A Down-side to Homeschooling

People have asked me if there are disadvantages to homeschooling. Well today, I thought of one.

My kids hate it when I leave the house if they don’t get to come with me. I mean they give me a really hard time and if I listen to their pleas and resistance for too long, I start to feel like I am one bad mommy for leaving them at home. This afternoon, when they found out that I had a bible study in the evening and would have to go a little bit earlier in the afternoon, my two older boys started to get teary-eyed. Of course my comical youngest son was like, “I am not crying!” and kept grinning from ear to ear. I don’t know if he was mocking them, but I was glad that I had at least one guy who was alright. Tiana, my daughter, was asleep so she had no idea what was going on.

Elijah and Edan dramatically expressed how sad they were that I had to go. “Boys! I am always home with you, you don’t need to cry,” I hugged them and threw pillows at them to lighten the mood. Okay, “always” was not the most accurate word to use but still…I am a homeschool mom, which means I am with them daily! But I tell you, with my kids, a few hours away feels like eternity to them. When they are with others (especially their cousins), they are fine and couldn’t care less. However, when it comes to being left at home, they give me those puppy dog eyes and I feel emotionally manipulated!

Well, they really had no choice but to let me go today. I assigned them a project — make your ocean box for Zoology. So hopefully, that kept them preoccupied.

Honestly though, I sometimes feel like their attachment to me can be a downside. They can be clingy because they are so used to having me around. When I come home, they will write letters that say, “I missed you…” It’s really quite sweet but I wonder if it’s a big overkill. Do they languish that much when I am not around?!

Is this a good thing or a bad thing…hmmm…

On the one hand, it’s great that we are so close as a family. Yet on the other hand, they’ve got to be realistic about schedules, too. We are together as much as possible, but we can’t be umbilically attached to one another 100% of the time. In fact, it took them a while to accept that Monday nights were date nights for Edric and I — our very sacred couple occasions.

My second son, Edan, asked me one time, “Why do you have to go out on dates?” and I turned the question around and asked him, “Why do you think we go out on dates?” He replied, “Because you love each other.” “Okay, but why do we need to go on dates to show that we love each other? Why can’t we just spend time together at home?” My eldest, Elijah, piped in. “When you are married, it’s important to have time alone together, to set aside intentional time to be together.” He sounded like a program. (Probably because we had to explain this to him over and over again until he finally got it.)

So date nights have been hurdled. But other commitments or schedules that necessitate my being away from the house are still a challenge. My kids ask me a million questions. Where are you going? What are you going to do there? What time will you be back? How come we can’t go? Will you really be back by that time? Etc

Usually, I have a predictable weekday schedule so there are no surprises for the kids. But recently, my meetings and commitments have taken me out of the home more often than usual. (I am working on this. Typically, in the middle of the year this kind of thing happens and I have to reassess my activities.)

Well, I have written all of this to say that I don’t have a solution to this “down-side” of homeschooling. What I can improve on is having a better schedule so the kids know when to expect me to be out and then back again. But for now, the upside to this downside is that our children love being with us. That can’t be such a bad thing right?

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