Homeschooling: Not for Everyone
Homeschooling my kids is one of the great pleasures I have in life. I get to be responsible for their mental growth and to shape them into productive citizens. My job description is this: Increase my kids’ chances in life through quality education and direction. It’s my responsibility to teach them everything they need to know to a point where they can take over for themselves, to the point where they become self motivated. That means homeschooling my kids requires more than an understanding of the material being taught (though that is also necessary). Homeschooled or not, kids need to become curious if they expect to have any success in life. Public school kids will see dozens of teachers in their school careers. There’s a high probability that at least one of those teachers will inspire them and spark their curiosity. Homeschoolers have one teacher, perhaps two. If you are not a curious parent you should not Homeschool because you won’t inspire your kids, and you’re kids will likely not be better served by a homeschooled education.
Others Who Should not Home school:
1. The Uneducated: I’m not talking about degrees and certificates. I’m saying you should know things that are relevant to know. You can’t teach anything if you don’t know anything.
2. If You Have all the Answers: Nobody knows everything. You should feel compelled to learn right alongside your kids. Participate in their lessons and go find answers together, wherever the journey takes you.
3. The Closed Minded: Again, if you think you know everything you probably know nothing. There is very little in life that is definitive. If you can’t listen to ideas that are not immediately acceptable to you, you should leave the education of your kids to someone who can.
4. People With No Resources: There is a reason kids go to school to learn chemistry. The schools have labs. Likewise, home schooled kids need to have hands on learning. It sounds bad do say, but you’ll need to find a way to get them out into the world to museums and various other relevant field trips. They need access to equipment too. That means enough money to make it happen. You don’t have to be rich, but you do have to budget for it.
5. The Easily Distracted: Home schooled kids still need structure. If you’re the sort who can’t see a project through to completion then you shouldn’t subject your kids to the possibility that they’ll never completely learn something because you won’t care to finish it.
6. People with Little Time: You can’t home school part time. Being a parent is a full time job, being a home schooling parent is a job on top of a job. If you go into it thinking it can be accommodated around your busy schedule you are making a mistake. The opposite is actually true. It’s your current schedule that will need to be accommodated around the home schooling.
7. The Impatient: When I started homeschooling the boys I thought I could do it painlessly and without hiccups. There are always hiccups along the way. There are always going to be times that your schedule is thrown off and your patience is tested. Things rarely happen when you think they will. You have to relax and just go with it. The highly stern or rigid need not apply.
I’ve talked to parents who are curious about homeschooling; they want to try it themselves. I have yet to meet someone who I don’t think could do it if they dedicated themselves to it. The problem is that I’m not sure how many people realize the kind of dedication that it takes. The teaching skills are not what I question; it’s the commitment to learning. It’s like when we all became parents and we acted like what we were doing was completely unique and had never been done in the history of the world. Well, of course it had, and we were just a bunch of new parents who had a lot to learn. We started to understand, as the years went by, that parenting is not about doing it all right or doing it all differently. It’s really about growing slowly into the job through our curiosity and drive to improve. That’s homeschooling too. Dedicate yourself to it and it can be done.