August 2017, Issue 13
"Is it Possible to LOVE Homeschooling?"
by Homeschool.com's Rebecca Kochenderfer
Many of us come to
homeschooling with idealized visions of what each day will look like.
The children will rise out of bed with smiles on their faces, eat a
delicious breakfast (that you miraculously had the energy to prepare),
will clean up the kitchen to perfection, and will happily sit down eager
to learn the lessons you've spent such a small amount of time preparing
for them. They'll absorb everything, eagerly awaiting the next lessons
you have and blissful feelings will overcome all who are present. This
will happen daily, too!
The reality is that you'll often have to drag your kids out of bed,
hustle them along through a quick breakfast of cold cereal because they
took so long getting up, and might even find yourself raising your voice
to get them to join the rest of the family at the designated homeschool
Is it really possible to love homeschooling? If so, how can you be
one of the ones who loves it?
Set Realistic Expectations
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your family is to
set realistic expectations. Know the advantages and disadvantages to
homeschooling and prepare yourself for both. Embrace the advantages and
accept the disadvantages. What are these advantages and disadvantages,
though? For many families, one of the biggest advantages to
homeschooling is that is strengthens family bonds. Since homeschooling
families naturally spend a lot of time together, it makes sense that
their bonds become tighter as a result. Homeschooled children also don't
have to "wait" to enter the real world; they live in it every day. There
is also the flexibility to learn about what they want when they want.
These advantages create a personalized learning method that is
advantageous to all involved.
On the flip side, there are some disadvantages. One of the biggest
disadvantages is the loss of income. Most homeschooling families live on
a one-income budget. Other difficulties include a lack of confidence in
either your or your children's abilities, dealing with criticism from
other family members, and adjusting career goals/paths to accommodate
the structure of homeschooling. Of course, there's also the fact that a
home that is lived in all day every day doesn't always stay clean.
Remember, though, that these disadvantages are signs that learning is
taking place—especially the house that isn't always "company ready!"
Accepting both the advantages and the disadvantages of
homeschooling will help you love what you do.
Seize the Moments!
No matter who you are or where you live, you can effectively
homeschool your child. How? Because life is learning. Some homeschooling
parents describe their classroom as being "the world" and they live by
this. Whatever they come across throughout the day, they turn it into an
opportunity for learning. Since life is full of learning opportunities,
we must seize those moments and utilize them to our advantage. That
random animal your son found while playing outside? Look it up and find
out what it is, what it's habitat is and encourage your son to help it
make its way back home. If you have a daughter interested in the various
shapes the stars make on a nightly basis, hit the library, and check out
some books that'll help her identify the different shapes astronomers
have been studying for years. Help her find some YouTube videos that
explain the history of how those star formations came to be and let her
take it on her own from there. Even helping take care of the baby,
cooking a meal, and changing the oil on the family vehicle can provide
valuable life skills your children need. Learning need not take place
only within the context of textbooks and pencil/paper tests. Using the
chances life throws at you as learning opportunities is a wonderful way
to learn to love homeschooling.
Once you accept and understand that there are both advantages and
disadvantages to homeschooling, you'll be in a better frame of mind to
utilize every opportunity you can to turn life happenings into learning
opportunities. These are the types of things that make up families who
truly love homeschooling!