Top 3 Challenges in our Imperfect Homeschool

I like to keep it real.
So today, let’s talk about the imperfectness of my homeschool…


We are schedule challenged.

Our days don’t start at a set time. (Actually, mine do now, but that’s because of the kindergartener in public school and a really early school bus.) That’s works just fine sometimes, but there are some days we just seem to keep dragging all day.

Now, throw two young kids in the mix; I’m amazed we’ve gotten anything done in the two months since they joined the family! That’s one of the reasons I chose to put the 4-year-old in a three day preschool this year while the 5-year-old was in public kindergarten: to give us a little time during the transition.

I used to think we had to have a strict schedule, or no schedule at all. Nothing in-between seemed to work for me. I’m finally learning that we can have a routine without being slaves to a schedule. This means we do certain things before we do other things, and we usually do certain things on certain days — BUT when needed that can vary. For instance, a beautiful spring day after a week of rain means I am perfectly happy for the kids to spend ALL day outside.

Personality clashes + grumpy days = no fun.

Lindsey and I sometimes clash because our personalities are so different. Then again, Kathryn and I sometimes butt heads because our personalities are so similar. I have no idea what gets into the little kids some days. Some days, it seems like everyone in the house ends up grumpy for no good reason. As much as I love my kids, those days can seem mighty long.

I have a child who does NOT like homeschooling.

Lindsey has come to see homeschool as the lesser of the two evils as compared to spending another 2 to 3 years in public school, but she doesn’t like it. Meaningful conversations about what she’s learning are far and few between because she rarely enjoys learning.

That’s been hard for me. Kathryn has grown up homeschooling and enjoys learning and discussing it with me. I love that. For a long time, I felt that Lindsey’s rejection of homeschooling was a rejection of me, the homeschool mom. It has created tension between us, especially before we sent her back to public school last year. I have to remind myself that her early learning experiences squashed her natural-born love of learning, and bringing that back at the age of 14 didn’t work. Maybe it’s possible, but it didn’t happen here.

In reality, it’s the schooling part of homeschooling that she has a problem with. Real-life learning (working and paying bills, as well as basic schooling) has taught her more this year than she learned in the previous several years combined. On a good day, she’d admit that, too.

Homeschooling is worth the trouble.

Of course I don’t share EVERY little detail of my life (I wrote about that a while back), but hear me on this: those hard days (or weeks, or YEARS!) aren’t just in your house!

This is no fairy tale, and there’s no fairy godmother stepping in to teach fractions. {Wouldn’t that be lovely?} Even with the grumpy days, the clashes of personality, the schedule challenges, a less-than-enthusiastic student… I wouldn’t trade it. The imperfect life we’re living is worth the time and effort.

–>  I’m not the only one! Read about MORE imperfect homeschools!

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Kristen @ TeachingStars

I’ve recently learned that it goes so much smoother when I stop looking at the clock and following a time-based schedule and instead follow a routine. Ex: Free play until breakfast- after breakfast clean up time while Mommy preps for our day- then we start school. Some days, if the girls get up early we start this routine before 8. Other days I drag my feet and their free play until breakfast lasts until close to lunch! But I don’t sweat it anymore. It works for us.

Thanks for sharing your imperfections! It’s nice to know I’m not alone. 🙂

Erin - The Usual Mayhem

It’s definitely worth it, even on the days where you secretly fantastize about banging their heads together like coconuts when all they’ve done is bicker. No? That’s just me? Moving on…. Homeschooling is hands-down the best thing we ever did as a family, even on the worst days and the days where your parents come for a visit and your daughter asks you in front of them what US state Toronto is in. Not that I’d know about that one.


Oh I know your struggles. I’m not schedule-challenged. I love schedules and routine! But my kids are biologically schedule-challenged. Wanna know how well that goes? 😉

Love the post!

Kela Nellums

I had a couple of kids that rejected home education too! If it had not been for my husband’s steadfastness, I would have caved many times…

Kela Nellums

I pray that that comment didn’t come across in a negative way!! There were days that I wish that I could have done what you decided to do.

Heidi @ Home Schoolroom

My daughter and I are very similar and that causes conflict. My son and I are total opposites and that causes conflict, too. I guess being together 24-7 causes conflict no matter the personality style! And if you ever do spot the fraction fairy godmother send her my way. 🙂


Love this! We are majorly schedule challenged over here! Nice to know we’re not alone…and you’re right…homeschooling is worth it.


If that Fairy Godmother shows up, would you send her my way please???!!


This was very nice to see. My husband Ken and I are in the process of adopting an 19 month old boy L. through the foster care system while homeschooling our 8 year old daughter Melanie. Our days are not perfect but then again life with a toddler is not perfect but so worth it. (He has been living with us since early March and as of now the adoption should be finalized by October at the latest:))


“I felt that Lindsey’s rejection of homeschooling was a rejection of me, the homeschool mom. It has created tension between us,” I AM HERE NOW! It is so difficult to separate the two. Even as an adult, it feels that the constant rebellious comments about school turn into a power struggle of defiance. I love reading your candid posts from the view of someone that is going through it. I KNOW the why behind the actions, but it’s still hard.


100+ days into homeschooling my kiddo and he is begging to go back… but I am holding firm and planning on at least one more year. Bound to be friction over that. I have to remember, he is only 10 and while he knows what he wants, he does not know what he needs. We are going to address his concerns (mostly of the social variety) with collaborative problem solving over the summer while I am off.

Billie Jean

When my 7year old was born on my Virgo birthday I was so excited! Forward 5years later to homeschool kindergarten……I realized I am trying to teach my perfectionist, out to please everyone, self control freak self. Not so fun. We’re finishing up second grade and learning to work through it as I teach my now kindergartners daughter who thinks this is her world and we just live in it. Next year we add in the “wrecking ball” preschooler and I cringe at the thought of how that will be possible. It’s all SO worth the daily effort!


This is a very timely post for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have 9, 7, and 5 yr old boys and a 4mo old girl and moved twice this school year. It’s been a tough homeschool year for the kids and me. I believe that God wants us to homeschool, and I desire to continue, but that feeling has been challenged even more than normal the last few weeks. “Personality clashes” nails it on the head for me. I don’t want to be the reason my 9yo doesn’t want to do school, but maybe it’s just that he… Read more »

Nicole M

Thanks for sharing Jaime….I have one in high school, one in middle school (who is also an Aspie) and a little finishing up Kinder….and you’re right some days are very tough (our schedule is really coo-coo right now), but we love Homeschool…love the flexibility (I just had major surgery and we’re not getting as much school done) and love what God is doing in and thru this family because of homeschool…..

Blessings to you and your beautiful family

Leslie aka Mother Robin

Always refreshing to realize there is at least one other homeschool out there that isn’t always sunny and bright and baking alphabet cookies. Our adopted DD is a joy when she wants to be and a cross to be born as well. BUT “…I know the plans I have for {her},” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper {her} and not to harm {her}, plans to give {her} hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:10-12 He prepared me for this task and it keeps me going knowing that I am being used to work out His plan in her life. The days… Read more »