Hands-on learning, seeing the a-ha! moment, flexible schedules - there are lots of things to love about homeschooling. But, might there be a downside too? Here are ten things that you might hate or end up hating about homeschooling and a few reasons to push past each one.
10. It's all on.....you.
The hard part: Who do you blame when your kid isn’t grasping the concept? You can’t blame the teacher (well, you can but you’ll just feel bad about it.)
On the bright side: Being the one to take responsibility for teaching and learning might show your children how to do the same. You can’t pass it off to someone else, you need to to take some initiative (and so do they.)
9. There's no one right way to learn at home.
The hard part: No matter how many people tell you about their awesome curriculum, it might not work for you. There won’t be one right way to school or one great curriculum to solve all your lesson planning needs. You can think of homeschooling as an ice cream bar with lots of different toppings - no two sundaes will end up being alike (good - plain vanilla....how boring!)
On the bright side: You don’t have anyone bossing you around, telling you exactly what curriculum your child should be using. Exploring all the ways and types of homeschooling can be a great learning experience in itself.
8. You'll fail, a lot, in front of your kids.
The hard part: Yep, you will learn that you don’t know everything. Your kids will learn that you don’t know everything, you might appear dumb to them (maybe more than once.)
On the bright side: Showing that you are willing to learn with your children and handling your imperfections with grace will show your kids how to accept their own failures. No one knows everything and everyone will fail at something, knowing that you can learn from mistakes and go on is a great lesson.
7. Everyone will ask about ‘socialization.’
The hard part: You’ll wish that Webster never defined socialization after total strangers imply that your kids are going to grow up weird after spending all their time with you.
On the bright side: You might dread the question, but after homeschooling for awhile you will love the social benefits. (Plus, after hearing the question a million times it gets easier to answer!)
6. You will be judged by people who have just met you.
The hard part: You will suddenly become an object of close scrutiny when people hear the words ‘home’ and ‘school’ come out of your mouth. You will be judged accordingly by them (based on how many of these so called ‘homeschoolers’ they know in real life.)
On the bright side: You might (I said might..) be the normal homeschooler that they have never met. If you care about what other people think, this could be a really hard thing for you. If you care more about doing what is right for your family, you’ll be fine.
5. People you've known for years will judge you too.
The hard part: Friends and family might nominate you for an intervention. Get ready for Holiday dinners where you and your ‘ridiculous decision to homeschool’ are going to be the topic of conversation.
On the bright side: Well, it does make for a lively conversation. When your children go on to do amazing things - they might eat their words.
4. Kitchen tables are for eating?
The hard part: Do you remember what the table looked like? Good, because once you start piling high science experiments, books and art projects you might never see the table top again.
On the bright side: There will come a day when there won’t be anymore blue fingerprints on the table, the books will no longer contain only pictures and the messes will cease. But, you won’t have missed a moment of it.
3. It will get expensive.
The hard part: If you start hiding curriculum in the pantry and start thinking that going to a homeschool fair is more fun that getting a spa treatment...you will have succeumbed to homeschool curriculitis. You’ll start justifying the money you spend on materials because it’s for your child’s education.
On the bright side: You will find that you don’t need every new thing that comes out, that the library can be your best friend, that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel, and that you don’t have to spend every dime on materials either. Some of the stuff you buy can make your job easier (and there will be plenty of time to pamper yourself when the kids move out - you can sell all that curriculum to some other needy homeschooler!)
2. Meeting other homeschoolers will be work.
The hard part: Yes, it will be work meeting other homeschoolers and introducing your children to new friends without help from a school. It will mean that you seek out opportunities to fellowship with others, build relationships and take time to get together with fellow homeschoolers, neighborhood kids and kids from after school activities.
On the bright side: Since there are no grade levels at park day, your children can play with and interact with children in every age bracket. They will get to experience a diverse group of friends (just like they would in the real world.)
1. You'll want an open mind.
The hard part: What does homeschooling mean to you? You’ll have to get rid of preconceived notions about education and learning at home. Don’t expect to lay a path and follow it the whole way through, plans change, kids change, you might need to change too.
On the bright side: Oh come on, you get to be with your kids every day, to see them struggle and learn. You get to rejoice in their triumphs and carry them through their trials. Keeping an open mind will make you a better teacher and show your children that you can both travel this path together.