Dear Mama Thinking About Homeschooling

November 04, 2019

Dear mama thinking about homeschooling,

The daily grind is tiring isn't it? 

Pulling grouchy kiddos out of bed. Trying to make it out the door on time. Schedules, events, fundraisers. Being the Homework Enforcer. Bedtimes coming so early.


Or even worse: kids struggling in school. Watching the joy leave their eyes. Fighting for services, meetings. Bullying.

Simply put? It doesn't have to be that way.

Hear me out. If your bright, beautiful kids are struggling to make school work, if your family is constantly rushed and you lay in bed at night thinking about how the time is going SO fast, if you wish there were more space for joyful moments and connections... take a minute or two and read on.

I know it's a big leap.

There is another way.

You could keep them home.


Yes, YOU could homeschool. Really, you could.

Instead of spring break, this year you could just... be on break for good.

You could celebrate by staying in your pajamas and eating ice cream for breakfast. Or going to the zoo, the museum, or the waterpark (since everyone else is at school). If you have teens? You could celebrate with a move and video game marathon, complete with their favorite foods.

Just think about that for a moment -- that freedom. Kind of amazing to think about, am I right?

And yes, it's scary too. Let's talk about a few things that might feel terrifying. (They were to me, too.)

You don't have to have it all figured out right at the beginning. Honestly. It's actually good to take a break before you dive in and find out about your kids' learning styles and interests, and research homeschooling philosophies. You don't have to be recreating school at home on Day 1. I promise.

You don't have to be a genius in every subject. You don't have to remember differential equations right this second. You can try things out, and then try other things out. You can get mentors, you can find endless resources online. (And trust me on this: the curriculum & resources that look amazing and interesting and fun to you will likely send your kids running from the table... so just try things a little at a time.)

You are not going to ruin your kids. If you are an involved, dedicated public or private school parent, you can be an amazing homeschool parent. In some ways, it's a LOT easier, because you're getting the best of your kids, and not the school-day leftovers. You'll also be learning how your kiddos learn, and can tailor how you teach/guide them so that there are less and less battles over schoolwork.

They will not lose "all the opportunities." I live in a town of around 25,000 people and we have so many opportunities -- from martial arts, to dance, to co-ops, to artists and musicians offering classes. My daughter has done:

  • horseback riding
  • gymnastics
  • indoor rock climbing
  • weekly art enrichment
  • pottery
  • field trips with other homeschoolers
  • park days with other homeschoolers
  • holiday celebrations with other homeschoolers

There's more to do than we could ever fit in our schedule, even if we wanted to go-go-go all day long. Which we don't. Because there is such joy in sleeping until you naturally wake up, read-alouds on the couch, board games at the table and podcasts while jumping on the mini trampoline.

But... what about socialization?



OK, I'll talk about it. The S word. Socialization.

Sigh.

This is the big homeschooling myth that won't die. Again: if you are an active, involved school parent, you will be an active, involved homeschool parent. There ARE other homeschoolers in your town, and you can find them in handy FB groups.

Our local area has a fantastic homeschool group on Meetup that has awesome events and outings, like this fun Valentine's Day event. We met at a park, the kids (ages toddler to teen) decorated mailboxes and exchanged valentines, and played on the playground and ate yummy snacks.

One enterprising teen even set up a manicure station... and my daughter was in line instantly.



Your children can to to church, scouting, lessons, co-ops, sports, art programs, the YMCA, and the grocery store with you. You can show up at the school playground as school lets out and your kiddo can play with all his/her school friends. You will meet new friends all over the place.

Socialization isn't limited to sitting in a class of your peers for 8 hours per day. It's not the only way. It's the most common way, that's all.

So. If your heart is tugging at you, thinking about the possibility of homeschooling, listen to it.

But... the idea of homeschooling scares me.


Yes, it's scary. I will be the first to tell you I was scared out of my mind to write and send my Declaration of Intent to homeschool. (I also did it mid-year, so I had to tell my daughter's teacher, face those kinda scary school secretaries, and answer other moms' questions for a couple weeks before my daughter's last day.)

But I will also tell you that after those letters were sent, and that last day was done, I felt incredible relief. The fear was gone. I knew I'd give my best to this, and that at the very least, my kiddo would be getting better sleep and an education tailored to her learning style.


But it's not, at all, the very least. It's so much more It's hard and wonderful and fun. It's being there when the discoveries happen, when your child learns something you've forgotten and delights in teaching YOU. It changes the whole dynamic of your family, for the better. It will grow you and stretch you.

And it's not all fluffy clouds and peaceful days. It's just not. Some days have tears and tantrums and crabby attitudes -- and that's just from me. :-) But oh, the freedom.

This school year could be an entirely new beginning. 

You can do this, mama.

Kim
Kim

Hi! I’m Kim. I love crafting, homeschooling, and being near the ocean. I also love encouraging moms to make the leap into home education, sharing awesome resources and tons of encouragement!

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