Homeschooling isn’t really a new sensational thing anymore. It’s almost mainstream. Everyone knows someone who homeschools.
Look, you don’t need me to tell you about all the wonderful benefits of individualized education, more family time, or marching to your own drum.
You need me to tell you what can go wrong.
That’s right. It’s not all lap books and tea time over here.
There are some real issues starting to crop up as we finish our first year of homeschooling, and they’re things NOBODY told me. I never read a single word about this dark underbelly of the homeschool movement.
I won’t keep you in suspense any more.
Personal Hygiene has hit an all-time low.
This goes way beyond doing school in our pajamas, and BO. I was pretty surprised that my oldest had a couple cavities at our most recent dental visit. But after some thought I totally know why it happened. We don’t get ready in the morning. Brushing teeth, washing faces, combing hair, were all part of the “getting ready to leave the house” routine. And now we don’t get ready to leave the house until late in the day, if at all. So here I sit in the same ratty sweats that I sweated in yesterday, nursing another cup of coffee instead of brushing my teeth to head out the door, and I don’t even know where the hairbrush is. The kids do the same. Yikes.
All the clothes have become play clothes.
This follows the hygiene issue. We decided to go to church a few Sundays back and sadly discovered nobody had anything really appropriate to wear. Thank goodness we attend a come-as-you-are church. (I was brought up with Sunday Best, so that’s hard for me, but now I’m starting to warm up to it.) When you rarely go anywhere fancier than the grocery store or sports, (which solve their own clothes issues with gear/uniforms) it’s so easy to overlook how the kids clothes are looking slightly too small and dingy if not outright ruined. And my best sweats are about to blow out.
We are using, like, quadruple the amount of toilet paper.
No joke, and the youngest one isn’t even wiping consistently. I don’t know how often the kids were visiting the restroom when they were in public school, but if toilet paper usage is an indicator it was a lot. No wonder public schools need more money.
You know what, though? It’s worth it.
Even with the warts exposed, homeschooling has been a great fit for us so far. The grooming issues are just things were going to have to add to our daily check list going forward, and the toilet paper usage is something I’ll just have to allow for. Goodness knows I wouldn’t have them cut back. I don’t need another laundry issue. 😉
If you homeschool, what is the dark side for you?