Over the last few weeks I have received so many messages from moms wanting to homeschool their children. The reason have been so varied. Some have been considering it for a while and this was the push they needed. Others have seen what is really going on in their specific schools and are just not happy with that. Others have seen how their children respond to their teachers. While some are just scared!
While I am always happy to chat to parents about homeschooling I think before you make any final decisions, it is so important to really consider WHY you want to actually homeschool before you just jump in and make some big life changes.
Jacqui wrote a great post about how what is happening right now is NOT actually homeschooling but rather crisis schooling. What many of you are doing now is being done at home but it looks very different to what most of the homeschoolers are doing.
The biggest difference for me is that right now you are being “forced” into a curriculum or a schedule based on what works for someone else. You have little control over what you teach your kids or how it gets taught – this is very much not what homeschooling is about. You also have little control over how many hours your child spends on their zoom calls or lessons – again this is not what homeschooling is supposed to be.
I do believe that homeschooling will work for so many families BUT I also think parents right now need to think really hard before making the change.
If you are considering homeschooling, ask yourself these questions first.
- What happens when you go back to work? Right now you might be able to work from home but what happens if you have to return to work? Will you have someone who can continue with the schooling? Are your kids old enough to continue on their own?
- Do your kids want to do it? It is important to get their buy in, even the little ones. Obviously the final decision lies with you but don’t ignore the needs and wants of your kids.
- Lockdown won’t last forever. I know sometimes it feels like it will but it really will not. Schools will reopen and life will return to a new normal. While right now you are struggling and stressed, this will not always be the case.
- Do you have the time? I know right now you are juggling a school schedule and work and while our routine is a lot more flexible and fluid, it does take time. It takes time to go to co-ops and external activities. It takes time to take kids to their extra-muruals, these aren’t done at school, you need to sign your kids up and take them!
I am not trying to put anyone off of homeschooling but it might not be the “fix” you need right now. It could, potentially, create more issues for you and your family down the line.
With that in mind, lets look at some of the benefits of homeschooling.
- It is cheaper than private schooling and most public schools.
- You get to decide what your kids learn and how.
- Your relationship with your child changes completely and you will love having them around.
- You will be actively involved in developing your child’s relationship with learning.
- Your focus is YOUR child so you will be able to move ahead with the things your child is good at and spend more time on the things they might be struggling with.
- You are in control. If you want to take the day off you can. If you want to spend weeks learning about insects you can. No one is telling you want to do or how to do it.
- It is FUN.
Even though we were homeschooling before lockdown started, we were still affected. We could no longer go out to our weekly co-op classes. There have been no more play dates or extra-muruals. It has been an adjustment for us as well and we miss our homeschool community a lot.
If you do want to consider homeschooling, read some of the posts I wrote last year, they are still relevant today.