Extreme homeschooling or parenting is not my style, but I do strive for being a balanced parent, which I feel is much more challenging than setting fast and hard rules. What does that have to do with why my homeschooled kids are not given the choice to go to public school?
Let me back up and explain first how your childhood affects your current parenting and homeschooling style.
We Can’t Just WANT Our Children to Make Good Decisions – Model It
Because my childhood was not one full of abusive parenting, I bring that know-how to my homeschooling. I had loving and balanced parents and still maintain a close relationship with them.
Oh sure, my parents made their fair share of parenting mistakes, like any parent will, but extreme, dictatorship-like decisions based on my parents’ personal whims was not one of them.
Sound solid reasons behind my parents’ decision, whether my siblings and I agreed or not was their pattern in making decisions.
Communicating lovingly to me and often why I couldn’t do something was always foremost in how my parents modeled to me.
Switching back to present day and helping many new homeschoolers, I noticed a common trait among some lax parents, which is wanting to get their child’s approval in some way for homeschooling.
I learned some homeschool parents bring negative patterns of their parents’ parenting or lack of it to their current homeschool. Homeschooling and parenting are inextricably linked.
Wouldn’t you agree that balanced parenting is harder to achieve than laying down arbitrary rule making?
Look at some of the common mindsets that I have avoided and/or adopted which worked for me in helping my kids see that homeschooling can be a superior education.
ONE// I don’t feel a homeschooler is called to homeschooling, but I do feel that homeschooling is THE BEST choice for ANY child.
Besides the obvious low teacher ratio, homeschooling is about choice of schedule, choice of academics, real life experiences, and an overflowing amount of enriching activities.
Which family doesn’t deserve to have a shot at that? I don’t feel only certain families are called to homeschool, but all families have the possibility.
However, just because homeschooling is the best method for every child to learn, it doesn’t mean everybody has the circumstance to. That is why I don’t believe we are called to homeschooling.
Good is not wished just upon some and others not.
The bottom line has been that because each year I had the circumstances to homeschool and knew it was the best option for any child, a life changing decision was not given into the hands of a child who may thinks he misses a friend or two. More on that in a minute.
TWO// Homeschooling can be similar to the mindset needed in marriage IF you value the homeschool lifestyle.
Marriage calls for a heavy commitment up front when you don’t really know your future husband until you start living with him no matter how long you dated.
Jumping into marriage without trying to find out as much as you can about your husband is not wise by any stretch of the imagination.
Making a marriage work is hard, but thinking in the back of your mind that divorce is an option or a way out makes the effort put forth in the beginning meager and utterly defeating.
My 25+ years of wonderful marriage is worth it and so is my 19 year commitment to homeschooling.
Both of those commitments required HARD WORK and success just doesn’t happen.
Homeschooling is similar to that type of commitment in marriage.
Focusing more on how to make homeschool work than dwelling on returning to public school requires a resolute determination, a belief in the homeschool approach, knowledge (which is gained) and focused energy.
Decision-Making Ability is a Gradual Process
THREE// Let’s talk teens, rebellious years and even single mom homeschooling.
It’s easy to assume that all of our homeschool years are going to be sunshine and rainbows, but you and I know that is a lie.
Like most teens, mine too have gone through times when they too buck the decisions my husband and I make.
Our process to help them has always been the same and we did this by:
- Listening to our boys without interrupting them or telling them they can’t feel that way. They should have their own opinions and our decision for them to not have the choice to go to public school doesn’t deprive them of how to gradually start the decision-making process. It is a clear cut boundary.
- Explaining the reasons why they don’t have a choice to go to public school. Your reasons may vary, but a few of our reasons usually went like this; this is a superior education, society has changed and we want our influence on you, your course load in high school can be lighter or heavier, you have more time for a social life instead of caged, you can have a job earlier, enjoy an apprenticeship, be free of bullying, be free of the atmosphere of drugs and savor freedom.
- Acknowledging that we are capable of mistakes and all decisions are made out of giving our children the best.
- Finding the solution or fixing the problem. For example, if one of my boys felt like he was missing out on friends, then I MUST fill that need. And you know that unless you decide to homeschool under a rock, activities are endless for kids. Matter of fact, finding other boys their age was a problem in our homeschool and I created a thriving co-op. Out of that co-op, my boys have lifelong friends. They also wanted to be with other homeschooled teens more, so they took art lessons, and ballroom dancing. I didn’t stop there, I planned movie trips and outings for boys and I planned for 2 or 3 field trips per month instead of our usual one. Yes, who is afraid of work anyway.
Single mom homeschooling is also more prevalent today and because homeschooling can be flexible to a mom’s work schedule, many single parents are lapping up that freedom.
When we give our kids the option to return to homeschool a mindset can set in where they think that something better exists, when in fact we are giving them the very best.
Why unnecessarily place defeat in front of you or your children?
Here are some don’ts:
- Don’t use the return to public school as a threat. It may give your kids the wrong impression of people who have had to use public school. Besides threats and intimidation is not a way to parent.
- Don’t keep asking your children if they miss school. They are only going to tell you what their limited experience has been and they do not have the ability to make life changing decisions.
- For sure don’t ask a homeschooled teen if he thinks he should return to public school. Problems will not get better when he is away from you, they only go below the surface for a while to reappear.
- Don’t think a child has to experience bad or experience public school to appreciate good. If that seems to be the case, focus on how to help them appreciate what they have. Appreciate means to hold in high value. Attitudes and actions prove appreciation or lack of it. A return to public school doesn’t build that in children.
Leave behind rigid and unbending rules, but set your homeschooling up for success by creating boundaries for it.
I know you’ll love these other tips:
- How to Survive Homeschool Sick Days
- Is Homeschooling Making the Grade? It’s in and the Grade is ALL Fs!
- How to Cope Successfully With Homeschool Mental Stress
- 3 Ways to Instantly Gain More Time in Your Homeschool Day
- 3 Foolproof Ways I Cope When I Can’t Homeschool (or Blog)
- 10 Biggest Homeschool Burnout Triggers (and how to cope)
- Homeschool Quitters, Dropouts and Wimps (Want to Join Me?)
Hugs and love ya
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