I’ve been a homeschooling mom for 8 years now. And as with most of motherhood, it has been quite a ride! Every day is different and we’ve been through a variety of seasons. Like every other homeschooling family, we have our own list of “the good, the bad, the ugly”. (I’d also like to humbly submit the overwhelmingly joyous and the downright awful to that list.) 😉
Sometimes homeschooling feels fresh and exciting. Other times, you may catch me giving the big, yellow bus a wistful glance as it drives by our house. And these are just my feelings. Throw in a passel of little humans with their own personalities to that mix and let’s just say it’s not all sunshines and roses, folks.
Being able to homeschool my children is one of my greatest joys. I truly wouldn’t trade it for anything. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy all the time. As with most of parenthood, it’s demanding and challenging. As homeschooling parents we can easily find ourselves at a place where homeschooling feels overwhelming and burdensome.
If that’s where you find yourself today, I want you to know that it’s okay. And I so wish I could give you a hug and we could sit down and chat together. Because, friend, you are not alone! I promise you are not the first one to have these feelings and you won’t be the last.
I’ve asked 5 other wonderful homeschool moms to share their wisdom for the times when homeschooling feels like a burden. I hope you’re as encouraged as I am by what they share! This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
Advice for When Homeschooling Feels Like a Burden
Jamerrill Stewart from Free Homeschool Deals, author of Hope for the Heart of the Homeschool Mom
“When our homeschool feels overwhelming, it may be time to call for a mental health day. Just give everyone a breather, there will be no harm in taking a day off. Get outside, soak up the sunshine, and leave the books in the workboxes. Everyone feels better after a day off!”
Tina Robertson from Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus
“Homeschooling changes each year. One year, you may feel like you made headway by leaps and bounds and other years, you may feel like you barely met your goals.
It’s important to remember that you will not have the same demands on your time each year. Getting to a point when all your kids are independent and knowing you weathered any storm just refuels your tank and kindles a love for learning at home that is hard to put into words.
It is that feeling you get deep down in your gut that you know it will all be okay because you see the progress and positive changes in your children.
Don’t give in either to fear or thinking that you are not doing enough. In the end when they graduate and you look back with tears, you see that it has all been worth it.”
Jessica, Homeschool Mom of 4
“I’ve homeschooled through some difficult circumstances and big transitions. Things like living overseas, moving 4 times in 4 years, working 2 part time jobs, serious medical issues, and more. Sure, it would have been a lot easier without my kids at home during any of these challenging circumstances.
Every time that I felt like my load was too much, I really had to stop and evaluate why I was homeschooling. Homeschooling was a burden only because I let it be a burden. I had to change my attitude and remember the joy that homeschooling brought me.
And when I did, homeschooling went from being a burden, just another hard job I had to endure, to being one of my greatest delights.”Brenda from Schooling a Monkey
“I think it’s best to draw back when homeschooling gets tough. The amazing thing about homeschooling is that you can work along with the ebb and flow of normal life without sacrificing the quality of a child’s education. If you need a break for a couple of weeks or months, take it! You’ll feel much more refreshed when you come back.”Alicia Kazsuk from Vibrant Homeschooling, author of Plan to Be Flexible
“It is completely normal for homeschooling to feel like a burden from time to time! Although homeschooling on the whole is an amazing, transformative experience for the entire family, I would completely agree that we all go through periods like this. It’s an imperfect journey, just like any other life journey that we take (marriage, parenting, a career).
However, despite homeschooling’s imperfections, I can say without a doubt that deep, lasting homeschooling joy is possible!
How do we get to this authentic, joy-filled, homeschool living?
We must be real with ourselves. We must embrace the challenges, determine the “whys” behind our feelings of frustration, and potentially work through some not-so-pretty parts inside. We must weed out the lies (no matter how subtle they may seem) and the joy-stealers like perfectionism, comparison and anger. We must develop practical tools that result in daily, healthy mental shifts toward the truth. And most of all, we must cling to the One who guides and directs our homeschooling path, trusting that His plan may not always “feel” good but that it is good.
These things are not done overnight or done hastily, but through slow, intentional, grace-filled steps. My online video course “bloom: A Journey to Joy (and Sanity) for Homeschool Moms” shares about these steps, focusing on the principles mentioned above.
Friend, I encourage you to seek out truth and to be willing to allow God to weed out those areas that are stealing your homeschooling joy and keeping you from the fullest, richest homeschooling experience possible.”
A Final Word
You are not a failure if you feel like homeschooling is a burden. You are not a bad homeschooling mom. This season will end. The important thing is that you don’t allow yourself to stay in this place. God has made no mistake in placing you on this homeschool journey. And He has not abandoned you along the path. He is right there with you, cheering you on. Celebrating your victories and walking with you during the trials! Have you experienced times when homeschooling feels like a burden? Share your tips in the comments. Be sure to sign up for free email updates so you don’t miss any future posts! This post is part of the iHomeschool Network’s “Ask the Experts” series.
*This post is linking up with the Hip Homeschool Hop!
I home school my youngest child who has special needs. I often feel burdened! Thanks for the encouragement
Carmen, while I can’t begin to know what it’s like to have a special needs child in my homeschool, I know you face unique challenges every day. I think it’s completely natural to feel overwhelmed at times.
Know that I’m cheering you on and praying for you! On the days when things just seem like too much, take a deep breath and find a way to just enjoy being with your child. You’re doing a great job, mama! Hugs to you!
Thanks for the encouragement. I’m an older mom attempting to home school 3 special needs adopted non readers, with a little one underfoot. This year has been a bit of a bust, but we’re still struggling on. God is faithful, and there really is no where else to go with them, so we continue on. We probably take more sanity breaks than most families, but it’s how we survive. God has to reach them and teach them because I can’t. They are His and ultimately, that’s what counts!
Tina Robertson says
Beautiful post Jo. So needed today because it seems like the things we have to do as moms just keeps piling up.
Thank you for including me in your round up. Sharing your post!
Thanks, Tina! And thank you for sharing your encouraging words for other moms. The pressures and demands of motherhood can overshadow the joy from our lives if we’re not careful!
stacie lynch says
I home schooled two boys who were 13 months apart. It was definitely rewarding and trying, but anything worth doing and doing to the best of your ability usually is. For me, finding another homeschooling family that I could take field trips was so refreshing. The kids would enjoy each other and the activity and my friend and I could hash out all our ups and downs. My kids have since graduated high school and will be graduating college next year, and they still talk and laugh about all the fun times, funny they don’t remember too many of the difficult ones. All you home school mom’s hang in there the reward you and your family receives from your sacrifice far out weights the difficulties you might be experiencing now.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and encouraging words, Stacie. Having other homeschooling families to walk this journey with is so important. I’m extremely grateful for the ones God has put in my life!
Brandy @ Our Thrifty Home says
This is a very uplifting post. Just like in everything, (life in general) homeschooling has it’s ups & downs.
I just have to remember to take a breath and concentrate on a fresh start. Whether that’s the following day, the following week, or even the following year. Just like life, you have to take one day at a time. Life has seasons and so does homeschooling.
Thank you for sharing and providing an uplifting message to refer to when we get into “that season!”
You’re welcome, Brandy! Thanks for taking the time to visit. 🙂
Thank you for such a realistic and uplifting post. Last year in the fall, I returned to the work world part time after being home 13 years, which was a strongly spiritual led event in my life and one I did not understand at the time. At 4 1/2 weeks into my new job as an EMT for a private ambulance company, everything made sense. Two of my supervisors pulled me to the side in the middle of the evening, having to tell me my husband of 21+ years had been instantly killed in an auto accident. At 41 years old, I was suddenly widowed with three children ages 10, 13, and 15. Everything was turned upside for me the moment I was told the heartbreaking news. At the time of my husband’s death I was, and still am, homeschooling my children and I still work part time. We took off a few months from our homeschooling journey to adjust to a life so suddenly changed, then slowly began to homeschool again. We didn’t have a the best homeschooling year in regards to text book type learning, which I am at peace with, yet my children grew by leaps and bounds in maturity, and learned at a great depth that of compassion, love, sacrifice, empathy, spirituality, endurance, courage, and so much more. We did what we could, but accepted it would just be a much quieter homeschooling year for our family as we focused on healing. As things are settling down for us from our loss, we expect to start our new homeschooling year just a little early to get a bit more where we like to be in our journey. While it has been a challenging 9 months for us, we have been abundantly blessed by our homeschooling friends, family, my coworkers, our community, strangers, and more. While our hearts ache, we have aimed to make the best of life and enjoy and live life to the fullest, which would have been exactly what my husband would have wanted us to do. Thank you for a post that surely reaches out to so many in a wide variety of situations. Such words of wisdom are a blessing and are often put in the path of people when it is needed the most.
Oh, Penny. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. I cannot begin to imagine what you and your children have gone through during this time. Thank you for sharing your story.
I am so glad that you have had a good support system and that you have been able to give yourself and your children grace in the midst of this season when it comes to homeschooling. While I know this isn’t the journey you have chosen, you are doing an amazing job. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, it was very encouraging to me. Blessings to you.
What great advice! We are just starting as a homeschool family with my 11 and 8 year old, and I have one on the way. You’d think I wouldn’t need this yet, but just figuring out the curriculum was exhausting, and I’m sure I’ll need plenty of encouragement along the way!
Picking curriculum can definitely feel overwhelming, especially when first beginning your homeschool journey. There are so many options available. Wishing you the very best as you start this adventure!
Needed to read this today, am new at HomeSchooling as I sit here in tears with a kids with learning disabilties. It isnt easy but regular school for him was brutal, he was teased and picked on. So my journey begins I have been at it a month today wasnt a good day. Tommorrow will be better
Hang in there! I home schooled 6 kids all the way through, one of whom has learning disabilities and who was never expected to amount to anything. He now has an associates degree and is a true joy to me. I’ve recently adopted 4 more children, 3 of which have both learning and emotional problems, so I’m starting over. I have to be honest, most days are not good ones, but hopefully they are better than they would have been for them if they had been in school. I know God is in control and though He often gives me more than I can handle, it is never more than He can handle. Your son is His child and He gave him the mom he needs and will give you the strength you need. It’s a long haul and may never become easy, but in the end, it’s worth it!
Amanda Jennifer says
I really needed this post today! My son is 8 and wants to quit school. We started homeschooling over the summer and have had some pretty trying times. I feel so drained right now and have been questioning whether I made the right decision. I know deep down inside I have, I just am at a loss right now as to how to make homeschooling more engaging for my son.
TY so much