When you home educate there are plenty of things that you gain, but there’s also a couple of things you miss out on too! Home Education is all-encompassing and it’s not something you can do half-heartedly. Here I am going to take a (light-hearted!) look at the things you miss out on as a home educating mum.
Seriously – this is the biggest one. There are no chats with friends at the school gates or walking back home. There’s limited time to just enjoy silence. It’s a very rare occurrence that I am on my own – even when the children are in bed I’m still not really alone as I need to be in the house for them. There are times when I just wish I could have a half day to myself – to run when I want to, to just sit and read, to do the shopping in peace or just to watch something trashy on the TV!
Don’t get me wrong, I will miss these days when the children are grown up and I have endless free time, but for now, I can’t recall the last time I was child free in the daytime!
Gossiping at the School Gates
This is probably both a blessing and a curse…. I hear all sorts of chatter about school gate mums, and truth be told I’m not great in a crowd and don’t find myself naturally and easily striking up conversations – it takes me a while to get comfortable and talking to people. I know from friends whose children are at school that they have regular socials – be it summer time meetups or Christmas evenings out. I’m fortunate that there are a lot of Home Ed mums local to me and I’ve been out for a bite to eat a few times or round to friend’s who has hosted a few barbecues in the better weather so we do still get chance to chat away from the children, which is always a nice way to spend a few hours.
A Tidy House
This is probably one of the things I find hardest – the house is always messy! As I write I had a pile of books in front of the fireplace, a stack of board games in another corner and two small side tables that need to go back into the loft until the next event we are hosting. A friend once said that you can’t really judge a home educating house in the same way as a ‘schooled’ house, and I think that’s probably a fair comment.
We have our dining room set up as the main learning space, and when we redecorated last year I was keen for us to make the space more useable for the children, and have a range of things accessible for them. I want them to be free to explore their creativity and learning in any way that they see fit, and so it was important to us that we had things ordered and accessible. But that does mean that it’s a very functional space rather than the sort of space it might otherwise have been.
Whilst there are some things that can be frustrating, I wouldn’t change it for the world.