The One Thing You Need to Know If You’re Thinking About Homeschooling This Fall

Don’t be negatively impacted by the forced homeschooling you experienced in April. Homeschooling of your own design is nothing like that. Homeschooling is mostly just parenting, with some concrete lessons thrown in the mix. Think of when your inquisitive child asks a question, you search for the answer together, and then you both know. Homeschooling is kinda like that. If you can follow written directions, you can homeschool. Even if reading directions isn’t your thing, you’ll still do fine. My husband homeschools without a hitch. Maybe you’ll catch the joke. Wink, wink.

The thing is, grades are not the most important thing in this world. Education, while important, isn’t even the biggest thing you should desire for your child in this world. To raise wonderful human beings you need a mix of love and time. The rest comes together after that.

Never be afraid to homeschool or feel like you don’t have what it takes. I learned that none of us have what it takes if we try to teach our children like we assume we should. Homeschooling isn’t public schooling, and it will never look like it either. Imagine a 2-4 hour day instead of 8. Imagine taking a day off last minute if that’s what the student needs, and not having to worry about making work up to catch some invisible finish line. Imagine learning being fun. Imagine the classroom outside, or in pajamas. Imagine learning on a track that is tailored to your child’s interest, not just to ensure a certain test score. Imagine spending quality time with your child, rather than the majority of your time apart. Think about zero homework and only doing reading or science fair projects if the fancy strikes you.

You can homeschool. That’s mainly what I want you to know. Don’t not do it because you worry you can’t. Depending on the pace of your child, you can complete the needed work 3-4 days a week, in just a few hours. Homeschooling doesn’t mean you have to keep public school hours.

If your worry is finances, such as being home from work to teach, realize that it’s always easier than our worst fears. Whether you make the decision to downsize, share the responsibility with the other parent (if that’s an option), or tailor the school day around your work schedule, I would encourage you that homeschooling is doable. I once had a friend who taught her child every evening after a full workday, and while that may not be the ideal option for you, it’s just to point out that there’s always a way.

So, what’s the one thing you need to know if you’re thinking of homeschooling? It’s that you can. You can do it. I told my new friend by the pool, kids are so resilient and flexible. They catch on quickly, they adapt, they overcome. It’s the limits we place on ourselves as parents that make it a problem.

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