I Could Never Homeschool My Kid(s)

“I don’t know how you homeschool moms do it; I could never homeschool my kids.”

As one of “those homeschool moms,” this is something I hear a lot, and the more times I hear it the more it gets under my skin. I feel like that statement makes us sound like either a bunch of weirdos, or super-human mothers who possess some level of talent that normal mothers are lacking, when in fact neither of those assertions are true. The time has come for me to set the record straight.

First of all, homeschooling parents are not weirdos. We are parents just like you who love our kids and want what’s best them. We have all arrived at the decision to homeschool by way of different paths. Some choose homeschool because their children have a special need that cannot be met in traditional school environments. Some choose homeschooling for medical or religious reasons. There are some families that do not live in a good school district, and its safer for them to educate their children at home. Some families find themselves traveling or moving a lot because of a job, and strategically homeschooling makes more sense rather than constantly uprooting their children and transferring them from one school to another. The list of reasons goes on and on. I believe the same can be said of parents who choose to send their children to a public/private/charter school. I’m certain that the list of reasons parents choose to send their kids to school is just as extensive as the list of reasons why homeschoolers choose to teach their kids at home.

That brings me to my next point: we are not Super Parents. We do not have a special gift of patience that allows us to be around our children 24/7 without ever losing our temper. We all have moments when we question our decision to homeschool. We all worry and have anxiety sometimes. There is absolutely nothing that I go through as a homeschool mom that is unique to any other parent on the face of the earth. Home educators do their best to teach their kids the same way all parents have been teaching their children from the moment they were born. It is for this reason that I believe that all parents are capable of homeschooling. When people tell me that they could never homeschool because they butt heads with their kids too much, I literally laugh out loud. I butt heads with my oldest on pretty much a daily basis, but that doesn’t prevent me from being able to homeschool! Some say they could never do it because they can’t afford homeschooling, but there are more than enough free resources out there that it can easily be done for less than what most parents spend on school supplies and a new school wardrobe each year. (If you’re interested, I address a lot more of the “reasons why I could never homeschool” here.)

So, let’s all be honest with one another, shall we? When you say you could never homeschool your children, let’s be real and admit that what you’re really saying is that you don’t want to homeschool. Not being able to do something and not wanting to do something are two very different things.

If you have any inclination whatsoever to educate your children at home, then I promise you that you are already equipped with everything you need to do it, and to do it well! 

And for a little humor, I am including my all-time favorite homeschool meme. I love it because it’s just about the closest thing to reality in this house. Enjoy! 🙂

hsmeme

This Breaks My Heart

I came across a video shared on my Facebook newsfeed today. If you haven’t seen it, or don’t feel like watching it, I can summarize it by saying it’s basically three moms partying at Target after sending their kids off to school for the new school year. The video begins with a mom kissing her daughter goodbye and telling her, “I love you so much!” Yet, she cannot even finish turning around before following it up by mouthing a silent but emphatic, “YES!!!” as her daughter leaves. She then joins two other moms and they head off to Target to celebrate their newfound freedom. 

I may be burned alive at the stake for saying this, but I cannot hold my tongue anymore. Every single year I see my friends counting down until the end of summer break, SO thankful to be getting their “freedom” back. Year after year, parents dread the beginning of summer break and celebrate its end. Worse yet, I know many people who have no problem making sure their children know this as well. They’re basically saying to their kids, “I can’t wait for you to back to school 7+ hours a day, 5 days a week – and I cannot possibly be happier about being rid of you! Hooray!”

Look, I get that having kids is hard. Sometimes these little blessings make us want to rip our hair out. I understand that all parents need breaks from their children for the sake of their sanity. I get that, I do! Please do not think that because I homeschool, I have acquired some magical ability to never get frustrated with my children and never wish I could have a day off. I’m human just like everyone else, and I most definitely do have rough days. My children are also human, and sometimes they fight, whine, complain, bicker, you name it. But you know what? I truly like my kids! Even on their worst days, I have no desire to rid myself of them! I enjoy being around them. I cannot imagine sending my children away for about as long as my husband is gone for work each day and being thrilled about it. I would genuinely miss them.

Maybe I am misinterpreting things, but what I get from all these Facebook posts about the excitement parents have for the beginning of the school year is that they don’t like spending a lot of time with their children, and that’s why they are happy to see them go. Their kids frustrate them and tire them out, so they want the kids out of their hair for as long as possible, as often as possible. It’s that fact that makes me very, very sad. And it makes me especially sad for the children who are made to know it.