Photo taken from the motherhood.com

Photo taken from the motherhood.com

Last night, I came across this post of Simple Homeschool which caught my attention.  The hardest part of my homeschool year: A new series.    When I saw the lineup for this series, I knew that Homeschooling An Angry Child and Homeschooling Teens are something I would need to read.  Just recently also, in the very first meetup of our tweens and teens homeschoolers Facebook group, one of the moms asked me what for me is the most challenging in homeschooling tweens and teens.

I never said homeschooling was easy.  I only said that it was the best option for our kids and our family.  It’s a personal choice and decision.

Now to answer the question, rephrased a bit.  What is the hardest part of my homeschooling? What is the most challenging I’ve experienced so far in homeschooling two tweens, a tween and a teen, or both teens? What is my biggest struggle in homeschooling teens?

I’m going to take a long pause now here and really think about it. This is so timely because I actually have been thinking a lot lately about the highs and lows of our homeschooling journey…There’s going to be a lot of introspection here.

We’ve had so many rough rides these past 8 years, touching so many areas.  Not knowing how and where to start, choosing books and classes to enroll in, beating deadlines, not knowing how to teach a subject, a mismatch of teaching and learning styles, dealing with bullying, moving homes, having no helper, disapproval of family members, being doubted and questioned by friends,  looking for support groups, feeling incapable and unworthy, having a disorganized home, a never-ending search for the best and affordable books WITH answer keys, struggling in Filipino, standing firm in our Catholic faith in the midst of Christian friends and homeschoolers, the longing for some space and rest, repeating myself over and over again, always thinking if as a parent-teacher I have done enough, feeling useless and incompetent, admitting mistakes and being totally honest with one another, frustration after frustration…Oh!  The list can go on.

But the ONE thing I PERSONALLY AM STRUGGLING WITH that bothers me so much is…the feeling that I give too much and yet I feel it’s not enough.  Or it’s the feeling that what I have given may not actually be what my family needs after all, leaving me sometimes bone dry and seeking for appreciation for what I’ve done. All of it. Sometimes, I think it’s a case of love language not met and fulfilled. Or that I expect too much from my family because I give too much.  Other times, I think I’ve failed in teaching character (selflessness, love, service, appreciation, encouragement, respect, consideration) and being a good example of those traits for my family to reciprocate them.

And somehow this brings up another struggle issue.   It is the feeling that after doing all that I can, doing what is expected of me, and giving my all…I can’t afford to make mistakes.  I’m expected to be perfect or so close to being perfect that committing a single mistake is not at all permissible. Because I seem to have everything running smoothly day in and day out and I seem to be managing majority of the areas in our family and homeschooling life pretty well, overlooking something or simply doing something wrong in our one-to-one relationships and in the area of disciplining is a big NO-NO.  It’s like the rest of my family can commit mistakes, do it over and over again which I am supposed to tolerate, but if I slip and commit one major mistake along the way, I’ll be hated by everybody and it would be something really difficult for everyone to come to terms with!

As I think about this, it has come to my realization how utterly important it is to pray to God ALWAYS so I can be guided to do what is RIGHT every single time.  And that includes admitting my flaws, weaknesses, mistakes, and asking for an apology when I do end up FALLing and FAILing.

There you go.  I just shared with you the hardest part of my homeschooling.  It’s ugly.  It’s REAL. To answer also the related question as to what for me is the most challenging in homeschooling teens, it’s LETTING GO.  I now see the two related.  The first and hardest part I’ve shared on giving (and expecting) too much is the most challenging.  What’s hard is for me to let go and not give too much.  It’s hard for me to step back a bit and not be too hands-on. But I’m not really a stage mom or into helicopter parenting.  My girls can attest to that.  It really is just a case of LEARNING TO LET GO at this stage of parenting our soon-to-be-adult girls.  It really is tough for me nowadays to know when to let go and when to still hold on and constantly watch over them. Many times, that thin line is not very clear and easy for me to see.

You probably thought I’ve had it all figured out by now, after 8 years of homeschooling.  Nope. New chapter, new challenges.

How about you?  What is the  hardest part of YOUR homeschooling?  What is YOUR biggest struggle?