The Ups and Downs of My Homeschool Life

Apr 27, 2015

Homeschooling has it's ups and downs. Here are some great things about our homeschool and some not-so-great things.

Let's talk about what I love about homeschooling. 


So that was a little short, I'll admit. The truth is I enjoy homeschooling. Except for one thing, I actually do enjoy every aspect of this lifestyle.

There is only one thing about homeschooling I don't like. really dislike writing our curriculum. And that's it. That's my one and only dislike.

But no one wants to hear about my perfect homeschool, right? That's great, because I don't have one!

My homeschool may not be full of likes and dislikes, but it is full of ups and downs.

The Ups and Downs of My Homeschool Life

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Our homeschool experienced a rocky start, but we finally found our groove with the Charlotte Mason method. Even so, we have some very specific challenges. Although these challenges are not strictly homeschool-related, they have a significant impact on our homeschool.

What are some of the 'ups' of our homeschool life?

We take fantastic breaks. - Year-round homeschooling allows us to take regular breaks, preventing burnout and giving me a chance to plan the next term. In our homeschool, we take one-month breaks in March, July and November. It's a time of relaxation, rejuvenation, and fun.

My children are free to pursue interests. - Lorelai loves craftingchalk pastels, and is a naturalist at heart. Alexis is enjoys photography, dancing, singing, and is an artist.

Because my kids are homeschooled, they are not bogged down with 8-hour school days or 6-hour homework nights. They have time to pursue the things that interest them. 

My kids enjoy learning. - My goal has always been to develop a love for learning in my kids. School days are not met with rolled eyes, slumped shoulders, and dragging feet. 

"Mommy, can we do science?" 
"Mommy, can I do that math program again?"

These are regular requests in my household. 
Sometimes, the lessons aren't requested. Sometimes, I just find the kids pursuing knowledge on their own.

A photo posted by Michelle Cannon (@tmichellecannon) on

A photo posted by Michelle Cannon (@tmichellecannon) on

I can barely express how much joy that brings my homeschool mama's heart.

What are some of the 'downs' of our homeschool life?

Sleep problems get in the way. - Bipolar disorder is a circadian rhythm problem. In other words, the body clock doesn't work correctly. Since both of my girls have this disorder, we experience an incredibly different sort of flow in our household.

Unlike the typical household, in which all family members may wake in the morning, and all go to sleep at night, we don't. Let me put it this way. Rare is the moment when there is no one awake in this house. It's the house that never sleeps. 

There is always at least one person awake. 24 hours a day. Imagine trying to homeschool in this house. It can be challenging, to say the least.

I'll give you an example:

  • Yesterday, Lorelai went to sleep at 8 a.m. and got up at 5 p.m. (Can you say night school?)
  • Alexis woke at 10 this morning. (School in the day! Whoo-hoo!)
  • Lorelai went to sleep at noon. 
  • My son went to sleep at 4 p.m. 
  • He and Lorelai both woke at 9 o'clock tonight. 

It's now 2 a.m. and the entire family is awake. I will soon go to bed. I haven't a clue what tomorrow will look like.

Moods get in the way. - Bipolar disorder also comes with intense mood swings. A person with this disorder can be happy as a lark. Suddenly, as though someone flipped a switch, the person is intensely angry. The reason may or may not be apparent. There may not even be one. It happens.

Dyslexia has it's challenges. - While I don't feel this is a dominating issue in my house, I'm sure Alexis feels differently. She's the one who has dyslexia, after all. It affects her life profoundly.

We use the Charlotte Mason method, which means there is a strong focus on literature. Reading isn't the problem. Processing the language is the real challenge. This means I must adapt her lessons, making them hands-on and using audio-books (or reading aloud as a family).

Asperger's gets in the way (sort of). - Alexis and I have Asperger's. This means we have some challenges with executive function. It means we need a laid-out plan of what to do and when to do it. Unfortunately, the sleep issues (mentioned above) get in the way of this.

I'd love to be as free-flowing as their sleep disorder demands. I've tried. I've been trying. I can't do it. 
No, seriously, I can't do it. 

So I've found a solution to all those scheduling issues.

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Happy Homeschooling!


  1. I have a lot of admiration for homeschooling mamas, although I'm a teacher I don't think that I could teach my own child!


    1. Catherine, a lot of us felt that way before we did it. You'd be amazed at what you can do. Thanks so much for popping by!

  2. I think it's great that you decided to homeschool. I am definitely starting to see that more and more. The list of challenges sound pretty difficult and I admire how you were able to have the patience and understanding to stick to it. Your kids have one lucky Mama! #ConfessionsLinkUp


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