Well, it’s been a while now since I’ve written any posts that will push people’s buttons, so I think it’s about time for another. It was good while it lasted, right?
If you are familiar with me at all, you’ll know that I am unapologetically pro-homeschooling, and the heart of this blog is really about encouraging people on their journey.
So while what I’m going to say today might offend some people, I’m going to say upfront that it isn’t intended that way. I’m just fully aware that there are some people (myself included) who sometimes simply refuse to do something they know they should unless someone prods them along.
Okay, here goes…
If you really want to homeschool, stop making excuses about why you can’t.
I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve had people tell me that they wish they could homeschool, but they can’t because…(insert reason here).
Look, I know that the prospect of homeschooling can be a scary thing, but it’s time to take a step back and really consider what your child needs. I’ll admit that sometimes keeping your kids home can be pretty much impossible, but I’m also going to add that this is only true in a small amount of cases. The vast majority of people who want to homeschool really could with just a little bit of resourcefulness and a lot of courage.
Right now I’m going to look at two things- reasons people say that they want to homeschool, and their reasons for why that can’t happen. I’ll start with the first:
Common reasons people want to homeschool:
- medical issues
- moral values/religious convictions
- academic reasons (typically, the schools aren’t performing as expected)
- school violence (This goes beyond bullying. I’m talking about gang violence, violence against teachers, school shootings, etc.)
- the surge in inappropriate student/teacher relationships
- the lack of family time
- food allergies
- learning differences
Those are some pretty serious reasons. How many times in the past couple years has a child committed suicide due to bullying? How many reports have you read about the uptick in school violence? And the swell of teachers seducing their students? Disgusting. Make no mistake that these are not superficial reasons. They are extremely valid.
Now let’s take a look at the most common reasons parents (who say they want to homeschool) decide not to do it:
Reasons People Say They Can’t Homeschool:
- financial reasons (need two incomes)
- single parent families
- not enough time
- not enough patience
- not a teacher
- would never have time to themselves
- kids would drive them crazy
- can’t afford to buy curriculum
Let me briefly address the latter reasons first.
We are a family of 12 – 13 if you count our adult son – and we live on one income. A welder’s income, at that. So no, you don’t have to be wealthy. You need to know how to stretch a dollar, and you need to learn the difference between actual wants and needs, something I’m afraid many adults have some difficulty with today.
Additionally, if you absolutely cannot swing one income, there are so many working homeschool moms. It can be done.
Single Parent Families
Believe it or not, there are way more single parent homeschooling households than you would imagine. As with financial reasons, it takes some juggling, but it can be done, and it is.
Not Enough Time
Just because traditional schools take 6-8 hours a day doesn’t mean that homeschooling does. The average length of time for a homeschool is 2-4 hours a day.
Not Enough Patience
Believe me, I thought the same thing, but guess what? The more time you spend with your kids, the more your patience grows.
Not a Teacher
You don’t have to be! The traditional school setting is very different from a homeschool setting, so if you know how to learn alongside your kids, you’re hired!
Would Never Have Time to Themselves
Okay, this is a tough one. But if you have a child being bullied or having other difficulties at school, should this even be a reason? I’m going to say no.
Kids Would Drive Them Crazy
As with patience, though, you get used to being around your kids after a while. Give it time.
Can’t Afford to Buy Curriculum
Between the library and all of the amazing homeschooling resources available online, this simply should not be an issue.
Now that I’ve gone over these excuses, I need to point out the elephant in the room:
Are any of these excuses more important than your child? If your child is being beat up every day, how important is it that you can afford a second car? If your daughter is afraid to go to school because of the violence she faces, do you think it would be worth it to try to grow your patience so she could be home and safe?
The thing is, at some point you have to learn that homeschooling is about putting your child’s needs before your own.
That might sound harsh, but it’s the truth. Yes, homeschooling can be hard. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it will guarantee you won’t have much- if any- “me” time. Yes, it will mean that you may have to make some major lifestyle changes, but this is your child.
Your. child. Who is infinitely more important than money and comfort. Do we agree?
So when it comes down to it, at some point you have to stop hemming and hawing over the homeschooling issue. You either want to do it, or you don’t.
Now I’ll leave the rest to you.
If you’re looking for an encouraging and relaxed homeschooling community, join my FB group!