I homeschooled for 5 1/2 years before calling it quits. I loved it at first, and felt called by God to do it. But it was hard, especially with a child with ADHD. I got burned out. I remember leaving the kitchen table to put in a load of laundry while the girls were doing their work at the table. I’d come back and they’d have run out the back door to play. Not just once … this was the kind of thing that happened regularly. Eventually I got burned out because I began homeschooling in my own very limited strength, rather than depending on God’s endless strength. I was tired and I had two babies, and I felt like I just couldn’t do it anymore. So, rather than getting first-time obedience from my children, and rather than seeking God’s strength, I sent them to school.
It’s been five years since I made that decision. In the meantime I got my Master’s degree in education, worked part-time at a couple of part-time programs for homeschoolers, and worked for two years as a special education teacher. It’s interesting that I struggled to educate my own special needs child, but I decided to teach other people’s special needs children.
What’s even more interesting are the reasons I’m returning to homeschooling. First, it’s time to go back and fix the problems in my relationship with my children that caused me to quit homeschooling the first time. (Amazingly, sending them to school did not fix the problems, as I had thought it would.) Second, my 6 year old has been diagnosed with ADHD. His teacher says it will be very hard for him to be successful in the 1st grade because there will be 24 kids in the class and he needs more attention than he will get. My boys go to a Christian school that is not equipped to deal with attention issues or learning disabilities.
So now I want to establish the proper relationship with my kids and give them the BEST possible education. I know the importance of individual attention and individual education. Even though most teachers are fabulous people who want to give the best to their students, it’s so hard to give your best to 24 students! I absolutely believe homeschooling can be the BEST educational choice.
Another goal I have is to help other people to be able to homeschool their children through difficult circumstances, like ADHD, behavior issues, and learning disabilities. I want to help people not to give up, like I did the first time. I don’t know exactly how God wants to use my experiences, but I trust that He does.
I’m looking forward to homeschooling in the power of the Holy Spirit this time!
2 thoughts on “My Journey Away From Homeschooling … And Back Again”
Heather, Sarah Sheets here. Welcome back! I truly appreciate your honesty here. Really do. We all struggle with things like this whether we leave homeschooling or not. So you’re in good company at least from my perspective. Good luck with everything!
Went through your posts on trusting God. Rev 3.17 says no one can open the door Jesus shuts and vice versa. And I’ve seen what Elisabeth Elliot wrote to be absolutely true: His NO are His mercies. As to the issues not disappearing when your son was sent to school, I’ve discovered it’s not where I go but what I take there. I was surprised to discover that wherever I went (east coast to west!), I took MYSELF with me – so the issues remained. ^^
I hope this blesses you:
So nice meeting an educator and sister in the Lord…