Sunday, October 9, 2016

Throughout my years of homeschooling our children, I have seen everything...the beautiful, the good, the bad, and the ugly as it pertains to home education. I often write and tell my readers that, "Anyone can homeschool", but should everyone homeschool? My answer to this question is, "No". I believe that homeschooling is a calling, and it is not easy. However, this does not mean that everyone is prepared to answer the call. There are also different seasons of home education. Some seasons, you could be led to homeschool, others it could be an online school, or even public school. I often say, that I determine how we will educate our children on a year-to-year basis. My reason for this is to have time to prepare and to hear from the Lord concerning his plan for their lives. Homeschooling is not easy, and it is certainly not for the weak. You have to be prepared mentally, emotionally, and even financially to take your child's education into your hands. 


I often tell my readers, and those who come to me for advice, that anyone can homeschool. This is a fact. If you have the passion, the time, the desire, you can homeschool. You certainly do not need a Ph.D. to homeschool (although I have friends that do), but you do have to take this job seriously. Yes, you read that right, I said job! Homeschooling is a full time job! However, it can be the best and most important job that you have ever had! If you have the desire, you can homeschool! Having support is also very important to your success! From resources, ideas, and encouragement, support will take you a long way. 


Okay, so I just said that anyone can homeschool, but not everyone should homeschool! What do I mean by this? Well, there is a such thing as, "Educational Neglect". Educational neglect is when a child is not given an adequate education Not providing necessary supplies, not devoting the proper time to the child's educational needs, or not teaching skills necessary for their grade level are all examples of educational neglect. This is not just a danger in the homeschooling community, there can be educational neglect in any school setting. However, it is easier for a child to suffer from educational neglect while being homeschooled, because there is no one to really answer to on a daily basis! These cases are rare, but it does happen, and most of the time from well-meaning parents. So, why would a person take on such a task, and not fulfill their duties as a home educator? There could be many reasons. For some, child abuse may be present in the home. Some parents are just not prepared for the challenges that come with homeschooling. A homeschooling parent could be suffering from burnout or severe depression. It could even be that a family is not financially able (or doesn't know how) to provide the supplies needed to give the child a good, well-rounded education. 

When you decide to homeschool, it is usually for a very good reason! If the environment is not one that is conducive to learning, loving, and healthy, then you may want to rethink your decision. Whatever the reason for educational neglect, it is damaging to a child, and the entire homeschooling community. Remember, that in the end, you want your children to have the best education possible, regardless of what type of school they attend. You also want to make sure that their opportunities after homeschooling are endless, not limited! This takes years of planning, record keeping, researching, and dedication, but it is very possible!  


Absolutely not! Dangerous homeschooling is only when a parent is not supplying their child with the basic things they need to be successful or withholding the things that a child needs to thrive and grow into a healthy adult. I started this blog to show the real side of homeschooling. My days are usually far from perfect. They  normally start with me breaking up a fight, with yelling because the kids ignored their chores, and some mornings, not wanting to homeschool at all! Often times, I have to go back and apologize for my mistakes. I let my kids know that mommies are not perfect either. We also have days that we are tired and irritable! I often let them know of other ways that I could have handled situations (most of the time the other way doesn't consist of yelling). However, we are a family. We learn by accepting the good and the bad about the people that we love. We are together all of the time. There are bound to be times when you get on each other's nerves! What is perfect is God! He gives me the wisdom, patience, convictions, acceptance, provisions, and everything else it takes to tackle this assignment. I could not do this without Him or His guidance (nor would I even try). You see, where I fall short, God steps in, picks me back up, and we all live to homeschool another day! Amazingly, God also sends the right friends and support system and often when you need it the most! 

I have considered having a T-shirt made that says, "I am a non-certified, unqualified teacher that God still chose to educate her kids at home."! That would clear up most homeschooling questions, I often get asked (lol)! However, doesn't God use the unqualified, most often than not? Early in our homeschooling journey, God showed me this, by showing me examples from the Bible. We are not perfect. Your homeschool won't be perfect either! 


Every decision that I make in terms of my kid's education has the end in mind. On the days that I don't want to get out of bed, when they are refusing to learn, when the dog needs to go out during a spelling test, or when my 3 year old is having a tantrum when I am trying to teach math, I remember my long term goals. I want to send well-rounded, loving, self-motivated, responsible, well educated, thoroughly equipped adults out into this world. I want them to be well prepared to fulfill the calling that God has on their lives. I want them to be able to stand on their own two feet, but know that it is okay to ask for help when they need it. I want them to know how to relate to others with empathy, patience, but more than anything, love. I want them to know what is truly important, and to never forget that anything that you build on Earth can be taken away at anytime. Instead, be able to make a living down here, but live everyday with eternity in mind. I want to see them walk across the stage, grab the diploma, the degree, to look back at us knowing that their parents did their very best! More than anything, I want to release a complete, unbroken person into the world! I want their opportunities to be limitless! I want them to dream big, and to truly believe that they can accomplish anything! Mostly, when they look back at their childhood, when they remember homeschooling, I don't want them to remember curriculum. I want them to remember all of the memories that we made together, and smile! That my dear friends, is my motivation everyday!   

You don't have to be afraid to homeschool! You can do this! As long as you love your kids, and want the best for them, as long as you do everything necessary to provide them with a great education, they will be successful! Will homeschooling be perfect? Will it be error proof?  Probably not, but love moves mountains, and that goes for homeschooling as well! Remember to breathe, work hard, and enjoy the journey! 

Here is an added treat! Watch our imperfect scope on our first day of school from August 15th!