The Challenges of Homeschooling ~ Part 4 of 5

I want to be honest – homeschooling has some hard moments, hard days and hard weeks! This video touches on dealing with bad behavior, cabin fever, socialization, surviving the stores and feeling like you can’t get it all done.

At the end, I share what will be in part 5 of the video – but yesterday I changed my mind about part 5 and re-shot the video…I decided to talk a little about public schools since I am a product of public schools. So, check back tomorrow for the topic of “Sheltering Your Children and My Experience In Public Schools”.

If you have any great tips on how to handle some of the challenges I mentioned or other ones I didn’t mention – please share them in the comment section!

Walk with the King!


  1. I have enjoyed this series, being a homeschool mother myself. My kids laugh now about the "lecture" I would give them before we went into stores during the day–about how everyone knows they're not in school at the time when most kids would be, and they probably guess they're homeschooled, possibly b/c we're Christians. They learned quickly about what is/is not acceptable behavior in stores, and I'm so thankful they learned young! I think clerks are astonished at how much they help me with unloading the groceries, then loading the carts. I'm thankful to turn a "bad" experience into something that reflects well on homeschoolers (and Christ, too!).

  2. Heather – it's funny you should mention this because our cashiers at the grocery store all know the kids are homeschooled. One day the one cashier said "there's the smart kids". I laughed because obviously she was going with a stereotype because she doesn't know if my kids are smart or not…the kids were baffled that she knew they were smart. *wink!

    So in the car I explained- people have expectations on homeschoolers – one of them is they assume you'll have good behavior…and well – often I am most embarrassed and humbled IN THE STORE! So I told the kids – let's live up to that and be on our best behavior *wink wink!

    They are aware now that they are being watched…it's been a good thing for us ๐Ÿ™‚ and it's a chance to build relationships in hopes of being shining lights for Jesus!

    We have given Bibles to a few people who worked in the old grocery store we frequented and at our new one we have picked up Starbucks hot cocoa for the people who go out in the cold and gather the carts etc. I'm trying to teach them to look for opportunities!!! But it's hard when they are skipping and spinning lol!!!

  3. I have enjoyed these so much and can't wait until the final one! I'm sure I will watch them again! I am going to be homeschooling my son this year for kindergarten! I'm nervous and excited!

  4. These have been fun to watch and I really like how comfortable and structured your talk was in this one. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I am looking forward to seeing what you have for day 5.

  5. This is GREAT information. I love watching you speak about it because I can pick up the nuances in what you are sharing! Thank you SOO much!


  6. Your traffic light idea cracked me up. When my daughter was in elementary school she was told and learned quickly that if I wanted to get her a treat I would, but that as soon as she asked me for one she lost the chance.

    Whenever we had to stopped in to the corner store / produce market after school with the neighbour boy he never quite seemed to get this concept. No matter that I said it every time beefore we went in, he would start to ask and I could hear Christina loudly whispering "Be QUIET Jake!!!" If he began whining I'd tell him you just lost the treat and boy would she be furious at him on the walk home LOL.


  7. I'm loving this series as I will have to make this decision again in about 2 years. I am curious about room time. My daughter will be 3 in a few months. I tried this idea a few months back and used a baby gate. She just screamed for me as though I was punishing her and it broke my heart. What are your thoughts? I love this idea and really want to incorporate this in our days. I should add that she is my only little one and just in the past few months has started to role play with her toys without me…….maybe it's just going to take a little more time for her to do more w/o me around. I also love the green light idea. We have a timeout mat that uses the red, yellow, and green lights. Thanks Courtney…

  8. I love the stop light idea…I'm for sure gonna try that out with my kids wihen I take them out. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I love the series and thank you for doing the videos to go along with it. So much easier to follow! Homeschooling is something that I have given a thought—I am in prayer about it. Yes one of the fears for me is "am I good enough!" Keep sharing Courtney and encouraging others.

  10. like the red/yellow/green ligth idea for incentives! With a 3 year old I also have to really plan many fun things to keep her busy so I can work with my other girls. Having an abundance of boredom fighters available has made such a huge difference in our day! I have really like seeing and hearing someone talk about their day! Thanks for sharing

  11. Absolutely love the traffic light idea. I've used red light, green light whenever I have issues with them running away. Never thought about using it for behavior. So glad I'm not the only mom who has kids that spin and touch everything in the store. Thanks for the awesome series. Feeling much more confident as a homeschooling mom.

  12. I've loved this series too Courtney. It has been so helpful in my decision making process about homeschooling next year. If you ever have it in you to put up one more of these videos, I would love to see how you actually organize the physical space in your classroom.

    Thanks again!!! Have a blessed day!


  13. I thank you Courtney for this insight into homeschooling. I have consider it when I first put my 13 year old in private school and there was two things that held me back, #1 not being able to teach what subjects that I am not good in and having to get my hubby involved when he so busy as it is, #2 having the boys to commit to a schedule and being obident to that. I feel better after watching your videos and are consider it again. My hubby retires from the military in 18 months and we have NO idea what the Lord has in store for us. Thank you again. Hugs

  14. by the way I love the red light yellow light green light idea. I have always used the 123 count down. It has worked well over the years and they know if I get to 3 their being discipline.

  15. I love this series! It is so helpful and encouraging! I appreciate you taking the time to bless us! This is my first year homeschooling my 4 year old, 6 year old, and 7 year old. You are a blessing to me!

  16. I'm not alone!!! It's good to hear the real life experiences of other homeschooling mommies…and the helpful ideas. Thank you for this video series. I love it!!

  17. Thanks for these posts, this is a topic that is very appealing to me because 1. I was never homeschooled and didn't actually meet a homeschooled person until college 2. My husband and I want to homeschool our children 3. It is good to know there is an online support since my husband and I are probably going to get scolded by our parents-who aren't Christian. Thanks again. I have a couple of questions: do your children ever wish they went to public school, if so how do you handle that? How do you balance cooking and cleaning? I have a hard time balancing these and spending quality time with my son because I currently work full time. thanks for your time!

  18. Wonderful videos!
    What a very unique and helpful blog.
    Your wisdom and humility are evident and I praise God for the way He is working in you to inspire and help other moms. I'm so glad I discovered your blog this week! Keep it up ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Great job, Courtney! I wish I'd known you when my kids were little! I could have used your help!! ( : You are a great resource for young moms!

    ….I wish I could do the traffic light with my 17 year old!!! Oh well!

    Keep up the good work, girl!

  20. So funny you mention the traffic light thing…I have been thinking about that all day for when I start homeschooling in the fall.
    Man is God using you in my life! lol!!

  21. Oh…and I also want to say that it is so nice to hear that other moms deal with kids running (and twirling) in the stores. Sometimes I don't feel normal when I really am. No kids are perfect and I needed that reminder.

  22. I now homeschool, but taught first grade before having my own/while they were younger. I used the traffic signal with clothespins for my class. It worked great!! They'd also get little rewards/incentives for staying on green for two weeks. I totally thought the "store thing" was going to be dealing with the stares and questions of people who wonder why that child that is seven is at a grocery store in the middle of the day. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts about "the university model". Our local Christian school is going to be offering a Monday/Wednesday program where they go to school. There will be laptops sent home along with training for parents and curriculum. I know I'll love the curriculum b/c it's the school we'd send them too if $ were not a big factor. Right now he goes to a Christian school one town away for the specials on Wednesdays. He gets spanish, art, writing, gym, art, social studies, recess, and lunch. He's homeschooled for the other four. I LOVE going to Aldi on Wednesdays while one is in preschool and the other at his homeschool class. I feel so normal, then I feel guilty for loving it so much….Thanks for the fun video. This was my fave so far.

  23. Thanks for doing this series Courtney! I've learned a lot about homeschooling and the things we should consider. We needed too as it's something we're considering!

    Thanks for pointing us in the right direction.

  24. Yessel – we have not had any battles with our children wanting to go to public schools.

    As far as balancing cleaning – I have a little schedule I follow that you could find under the label "Schedules" on my home page… but here's how it goes:

    Monday – menu and market (grocery shop)
    Tuesday – Towels, toilets, tubs
    Wednesday – wash day (laundry)
    Thursday – dust
    Friday – floors

    This works for us ๐Ÿ™‚
    Much Love,

  25. Karen:

    About roomtime, First, I would pick out a toy and a book she plays with currently and put it up away somewhere out of sight. When about a week has passed – I would begin roomtime by putting on some soft music and saying in a "cheery" voice – "it…'s roomtime – oh what fun! And look at this toy you haven't played with in soooo long! You can have this toy – only during roomtime – so you play with this for 10 minutes and when the timer goes off roomtime will be over!"

    During those ten minutes if she fusses – reassure her she is loved and that this is fun and almost over! Do it consistently for a while and once she learns to enjoy this time – up the time to 15 minutes, then 30 then 45 and then one hour. In time, she'll learn how to entertain herself and enjoy this quiet time – but at first you will have to "train" her – help her along by pulling out a few books, setting up some legos to get her started etc. help her get started and play on the floor for 2-3 minutes and then leave…that might ease her into it!

    Hope this helps!

  26. courtney, i wish i could put you in my pocket:)

    i'mloving your videos. i was all pumped to homeschool our oldest next year. we decided to go for it. but now the anxiety is hitting big time and i have a LOT of doubts. ugh.

    I do believe that satan doesn't battle where there is no battle to be fought. so God is probably leading me this way.

    well,i think i helped my self,but I still wish i could put you in my pocket…lol

  27. I loved this, thank you for all the great insight on disobeidance during homeschool. I was just talking to a sweet friend tonight about that and she can gave me some great insight too and then I wanted to finishing watchng your videos and here it is once again. I have been praying on that too and God has answered. Thank you soo much for sharing!


  28. Courtney I LOVE the stop light idea! I generally don't reward my children for their good behavior (which I'm seeing is a fault on my part). I'm going to start using this and see if it helps my boys gain some self control on their poor behavior and see if I can get better about pointing out the good things they do.

    And the break when tempers flare is a good idea. My boys have a serious stubborn streak with nasty tempers and so do I so we butt heads a lot when I'm trying to get them to do anything. I'm going to work on keeping my mood at bay with the technique you described.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  29. So glad to have found you on the HHH today. What an inspiration your blog is and I am thankful for your ministry. This is our 9th year homeschooling and today's video would have helped me so much had it been around when mine were young. I am sure it will bless a tons of people.

  30. Found you on HHM today – so glad other have trying times in the shops, makes me feel less alone ๐Ÿ™‚

    Homeschool Escapade

  31. I just found you today on the homeschool hop. I love the videos. I have just watched #4 and I must say so many things you talked about really hit home. Your topic on bad behavior was great. I am homeschooling 3 children ages 10,7, and 3. My 10 year old is my challenge. She likes to take her time, get up from the table and do other things during lessons. This drives me crazy. I love the idea of just going about my own business and letting her use up her free time. Great idea! I also enjoyed your discussion on "am I good enough." This is a question I ask myself daily. I find that when we don't get everything done, or the kids are having bad days, I blame myself. I realize that I need to give it up to God and I will find my inner strength on these days. Thank you so much for sharing and I will be back often.


  32. THis was great! THanks for the great ideas! Great video! We do a lot with a homeschool support group in the area as well as sports with public school kids. Keep up the good work!

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