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 Post subject: Homeschooling is failing for us
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 10:46 pm
Posts: 2
Hi,
I'm new here and desperately needing prayers and direction.

In short, we are facing a wall in our homeschool journey. My kids are ultra bored (you know the kind that when there is too much of it, kids get in trouble) and want to get out more, but ...

We have 4 kids, raging from 4 to 13. They have been HSed since the beginning. PS has always been a big 'no way' for dh and I for many reasons, but today, we are looking at other options beside HM because we seem to just be totally over our head. And the only option seems to send them to PS.

I work part time from home and dh full time outside. Because we have no family, it's always been everything on us. We usually tag team between kids / nap and work, and of course HM,.. have been doing this for years.

Lack of money and ties make it really hard to 'release' the kids to others for them to get out and make contact with the world, and they are so in need of it. They were ok with it, but lately kids started to have a really bad attitude about HM ( health issue with son probably helped with that, it was a crazy time of course and we were focused on him). They are disobedient, rude, lazy... it's just plain chaos. It's been really hard to do any schooling with them, they seem bored of whatever I am trying: curriculum or cool off time such as going to parks, doing hands on, reading aloud... They seem to get on each others nerve all the time, I cannot be with one for a minute without having to intervene about some argument / yelling ....They seem to be jealous of the time I spend with one and interrupt all the time, they are demanding....it's just seems chaotic to me and though I do love them of course, I stopped enjoying them when they are all together and I do not find any interest in HShoolling them anymore. Our mother / kid relationship just went down hill.
For the record, I have always tried to be part of some co op or HM group, but outside of the scheduled events, it's been quiet a challenge to connect with people...they are just plain busy. All my kids want to do is play with friends freely and see other people, which, for us, doesn't happen a whole lot.

I don't want to send my kids to PS, but it seems like life is pushing us that way. I have prayed for so long with no answers, or may be I don't want to see it??
It sounds crazy to send your kids to school bc of socialization, but we have no money for ouside activities, sports, or classes that they could take, or even a baby sitter, so for now, it looks like PS could offer them more than we can.
What are we supposed to do?


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling is failing for us
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 9:13 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:14 pm
Posts: 7070
Hi, and welcome!

My two cents here (and with depreciation - it might be only worth one cent ; )

You're looking at this like "a" problem: Homeschooling.

But, as you describe things, I see a list of problems:
1. Your own unhappiness
2. Your kids' loneliness
3. Your kids' misbehavior & desire to be entertained
4. Your lack of money
5. Your lack of outside activities.

I think if you break it down, and tackle each one separately, you'll find it's not such an insurmountable problem. And PS won't solve ANY of these problems.

1. Is it possible for you to go on a weekend retreat, or join a ladies' group at Church? Something that would get you out & get you perspective? You must get some help for yourself if you're burning out. If you're dealing with depression, see a doctor. Without you - the Mom - in a healthy state, it is very hard to have a "good" homeschool

2. Our PS neighbors tell us that they get precisely 10 minutes a day to "socialize" with the other kids at school The rest of the day, they're not allowed to talk to each other. Add to that all the negative peer pressure, and pressure to add expensive extra curricular activities, and PS could take matters from bad to worse for you. Loneliness is not fixed by PS - quite the contrary - they have a high suicide rate at our local PS systems here.

3. My Mom's answer to "this isn't fun enough Mom, entertain me more!" was to become a bit of a drill sergeant. I find that aiming for "fun" or "happiness" with kids makes them UN-happy. I can't tell you how many Moms I watch who spend all their time entertaining their kids - then wondering why the kids aren't happy. Constant entertainment cannot bring true joy. I can't know from your writing if that's a problem your experiencing - but look for it ((Hugs)). Read some books, or seek some advice from your clergy or a good friend on how to handle discipline with your kids. Get rid of the TV, and video games (if you haven't already)- they'll RUIN your kids' behaviour, and make them think there's some wonderful fun world out there that they're not being allowed to enjoy.

4. Money problems are huge. But with 2 1/2 jobs, you *may* have budgeting problems instead of money problems. (or perhaps your son's medical expenses or something else are killing your budget - I don't know). Log all your spending for a while, and see if there are some spending areas you can plug. Read someone like Dave Ramsey to work on your finances. If it's a bill problem, spend some time calling creditors and negotiating payments. Many hospitals "write off" bills if you explain severe financial difficulties.

5. There are MANY outside activities that are cheap or free. Invite another family after Church for lunch every week. Invite several till you find someone who will come - look for someone else who might be lonely. They don't have to have kids - invite ANYONE who seems safe & will come : ) Enroll your kids in a Church youth group (even if it's not your own Church!) - like Awanas or whatever. Your kids should be in Church more than once a week, and perhaps one other outside activity as a group - and play in the neighborhood. If you're already doing that much - they're getting enough : )

Finally, ask people you KNOW to pray for you and offer advice. A good *blunt* friend (not one who says everything "nice" all the time and won't hurt your feelings) might be able to offer you an objective look at some things you can fix.

It looks to me, that if you break your list of problems down, and tackle each one separately, it will be a lot of work - but not insurmountable. With this and (more) prayer - you might find your mountain turning into several molehills ((Hugs))

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling is failing for us
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:22 pm
Posts: 7806
So sorry you're having a difficult time. I agree with Anna that ps is not the answer. It may be a short-term relief but not in the long run.

Try some of her suggestions and analyze the situations individually.

I have found that purpose goes a long way in helping people get along and not be bored. What are their interests? (What is HM?) Do you have a "life skills" kind of course in your schooling? Food prep and planning, mowing the lawn, doing the laundry, dusting and vacuuming, changing tires, entertaining the little one, sorting mail, even tracking the budget (or A budget) are all things that could be counted as life skills.

Is the oldest preparing for a job? (My kids were working at 14 and it went a long way towards relieving boredom AND money problems.) Volunteer work is a great way to get job skills and have references for resumes.

Maybe it's the style of curriculum they're using? Or maybe they're not getting enough sleep? There are so many little pieces to this puzzle that it will take time to sort it all out.

Is your church homeschool friendly?


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling is failing for us
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:22 pm
Posts: 7806
[quote="Anna1111"]
4. Money problems are huge. But with 2 1/2 jobs, you *may* have budgeting problems instead of money problems. (quote]

While i agree that budgeting problems are a major issue, i'm not seeing where she said they had 2 1/2 jobs?


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling is failing for us
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:14 pm
Posts: 7070
Sis wrote:
Anna1111 wrote:
4. Money problems are huge. But with 2 1/2 jobs, you *may* have budgeting problems instead of money problems. (quote]

While i agree that budgeting problems are a major issue, i'm not seeing where she said they had 2 1/2 jobs?


My mistake -I should have said 1 1/2. I misread :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling is failing for us
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 4:41 pm 
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Posts: 7070
I DEFINITELY agree with Sis about jobs! Kids having productive work to do makes a LOT of difference. I know it was important to me when I was young, and our boys improved greatly when they started working : )

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling is failing for us
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:05 pm
Posts: 3521
Location: Central TX
I can really sympathize. I feel like I could have written your post, I have been feeling that way for years. I have a friend who homeschools and she has 7 kids (I don't know how she does it). She has said that she never wanted to be a teacher and does not enjoy homeschooling. It did help me to learn I am not alone in my "homeschool martyrdom", lol.

A few months ago, I asked the other parents around me (on our Neighborhood app) about our local schools and I heard back from several parents. I had thought since I never heard any parents complain, that everything must be going great with our schools and things weren't all that bad. Turns out, it's worse than I thought. Almost every parent said their kids are struggling with bullying on a regular basis, and that the school does nothing about it, despite the parents complaining. I also found out our local school district, is one of the lowest ranking in our state. Parents are fleeing this school district by either getting a waiver for a different district or doing charter or private school. I may have to put my kids into school in the next couple years, but it will definitely be charter or private school. Even then, there are problems, but it is better. Our state is also struggling with improper parent-teacher relationships. Our governor just signed a bill that will crack down on it even more, it's that bad. The bad teachers just get a slap on the wrist and get re-circulated. It's scary. Not to mention all the other things I keep hearing in the news, molestation, abuse, neglect, violence, etc. There's something in the news almost daily, with our public schools. I'm sure it's not the same everywhere, and there are good school districts, but definitely do your research before even thinking about putting your kids in PS. Check into charter schools if you must quit homeschooling. They at least have a smaller class ratio, more flexibility than PS, and more positive reviews. Many parents around here love them.

I do struggle with a lot of guilt because I don't have the money for them to be as involved as I would like them to be with activities. And even if I had the money, I don't have the time. They do scouts and that's pretty much it. I want to join the co-op every year, but I always resisted because it costs money, but I am determined that we are going to do the co-op next year. I feel like they need to do something they are good at to boost self-esteem and confidence.

For some families, it is so easy, natural, and fun. I thought that would be us, but it's just not. It's different for every family, so I try not to compare ourselves to other HS families, but it's hard. I wish I had something to say about the boredom, bickering, fighting, stress, etc. But I'm going through the same thing myself and it's driving me crazy, too! So, I guess I can offer that you're not alone? I think I need to take some of the advice offered on here, too.

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Mom to Christian (13), Saphira (10), Xavier (5), and Adrian (2).


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling is failing for us
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 10:46 pm
Posts: 2
Thank you so much all for your answers and trying to sort thru my mess.

I have to say I do agree with all what is being said, and we have tried over the years to implement hard work, respect, contentment...but it's been so hard with just the both of us that we just let a lot of things go by. It's hard to explain, and may be hard to understand (sounds like a bunch of excuses) for those who don't go thru it, but really lack of support / family, lack of money, lack of sleep and mom working at home part time, with kids constantly around (I am talking about 630am to 9pm EVERY day, ....) .well, it just makes it extremely challenging to keep your sanity and keep on homeschooling happily while enjoying your kids.

Anna, thank you for breaking down one big issue into just one. It does help and doesn't seem as such a big obstacle suddenly.

1-I am trying to get time for myself, but it's just is not happening. My burning out is mainly that I have the kids with me ALL the time and that I have been sleep deprived for so many years. I took time off work, that we couldn't afford, but I figured it's either that or we end up with a big hospital bill....It was the best decision I've made in years and don't regret it one bit, even if we are struggling now trying to make ends meet. I figure God will provide if He deem we need it.

2- I agree with you that PS would not be an answer, because of all the problems it might bring, I think I am hoping for a break from the kids and see PS as the only way to get it (I know , sad...) I do feel like they need a break from me too, they need other adults to pour into their life, and again, in our circumstances, we dont see many options beside PS (again, sad)

3-Kids are not asking to be entertain all the time, I probably am not really objective on that. They do a great job at playing alone, reading, coloring....they can do that for hours actually, but we can only ask them to do this for so long, they still need to be with us and be discipled, and that's when we fail to be able to balance this with 4 kids.

4-Money we just don't make a whole lot, we have no debt actually, beside house. we just don't have any extra money. Nothing that we could cut off to gain some, really, no cable, cell phone, membership of any kind, we 'eat out' once every blue moon.

5-Free activities: I have tried to extend invitation in the past, and people always have plans already or family they eat with regularly, so it's just not happening. I think they see how desperate I am and they get scared :lol: We started to go to a new church, so we'll see what happens there. We did Awana when we had less kids, but now with 4, it's getting pricy.

Sis: HM is homeschool, sorry, should have write HS. I'm not familiar with all the abbreviation on forums. We did a lot of life skills in the past, but again, they seem to want to see something else. My oldest used to get cooking books from library and fix food, but she has stopped, I'm not sure what she is into now actually as she seems to go thru puberty big time and has a very teen attitude. She did try to have a pet business, but never got any clients :( we will try again for this summer and pray that it works better this time. They also did a garage sale of all the stuff we don't want anymore. Keep on doing it actually until they sell it all. ;) If you have any job idea for 13 , 9 and 7 yo, I would love to hear it.

Lisa: it's always nice to know that we are not alone, thru the hs group we have, it seems like all the moms have it all together, makes me feel like I just am not fit for this, and that I am destroying my kids :?
where are you in Central TX, we are not far.

Thank you all again for reading me and for your encouragements, it helps so much. We are still deciding what to do in all areas mentioned, so please a quick prayer would be greatly appreciated


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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling is failing for us
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:14 pm
Posts: 7070
I'm so glad to hear from you! I've been wondering how you were doing.

A suggestion or two on what you just said: Awana's may offer a "scholarship" if you let the Pastor know of your need. Most Churches do have help for affordability, if they know there's a true need.

I really doubt that you're "destroying your kids"! You love them, and you're pouring your heart & soul into this!

Is it possible for your 13 year old to watch the littles (in the house, with you there!) while you catch a nap now & then, or while you sleep late a couple of mornings? My Mom was a widow with 4 kids, and she got lots of naps. Sleep deprivation shouldn't have to be an issue, unless your 13 year old is for some reason unfit for the task. Your 13 year old might be able to "earn" something for her time. it doesn't have to be money if you don't have it! I reward DD with 1/2 hour increments of screentime that is otherwise carefully limited - and that really works to make her feel rewarded/motivated : )

Keep trying on the social outreach at Church - especially since you're in a new congregation. We have a large Parish, but it's a rare Sunday that we can't find SOMEONE to drag home with us ; ) Look for someone new or standing by themselves with no one to talk to - you might meet a great friend!

Hope things are looking up for you soon!

Prayers & hugs.

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 Post subject: Re: Homeschooling is failing for us
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:01 pm
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Tatouile wrote:
Thank you so much all for your answers and trying to sort thru my mess.

I have to say I do agree with all what is being said, and we have tried over the years to implement hard work, respect, contentment...but it's been so hard with just the both of us that we just let a lot of things go by. It's hard to explain, and may be hard to understand (sounds like a bunch of excuses) for those who don't go thru it, but really lack of support / family, lack of money, lack of sleep and mom working at home part time, with kids constantly around (I am talking about 630am to 9pm EVERY day, ....) .well, it just makes it extremely challenging to keep your sanity and keep on homeschooling happily while enjoying your kids.

Anna, thank you for breaking down one big issue into just one. It does help and doesn't seem as such a big obstacle suddenly.

1-I am trying to get time for myself, but it's just is not happening. My burning out is mainly that I have the kids with me ALL the time and that I have been sleep deprived for so many years. I took time off work, that we couldn't afford, but I figured it's either that or we end up with a big hospital bill....It was the best decision I've made in years and don't regret it one bit, even if we are struggling now trying to make ends meet. I figure God will provide if He deem we need it.

2- I agree with you that PS would not be an answer, because of all the problems it might bring, I think I am hoping for a break from the kids and see PS as the only way to get it (I know , sad...) I do feel like they need a break from me too, they need other adults to pour into their life, and again, in our circumstances, we dont see many options beside PS (again, sad)

3-Kids are not asking to be entertain all the time, I probably am not really objective on that. They do a great job at playing alone, reading, coloring....they can do that for hours actually, but we can only ask them to do this for so long, they still need to be with us and be discipled, and that's when we fail to be able to balance this with 4 kids.

4-Money we just don't make a whole lot, we have no debt actually, beside house. we just don't have any extra money. Nothing that we could cut off to gain some, really, no cable, cell phone, membership of any kind, we 'eat out' once every blue moon.

5-Free activities: I have tried to extend invitation in the past, and people always have plans already or family they eat with regularly, so it's just not happening. I think they see how desperate I am and they get scared :lol: We started to go to a new church, so we'll see what happens there. We did Awana when we had less kids, but now with 4, it's getting pricy.

Sis: HM is homeschool, sorry, should have write HS. I'm not familiar with all the abbreviation on forums. We did a lot of life skills in the past, but again, they seem to want to see something else. My oldest used to get cooking books from library and fix food, but she has stopped, I'm not sure what she is into now actually as she seems to go thru puberty big time and has a very teen attitude. She did try to have a pet business, but never got any clients :( we will try again for this summer and pray that it works better this time. They also did a garage sale of all the stuff we don't want anymore. Keep on doing it actually until they sell it all. ;) If you have any job idea for 13 , 9 and 7 yo, I would love to hear it.

Lisa: it's always nice to know that we are not alone, thru the hs group we have, it seems like all the moms have it all together, makes me feel like I just am not fit for this, and that I am destroying my kids :?
where are you in Central TX, we are not far.

Thank you all again for reading me and for your encouragements, it helps so much. We are still deciding what to do in all areas mentioned, so please a quick prayer would be greatly appreciated



13 year olds can babysit (as Anna mentioned), mow lawns, pick weeds, wash cars, pet sitting service, etc. When I was 12 (didn't turn 13 until Oct), I had a job at a local catering business washing dishes after school and on Saturdays. It paid me a whopping $3.25 an hour, but I was hard at work earning money. :)

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