Sometimes Homeschooling is Hard: Follow-Up

A few days ago I wrote a post about my fifth grade daughter who was feeling sad about her perceived lack of friends.  I had several people take the time to post thoughtful and heartfelt comments and I wanted to thank them very much for taking the time to do so! (Thank you Sarah, Audree, Sheila, and Mama!)

As I’ve had more time to ponder, I had some other thoughts I wanted to share.  

First, I spoke with a mother who shared that her young daughter (now grown, married, and successfully mothering her own two children)  struggled with friendships during the elementary school years.  Although this young girl attended public school, and there were around eight girls her age in the neighborhood, she never seemed to form a “best friend” relationship.  Things changed, however, in high school when she was able to befriend girls with similar interests – in her case, dance club.  Hearing this young girl’s story made me realize that forming friendships may be something that some young children just struggle with regardless of where they are schooled.  

Second,  I know I made a point to rant about over-scheduled kids not being available to play, but a thought that came strongly to me was that in a large family, children often accompany mom and older/younger siblings to sports or activities where they are able to play and often meet new friends.  For example, when my fifth grader comes to my second grader’s ball games she is not home and “available to play” but she is playing with new friends at the ball park.  Maybe other parents think she is “over-scheduled” when she is gone during those times.  So, I guess what I’m trying to say is – you never know what another’s situation is like, so it’s best not to make blanket statements! I felt bad for just assuming everyone near me was over-scheduled rather than thinking that families nearby are just attending to their children the best way they can – with everyone in tow.

Third, Mama made a wonderful point in her comment by saying that when your rhythm is predictable children often know “when and where” they will get to play with certain friends. I’m happy to report we do have a very predictable rhythm right now (Hurrah!), but I thought this was important to those who may be struggling with kids and loneliness.


Unrelated but awesome photo of my boy’s first time as pitcher.

Thank you very much for coming to visit and taking the time to read and/or respond.  Sometimes, I hestitate to write about weighty matters because there is no way to share all of the feelings/events/situations which influence them. 


Mrs. Mallard

2 thoughts on “Sometimes Homeschooling is Hard: Follow-Up

  1. Cathy

    Dear Rachel,
    My heart goes out to you. None of us want to see our children hurting like this. I also share your anxieties about finding a “best friend” for my son. When I look at him, for the most part I see a happy, active boy who can be alone without feeling lonely. But I so wish he had a best pal to laugh and play with every day!
    When I think back to my own childhood and memories of school, there is usually a best friend in the picture. But I know that there were times when I came home crying that “Nobody likes me!” and how that hurt! The politics of the playground can be brutal, I am glad my child does not have that on a daily basis. These things change who you are and affect children for the rest of their lives.
    Whenever I start to feel anxious about the homeschooling and friends issue, I turn to Gordon Neufeld, and I remind myself that, if we lived deep in the countryside, I probably wouldn’t worry so much. It’s only because we choose not to go to school where children are readily available that it plays into my fears. And I know that if I sent him to school, I’d have a whole lot of other things to worry about.
    I also always tell myself that God will provide. If my son really needs a friend right now, one will come to us.

  2. JustToSay

    Cathy, Thank you for your comment. I really appreciated your thoughts – especially about keeping things in perspective and having faith that God will provide what is needed. Best to you and your son! Rachel


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