After more than a decade homeschooling, I’ve probably heard all the excuses about why other parents just couldn’t homeschool.
It’s fine if you don’t want to homeschool. It’s not for everyone. However, if it’s something you’d like to do but you’re letting your fears get in the way, I’d like to show you why you really can homeschool.
1. I don’t have enough patience. Oh, y’all. If you’ve got some genuine anger management issues, then maybe. (Though I’d recommend working through that with a counselor for your family’s sake and your overall peace of mind.)
However, if you’re a person of average patience who gets frustrated over homework and such, you really do have the patience to homeschool. My oldest was in public school for kindergarten and first grade. I found homeschooling much less a strain on my patience – most days – than the 2-4 hours of homework I had to help with each night.
2. My kids won’t listen to me. I’m going to be blunt – this is a parenting issue, not a homeschooling issue, and it’s often a whole lot easier to work on parenting and character training issues when you’re spending the majority of the day with your kids.
3. I’m not smart enough. This one always makes me shake my head. Most of the people who say this are public school graduates. If you really don’t think your public school education resulted in you being smart enough to teach your kids, do you believe that it’s the best education for them?If your public school education didn't make smart enough to homeschool, is it the best education for your kids?
I’m not knocking public schools at all because the truth is most of the time that’s an insecurity issue rather than an actual commentary on your own education, but isn’t it at least something to think about? Most homeschooling parents find that they enjoy learning alongside their kids and if you sincerely do struggle there are ways to teach the difficult subjects.
4. I can’t afford to homeschool. While it is true that the majority of homeschooling families are single income, that’s not true of all of them. Many homeschooling parents work from home. It may require a bit of creativity, but it’s possible for single parents to homeschool and to homeschool when both parents work outside the home.
5. I couldn’t stand to be around my kids all day. Ouch. I think most parents who say this are used to spending the evenings with their children when everyone has been at work, school, and daycare all day and you’re all tired and grumpy.
When I first became a stay-at-home mom, it was an adjustment for my daughter (my only child at the time) and I. We weren’t used to being together all day. However, it didn’t take long to adjust to being with a little person all day – especially when it was my little person whom I loved so dearly. We got to enjoy each other at our best, not our tired-and-grumpy worst.
6. My kids need to learn to deal with the real world. School is not the real world. Period. Where else are you going to be segregated with your age-mates all day long?
The idea of homeschooled kids sitting around with their siblings all day is not really an accurate picture. Most homeschooled kids today have a broad range of social options and interact with a variety of people in decidedly real-world settings. Most homeschooled kids are prepared for the real world as much as their traditionally-schooled peers.
7. My child has special needs. Many would-be homeschooling parents worry that they’re not qualified to teach their special needs child. In fact, homeschooling a special needs child may be the ideal educational option. It allows kids to receive one-on-one instruction, a personalized education, and practical accommodations without all the bureaucracy that may be required in a traditional school setting.Homeschooling a special needs child may be the ideal educational option.
8. I don’t want my kids to miss out. Many parents worry that their children will miss out on things like sports, band, or prom if they homeschool. What many people don’t realize is how many opportunities there are for homeschooled kids today.
In our area, there is a homeschool team for nearly all the same organized sports teams that a traditional high school would offer. We have homeschool band, drama group, mock trial, and a variety of clubs. There are several dances hosted each year, including prom.
Do a little investigation to see what is offered in your area before writing homeschooling off for potential missed opportunities that may not be missed at all.
9. I want my kids to be able to go to college. Homeschooled kids have the same college and university options as their public-schooled and private-schooled peers, including scholarship opportunities. The Homescholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships is a fantastic resource for college-bound homeschooled students.
10. I don’t want my kids to be weird. Newsflash: Homeschooling doesn’t cause weirdness. Sure there are weird homeschooled kids – but I bet you could name off a few weird kids from your school, whether you went to public or private school. If you were homeschooled, maybe you’re the weird kid, but I doubt that was caused by homeschooling.
I don’t think that every parent on the planet should homeschool. You have to do what’s right for your family. However, don’t let fear cause you to make excuses if you really want to homeschool.
Are there other fears holding you back from trying homeschooling? Homeschooling parents, what fears tripped you up in the early days?