10 Questions New Homeschoolers Should Ask Themselves

Here’s a long, typically overly generalized article about homeschooling. It’s got some good, some bad, some – whatever. And of course, the non-homeschooling-expert voicing their opinion on homeschooling:

Home schooling—while a great option for some children and their families—is obviously not right for everyone.

“Parents have to ask themselves, ‘Am I willing to commit the time it takes for lesson planning, preparing [materials] each day, direct instruction, grading the work and assessments?’” says Boswell. In fact, parents themselves must expect to spend a minimum of four to five hours a day home schooling their child, she says.

“You also have to ask yourself how well you and your child work together,” says Boswell. “Some people have difficulty wearing the teacher hat and the parent hat, and keeping those roles separate. There is a home school mantra: ‘No one can teach your child like a parent,’ but that’s not always the case,” she adds.

She’s right, homeschooling’s not for everyone. But not for the reasons she describes here. In fact, she’s pretty much wrong on every count. She just doesn’t get what it really takes to be a successful and happy homeschooler.

If you are thinking of homeschooling, these are the real questions you need to ask yourself:

1) Am I willing to change MY opinion about education, and to listen to my child?

2) Am I willing to deal with people telling me I can’t do it?

3) Do I feel supported enough in this world to do something that is not mainstream, and is often completely misunderstood?

4) Am I resourceful and able to figure things out? If I don’t feel I am, am I willing to become resourceful and find out where to get information? Am I willing to do things msyelf and not expect experts to do things for me, or think for me?

5)  Am I willing to look at what I’m doing and admit that perhaps it’s not the best way, and be open to different ways to do things? Am I willing to consider alternatives to the traditional lesson-plan intensive, curriculum following, direct instruction, testing and grading perspectives of school? Am I willing to stand my ground when I know something is working just fine, against pressure from the outside to change to make other people feel less worried about me and my kids?

6) Am I willing to trust my children are smart, capable and deep down they have a the desire to be a full human, and that my job is to help them become who they are to their fullest, not to become what I (or other people) want them to be?

7) Am I willing to focus on the goal of working well together, rather than on the goal of getting my child to do work? Am I willing to work as a team with the rest of my family, and listen to their input?

8) Am I willing to put down a workbook in favor of going outside and being intimately involved in the real world?

9) What’s more important? Happiness or being educated?

10) Am I willing to make sacrifices for my family, while at the same time taking care of myself and my own needs?

Anything else you can think of that new homeschoolers should ask themselves?

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5 Responses to “10 Questions New Homeschoolers Should Ask Themselves”

  1. Anne Says:

    Thanks, Tammy! I have a friend who is just starting homeschooling her kids and I have been searching for a way to help her crystalize her thoughts. Your questions are tough but fair, and I think that they perfectly frame the whole “why I homeschool” thing — once you answer them, you’ll better be able to articulate, to yourself and others, why you’re on this path!

  2. mom24bbs Says:

    Wow, my jaw dropped when she suggested that the roles of parent and teacher should be kept separate. Maybe I’ve been homeschooling too long but I can’t see the need for a distinction.

    You have some really great points here. I thought I had one to add but I guess it’s just too late ‘cuz now it’s gone. hehe.

  3. Anna Says:

    I don’t think that happiness and being educated are mutually exclusive. I hope those are never an ‘or’ choice for us.

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