Monday, September 14, 2015

The Hardest Part of My Homeschool Year

Simple Homeschool has been hosting guest posts about the hardest part of the homeschool year for different mom educators. Now they have opened it up for a link-up.

Homeschooling for me is rather easy because it caters to my strengths. I love to be at home. I love to plan. I love to teach. I love to learn. And I love being around my kids. Really, it's not that hard. We school year round so we can put in regular breaks. We don't usually experience burnout because a break is always on the horizon. We have worked out a daily schedule that works best for us, allowing the kids to stay up a little later at night and sleep in a little later in the morning.

Homeschooling is not hard.

The hardest part for me is just ME. 

I am an introvert. I laughed when I read another mom say on her blog this week that her favorite day of the week is Monday because the members of her family all go away. Before homeschooling, I always used to feel that way, too. I couldn't wait until Monday when Rick went to work and the kids all went back to school.

But it wasn't because I didn't love my people. It was because I desperately needed to be alone. I hated weekends because they were unscheduled, chaotic, loud, unpredictable, and everybody was everywhere all the time.

Now I do not have the luxury of Monday mornings where everybody leaves. Instead, Monday mornings are when all of the people-filled activity begins for the week.

The hardest part of my homeschooling day is just getting up and getting started.

I am naturally a morning person. I have absolutely no problem waking up in the mornings. So my difficulty in getting up and around is not because I am tired or lazy or want to sleep late. I wake up about an hour and half before the rest of my family. I even set my alarm to get up at 7:00 a.m. When I wake up I grab a cup of coffee, my Bible and journal, my computer, and my phone. I spend a glorious hour doing all my stuff. I do my Bible study, journal and e-mail my accountability partner. I catch up on blog posts and e-mails. I browse through Instagram and check the weather.

I want to be out on my run at 8:30 a.m., which means I have to be up and moving by 8:00 to get dressed and get the kids' awake and their breakfast fixed before I leave.

I have a really hard time getting up and moving by 8:00 a.m. Like I said, it's not because I'm tired or lazy. I've already been awake for an hour and had several cups of coffee. It's because I absolutely do not want to leave the solitude of my alone time. Once I get up and get moving, I have company in every other moment of my day. Most days I'm just not ready for it.

Having a schedule certainly helps. I know that I need to do certain things by certain times to get everything accomplished for the day. I am naturally a schedule-oriented person so this gets me moving more often than not. I hate getting off my schedule.

Things move along pretty smoothly throughout the morning and through lunch. But, starting about 2:00 p.m. I begin to lose my steam. We have talked and interacted and done and questions have been asked and answered. I have to drink a big glass of water and will myself to surge ahead when I really just want to curl up on the couch and call it a day. About now I am starting to feel "done".

But the great thing about educating my children all day long is that when 4:00 p.m. hits and our school day is complete, my kids evaporate. They have had enough of me. I think they are secretly afraid that if they come back into my view I might give them something else to do. They typically retreat to their rooms for some electronic time and alone time of their own. Thankfully they are introverts, too.

And it's at this time that I am rewarded for a hard day's work of being around my people.

I usually run retreat to my bedroom with a cup of chai tea. Sometimes I fold a load of laundry. Sometimes I watch something I have dvr'd. Sometimes I watch some Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Sometimes I read for a bit. To be honest, most days I lay down and take a 30 minute power nap.

My afternoon quiet time is invaluable to me! It gives me the energy boost I need for the rest of the evening. Because the evening is when Dawson and Taylar are home from school and work; Kyndal, Collin and the dogs stop by for a visit; dinner is happening; and, sports require us to do some running around. That half hour to an hour of alone time is an absolute necessity. Just ask my kids.

I will just conclude by saying that if this is the hardest part of my school year, for the rest of our school years, then I have it pretty good. I know what makes me tick and what ticks me off, so I am able to adjust our day and lifestyle to accommodate that.

It has taken some time but we have figured it out, for the most part.

Through all of this I remember to count my blessings of being able to educate my children and spend so much time with them. Time goes by so quickly. I want to cherish each and every moment, even if in some of those moments I secretly wish that I was cherishing them in another room, alone.


  1. I just visited through the homeschool linkup. I love reading other introvert homeschoolers posts! Thank you for sharing and making me feel not so alone. Although I do envy you the introvert children - so far two of my three have turned out to be extremely talkative extroverts. I've used up all my words and listening ability by noon!

  2. I can really relate to all of this, Nicole! I, too, think that being an introvert is one of the hardest parts of homeschooling for me. I have 4 kids (ages 8-18) all living at home still and a husband who works at home full-time now and who doesn't have a separate office either. I do envy my SIL whose kids and husband all "go away" on Monday mornings while she works from home. I love my quiet morning time (and get huffy when someone interrupts it unexpectedly), love when I can find a quiet moment in the afternoon for a cup of tea and a book, and struggle to get through the late afternoon/early evening as I'm pretty much "done" by then. Relaxing with a great tv show (in fact, rewatching Gilmore girls these days) or a good book is the best way to spend an evening. Thanks for making it all seem normal! On another note, I'm using some of your American History plans that you used with Dawson with my 11th grader this year... thank you for putting that all on your blog!

  3. Sometimes I wish I were an introvert and didn't crave another's company so much! I've had to learn how to enjoy just being by myself. You have a beautiful family.


We all know that in this crazy world of homeschooling, we need all the (adult) support we can get. Please leave a comment if you so wish!