Am I a homeschool burnout?


Now that we’ve officially wrapped up this year’s schooling, complete with evaluation, portfolio, and the turning in of paperwork, I can admit something as I look toward our final year of homeschooling: I’m more than done.

Am I tired of homeschooling? Maybe. This year has been one of the “struggle” years, as we dealt with our daughter’s depression and anxiety, lack of motivation due to the aforementioned issues, and the scramble to catch up and finish well despite it all. There have been other struggle years, and I’m pretty sure that’s not unique to our household.

Am I sorry we chose this route? No way. When I look back at the worst times of our homeschool years, I know without a doubt that they would have been much, much worse if we’d had the kids in traditional government school.

Homeschooling three children to graduation (the youngest will graduate in 2018) has been one of the most rewarding choices my husband and I ever made. It’s also not been the easiest of choices and is not for the lazy, but I would never say I regret it. Our household has been richer for it, as far as the relationships we have with each other. Our “kids” (seventeen, twenty-one, and twenty-three) have diverse tastes, ever-expanding interests, and great friends. Best of all, they know who they are because they’ve not been forced to change themselves based on what their school peers have deemed popular or not.

If I’m tired of anything, it’s the paperwork. Even though Pennsylvania finally changed part of their homeschool law so I only have to turn in my evaluator’s okay at the end of the school year, it’s still the state with the second-most stringent set of homeschool laws in the US. I still have to put together a portfolio for the evaluator to look through so we can prove we’ve done the work required by law. And I still have to write up yearly objectives that I may or may not follow, depending on how the school year progresses—even though there’s no way for the school district to check up on me to see if I followed those objectives, or to make me list where I may have deviated from the plan.

It’s needless paperwork for every homeschooler, and it bugs me. I realized as I worked on next year’s objectives for our daughter that these would be the last set of objectives I would have to write, and I almost poured myself a glass of wine to celebrate.

The real celebration, though, will be next year at this time, when I reflect on a total of twenty years of homeschool life.

Victory, satisfaction, and a wee bit of relief.




7 thoughts on “Am I a homeschool burnout?

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  1. Wow, twenty years of home schooling! What a remarkable feat. In the last year of home schooling myself, begun back in 5th grade, I understand what you mean about the paperwork involved in the process. While states have developed more home school-friendly policies in the past few decades, it still entails some considerable work. Through high school I’ve helped my mom prepare education plans and end-of-yeat reports, as well as put together transcripts, course descriptions, and grade reports. Countless hours! I applaud your dedication, and wish you the best for the rest of this last school year.

    1. Congratulations on your final year, Abigail! It really is a huge undertaking, isn’t it? Sometimes I think we could enjoy it a lot more if not for the endless paperwork. But even so, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I loved spending the time with my kids (who are not so much “kids” anymore as they are young adults) and have a better relationship with them than I might have if they’d gone away for 6-8 hours a day during those crucial years.

      1. Agreed. The journey isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it in the end. I am so grateful for the sacrifices my parents made to educate me at home.

  2. I could not have homeschooled in PA. Our best friends did – and the paperwork my friend went through every year would have had me in tears.

    My tiny bit of usable energy was far better spent directly on the kids – and keeping them productively occupied outside our official school hours (of which there were more because schools, and getting kids to them, waste an incredible amount of time).

    My hat’s off to you for surviving not the homeschooling, but PA’s officious paperwork.

    1. I was always jealous of friends who homeschooled in other states. PA’s requirements have always been burdensome. Only in my final two years have we FINALLY ended the requirement of handing the portfolio in to the school district. We still have to put one together, though, but the signed paper from the evaluation is the only thing that gets turned in to the district. It was always a ridiculous part of the law, anyway, since the school could not (by law) reject our portfolio if the evaluator said it was compliant. So why did they have to see them at all?

      My guess is that the law was able to be changed because the school districts grew tired of having all those three-ring binders lying around for half the year—most of the people I know would drop them off by the deadline and then forget about them until the following year’s paperwork was due. We didn’t really care about a portfolio we’d assembled out of obligation.

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