I done got homeskooled when i was a kid.
I know the stereotype; there’s two types of homeschooled kids: super-weird freak geniuses with zero social skills, or kids with super-weird lazy parents who couldn’t teach a whale to swim.
I was the former.
But seriously, now that I’m a mom, I’m surrounded by homeschool moms who want to make a better life for their children. With public school curriculums becoming so… bleh… I applaud their decision.
Am I doing the right thing?
Today, I’m going to answer that question.
I’m speaking to parents who are actively trying to build a better educational experience for their children. Not parents who “homeschool” but actually let their kids play video games all day while they surf Craigslist.
I’m also not speaking to perfect parents who have this entire custom in-house education thing figured out (if I was, I wouldn’t have anyone to write for). Bottom line: any parent who stresses over the quality of the education they’re providing their children is doing something right. That desire and drive to give your kids their best start in the world means you’re a loving, responsible, nurturing parent.
My six siblings and I were homeschooled from preschool through 8th grade. We had supplemental classes in high school as well. My mom used a wide range of curriculum, and all I can remember is Alphabet Island and Math-U-See. Other than that, I have no idea what curriculum my mom bought. Some of them were downright boring. Some were impossible to figure out.
Does that mean my mom made bad decisions in her curriculum choices? Absolutely not. Homeschooling is not about getting the perfect course for each kid every time.
Did you catch that?
Homeschooling is not about getting the perfect course for each kid every time.
It’s not about making sure they absolutely love and enjoy every class and come out of it with an A+. It’s not even about helping them pursue what they love in the way that they learn best.
Homeschooling: What’s the objective?
The most important takeaway from homeschooling, and in my opinion the entire point of homeschooling, is to teach your kids how to teach themselves. Let’s face it: your kids’ passions will change. One day my daughter wants to be an astronaut, then the next day she wants to be a photographer. I can’t keep changing curriculum for her. But, what I can do is continue to consistently focus on her teaching herself new things.
One day, your kids will be 40 years old. Whether you use Saxon, Alpha & Omega, or Math-U-See for mathematics, by the time they’re an adult they will know 2+2=4. But, will they be able to teach themselves a new language? Or how to rebuild an engine? The real skill they gain is the ability to pursue knowledge in a productive, confident manner.
So, are you doing the right thing?
Whether you’re pulling your hair out right now trying to get eight children to learn Latin, or stressing over the absolute perfect curriculum for your 18-month-old to learn the alphabet, you’re doing the right thing.
Now, are you doing the perfect thing? Nope. Are your kids going to miss out on public school stuff? Yep.
There is no scenario where your kid experiences everything in the entire educational world. It does not happen. They will miss out. Accept it.
And, as a kid who missed out on that whole public school experience, I have absolutely zero regrets. I’m incredibly grateful that my mom made the decision to teach us at home.
I have friends. I’m not that weird.
I know how to learn what I want to know. And I love doing it.
Keep calm and teach on
So please, as easy as it is to stress over the decision to homeschool, take it from me that your kids will thank you. And it won’t matter what age they started learning to read, or how many field trips they went on, or how many classic books they read. Those things are important, but they’re not the point.
Your kids will benefit so much from having you home, to teach them to learn, and to love doing it. Don’t doubt yourself, and accept the imperfections. It’s what makes it all worth it.
*The opinions I express on my blog are mine.