I often hear parents say that as much as they'd like to try homeschooling, they feel like they can't. Remarks like: "I don't have the patience," or "I don't know anything about teaching," or "I wouldn't know where to begin or how to proceed," or "I worry that I wouldn't do it right," often stop interested parents from further considering the homeschooling option. The truth is, yes, you can absolutely homeschool your kids! Who better to educate your children than the people who know them best and who can provide them with undivided attention and tailored learning?
Here are three reasons to put away your doubts and give homeschooling a try:
1. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT
Being a parent is hard work. And being a homeschooling parent is harder work. You will have your share of bad days. You will have days filled with feelings of frustration, doubt and inadequacy. You will have days when you feel you are climbing uphill toward bedtime. All parents, homeschooling or not, have these days. They come with the territory. Realize that you don't have to be a perfect parent to be an excellent homeschooling one. Enjoying time with your kids, enjoying watching them learn and discover, enjoying providing them with a nurturing and stimulating learning environment: these are the "prerequisites" for being a successful homeschooling parent.
2. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AN EXPERT
Some prospective homeschooling parents shy away from homeschooling because they feel they don't have the knowledge or expertise to homeschool their children. You don't need to be an educator or a subject-matter expert to homeschool. You do need to be able to facilitate your children's learning by recognizing their learning needs and interests and gathering resources to help them develop. Some homeschoolers purchase packaged curricula to ensure they are providing a thorough education for their children. Others choose an "eclectic" approach to curricula, perhaps purchasing curriculum for certain subjects and allowing for more organic, interdisciplinary learning in other subjects. And many homeschoolers rely on community resources, like classes, tutors, and local homeschooling activities, to introduce their children to a variety of instructors who are experts in their given fields. So stop worrying that you need to be sitting around a table teaching your children physics and calculus. Chances are you will find terrific instructors for these subjects, whether online, through textbooks and packaged curriculum, or through community learning resources, like community colleges.
3. YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT
If you decide to homeschool now, you can certainly change your mind later. There is no lifetime commitment to homeschooling. You can homeschool for preschool but not for kindergarten. You can homeschool for elementary school but not for middle and high school. You can homeschool one year and send your kids to a traditional school the next year. You can homeschool one child but send another to traditional school based on needs and interests. In fact, many homeschoolers move seamlessly between school and home depending on the year and specific learning goals. Experiment with homeschooling, see if it's a good fit for your family, and realize that you have the freedom to reevaluate your decision at any time.
So, yes, you can do it! You can absolutely homeschool your children and are well-positioned to provide them with a fulfilling, meaningful and rigorous educational experience.