I’ve seen it more than once while counseling parents about their curriculum choices. They don’t want their children in public school for a variety of reasons, but they also don’t really want to take on the responsibility for their children's education. "I’m looking for something he can do on his own," they say. “I’m just too busy to spend a lot of time on this.”
Here are my top 5 reasons to not homeschool:
- Husband and wife are not in agreement about teaching the children at home. No matter how much you want to home educate your children, it will not work for your family if you don’t have your husband’s support. You may be the one preparing and teaching the lessons, but you will need the support of your spouse, both emotionally and financially. Also, your children will be much less likely to cooperate if they don’t sense a united front from mom and dad.
- You haven’t yet taken the time to count the cost. Please don’t rush into this decision because your friends are doing it, or because it sounds like fun. (Even though it can definitely be a lot of fun!). You must have a personal conviction and commitment that will carry you through the days when you want to pull your hair out. For the sake of your family, your reasoning must supersede your emotions.
- You are not willing to learn patience and perseverance. Homeschooling is a personal sacrifice of time and energy based on love. It takes careful planning and a willingness to 'go the distance'. You will not have the luxury of allowing your feelings to dictate whether or to not to homeschool on a particular day. As time goes on, you will be stretched, challenged, and discouraged. You will doubt yourself, your choices, and your sanity. Those things are a given. I've never met a homeschooler who didn't have to deal with them.
- You are unable or unwilling to live on one income.
In order to give your children the kind of education they deserve, you will need to plan on being home full-time! I’ve watched moms try to work while homeschooling. They are stretched in too many directions and tend to burn out! If you are planning to hold even a part-time job while teaching school, especially K-6, you may be better off choosing to not homeschool. When some children are older, they may be much more independent and self-disciplined in their studies, freeing you up to get a part-time position. Carefully consider with your mate what changes are necessary to make your school a priority. It can be done!
- You are not willing to be involved in your children’s education. If your current idea of home educating is to choose a curriculum that your children can do by themselves and just monitor their progress from a distance, well, that might work depending on how independent a learner each child is. But even if they can handle it, you will be missing out on so much.
I’m not talking about never using workbooks, some children love them. Workbooks can be beneficial for independent study when you are teaching multiple children at different levels. I love watching moms who are planning hands-on activities to blend into their daily lessons. They are choosing a hands-on approach and their own thirst for knowledge has been rekindled. They are enthusiastic and passionate about influencing their children’s lives and giving them a love of learning. I believe that has to be the ultimate goal should you choose to home educate.
~ Guest Article by Kathy Danvers