{Blog Post to Bookshelf} A Snippet from the Manuscript Where I Shatter Yet Another Myth about Homeschool Parents

Think again if this is what you think a homeschooling parent looks like. (Image credit: Disney)
Think again if this is what you think  homeschooling parents look like. (Image credit: Disney)

The draft of my chapter in which this passage appears hasn’t been proofread yet–so it might not even make the cut, but I wanted to toss it out and see if it strikes a chord with anyone.

For me it represents another lesson I’ve learned in the wake of my recent diagnosis.

To succeed at homeschooling, you need not wake up every morning feeling like a modern Mary or Marty Poppins ready to sail effortlessly through the day with your perfect children who do their schoolwork perfectly while you draft your third best-selling novel. There will be days—weeks, months, years, even—as a parent where you will feel lucky if you can muster a meager sense of contentment after your second cup of coffee.

In the famous words of psychologist M. Scott Peck: “Life is difficult.”

Hell, yeah, it is.

And so are people. And so are some personalities. Work with what you’ve got.


P.S. Yes, I think it applies to non-homeschooling parents, too.


  1. This sounds like a great idea, Pamela. I am not a home-school parent but was active in my kids’ schooling, kindergarten through college (one still in high school), and I read your column often. Anyone who is actively involved in their kids’ schoolwork, activities, achievements, relationships with their peers, etc., has experienced “problems” and will continue to experience problems because life is not perfect, nor are the people we know or the ones we may encounter. No matter how much you think you have prepared yourself or your kids, something will inevitably blind-side you. Our lives are ultimately an “art form” and how we manage our ups and downs may actually determine our overall success in life. It is normal to feel over-whelmed at times. Having the skill to pull yourself up out of a dilemma, put it into perspective, and move forward with the lessons learned for the future – therein lies the art form, recognizing there is “hope” and “opportunity” with the breaking of a new day. Even on Monday.

    • LOVE this comment, Nancy. Very much. Thanks.

      The text that I shared is something that I’ve wanted to say out loud for some time. Good to know that it resonated with at least one of my readers. That’s what I was hoping to hear.

  2. What makes “all this” worthwhile for me comes from a quote I discovered when I was in my teens, and it has stayed with me always: “To know of someone here and there whom we accord with, who is living on with us, even in silence—this makes our earthly ball a peopled garden.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

  3. I rarely feel like Mary Poppins. Frankly, I don’t know anyone who does. But you swing your legs out of bed and then, stumble towards that first cup of tea. How you wake up your kids often dictates the rest of the morning. Wake them up while you feel grouchy, grumpy and grinchy, and your kids will respond in kind. Worst is when you just don’t feel like teaching. Your kids will notice. Stop teaching. Put away the books and bring out the modeling clay and tools. Or pack a snack, some water, get the leash for the dog and head out for a walk.

    Right now I only have one kid homeschooling. The other one elected to go to school (2nd grade). The remaining one is very independent and doesn’t need me except for a few subjects.

    I think I’ll go for a walk now.

  4. Yes. We more or less took last year off. My son got a really bad case of strep that got into his skin in the spring, and it took him a good 4 months to regain his strength and energy back to what it had been, and another few months to regain and get back on track with his weight and height. And then it just took us another few months to just kind of work back into the swing of things. I just couldn’t muster any excitement for work, or for working him, if you will. We didn’t do *nothing*, and in fact, we were almost over-committed this last semester in extra-curriculars, but school work…well…it just didn’t happen much. He’s working 2-3 grades ahead in almost every subject, and even though we hardly did anything, he still progressed, so I’m really, really not worried about it. I think my husband was really starting to get uptight about it, but I knew we would be ok. And I think, even not taking the illness into consideration, the break was good for my ds. A: he probably needed a break, and B: he matured over that year, so that he’s doing a great job now, getting work done and working well without giving me tons of crap. I just hope we can keep it up! 🙂

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