Whenever I tell new friends or business acquaintances that I’ve built my brand around homeschooling my children, they’re often surprised, curious, and tentative to consider it for themselves. Overall, there are far too many families have the desire to become a homeschooling family—but stay in the traditional school system out of fear.
So, in honor of them, today I’m going to discuss the top 5 fears that parents face when they consider homeschooling their kids, and how to overcome those fears.
“I can’t home-school my kids because I’m afraid they won’t know how to socialize.” It’s one of the most common objections I get when discussing homeschooling. People fear that staying home from an early age will affect their kids’ ability to interact with others. The reality is that research shows that being home schooled does not harm children’s developing social skills, at all! Being apart of any family dynamic (of any shape and size) naturally allows children to interact with their first friends—the family! And as far as having little interaction with kids their own age—in my experience—it’s actually been a blessing in disguise. Without that echo chamber of other hyper active children who think the exact same way, and can encourage rowdy behavior, my kids’ have had their scopes/thought processes widened and overall, they’ve become more sensitive to the differing opinions of those around them.
Another common objection I hear is “Oh, I can’t afford to home-school my kids. I’m not rich!” Newsflash—neither am I! Keep in mind that while the exact cost can vary, the average homeschooling family will spend about $500 on curriculum and supplies (per year/ per child). And before you get too upset about that, know that most families spend more than that on extracurricular activities, such as: art classes, sporting groups, and social clubs a year. So really, there’s no need to fear.
Myth number three comes down to this: “I can’t be in charge of educating my kids—I’m not a teacher!” Here’s the thing, that is a totally valid fear. Some of us weren’t the best in school, and some of us barely got by. Others were great as students but lack the necessary skills to teach. If we were all whiz kids at schooling, we would’ve all become educators. The fact that parents fear they don’t know enough to teach their kids properly, is a good thing!Not only does it show that you care, but it also gives you the opportunity to pick the right program to help educate your kids. Picking the right program for you and your kids makes an immense difference when it comes to actually teaching your kids. There are lots of programs out there that require very little hands-on work from you, and mostly leave the timetable in your hands. Which brings me to the next objection.
“I’d love to home-school my kids—but I just don’t have enough time to do it!” Look, I get it! Teaching your kids math, history, science, language arts, and faith (if your program includes that) can be very time consuming. The fact is, though, it doesn’t have to be! In fact, did you know that a large percentage of homeschooling families teach only a few hours a day, for about 3-4 days a week? It’s true! So, if you run your own business, or work from home, it’s completely a realistic idea to home-school your kids—all you need is a solid break down/time schedule of your kids’ subjects. The picture you see below is a screen shot of the timetable that works best for me and my family. The most important factor about time management is having a schedule and sticking to it—while also remaining flexible. If something new comes up, we rearrange. If teachers at school can rearrange the lesson plan, so can you!
Authority and Blurred Lines
Too often we’ve heard parents complain to their kids, “You’re so good at school, why won’t you listen like that at home?” Homeschooling actually solves this issue because kids are forced to recognize their parents as the ultimate authority figure(s) in their lives. Now, no one wants to be disciplining their kids 24/7, but in all honesty, you won’t have to. We as parents are “always on duty” and there aren’t days off—no matter what. But children do learn to pay attention after a while when it’s learning time. (The exact same way they do when they’re in a traditional learning environment.)
No one wants to finish a long day and come home to a dirty house. And I’ll be honest—some projects and papers floating around are going to take up some space in your home. How to combat mess has to come in baby steps. You have to understand that your home is going to look lived in during school hours. That’s okay! It’s your home! It’s going to be full of your stuff! One easy way to combat this is to train the kids to pick up the learning area, right “after school”. Have designated drawers for your kids’ schoolwork, and if you can, a designated room for them to learn in. Another way you can lighten the cleaning load off yourself is to hire a cleaner once a month! If your budget allows it, it’ll give you and the kids a break from cleaning and be well worth the price.
If you are interested in homeschooling your kids, the number one piece of advice I can give you is don’t let fear hold you back! Homeschooling can be your reality if you want it to be. There’s no better time than now to homeschool your kids —so why wait? Get started today!