I Tried Homeschooling and Failed
The kids were in 3rd grade, 1st grade and the baby was starting pre-school. It is really funny to hear her talk about our “mean trick” now that she's 10. It wasn’t really mean it was just necessary to avoid a daily melt down and all the whhhyyyyy’sss…
We decided to homeschool the boys because it seemed like a good idea at the time. We opted to send Annabelle to the same pre-school the boys went to. It was an awesome program and we loved Holt Academy. We thought it would help for me to work with the boys alone for 3 hours a day and she needed that great start pre-school gives. [We just didn’t tell her about the boys staying home.] She thought when I dropped her off I took them to school after- the same school she had seen them go to her whole life...she assumed and we didn’t correct it!
We almost made it the whole year before she figured it out. We never lied to her because they did go to “school” … she will still get all fired up about it all these years later, but it saved a lot of “why do I have to go and they don’t?!” questions. I have no regrets.
At the time I had no intention of pursuing music, I had a couple of bands here and there that never really worked out. I wasn’t strong enough on guitar to play solo. I wasn’t confident enough in writing or singing. I just never thought I could do it honestly. I was leading worship at our local church I figured that was all I would do.
By this time I had already been a waitress, a credit union teller, dropped out of hair school, been a wedding planner and business owner, got my real estate license...etc. etc. We decided that homeschooling would be a good fit and I would put my energy into the kids. I’m the mom right? I got this!
Well…. for a while we did great. We were in a Classical Conversations group [loved everyone we met there.] We did Saxon Math, Shurley Grammar, we did art, we did music, we did P.E., we did all.the.things. And we did them awesome- tooooo awesome.
I was so scared they would get behind or they wouldn’t be smart or that they would be some of those socially awkward homeschool kids that can’t function in the real world.
I stressed out non-stop.
I was determined I would not quit this too. I quit everything else, but not this. I drove myself crazy.
It no joke took years to recover.
We lasted one full year and a half when I had finally given up. There were lots and lots of factors outside of homeschooling that lead to a whole mental, physical and emotional breakdown, but not being able to handle homeschooling either and adding it to my list of failed attempts in life was just icing on the cake of my chaotic crazy mess of an early 30’s self.
The kids were kids. It wasn’t their fault. I was just trying too hard to be an overachiever. I beat myself up about it hard, but if I was ever going to be able to “like” them again and not just love them because I birthed them, they had to go back to school.
About a year after they went back to school I decided it was now or never on this music thing. It was burning in me at this point and I decided I had to get better on my own or it’ll never work. I was hoping I could just make a little money doing what I like to do and this creative outlet might help my sanity.
My husband Scott has faith in God and in me like no one I have ever seen. He could’ve tried to stop me or discourage me because I was such a mess, but he didn’t. He had funded all of my other adventures, but I was determined to do this on my own - and I did. A couple of zero percent interest cards, gigs and making jewelry helped me pay for my first EP and it felt like such an accomplishment.
The kids did great back in school. Everyone was happy and it was just what we needed ...then they started begging to try homeschooling again. I said NOOOOO for like 2 years. Finally I caved and so far so good. We had several things negotiated out, like learning an instrument. And because they are older and they wanted this so bad I have leverage and I use it!
So far time around we are all loving it. The flexibility has helped so much between their rodeo schedules and my gig schedule. We are all enjoying the freedom. Their online teachers keep them on track. It's a win for everyone.
Failure itself is not bad, learning to not let it break you is what counts.
Quitting is not a good habit to keep unless you quit beating yourself up.
Mama, you are doing ok.
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.
If you want to homeschool do it! There are AMaZing resources and communities to be a part of. I pray for you.
If you have to or just want to send your kids to any kind of school - great! There is a lot of good that can come from going to school everyday. I pray for you too.
You do you and your house the best way you know how.
Fail till you find it. My list of failures is long, but eventually I found “it.” You will too.