What a true statement that I am learning first hand! We have almost completed a year of homeschooling, and I have to be honest: It Has Been Challenging!
Homeschooling is definitely not something to be taken lightly. We had prayed for guidance regarding this decision, and I still believe this is where God had us for this school year. However, we are now re-evaluating and praying about what we will do for the next school year.
Homeschooling has had its great advantages for us. We have had a flexible schedule which has allowed us to travel to see our family more easily. I have also enjoyed having my son at home and not in a classroom all day long. It has been wonderful to see first hand the progress he is making when it comes to learning, especially with reading.
But, on the flip side, we have had many challenges! One of the greatest challenges has simply been the idea of me being the teacher. For some kids, it is “cool” or at least okay for their parent to be their teacher. This has not proved to be the case for my son. Don’t get me wrong, we do have our good days, but we have probably just as many bad ones. He has never done well with me as his teacher, even when I’ve been his teacher at church. Homeschooling hasn’t been any different. He really doesn’t see me as his teacher. He sees Mrs. B (at our supplemental school) as his teacher. Maybe this has worked to our disadvantage, although I don’t believe so. He excels on Tuesdays and Thursdays at our supplemental program. It’s almost always a fight on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to do school. Spankings, time-outs, giving or taking privileges – you name it and we’ve tried it this year when it comes to getting him interested and enjoying homeschooling. Nothing has seemed to work.
I must also speak to the fact that I am a very organized and detailed person. I am very time oriented, always sticking to a schedule and keeping things as organized as possible. Even with my Type A personality, homeschooling has been challenging. I say this as a warning to those who are considering homeschooling. IT IS HARD WORK – no matter what others may say. Don’t think that you can just get up every morning, sit with your child for a few hours, and school is complete. It takes planning, organization, and perseverance. It takes putting everything else on the backburner for those hours that school is in session. I don’t say these things to scare anyone away from homeschooling, only to point out the challenges. I think lots of people view homeschooling as “the easy way out,” that it’s for lazy parents and kids who don’t want to conform to the public education system. This is totally wrong. When done correctly, homeschooling is time consuming, takes much work and planning, yet is very rewarding.
If you are considering homeschooling, I suggest you talk with someone who has been homeschooling and get some feedback. Make sure you are ready to take on this huge responsibility of educating your child, because homeschooling is Not for the faint of heart!