Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Tale of a Homeschool Dropout


I’ve planned on homeschooling my children since before they were born.  I’ve spent years of my life planning and researching and reading and talking and looking and hunting.  I’ve spent the better part of the last couple of years homeschooling.

On my own.

Now?  All I have left is the ifs. If my husband had a normal job… If my husband were home more… If I only had two children… If I were a better mom, I… If I were better at this…

That’s the funny thing about ifs.  You can’t ever really know the answer because the if…isn’t.

My husband doesn’t have a normal job.  He doesn’t work a normal schedule and sometimes we only see each other in passing. I don’t have two children, I have three and while Christian Fundies, who pride themselves on their ability to reproduce copiously because the sky guy says they have to, are able to do more, I can’t.

If I’m honest with myself, I kept on the last six months or so for the husband.  The topic of school came up about spring and the look on the husband’s face when I suggested it meant I didn’t talk about it again.  Just like that other thing two and a half years ago.  I did it because it was the thing to do and I was afraid to say what I really wanted.  I was afraid to speak from the depths and there’s no turning back.

While I love my husband dearly, I can’t make all my decisions as if what he wants is what’s most important.  If there’s anything I’ve learned about myself in the last month or so, it’s that I have to be somewhere.  I have to matter.

Which isn’t to say that anyone else around me (the husband included) said or behaved as if I didn’t matter.  It’s absolutely my problem.  I’ll spend money on everyone else first.  Do whatever anyone else wants instead of saying what I want.  Put everyone else in front of myself because it’s the thing to do.

Do it all while I get lost in the process.

I’m tired of doing things all on my own.  Tired of doctrinal statements and Christian privilege attached to everything.  Sad that there are so few kids for my son to play with in the neighborhood.  Tired of fighting my son to get him to do a small fraction of the school work that kids in school do because he’d rather play Legos all day long. All.  day.  long.  Too overwhelmed by the screaming of a certain someone…over every little thing…to find a way to do things differently so that my son comes willingly along because it can’t all be fun science and history projects 24/7.

So, we enrolled our oldest in the local public school.  He wants to go for the hot lunch and recess (did I mention that we eat a hot lunch everyday?).  I want to take one job title off my plate.  He’s got the perfect teacher for his very first year (owns a farm, brings in animals, nature, nature, nature).  And everything shifts around.

I’ve been labeling each individual pencil, crayon, and glue bottle because they say we must.  There are stacks of books to sell to pay for other school things (and maybe a yard or so of fabric for me).  All while running around like a chicken with my head cut off – portfolio, registration, shoes, clothes, supplies, that binder that made no sense without context, sell, print, package, and ship.

We’re excited and exhausted.  The last of the homeschool lesson plans have either been completed or cancelled because I’m done.  Someone else is going to take over for a while and I won’t have to try and hunt down the 4H lady to figure out how to join.

If you told me last week that this is where we’d be, I wouldn’t have believed you.  It’s been a wild last few days, but in the end it’s right.

It’s just right.

I’m a homeschool drop out.

And everything’s going to be just fine.

5 thoughts on “Tale of a Homeschool Dropout

  1. Amen

  2. Not that you need to hear this, but I HAVE to say it…..Everything is not ‘going to be’ just fine. Everything ‘IS’ just fine. You are fine, your children are fine, your decision is fine, your journey is fine, your dedication is fine, your ability to see what is best for you and your family is fine. Your time spent homeschooling has shaped you as much as it has shaped your children. You are an amazing person with an amazing husband and amazing children. Your son will be heading into this new adventure knowing (REALLY KNOWING) that he is loved and supported no matter what. NO matter WHAT he scores on a test, NO matter WHAT he time he gets when he runs sprints in PhyEd, NO matter WHAT subject he aces (or doesn’t). No. Matter. What.

  3. Christy said it all. You are too hard on yourself and too close to the situation to see it clearly. Take credit for all you’ve accomplished because you have done a lot. And take some time for yourself to replenish all your systems: mental, physical and emotional. You deserve it!

    • I am always my toughest critic, that is true. Your comment is very kind, though, and I appreciate you saying it. It is good to be reminded sometimes.