Overall, the most common hardships that come with home schooling (boredom, frustration, monotony) are not much different from those that accompany any long-term commitment. And, as with any other commitment, the more I focus on why I’m doing what I’m doing—giving my daughter the opportunity to explore what’s important to her, as well as exposing her to a diversity of ideas and experiences—the less likely I am to dwell on the negatives.
Nevertheless, it would be dishonest to describe home schooling as solely one long field trip in the park. So, in no particularly order, the downsides of home schooling:
1) IT CAN GET CROWDED: Sometimes we get on each other’s nerves. When you’re home schooling, there’s no escaping the kid (or the mom) who’s driving you crazy.
2) IT CAN GET LONELY: Despite all the company (see above), it can get lonely. For adult companionship, I check my Facebook. A lot.
3) IT CAN BE INFURIATING: Think of how tough it can be to persuade your child to do homework. Now multiply that by six.
4) IT CAN BE EXHAUSTING: A great thing about sending your kid to school? Resources and manpower. By choosing to home school, every lunch, field trip, art project and science experiment is up to me.
5) IT CAN BE PREDICTABLE: Because it is almost all up to me, my daughter doesn’t bring home Mother’s Day cards she’s secretly worked on for weeks or surprise me with what she learned in school last week. I know all about it.
6) IT CAN BE BORING: Some mornings I look at my kids and think, “You again?”
7) IT CAN BE SOLITARY: I recently spent an afternoon helping with a school’s annual fundraiser and enjoyed the easy conversation with other parents. Sometimes it's my daughter who misses the sense of community she had in public school, sometimes it's me.
8) IT CAN BE EXPENSIVE: As long as I’m at home, I’m not earning an income, which makes home schooling very expensive. Especially in a big city.
9) IT CAN BE TEDIOUS: While making such an adventurous choice can be novel and exciting at first, there are days when I know my life would be a lot simpler if I just went with the crowd.
10) IT CAN BE HUMBLING: Before I home schooled, it was easy to throw stones. Now that I’ve taken on the roles of school and teacher, I have an appreciation for the effort it takes to educate just one child. My hat is off, now and forever, to all the professional educators and administrators out there who devote their lives to teaching thousands.
It's no walk in the park.