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I’ve been homeschooling my children for quite few years. In fact, only my oldest son ever went to any type of government school. He spent two years at a developmental preschool before I decided to try homeschooling. I only knew of one other family who educated their children at home. Thankfully that homeschooling mom was a huge support to me. I had never even heard of home schooling until meeting that particular family. I’m still very grateful for that support.
However, I really wanted to address something that I have been seeing occur seemingly a lot lately as more and more families make the decision to homeschool. Simply this…making the decision to homeschool is monumental. There is no refuting that fact. Having said that, I do fear some families feel that the decision to bring (or keep) their children home will solve a myriad of issues. They feel that the issues their children may have had in the public school setting will instantly be solved once they are brought home. They feel that their children will happily sit and devour their schoolwork, eagerly getting up each and every day wanting to learn as much as possible.
The reality is this. No matter where your child is educated – home, private, public – they are still children. Some children may excel and some may not. Some children may sit and eagerly do their schoolwork each day and some may fight you every step of the way. Simply put…every child is different and deciding to educate them at home will not mean a stress-free environment. Trust me. I‘ve done my fair share of cajoling, arguing, and downright yelling at my kids to get their work done. Oftentimes I have dreamed of putting my children on the yellow bus straight to school simply so I could have a peaceful day without kids. Then reality hits.
While schooling my children at home is hard, the benefits far outweigh the cons. One of the biggest benefits is that my husband and I are have the largest influence on our children. We don’t have to worry about peer pressure. I don’t worry about the newest swear word or inappropriate behavior they may learn at school. While there may be times they come in contact with situations like this, overall it’s a non-issue for us.
So why am I sharing this with you? I’m concerned about the parents who decide to give homeschooling a try for a year or six months or through the summer and wonder why it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. I’m concerned with the parents I talk to who have an idealistic view of what life will be like once they bring their children home and then become discouraged.
Please know this – I will support your decision to homeschool. I wholly support home education and, personally, I wish more people would decide to keep their children out of government schools. However, I think it only fair that you know the reality of homeschooling – it’s hard! It’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever do. You will have days when the only thing you can say you accomplished is to feed your children. And that’s okay! You’ll also have days when your reluctant reader finally gets it and starts devouring chapter books. You’ll have days when you fantasize about what a day alone would look like. You’ll have days when the thrill of discovering a nest full of eggs is shared with the grocery clerk, the mailman, and the convenience store clerk.
The reality of homeschooling is that it is hard but it’s also rewarding in more ways than I can possibly express.