Friday, October 22, 2010

You Homeschool? I Could NEVER Do That!

Anyone who has homeschooled for any length of time has likely heard a few of these explanations offered by questioning friends and relatives explaining why they could never homeschool their children.  Maybe these responses will convince them they should!

"My kids would drive me crazy."

What would drive me crazy is trying to find quality time to spend with my children after school, homework, soccer practice, piano lessons, and gymnastics are over!  Do my kids drive me crazy sometimes?  Sure.  But why does that have to mean that I want them out of my house for 7-8 hours every day?

"We live in a GREAT school district."

Unfortunately, even GREAT school districts operate under the illusion that all children can learn in a classroom with 20-30 other children, taught by a single teacher who will not begin to fully understand a child's academic needs until well into the school year.  (Not to mention the multitude of other issues that a child may deal with in a traditional school setting!)

"We would get too much flack from our relatives."

You probably will get flack.  But if you know that what you're doing is best for your children, you'll be prepared respond to the flack.  Arm yourself with statistics that expose the shortcomings of public education and the strengths of schooling at home...that'll get them thinking!

"I'm terrible in Algebra."

By the time you're done homeschooling, you'll be much better in Algebra...and Chemistry....and Physics....and History.  After relearning these upper level high school courses with my homeschooled children, I eventually began tutoring high school students in these very subject areas!  And if I was able to wrap my 35+ year old brain back around Algebra, so can you!!

"I'm not patient enough to teach my own children!"

Newsflash!!  Public school teachers aren't always patient enough to teach children either.  Occasional impatience and frustration are guaranteed by-products of teaching....both in public school AND homeschool classrooms!  Since trials generally result in the development of patience, I can assure you that by the time you finish homeschooling, you'll be the most patient mom on your block! "

My child is too social, he'll be bored at home."

If your child is bored unless he's socializing, then a public school classroom is likely the worst learning environment you could place him!!  It's a little bit like putting a match in a fire and hoping it won't catch fire!

"I wouldn't know where to start."

Don't try to reinvent the wheel!  Attend a regional homeschool convention (this link provides just a few of the MANY available in the United States each year!) and/or find a local homeschool group.  Learn from those who are already doing it!

"It will cost too much!"

Yes, homeschooling can require some sacrifice, but in financial terms, sending a child to public school can actually cost as much or more than homeschooling!  But there's an even more important question that should be raised--what are the potential spiritual, emotional, and social costs of NOT homeschooling? Is it a price you're willing to pay?

"But I'm not a teacher, how will I know what to do?"

Despite the incessant assertions of the educational establishment, as a parent, you are infinitely more prepared to meet your child's academic needs than even a good teacher who is responsible for the academic growth of an entire classroom of children--many of whom are sporting a variety of academic and emotional special needs. (Not to mention that--and the establishment won't tell you this--in the public school setting, not all teachers are "good" teachers!)

"My child won't learn how to get along in the real world."

If you want to prepare your child for the real world, the best possible environment for him to learn in is one which provides security, acceptance, cooperation, and mutual respect.  Where would you be more likely to find this type of environment...a public school classroom or at home?

Have you heard some others?  If so, please share them along with your responses!!


  1. I agree with you! However, Red is going to public kindergarten because I also operate under another mandate: husband has the final word. Yes, he decided that Red needed the structure, etc of the traditional school setting. And I must say that he is doing very well so far. At least WE say he is doing well. His teacher disagrees.

    We had PT conferences this week. Red isn't doing so well: won't count past 3 and doesn't know the letters of the alphabet that aren't in his name.

    hmm... yes, he does; he just prefers not to tell his teacher. Also he is in the Spanish immersion program and the teacher says he's not catching it. Again, he is - but he's just not sharing with her - he's calling me Madre at home.

    But here's the kicker to the PT conference. I stated that I don't think most kindergarteners are ready to learn to read yet. The teacher AGREED but then said that is what their curriculum requires so they will just keep moving ahead. Moving ahead even though most of the class isn't catching it!!!


  2. Sorry - I think my previous post was a bit off topic :)

  3. Not at all, Brownie. Your comments were on topic. We appreciate them. We hope more people comment, too.

  4. My kids do drive me crazy, and I have no patience...but homeschooling is way easier, and results better academic score than public school.

  5. Homeschooling does bring on frustration. If there is a job out there that doesn't have frustration in it, send me an application.

  6. You know, I used to feel somewhat complimented by the "I could never do that" type of comments. I have to say, I now find them mostly irritating. Parenting is hard no matter how you do it if you are trying to do a halfway decent job. Homeschooling removes some burdens and adds others. I don't homeschool because I am a supermom. I homeschool because I like my kids and the school system would drive me nuts. And yes, you do know a heck of a lot more algebra and history by the time you are done!

  7. In regard to what Brownie said, there is a very good article from Harvard explaining why there is a need to return to "balance" in kindergarten. I can supply the link if you want it. Kids really don't learn on our schedule. Even if they are good at memorizing, it doesn't mean they understand what they are being taught.

    I had a parent recently say they considered homeschooling, but they have a very willful child. That would have been my excuse had I had my third child first. :o)

    Peace and Laughter!

  8. I have three children: willful, willful squared, and willful to the third power.

    Please supply that link!

  9. I am an "accidental" homeschooler. It was not something I ever planned, and three years ago I was one of the people who said "I could never do that". I honestly did not think I could - for a lot of reasons, not the least that I am working outside the house and am not willing to give up my job.
    I began homeschooling because my gifted children were bored silly in school. If I lived in another country with better schools, my kids would go to school. Alas, a mom's gotta do what's necessary.
    So please be kind to non-homeschoolers who really can not fathom taking on such a momentous task. Been there.

  10. This is a great article! Thanks for sharing it!


    I wonder if this is the link she was talking about?