Homeschooling as a Parent With Insomnia

Roughly 4 years ago, my husband and I decided to remove our children from the public school system. We knew it was the best option for both of them, even though they would be homeschooling for different reasons. We decided to let them finish out their current school year but plans changed with our youngest son.

The farther he progressed in school, the farther he fell behind in reading. This ultimately caused deficiencies in other subjects, which heavily relied on reading comprehension.

Losing sleep over worry

Regardless of what my husband and I did, we felt met with opposition from his teachers. We decided to start homeschooling him in the spring of his fourth-grade year. The last reading assessment he was given in public school showed him on a second-grade reading level.

This alone caused me many sleepless nights as a parent. I read to both of our boys every night before bedtime, and they loved storytime. I kept questioning what I had done wrong. We put him in an expensive, summer-long reading program and spent money on online programs that “guaranteed” reading success, and nothing seemed to help.

Research and more sleepless nights

The older he got, the more he started to hate reading. He wanted nothing to do with books. My little boy, who used to love me reading my college history books to him, no longer wanted anything to do with books. This was when I began intensely researching homeschooling as an option. It was overwhelming.

As parents going the secular homeschooling route, I didn’t support what most new homeschool families do. Researching curriculum sent me down late-night rabbit holes, which led to many sleepless nights. I felt I had failed him and was continuing to do so.

Adjusting to a new way of life

Half-way through his fourth-grade year, we officially withdrew him to become a homeschooling family. Once we withdrew him, a new level of anxiety hit. Would I actually be able to do this? I rarely slept the first 3 weeks while we were adjusting to our new way of life.

Thankfully, I had my husband by my side to help me through the transition. I was exhausted! I also fell down the Pinterest rabbit hole. If anyone knows what I am talking about, plenty of parents present perfect learning spaces for their kids and present this perfect life their homeschool children receive.

Many nights I started at the ceiling wondering what I had done wrong as a mother, and the guilt alone was overwhelming. Adding insomnia into the mix made it so much worse.

One less worry

It took me a long time to realize we were doing the right thing for both of them. Occasionally I will find hot pocket sleeves crammed into the desks or they will "forget" to do an assignment. I assume this is mostly because they are teenagers, but they are thriving.

It is officially off of my list of worries keeping me up at night. Which does not make a bit of difference in the long run. What I have discovered, however, motherly guilt will always be one of the biggest triggers of my insomnia.

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