Just that one word can bring up so many emotions in so many different people.
I'm pretty sure that's safe to say about a lot of words. Take pizza, for instance.
I've heard these myths/excuses/doubts in every conversation I've had with people who either want to homeschool or think I'm nuts.
** These are what I hear people say about themselves in regards to the thought of them ever homeschooling their own children. Not what they say to me about me. **
I'm going to debunk these myths the best way I can.
#1 - I have no patience
I laugh my lumpy butt off at this one. Patience? They think I have patience? Quick, someone call my mom and dad and see what they have to say about that!
Just work on it, ya bum!
Seriously though, in some areas of our life we may exhibit more patience than in others.
For instance, my child may have lost their shoe for the fifth time that day. I am not going to be patient. Heck, I probably lost patience after the first time.
I may be more patient when teaching my son how to cook than teaching him how to do the dishes. I may be more patient with my daughter struggling over her addition than when she just gives up and cries when I ask her to read.
Don't put it in your "cons" column; that's just ridiculous.
#2 - I am not qualified to teach.
You're not qualified? Should I call CPS? Then you must not be qualified to be a parent.
I know, I know, that's not very nice. I know this is a real concern for many parents, and mostly their nay-saying spouses.
Think about it, were you really qualified to be a parent before you became a parent?
You might have had a desire, a job, read parenting books, bought all the necessities for said baby, and (hopefully) stopped any illegal activity you may have been engaged in. When you took that baby home for the first time did you sit there and think, "I totally got this! Nothing is going to trip me up! I am parent hear me roar! I will never ever make a mistake."
If you did, come here so I can slap you. No, really.
None of us are ever 100% prepared nor qualified to be a parent. That's how it was intended, I think. My children teach me so much even when I'm the one trying to teach them.
To get religious on you, God called many people who weren't qualified (or didn't think they were). Take Moses, for instance. He didn't think he was a good speaker, he felt foolish. Yet God qualified him and sent him help (He'll send you help as well).
The scriptures and history shows us people that didn't think they were qualified, and who might not have been, but proved themselves far greater than they could have dreamed.
If you put your faith and trust in God, He will qualify you to homeschool your children. Just like He qualifies you to be the parent over your beautiful children. He wanted you to be their parent.
Now, in a technical sense, this concern shouldn't deter you either.
Not a rocket scientist? Neither are the public school teachers (that I know of).
The homeschooling curriculum world is HUGE. I mean huge!!!!!!!!
Your eyes will pop open at the multitude of curriculum choices. Your brain will fry researching all of them. There are so many varied methods and types that you will undoubtedly be able to teach your child.
Don't know what the Krebs cycle is? You will once you buy that science curriculum.
There are teacher's manuals (gasp, the public school teachers have those)!
There are guides, there are DVDs, videos, podcasts, articles, customer service, tutors, forums, kits, clubs, co-ops, and many many more tools available to you. You will love learning alongside your child. You can get a curriculum that guides you verbatim of what to say and how to explain something. There is no way on this earth you will ever come to a required course that you will not be able to teach.
Unless you, the parent, don't know how to read.
The best part? Usually your child starts school in Kindergarten. You don't need to stress about calculus and physics now. Just the basics. By the time you reach calculus and physics age you will know what to do. Honest.
#3 - It's too much work.
Well, it depends on what too much work means to you.
If you just want to sit around and watch TV all day, then yes, it'll be too much work for you.
Homeschooling is work. Is it too much work? Nah.
I love work, but I also love days that I can just sit and read a book, or watch a marathon of Murder, She Wrote. I also hate chores and cleaning. Bleh.
Homeschooling is way more fun that chores and cleaning.
How much work is it? Well, up front it may be a bit more work. Once you get going you'll probably dedicate 1 - 2 hours each week prepping and planning your whole week.
I homeschool a 2nd grader, a K/1st grader, and preschooler. My toddler just runs around with scissors and plays with matches while we homeschool.
Each day we do school for about 4 hours total. For all 3. They're getting everything they need and more. Add 30 minutes on to that for some PE.
#4 - But, I couldn't do anything! I'd have no life!
Well, when you chose to have a child or ten you kind of gave up your total freedom.
I don't go out with my friends as much as they go out with each other. I may miss their monthly luncheon, or can't go shopping with them spontaneously. I don't much care though.
I see my friends whenever I want to. I go out and meet them at the park with our kids. I have girls' nights almost every week. My husband makes sure I get frequent breaks without the kids. Saturday afternoons I go strolling through my favorite antique stores, drooling in the aisles at Target, and doing anything else I may want. With or without my friends.
Safe to say, I have a life. A rich, full, meaningful life. I have time to blog, a part-time job, some time to write, some time to work on my own personal goals and dreams. All while having time to play with my husband and kids and teach them too. With some nifty planning I can do it all.
If you want all the time in the world to yourself, I'm sorry if this seems rude, but I feel sorry for you. The things you're missing out on.
#5 - My kids would never listen to me.
I get it. My middle son is a stinker. I thought he'd never listen to me. He doesn't always obey me, but sure enough, as soon as dad says it he jumps right to it. Grrrr.
When it comes to school he loves it and begs for more. He listens to me! To ME: Mom! He obeys!
If you become their primary teacher I guarantee they'll listen to you. It may take some time for them to get used to it, especially if you're pulling them out of public school, but they will!
#6 - I can't teach.
I personally think you're doubting yourself too much. You may be stronger in a subject than another. You may hate teaching history. You may not know how you're going to teach your child to read.
I promise you that you can teach. *don't hold me to this legally*
I also promise that there is a curriculum out there that will help you. There are reading programs out there that are amazing that will guide you word for word what to say. There is a history program out there for you even if you can't stand the stuff. There are so many resources out there that will take the guess work out of teaching and will instill in you confidence.
All this being said. Some people just tell me these things because they don't have any interest in homeschooling and probably don't know of a nicer way to say I'm ridiculous. That's cool.
If you really just don't want to homeschool, then don't. It's not for everyone and I am personally not judging you nor thinking I'm a better mother. I support you in your decision.
If these are your concerns that are keeping you from homeschooling, then I challenge you to give it a whirl.
Maybe this summer try it out so you can see if it's something that you can do. I'm here all summer so you can hit me up for any kind of help you may need. If I can't help you, I know some amazing people that can.
Homeschooling is a personal decision that we each have to make. Make sure you are coming at the decision with facts and not fears. With truth and not myth. With faith and not doubt.