Are you ready for my answer? I might get myself in a bit of trouble……but here it is.
No, homeschool does not have to be amazingly, awesomely, and inspiringly fun every second of every day.
Let me tell you why:
- Life isn’t full of fun. It’s best to prepare kids for the reality they will one day face rather than focusing on making every moment full of fun.
- Not all learning is easy. Learning is meant to be a challenge and not everyone finds a challenge to be fun. Some kids will have to struggle to master a concept but will then feel the sense of achievement found in learning.
- Everyone should learn to fail with grace. You have imperfect kids, imperfect days, and you yourself are imperfect. There will be mistakes and those won’t be fun. Now is the time to learn to gracefully cope with failure and to recognize that mistakes are an important tool in learning.
- You don’t need that kind of pressure. If your only focus is making every minute momentous and every project full of fun, you will live under unrealistic pressure. Whenever one of your plans is not deemed fun, you will feel like a miserable failure. Relax and understand that the goal is learning together and building relationships.
Character trumps fun. Character qualities such as diligence, perseverance, determination, tenacity, and dedication are more important than fun. Teaching kids to press on even in the midst of struggle is a more worthy goal than making every moment fun.
Now, before you get angry and offended and tell me that homeschool can be wonderfully fun, I will tell you that I agree. Homeschool can be fun. I find our homeschool journey to be fun (usually) as do my kids. If you gave us all a choice, we would still pick homeschooling every time. There is no turning back for us. We have drunk the KoolAid and we like it! Homeschool forever!
But I told you that it doesn’t have to be fun. There will be days when it will feel like drudgery. At times you will want to quit. In some moments you will feel like the worst teacher/mother in the world. That’s just the truth of homeschooling.
So, take some of the pressure off yourself. You don’t have to be crazy creative and a superwoman on the side. Not all of your projects will be Pinterest worthy. Some of your ideas will flop. Many of your moments will be mundane rather than newsworthy. But that’s ok. Take a deep breath and know that you’re doing your job even when the moments seem monotonous.
It’s important that your kids recognize that not all of life is fun and games. Not everything exists for their entertainment. Sometimes perseverance and diligence are needed to finish what you start. Sometimes you need some grit and sheer stubbornness to master a concept. Learning is a rewarding challenge.
I’ll say it again. Homeschooling doesn’t have to be fun. If your focus is solely on making every minute fun then you miss the real ministry of being present in the moment, building the relationship with your children, and learning alongside them through the mistakes and the challenges. Put away the Pinterest page, close down the awesome homeschool blogs, and step away from the book of ideas. Just simply BE with your kids-encourage them, support them, challenge them, laugh with them, and exhibit grace toward them. Your kids need a big dose of you rather than a whole lot of fun in their homeschool days.