I am a member of a TON of Homeschooling groups on Facebook. A TON. Seriously. I like feeling like I have my finger on the pulse of the homeschooling community.
The common thread, which I literally read in post after post EVERY.SINGLE.DAY (no joke), is the STRESS that we are all feeling.
The stress of getting started and not really knowing what to do…
The stress of getting kids to cooperate and get work done without a fight…
The stress of finding the “right” curriculum for a child or for a family…
The stress of finding time to fit it all in…
The stress of having “gaps” in our children’s education…
The stress of appropriate and frequent socialization…
And most of all the stress of not SCREWING UP OUR KIDS!!
I’m no expert. I wouldn’t even consider myself a “veteran” homeschooler even though I’ve been involved in our local homeschooling community since about 2003, and actively homeschooling since 2006. But one thing I have learned and I like to think I’ve internalized, is that homeschooling should NOT be this stressful!!
Now, I’m not here to tell you it should be all fun and games, sunshine and rainbows, puppies and kittens and unicorns and fairies…like how some bloggers make it seem by never posting about their bad days.
Nope, it’s not an easy ride, no way! Nothing with children…hell, with HUMANS, ever is! But I truly believe that so very many homeschoolers make it FAR MORE STRESSFUL THAN IT NEEDS TO BE!
So my first word of advice is STEP ONE: RELAX!!
Do your research, do the best you can, but don’t freak out!
It’s all good! Worst case scenario?
1. It doesn’t work out and your kids end up in school somewhere.
2. They don’t learn as much as you’d like them to.
For #1–Really, for most of us that’s truly the worst possible outcome. And if you think about that, and realize that you (for the most part) came out fine after school, as do most children every day…then the WORST CASE SCENARIO doesn’t seem so horrid. And maybe you can relax a little, and not let that fear rule your life.
For #2–Just accept that this WILL HAPPEN. It just will! Chances are that you have unreasonably high expectations…most of us do! And there will ALWAYS BE GAPS, no matter what form of education your children get!
Don’t get me wrong, I DON’T WANT my kids in school, nor do I want them to get anything less than a spectacular education from me. I want much more for them. But it is a little comforting knowing that the worst case scenario isn’t so horrible.
And really…chances are…just by the fact that you CARE about their education and are actively doing something about it…your kids are huge steps ahead of many kids out there!
Then you need to remember that everything you do at home with your kids is most likely WORLDS BETTER than anything they’d be doing at school. Even on your worst days.
Because your kids will always prefer spending more time with you than less.
You are giving them, first and foremost, the gift of YOU.
Consider how much time your kids get with you compared to all those kids in school with THEIR parents. That alone, regardless of what activities you do with them, what curriculum you choose, or what gaps you inadvertently give them in their education is PRICELESS!
Bravo! You nailed it with this article! As YOU have relaxed I have seen a increase in the interest that Maeven and Tyren have in learning! Stress is a killer of creativity!