Homeschooling is stressful. There are certain days that are more stressful than others. Today was one of those days for me. I woke up late, am still fighting the remnants of a sickness, and have painters at our house. We had our monthly volunteering this morning, piano lessons this afternoon, and dog grooming in between. Homeschooling, amazingly, got done in between all of that. But it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty. So to be honest, I’m really looking forward to tomorrow when the kids are at school as part of our hybrid homeschooling! So if you are a full time homeschooling mom, or a hybrid homeschooling mom, and you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider these things before you decide to quit homeschooling.
1- Consider other school options before you quit homeschooling.
I’ve written a lot about hybrid homeschooling. I do this for a few reasons. First, I really love it! Second, I feel like not enough people know about this option. Third, I think it can be a great option for a lot of families. So if you’re a full time homeschooling Mom, where your kids are home every day, you might just need a different system. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find a homeschooling program where your kids go to school twice a week and are home with you three days per week. This is a great combination for us because I have a lot of support in lesson planning and record keeping. And I also get two days off a week, at least between the hours of 8 and 3.
There are also many one day a week programs, or enrichment programs for homeschoolers. If these are a drop off program, that can be really helpful! If you are feeling overwhelmed, you might want to avoid those programs where Mom is required to be on campus as well. Those may be helpful in finding community, but it may also add to your stress level in putting something else into your schedule that you’re required to attend.
The point is that there are lots of different types of homeschooling. It doesn’t have to mean that you are doing it all by yourself, every day. Before you quit homeschooling, you can get support and maybe even a regularly scheduled break!
2- Find your community.
Not all homeschoolers are created equal. Just because you homeschool, that doesn’t mean that you will automatically be friends with everyone else who does. But with a little effort, you can find your homeschooling posse! Whether you have 1 child or 10 children, you can find something in common with some other homeschooling moms. And when you find your community, it’s magic! Having friends who are in the trenches with you is absolutely key and can be a lifesaver when you want to quit homeschooling. Even if you don’t have the exact same homeschooling schedule, if you find people who are your people, you’ll feel support unlike any other.
So where do you find this community? The old standbys like Facebook groups and Meetup.com still work! You can also find groups on state support group websites like FPEA (Florida Parent Educator’s Association) and others. If you are part of a hybrid homeschooling program or something like Classical Conversations, you will naturally have some built in relationships. You can also find connections through your church and even possibly in your neighborhood. Just keep looking; you’ll find your people and it can make all the difference!
3- Outsource what you can.
When you’re feeling like you want to quit homeschooling, you should consider what you can outsource. Are you trying to do piano lessons on your own? Hire a teacher! Even if you can’t afford someone coming to your house, consider virtual lessons or even group lessons. What about house cleaning? Are you doing all of that yourself? If your budget allows, outsourcing this may make all the difference in your life. Have you ever considered a “mother’s helper” or a young lady from your church or school? This person might want to spend time with another Mom and learn some skills with you. If you have babies or toddlers in the house, this could be a lifesaver!
Homeschooling moms often have the feeling that they can or should do everything themselves. While we are actual superheroes as Moms, that doesn’t mean that we have to do it all ourselves. If one of your kids is having trouble with math, consider hiring a tutor. What about online tutoring? There are so many options! For me, cooking and preparing food is something that causes me stress. So my husband brings home dinner at least once a week. And we also have cereal for dinner about once a week. Even knowing these are options is helpful to me! What can you do to lessen your burden? Before you quit homeschooling, consider what all you could outsource.
4- Adjust your expectations before you quit homeschooling.
As Moms, we all have dreams for how our home will look. And no matter what type of schooling you choose for your children, your dreams won’t match reality. And when you’re a homeschooling Mom, your dreams certainly won’t match reality. As homeschooling Moms, we might envision nature studies and educational field trips. But instead we get a bag of dirty leaves and a torn notebook for nature study and yelling at kids to get in the car for that awesome field trip. Homeschooling isn’t always pretty! So do you feel like you want to quit homeschooling, maybe you need to adjust your expectations of what this will look like in your home.
When you have babies or toddlers at home, homeschooling can be particularly hectic. But when you have high schoolers, you may feel like you never are doing enough or know enough. At every stage, there are challenges. So you may just need to adjust your expectations. Savor the time, make the adjustments you need to, and hang on tight because the time will go fast. It will never be perfect, you’ll never feel like you are enough But you are enough. And your homeschooling is enough.
You are not alone Mom! Before you quit homeschooling, you can consider alternate homeschooling options, find your community, outsource what you can, and adjust your expectations. Hang in there Mama!