Homeschooling your children can be both incredibly awesome and hard at the same time. Some days are amazing. I am so thankful that I have this opportunity and would not change it for the world! Some days I find myself staring longingly at the school bus, wondering what it would be like to have a whole day of freedom. (Usually the days when my two boys will not leave each other alone and five o’clock can not come quickly enough for mandatory wrestling with daddy.)
When someone discovers that we homeschool our three children, they usually respond with at least one of the following phrases:
“Oh, I do not have the patience for that.”
“Oh, I am not educated enough for that.”
“Wow! You must be really smart!”
“I don’t think I could bear to be home all day!”
All of these responses make me inwardly giggle and roll my eyes. My husband would never describe me as patient, our gas budget proves that I am not home all day, and neither smart or educated would be words I’d use to describe myself. Yet, I homeschool three kids ranging from Kindergarten to third grade.
Maybe you have considered homeschooling and are wondering what you need to do it well. Or, maybe you already are homeschooling and aren’t quite sure you are qualified for the adventure. You could even be convinced that you will never homeschool, yet still believe some of the false assumptions that moms who want or do this need to be super patient and have a teaching degree. Wherever you fall, I want to take a few moments to clear up this confusion and lay out the REAL credentials for being a homeschool mom!
1. You must love your kids and be okay being around them a lot.
If you do not like your kids or like being around them, homeschooling could prove to be difficult. You may inwardly laugh at this point, but don’t! I have found that not every mom would even want to be around their kids all day. You know what? That’s okay! It doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids – it is just we all mom differently. If you want to homeschool, though, this one is kind of important. If your kids are in public or private school now, homeschooling will take some getting used to for all of you. There is more on this in one of my favorite articles you can read here!
2. You should like trying new things and learning.
When you are homeschooling, you are teaching your kids to love learning and to make it a lifetime habit. As you do this, you are along for the journey and that means you will be trying new things and learning all of the time, too. You probably have already noticed that your kids are like sponges. Your enthusiasm will become theirs!
3. You need to understand that what a school setting looks like is not what homeschooling needs to be.
If you decide to homeschool, you are not trying to wrangle 30 kids at one time, so your school day will look different. You may be done with school in two hours or less and that is okay! In fact, I personally find it fantastic! It doesn’t mean your kids are not learning as much. It means that you are able to focus your attention on less kids. You can go at their pace with their learning styles, and nothing more.
That’s it. I know you may have been thinking this would or should be a longer list, but it’s not. You can be a high school dropout and still homeschool your kids. You can have a Ph.D. or do daycare or never pass Algebra and still homeschool your kids. At the end of the day, it is not what you know that matters. It’s the passion for learning, growing and loving that you show your kids each day.
So what is the takeaway from this article?
1. Leave your unfair presumptions at the door, please!
Homeschool moms already struggle feeling like they are up to it. All mommas, whether working, single or at-home can use support. I feel like if it takes a village to raise kids, it takes a village to be the best mom you can be, and everyone already has their worst critic in their heads.
2. Be encouraged if you are already Homeschooling!
If you are homeschooling and feel like you don’t cut it, know that you are just the teacher your kids need. You can do it (and if you need more support, my next post will have resources for you).
3. Are you considering homeschooling?
Hopefully, now you feel empowered that you can do it! My next post will be a follow-up to this for anyone who wants to take the next step!
Feel free to leave any questions that you have so I can be sure to address them in my next post!
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