Homeschooling: yea or nay?
You've been thinking about homeschooling. You just aren't sure if it's right for you.
For some this is an easy choice , for some not so much.
How do you decide? How will you know if it's right for you and your family? Here are some thoughts for you.
Everyone has different reasons
What are the reasons you're considering homeschooling?
List all of them -- even if you think they're trivial.
Here's a few:
- freedom in scheduling
- tailored education
- special needs
- advanced student
- quality education
- wanting religion in your schooling
- inadequate schooling options around you
- time with children
- teach them character values
- don't want them in bad situations
- ability to teach to each child's learning style
- mobility (move or travel a lot)
- and on and on and on
It's important to identify why you want to homeschool. As you think of more over time add them.
When you're having a hard time it's good to be able to whip out this list for a great reminder of why you're doing this.
Pros vs. Cons
I can hear my mother now, "make a list of pros and cons, Shelly."
So, I'm passing on her sage wisdom to you, just in case you haven't thought of it already.
First, the Pros.
What are the benefits of homeschooling? Write them down whether they are perceived or observed.
Don't have any experience with homeschooling? Ask other homeschoolers what they love about it and write down the ones you identify with.
Next up, the Cons.
Write these down, too.
Now, let's take each one in turn and ask ourselves these questions:
- are these real cons?
- can they be resolved?
- is it worth it? (for instance, if you can't go out to play with friends at a moment's notice, is it worth it to just schedule it instead of being able to leave at any time?)
- can it be listed in TBD (you think it's a con, but maybe it doesn't even come up)
→ How does your list balance out? Can some be crossed off or fixed? How does it balance now?
Be honest with yourself.
Make sure you're giving yourself a chance, too.
What about your spouse/family/support system?
Some spouses just aren't on board. That's okay, I get it. Some families may think you're nuts. You may not have a great support system.
These are factors to consider, but they ought not determine your final choice.
We don't want our children to learn that just because someone or some group doesn't approve of what we do/like/enjoy/prioritize does not mean we should let go of our choices and values.
Mr. Barlow was wary and unsure of homeschooling when I talked about it and planned it.
I said we'd do it as a trial and then decide together how we thought it went. That took a lot of the wariness out of my husband and we gave it a go.
After the first few months, he was on board.
It wasn't until I heard him talking to someone else about it that I realized how on board he was. What a blessing that he allowed me to try and came to it with an open mind!
Talk to your spouse about your list of reasons and your list of pros and cons in order to begin open communication.
We, as a couple, have to consider both view points. It's only fair that each spouse listen openly to the other. We don't want to cause a rift, and you can't do this without each other's support!
Broach the trial period option with your spouse. At the end of your set time period -- a semester, a year -- you two can sit together and go through this together again and evaluate.
Family isn't supportive?
My knee-jerk reaction is to tell them to stuff it. Is that the right thing to do? Probably not.
Here is a better idea from Brenda, at Homeschool Diaries : 7 Tips to Explain Your Homeschool Decision With Confidence
Pay attention to your feelings
Do you feel inspired to homeschool? Can't put your finger on the exact reason, you just feel compelled to do it? Well, my dearie, then you'd better hop to it. Most especially if you've been praying your guts out.
I say these feelings override any doubts or concerns you may have. However, it's not my choice, thank goodness. It's yours!
We each come to the decision in our own way, in our own time, and for our own reasons.
If you're still unsure or waffling, give yourself some marinating time.
How about a trial for yourself?
I tried it over a summer before school started. Or just give yourself a semester or a year.
Look for a post in the next few weeks about how to go about a summertime trial!
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Best of luck!
→ Next up:
Okay, now what? Where do I even begin?