Homeschooling Struggles: The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same

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Homeschooling Struggles
Photo credit jazbeck

I have been making an effort this year to share more of our homeschooling struggles. I hope that by sharing my struggles, I may help someone else who is going through similar struggles. Plus, I’ve found that writing helps me to put my struggles in perspective and even helps me come up with ideas for making things better.

I was looking through some of my very first blog posts today when I found this one from 2007 previously titled, Last Day of School. (I’ve always been good at creative titles.)

In the post, in case you didn’t go over to read it, after lamenting my lack of blogging, I described some of the specific tasks we had finished during the year. In my conclusion, I had a list of things that I had learned over the course of the year. (That would have been our 4th year of homeschooling. David was finishing 3rd grade and Anna 1st. William was preschool and Lizzie was born in October of that school year.)

Here is my list (with an edited title).

Things I supposedly learned in 2007

  • Begin my day with prayer.
  • Begin our school day with prayer.
  • I must guard against my tendency to just check things off instead of encouraging learning.
  • I need to incorporate more projects into our learning.
  • Schedules and routines are a good thing.
  • Don’t let the schedule rule my life.
  • Chores worked well this year.  I need to give the kids more for next year.


I feel




Have I really homeschooled for 7 more years and I’m still struggling with the exact same issues?


Is this really surprising?

Personality plays a part.

I am very goal oriented, therefore my struggle with wanting to check boxes is on-going.

I don’t like messes, that means that doing projects is going to get me out of my comfort zone.

I tend to sway like a pendulum between being uber-organized and stressed, and being relaxed but unproductive. Then my lack of productivity makes me unhappy, so it’s back on the organization bandwagon. That explains why both the statements

  • Schedules and routines are a good thing.
  • Don’t let the schedule rule my life.

are applicable.

But those 2 first statements are especially convicting.

Confession Time

I no longer begin our schooling with devotions.

There are a couple of reasons.

1. With children from almost 16 down to 3 years old,  we’re on very different sleep schedules. Everyone is not up and ready at the same time. And I actually like that. A staggered breakfast time makes for fewer conflicts in the kitchen. Which brings me to my second reason.

2. Bible time became a time of strife and contention. The children fought. I got upset. It was very discouraging. I decided that I would rather not have my children growing up with horrible memories of how I used to make them have a devotion even though everyone hated it. So I quit.

That was a long time ago. It’s not that we don’t have Bible instruction in our home. (Though not as much as I think we “should”.) But it’s often spontaneous and doesn’t require everyone always in attendance. I still do feel that we’re lacking in this area. So it’s something I need to pray about.

And now to that first, most convicting item on the list.

Begin my day with prayer.

I know the truth. I know that my source of strength is the Lord. I know how badly I fail without Him.

I’m impatient.

I’m grumpy.

I am easily frustrated.

In short, I am a sinner.

But I lack discipline. I’m tired. I stay in bed too long. I get up, but let the computer distract me. I could list more excuses. Here is the underlying truth, I think.

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  

Romans 7:19

I have 2 choices. I can feel guilty, or I can just start moving forward. Being more consistent in my Bible reading is one of my goals this year. Honestly, I’ve had good days and not so good. But rather than focusing on my failure, instead I should remember these words from Philippians.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

How about you? Do you struggle with organization? Impatience? Anger? How do you remind yourself to press toward the prize?

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5 thoughts on “Homeschooling Struggles: The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same”

  1. I can relate to your post. We had to move our devotion to the evenings (We do it as soon as we’re done with dinner. My oldest enjoys leading it, so most of the time he does.), for some of the same reasons, difference in ages and schedules now.

    I have been doing much better about starting my day in the Word, and I have finally backed off my blogging schedule (it was an unnecessary burden I had placed on myself), in order that I can be more focused on my family.

    I believe every parent struggles with patience and anger. I call them “Speaking engagements with God”, because every time I struggle with these things, I hold a conversation with God. 🙂

  2. Yep, I deal with all those things. I’ve just started reading Unglued, and she talks about imperfect progress, meaning imperfect changes are slow steps of progress wrapped in grace. For the perfectionist in me, that really means a lot. I make slow steps of progress in the direction the Lord has for me, even if they aren’t perfect steps. 🙂

  3. I love this post! I wish more people would admit their struggles and be real. I think it would help a lot with the judgement that is so popularly going around. We would all be able to see each other as who they really are and realize we all struggle!

  4. Thank you for this post. My first year of homeschooling did not go well and now my children are behind. I have no one to blame but myself. I was even talking to my husband about quitting but did not feel peace about it from the Lord. This helped me so so much. Many blogs I HAD been following where about super homeschool mom’s and the inadequacy was making me want to stoo. Instead I am going to make a list aND study these verses further. Thank you so so much. Oh I have an 8th grader, 2nd and k

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