In the homeschooling world, I've really only just dipped my toes in. I have no street cred yet as I've only been doing preschool at home, but as Piggie nears kindergarten, I've had to really force myself off the fence of "will I homeschool or not" and make a decision.
I've definitely decided that I will be homeschooling my boys, and as I've gotten more brave about sharing that info with friends and family, I've found a very common set of responses (or assumptions) of what kind of person I must be since I'm going to be homeschooling.
These assumptions actually scared me at first. They made me second guess myself because I would secretly think "But I'm not like that...should I be in order to successfully homeschool?" After doing preschool at home for a few months and witnessing my weaknesses in action (and seeing how much they don't matter), I've realized that I don't have to fit into some kind of mold to homeschool.
The 7 misconceptions about me that people commonly make when I tell them I want to homeschool are:
1. That I'm patient
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha....hahahahahahahahah....no. This is the biggest one. Everyone tells me they aren't patient enough to homeschool, which originally made me think "Oh crap, do I need to be a patient person to homeschool?"
I've never possessed the gift of patience and I'm sure I never will, but that doesn't mean that I won't be able to successfully homeschool. My most favorite teachers from school all lost their cool, probably weekly. I never thought anything of it beyond learning the lesson that they were human and that our actions have an affect on others. GREAT lesson to learn if you're going to survive in the world.
Maybe people mean they just don't even want to go there; they don't want to lose their patience over it, which I totally understand. But I'm not patient and I'm going there anyway - wish me luck and send wine.
2. That I must be religious
I actually feel like this assumption is usually made by other homeschoolers. I'm not religious and it's a bit frustrating that so much in the homeschooling world caters to religious groups. I picked up a homeschooling resource packet at the library and it felt like 75% of it was for religious homeschoolers.
I've also been trying to find curriculum that isn't religion based and it seems like there are way less options for secular homeschoolers, *cue the violins*. First world problems, people.
Holla back if you're in Phoenix, are interested in having homeschooling get-togethers and don't mind not ever praying with us.
3. That I must be some kind of Mary Poppins
Like I'm an old-fashioned little homemaker who delights in all things domestic and crafty. I suppose you could call me a homemaker and I do attempt crafts with my kids, but do you remember my Easter craft fail? This is the perfect representation of me and crafts. Ask my mom, I've hated them since I was little.
4. That I love being with my children 24/7
Again, not a Mary Poppins. Playing with my children can sometimes bring burning tears of boredom and their loudness can make me want to rock back and forth in a dark closet. They definitely drive me insane on the daily.
I do plan to sign my kids up for homeschool enrichment activities and days at Grandma's house and "Daddy time" so that I can recharge alone. I'm sure my kids will want it just as much as me.
5. That I must be well-versed in all subjects
A lot of people say they couldn't homeschool because they suck at math/science/etc. That worried me because I suck at math. Like, I suuuuuuuck at math. My family jokes about how it took me 8 years to get a 4 year degree and that I failed a math course 3-4 times before I finally passed it with an A. And that's the thing...once I finally became determined to learn the material, sat in the front row and did my homework every night, I ACED IT!
There will be plenty of times during my homeschooling experience that I'm not going to know how to teach a subject because I won't understand it myself - so I'll just have to learn it along with my child. And if I can't learn it or it's too big of a headache or my child is struggling learning the subject from me, I will find someone who can help them.
6. That I will raise weird children.
Um, I can only hope!! This isn't an incorrect assumption, it's definitely a goal.
And I went to public school, so I know there are just as many weirdos there as there are in the homeschooling world (I'm living proof). But weird is good in my book anyway! Better than being a sheepish follower of everyone else.
7. That I'm going to deprive my children of something.
I think there are pros and cons to everything. Sometimes I definitely feel sad that my kids won't be able to experience some of the things that I loved when I was in school. But they're also going to get to experience so many things that I didn't and that I would've loved. It's a different experience, but thankfully now that homeschooling is becoming such a popular option, there is no shortage of extracurricular activities to choose from, field trips to go on with other homeschoolers, support groups full of other homeschooling families, etc.
So I guess the summary of my blog post is that I pretty much suck at parenting and I definitely don't have a Harvard degree to teach all subjects, but I'm forging forwards anyway and am going to give it my best shot, probably while taking a few shots myself here and there.
This is excellent! I'm planning in homeschooling as well, and the main response I receive is how I plan to give my kids socialization opportunities. There are so many more incredible options nowadays, including homeschool groups. Just do what you think is best for your family, get creative with opportunities for them, and it will all be fine!
Sooooo many people get so upset about the socialization part, like you're going to lock them up in a room and isolate them from other human beings. I've been responding with "normal socialization is not placing a child in a room with 30 other children their exact same age and only one or two adults." Yes, there really are so many incredible options these days, sooooo many homeschoolers everywhere at parks and the museums have homeschool days, etc. There is never a shortage of opportunities for homeschooled children to be around other kids.
SUCH a good post, Jess! I often think about homeschooling our kids... I often worry about #1 and #2. and heck YES I want to raise weird children! 😉
Oh I didn't know that you often think about homeschooling! Yeah I was on the fence until my oldest was 4 and I finally made up my mind. It's hard to decide!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom
Yes to many of these... even number 2 and I AM Christian! For some reason people think because I'm Christian and a homeschooler, I must be a fanatic of some sorts. It's frustrating to be constantly put into a box. People will make assumptions about what they don't understand because it takes effort to investigate and come to their own conclusions.
Yes - I'm raising weird children too. lol
Wishing you a lovely day.
Oh my gosh, I didn't even think of that perspective, for a Christian who gets judged for being fanatical since they homeschool! That would be annoying too. Yes, so true, people definitely will make assumptions about what they don't understand. I'm guilty of that too.
Weird children and people are the best lol
Thanks for commenting xo
Yes, this happens all the time to us! It happened to me as a kid too - my parents started homeschooling me in 7th grade, because the school system I attended was tiny and awful academically. Now I am homeschooling my own kids - again because we needed better academics - and people always assume it was for religious reasons, because we are, well, religious.
Oh yes! We are in our first year of homeschooling, I am still timid of telling people that we are homeschooling.
I'm not the most patient, sure as hell ain't religious (language arts isn't my strong point, why do I blog?) I didn't realize I was homeschooling my children until my eldest went to kindergarten in a public school. So this year we are going back to what we were doing, with a little extra added in.
Good luck! I wish we were closer to school-dates!
Lol loved reading your comment. Yeah it is hard to tell people you homeschool, especially when you don't feel like explaining it or don't want to be immediately judged. Good luck to you too with homeschooling!
Love this! Ah, number 1 and 3- I can relate. I am soooo not crafty. I don't even attempt to be any more. I wish I had the flexibility in my work schedule to try homeschooling. What are your reasons for wanting to homeschool (I'm nosy)?
Yes, #3 is why I don't have any of #1. I usually always lose it a little bit during any craft. I AM learning little things here and there that help me survive a craft session, but still. I'm going to write a post on my reasons, since I feel like I have multiple reasons. I would say the biggest reason would be that I just really don't like any of the school options around me. The public school by our house has limited recess time, too much homework, and too many kids in the class. It's also got a very low rating; Arizona in general has a very low educational ranking.
Chelsea @ Life With My Littles
You can do it! We all learn things as we go along, and that's just part of it! It's good to make mistakes because that means you're learning! So you might make a few mistakes as you're figuring out how to homeschool, but they'll definitely make you better at it!
Also, I didn't know religious homeschooling was a thing? Weird haha.
Yes so true Chelsea, we all learn things as we go along, that's a great point. Yep, it's kind of a thing! Not that it's a bad thing, I just wish they would start making more secular curriculum!
great post. i can honestly say, i have never thought of homeschooling our children. But, #2...yes! And I totally get #4...seriously. haha. but really, i think these are all great points. it works for you, so do it. it doesn't work for me, so i wont. who cares. no judgment!
Yeah I think it's a sign I was meant to homeschool since I've been thinking about it for so long. I feel like I've thought about it since I was a kid! And yes I completely agree with you!
Tiffany (A Touch of Grace)
Although I've never thought about homeschooling, I wanted to be home schooled at one point growing up. Ain't nothing wrong with it! And I totally agree with you that everyone thinks homeschoolers are super religious. Probably because a lot are (look at me go assuming things), but not everyone is so start producing non-religious material will ya publishers?!
Great post girl!
Yeah, I guess that assumption is validated by the fact that it really does seem like so much of the homeschooling world is religious. I found a really awesome secular curriculum and it was $400 more than the average religious curriculum options! I already told Luis so he can prepare his mind for spending that much money lol.
My son is a first grader and my daughter will soon be ready for preschool. Homeschooling is something that has repeatedly come up in my mind. It requires lot of dedication on the part of mom/teacher to homeschool her children. i wish you success. Keep posting the highs and lows of this thrilling journey you are undertaking with your kids....:)
I definitely will, thanks Sunaina!
Hi, I think the problem that is called "homeschooling", I taugh ti my daughters that when somebody ask them where they study they answer in several places... they don't just learn at home, thanks for this post it really encourage me!
That's so true, I've heard that said by many homeschoolers, that learning takes place everywhere they go!
You and I are definitely soul sisters!!! This has been my exact experience as well. I loose my patience, no one has EVER mistaken me for Mary Poppins, my kids drive me nuts on the daily (sometimes hourly!), I don't know everything (didn't even finish college), and I am so not religious. And I also read Homeschooling: Take a deep breath, and it totally helped me get off the fence about homeschooling my kids! I was very timid at first about telling people about our decision to homeschool, and the first time I said it loud and proud to another momma, she said she was thinking about it too!! No more beating around the bush for me!
-Melissa, A proud Homeschooling Momma!
I love that you've gotten to a place where you're able to say it loud and proud that you're going to homeschool! It gets easier to roll of the tongue the more I say it. You're like the first homeschooler I know who has heard of and read that book, isn't it soooo good? I found it so honest and encouraging. I like to remember that most schools can't hold a candle to what I can give my boys even with all of my faults and impatience. At least with me they'll be able to be free to choose what they learn, play outside when they want, free to feel safe and protected...ugh I could keep going lol. I just love the benefits of homeschooling 🙂
I am soooooooo glad I found this post. I have been homeschooling my son since kindergarten, and have run into ALL of these issues and more. Good luck!
Right?! Thank you and good luck to you too!
We have been homeschooling since the beginning (except my oldest attended PS for K). My favorite part about home schooling is that my kids know each other - like really know each other! The age range from my oldest to youngest is 7 years which means if she was in school all day every day + after school activities + homework = they would NEVER see each other, get to build a tight sibling bond.
I also love being there when they learn something for the first time - like reading, telling time, science experiments! I was there when they took their first steps and I'm now there when they accomplish these other "big kid" milestones. And like your post said, if you don't know enough to teach a specific topic then you will find someone who can. Similar thing happens in the "real world" - if you / your company doesn't know how to do something they find a consultant to teach them.
Great post - thanks for spelling it out so clearly.
I love that, Erin! I always think to myself how it would affect my sons' relationship with each other if my oldest had gone off to kindergarten this year and my youngest would've gone off to preschool. My 6 year old would be gone most of the day, and when he got home he'd be tired and hungry and have homework and would need to get to bed at a decent time so he could wake up and do it all over again the next day. They spend their days playing together and I just love watching them. They're the best of friends.
Everyday I'm more certain just how amazing homeschooling is for our family. Thank you for leaving your comment!