Friday, June 14, 2013

The Excuses for NOT Homeschooling by Jamie Hausgen

My family just finished up our seventh year of homeschooling.  That seems like a long time! 
There were several reasons why we decided to try homeschooling.  But, I had a ton of reasons swirling around in my head as to why I couldn’t do it.  I have heard so many reasons over the years from other people telling me why they couldn’t homeschool, as well.  Here is a small list of some of the fears I had and some of the fears I hear from others:
1.        I’m not patient enough – I am not patient enough either, my kids can attest to this.  I have to PRAY for patience every day, not just school days. 
2.       I could not stand spending all day with my kids – This statement actually makes me sad.  There are so many times when I think to myself (and try to say to my kids), “I am SO glad you are home with me.” 
3.       I’m not smart enough – I have been asked a million times if I was a teacher.  I used to be quick to say, “I do have a degree, but it isn’t in education.”  Although I do have a “degree”, I felt totally inadequate to “teach” my kids.  However, most of the curriculum I have used so far has had excellent teacher books and if there has been something I couldn’t figure out, there is always the internet!  Back to the “degree” thing – I definitely DO NOT think a degree is necessary to be a homeschool mom! 
4.       My children wouldn’t listen to me – This was a big concern for me.  We had already had problems with pre-school “homework”.  Also, one of my children is pretty strong-willed.  My kids do complain about their schoolwork sometimes, but for the most part, they have come to understand that just like in other areas of their life, they have to obey and honor mama during school time.
5.       What about socialization? – This one makes me laugh.  I have never been that concerned with this one, but other people sure seem to be.  One time, I was working on some of my homeschool papers at baseball practice when a mom asked me, “What about socialization?”  I was thinking, “Really?  He’s out there with all those other kids, and he’s doing fine.  And he didn’t just get in trouble for spitting on his teammates like your child did.”  We have had no trouble finding social activities.  My kids have played sports and taken dance for years.  We also belong to a local homeschool group and have a ton of homeschooling friends.  In addition to all that, we also have a wonderful church family.   
6.       My family and friends are against us homeschooling – Our family and friends were against our decision, but none of them were overly tacky to our faces.  It has been years since anyone close to us has said anything negative to us about homeschooling.  But it was shaky at first.  Despite the lack of excitement from those around us, we had prayed and knew that homeschooling was the best choice for our family.  Ultimately, it was our decision to make, not others. 
7.       I’m not organized – I am a fairly organized person, and that is helpful, but if for some reason we have gone through a season of disorganization, my kids have been able to go with the flow.
8.       I won’t be able to get anything done around the house – This caused me quite a bit of anxiety.  I didn’t see how I would be able to cook, clean, keep up with laundry, AND homeschool 3 kids.  There are times when it looks like I don’t cook, clean, and keep up with the laundry, but most of the time we get it all done.  Now that my kids are bigger, they have chores to do when they are finished with school for the day; this is a big help.  Also, you can be flexible with homeschooling.  Since we began homeschooling, we sold a house, moved in with my parents, built a house, and then moved again – all during the “school year” – it can be done!
I have never wanted to be a “homeschooling bully.”  I love homeschooling, but I don’t think my family is any better than another family that doesn’t homeschool.  I have heard people say that homeschooling is not for everyone, and I guess that’s true, but I do feel like if I can do it, ANYONE can.  Homeschooling is not easy!  It does not work well when I try to do it in my own strength.  But, with God’s grace, we have persevered.  Whether your child is about to start kindergarten or God is leading you to pull your child out of school for a season or for good, I encourage anyone who feels that God may be leading their family to homeschool to give it a try and do it NOW. 

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