What’ Hard?

People often ask me if homeschooling is hard. I always answer in the negative. It is not hard for me or my kids. It is not hard because it has been an excellent fit with our life, goals, intentions and how my kids have learned and functioned best. When those things line up – it makes things easier – not hard at all.

We came by homeschooling very organically. It made perfect sense. It flowed out of natural paths that our family was already walking.

I’ll tell you what is hard.

It is hard when you notice a change. When late at night, you begin to entertain the information that your chosen educational model might not be optimal for a child. It is hard to sort doubt from concrete concerns. But you sort.

It is hard to take out a notebook and make an inventory of what you see and what you suspect would be a good fit for your child. It is hard to be brutally honest about strengths and challenges and look at them realistically.

Yours and his.

It is hard when you begin to suspect that what would be an ideal amount of structure and predictability does not line up with how your family’s days unfold. When you begin recognize the benefit of more direct instruction, in a more formal environmental – your notes spur more notes. It is hard when what might meet your child’s needs and desires conflicts with what you imagined would work out just fine.

We are under no delusions. This is not our first rodeo. We have been tireless advocates for Ethan’s educational needs. We are aware of the struggles included in that process, but can tell you that it is all worth it for him. Our principles have not changed, and we are acutely aware of parts of ‘the system’ that will be challenging for our family – but challenge has been our constant companion.

I have watched families who utilize school in a conscientious way. I have watched people make it work – I know ‘unschooly’ public schoolers and homeschoolers who a super-‘schooly’. The line is not as firm as it seems. I refuse to be afraid of an entire system and the ‘what ifs’ before we have even tried to tweak the situation to the best of our ability for one of our children.

What is harder than homeschooling?

Not acknowledging these things and allowing it all to go unchecked and unquestioned. A hallmark of my approach in life has been to question everything. Everything. Here I am again.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”
~ Wayne Gretzky 


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