Have you ever considered homeschooling but think you must be crazy? Are you tired of how miserable your kids are in public schools? Do you struggle with the constant grind of public school?
When I first started homeschooling, I was in Never Never Land! “I will NEVER do that!!” was the anthem of my life when talking about homeschool. I had cousins that were doing it and I thought they were nuts. They also were SAHMs (stay at home moms), so of course they had time and energy to homeschool. I was a business owner, entrepreneur, and working hard everyday. There was no time in my schedule to homeschool my three kids! Or was there?
After some extremely poor school experiences, both with public and private schools, we were facing no other option but to homeschool. I always say I was backed into one of the greatest blessings of my life! Why was it one of the greatest blessings? I am going to share the top 5 lessons I learned when I jumped down the rabbit hole of homeschool.
LESSON 1: You can still have a life
I never realized how freeing homeschool is for everyone. Shaking loose the rigid schedule of those other types of schooling will give you and your kids a breath of fresh air. Homeschool allows for the rhythms and bumps of life to have grace. There is no need to fill eight hours of time. You may spend only an hour with a young child or up to six with older kids.
LESSON 2: Life is school
Grocery shopping is math and organization and planning. Cleaning your car and house is a responsibility and good stewardship. Cooking is science and math and mess making and creating. Taking your kids with you everywhere you go and teaching them the functions of daily life is such a gift. They will often be less intimidated by the idea of being an adult when they see how to do it.
LESSON 3: I had given away my authority
Did you know that it is a scientific fact that children’s ears are God designed to know and hear their mother’s voice over any other sound? That’s why when you call, they always hear you (choosing to ignore you is a different subject). You can also hear your children over any other noises. God designed us this way for many reasons, but training our children is one of the primary reasons.
Your voice and instruction will implant itself into your children’s hearts and minds. They will have a long lasting memory of the things you tell and teach them. How many times do you hear yourself say,”If your teacher saw you do that, what would happen?” It may be some other version of that same question that refers to their teacher being their authority. You, their parents, are the child’s authority and you should take it back.
LESSON 4: You are smart enough
I have heard people say that they don’t think they are capable of teaching their kids. That isn’t true! Even if you have not loved learning or were not a great student, you can absolutely teach your children, even if you are learning along with them. The beauty of age is that there is also experience that comes along with it. Something that may not have made much sense to you in school, may make perfect sense to you when you are reintroduced to it as an adult.
Be patient with yourself as you are trying new interests and subjects. You may not be great at math but you might find a new interest in it. You may not understand sentence structure but then the lightbulb comes on that it is similar to creating a math problem. There are tutors that can help as well. Also, the internet is a huge benefit and bonus for helping parents in subjects that they aren’t good at. Last but not least are homeschool communities; these are great resources and very beneficial to homeschool families.
LESSON 5: You can do it!
One lesson we all need to recognize is that we are capable of doing anything we put our minds to. When I first started homeschooling, I had the support of a stay at home dad, but when my husband passed away unexpectedly, I had five kids, homeschool and a business store front with employees. How did I do it?
I hired babysitters to stay with the children while I had to work. I homeschooled on my off time. I had to make their education as much a priority as my job. I was tired and at times very overwhelmed, but I also know that homeschool offered grace in that situation that other schooling never would have.
So no matter what your life looks like, you can make homeschool happen. Be resourceful and ask people to help. You may be surprised at how possible the impossible seems when you set your mind to it!
You can homeschool and have a life. Even if it takes a little elbow grease to get everything set up and organized, it will be worth it in the long run that you are the voice in your children’s heads. If you’ve been on the fence, jump into homeschooling and let it be the ride of your life! Enjoy your kids!