Homeschooling :: The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

Nothing like starting my first “real” post on this little space of the interwebs with a topic like Homeschooling. Gracious. I hope this doesn’t put your eyeballs on auto-roll to the back of your head.  A few sweet moms were inquisitive about homeschooling, so I figured that’s a good place to start.

Houston Moms "Homeschooling:: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" #Houstonmoms #houstonmomsblog #momsaroundhoustonI love to talk about homeschooling and how it’s been a great move for our family, but I’m also committed to sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because, like anything, there are all three. I remember going into my homeschool friends’ homes and seeing school rooms with walls of books, completed writing assignments, wall maps, Calculus work, and Greek words all over. The kids had made jam and were playing outside together, cooperatively, and it was all so peaceful and dreamy – and who wouldn’t want that?

Fast forward to homeschooling in my house :: Bouncy curly head on the table whining, “I haaaate doing maaaath…She’s looking at meeeee…Can I do my reading first?” Awesome. So, I’d lament to my jam-making, Greek-teaching friends and they would say something like, “Yeah, that sounds about right.” And, then tell me some ugly of homeschooling. “What? Why didn’t you tell me that to begin with?” At least if I’d known, I would know to push past it, and I wouldn’t have questioned my entire existence! Mind you, this was before the whole “Let’s All the Moms Put Our Crazy on the Interwebs in the Name of Keeping it Real” Movement, of which I’m a huge fan.

Anyway, right then and there, I decided to go with my gut and tell it like it is on the subject of homeschooling.

The Good.Melissa Homeschool

Worldview :: This is primary for us. You get to teach your kids through the lens of your worldview and values. We discuss history, science, and current events from the perspective of our beliefs. This is not to say we don’t expose our kids to different ideologies, we just encourage them to flesh them out through the context of their worldview.

Flexibility :: Homeschooling offers rubber-like flexibility. Seriously.

Can I get an Amen! for setting your own schedule? You want to go on vacation in October rather than July? Load up! You want to “do school” for the whole year with short breaks? Boom. Does your husband work weekends? You can do school on the weekends and take days off when dad is home! Honestly. So many possibilities. It all works.

Science Class

At a Homeschool Science Class.

Homeschooling also gives flexibility in curriculum choices. Sometimes too many choices! There are tons of resources and support groups and co-ops in the Houston area. There are religious and non-religious groups, those that offer classes and those that are just support groups, even athletic groups. {Incidentally, Texas is very homeschool-friendly.} Houston has many hybrid schools too, where students go two to three days a week and school at home the other days. My own girls take English and Science once a week and do the rest at home. So many options. Homeschooling is definitely not one-size-fits-all.

Melissa Disc Green

At Discovery Green Park

Not only that, but math does not have to be done at a desk! I think we inherently know this, but we get so worried that our kids won’t be able to function in a cubicle that we are too afraid to do the awesomeness of school at the park! Do it! Some of our sweetest memories of Houston are doing school at Discovery Green when we first came here. We’ve had some good work produced from the trampoline, and we’ve done our share of “car schooling” too.

 

Melissa Trampoline

Trampoline-Schoolin’.

Time :: Oh my word. Y’all with the littles and elementary agers, you are GOLD. Many will say that you can estimate about a half an hour of intentional schooling per day per grade level. Meaning, for a Kinder, about a half hour of one-on-one is all you really need. For a third grader, about two hours of intentional schooling per day is about right. It doesn’t take six hours a day to teach one-on-one really. You don’t have to teach to all different learning styles, just to the ones in your house. So great.

As the homeschoolers get older, they get more independent. At 5th and 7th grades, my girls do several subjects with minimal instruction from me. And there is actual learning taking place.

The Bad.

Highs are high. Lows are low. :: I’ve said it before, homeschooling, like it’s twin sister, parenting, is not for sissies. {Can I say that? It’s Texas. I’m gonna go with yes.}  It takes guts to go against the norm in any aspect of parenting, and homeschooling is no exception. Parenting is tough. Period. Homeschooling is just an extension of that. There are the crazy days that nothing goes as planned, not one little person in the house has listened to a single syllable uttered out of your mouth and the days end with nothing to show for it. As a mom, you don’t have to look very far to find something to feel guilty about. It’s easy to become discouraged when things don’t look like you thought it would. In these moments, I just have to remember why I started and remember that it is a victory that every one lived to see another day. Anybody?

The Ugly.

 

Insecurity :: Insecurity is what’s ugly. Not unruly children or algebra or even unsupportive family members.It’s insecurity. I’ve been homeschooling my girls for five years now {can’t even believe it!}, and just in the last year have I started to feel more secure in it. Notice, I didn’t say “completely secure.” So. This is what we do about it. —->

For real.

Moms, this is by no means extensive or conclusive. I could go on with a LOT more good and a little more ugly. *Grin*

I would love for some of you homeschooling mommas to help me out here and add to this. I know you’re out there!

If you are considering homeschooling {even a little bit}, click on over to Spouseisms or click on any of the links in this post.

That being said, I do not, by any means, want to add to any Mommy Pressure you may be feeling one way or the other. There are many choices in educating our little offspring, this is just one that many families have questions about. So, ask away!

I’d love to hear from you!


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4 Responses to Homeschooling :: The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

  1. Avatar
    Allison Spears March 15, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    This is a great overview! One thing I loved regarding the daily time spent schooling is that it can be broken up according to your schedule or when spontaneity is required. You do not have to carve out a 2-3 hour block. We definitely did our fair share of “car schooling”! I love turning outings into teachable moments as well. Many vacation spots have educational materials you can download, purchase, etc. I love being able to get out and enjoy life – people, places – without being tied to the traditional school format. Also, who better to instill your morals and values in your children on a consistent basis than YOU! -Love you, Melissa Hale!

  2. Avatar
    Amy January 11, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

    Oh my gosh, can we be friends?! This is our first year homeschooling (In Houston, too) and I’m not sure it’s for me….but I want it to be, so badly! Your posts are refreshing. Thank you!!

  3. Avatar
    Tia April 24, 2018 at 7:25 pm #

    Thank you so much for this feedback! I’m at a major crossroads right now and starting googling ‘homeschool options” in my area and your blog came up. I thank God for the little things. I’d love more insight. My husband and I are both teachers, however we are considering different options for our 2 “world changers” as you called it, and our family as a whole. How can I get more info??? Once again, thank you for your insight!

  4. Avatar
    Brandy April 27, 2018 at 9:27 am #

    We are searching for homeschooling options for our family too. Your article is wonderful and I’d love to hear more from you and other moms. I’m feeling like the public schools just aren’t best for my kiddos, but also very apprehensive if I have what it takes to teach them academics daily. My youngest has been diagnosed with a few learning disabilities(development delay) and my oldest has some focus and social issues. Think homeschooling would allow me freedom to teach in a way that works for them instead them along with 30+ kids. They aren’t all cookie cutter and learn differently, I think. I just know my patience WILL be tested, indeed!
    If anyone has any info or resources for homeschooling children with disabilities, I’d be incredibly grateful if shared. Thank you!

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