Taken from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
HOMESCHOOL WITH CONFIDENCE
by Nancy Baetz and Nancy Carter
So you think you want to homeschool? Who do you think you are? Do you have a teaching degree, the patience of Job, perfectly well behaved children, and an immaculate home? No? Well, you'll fit right in with the rest of us then! The myth of the supermom with the perfect homeschool family is just that-a myth. You don't need to have it all together to homeschool. All you need is the willingness to try, a fair amount of determination, and flexibility. Still unsure? Here are ten of the most common concerns about homeschooling and some words of encouragement for you.
1) I CAN'T HOMESCHOOL. I DON'T HAVE A DEGREE.
Well, you might not have a teaching degree but the Most High God has officially approved you to teach your own child! God has given your children to you to raise and to teach. Your children don't belong to the government, and it doesn't take a degree to teach them. You'll find all the information you need to teach your child in the teacher's manuals and other homeschooling resources. You'll learn from other homeschool moms, and you can even attend homeschool conferences. Your desire to learn how to best teach your own child will not only help you to be successful; you also will be a good example to your child of how to be a lifelong learner.
2) MY PARENTS AND/OR IN-LAWS ARE AGAINST HOMESCHOOLING
Many a skeptic has been won over once he or she personally gets to know a homeschooling family. Just try to remember that your in-laws' or other skeptics' beliefs come from their frame of reference. They probably went to public school themselves and sent their children to public school, and naturally they think their grandkids should have a similar experience. Do your best to answer their questions courteously. Share with them positive news stories and research so that they can be educated about homeschooling as well. You may win them over. Just don't allow anyone to steal your joy. Be firm in your conviction to homeschool, and remember that your children are your responsibility.
3) ISN'T HOMESCHOOLING EXPENSIVE?
Homeschooling doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, you might be surprised when you find out how inexpensive it can be! Available on the internet are many wonderful resources to help you actually homeschool without any expense. You can buy used books from eBay, use curriculum websites or other websites, and often you can borrow resources from other homeschooling families. God always provides.
4) MY KIDS ARGUE WITH EACH OTHER AND DON'T LISTEN TO ME.
Well, homeschooling gives you the perfect opportunity to work on that! Winning the heart of your child is even more important that teaching him academics. God didn't give you more than you can handle. Homeschooling will give you an opportunity to confront those issues and focus on correcting them. You will have a better relationship with your child, and it will be worth it!
5) I'M NOT PATIENT/ORGANIZED/CONSISTENT/SMART ENOUGH
We all have to confront these types of fears. Remember, God uses unlikely people to accomplish His will. God wouldn't get any glory in it if you didn't need His help. You do not have to be perfect; you just have to be willing and trust God to take care of things. Remember Philippians 1:6: "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform fulfill completely] it until the day of Jesus Christ
6) WHAT ABOUT SOCIALIZATION?
Children are more effectively "socialized" by being with their parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends of all ages than by being primarily with a group of same-aged peers. Any child can have a wealth of contacts who will enhance his education and life-outside of his or her own family and supervised by Mom and Dad. Many communities have homeschool support groups that host many activities, sports, playdates, and field trips for children as well as having activities just for homeschooling moms.
7) WON'T THEY MISS OUT ON FIELD TRIPS?
A trip with Mom to the grocery store or a family outing to the zoo or museum or even to Grandma's house is a wonderful way to have a field trip without the chaos. You can go on field trips with your local homeschool support group too. Your child might even get to go on more field trips while homeschooling than she would if she was enrolled in public school. A favorite saying among home educators is "Why do they call it homeschooling if we are never at home?"
8) HOW CAN I TEACH SEVERAL AGES AT ONCE?
Natural family dynamics lend themselves to multilevel teaching. It can require some ingenuity, but the older children can help, and many good resources are available to teach you how to instruct at several different levels at the same time.
9) I HATED MATH IN SCHOOL; HOW CAN I TEACH IT NOW?
You can learn together with your children! Some moms have discovered that as adults they can understand the math they struggled with in-school. If you still need help, it is available through video courses, co-ops, tutors, and online services.
10) WHAT ABOUT SPECIAL NEEDS?
Your special-needs child needs you, and teaching him or her at home is as natural as it gets. The warmth, caring, and intimate knowledge of your child that you can provide better than anyone else are some of the most important things he needs in order to reach his highest potential. NATHAAN is a national special needs support group that offers much information to support you in this area.
This sounds so natural, doesn't it? Yes, it does! While homeschooling can seem daunting at first, it is like breathing. Once you realize how easy it is, trust yourself to keep doing it naturally, and you will soon find that you are learning together all the time.