IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING…
I’m a homeschooling mom.
I have five kids, 8th grade through kindergarten that are currently on our roster, and a 2 year old who is likely coloring on, or tearing up, the roster. A lot of people tell me that they would love to homeschool, but they could never do it because (insert reason here). If you have ever thought that, I encourage you to reconsider your abilities, and know that you can, indeed, become a homeschooling mom too!
Homeschoolers are as diverse as people who send their children to a traditional school setting: homeschoolers are Christians, Muslims, atheists, agnostics, Jewish and more. Single parents homeschool. Large families homeschool. Families with one child homeschool.
The reasons we homeschool differ greatly. People homeschool because they believe the home is the best place for education. Some want freedom to choose their curriculum. Families homeschool because their child has special needs. Still others homeschool because their child had bad experiences academically. Some homeschool because they want the flexibility to travel.
The style of homeschoolers varies. Some of us use textbooks and have a classroom like setting at home while some of us have a lifestyle in which learning is not at all formal and just blends into every day life, and many of us are somewhere in between. Some families have one child in school, one child dual-enrolled, while another child is entirely schooled at home.
Family-centered education is flexible and varied. Learning happens everywhere. We have many resources available to us, from entirely on-line school to curriculum ready to go in a box to no curriculum at all. Some of us spend a lot on books every year, while others frugally use simply a library card and the internet.
The benefits of homeschooling are worth it to me. I always say that the biggest benefit is we’re together all the time, creating a close family environment. The biggest drawback is also, we’re together all the time! I love that my kids can learn things they are interested in, at a pace that works for them. We have a more relaxed lifestyle and we have time to pursue our passions.
The way homeschooling looks in everyone’s home is different, and the way it will look for you will be different too. The way it looks in my home is kind of like this:
My 9 year old, who has a learning disability, gets on the schoolbus at 7:10 to go school for special help in reading and writing. I pick him up at 8:40. Then as a family we do Circle Time, wherein I read aloud our Bible, science almanac, historical book, and a missionary story. We watch CNN Student News, and usually a YouTube video or three about our science and history, (and often an episode of Good Mythical Morning!). My 13 and 11 year olds then go off to work on her own. I do a couple of subjects per day with the younger kids—for example, Monday is Geography and History. We trace maps and explore more about our history sentence for the week. We practice math facts almost every day. I’ll usually work on reading with my seven year old and five year old. Last school year, by then, it was time to do lunch, take my 9 year old to tutoring and my 13 year old to orchestra. This year, I plan to do English grammar and writing with my 9 and 11 year olds during this time because the scheduled classes are later. We participate in the Homeschool Assistance Program through the Area Education Agency, which offers many different class opportunities in STEM, art, and more. We are also part of a local Classical Conversations community. We meet together once a week for the day, and learn excellent material as well as enjoy stimulating conversations and support.
It might sound like a lot, but rest assured there are plenty of breaks for snacks, questions, rabbit trails, “Get your feet off your brother!”, and squeezing in some laundry and counter wiping.
One of my good friends is a homeschooler too, but her day, while similar in some ways, is completely different. You can read about a typical day in her home here.
You are wondering if you can homeschool, and if you’re capable. The answer is yes. You’re a caring, responsible parent to even ask this, and you’re wanting to be sure that you’re truly doing what’s best for your child. You are!
There’s a lot to think about, but hopefully, I’ve shown you that there’s no ONE right way to do this! If you’re thinking about homeschooling, but have doubted if you could really make it work, know that you can!