You may think of homeschooling like June Cleaver with her hair beautifully set and her apron clean, as she leans over her children’s desks. Let me pop your bubble for just a moment and be brutally honest. I am going to share a few homeschooling secrets: the good and the bad with you.
Homeschooling Secrets #1. Mom’s who are homeschooling are under-appreciated:
Society often times believes homeschooling moms have lots of time on their hands since they are at home each day. But the average homeschooling mom spends 4-5 hours teaching her children. She also runs her children to homeschool sports, music lessons, French/Spanish class, and many Christian homeschoolers are also expected to help in their church with kids programs.
One of my current challenges is friends and family who think I can do more because “I’m home all day.” Lately I’ve had friends asking if I could watch their kids because I’m at home. But I’m at home doing schooling with my kids.-Homeschooling mom
Homeschooling Secrets #2 Children may have different curriculum and multiple teachers.
Many families order multiple styles of curriculum to meet the individualized needs of their children. If a child is bright and needs a more challenging curriculum Abeka or BJU Press are perfect. If a child struggles with learning, ACE is laid out simply and requires minimal need for instruction.
We preferred Robinson Curriculum which was developed by a scientist and his six children after his wife passed away. It was developed for children to be able to be self-taught and independent. Some of his children went to college or university years before their peers. This curriculum really focuses on reading, writing and arithmetic.
*go to www.christianbook.com to see a wide variety of homeschooling curriculum
If a family decides to school into the higher grades, especially high school, and mom finds some of the subjects aren’t in her areas of strength, she will involve her husband in teaching the children.
This will mean some subjects will be taught “after hours.” It may seem like a negative of homeschooling, but our children enjoyed the one-on-one time they had with their dad as he helped with their education.
Some families will send their kids to another home teacher for french, art, physical education or algebra.
Homeschooling Secrets #3 Our children don’t have the peer pressure to behave, or instead experience the class laughing at them:
This secret can work against a homeschooling mother. Especially from ages 4-7 when our children feel like having meltdowns. “Hey, mommy will love me no matter how many tantrums I have.”
One of my daily challenges of homeschooling is my son is a perfectionist and needs extra affirmation, and the phrase “you haven’t learned that yet” has been helpful as well. The crying still happened sometimes but learning that tidbit from my neighbor (a teacher) has been a big help.-homeschooling mom
Homeschooling Secrets #4 We babysit while we are homeschooling.
Mothers who school at home have the challenge of nursing babies, chasing toddlers and also schooling their older children. When we had our fifth child, Eythan, I hired a friend to school our older children for a year, while I took care of my baby and our oldest who had severe autism.
One of my biggest challenges of homeschooling is my toddler is very strong willed and outspoken. While I know she needs a lot of of attention and correction, often times I am busy homeschooling my son, and she ends up being a distraction for him.-homeschooling mom
Homeschooling Secrets #5 Family problems become part of homeschooling.
If kids are sick, or mom and dad are having troubles, or your neighbour wants to come over and tell you the gossip in the hood, the kids will hear it all. Our children observe us in just about every situation. We have to be consistent in what we say and what we do. Hypocrisy is easily seen by our children. If we’re preaching “God is love” then gossiping about our friends, our kids soon realize we are not practicing what we preach and view us as hypocrits.
Part of our children’s education is learning about healthy relationships with friends, family, and other homeschoolers.
Homeschooling Secrets #6 Our kids are just as much at risk for rebelling as kids who go to public school.
Many families who homeschool hope to protect their children from the world and eventually keep them from rebelling. Homeschooling does not protect our kids from making bad choices, but it does limit accessibility to drugs, alcohol and pornography.
If we dug a hole in the ground and put our children in there, the devil could find them and tempt them with something else. We can’t keep the temptations of the world out, especially with computers and cell phones being easily accessible to our kids. But we do our best to limit these destructive vices.
Phasing our children into the public system during high school allows them to taste the world and still be under mom and dad’s roof while navigating these new waters and needing guidance.– home educator
Schooling at home does allow us to choose what we teach our children and when. The parent decides when sex education will be taught, and what our children will learn about drugs, abortion, religion, alcohol and dating.
Homeschooling Secrets #7 Our children are well socialized, and sometimes over socialized.
One of the best attributes of homeschooling is that our children play with a variety of children of different ages. They also spend lot of time with adults. Instead of spending the majority of their day with children their age; they have multiple children of varying ages they interact with throughout the week, at the different homeschool activities they are involved with.
Children who are home schooled are often times quite confident about interacting with adults. Since they have a 1 to 3 ratio of adults to children in the classroom (a family with three kids) there is lots of time to interact with adults.
As a homeschooling family, we made an effort to have kids over 2-3 times a week. This usually ended up with all the kids playing together. The younger children were able to interact with older kids and-homeschooling mom
the olderchildren with the younger. On average our kids interacted with other children five days a week.
Homeschooling Secrets #8 We are the master of our own schedules.
Educating at home can be as structured or as flexible as you the mother want it to be. I’ve seen a wide variation of scheduling moms use to educate their kids. I personally told our children I wanted them dressed and at the table with their books at 8 am. We schooled until 12. Then our afternoon were for music lessons, physical education, socialization or errands.
I knew other moms who started after everyone eventully woke up and had breakfast. That’s the beauty of homeschooling, whatever your personality, you can fit homeschooling around what you prefer.
I took the mentality that the average job would most likely start before 8 am in the morning and our kids would need to develop good habits while they were young to make this transition easier when they were of the age to work. Mind you, for some of our kids that meant rising at 7:45 am and having 15 minutes to eat and dress. Which was still nice, to be able to sleep until then.
One of the joys of homeschooling is that I don’t have to rush my kids out of bed in the morning, to eat a quick breakfast, and rush them out the door. They get to sleep, play for a bit, have a long breakfast, and get to our homeschooling…sometimes in PJ’s, sometimes not.-Home educator
Homeschooling Secrets #9 Homeschooling isn’t for everyone.
Many families have tried schooling their own children, and then felt guilty when it didn’t go well. And they shouldn’t be too hard on themselves. Homeschooling is a big commitment and isn’t for everyone.
To home school your own children you need to:
Love being with them 24/7.
Not mind hearing “Mommy” 2, 417 times a day.
Be good at zipping your lip when people ask you “WHY YOU”RE NOT SOCIALIZING YOUR KIDS???”
Be disciplined and consistent in getting out the school books 4-5 days a week.
Use your Mother-Theresa-patience every day.
Be able to afford to live on one income and pay for the schooling material each year. Or have the
Homeschooling Secrets #10 Homeschooling will be one of the greatest adventures of your life.
I’m guessing by now you’re asking, “Why would anyone want to be homeschooling their children???” In all fairness, I did say, “the good and the bad” There’s no sense
What did I love about homeschooling:
Our children thought I was the best thing since sliced bread – after they went to school. All of a sudden they had an appreciation for everything I had done for them. (They are all grown and working now, except for Kyle who has severe autism. Read all about the joys of raising a child with autism here: Waiting on Autism A Mother’s Blessing)
My husband worked out of town and had Wednesdays off. Because we were homeschooling, the children saw him on the days he was home.
We never did back-to-school shopping. When your classmates are your siblings, you don’t dress to impress.
We took a vacation when it suited my husband’s schedule, instead of the school’s schedule. This is fantastic when you also look for off-season vacation deals.
I think the cons to homeschooling were:
You couldn’t do group projects with kids in the same grade as you.
Listening to your parents is harder than listening to a teacher you’re scared of (I also had many nice teachers).
Too much time for chores 😉
The pros were:
The older kids help tutor the young – that’s a good thing. I think that’s why I like to teach.
More outdoor play because you weren’t inside in the afternoon if you finished your work in the morning.
You’re always the best in your grade 😉 There was no one to compete with, you just did your best.
There was no need to impress your peers, this also saved money on clothes.-Charity Elliott, nutritionist.
Homeschooled until grade eleven.
More reasons to love homeschooling:
Our children learned self-discipline in their studies. They did a solid four hours of seat work each day. A
We taught sex education in a way we thought was appropriate and lined up with our beliefs. The beauty of home education is being able to pass your faith, culture, morals and language onto your children
We formed a strong bond with our children. The person we spend the most times with is usually the ones we grow to value and respect.
I felt I received a second education myself when I was educating our children. I had to learn something well enough to teach it to someone else. It also helped me develop more self-discipline, as I took educating my children more seriously
We had our good and bad days. But mostly good. Before I started home educating, I was a very undisciplined person. So don’t use this as a precursor on whether you should give homeschooling a try or not.
If you feel God laying it on your heart to educate your children at home, he will prepare you to do this task.
We started off with “let’s home school for one year” and went from there. We educated at home for fourteen years. Take baby steps, don’t commit for life. Try one year and see how it goes. If you are going to homeschool read my post: Stress-Free Homeschooling: Take A Deep Breath and Relax.
I hope you learned a little more about homeschooling and will make a decision based on prayer and research. This could be a fun and exciting adventure that you and your family embark on. One that leads you into a life you never thought