From the depths of my heart, I feel that homeschooling is the ideal choice for any family. Reality is though, that there are just some people who are not willing or don’t have the circumstances to homeschool – yet. Kids being bullied, kids that have a compelling desire to move ahead academically and kids struggling with learning especially benefit from homeschooling.
Is Homeschooling The Last-Ditch Effort?
However, I have on more than one occasion discouraged parents from starting to homeschool because the truth about delaying a start to homeschooling is that there are 3 things that you want to consider before you dive into homeschooling.
Look at these 3 reasons why you should consider delaying a start to homeschool until you have time to address them.
1. If there is more of a discipline problem than an educational problem.
Several times as a homeschool leader, I have spoken to lawyers, locked horns with public school counselors who were not informed of current homeschooling laws and even testified in court one time. Most of the time the parents had behavioral problems with their kids.
Disciplining desperation led parents to homeschooling.
I had to think about testifying in court on behalf of two families that wanted their 15 year old children homeschooled because the daughter of one family was pregnant by the son of the other family.
Now, they wanted to homeschool. That is what I call the ugly side of homeschooling because families are not embracing homeschooling because they believe in the value of it or they are trying to head off some disciplinary problems before they happen.
I wouldn’t take parents in my homeschool workshop that are now wanting to homeschool because their child were in drugs or mischief. It may sound harsh, but there are two very different classes of parents who come to homeschool.
There is the class that believes in it because of all the advantages a child has (and I don’t mean those parents who thought they never would homeschool and are homeschooling) and then there are those that come to it because they don’t have a choice because they were not involved parents.
Parenting is a hard job and sometimes no matter what we do, teens will make their own choices.
It may be no fault of the parent, but then again the relationship with the child is what needs to be worked on now instead of the educational system.
In the end, I decided to testify for those two families that wanted to “homeschool” because they were both expecting their first grandchild from two 15 year old kids and because I knew they didn’t have many options.
My heart was absolutely broken for both families. It was not homeschooling like it should be, it was just being homebound. Look at my article, What is REAL Homeschooling? Homebound, Co-op or Public School at Home.
2. When one parent is completely against it.
I am not talking about a scenario when Dad may be skeptical and wants you to prove it to him the year you start, but where he is flat out against it.
Having a family and successful marriage is tough enough these days without adding to the stress of it. Marriage doesn’t afford you the luxury of avoiding controversial subjects.
If homeschooling is a controversial subject now, then it will always be until you both see eye to eye on it. If your husband is against homeschooling, don’t nag him, but graciously keep showing him all your well thought out research.
As long as he wants to continue talking about it, then keep on discussing it. But I have never encouraged a spouse, husband or wife, to go against the wishes of the other.
There are more things than academics to teach kids when you bring them home to school and one very important thing is teaching them how to work out things in a marriage. Agree first to homeschool and then homeschool in peace.
3. Lack of support system.
Sad to say, I have seen many parents bring their teens home to school only to leave them alone at home every day while they work. Teens are at various levels of maturity and while some can stay home and stay self-motivated each day, others still need some kind of support.
A support system doesn’t have to be a whole lot of people. It can be just one family member or a trusted close friend that will help you when you need it. By the teen years, most kids can work independently. Independently doesn’t mean always being alone or not having someone to supervise their work or monitor their success or lack of it.
Ideally, a family will meet with more success if the main homeschooling parent, which normally is mom in a lot of cases can dole out a bit of time each week to go over the child’s assignment.
Even if she has to work full time, spending a bit of time each week with her children, no matter how self-sufficient her children are is the best gift you can give to your children. Your kids still need parental guidance and supervision to make the shift to being responsible adults.
I have helped single moms and single dads learn how to begin to homeschool their children while they worked because they had a plan in place which is to get grandpa or grandma to help so their children were not alone all day.
One single mom that I helped even gave up some of her independence and made the decision to move back in with her parents (of course her parents were on board with it too). Her daughter would not be alone during the day and the grandparents and homeschooling mom worked out an arrangement where the homeschooling mom provided a good amount of income for all of them.
When the Going Gets Tough Do the Tough Really Need to Get Going?
Many years later after her daughter graduated, I heard from that mom as she came to me with tears of appreciation in her eyes.
I am no good when somebody else is crying, I have to join in too. I told her then that I was the one grateful for her friendship and that she taught me the power of a strong-willed parent and the value of a support system.
Homeschooling is not always about what we want, but what we are willing to give up so that we can homeschool. I learned so much from that single homeschooling mom.
Too, homeschooling is not about educating at all costs even at the cost of your marriage or sacrificing the relationship with your children.
Have you carefully weighed the cost of homeschooling?
Hugs and love ya,
In the meantime, go through my 31 Day Free Homeschool Boot Camp and look at Go Ahead and Make a Mistake: Homeschool Without Fear and Homeschooling – Beginnings are Usually Scary, Endings are Usually Sad, but It’s What’s In the Middle that Counts!
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