to link up your own hardest part of my homeschool year post using the linky below. (If you don’t have a blog, please share in the comments section.)

Let us know: What’s been the hardest part of your past homeschool year, and what are the steps you’re taking to deal with/overcome it?

Note: You’re only given 50 characters to describe your post.

So in the name section, write your name and just one or two words to describe the hardest part of your homeschool year. For example: “Jamie – angry child,” “Kara – work at home,” or “Shawna – depression.” That will help readers look for specific advice at a glance.

Thank you so much for being a part of this series! If you haven’t had time to write your post yet, no worries!

This linkup will stay open for an entire month, so feel free to come back and add your link within that time.

(If you’re reading this post in an email or reader and want to check out everyone’s links, just click here to go to the blog.)


Let’s help those burdens grow lighter by distributing their weight!

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She is the co-founder and editor of Simple Homeschool, where she writes about mindful parenting, intentional education, and the joy found in a pile of books. Jamie is also the author of a handful of titles, including her newest release, Give Your Child the World.


  1. I would say the hardest part of homeschooling last year was feeling like I was doing it all alone, and dealing with some emotional issues (possibly depression) – it was very hard to drag myself out of bed in the morning and “punch in,” as it were. Being an introvert, dealing with kids 24/7 is exhausting.

    This year, getting started has been challenging because I just had a miscarriage, which has added its own emotional burdens.
    Karla’s latest post: It Is Well

  2. The hardest part is questioning myself, thinking that I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m going to mess up my kids. I feel afraid most of the time.

  3. Michelle O. says:

    I just spent this past year homeschooling our four kids alone as my military husband was outside the country for the whole year (we saw him four times in the year). The hardest part was feeling so overwhelmed with not only the homeschooling part but just trying to keep it all together. I was so tired all.the.time (and dealing with adrenal fatigue brought on by the stress, plus food intolerances, etc, etc). Our youngest has Down Syndrome and although he is considered high functioning, there are still a lot of appointments (not to mention the extra needs 🙂 ) As an introvert, being available 24/7 (no family nearby and we were new to this area) was incredibly challenging.

  4. Praying for you Mommas, hang in there. Sunshine
    Sunshine – fear’s latest post: The hardest part

    • Jaime scharf says:

      Me to a T. At least we are in good company. And now I have another book to add to my list :). Teaching from Rest-sounds like an essential.

  5. I have three grown sons and two daughters adopted from China, that I homeschool. Both of our daughters were considered special needs and had surgeries to correct those.
    But both daughters have significant learning challenges! This is the hardest part of homeschooling for me! We recently found out that our youngest daughter had some type of brain injury. We’ve seen some specialists but they have not been clear on what kind of expectations we should have. So, we rely a lot on prayer and are very thankful that both of our daughters are very sweet and helpful!

    • I can relate to your feeling of uncertainty, Jenny with our own adoption journeys and issues. I’ve found that taking things one day at a time is really the only way! God bless you and yours…

  6. Hardest part of my homeschool Journey would be the fact that I can’t talk about it outside my own home. My friends and family are so against it we act like it doesn’t exist just to avoid arguing about it, now to top that with having two 3 month olds joining in on the fun

    • That would be so hard, Michelle. Sending out a prayer of peace for you and yours today.

    • I would encourage you to find some new friends within your local homeschool community to provide moral support for homeschooling – join a co-op or park days or something like that. Our family is all long distance. Our local friends don’t homeschool so don’t particularly care and certainly have no interest in talking about it. It’s been a God-send to find a co-op (it took over a year and 3 different co-op groups – it doesn’t happen instantly) in which we found 3 or 4 other families as our “tribe.” I hope you can find something similar that meets your needs!
      treen’s latest post: New York Hall of Science and the Queens zoo

  7. For me the hardest part is the isolation and family members who are opposed. We have one car and live about 20 minutes away from husband’s work so that can be difficult. It is not feasible to keep it every day. Our area has very few homeschooling families and no support group. We also rent due to a move and job loss so I am missing home ownership and our own yard and space.

  8. This past year the hardest part has been dealing with my very frustrated 17 year old. She is at the age where she wants to start living life on her own terms. But she has dyslexia and is very emotionally immature and is not capable of functioning at a 17 year olds level. Because of this she can’t get a job and her first foray into TAFE (kind of like a technical school) ended with a boy sexually harassing her and her withdrawing from the course after only 4 days. Add to this the violent temper tantrums that are a feature of her frustration. There is 11 years between her and my next child who is 6 followed by a 3 year old. she is not capable of babysitting her younger siblings for more than 10 minutes because of her volatile behaviour. BUT even with all of that drama homeschooling her and my younger children is a peaceful existence when compared to the 11 years of mainstream school we endured.
    Erin’s latest post: Chicken, Sweet Potato and Coconut Casserole

  9. The hardest part for me was homeschooling while dealing/working on marriage troubles.
    Balancing and finding time for my husband and me while homeschooling, raising young family.

  10. For us- organization.
    I’m a very late, unorganized person. We missed our first night of cub scouts today because I had the time wrong. It’s frustrating for everyone, so I’ve been reading up on how to better my ways, and I’m using my phone alarm for more than just waking up. I’m a work in progress 🙂
    I’ve very proud of how I’ve organized this year and our curriculum though!
    Olivia W.’s latest post: Meal Planning Monday

  11. Hardest part is homeschooling a child who doesn’t want me for a mom and is mad her bio-mom isn’t in my place. The fighting, the tears, the mind games, and destruction get unbearable. Have definitely wondered quite a few times whether we should just send her to school but come back to it’ll only trade one set of problems for another. I also get depression but under my circumstances I think that can only be normal, right?

    • Huge hugs, Jamie. I don’t know if it is appropriate to make a suggestion, but I have been following Hand in Hand Parenting and there is a lot there to address issues as you describe, because it sounds like your daughter might have feelings of rejection by her bio mom and she takes it out on you. That is so very hard for both of you. You sound like a very caring mamma.
      Nicola’s latest post: another turn around the sun

    • Oh my heart hurts reading this, Jamie. It hits close to home – may God surround you with peace one moment at a time and shower you and your daughter with healing and favor.

  12. The hardest part of my homeschool year has been changes. My husband was deployed and when he returned my father was diagnosed with cancer. I tried to still do as much school as we could when all I wanted to do was cry. Then my brother was arrested for some things I would rather not discuss and the whole family was shocked. We live in Nevada and the rest of the family lives in Wisconsin so we made a trip in June and tried to get back into our routine, and then my grandpa passed away. I didn’t get a chance to go home for that, but in early August my dad passed away and I stayed behind to help deal with my grandfather’s estate and found out my mom now has cancer (uterine which was caught early and curable). The guilt of not doing as much school as we should gets overwhelming at times.

  13. Can’t really blog this but honestly, the hardest thing about homeschooling has been the tug-of-war between my husband and me over raising our children. He wants very precise school-at-home complete with standardized tests, and I’m clear at the other end of the spectrum with child-led projects. We’re still trying to find our middle after 4 years.
    treen’s latest post: New York Hall of Science and the Queens zoo

  14. The hardest part …. when Daddy dies. Two years ago my husband was diagnosed with cancer and our world has been in utter turmoil since then. Wearing the hats of wife, mama, nurse and one-who-must-hold-it-all-together has stretched me pretty far. I have learned to embrace unschooling like never before as I’ve watched my children (ages 9 and 6) learn despite the gloom and doom and unstructured world they were forced to live in the past two years. Korey passed away in June and we are trying to put back some pieces but … it’s hard. We keep going because there really isn’t another choice but to go forward, but we’ve got a pretty dark shadow over many of our days.
    Roxy’s latest post: bb gun love

    • Oh, Roxy. My heart breaks for you and your children. An unbearable loss. Thoughts, light, and love.
      Nicola’s latest post: another turn around the sun

    • Jaime scharf says:

      No words, really, Roxy. Just prayers for you and yours.

    • Oh Roxy. No, no, no – so much for you to bear. I’m so deeply sorry for your loss and your children’s loss. Holding your hurt with you in this moment and asking God’s grace to be upon you one day at a time. Embracing unschooling sounds so wise considering the season you’re in right now.

      Chances are your kids are both still in Core Phase with all that has happened, so perhaps a read of this post will just confirm that you’re on the right path, doing what they most need right now despite what lessons do or don’t get done:

  15. Jaime scharf says:

    I don’t really want to blog it since part of my trouble involves my family. The hardest part for my years has been a son who baulks at traditional school and my parents who are educators (and highly adept at what they do). I constantly compare and measure myself against an impossible standard and pressure my son to do more than he is able. I have often taken his obstinate stance towards lessons as a personal affront/disobedience and it had taken me a long time to realize he is simply acting out of his insecurities. This year I have completely changed my approach which is so contrary to my former thinking and my parents’ ideas on education-but something I have been on my face in prayer over for a long time. I have fought against making changes because they are so “untested” and “out of the box”. I have derived much encouragement and wisdom from this blog, Jamie, to which I praise my Lord for. Because He often uses your blog to reach me in my duress. I have also struggled with chronic fatigue for four years that has greatly interfered with my plans. It has forced me to live in a “trapped” way. So much I want to do and get done and so little I can do. But the Lord has allowed this for His purposes, too. I just don’t know what. I am approaching this school year with optimism for the first time. My oldest is 8 and I figured after my first year of homeschooling him I would have a great system all figured out for us. Well, not sure when that will happen. But we are incorporating more unschooling approach this yeae which I am excited about.

  16. The hardest part of this homeschooling year? Hmm, well, at first I thought it was simply going to be learning how to teach a third grader and a kindergartener. Then life got more complicated when my husband made the decision to quit his job so we could push forward on a dream we’ve had for years. The first step to make this dream happen is to finish the addition on our house so we can rent it out. So my husband has been home for the past month and a half working on the house, among other things, and we all have had to adjust to a completely new routine. It’s been stressful, to say the least, but I’ve realized it’s good practice for us because once we begin our new life plans, we will be together all the time, on a sailboat! 🙂

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