Are you considering homeschooling your children? If so, you’re not alone! It can be a great choice for many families, but it’s not always as rosy as it seems. Here are the real truths about homeschooling – what you need to know before making your decision.
Need more tips on how to start homeschooling? Be sure to check out 10 Must-Read Books for New Homeschoolers and How to Deschool: A Quick Guide for New Homeschoolers.
Homeschooling is NOT opening up a book and recreating public school-at-home.
Homeschooling is more than just books and curricula. It’s understanding your child and how they learn. It’s being honest with who you are and how you teach. It’s opening up both yourself and your children to a love for life-long learning.
Remember, your idea of homeschooling will change throughout the seasons, and it’s important that you be open and flexible to those changes.
The first year of homeschooling will be HARD.
You’ll be working out the kinks and figuring things out through trial and error. You’ll be dumping the curriculum that doesn’t work, realizing that strict schedules are stifling, and accepting that homeschooling can be messy.
The funny thing is, the kids will easily adapt to their new lifestyle, but YOU my friend, will have a hard time changing your mindset. Remember, most of us have been indoctrinated with 12+ years of traditional education.
Give yourself some grace, and don’t freak out when your kids are done with the boring curriculum, uninteresting lecture, or neverending worksheets.
Finding your tribe will be challenging.
It’s already difficult to make new friends as an adult, and now throw in homeschooling and your kids… yeah, it’ll be hard, especially if you’re a secular homeschooler like me.
Just know that your people are out there and that you may have to throw a bigger net than you typically would to find them. Don’t be afraid of families with different approaches to life. If you really get to know them, you’ll realize that they are good people with the same values as you.
There will be days when you feel like quitting.
Where everything goes wrong, where the unit you spent hours creating falls flat, where your toddler has a tantrum while your other kids all want your attention at the Exact. Same. Time.
Don’t forget that the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. It’s okay to take a break when things get off-kilter.
That’s the beauty of homeschooling. You can take a break whenever you want. You don’t have to follow someone else’s predetermined schedule. You get to move at your family’s pace.
And not every day is going to be IG-worthy, but remember that the payoff is worth it in the end. Your kids will blossom, have time to dive deep into subjects they love, and have more free time to be kids, play, and relax.
Homeschooling will change YOU profoundly.
Your kids are not the only ones that will grow and mature because of this journey. Your views on learning and life will change, your relationship with your family will deepen, and your understanding of the world will widen.
Homeschooling is truly a wonderful endeavor, and you won’t regret your choice to do it.
To start homeschooling on the right foot you need to take time off from schooling!
This process is known as deschooling, and it’s a period of time where both parents and kids take two to three months off before starting to homeschool. This break will allow help you to see that learning doesn’t have to come out of a textbook.
You’ll observe how your child learns naturally, how they ask questions for understanding, and how they solve problems on their own. You’ll also get to know your child a lot better so that you’re better able to meet their needs.
So play with your kids, go on a hike, take up painting, check out books from the library, and discover what interests your child. You’ll be glad you did it.
Is homeschooling right for your family? Only you can answer that question. But hopefully, after reading this post, you have a better idea of what to expect if you choose to homeschool. If you’re curious about more details or want some tips on getting started, be sure to check out my Start Here page!
And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments. I’d love to chat with other parents who are considering making the switch to homeschooling.
Xuan Klevecka is a Southern California-based homeschool mom, wife, and sometimes purveyor of vintage goods. She’s an Enneagram 5w4, a lover of good food, and a former middle school history teacher. You’ll either find her looking at road maps and daydreaming about her family’s next epic adventure or perusing recipes and cooking up a feast for the brood.