So, this year has gone crazy and you’re thinking about homeschooling, but it scares you to death?
Take a deep breath–you’re not alone!
I remember when I first decided. I couldn’t believe I was actually going to take this leap into the unknown. I read, I listened, I worried, I second-guessed.
As a veteran home-school mom of 19 years, can I start by putting your mind at ease about a few things?
1. Social life. Your kids aren’t going to be weird if you decide to homeschool. (Some people even think that it’s a strange social experiment to require kids to sit in a room, in rows, with only people their own age, for 8 hours a day. That maybe that isn’t very “real life-like.”) The reality is that even if you homeschool, there are countless opportunities for your kids to be around other people and participate in other events–maybe even in more realistic settings, getting to interact with people of all ages and various walks of life.
2. “I’m not qualified.” Yes you are. Let’s talk for a minute: you had a baby once upon a time. That baby learned more in 5 years than he will learn in a lifetime, including a complicated language, important forms of psychology, physics, and lots of other important stuff, all without a trained teacher or even a formal curriculum! Do not estimate your child’s (continuing) ability to learn, explore and master what is needful.
Also, there has never been a better time to homeschool! The resources available are immeasurable! If you can simply provide resources and an environment conducive to exploration and questioning (easy to do in this day we live), you, my friend, are qualified to homeschool. Children learn best if they are NOT being spoon-fed information. Give them freedom to explore their interests, ask questions and find answers. That will be more valuable to them than the information they cram for a test and then forget 15 minutes later. (Remember your school days?)
3. How much does it cost? You can actually homeschool for free, or you can spend a lot. And there’s everywhere in between. Over the course of 19 years, we have spent very, very little simply because we don’t have to. There are free resources (library, online curriculum, thrift stores, etc.) and educating a person doesn’t have to be costly at all. But there are curriculum choices that are more expensive, if you’d rather not do the work of finding the cheaper resources. It’s all up to your personal preferences.
4. What about state requirements? Each state has different requirements and you can check your state’s requirement here.
Let me encourage you to relax about the prospect of homeschooling. We have all been conditioned to think that a school setting is the only way for a child to be educated, and while I so appreciate the efforts so many wonderful teachers make, it has been my experience that the classroom is really a less than ideal situation for children to learn. And since it can’t be summed up in once post, I am going to post some links below that explain some of my philosophy as well as the opinions of many others who have had first hand experience in the classroom.
I challenge you to read, learn and give yourself room to explore this new and very exciting thing called homeschooling!
This is a short, easy to read and VERY helpful book about relaxed homeschooling that will inspire and encourage you. Moms are writing me all the time to tell me how much it helped them in their homeschooling journey! Check out Think Outside the Classroom: A Relaxed Approach to Homeschooling
“This book changed our lives. I had no idea how I was squelching my children’s love of learning by trying to reproduce something that we already knew doesn’t work very well. Now they thrive and we’re all much happier!” -Sandra L.