I can’t believe another school year has already finished and we are planning for a new year. It seems like just yesterday that we started out on this homeschooling journey. It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for 8 years! One of the questions I hear most in the summer is “Should I homeschool?” It can be hard to decide if homeschool is the right fit for your situation or not. Let me help you find some answers.
Should I Homeschool?
** Disclaimer** There are multiple ways to educate your children. I will never say that homeschool is the only option or even the best option for every child. That said, I am happy to share things I have learned about homeschooling and what influenced our decision in hopes that it will help you out.
I think I always had some part of me that wanted to homeschool my kids. I loved watching them learn new things and wanted to be front row for all of the amazing learning moments. That said, it is a very time consuming, patience-testing, trying journey. It is not something to enter into lightly and not something to assume you can just do because you want to.
Can I afford to homeschool?
One of the first questions to ask yourself is whether you can financially commit to homeschooling. It is a financial commitment to buy curriculum, pay for activities, and handle more other experiences for them. Here are a few items to consider budgeting for as you decide whether you can afford to homeschool.
Can I afford curriculum?
Depending on what you use you can spend anywhere from $10-$300 per subject to homeschool. This will vary greatly based on whether you focus on online learning, use a curriculum heavy in manipulatives, or go with a program that has dues to join the group.
Can I afford co-ops and homeschool groups?
Many homeschool co-ops will have a monthly fee ranging from $20 to over $100 depending on the group. These groups are great for connecting with other homeschoolers, joining in on field trips, and getting to know other homeschool moms.
Can I afford the extra supplies?
With homeschooling, it is very rarely the case that you will buy your curriculum and have everything you need to complete it. Instead, you will probably have to buy supplies, printer ink, manipulatives, and more. Make sure to budget for these added expenses each month.
Can I afford to live on one income?
While being a working homeschool mom is completely possible, many moms choose to cut down to one income as a family while they adjust to homeschooling. Take a look at your budget. Is that practical for you financially? If not, can you work part time or full time in or out of the house? Is there a way to supplement your income and homeschool your children?
Am I patient enough to homeschool
This is the biggest comment made to me by non-homeschool moms. “I am not patient enough to homeschool.” Guess what, neither am I. Some days these kids just plain get on my nerves. That said, homeschooling will grow your patience as time comes. Here are a few things to consider.
Am I willing to work with them to deal with behavioral issues?
Being with your kids every day all day means that you will probably see more of their good and bad behaviors up close. Are you willing to take the time to correct these behaviors without losing your temper? Are you willing to set boundaries for yourself so that you only discipline in a way that is healthy for you and your children?
Am I willing to ask for help?
Homeschooling is not meant to be a lonely journey. Your patience is more likely to run out if you are running it all by yourself. Find a good group of friends homeschool and non-homeschool who will come alongside you and help you out. (You can also join the More Than a Homeschool Mom Homeschooling Group on Facebook.)
Am I willing to admit I am wrong?
Part of homeschooling and patience is being willing to admit you are wrong or that you make mistakes. I know that I have had to own a few of my own mistakes more than once when teaching my kids and learning how to teach them.
Am I teachable?
Being a homeschool mom means that you will learn right alongside your kids for a lot of things. It means that you will have to figure out their learning style, strengths, and weaknesses. You may have to brush up on certain skills and learn different ways to teach them.
Do my kids have learning difficulties or disabilities?
For some, this is a hard one to work through. Homeschooling with learning difficulties can be harder but it is not impossible. You will have to spend more time researching resources and learning what your county offers. Some therapies offered in schools will not be offered to homeschool families. This will mean you will have to research ways to implement those into your homeschool or your weekly schedule.
Don’t let it scare you though. If you are willing to invest the time and heart you are able to give your child some great opportunities to learn and grow. If that seems overwhelming it is completely ok to look at other educational options for your child. Homeschool isn’t the only option. There are many options out there.
Am I doing it for the right reasons?
It can be easy to see news about bullies, shootings, or extreme situations and think homeschooling is the only option. These issues can cause you to look for other options. My only request is that you make sure you are putting the best interest of your child and your family first. Will homeschooling protect your child from some of these things? Maybe. You never know what tomorrow will hold.
As you make the decision to homeschool, please look at the whole picture. Is there an option that is best for your child and avoids the issue at hand without homeschooling or is homeschooling truly the best for you and your child? I won’t answer this for you as every situation is completely different.
Am I planning to homeschool to shelter my child?
Many think that homeschooling is the best way to shelter their children from the world. There’s just one problem. Even in homeschooling, children will still be exposed to things. Sure, they won’t be in school daily getting exposed to many things but a lot of the stuff that parents worry about can be discussed at playgrounds, on field trips, or even by peers at church.
My daughter and I had to have the sex talk because she heard about it from a church friend. Homeschooling does limit the exposure but your child will still have the possibility of hearing about certain things. The only difference is, you get to steer the conversation.
Do you have more questions about whether or not you should homeschool? Leave me a comment. I am happy to answer them the best way I know how.
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