It’s That Time of Year I Want to Homeschool My Kids


We have four kids. They are in 3rd grade, 2nd grade, 1st grade, kindergarten. There was a time in my life when I was convinced we would homeschool, and that time was long before we had said children.

The existence of actual real-life children who would need to learn how to read and use their brains went a long way in convincing me that maybe homeschooling wasn’t for me. At least right now.

Also there was the fact that we adopted and ended up with these 4 consecutive grades. That was a little daunting, too.

Our kids go to a sweet little school which I dearly love. When school starts in the fall, I find myself hugging their teachers and expressing my profuse gratitude for their willingness to spend 8 hours a day with my children.

However, there is a time of year, namely now, when I desperately hate school and am prone to shouting “THAT’S IT, I’M DONE, WE’RE HOMESCHOOLING,” regularly as my husband rolls his eyes and my kids have mixed reactions of abject horror and gleeful hope (the former are extroverts, the latter are introverts).

The last real break we had was Christmas. We’ve moved out of the easier units and into the these-kids-need-to-be-ready-for-the-next-grade units. We’re all tired. Getting up and out the door by 8:00 am feels like a full-on sporting event. We. Are. Done.

Allow me to list the 5 main reasons I decide to homeschool every March.

LUNCHES

Guys, I don’t totally hate making lunches at the beginning of the year. In fact, I’m usually a little enthusiastic about turning over a new leaf and not letting my kids subsist off of Doritos and Go-gurt. I buy little cups and pack baggies of carrots with ranch dressing (if my kids opened their lunch box to find carrots without some unhealthy dipping sauce they would laugh and throw them in the trash). I cut up fresh fruit. I bake things and send them in.

That usually lasts a month and then I’m at Costco and I see the mega packs of chips and squeeze apple sauces and cheez-its and think WHAT AM I DOING, THIS COULD SAVE ME SO MUCH TIME.

But even with the convenience of the pre-packaged junk food, it’s still four lunch boxes that must be packed each night. And four sandwiches. And four water bottles. All told, it takes me about 10 minutes to do the whole thing every night. But in my head, it takes an hour and as I slather the Nutella on the bread (that’s right, don’t judge me) I just think, I would give anything to not do this again tomorrow.


THAT’S IT, I’M DONE, WE’RE HOMESCHOOLING.

HOMEWORK

Ok, let me just say that I don’t really have strong feelings about whether or not homework is good for children. I feel like I’m supposed to have a position on this but I have too many other things to worry about. Homework is a thing. My kids have to do it. Whatever.

But this time of year even my most motivated kid – j/k, none of them are all that motivated – is over it. They are personally offended that they have to do multiplication and read pages after 3:00 pm. And I always tell myself we’re going to just get it out of the way, but I lose the wherewithal to push it and we end up waiting to do it until everyone is too tired to do it.

I can’t understand math, especially not when they’re learning some new 10s grouping way of doing it that is completely foreign to me. And I adore my precious children but I think we can all agree that listening to a child painstakingly take 10 minutes to read a story about a chicken and a goat can be somewhat…unpleasant.

Also, this is the main time of year to be outside in Florida because it’s too hot and mosquito-ridden to go out there in the summer. So it seems wasteful to be inside with worksheets.

All of which leads me to say, again,

THAT’S IT, I’M DONE, WE’RE HOMESCHOOLING.

3:00-8:00 PM (AKA THE WITCHING HOURS)

These are probably hard hours for homeschooling families, too. I know that. But with kids in school, on top of the fact that your kids are getting tired and whiny, it’s the time you have with them, so you feel like you really have to redeem it.

They have approximately 30,000 words a piece to share with mom and THOSE WORDS MUST BE SAID. So many thoughts. So many questions. They’ve been holding it in for 8 hours and it comes bursting out of them the second the van door closes and they have my ear.

This time of year I daydream about them getting all of those words out earlier in the day when I still have a modicum of energy, rather than at 3:30PM when all I want is a nap (Some homeschooling mom is about to burst my bubble and tell me the questions and thoughts still come all day, whether they are with you all morning or not. Please don’t. I enjoy this daydream.).

THAT’S IT. WE’RE DONE. I’M HOMESCHOOLING.

8:00 AM

This is when school begins. This means that by 7:55AM I am supposed to have 4 children with teeth brushed, hair brushed, dress-code-approved clothes on, shoes and socks on, backpacks packed, and food in their stomachs. Add to that the litany of meds for my kid with asthma and the pound of lotion I have to cover my adopted kids with and it just. feels. like. too. much.

At the beginning of the year, I like that there’s this external force requiring us to get up and ready for the day like functional people. But right now I have a hard time imagining what could possibly be so bad about spending the first 4 hours of the day in pajamas and letting my night owl sleep in a little.

THAT’S IT. WE’RE DONE. I’M HOMESCHOOLING.

SPECIAL EVENTS, HOLIDAYS, AND FUNDRAISERS

Look. I KNOW kids love these things. The Valentines Party. Dr. Seuss week. Book Character Day. Fun Run. Etc. I know it’s super exciting. But I assembled 4 costumes last week at 9 PM and I’ll admit I wasn’t exactly reveling in it.

Of course, when all is said and done, it’s really lovely to make my kid’s day with a pig costume or by chaperoning a field trip. But while I’m helping make the magic happen I kind of want to bang my head against a wall.

Mom, next week is the thing, don’t forget.

MOM, seriously, don’t forget I need a costume for the thing.

MOM, DID YOU GET THE PLATES FOR THE THING??

Crying emoji. I can’t even.

THAT’S IT. I’M DONE. WE’RE HOMESCHOOLING.

And yes, I know, none of these are legit reasons to homeschool. That’s why we haven’t actually taken the plunge yet. I mean, don’t put it past us, people. I know better than to say I’ll “never” do a thing anymore.

But for now I’ll just yell that we’re doing it and expect my patient husband to talk me down off the ledge and remind me that when Child B is having a mega temper tantrum in the morning I get say ‘HAVE FUN AT SCHOOL BABE!” and drive to work with my coffee and my podcast and peace.

So yeah. God bless school. But I sure am ready for spring break.

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Katie Hughes

I’m married to Josh. He’s a pastor. We live in Tallahassee with our 4 children. They are wild and crazy and we don’t really know what we’re doing there. I spend most of my time managing them but some of my time doing some research at Florida State University. I’m grateful for good books, laughter, the Florida sun, and Netflix (and oxford commas!). But mostly for Jesus. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.