I feel like a big part of a “whole”istic life is educating your children. Don’t get me wrong, I am not under the impression that EVERYONE has the ability to homeschool. But, by “ability” I mean FINANCIAL ability. Some families literally cannot financially make it happen. They are either single parent households, or both parents have to work. However, I do believe that if you can make it happen (and maybe sacrifice your Starbucks drinks, buy a cheaper car, or move to a more affordable home) you should! We have no greater charge in life than to raise up and educate our children in the Lord.
I am including a link a sermon on the topic at the bottom of this blog. It contains some very interesting statistics on homeschoolers and Christianity.
So let’s get into it!
- I don’t have the ability to homeschool my kids
I do believe that every parent has been given the God-given ability to educate their children. Why do I say this? Because GOD GAVE YOU YOUR CHILDREN. Back in Biblical times, there really wasn’t an option for parents to send their kids to a school. Most parents educated their own children. For years parents have done this, and you can too. Do not doubt yourself.
Our culture has engrained us with this idea that we cannot do it. In addition to that, they have given us a very easy “out” – free public education! Who wouldn’t want that?
This is what has happened with education. We have been trained to believe that teachers are more skilled to teach our children. We are trained to believe that we don’t have the patience (and I will get to THAT). We are trained to believe we don’t have the skills to do it. However, I am here to tell you that you DO! God made you for this as a parent, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
You are not alone either! There are so many resources out there to help too. There is a plethora of curriculum to guide you (and many free resources).
- My kids won’t be socialized or they don’t want to be homeschooled
The socialization myth is probably the most common myth of all. Are there homeschoolers who lack social skills? Yes. Are there public schoolers that lack social skills? Yes. The other question is, what KIND of social interaction do you want your kids to have? Do you want them constantly being “socialized” by their peers? Peers that are being taught “who knows what” by their parents. Additionally, a lot of time in school is spent sitting in a chair, having to be quiet, and listening to a teacher.
As a homeschooler I had plenty of social interaction growing up. I was part of homeschool groups (there are so many of these now). I took dance lessons. I interacted with kids at church. I also played with kids in my neighborhood. My daughter has even more opportunities than I did for social interaction. We have homeschool friends in our neighborhood. Because of homeschooling, we can get together for playdates during the day and even go on “field trips” together. We also participate in some nature social groups where we meet at a park or nature preserve and explore! Social interaction during the day allows us to preserve family time at night when my husband is home.
Homeschooling builds maturity. My maturity level and knowledge of the Bible surpassed my peers at church fairly quickly so that I decided to skip youth group in early high school and listen to the main pastor in the sanctuary. I was consistently told by adults that they were surprised how well I interacted with them. I considered this a positive thing. Most high schoolers are used to interacting with other highschoolers. They go to school all day with other peers, and then come home to sit and do their homework. Many don’t even interact with their parents frequently.
When it comes to socialization, my biggest question is this: who do you want raising your child? If your child is at school all day with his/her peers, and then comes home and has homework or extra curricular activities, your child is not being “socialized”, he/she is being “raised” by those peers.
The second point here is “my child doesn’t want to be homeschooled”. There are a variety of reasons for this answer and I usually hear this in kids who are elementary ages. They like the fun of school and being around their friends. Around middle/highschool is when many kids say they WANT to be homeschooled. My question is this…what is more important? Giving your child what they want or what they need? My daughter also wants cupcakes every day but I know in the end it isn’t the best thing for her.
- Homeschooling requires a lot of patience
I laugh at this one. I hear this a lot too. A mother will say “oh I could never homeschool, I just don’t have the patience”. I think almost every homeschool mom laughs at this one. Here’s a hint – WE DON’T HAVE THE PATIENCE EITHER. Homeschool moms are not blessed with some extraordinary amount of patience that other moms are not. We just know that the struggle is WORTH IT.
There are days that I yell at my kids. There are days I am just fed up. There are days that we both end up in tears. We start fresh the next day (or sometimes after a short break). There are also days where things are GREAT! Where the day goes so smoothly, and everything is making sense. You see your child learning and growing right before your very eyes.
Also, patience is something that grows as time goes on. Patience is a fruit of the spirit, so let’s not forget that. Ask God to cultivate more patience in you! Don’t beat yourself up! Trust that God will give you the tools you need.
Remember that the reason you get frustrated with your children is because you CARE about them. You want them to learn. Teachers don’t get as frustrated because they don’t care as much. I am not saying teachers don’t care but they don’t care as much as the parents. You love your children more than anyone.
- It takes too much time to homeschool
Many people envision school AT HOME. This is such a big misconception. Schooling at home takes DRASTICALLY less time than the hours your child spends at school. Your child is receiving one on one attention. It takes less time. You aren’t teaching a whole class of children. For example, elementary age children, schooling usually doesn’t take more than 2 hours maximum. This is because after your child understands a concept, you move on. You don’t have to teach the concept in 5 different ways to fit 20 different children. However, if your child does struggle with a concept, you can focus on that concept more.
When your children get older, they will be able to do a lot of their work independently as well. I was able to do almost all of my high school work independently. Most curriculum is geared for just that! Homeschooling teaches children HOW to learn.
- Homeschooling is expensive.
Homeschooling CAN be expensive but it can also be affordable. However, I am believe that you afford things that you care about. Maybe you don’t need the latest iphone (or an iphone at all). Maybe you don’t need the bigger house, or the Starbucks coffee. Maybe you can downsize. I know that seems like asking a lot but what is more important than the education of your children. If you think that private or public school is “good enough”, please consider watching the video I have attached below.
That being said, homeschooling can be expensive depending on the route you go. I will admit the curriculum that I love is not cheap. We use Memorial Press and Abeka math. However, you don’t have to use a set curriculum. Many Charlotte Mason folks use Ambleside Online which is free! A quick google search of “free homeschooling resources” will bring up many options.
If you want to use the Classical method of education, I highly recommend the book A Well Trained Mind. It breaks out schedules and curriculum for you at the end of every chapter and has recommendations all the way through high school. I highly recommend that book for anyone just starting. The author of the book also has curriculum she puts out that is very affordable and simple to use!
In addition to all of this, there are many buy sell trade groups for homeschool curriculum. In our area there are actually some resell shops for homeschool curriculum. The Homeschool Room is one that is local to the NC/SC area. Many places have similar shops, you just have to search for them.
A video I highly recommend if you are on the fence.