In the last installment of this three part series, “Why Homeschooling”, I covered my “Why” for why I’ve chosen to homeschool my children. Today, I’ll turn my attention to what exactly is homeschooling and what it isn’t. In a day and age in which so many blog posts, podcasts and websites are dedicated to the ever deepening homeschool rabbit hole, I found it fitting to tackle this buzz worthy topic. So without further ado, let’s explore some answers to the question, “What is homeschooling?”
- Necessarily Relevant
The fact remains that the options to the educational smorgasbord are endless. Why then wouldn’t homeschooling be found amongst some of the most sumptuous selections? I can recall, over six years ago, when my husband and I first made the decision to homeschool being asked over and over again why we wouldn’t just send our eldest child to a traditionally “brick and mortar” school. When I look out into the vast ocean of educational choices and see such varied alternatives such as public schools, private schools, Christian schools, charter schools, parochial schools and boarding schools (to name only a handful), I must say homeschooling belongs in the conversational fray as well. There is no denying that homeschooling is a necessary and relevant alternative to all the many forms by which to educate one’s child.
Following the discussion about why to homeschool, the statement I most likely hear next is, “That’s great but I know I could never do that!” It’s emphatic declarations such as this that make me take a sorrowful sigh. I’d be the first to tell you that I know homeschooling requires effort but it most certianly doesn’t require perfection.
Is it true that homeschooling requires patience? – Yes
Does homeschooling require skill? – Yes
Does homeschooling require care? – Yes
Does homeschooling require planning? – Absolutely, YES!
But in all honesty, what endeavor ever worth embarking upon doesn’t require things such as these?
So, to those who are unsure about the “do-ability” of homeschooling, from one homeschooler to a possibly inquisitive soul such as yourself, if you’ve ever wondered if homeschooling was something you could ever “do”, I would say an unequivocal, “YES! Homeschooling is doable!”
- Time Consuming…or At least It Can Be
I’m just going to be honest y’all, homeschooling has taken many hours out of my life. Whether it was in the excited planning of a new unit or because I was concerned about one of my children struggling to grasp a certain concept, or simply due to navigating the sometimes choppy waters of my role as my kids’ “mommy-teacher”, homeschooling requires time, effort and mental energy. But I have to put in the time to see the results, right? Its hard to go about this half-heartedly. It is sometimes challenging to shut my homeschooler brain off. But, then there are those equally refreshing times in which I force myself to rest and take a breather from it all.
- Not a Competition
Homeschooling is not a competition.
Sadly, in today’s social media driven world of likes, followers and subscriptions, I’ve seen quite the opposite.
Whether intentional or not, there’s a darker side to the wonderful world of homeschooling in which some homeschoolers perpetuate a need to show off their instructional chops through their homeschool lives. I must admit that at times, I too have succumbed to this very sneaky temptation to puff myself up by putting my own homeschool achievements on display. That is why I have to constantly be on guard against my own heart’s sinful tendency to brag and boast.
But let me say this so the people in the back can hear me…
HOMESCHOOLING IS NOT A COMPETITION!
My goal for this blog and my Facebook page of the same name are purposed to be quite the contrary. In fact, I started both as a means to counteract this truly damaging tendency to compete for likes by encouraging the reluctant, the discouraged, the tired, the weary and the resource starved homeschooler.
My heart’s verse for this mission is simply this,
“The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach and patient.” 2 Timothy 2:24
- Worth It!
Some of you may have been expecting different content from a post entitled, “What is Homeschooling?” But I purposely decided to go the more theoretical route rather than outline a list of criteria. That being the case, when I think about what homeschooling exactly is, in all its necessary relevance, “do-ability”, time consumption, and non-competitiveness, I must summarize that it is truly worth it! Good intentions go a long way.
Was there ever a child who didn’t thrive when paired with a dedicated and passionate teacher who was equipped with a personalized curriculum for said child?
Think back on the most ideal learning conditions you experienced in your formative years. Were they marked by challenging yet engaging material? Did you have a willing teacher who was patient while you grew? Was there a sense in which your strengths were played to while your weaknesses weren’t held against you?
If this isn’t the essence of an ideal homeschool environment, I don’t know what is. So, as you continue your own exploration of what homeschooling is (and isn’t), I leave you with the charge to do your due diligence in setting out to create the most ideal of learning environments for your young scholar(s) in which to thrive.
Trust me, it IS worth it!
Thanks for reading!
Stay tuned for the final installment of my “Why Homeschooling?” blog post series in which we tackle the all important issue of “How to Homeschool”.
Until then, if you enjoyed this post and want to see more like it but haven’t subscribed to receive regular posts from me, what are you waiting for (lol)? Go ahead and hit that “follow” button!