The messy moments I was referring to, though, were more along the lines of personality conflict, power struggles, and strong emotions.
If you ever experience pushback when asking your kids to do their chores and despair that they will ever learn to just do what needs to be done, imagine the feeling of their entire education resting on them doing what you ask them to do. I have one child who is extremely strong-willed and unless she is "bought in," she won't do an assignment. (She gets this from her father. ;) )
Some days it feels like I'm trying to spin plates while everyone does their schoolwork. I'll start one plate spinning but as soon as I reach over for another plate, the first plate has a meltdown over Latin or has started bugging her brother.
Even just among the three kids I'm homeschooling so far, we have some awfully strong personalities represented and it turns out that being family and loving each other doesn't make getting along easy.
Most days I feel like we're learning a little about historical events and dividing fractions and a lot about patience, diligence, forgiveness and human nature. And I'm of course not talking just about my children. When I'm the single biggest influence on their lives, they'll pick up on my impatience, my distraction and my laziness and model that back for me. Homeschooling is a refiner's fire in many ways. It magnifies relationship issues, but it also provides a path for strengthening those relationships through shared work and play.