Getting Real ~ Giving up

A reader recently told me she always deleted my posts because I’m “too organized”! I felt compelled to be real and explain that most of my posts are simply a “peep into our homeschooling” and, although not always window dressed, I tend to showcase what works.

So, here is the start a series of “Getting Real” posts. 

My main goal in Practical Pages is to encourage moms and so I will widen my exposure lens and share some of the real issues, problems and some of the nitty-gritty realities of our homeschooling lives, and hopefully, be real about how we are trying to work through them.

Giving up.

I have felt like giving up, several times over the past years. Mostly during the years teaching my high schoolers, as shut-down teens. They are tough, and, together with their strong wills and designs of their own, as well as a really pathetic correspondence high school curriculum, I had no idea how to “succeed”.  I dreaded every day’s battles, frustrations and dead-ends.  In the end, we pushed through,  and my eldest graduated with a university entrance. Relief!  One down – 2 to go …

Last year my middle daughter only started her high school year in April and we did not do any exams that year … at all. It was the year my hubby said that “I dropped the ball”.

I must defend myself explain that our son got married that February, we were all helping build his house in time … and the postal strike delayed the arrival of her books … and so on … but basically I floundered with a new high school curriculum we had started, and I didn’t know how to approach the lessons and guide my daughter through her work.

Praise the Lord, she settled into a better routine when life returned to ‘normal’.  She attended lessons with a tutor in town every 2 weeks to bring her (and myself) up to standard.

Essentially, it did not really matter. All that fuss and those crippling fears!  She is young for the course she signed up for, and has 3 years to complete the 2 year exam requirements. I am confident that she did not actually fall behind, and that we are still on track.

My kids have often told me that they give up.

Young kids cried over maths, and even more sadly, they have cried in our art lessons.  My eldest refused to do some CM subjects and I cried bitter tears of failure.

More sadly, I had tried so hard. Too hard. I blame myself for coming on too strong, being to ‘teachy’ and trying to educate.all.the.time.

Lesson learnt. I have learnt to relax much more. I have learnt to let the kids take control and take the lead.

Often, it helps to talk to another understanding person; my hubby or a fellow homeschooler. It is a relief to know that others struggle just as we do.

Don’t give up.  Take a break.  Change your approach.  Find help.  It is worth the effort of perseverance!  In the end, homeschooling provided the nurture and relationship bonding that has made our lives rich and rewarding.

You can do it!

Have you ever felt like giving up? How did you find the courage to continue?  Please share in the comments.

Blessings as you persevere.

25 thoughts on “Getting Real ~ Giving up

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  7. I would like to say thank you for all of your posts. I signed up as a homeschooling mom looking for ideas. When our circumstances changed and I found myself teaching 1st-3rd grades in our church’s small private school, I couldn’t bring myself to “quit” you. I have found that your posts have actually been more encouraging to me as a classroom teacher than a homeschool teacher. My class of 7 students at varying levels academically is very much like a homeschool, in my opinion, but with a room filled with stuff I didn’t have to buy or choose! (Decision making is not my strongest area.) Thank you, for being honest, and thank you for being organized! You are an inspiration to me! God bless your efforts!


  8. I love your blog, and I enjoyed this post, too. I think you often do slip in side notes that show the dynamic you’re working with and I appreciate it! I love gleaning ideas here, and I have really felt stymied trying to figure out high school and still teach the littlest traditionally. Next year, my son (thirdborn) wants to go to high school, I think partly because he’s seen how hard it is to get the help he needs in maths and sciences (I have eight children, 19-2, home with me, although the two oldest do go to a drop in school program infrequently and work at home the rest of the time. I love teaching high school! But I just can’t make it all fit lately…


    • @stephanie, high school years are so challenging — on so many levels! Emotional, hormonal, and academically. My high school teens have all considered going to school. Partly it has been our isolation and their need for social contact, and the other is to have the extras that high school offers. Nothing is written in stone, but we are grateful for the privilege to continue homeschooling each one through these turbulent years. Blessings as you navigate your journey with each of your children!


  9. Pingback: Getting Real ~ Chaos | Practical Pages

  10. Thanks, Nadene! Just what I needed to hear today, when truly I feel like tossing it all 😦
    This has been such a rough few years and you nailed it when you speak of the transition of your child to young adult and all of the tumult that can ensue. I have been very hard on myself and feel pretty let down at times that thing do not go smoothly most of the time. I have three boys and on a good day that can be tough, lol! Lots of energy and noise, lol! I hate all of the arguing and badgering and the like. That is not me at all and to tell you the truth, some days I just wonder if I am doing any good at all. We’ve been hsing since the beginning and it’s been 8 years now, but, this transition period is more rough than it was when I had two littles and nursing a third! That was WAY easier! Most days are a struggle to keep him on task and I feel like we are constantly at a stand off. I wish I could find something that would get him excited about learning again. Praying is what gets me through the day alot these days. Just waiting for the fruit to take hold 😉 Thanks for sharing!


  11. It is strange how we find comfort in our shared human struggles, but we do and in this know that we are not alone. My greatest struggle has been not having other homeschool groups/mothers around as we serve as missionaries in Central Mexico. Truly, Jesus has become more of my all in all. I am thankful for the encouragement and resources through sites like yours. Thank you for all the time you put into giving to others. Bless you.


  12. Oh my goodness my daughter is a freshman and she is everything you described with the strong will and being shut down! Ugh! It’s a daily struggle to keep her on task and I feel like we are constantly at a stand off. I wish I could find something that would get her excited about learning again.



  13. Although I don’t reply all the time, I do read your posts all the time. However, it is wonderful that you will reach out to so many more people when you “open the lens wider” and share so much more. That way, we feel we are all in the same boat some days and not striving to be like someone else or not feeling disappointed in ourselves or feeling a failure when someone else looks like they have it all perfect. I also like to write the good stuff and read the good stuff because that is what is encouraging. If I focus too much on the nitty gritty realities of home schooling it can deflate me and send me spiralling down into a not-good-enough space. So thanks for starting a new series of keeping it real behind closed doors but please don’t stop the positive side as well. Bless you all. xox


  14. Hi I love your posts, you inspire me to be more organised. I have learnt from you. I have hardly started homeschooling and already I sometimes feel like giving up and giving in to the fear of failure . If it wasn’t for the guidance the Lord has already obviously given me I think I would. I really have to guard against comparing myself to other moms and feeling inadequate. I’m putting my trust in Him to keep us on the right path. Please keep posting you have helped me to see the beauty of homeschooling and how it can be done successfully. 🙂 I’m sure the other mom meant it as a compliment 😉


  15. Thank you Nadene.. your comments came at a good time.. I have just had one of those days.. where I feel like I just can’t do it anymore.. your words are comforting.. x


  16. When I read this post this morning I immediately felt irritated by the reader that said this to you. I mean WOW! But I think this is becoming the norm…calling people out because of this or that or to make themselves feel better about their misery. Your blog was one of the first ones I found as I began the homeschool journey five years ago and I loved it and still do. I have never commented until now. If you wanted to share your struggles then you should do so on your own terms. I have always appreciated your posts for what they were-glimpses into your homeschool journey that was different than mine! I loved finding ideas and the things you shared. Did I use them all? No, but again-different than me!! I have recommended your blog to many and will continue to do so…not because your posts are so *real* but because I enjoy them and I thought you enjoyed sharing them as well. If I wanted *real* I could pick up the phone and talk to another homeschool mom down the way. I think you’re great doing things just the way you always have and are so talented 🙂 All the best to you from me in Ohio, USA.


  17. Thank you for this post. I’ve read a few other similar posts, one which I may reblog, about homeschooling through the “obstacles.” I have had so many rough patches, curriculum changes, pregnancies and other life events that slowed us down for awhile. Sometimes things were great. But much of the time it is HARD WORK and I felt like giving up, too. Sadly, when I told my husband number seven was on the way last year, he said I had to quit and put the bigger ones in school. After a horribly long (9 months) move, a baby and then a new pregnancy and THEN suddenly adjusting to school, it’s been the hardest stretch yet. I’m working with my little three right now and hope to homeschool the bigger ones again after baby comes in June.


  18. Thank you..homeschooling is not a walk in the park. It’s difficult and time consuming. It takes all my energy to do it but when I look back at the progress we’ve made, I’m amazed at all we’ve accomplished together. Keep the post coming! My daughter loves art. I can’t draw, so I am trying to find ways she can learn. She’s really into sketching right now. Do you have any tips, DVDs, or online courses you can suggest?


    • @Shawn-Del, You’re right — it is an all-consuming task at times, but worth the effort when one realizes the value of devoted imput and encouragement in our children’s lives! Keep going strong!
      Regarding your daughter’s sketching passion – there are so many fabulous books, step-by-step guides and online videos, lessons etc. I’m sure you can find something that helps hone her technique or inspire her.


  19. Oh how I can relate and feel your “pain”. If one homeschool mom would ever tell me they never felt that, I would say they are not being honest with themselves.
    We all get those ‘pull my hair out’, ‘are not good enough’ moments. I have always taken the approach to just step back and get myself together. I take a time out. I leave the room and walk away, I gather my thought or we simply continue the next day. I have come to the realization that many times not the kids that are at fault but me. My approach might be wrong, they are after all still kids and don’t think like me. I must never forget that.
    I firmly believe that homeschooling keeps you on your knees. Without God we simply can’t take this journey. He is our rock, every day, every minute.
    Even though I have been homeschooling for many years now, I still learn something new every day.
    All the luck and plenty of blessings.


    • Oh, @Maryna Moolman, I so agree with you! Parenting is done on the knees! And I agree that we constantly learn and grow as we look to the Lord to help us in even the tiny details of our lives. Thanks for joining this conversation! Blessings!


  20. I think we all have different strengths and should never compare ourselves to other homeschooling moms. Your blog shows the things that you’ve learnt and I know you really are good at arty things so you can help other moms who want some direction in that area. Don’t be discouraged by what that reader said.

    I’ve felt like giving up countless times. In fact, even this week, I went through one of those down times. I would say, the challenges I’ve faced as a homeschooling mom have tested me to the limits. Even though I don’t really do much in terms of teaching my kids any more as they learn independently, the fear and uncertainty about the future never goes away. And especially when my middle child struggles with so many things academically, I question myself constantly. We watched the Summerhill movie the other night and the girl named Maddy in it reminded me so much of my middle child. Summerhill is a school where kids are unschooled – they aren’t required to take any lessons unless they want to and eventually they do rediscover a love for learning and thrive. Maddy hated writing and tests and would freeze up with them so much. Summerhill let her come out her shell of anxiety and enjoy her life again. I wish we had a Summerhill school here where we live, but we don’t. Second best is to keep my son exactly where he is right now – at home. But I do question myself and my decisions many days. I know he’s better off emotionally than he’d be at school with all the pressures, but I do worry about his future prospects if he’s not academically inclined.


    • @Kathy, thank you so much for your kind words. Your understanding of your middle child’s needs is really precious. Each child is such an unique individual and we are privileged to be able to nurture and grow them in their strengths and gifting, while gently helping them cope with their weaknesses. Academics is just one measure … each person has so much to offer the world besides knowledge. Trust the Lord to show you how to develop the skills he needs to express the passion and purpose of his life. Blessings!


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