We talked yesterday about the things we love about large family homeschooling. From the flexibility to our kids becoming best friends, there’s a lot to love. Unfortunately, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, and there are definitely downsides to large family homeschooling. Today we’re going to unpack a few of those downsides, though obviously, the positives outweigh the negatives for our family!
The Very Real Downsides to Large Family Homeschooling
Keep in mind these are the downsides for our family. Your positives and negatives might be completely different than ours, and that’s perfectly fine! Large family homeschooling is super diverse and each family will have a totally different experience.
Sometimes It’s Overwhelming
If you’re not a regular reader here at This Outnumbered Mama, you may not know that I’m actually autistic and I have anxiety and chronic migraines. All that to say, I’ve got a lot going on at any given moment even before you add in the kids, their disabilities, their independent needs, and homeschooling!
Sometimes homeschooling so many kids is really overwhelming. There are days that they all seem to need totally different things and they all need them at the same time. There are definitely days that I feel like I spent the entire day nursing the baby and didn’t get a single thing done. Sometimes just the sheer amount of noise in my house is extremely overwhelming and I feel like I can’t homeschool one more day without losing my mind.
Luckily, when it gets overwhelming I can lean on my husband. I can have him take over lessons and I can go hide at Starbucks working (or scrolling Pinterest… let’s be honest!) for a few hours. Before he was home full time, I had a friend step in when I was ignoring self-care.
I Feel Guilty a Lot
I cannot express how often I feel guilty. I’m constantly feeling guilty that I’m not THAT homeschool mom who’s teaching her kids three languages. I’ll feel guilty that I didn’t get more VA work in before sending my monthly invoice or that I pushed back my book launch again. I feel guilty that I haven’t spent enough one on one time with each kiddo that week, or that I haven’t had a date night with Chris in way too long.
There’s a lot of guilt that comes with being a mom in general, but I feel like adding in the large family and homeschooling (and working from home!) makes that guilt multiply. Chris often has to sit me down and “talk some sense” into me. Because really, being a mom is hard. Working from home is hard. Homeschooling one kid is hard, let alone homeschooling a family with almost five kids. We’re doing our best to work through all the hard, and most of the time it goes relatively well!
You Get Questioned All the Time
“You’re done right?” “Don’t you know what causes that?” “Why aren’t they in school? It’s a Tuesday!” I cannot walk through Target on a Tuesday without getting tons of questions from well-meaning strangers. I try to have grace, but occasionally the comments really drive me up the wall.
Because really, I have no idea if we’re “done” having kids, and that’s definitely not a conversation I plan on having with a grocery clerk. I do know what “causes that”, and clearly it’s working for us. And they’re not in school because they homeschool, and that doesn’t mean I need to hear about your brother’s girlfriend’s cousin that homeschooled her kids and they turned out really weird.
Okay, that’s super sassy. I get it. And in real life I laugh off comments and say things like “oh we’re just so lucky” or “we just really like babies!” But this seriously gets really annoying and is a definite downside to large family homeschooling.
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