An Open Letter to Parents Considering Homeschooling their Children
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I heard you’re considering homeschooling your child. You’re worried about all sorts of things and that’s ok. Believe me. It wasn’t too long ago that I was in the same shoes as you. We’ll, not the SAME shoes because that would be weird, but you know what I mean.
It’s a big decision. I get it. You want what’s best for your child, but how the heck are you supposed to know what’s best when you can’t tell what the future holds? A reliable crystal ball sure would come in handy right about now, right?!
We don’t have crystal balls, we can’t tell the future. What do you have, though? You have your gut. And, if you’re anything like me, I tend to go with what my gut tells me. If you’re reading this letter, you’re already considering homeschooling your children. For some reason, the thought of homeschooling your child has entered your mind and you’ve decided to entertain that thought. I’m glad you’re doing your research!
Making a decision like this isn’t always easy and I’m proud of you for putting time and effort into learning more about homeschooling and this decision you may be making for your family.
I’m not going to lie. When I was considering homeschooling my kids, I was worried sick about making the “right” decision. I was worried my kids wouldn’t get enough socialization. I was worried about the stigma of homeschoolers. I was worried my kids wouldn’t learn enough. I was worried that I wasn’t qualified to teach my own kids. I was worried I was making the wrong choice by disrupting my kids lives to homeschool only to end up sending them back to public school again.
A lot of heavy stuff, I know. Take a breather. In and out. Worrying is ok. Being hesitant to start something new is ok. It’s all part of the process. Parenting is an adventure of all sorts, I’m telling you.
Now that we have been homeschooling for a bit, I’m able to share my experiences from the “other side.” Your experience could certainly vary from mine, but, in general, making the decision to homeschool my kids has been a positive one for my family.
I was worried about socialization. After removing my kids from public school, we didn’t really keep in touch with many people. Just not meant to be, I guess. It was quiet in the beginning. I guess we were getting our footing and focusing more on our own lives and happiness than finding new friends. And that’s ok! Since then, I’ve discovered a plethora of homeschool groups on social media with so many people that were in a situation similar to ours. We’ve found some local groups and the boys have had plenty of opportunities to socialize with kids their own ages. Even better? I’m able to chat with the parents while all the kids are playing. (Tip: I recently joined the Facebook Group “Secular Virtual Homeschool Social Clubs” in an effort to find some new friends for my kids – maybe this group could work for you?)
I was worried about the stigma of homeschooling. Yes, it exists. But, you know what? If we were all the same, the world would be boring. People come from all walks of life and believe all sorts of things. Life is too short to worry about what other people think of you and your family. It took me a long time to realize this and, honestly I still struggle with it from time to time, so I guess I’d say I’m a work-in-progress.
I was worried my kids wouldn’t learn enough. My kids have learned PLENTY…and then some. They’re no longer waiting for a classroom of kids to quiet down so their teacher can teach them something new. They’re no longer bored in class, waiting to move onto the next lesson. On the flip side, they’re no longer struggling to keep up with the rest of the class because they can now learn at their own pace. In addition to learning the typical math and reading, they’re learning about things that interest them…like cooking, how video games are made, and how animatronics are created and evolving.
When I was considering homeschooling, I was worried I wasn’t qualified to teach my own kids. Listen to me – YOU know your kids inside and out. YOU know them best. If there is anyone in the whole entire world that qualified to teach your kids, YOU are that person. It might not always be easy, but believe in yourself.
I was worried that homeschooling wouldn’t be right for my family and that my kids would just end up going back to public school afterwards. Nothing is ever guaranteed. Heck, there’s still a chance that, for whatever reason, my kids could go back to public school in the future. If you give homeschooling a chance and find that it’s just not working for your family, there is no shame in sending the kids back to public or private school. You tried something new and that’s what counts.
It is not always an easy decision to make, that’s for sure. When you’re considering homeschooling your kids, there are so many aspects to take into consideration. As you’re making this decision, remember that you are an awesome parent. You’re just trying to figure out what’s best for your kids. No matter where you end up in your decision, know that your kids are lucky to have you looking out for them.
As you’re considering homeschooling your kids and making decisions, if you have any questions that I can help you with, please email me whenever you’d like! I will help however I can…whether it be providing resources, suggestions, or being there to listen.
You got this!