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The best homeschool help I received, came from a mom of six (just like me) who patiently listened to my every concern. She was getting ready to graduate kid number six, and she seemed so incredibly calm.
I called her in tears one day; it was the end of our first official semester. I was surrounded by ungraded essays, worksheets and tests. When she arrived, she found me sitting on the floor trying to sort through a mountain of ungraded papers. Our school table was covered in teachers manuals and answer keys for every grade level. I had three elementary school kids, one middle school kid and two high school kids. I was completely overwhelmed by the looming deadline and felt like I was in way over my head.
Linda sat next to me, put her arm around me and said:
That was it. Immediately we both burst into uncontrollable laughter.
I had completely forgotten the two things she had taught me earlier that year:
- There is no one more qualified to teach my children than me.
- I’m in charge, which means I decide what’s necessary and what’s not, and deadlines are only set by me.
There is no one more qualified.
Yes, I know you’ve heard this, but do you believe it? I didn’t.
By the time I was pregnant with kid number three, I realized how much I loved kids and how much I loved teaching. That fall, I changed my course of study from Computer Programing to Education. I was a firm supporter of public education and laughed at anyone foolish enough to think homeschooling could be successful. The thought of unschooled and inexperienced parents without degrees attempting to teach anything scholarly to their poor children seemed almost like child abuse.
It took seven years to change my mind. And another four to actually believe it.
Do you need reminding?
Here are 5 reasons why there’s no one more qualified to do this than you.
- No one has or ever will love your kids the way you do.
- No one has their best interest in mind like you do.
- Nobody knows your kids the way you do.
- No one else is willing to do whatever it takes to see them succeed.
- No one else is willing to sacrifice sleep, nourishment, and personal time for their sake, then you are.
Homeschooling is an all-in type deal. It is a complete lifestyle commitment, it is not something you go into lightly, and there is no one willing to make the changes and sacrifices it requires than you.
Remember this next time you run into critics and snobs like my former self.
You’re in charge. Every decision is up to you.
If your kids attended public school before you started homeschooling, or if you’re one of those people who have the need to follow all the rules (aka me), this may be a difficult hurdle to overcome.
Back to my break-down:
My son was graduating that year, it was also the year my husband and I decided to make a complete commitment to homeschooling, and we pulled all six kids out of the public system. Only our high schoolers had been homeschooling up to that point. This was the first semester with six kids at home, all the time, while my husband and I worked full time. The previous summer, I spent a small fortune on curriculum, workbooks, manipulatives, flashcards, and enough school supplies to fully stock a Staples for a couple of months. Not only did we commit our time, but we also committed our finances.
I felt that in order to be a good steward, I had the responsibility to use every resource we had invested in. Every page of every workbook had to be completed, every page of every textbook read, every page of every notebook, filled. This put a lot of pressure on my kids and myself. Now I found myself on the floor, crying, surrounded by paper.
As homeschoolers, we are independent and not bound by society’s or public school rules. We’re in charge.
Homeschool regulations vary by state, and it’s crucial that you familiarize yourself with them. Though following state rules is a must, becoming a slave of your curriculum or method, or trying to mimic the public school system is not. You have the ability to make decisions based on your own family circumstances, limitations, and lifestyle.
What does being in charge mean?
- Your child does not have to complete every worksheet in every workbook. In fact, you don’t even have to use workbooks!
- Your child doesn’t have to read and memorize every fact in every textbook. Their assignments are at your discretion.
- You don’t have to be consumed by any looming deadlines, every child learns at their own pace, semesters and graduation dates are irrelevant.
- You can be a stay-at-home mom, or a full-time working mom, and homeschool just the same.
- School on the weekends and evenings if you like, you have the freedom to set your own schedule.
- You can teach your child according to their learning style. The one-size-fits-all stuff is out the window.
- You can teach them according to their interests, if they love to read, using living books, if they love nature teach them outdoors.
There is no one-way or right-way to homeschool. There is only what is best for your child.
What you do, is up to you, there is no one more qualified than you, to make that decision.There is no one-way or right-way to homeschool. There is only what is best for your child.
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I’ve struggled with the need to complete every piece of material in curriculums I have purchased for my kids & still find myself falling into the habit occasionally. Very type A, organized and follow ALL the “rules”. This was a good reminder of why we started homeschooling! Remember & use what’s important & ditch what isn’t working for my children’s best interest.
This article is so true! Parents are the best teachers and facilitators for their kids. And where we feel we are lacking, God will provide.
Public school history rule follower here!! Struggling to break out of mold.
This is great. Thank you for sharing.
Chey Wilkerson says
100% Agree! It was a little bit of a struggle for me at first during our first year of homeschooling. We’re almost finished with our first year and I’ve grown and learned SO much and how much better it is NOT to follow public school rules and methods. I’m excited to see what next year brings us.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Jessica G says
This was such an encouragement! There have been a few nay sayers who’ve questioned my “ qualifications”. Thank you!
C. Webb says
I’ve been questioned about my qualifications since we moved overseas. Thanks for the reminder.
Judith Martinez says
Being a home educating mother has taught me how to self educate. We can learn along with our children in a way that parents who send their children away for school can’t.
Dandi D says
This is so good to read and remember!
Aimee Smith says
Thank you for the reminders to drop our imagined deadlines. It’s so easy to forget!