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The Messy Truth About Homeschooling

Let’s face it, homeschooling is messy! It makes for a messy house, messy kids, and an overall messier life. Don’t we all, as homeschool moms, desire for the picture perfect day like in a Norman Rockwell painting– a cozy house filled with fresh faced, bare-footed children, diligently working away at their schoolwork while the aroma of a pumpkin candle and the sound of Mozart fills the air. While most of us would love for homeschool to look like that everyday, the truth is, those days just don’t happen that often.

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For the homeschool mom, motherhood is more than a “full time job”, it’s 24/7. When my first child was just a baby, I knew without a doubt, I was going to homeschool. My head was filled with those happy children, classical music, pumpkin-candle images. But like a mother who comes to realize her cute, cuddly newborn will be a lot of work, I soon realized my picture of homeschooling was a little different than I originally thought.

Controlled chaos

In the earlier years of homeschooling, I had less variables which made for less chaos, which meant more Norman Rockwell days. However, as our family expanded and my children grew older the variables have exponentially increased. Homeschool moms typically have to contend daily with a house that constantly gets messy, extra laundry, shuttling children to activities (homeschool field trips, science fairs and sports), church and shopping–all the while trying to train, nurture and teach our children. And if that’s not enough to keep any normal person’s head spinning, many stay-at-home moms, like myself, throw a home business into the mix!

Is it worth it?

The old saying, “nothing ventured, nothing gained” is a good motto for any homeschool mom. In fact, you might want to put it on the refrigerator as a reminder it’s all worth it. While there are no guarantees in life, there’s a good chance that all your hard work, perseverance and sacrifice will pay off, not only for your children, but you as well.

Mom’s school

For those hard days when you can’t seem to get out of your pajamas until noon and nothing seems to be going right, keep in mind that you are also being “schooled” at home. Each day, good or bad, brings the opportunity to stretch and grow along with your children. The chaos that has to be managed, the temper that has to be controlled and sacrifice of personal needs and wants is a recipe for a “seasoned” mom and hopefully a much wiser woman.

For your children, those non-perfect, stressful days bring with it a taste of "real life". The good news? You and your children can work through these challenges together as a family. Each day, whether filled with chaos or peace is a precious gem that only comes around once. So whether you’re having a still-in-your-pajamas-at-noon day or a pumpkin candle/Norman Rockwell day, take a moment to stop and realize you are investing memories and time with your children and each day is a blessing… no matter how messy.

Jennie von Eggers is homeschool mother of 4 and author of the popular Zone Cleaning for Kids and Times Tales–a mnemonic based program that teaches the times tables in an hour. To see how your children can benefit from unique, out-of-the-box ways to learn go to

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