This is the time of year, right before school starts (because then parents are committed one way or the other) when I always get at least two or three phone calls from ‘prospective homeschoolers.’ People who are interested in homeschooling, think that maybe it might be a great thing. . .but are scared to death of the thought of being solely responsible for their child’s education. In case there are some of you prospective homeschoolers out there, I thought that you might like to read my practical (and some philosophical) answers to your questions. And as many of you already know, I always welcome more!
Yes, It’s Normal to Be Scared
Frankly, I’d be a little worried about someone who took the responsibility casually. Your child’s educational career, successes and failures rest on your shoulders for the years that you choose to home school. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it, or need to be extra special to do it–but that it’s normal to look ahead to the unknown and be a little unsure.
What About Alone Time?
The second most common question I get is from moms that were looking forward to sending their children to school so that they could finally have a break. I certainly appreciate needing a break–believe me. My husband takes the kids out regularly so that I can have time to ‘catch up.’ But the flip side of having a break is that your kids are away from you.
That’s not necessarily bad but what you’re trading is not battling the less than ideal influences that you don’t want around your kids. Also, home schooling families often enjoy a certain closeness with each other. That not only applies to parents and children but siblings as well. After all, you build relationships with people by spending time with them.
Can I Really Do This?
Yes–you really can. Your child learned how to speak, how to tie his shoe, how to brush his teeth and how to get dressed all under your tutelage. That is ‘real’ learning. It counts. I’m sure that just barely scratches the surface of things that you’ve taught your child. All without help. The truth is, home education is an old institution. It is public school that is a new idea.
But I’ll also say that one on one education is very effective in my experience. A plan that is individually tailored to a child’s abilities and interests yields results. No one else has more of a vested interest in seeing your child succeed, than you do.