Ten Common Fears about Homeschooling
I know some of you are intrigued by idea of homeschooling. I am hoping to start creating some posts that will be both informative and encouraging for those of you considering partaking on this grand adventure. Today's post will cover common fears--in random order--that often come up regarding homeschooling.
Fear #1: I cannot homeschool my child because I am not very organized.
I am proof that this is not true. I am a disorganized person generally, but I have found that using the right materials helps me to become organized. Part of my learning curve was acknowledging the fact that I needed to take time each week to plot out our week in a daily lesson plan. Once I had a daily schedule that included everything that needed to be covered in that day I just had to follow my road map.
Fear #2: My child will become a social misfit if I choose to homeschool.
This is in fact one of the greatest misconceptions involving homeschooling. We all know "that" family. The one that homeschooled their kids to sequester them from the world and ended up with children that still live at home even though they are well into their twenties. The truth, as I've discovered it, is that homeschooled children are--for the most part--quite sociable. It requires effort to join homeschool groups, plan playdates, enroll in sports or other extracurricular activities, etc. but there are limitless opportunities for children to receive regular social interaction. I am biased, but I don't believe schools do the best jobs regarding socializing our children. Yes, they are being socialised in the public school system, but socialized into what? I am not trying to isolate my children from the world, but, as their parent, I do want to be the primary one pouring into their character.
Fear #3: I do not have the patience to homeschool my children.
I am not going to lie to you. Homeschooling is hard. Being your child's teacher is a very difficult task. One of the greatest things about homeschooling is that it is an amazing tool of the Father in molding and shaping us to be more like Him. It will definitely remove you from your comfort zone and challenge you to grow. Although growth can be hard, it is exceptionally rewarding to see God develop His fruit in you.
Fear #4: I am not smart enough to homeschool my children.
Another great benefit of homeschooling is self-education. As you prepare to teach your children and as you teach your children, your knowledge increases as does your skill at conveying that knowledge. Again, there are great materials available that basically hold your hand and walk you through the process.
Fear #5: I'll be isolated when I homeschool my children.
This is also a legitimate fear. Isolation is always possible when you are a stay-at-home mom, whether you homeschool or not. You must be diligent in planning play dates, field trips, and mommy time. This can be challenging if you live in a small town but not impossible. Living in a small town myself, I know the difficulties. However, kindred spirits are out there, and you must seek them out. Thankfully we also live in the age of the internet, and I have made many friends and mentors through blogs and forums.
Fear #6: My family and friends will not accept/support my decisions.
They may not. As with most major decisions you make in life, you must pray, have many discussions, research and count the costs. If you feel God leading your family in the direction of homeschooling, trust in that, not in whether or not your family and friends approve. As with most things, the proof is in the pudding. Generally, after the naysayers see how well your children progress and what they are learning, they will begin to back off. However, there will always be people who are simply anti-homeschooling. To those people you can only state that this is the educational choice that you have made for your family. It is not necessary to try to win them over or convince them otherwise.
Fear #7: I wouldn't know where to start.
Well, I can help you with that fear. :) You start by contacting me! I would be delighted to share with you the resources that I've discovered along this journey. There is a wealth of amazing materials out there for each family and each step of learning. Trust me, I've researched them all--or most of them at least.
Fear #8: People will think I'm weird.
We always like to be affirmed in our choices, but that will not always be the case. Homeschooling is an enigma to most of the country. Though it is growing in popularity, it is still a topic that many know little about beyond stereotypes. Being a homeschooler will mean marching to the beat of a different drum, and that doesn't have to be a bad thing.
Fear #9: I will fail my children.
Yes. This is a big, scary fear. First of all, if God is calling you to do this, He will equip you to fulfill that calling. Secondly, find homeschool mentors and peers. You will need to have people in your life that understand the dynamics of homeschooling and that you can call on if you reach an impass. There are so many resources available to homeschoolers. In addition to my real-life friends and mentors, I belong to an online forum of over 3,000 homeschoolers and homeschool veterans. Whenever I encounter a problem or need help picking a curriculum, there is always someone who has been there, done that.
Fear #10: This task is way too big for me.
Ree, the Pioneer Woman, created a t-shirt slogan for homeschool moms: "Homeschooling: There's No Substitute." Both interpretations of this statement are true. And so, the truth is yes, the task is too big for us. However, so is the task of being a parent. But again you must fall back on God's leading. It may seem impossible for you, but nothing is impossible for Him.