“Don’t mess it up. I knew someone once who messed it up.”
“You won’t have good testing.”
“I just don’t have the money.”
“I just don’t think I could handle that. They would be home all day long.”
As a seasoned, not-yet-considered-a-veteran homeschooling Momma, I have many times run into this line of questioning.
Now, some folks truly believe homeschooling is the answer for everyone and that to truly fix the education problem our schools have, homeschooling is the only answer.
I’m not one of those people. But I’d like to give a crash course intro to Homeschooling for those who have been through the 2020 Covid-19 crisis and might have questions.
Why do people choose to homeschool?
To be fair, everyone who homeschools has their own individual reasons for why they choose this. It’s not just the religious right that goes down this path.
Here are a few reasons someone might choose to homeschool, it’s not a complete list, I’m sure someone, somewhere might have a reason for going a different route.
More time for family Religious reasons Schoolmate drama Sports/music prodigy Not being challenged enough Family travels through the year Medical issues Prefers to teach kids in a way that suits their needs.
The list goes on and on. And it’s really good to have a why – not only for your own sanity- but also because it will help your kids transition more smoothly to your new routine.
What about socialization?
This is one that gets under people’s skin a lot. On both sides. All I have to say is just because someone goes to a group setting for education – it doesn’t follow that they’re going to be socially accepted. In fact, one might say the odds are greater that they’ll end up going through bullying, depression, peer pressure, and mind games that effect them throughout their lives.
Think about this: When was the last time you heard of a homeschooled kid shooting up a school? You don’t hear about it. It’s not something I think that happens all that often. And while, yes, some kids need DAILY time with others (as my family of extroverts reminds me!) being homeschooled doesn’t mean you’re not seeing other people of all ages and stages in life.
In fact, this Covid-19 thing? It’s been awful for us in that regard. And we’re not even the most keen on getting out of the house every single day! We do, however, get together with others in our homeschooling community fairly often and there are oodles of activities and adventures to be had by those in that community.
“Don’t mess it up.”
If I had a dime for every time someone told me this. I’d have a lot of dimes. Just because I’m teaching my kids, it’s not a given that they’ll be failed in some way. On the other side of that coin? When I outsource to other teachers there’s a risk my kids are going to be failed there too. And yet, if I was to approach my kids’ teacher and say such a thing to them, I would be considered way out of line.
Look, you KNOW your kids. You know them and what makes them tick. You know where they have strengths and weaknesses. If they’re older? You know where their passions are. And high school? It literally takes 2.5 years of learning to graduate. Just because I have no degree doesn’t mean I’m not able to facilitate learning.
Remember that one! We are so blessed to live in the information age- literally we can learn ANYTHING and there’s about 20 different ways to go about doing just that. I’m not a farmer, but I learned how to raise and butcher turkeys. I’m not an engineer but I have a homeschooling friend who is- and because the homeschool community is so rich with diversity? I can easily find the help we will need when we get to a topic that we need help on.
“You won’t have good testing.”
There are two main lines of thought in this regard.
1) Standardized Testing is available to students who homeschool, as well as public or private school. It’s a good way to see where your kid compares to others.
2) Standardized Testing is not required by some states and since our homeschool scope and sequence is based on mastery, it would be silly to compare our kids’ knowledge with someone else’s scope and sequence.
Now, I have friends in the homeschool community who feel strongly about both ideas. The fact is that those homeschool students who do the standardized testing generally score higher in the State of Idaho. We have an annual legislature day we call “Pie Day” where homeschool kids do personal presentations, bring pies for the people at the capitol building and present the previous year’s data.
In fact, in many cases, without the pressure to perform being shoved in a kids’ face, we see kids thrive simply because they have a love for learning, rather than have pressure to know a certain answer on a certain day so a school can receive accolades or funding. (It’s been a minute since I was in high school, so I’ll admit, I pay less and less attention to this whole thing.)
For that matter, there are kids in both private and public school who don’t test well at all. Does that mean they’re a failure? Nah. It just means they weren’t ready with the answer on the right day, at the right time. They can learn to be better testers when they’re ready to do so. It might just take some maturing before that time comes.
“I just don’t have the money.”
You know what? You can do this.
Besides a myriad of government programs where they’ll fund your homeschooling thanks to tax dollars at work (the tradeoff here is government oversight which is a huge consideration for most of us.) Besides this-
Secondhand books Libraries The internet FREE curriculum available in MANY places.
So no, it doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re dead set of having bells, whistles, a pre-printed box-ready set of lessons? That’s gonna run you- but it’s not required for your lessons to be that built out. Just like there are many reasons to homeschool? There are about twenty-plus ways to do it. You just need to look around and try one.
I just don’t think I could handle that. They would be home all day long.”
Yes.. They’re home all day long. They eat. All the time. You will be astounded at how much food is consumed. They bicker. They tease. They throw temper tantrums that might make the paint peel off your walls.
They also learn. They love. Relationships grow deeper. You’re no longer competing for authority with other adults in your child’s world.
You learn to love your kids in ways you miss out on when they’re away from home. You see your kids grow and stretch and be challenged in ways you don’t see in textbooks. They WILL try to buck the traces, because it’s not what they’re used to. You may have to school in the evenings. You may have to sit up with them and help them navigate sentence diagramming up until the wee small hours of the morning.
But the trade off? It’s worth it. These precious hours together, whether it’s a Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very-Bad Day or the Most Marvellous Day Ever!
They matter. You can do this. It’s worth considering. Think it over.