Thursday, September 13, 2012

You can homeschool. Really.

I read posts recently (by the lovely Dwija) about the joys of homeschooling. The comments were peppered with parents saying something like, "I wish I could homeschool! I'm too disorganized, untalented, inflexible, detail-oriented, etc. I never could be like you."

Since blog comments aren't required, I'm going to assume these people are being truthful, that they truly wish to homeschool and feel unable. (This is significantly different from the "good for you!" mentality, in which people say, "I wish I could be like you!" but only to be polite, secretly thinking they would never choose to live that way.)

You want to homeschool? Then do it. You can.

There are books, websites, and support groups eager to help you get started, whether your child is a toddler or has been attending school for years. Read about which styles might work for your family. Connect with your local homeschool community and ask questions. Talk with your kids about the options if they're old enough.

Remember, you don't have to be a certified teacher. Just as there was no license required to take your baby home from the hospital, you don't need an education degree to teach your children at home.

I am not belittling the job of a classroom teacher. It's HARD to teach a group of 15 to 30 kids with different learning styles, home environments, background knowledge, intelligence levels, and interests. It's a lot of stress to be held to more educational standards than you can remember. I would never want to be a classroom teacher, as much as I love teaching.

But teaching your children is not being a classroom teacher. You know your kids, you can decide when to take a break, you don't have to worry about parents undermining your authority. You can pick a curriculum (or no curriculum!) that meets your children's needs and interests. It's completely different from being a teacher.

You can do it.

Not everyone wants to homeschool. That's perfectly acceptable. I went to Catholic schools K-12; my husband went to public schools K-12. We both got a good education. So if you don't want to homeschool, your child is not doomed. But if you do want to, then do it. You can.

My 'baby' cousin, who does not necessarily endorse anything in this post. 

8 comments:

  1. Love this! Exactly how I feel- do what's best for your family, but if what's best is homeschooling, don't be afraid :)

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    1. Indeed! Thanks for your honest posts about the blessings and struggles of homeschooling!

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  2. So here's my thing....I love the break when Miyanna is at preschool so much! And she loves "going" to school so much. I think homeschooling would be fun, especially the convenience of not being tied to school schedules since traveling is a big part of our family. So what do you think--is thinking it'd be fun the same add wanting to do it?

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    1. Probably not... I mean, I think it would be fun to speak German, but that's not enough to really motivate me to do it. *shrug* You can always do it later, too, if one or the other of you stops enjoying her going to school!

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  3. Well put. And so true! My response is always "I didn't think I could do it either, and here I am 7 years later".

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    1. Hard to argue with the voice of experience! :-)

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  4. Well said! Part of me would love to homeschool Gus when he gets older. Then there is the other part of me that remembers that I have a terrible track record of actually finishing things, and with your child's education, just stopping because you are lazy isn't really an option! But I am really trying to keep an open mind about it as he grows and try and do what is best for *him* We'll see how that goes :)

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    1. It's definitely not a one-size-fits-all decision. And I have no idea what homeschool laws and support exists where you are, which would be a huge factor. Anyway, I'm sure you will continue as you have begun, loving him and doing what you can to help him grow!

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