Homeschooling – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly – Part 1

Maybe you contemplate the pro’s and con’s of a decision, but I focus on the good, the bad, and the ugly.  There’s always the ugly, don’t ever forget that.

While standing online in McDonald’s, a wise stranger once told me, “Everyplace has their pretty, my dear.”  Truer words have rarely been spoken, especially in McDonald’s, and I left with more than one nugget that day; however, where there’s pretty, there’s ugly.  Sometimes it’s a like a mirrored reflection.  If someplace has some real good pretty, the ugly is pretty darn ugly.

Know what I mean?

We have completed four full weeks of homeschooling and I’ve taken note of the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Since everyone in my neighborhood, including the librarian, is curious to see the outcome of this homeschooling decision, I figured you guys may also be curious.  I know I’ve received a few emails from women who are on the fence about homeschooling their own children.  These homeschool updates are going to be snippets of reality.  I don’t want to romanticize teaching your kids their multiplication tables.  It’s not all fun and games.  Sometimes I they whine a lot.

Today will be the good, tomorrow the bad, and the ugly…well, that’s me in the morning when we get started.  I still have coffee in my hand, socks and flip-flops on my feet, and crust in my eyes.  If you pop in before lunch, try your best to ignore my appearance.  The good news is you don’t need to dress-up to visit.

Yes, I do really wear socks and flip-flops, but only in the house.  And on the porch.  And rarely on the sidewalk directly in front of my house, but nowhere else.  You have my word.


Morning are chilly now.  Go ahead, turn me in to the fashion police.  Stacy and Clinton, bring it on!

Back to the good…

Filling my children’s heads with useless information has become my full-time job.  I’m suddenly consumed with the importance of knowing that a mammal’s jaw cannot only move up and down, but it also moves side-to-side, unlike non-mammals.  I am second guessing everything I learned in math, and one morning I woke up thinking that making paper mache ancient Egyptian cat gods would be a grand idea.

I’ve lost my ever-loving mind!

I’ve also made my son regret the day he complained that school was too easy.  While working word problems, I’ve seen the proverbial light bulb come on in my daughter’s head.  As much as my son complains about science, he is constantly spouting off new facts about cells, bones, and DNA.  My daughter has done well on her history tests, although I am convinced she does not pay one lick of attention when I am talking.  Both children have experienced the joy of the prize box, rewards for 100′s, but they have also realized the disappointment of thinking they already know it all and don’t really need to study.

The good is academic.  When a mother and two kids set their minds to learning, much can be accomplished in a day.  The good is flexibility.  Nobody misses a lesson because of a doctor’s appointment.  The good is seeing your children learn and grow, introducing them to new concepts, philosophies, and ways of thinking.  The good is the bond I don’t think you can help but build with your children.

It’s only been four weeks, but already, I’ve seen the good homeschooling has been to our family.  Tomorrow will be the bad, and well, you already know the ugly. ;-)

Oh, and if you need a recipe for edible cells, let me know!

jello, skittles, a jelly bean, cooking spray…


  1. This is wonderful! You’ve actually inspired me to start doing preschool with my boys at home since I’m not working at the moment. We set up a classroom and the kids finger painted the walls–my 2 year old is apparently very into modern art! :-) I’m not sure how successful we’ll be, as my 2 year old told me yesterday that the word “egg” starts with “buh” and he tends to run around the classroom and sit in the desk drawer more than work, but I think it’s been a positive experience. You are absolutely right that it is wonderful to get to see things click in your kids’ brains and not have to worry about missing lessons due to various events (like getting cat litter). And, field trips are great!

  2. Hey girlie! Loved this post. I’d like to say that it really is the good, the bad and the ugly. For me the good is being able to mold and shape and train my daughter in the ways she should go. It is being able to make sure she is learning what I choose for her education. The bad is we can both get on each others nerves!! The ugly is when you have spent 3 days straight in the house working so hard together homeschooling and you both are exhausted, then decide the 4th day to go out for some breakfast and the server wants to know why your child isn’t in school. Then the lovely oh, she’s homeschooled. Then the lovely oh….really? what about…fill in the blank.most.likely.socialization. Then in my mind the lovely..oh how about you get our drinks and don’t worry about what I choose to do! It gets old after a while. So sometimes we steer clear of hangin’ out during school hours.

  3. I homeschooled for a long time… My older daughter just graduated this past spring and we homeschooled 10 of her 13 years of education. I miss homeschooling and although after 10 years of it I could fill a book with the bad and the ugly, the good far, far, far outweighed either of them. Now that my younger daughter is in public high school (grade 10) I can see the fruit of my labor so clearly… She is amazing and totally prepared for most anything that comes her way!

  4. We are in our fourth year of homeschooling, and I love the description of “good, bad and ugly”. We are just now getting to some good after a whole lot of bad and ugly!

  5. Good luck with homeschooling! It takes a remarkable mother to make it successful…and I believe your children are blessed to have you as their teacher. =)

  6. Hi,

    I enjoyed your writing style as you described what’s happening in your home school. Sounds fun. The kids did a great job on their art projects!

    Homeschool is not easy no matter how you do it. But your attitude goes along way, whether good or bad.

    Waiting for the bad…

    Take care,


  7. Love the cats.

  8. Well I’m impressed. Keep up with the good.

  9. Good job FringeFamily!
    Love the kitties!

  10. I love the cat gods, good job students! :) I cannot wait to hear the bad! ;)

  11. I’m glad my kids don’t read your blog. Otherwise they would want to know why we don’t do cool stuff like that when homeschooling. Your bad better be very bad or I’m going to be totally upset that you’ve mastered in four weeks what I’m still struggling to master. : )

  12. Keep up the good work. The cats are awesome!!!

  13. can’t wait for part 2.
    ps, I want a pic of your edible cells, lol

  14. They look so industrious! The Egyptian Cat gods are extremely regal. It sounds like they’re loving learning. What could be more awesome than that? I’m hard pressed to think of a bad or ugly in this one.

  15. My kids are all grown and two have families of there own and I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to homeschool of course back in the 70′s and 80′s know one I knew did it. Great post I enjoyed it!


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