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As home education becomes a more popular choice these days, I worry many mothers are scared to death they cannot teach their children or feel adequate enough in creating a homeschool. It is like an epidemic of the flu. I meet mothers at conventions, read letters and posts on social media and it is breaking my heart. Moms are having anxiety attacks before they even attempt to teach their children at home. Is society putting so much pressure on parents that they feel incapable without professional intervention to raise their own kids?
I want to just reach out and hug you if you are one of those moms, trying to make the best decision you can for your kids and not sure how to do it. I was right there with you ten years ago. I didn’t know the difference between bringing school home and creating a homeschool.
Those of us who have walked this path and finally found our own rhythm, we want to rush in and tell you, newbies, just what to do. Not because we want to raise your stress level and make you feel worse, but because we want to take away all those doubts, fears, comparisons and insecurities. We want you to start out already knowing what it took the rest of us years to figure out. It is all going to be ok.
Home education is a choice for all of us who have been given in all 50 states. You have the choice to make the best decision for what works for your child. Not someone with a higher degree, in a position of power or, because you are too young. Many families have felt spiritually led, some have an issue with their districts, many have special needs and some have made a family choice to spend childhood together. Each state has laws and guidelines that must be followed to be in compliance. With that said, many states leave the learning choices up to you. Many states do not require that you follow their scope and sequence. Our children must show a progression from year to year. This is what is required in the state we live in. This leaves room for families to choose, when, how, how long, how much and what your children learn.
Many parents begin their home education journey with such a burden of responsibility. You are bombarded with curriculum choices, classes, activities and their gut reaction is to simulate a school setting, instead of creating a homeschool. Why is this? Most of us come from a school setting. It is what we know. Thirty kids in a class, one teacher, sit all day, worksheets, eight hours, homework, etc.. One of the main reasons we homeschool is because that model just is not working for our children. So why on earth do we try to replicate it at home and expect different results?
Actually getting started can be stressful for you if you have pulled their children out of school. For mothers who are making that decision to not even begin a public/private education the transition can be much smoother. If you are bringing children home who have been in a school setting, many people feel that giving the children a period of “deschooling” works wonders. This gives you the opportunity to get their childhood back under your control. Parks, playing in the yard, museums, zoos, or just a walk around the neighborhood every day can bring relief. Get to know your children before creating a homeschool. What are their likes, dislikes, passions, favorite subjects, games, etc.. Spend quality time just being a family. Ease into lessons. You are now on your timetable, not someone else’s.