Homeschooling is a crazy adventure! There are days with laughter and explosive emotions. There are days with frustration and exhaustion. There are even a few days where there is absolutely nothing because we just can’t even. (Those are generally read aloud days!) As a homeschool mom, I am surrounded by friends who chose homeschooling and friends who didn’t. When holding a conversation there are some things homeschool moms wish they could say. I decided I would write them here. If this is something you think homeschoolers wish they could say, give it a share.
10 Things Homeschool Moms Wish they Could Say
I am not patient. –
I know that comes as a surprise to you. While I do homeschool two children, I am not patient. Don’t believe me? Watch me when my dyslexic daughter gets annoyed about Math or my son is sounding out the word CAT and getting Ball for the 27th time. Most homeschool moms are not especially patient. There are a few. We shall call them saints. However, as a whole, we are moms like anyone else. Homeschool moms have a glass of wine at the end of the day, eat too much chocolate, or mandate a girl’s night out because they need a break.
If you have been thinking about homeschooling but have been worried that you aren’t patient enough, you probably aren’t. Guess what. That’s ok. We all learn patience one step at a time in this process of homeschooling. You don’t have to be perfect. Take it one lesson at a time and the rest will come with time and encouragement from friends.
I don’t judge you for putting your kid in traditional school. –
Many homeschooling parents view homeschooling as a shield of honor they can bash other parents with. I don’t. Homeschooling is our journey and we love it. However, it’s not right for everyone. I am not going to judge you for choosing the best education for your child. In fact, I don’t even care if you have one homeschooled, one in public school, one in private school, and one unschooled. I wish there were fewer homeschool moms mom shaming their public school friends. We might get along better. Each side has something to learn from the other side.
My kids went to public school for a short season. They came back home. This fall, my daughter will be enrolling in a charter school. It’s not about what your educational choice is. It’s about finding the best option for your child.
My kids are fine socially. –
One of the first things people ask when they find out I homeschool is, “What about socialization?” Between co-op, church, store trips, day to day life, extra-curricular activities, and constant interaction with many different ages I am not worried about socialization with my children. My children can go to a playground and find someone to play with in a few seconds. They can also hold a conversation with a cashier at the grocery store, their 85-year-old neighbor, or their 4-year-old best friend. In fact, my daughter spent well over an hour on the phone with her friend today. Homeschool children have social lives.
It’s not about sheltering. –
Contrary to popular belief I don’t homeschool to shelter my kids from the outside world. I homeschool to teach my kids about the world by letting them live in it. We have talked about all the major things that people assume I am sheltering them from. In fact, my kids probably know more than they should about some things. For example, my eight year old loves watching animal births on youtube and developed a HUGE love of Harry Potter. A parent bent on sheltering surely wouldn’t let that be the case.
I am qualified but I don’t have a teaching degree. –
One of the biggest questions asked of me is whether I have a teaching degree or not. I do not. However, I have brilliant children who love to learn. My goal is not to know all the information. My goal is to teach my children to learn and where to find answers to their questions. Sometimes that means giving them access to safe search engines. It’s about balance and letting your child learn by exploring as well as with curriculum.
My kids are able to go to college. –
I say able because that may not be the way they are meant to go. A trade school may better fit their learning styles. However, they are able to go to college if they want to. In fact, my husband is going back to school and on the forms there was a part for homeschoolers to submit information. Many colleges will welcome a homeschooler.
We aren’t in Pajamas all day –
Some days we do the pajama thing all day. In fact, I want these so bad! Most days, however, you won’t catch my kids in pajamas. My daughter says she has way too many cute outfits to spend her day in pajamas.
We have bad days! –
(Can someone say hiding in the closet with chocolate?) Not everyday homeschooling is going to be a great day. Some days will stink. Not only am I teaching my child the facts they need to know, I am teaching them truths about their character. Character training takes time and sometimes tears. There are homeschool days that hurt. There are days when you make mistakes. Just like any mom, we question whether our choices are the right ones, whether we said the right thing, or some days whether we can justify fast food because we just can’t even.
I am not “putting them in school.”
Many times when I have a bad day and I share this with a non-homeschooling friend the first thing they say is, “Well, maybe it’s time to put them in school.” Just because we have a hard day doesn’t mean it’s time to send my kids to school. It amazes me. I don’t tell my public school friends to just homeschool because they are struggling with the teacher or their child isn’t learning a concept. Giving up isn’t the answer,
I like my kids. –
One of the biggest things I hear from many parents is, “I would hate my kid if I had to be around him that much.” This makes me so sad because I don’t understand it. I genuinely adore my time with them. Some days are harder than others but I really like being around them. In fact, we just finished reading the entire Harry Potter series together. They are so interesting, intelligent, and sometimes intriguing.
Do you have something you wish you could say?
Quotes from my readers:
I have received some great responses to this post. I decided it would be fun to post a few of my favorites here so that you can see what other homeschoolers are saying.
“My children will be able to learn from others besides just me.” In fact, they already do. My husband, their teachers at church, classes we attend outside of homeschool, and family members who are always sharing facts with them. If anything, my children have a very intense desire to know things because of the many different ways and people they have that teach them things in settings that are not a classroom thus teaching that life itself is a classroom.” – Tanisha Watkins Henderson
“The journey is wonderful. And…Some days you want to pull your hair, or cry…or both! But those moments are little compared to the surpassing beauty of getting to spend every minute of life with these precious littles God has granted to our care for a few short years.” – Jennifer
“In addition to all of the above I get a lot of, “Of course, it must be easy for you because you were a teacher” or “It’s ok for you to do it because you were a teacher”. Sorry, but there is a world of difference.
As a teacher my curriculum is all planned out for me, I teach a specific age group, I only have them for 6.5 hours a day/5 days a week/10 months of the year, and I can take sick days and vacation days. There are IEPs and 504s that help me reach a struggling child. If there is a major discipline problem I can send them to the principal.
As homeschoolers, we know none of this applies. My four years of a college education doesn’t make me any better in knowledge or practice outside of the classroom than the homeschool parent that didn’t finish high school except I can manage 30 kids at one time with no problem. lol.” – Jennifer
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