When you find yourself thinking about homeschooling your child you find yourself in a scary place. Questions fill your mind like do I have enough patience to homeschool my child? What about socialization? How do I homeschool physical education? All of this can make you doubt if homeschooling is right for you. Let’s take a moment to look at your reasons for homeschooling and your fear to help you decide if homeschooling is right for your family.
Why do you Want to Homeschool?
When it comes to serving the tough days and sticking with homeschooling you need to understand your motivation. When it comes down too it, you need to take a look at your reasons and write them down so you have them when you need a reminder. Do you live in a school district that is failing its students? Are you worried about your child’s safety when they go off to school each day? Are you worried about the influences your child will find at school?
For us, it started off for different reasons than we homeschool now. When we started we lived in a state where our oldest could not start kindergarten yet but she needed the mental stimulation education could provide. While we could not utilize the school system to fit our child’s needs and preschool was not in our budget we decided to take things into our own hands and be her first teachers.
We fell in love with homeschooling. With watching her learn and grow and helping her find her own passions in life. Being there for the first words she read, struggling through her hatred of handwriting, encouraging her to get creative and become a problem solver. And the most fun of all was encouraging her to ask questions and search for answers.
Over the years our reasons have changed. With 5 children homeschooling gives us the opportunity to do more with the children than we ever could if we sent them off to school for most of the day. Now we moved into one of the worst school districts in the country. Not the kind of place we want to send the kids for an education that determines their future. Schools are being shot up daily. The news is packed with things going on that because of homeschooling I can protect my children from until they are older allowing them to be children again and not spend their young lives in fear.
What are your homeschooling fears?
If you are debating if homeschooling is right for you odds are it is fear holding you back. Buy a journal and write down what your fears are when it comes to homeschooling. Then work through them. This will help you decide if you can handle taking on such a big change. We can work through some of the common fears.
I am not smart enough to teach my child. I am not a teacher.
Homeschooling does not require a formal teaching education. The majority of what teachers learn in school is classroom management. You do not need that training to manage your own children. If you can not handle a subject or even an entire grade level for your children you can find programs that make it easier for you. There are programs that come with full guides that take all of the guesswork out for you. We have loved the extensive guides in Logic of English and the parents as teachers friendly Apologia Writers in Residence programs. The truth is I myself am dyslexic and I have to rely on curriculum that helps me teach my children. If I can do it anyone can.
What about socialization?
This is a common fear for parents that start to think about homeschooling. This is because it is often the first question people ask when they find out about homeschooling. Which is funny because how many times do you remember your teachers telling you to stop talking that school is not about socialization? Homeschoolers get a lot MORE socialization than traditional schooling children. While school kids are separated by age into groups all born within months of each other homeschoolers come into contact with people of all ages all day long as they go about everyday life with their families. Contrary to popular belief kids do NOT need to have experience dealing with bullies and instead can gain confidence in themselves before encountering such situations.
I can’t spend that much time with my kids
I often laugh on this one. You already do it. Weekends, holidays, and summers you spend all that time with your children. When you spend all that time with your kids you tend to change how you parent them. Raise your children into the kind of people you want to spend all day with and watch your relationship flourish in ways you never imagined.
What if my kids end up “Different”?
Many parents fear that if their children will end up too different if they homeschool. In truth that is kind of the point. In schools, children are all different. Trying to make them the same is a moot point. Homeschoolers can and often are more socially adjusted than public school children. The differences you do see are not from being homeschooled but from having parents that raise their children with a different set of morals and convictions than others around them.
What if my child can not go to college?
The good news is that homeschoolers consistently score HIGHER standardized tests and college entrance exams. Dual enrollment programs in most states are open to homeschool students often giving them an advantage over their peers because they have more time to dedicate to college courses. This allows most teens that are willing to take on the workload to not only earn college credit but often a complete 2-year degree.
I don’t have enough time to homeschool my child.
Often parents think they can’t homeschool because of how long traditional school days last. The truth is homeschooling takes only a fraction of the time. In a homeschool situation, you do not have to wait for 30 kids to calm down before starting lessons. You don’t need to assign busy work in hopes of giving children the chance to get a bit of one on one learning. In fact, you get to cut the time doing school because your child is getting a 1 on 1 education. This means not only do you have plenty of time your child will have more time to follow their own interests as well.
Talk to your child and their other parent
Once you have worked through your reasons and your fears it is time to talk to others that will be involved. Do not pull other family members in before you make up your mind. Talk to your spouse or child’s other parent. Talk on one with your child about what you are thinking about and how you think it will benefit them. Be open and honest. Then take their thoughts and opinions into account. Then decide whether or not to homeschool as a family because homeschooling really is a family affair.