An Inside Look at Homeschooling
Homeschool. We all have assumptions, fears, and preconceived ideas about that word based on our life experiences. I know that the first time I thought about that word in connection to my own family, I pushed it right back out of my mind and refused to consider it. It took several months to come back around to it. Despite my uncertainties, I ended up taking the plunge.
Many of you may unexpectedly be in the same boat right now. The last few months of chaos and the unknown of the months ahead leave you in a place of considering this option of homeschooling your children. In light of this big decision that you have ahead of you, here are a few things that homeschooling is and is not.
At the heart of homeschooling is freedom. The freedom to design your own schedule, the freedom to spend as much time as you want on favorite topics, and the freedom to educate your children in a way that is best for them. Does your son need to jump on the trampoline while he memorizes multiplication facts? He can. Do you need to wait until 10:30 to start school so that the baby can be napping while you teach? You can. You are the teacher. You are in charge. You get to call the shots.
You will learn just as much as, if not more than, your children as you go through the homeschool process. You will learn historical facts and grammar rules, sure, but what you will really learn is how to engage with your kids and encourage their growth as human beings. When we began our journey in homeschooling, I was shocked at how much I enjoyed getting to know my kids and their personalities. Don’t judge me here: I love my kids. However, I feared that homeschooling would drive me to be annoyed with my kids rather than enjoy them. Don’t get me wrong—there are plenty of annoying days. But overall, I am learning so much from them and about them.
If there is one thing we need as moms, it is flexibility. We are juggling kids, spouses, schedules, cleaning, meals, extra-curricular activities, work, and oh hey—let’s throw in a pandemic to boot! If there is ever a time for flexibility, it is now! Navigating your work-from-home schedule or figuring out how to teach your children at home with multiple ages is tough. But it is possible because homeschooling provides flexibility. Need to work during the day? You can school in the evenings. Need to get out of the house and take a mini-vacation? You can take schoolwork with you. Want to add some fun to your day? Schedule a school day at the park. The possibilities are really endless.
Homeschooling is Not:
“There’s no way I could teach my kids.”
“I have no idea where to start.”
I hear these comments regularly when I talk to other moms about homeschooling. It is true that homeschooling is challenging at times. Trying to teach children that are miniature versions of yourself is oftentimes a struggle. But I assure you: You can do it. There are so many resources, so many experienced homeschool families, and so many groups just waiting to encourage and help you. You can make your homeschooling days as complex or as simple as you like. I recommend sticking on the simple side, but in the end, it is all up to you!
As a public school kid and former teacher, I had this idea in my mind that we had to homeschool 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I thought we had to turn in assignments as proof of our learning and meet some homeschool monitor’s expectations. None of this, in fact, is true. We do not school for 8 hours a day. We do not typically school 5 days a week. We do not report to a homeschool monitor (every state has their own laws). We complete our lessons at our own pace and in a timely manner and enjoy the fruits of our learning. It really is that simple.
You may be laughing at this one, but you know what I’m talking about. You probably think that as soon as you start homeschooling the world will start expecting you to make your own clothes, dress your kids in matching outfits, stop watching TV, and disconnect from the world altogether. But guess what? Homeschooling does not make you weird. The community of families around you who are homeschooling are not weird. You will definitely meet families who are different from you, but what a joy it is to experience some diversity! And if the world thinks your weird for it, then I say embrace it!
By: Lynzie Brewer