What to Expect When You’re Homeschooling

Homeschool curriculum bought, set up and marked up for the year- check. All legal forms filled out, copies made (just in case) and turned into the area superintendent – check. Notebook to keep lesson plans in and calendars together – check. All school supplies bought and ready, (more or less) – check. Plan of action, excitement, and a general feeling of being positive – if not a little anxious – absolutely!

I’ve got it all together. Really, see? Here in my notebook is my schedule from 7:30AM – 9:00PM every day; right down to snack times and bath times. Nooo problem! I’ve got my plan and this is going to be a great year!

Well, here we are, day 1: we get up, eat breakfast, do lessons, stick on the schedule and have fun. I’m generally pleased with the outcome. Then, I look around. Are you kidding me? Where did all this mess come from? We were only in the dining room for school! Oh, I remember; I have a four-year old and a two-year old running free in the house and also an infant. Other than their basic needs of the day I guess I did rather ignore them. Oops! Bad Mom! I’ll read them an extra bedtime story and have a better plan involving them tomorrow.

Day 2: Lessons go great and the kids are glad to be finished. The two-year old discovered, while I was in the bathroom, that ketchup makes great finger-paint and that an entire 64 ounce bottle of the red-orange ‘finger-paint’ should be squeezed onto the table. And lest I allow the kids to get lazy, they have some chores, to which I hear, “But Mooomm, we need a break! We just did like 20 hours of schoolwork!” Apparently, schoolwork is supposed to replace the chores we did all summer. We’ll work on this tomorrow – after all the ketchup is scrubbed off the table and the child.

Day 3: “Mom, it’s time to get up.” What? Oh my word. My eyes are glued shut with enough sleep to last through another night’s worth of sleep. “Mom, why are you so tired?” Hmm? What was that? I refrain from snapping at my precious child. I mean it’s not his fault he didn’t hear the baby screaming all night – they only share a room. The screaming baby was running a fever and just wanted to be walked around – all night. My husband? Oh sure, I could have passed the baby off – if he wasn’t working a 12 hour shift from 7PM – 7AM. He’s just getting home and out of the shower, ready for bed. I managed to get the baby to sleep around 5:30 this morning after the fever broke. Now, let’s see, schedule (smedule)? That left with the little sleep I got this morning. Lessons? I think we’ll do an abbreviated version. I can’t keep my eyes open to help my emergent reader read her story; not to mention when my son asked if he could have ice cream I mindlessly said “sure.” (It is only 9:00 in the morning) Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Two weeks later… I got some sleep, but the baby didn’t sleep well. To top it off, my monthly “friend” came calling. What a glorious day! “Honey, I can’t do it! I can’t teach the kids what they need to know. I get it all wrong. They deserve so much better than me!” I’m crying all over my husband who is in bed and trying to be supportive, but who really just wants to go to sleep because he just got home from work. I finally realize that sleep is winning this argument with my husband, so I leave to go do lessons with children, whom I believe will be better off in a real school. (I can pick this conversation up with my husband next month) “OK kids, let’s get going. There’s a lot to do.” “Yes, we have to.” “No, you may not do your math in pen.” “You need to pay attention so you don’t get confused when I’m not helping you.” “Stop talking! Please!” “No! Do not hit your sister!” “One…two…three! OK, no outside time today!” “Now, finish your work! You don’t want me to wake your daddy up!” What am I thinking? Am I crazy? Those wonderful children of mine NEED to be outside, not in here with my overly emotional and not-fit-to-do-this-school-thing self. Calgon? Help?

Fast forward two months: 7:30AM –we’re up, we eat, and do most of the planned lessons. I think math is still caught up with him, but I’m not sure about her. He can’t write it all on paper very well, but his story telling is superb! Her imagination is crazy and her stories are awesome! And history is so far behind; it’s almost…history (haha)! My two and four-year old have the Playdough out and all over the table – including on the older kid’s school papers. The living room has some cars on the floor, but otherwise I can walk through it. My dining room looks like a tornado hit it. Please don’t ask me to find last month’s history papers. I know they are over there somewhere on that shelf with all the other subjects, and all four school kid’s work. I know. You say, “Get organized.” I do have plans (written in that notebook I keep everything else in for school) to do that, but you know, life happens – and organization just hasn’t yet.

While some things have gotten better with time, others have gotten seemingly messier. I say seemingly because, while things seem unorganized, and look it, my peace of mind is organized and I know that God is at my center and taking care of everything. So, yeah, give me a bit and I’ll find those papers for you and I can tell you what’s going on in school and in my family’s life. My schedule still looks the same on paper, but no two “real” days look the same. There’s always something changing.

Someone asked me if homeschooling was worth it. I refrained from being a smart alec and just said, “Absolutely”. Thinking back on it, my answer is still a resounding, “yes” and every year that we decide to homeschool will have those exceptionally crazy days. But in every step of our years I will love watching my children grow and know that I had a hand in teaching them to love the Lord, to know their ABC’s and 123’s, and the reality of the facts of life.


Corian DeRoza is working on a curriculum for homeschool and other Christian venues called Legacy Leavers. The first book in the series is called Kindness. Her website, which is still under construction, can be found at LegacyLeavers.org.

avatar Corian DeRoza (1 Posts)

Corian DeRoza is working on a curriculum for homeschool and other Christian venues called Legacy Leavers. The first book in the series is called Kindness. Her website, which is still under construction, can be found at LegacyLeavers.org.


One Response to What to Expect When You’re Homeschooling

  • avatar
    Lisa Moorer says:

    Funny…. it seems you have been writing “my story” only the names and faces have been changed ;) Love it!

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