Thursday, February 10, 2011

For Those Considering Homeschooling

When you are considering homeschooling, you are most likely approaching friends and family who have been homeschooling for quite some time.  You are visiting homeschool blogs, reading books about the best methods, looking through piles of curriculum, and reading magazines geared toward homeschoolers.  Each of these materials will have pictures of a serene mother sitting with her children as they happily soak up the knowledge being  poured into them.  Homeschoolers don't want to discourage you from this wonderful option, so you will rarely find the down-side of homeschooling presented.  A homeschool article is much like a sitcom - challenges & situations are placed before you in a lighthearted way and quickly solved in a matter of paragraphs.

You are happy in your bubble.  Well, I'm armed with my pin.

10 Realities of Homeschooling

1)  The ABCs are downright terrifying.

2)  Your children will be excited with their new books for a total of 2.5 days.  No matter how relaxed your atmosphere, how colorful the workbooks are, or how many REAL books you read, kids have a natural school-detector and they can smell school no matter how well-disguised it may be.

3)  Your children will take the first opportunity they can to get to run around, play with toys, wrestle, or pull each other's hair. Even after 3 bowls of cereal, they will be starving by 9:30 am and start rummaging the cupboards.  There will be phone calls you WILL have to answer.  You cannot leave the stranger at your door standing in the cold.  Even if you turn off the phone and bar your door, you WILL have to use the bathroom. It will then take you another 10-15 minutes to reduce the chaos.  I say "reduce" because once chaos ensues, it's almost impossible to regain total order.

4)  The only reason those mothers in the magazines are able to smile WHILE homeschooling is because they have no pre-school children.  The mothers of pre-schoolers are always posed in a family photo...on a the summertime...while dad is home.

5)  Some days, your favorite color is school-bus yellow.  You will dream about it.  All.  Day.  Long.

6)  No matter how bright your child appears to be at your kitchen table, he will forget everything he's ever learned as soon as he is among his peers.  Of course, other mothers will beam with pride as their 3rd graders list all of the elements on the periodic table while drool begins to come out the side of your child's mouth.  You will see the looks of pity on parent's faces as they realize how severely mentally challenged your child must be.

7)  Homeschoolers still argue with their siblings.  Often.

8)  Tests scare you more now than when you were in college.  You will fear "academic probation" for decades.

9)  Some days, your children will finish school in three hours and you will question if you are giving them an adequate education.

10)  Some days, your children will finish school in 10 hours and you will question if you are being too hard on them.

If you are a homeschool mom and have no idea what I am talking about, you are either,  1)  a mom with 1 or 2 children who are not beyond the 1st grade or, 2)  a mom whose last child is in their last year of school and you have been able to block out all of the trauma and now remember everything with sweet nostalgia.

No doubt, there are some wonderful aspects of homeschooling.  I see it as the ONLY option for our family.  But, I'm living by the trenches.

If you come to me with your questions and ask me for my opinion, I will encourage you to homeschool your child.  I will suggest curricula, help with paperwork, and tell you that you are indeed qualified.  I will also tell you that there are days you will not want to get out of bed, but then there are days that you will know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is the BEST decision you ever made.


Carolee's Corner Canary Islands said...

Well written and I can relate. Very true to life and humorous too! Home schooling is not an easy task for sure.

Elianna said...

Hmm... if you don't mind... as a homeschooled graduate who survived to tell the story, I want to add to the list! Because... if you're a homeschooling mom named Vicki... then (in no particular order)...

1) Anyone who's been at your house leaves feeling encouraged
2) I have spent many hours in your home and have yet to notice "chaos" over "hospitality"
3) Your girls are among the most diligent music students I've ever seen
4) Your preschoolers have smiles that spread tons of sunshine to those they meet
5) When you answer that phone you're taking time to be a blessing to others... calming the chaos in their lives
6) Your children read quite well and seem to be fascinated by it
7) I've never, ever, ever met a family who was more REAL and down-to-earth... and yet is still a shining example of what an ideal Christian family should be
8) The ABC's might be terrifying, but your kids can sing countless hymns from memory
9) You're organized yet flexible which therefore enables you to have great adventures in life - WITH your kids!
10) And... after 7 kids AND homeschooling...'re totally beautifully gorgeous! :)
Love you Vicki!