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Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Not me! However, homeschooling had me scared out of my whits for years! It honestly took us from before we had children until our oldest was 6 to take the plunge, Even then, I was tied up inside with self-doubt, anxiety, and worry. Why is homeschooling so scary? Here’s four reasons you are afraid of homeschooling and what to do about it!
You Associate School with Being a Kid
Let’s face it, most new homeschoolers went to a brick and mortar school. After over 100 years of cumpulsary education, going to school is a part of our culture and our community. Everyone assumes your child will go to school. Preschools talk about going to Kindergarten all year long. Story Time teaches kids about going to preschool. Children’s books, television shows, and coloring books all show kids going to school and are geared toward preparing them for kindergarten. “It isn’t easy being green!” as Kermit sang. Being different takes perseverance and gumption. It isn’t that homeschooling is scary, it’s just different and a great unknown.
You Don’t Feel Qualified
Just like you have been conditioned to think that childhood revolves around school, you also believe only teachers can teach. Now, being a teacher is an honorable profession. The world needs hard-working, dedicated teachers, they give so much to their students. However, running a classroom and homeschooling are two totally different jobs. (I know, I’ve done both!) The truth is, you have been teaching your child since the very beginning. Did you question your qualifications when you taught your child to walk or play? Did you feel like you needed a professional when you potty trained? Okay, so that can be a challenge, but you did it! You found a way. You have taught your child how to eat and drink, how to wash hands, for to sing songs and clap hands. Your child has learned how to be part of a family and part of a community because you have taught him what that means. You have taught so many, many lessons that have shaped your helpless newborn into a curious and playful pre-schooler.
You Don’t Know How You Will Teach Algebra and Chemistry
It’s one of those hot button questions, “What about Chemistry and Algebra, how are you going to teach those at home?” UMMM…my child is 5!! Seriously, is anyone asking public school kindergarten parents how they are preparing their child for the SAT’s? NOPE! It’s a power struggle is all. First of all, chemistry and algebra are important subjects but they are not the entire scope of what children need. Also, there are so many sciences to learn. Maybe you will do human anatomy and marine biology instead of chemisty. Lastly, you can cross that bridge when you come to it. Being a homeschool mom does not mean you need to teach every blessed lesson your child needs. In fact, you shouldn’t! There are endless resources to teach your child whatever you can’t or don’t want to. Homeschool parents are faciliatators and advocates for their child’s education, not nannies and private tutors. How will you teach algebra and chemistry? Anyway you want to.
You Fear the Isolation
When many people picture homeschooling, they see a mom, sitting at the kitchen table all day surrounded by kids and textbooks. They never leave the house. They have no friends. They’ve become reclusive and subversive. They look strange and dress like they live under a rock. They do not know how to be around other people. Sounds like a sci-fi thriller! It’s a fictional yarn for sure. Homeschool people are people just like everyone else. They have friends and family. They participate in the community and have hobbies. Homeschooling does not mean you have to be home 24/7. Believe it or not, homeschool familes are allowed to be a part of the real world. We aren’t held captive because of our education choices. Don’t get me wrong, the long winter months can be hard, and without a solid support network, it can be isolating. It doens’t have to be that way, though. Opportunities are endless and homeschoolers actually have more time to socialize than traditional school children do.
What fear is holding you back from homeschooling?