When Tough Circumstances Create Doubt: Should I Continue to Homeschool?

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Should I Continue to Homeshool?

I have been homeschooling for 10 years now, and I’ve never really questioned our decision to homeschool. I have always enjoyed teaching my kids and being there for the “lightbulb” moments on their educational journeys. Don’t get me wrong: Homeschooling is hard, and I lose my patience and blow it constantly. But I just love living life more fully with my family, and even when that life has become hectic, we continue to homeschool.

I have two daughters that have graduated from our homeschool and are out there today proving they had a good education. However, I have learned in the past few years that you can’t “save” your children simply by homeschooling them. Salvation is between Christ and the heart of each child. I’ve gone through the angst of worrying that my young adult child will make very big, very bad decisions. I have had to let go and pray from the sidelines. It’s hard letting go — especially when you have been so involved in their upbringing.

This year has been particularly difficult and emotional for me, through no fault of my children. Because of the challenges that I’m navigating through personally, I struggle with consistency in our homeschooling — and for the first time, I’m also struggling with motivation. I’m asking myself: “What do I really think I am accomplishing by homeschooling my boys? Would they be better off in public school, giving me some freedom to fix myself?”

The thing is, I have had to let go of a lot over the past couple of years, and it’s driven me to the point of just throwing up my hands and telling God, “Take it all! I obviously don’t deserve anything.” I have been having this conversation with God a lot lately — every night in fact.

And what do I keep hearing in reply?

“Trust me and keep doing what I told you to do. You are what your children need right now.”

So I get up every morning, and I trust God for one more day. One more day to love on my boys. One more day to show them God’s love and teach them about His great big creation. One more day to grow and stretch in ways I never believed I could. One more day to serve God where He put me and asked me to serve. One more day to press on in our homeschooling.

Our journey as believers isn’t promised to be an easy one, however, we are promised God’s presence and guidance along the way. The enemy is obviously battling hard to thwart the efforts of families who are pressing in to accomplish God’s calling in their lives — throwing obstacles and distractions into your path to take your eyes off the finish line. Maybe you’re facing income loss, health challenges, marital conflict, single parenthood or challenging children… whatever the battle, doubt is likely to creep in. You may be asking yourself right now: Should I continue to homeschool?

I encourage you to keep pressing closer to your Heavenly Father and seek His answer, no matter what it may be. I’m not saying that there will never be a time to stop homeschooling, however, in my case I know that’s not the answer. If God leads you to continue despite tough circumstances, trust that He will equip you with everything you need for the journey — and will complete the good work He has started in you and your family.

“Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.”

— Psalm 143:8 (NKJV)

Are you in the midst of a struggle that’s creating doubt about whether you should continue to homeschool? If you’ve been there and kept going, what helped you press forward despite challenging circumstances? Have you ever felt God telling you to not to continue to homeschool? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. 

Rosanna Ward is a devoted wife of 22 years and mother of four children, two of which are homeschool graduates. She currently homeschools her 11-year-old son Joel and 5-year-old son Leif. Rosanna is a homeschool graduate and a graduate of Oral Roberts University who has been homeschooling since 2005. She and her husband own two Daylight Donuts shops. She is also publisher of Tulsa Homeschool Happenings. Rosanna loves to study History and Genealogy: Her genealogy blog is called “Rosanna’s Genealogical Thoughts.” She and her family reside in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

One thought on “When Tough Circumstances Create Doubt: Should I Continue to Homeschool?

  1. After homeschooling for 11 years through 2 births, 4 major moves, and 2 major surgeries in 1 calendar month (1 of which included waiting for cancer pathology for 6 weeks), I am facing the question, “Should I continue to homeschool?” And while the question has been triggered by my oldest’s opportunity to participate in a pre-engineering program at the local high school, it has led me to not only question if I should continue to homeschool her but should I continue to homeschool her 2 younger siblings as well. I have read every blog, every post I can find from a Christian view, mom view, teen view, graduate view, and college view. I have prayed. I have researched. I feel inadequate to spite my engineering husband and my data science degree with math through linear algebra.

    It seems silly to try and create a pre-engineering program at home (at no small fee) if a highly respected program is down the street for “free” at the local high school – a well ranked high school at that. My husband is amazingly supportive to continue homeschooling. Our kids want to continue, including our oldest – though I am not clear of her reasons even though I have asked. But she would have the opportunity to participate on a robotics team at the high school, which isn’t available to her as a homeschooler in our area without driving an hour every day to sit for 2 hours and drive an hour home – 3-5 days a week. No robotics team is worth not seeing my husband and other 2 kids over. And sure I could sign her up for a bunch of engineering classes at the local community college but wait… isn’t that what college is for? college classes? why would I have her do them in high school knowing in-major classes rarely transfer?

    I don’t know if *I* want to continue or if I should. Why? Because I am tired of being “the bad guy” when the kids whip out their homework and I hand it back to them for rework or handing them a bad grade because while they clearly worked hard, or they didn’t read the directions or meet the goal of the assignment. If my oldest wants to be an engineer, not fulfilling the requirements is kind of a big deal. I am tired of nudging them to study and hearing, “I did,” when I full well know they haven’t studied sufficiently. I am tired of trying to impart wisdom and them hearing the Peppermint Patty voice, “Whah whah whah whah whah.” I’m tired of spending every waking moment researching the best way to homeschool high school. I’m tired of well meaning, judgmental homeschool moms questioning our methods – our methods are different because my kids have different goals than their kids because my kids are wired differently than their kids. I’m tired of answering the questions, “Why do you homeschool? Why would you want to homeschool high school? What about prom and teamwork and …?” I would love to reply to all of them with some quippy (and a little snarky) set of answers but that was not how I was raised and it is far from the Christian attitude of love an grace. I am tired of justifying myself and our hard work to family members, town members, and ultimately college admission boards. I’m tired of looking over at my 14 year old and knowing my social butterfly loves being around others, knowing she has complained of being lonely to spite 10 hours a week on the swim team, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts (yes, she is a Venture Scout too), co-op and church.

    But then there is the soft side of homeschooling…. the family time, relationships, Christian worldview, and being able to not do an assignment simply because I think it is pointless for that particular kid. There is something beneficial to reducing the amount of exposure to drugs, bullying, pressure to date, nonstop drama and gossip that comes with a building full of female teenagers, etc. Sure, there is benefit of learning to deal with some of this while they are still at home before they leave for college but does she need to be exposed to it every day for 4 years to learn those skills? Or will she be too naive before leaving for university by staying home a little longer. Or would it be better she not deal with some of that until she is more mature to handle it? Kids do truly have to grow up faster than my generation did. I don’t think that is a good thing but it seems to be the way of life.

    So yes, I am struggling with this exact question right now and I am no closer to an answer than I was 6 months ago when it came up.

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