I have a confession to make. At the end of last school year, I enrolled my son in public school for this year. In the end we didn’t go through with it and decided to keep homeschooling for the forseeable future. But it got me thinking; what would it take to make me give up homeschooling? And I realised there a few good reasons that would make me quit…
This post is part of a HOMESCHOOL HELP SERIES looking at common homeschool challenges and how to overcome them in your home.
First off I want to say, if you are thinking it’s time to give up homeschooling and your reason isn’t one of my reasons, that’s perfectly okay. I’m not here to tell you what is right or wrong for you and your family. I’m here to support you in the choices you make as a mama who is obviously devoted to her children.
These are simply the reasons I think would make sense for me and my family.
I hope that by sharing these ideas that it will help you work through your own thoughts and feelings so that you can make your decisions with no lingering guilt or regret. Because I know you are doing what is best for your family.
I’ve got your back, mama.
Want to hear more about how we almost stopped homeschooling and what we chose to do instead? Check out the video below!
Now, on to the reasons you may want to call it quits on homeschooling!
IT MAY BE TIME TO GIVE UP HOMESCHOOLING IF IT IS DESTROYING YOUR MARRIAGE
Let’s jump in with a biggie!
If your choice to keep homeschooling is having a profoundly negative impact on your marriage or relationship with your significant other, it may be time to step back and ask yourself if homeschooling is really worth it.
Just like it’s important to come to an agreement with your spouse before you start homeschooling, it’s important to keep the dialogue open when it comes to continuing. If one partner is feeling overburdened, unheard or sidelined, it’s a recipe for disaster.
It’s also not uncommon to have different expectations of what homeschooling entails, how the house will run and what the educational goals are. Open and honest communication is a must. And it can help to expect teething issues.
If homeschooling is creating problems that you can’t seem to solve together, you may need to consider if your reasons for homeschooling are important enough to keep going.
IT MAY BE TIME TO GIVE UP HOMESCHOOLING IF IT IS RUINING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR KIDS
Home education is meant to bring families closer and help foster connection with our children. If it’s having the opposite effect in your home, you may need to consider educational alternatives.
Before you run out and enroll your child, I want to reassure you that we all go through ups and downs as homeschool families. Sometimes you will feel like everyone is in sync, and at other times it can feel like you are butting heads over everything.
It’s also perfectly normal to take some time finding your groove. Making sure you deschool properly before diving in to academics with your child can help alleviate lots of problems. If you need help with the deschooling process, I highly recommend working through this e-course.
If the issue runs deeper than that you may want to consider if school is likely to make the issue better or worse. If you think it will help, go ahead and enroll without guilt. You could also seek some outside help in working through the issues. This could be a good idea whether you choose to continue homeschooling or decide to send your child to school.
IT MAY BE TIME TO GIVE UP HOMESCHOOLING IF IT IS NO LONGER FINANCIALLY VIABLE
A change in financial circumstances is another common reason for families to quit homeschooling and for you to become a bona fide school mum instead. There is no shame in deciding your family will be better off financially if you return to work.
You can always try tightening your homeschool budget or balancing work and homeschool. If you want or need to combine homeschooling and working, check out Practical, By Default for loads of helpful advice and support from a real life working homeschool mama.
But if you need to work, or the perfect opportunity for career progression comes up for you, it’s okay to choose work over school.
IT MAY BE TIME TO GIVE UP HOMESCHOOLING IF IT IS DAMAGING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Mama, if you are struggling with anxiety or depression, it’s okay to stop homeschooling. You are worthy of putting your mental health first.
Please know you are not alone. Anxiety and depression are common and nothing to be ashamed of. I suffer from anxiety and will admit that it sometimes makes it so difficult to function, let alone homeschool, that I consider giving up.
So far I have managed to find my way through using many of these tips written by a homeschooling mum with depression. But if there is ever a point where I believe that homeschooling is damaging my mental health I WILL QUIT.
Sometimes it is the homeschooling itself that is causing the problems. Feeling of isolation or being under pressure for sustained periods of time aren’t healthy. Look for ways to get in the social time you need and to relieve some of that pressure you are under.
Ask for help, adjust your expectations and use the strategies in that post I linked to. But if you need to stop, then stop. Your kids will be just fine and you will be setting a good example for how to care for their own mental health too.
IT MAY BE TIME TO GIVE UP HOMESCHOOLING IF YOU NEED TO PRIORITISE YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH
It’s not just our mental health that can get in the way of our desire to homeschool. Sometimes our physical health can become a stumbling block too.
Illness and injury are an unfortunate fact of life.
But sometimes our best intentions aren’t enough and for me, a long term illess or injury is one reason I would choose to send my children to school.
IT MAY BE TIME TO GIVE UP HOMESCHOOLING IF YOUR CHILD GENUINELY WANTS TO GO TO SCHOOL
This one is a controversial one, I know. Many parents believe that children are unable to make this decision for themselves and that it is their responsibility to make this decision for them.
And for the most part I agree.
But if either of my children genuinely want to go to high school, and I don’t believe they would be in any sort of danger (and I’m including danger to their mental health here), I am open to discussing the issue with them.
This is definitely one that is going to differ a lot from family to family, but if your child really wants to go and you don’t have a strong and reasonable objection, it may be better for your relationship if you at least discuss it and possibly decide to give it a trial.
IT MAY BE TIME TO GIVE UP HOMESCHOOLING IF THE REASONS YOU STARTED NO LONGER APPLY
Lots of parents choose home education for reasons that are temporary in nature.
Maybe you want to delay academics until your child is a bit older. Perhaps you wanted to homeschool due to your child’s health, a bullying issue, or behavioural issues. Or you may have chosen to homeschool while you travel.
Whatever the reason, it was wasn’t meant to be forever and now you don’t want to homeschool any more. That’s okay.
You can choose to stop at any time.
If the reasons you started no longer apply, and you or your child don’t want to continue with home education, don’t feel pressured into becoming lifelong homeschoolers if it doesn’t bring joy into your lives. Go ahead and enjoy being a public school family and I will be truly happy for you.
Your true mama friends will be too.
Quite a few of our homeschool friends started or returned to school this past year due to many of the reasons that I mentioned above. We have simply moved from seeing each other at homeschool gatherings to seeing each other on weekends and school holidays.
I hope that each of those mamas knows that I am proud of them for making the decisions that are best for their families even when they were nervous of the change. And I am happy they have found peace and joy.
Mostly, I am grateful they still make space for us in their lives and I hope we continue to enjoy many more years of friendship despite our different educational choices.
If you are ready to give up homeschooling, don’t let fear of change or other people’s opinions hold you back.
I’ve got you, mama xx
Decided to send your kids to school but looking for ways to ensure they are getting a balanced and holistic education? I’ve got you covered. Read more here.