When they say they’re unhappy

As a homeschooling mom of special needs children I definitely get my fair share of criticism. I take it very lightly, though, because I have so much peace knowing I’m doing God’s Will for our family. Regardless, there are those times when I even question myself, and I have to talk it out with my husband AND God. Our oldest said something the other day that made me have one of those moments.

Let me preface this by saying he started out in the Public school system in a Special Education preschool program and was in it for 2 years. He even started Kindergarten in the public school due to fear on my part until God gave me the push I needed to realize I could not only homeschool him, but it would be best, and I can trust God.

I honestly expected a bit of a fight since he’s on the Autism Spectrum and likes routine, but he transitioned surprisingly well. We also ended up moving from Virginia to Texas shortly after I pulled him out of public school, so I think that actually made it easier for a fresh start! The only time he would mention anything about public school is when others would ask him about school and why he is homeschooled. I’m not sure why one would ask a child his age that, but that’s a different subject!


The other day, B was really struggling with reading. It was just one of his “off” days, and he felt overwhelmed. Despite knowing he was having a hard day, my heart sank when he said “I don’t like this school. I liked my other school better.” I was suddenly filled with doubt and hearing “I told you so” in the back of my mind. I told the kids to take a break so I could pray and gather my thoughts.

After a few minutes I once again felt that peace that God gives when I have a quiet moment with him. I realized my feelings were just blown way out of proportion. This was a 6 year old expressing he was having a hard day. It was no different than a child who goes to public or private school coming home after a hard day and saying they hate school and never want to go back. So, do you just say OK or do you talk through it? Talk through it, of course! I knew that is exactly what I needed to do.

After we were both in a more relaxed state I asked B to tell me what’s going on and why he said that. His response was that he was having a hard day and didn’t want to do work. He said at his “other school” they didn’t make him do work. Ah ha! It’s not homeschooling he dislikes at all – it’s doing work! Now I could put things in perspective and not only realized it was just his lashing out from being overwhelmed but that he is learning to do work now, which is necessary to learning! It helped me feel reassured that I really am blessing my children. Not only that, he now knows he just needs to talk to me when he’s feeling overwhelmed and we can work through it together. I explained that’s another benefit of homeschooling is that I know his challenges, and I love him and will help him through it – even if that means taking a day off! It was a growth opportunity for both of us!

So, if your child says they’re unhappy I encourage you to talk through it with them and get to the REAL root of the problem. Don’t let it be an opportunity for doubt to creep in but rather an opportunity to grow. Talk to your child and talk to God. It’s in those moments we can be reassured we’re blessing our families!

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  1. As someone who had a very hard time in main stream school and through my final years was partially home schooled (we would go into a centre in the morning with others and have lessons from 9 – 12 then spend the rest of the day at home) it was the best thing that was ever done. Honestly I can see the pluses to main stream schools but I don’t like them one bit.

    Follow your heart, follow what you know and your doing great 🙂 x

  2. Sometimes it is hard to get to the heart of things. 🙂

  3. Your doing such a wonderful thing for your son and handled that well.



  5. Great message! I totally agree. Thanks for sharing this encouragement!

  6. We have similar struggles. When DS was in school, and he didn’t want to work, he just got left behind. It wasn’t the teacher’s *fault* — there were 16 other kids. The difference now is that when it’s just him, I can (and do) wait him out. His “I don’t want to” periods have gotten shorter and less frequent — he still has them, but since he now knows procrastinating doesn’t get him out of things, the “I don’t wannas” are a sign that he isn’t catching on, not that he really doesn’t want to. Hang in there.

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