My Journey in Pounds

Monday, July 28, 2014

Myths about Homeschooling

This is entirely my experience, and yours may be different, but here it goes:

#1) The kids won't socialize enough:
At first I believed this would be a problem.  But the reality is, the kids didn't necessarily need more socialization.  What they needed were more supervised interactions, which quite frankly doesn't happen in public school.  All the kids are out to recess or the lunch room, and the teachers are keeping a peripheral view of 30 or more children to make sure they don't get kidnapped or hurt. There's no realistic way for a teacher to hear every interaction, so all this "socialization" may not be beneficial at all - I mean, what if my son is calling his friends "buttface" and or some other nasty name?  What if my daughter is being a bully to another child in the playground? Unless someone snitches (which results in the teacher taking some measure of crowd control), my kids can socialize with other kids any way they feel like.  I don't need my kids to socialize more, I need my kids to socialize RIGHT: To say please and thank you, to speak kindly to their peers, to exercise respect at all times.  The only way they'll learn to practice this on a regular basis is through supervised socialization, where I may actually reach and tap the youngest one on the back of the head as he picks up a rock to throw at another kid so I can correct him.  Where I can address inappropriate social behavior as it happens and not as the teacher discovers and sends a letter home about it.

#2) It's expensive:
There are charter schools and co-ops that will help you with all the supplies you need.  Co-ops are free to participate in.  There are plenty of free resources, including the school district's base guidelines for each grade level so you know exactly what your child should know by the end of the year.  You can teach fractions and time tables out of basic supplies already in your home and your kids would probably enjoy that more anyway than going from a math book to a reading book to a science book.  There's also websites like and where for as little of about $25 a YEAR you can get unlimited worksheets, projects, crafts, and online games for the kiddos to play on if you are willing to do the research into what your kid needs to know next.

I'm also saving tons of money on laundry and supplies because I could care less if Anakin reads a book in sweats and with no socks and shoes on!

#3) It's time consuming:
It's an investment if you are doing it solo and you are spending time researching and planning for the week. Which I did from December until now and I taught my 6 year old how to read, tell time on an analog clock, and count currency. I taught time tables to the 2nd grader, as well as higher level science and social study concepts.  I taught my 4 year old to recognize all the letters of the alphabet and their sound, all the numbers, to count to about 100, add and subtract, and write his full name.  I am now partnering with Frontier Charter School and getting a "curriculum in a box" for each school aged kid and working through those for the school year, to save me personally some time.

But it's a lot more time saving than it looks because it's not like the kids have to get home at 3pm to do homework till dinner.  So they are done with their schooling by about 2pm and then we're all free for the rest of the day.  We also sleep in and have unhurried breakfasts, so we're enjoying more time in the morning.  And the kids do all their chores too, which saves me time on housework.  There's no traffic or transport time.  In all this the kids learn more efficiently because they are in a prime, relaxed state to take in all the information.  So it takes less time sitting down with them for them to learn the concept and be able to move on and apply it.  No burn out. No frequent testing to see if they were paying attention.

So yeah, I think it would be difficult to homeschool your children and work full-time.  But I find I have more time and energy during the day homeschooling then I did when the kids went to school - including time to bake treats and and work out!

#4) You really need to "know what you're doing"
This was probably my biggest obstacle, because I was constantly second-guessing myself.  But you'd be surprised how much children learn naturally through being curious and interacting with you - and it doesn't even require a text book.  I also discovered that, even though I'm a first time parent, I can trust my instincts and I do in fact know what I'm doing!  I know what my children can handle, what's easy for them, and what would challenge them.  I know when they learn something better through a song and dance, a picture, a diagram, memorizing a catch phrase, or writing it down!  I know my kids individually better than any school teacher or administrator and I can guarantee you that they will not have the time to work with my child's individual strengths and weaknesses to maximize their learning experience - it's a "learn it or be left behind" world in public schools, despite everyone's best efforts.  I know when to slow down with a concept and when to breeze past it.  And if it takes them more than two weeks to learn one concept, but then they breeze past others, who cares?  The point is they get it!

The beautiful thing about parenting is that you will too!  We have this God-given instinct, we just have to choose to embrace it instead of comparing ourselves and our children to others.  No one is better suited to take care of your child better than you!  And with this in mind, I no longer let anyone intimidate me out of homeschooling.  When God shows me my kids would do better in a school setting and He wants me to send them there, I will. And my kids are so smart they'll do great anywhere!  Even here, at home, with me.

I know a lot of moms would like to homeschool their children but can't because they have to work full-time. I also know a lot of moms who prefer public school or private school and feel it's best for their children.  This isn't a blog post to judge, or to say, "I'm right and you're wrong!"  I'm sharing my experience and why homeschooling is working out better specifically for US.  All of us parents are just doing the best we can for our children with the resources we have.  And every child is as different as one fingerprint is for another.  Give yourself a pat on the back! You're doing a great job, Mom!

And for a first-time Mom, so am I!

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