When You Want to Give Up on Homeschool

There are countless blessings that stem from homeschooling, but let’s face it: homeschooling is hard.  Even on the most normal days, this life is enough to make quitting homeschool a thought worth considering for lots of people.

There’s the constant pressure to get it right and provide your kids with the best education possible.  Then there’s the arguing between kids, the laundry and housework that never stops, and meals that aren’t going to prepare themselves.  Let’s not forget about financial strains and the fact that homeschool parents don’t exactly get much time to themselves.

When You Want to Give Up on Homeschool

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I don’t know how it goes in your home, but on any given week I typically have one incredibly smooth homeschool day with my kids.  The rest of those days are semi-productive, but they come with some sort of struggle before we finish our typical homeschool day.  Even on my best weeks I need to be encouraged to keep going and be reminded why we chose this homeschool life.

It’s not just the everyday challenges that make it tough.  Sometimes it’s hard on us because it’s downright hard.  Quitting homeschool might sound appealing because:

  • You’re overwhelmed and it would be easier to send them to school.
  • You’re exhausted from taking care of babies and toddlers.
  • You’re an introvert and you’re “on” 24/7 … There’s not much downtime with this gig!
  • You rarely talk to your friends. What you wouldn’t give for some conversation without references to Pokemon or Doc McStuffins.
  • Your family and friends aren’t supportive and never have been.

Quitting homeschool can also become tempting when we’re our own worst enemies.  We believe the lies that we’re not good enough, patient enough, or educated enough to be a home educator.  These lies come packaged in statements similar to these:

  • You’re not organized enough to homeschool.
  • You’re behind and you’ll never get caught up.
  • You’ll have to send them to high school.  There’s no way homeschooling can give them what they need at that point.
  • They’d be better off in public school.
  • You can’t provide them with the experiences they deserve.

What about the times when the kids make homeschooling hard?

  • They hate school.
  • They argue all. the. time.
  • They don’t obey.
  • They’re unmotivated.

When You Want to Give Up on Homeschool

Lastly, there are times when quitting homeschool sounds like the answer because your family was been faced with big changes and hard times.

  • Your family has experienced job loss or is going through financial difficulty.
  • You’re pregnant.  Again.
  • A family member is battling major health problems.
  • Your child has special needs.

What to Do When You Want to Quit

There are plenty of reasons it might cross your mind to give up on homeschooling.  When you feel that way, it’s important to focus on the gifts that homeschool brings.  Remind yourself of those gifts and cling tightly to them.   It’s safe to say that the old expression “nothing worth having comes easy” also applies here.  It will be hard, but there are irreplaceable gifts that come with it.

Remember that you are enough and you can do this.  Between wonderful curriculum options and the online homeschool community, there’s help available for any subject or problem you may be dealing with.  Don’t ever feel intimidated by home education.  After all, we live in a time where you can easily outsource the classes that aren’t your strongest as a teacher!

It’s also important to seek support from your family and friends — especially homeschooling friends — when you feel like giving up.  Talk to your people and draw encouragement from them.  (Skip the naysayers, though.  They’ll probably feed the quitting homeschool sentiment.)

Beyond your family and friends, draw inspiration and encouragement from the online homeschool community. There are many families out there who have gone through struggles while homeschooling and they would be happy to share their stories with you.

One place to find those stories is Homeschooling: What to Do When You Want to Quit.  Written by the bloggers of iHomeschool Network, this project contains all of the encouragement and information you need to keep going when you’re thinking of giving up on homeschool!

My contribution to this book is about homeschooling through job loss or other financial problems.  My chapter shares how we homeschooled despite being a family of four living on a part time income.  It wasn’t an easy time for us and it took some serious budget makeovers — homeschool budget and household budget — but I’m thankful that quitting homeschool was never an option through it all.

There are plenty of other homeschooling struggles out there, though, and I love that this book covers many of them and covers them from different perspectives.  I’m happy to have this one sitting on my shelf, for sure.


What about you? What advice do you have for someone who’s considering quitting homeschool?

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2 thoughts on “When You Want to Give Up on Homeschool”

  1. Thank you very much for this. I just got the book for Kindle and look forward to reading it. With so many new responsibilities all at once, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and the thought has crossed my mind quite a lot over this last week to just put him in school. But when I remember the loads of homework the schools send home, it would be the same amount of time and much less of a struggle to just press thru this tough time. I didn’t think the part time job would affect us as much as it has. I am mentally drained when I get home from work, yet there is dinner to cook, laundry to do, floors to clean, baths to get, bedtime, and other responsibilities from church. My plate runneth over right now. But I know that His Grace is sufficient and that the dust will settle as well.

    1. You are so welcome, Kelley! I totally understand why you would feel overwhelmed, but know that you have friends in your corner! Also, I hope you find the book to be encouraging and helpful. There are several different homeschool moms who share how they got through those overwhelming seasons, working outside the home, and even dealing with housework. 😉

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