Are you thinking of taking the plunge into homeschooling your children? But you’re worried, right? You might even feel overwhelmed.
What if you fail?
I’m here to tell you we’ve all had those thoughts and feelings, but guess what? Homeschooling is not going to chew you up and spit you out, and here’s why.
Homeschooling Can Be a Year by Year Choice
Homeschooling doesn’t have to be a forever thing unless, of course, you discover that it works for you and your family. Try it for one year! If you go into the venture with an attitude that it’s a one year trial, there’s no sense of failure if you switch educational methods at the end of the year. Tell everyone it’s a grand experiment and you want to see what happens. Keep your options open.
A solid program like BookShark can ease you into homeschooling because it provides a step-by-step Instructor’s Guide and a full curriculum package. In the beginning it makes sense to stick with a program that’s nearly foolproof instead of piecing together your school choices.
It’s okay to take homeschooling on a year by year basis. You can always send your kids back to public school if homeschooling is an utter disaster. If you do change paths mid-stream, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means homeschooling worked for a short season.
If homeschooling does work for your kids, you get to savor all the amazing freedoms that homeschooling affords:
Education is woven into every part of your day because learning happens all the time!
Field trips and travel can happen anytime you like.
Library days can be any day!
School doesn’t have to start at 8 a.m. every morning. You can choose to homeschool at any time, day or night!
Your kids can progress at their own pace.
You can follow your child’s interests down rabbit trails of learning.
After your first trial year, you may discover that it works for your kids all the way through elementary school. It could continue to work through middle school. Hey, you might discover that homeschooling is the perfect fit for your high schooler!
Homeschooling Does Involve a Certain Amount of Uncertainty
“What if I fall… Oh, but my darling, but what if you fly?” – Eric Hanson
There is a certain amount of risk in anything we do in this life, and homeschooling is no different. But there is also the possibility of great reward when we step out of our comfort zones and explore new possibilities.
Think of anything hard you’ve ever done. It was scary. But it was worth it, right?
Now think of your biggest regrets in life. What held you back from doing what you should have done? Wasn’t it usually fear? Don’t let fear hold you back from all the rewards of homeschooling.
I know what you’re thinking:
“Math! I can’t teach math!”
“Science was never my strong subject!”
“I can’t teach a kid to read! I have no idea where to start!”
Don’t let fear cause you to avoid taking risks. It is super easy to outsource subjects that may make you feel uncomfortable—co-op classes, online classes, or tutors are all options. Plus there are loads of quality curriculums and books to help you teach topics you feel are weak points. Teaching a child to read is not the Mr. Everest of education. I promise.
Do What Works Best for Your Family
Another big reason that you don’t need to worry about failing as a homeschooler is because you can choose your own methods—the ones that work for you!
For example, my kids would likely revolt if I attempted a strict schedule. I’m not particularly good at schedules, and my kids loathe textbooks. Give me a relaxed homeschool environment with loads of great literature, read-alouds, unit studies, art, and nature, and I can rock this homeschool gig with the best of them.
But perhaps you are more of structured schooler or prefer Charlotte Mason's methods. The choice is yours!
Homeschooling is not going to chew you up and spit you out because you decide how homeschooling works best for you. You decide what you want it to look like and how you want to accomplish it. (That freedom in itself can be scary to a newbie, and that’s why I suggest sticking with something fully laid out and all-inclusive like BookShark’s All Subject Packages.)
The bottom line is this—do what works best for your family. Every homeschool family is different, and so are their homeschool style and methods. That’s the beauty of homeschooling! You can tailor it to fit the unique and individual needs of your family and your kids. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back. You can homeschool your children.
About the Author
I'm Erin, an introverted homeschooling mom to two intense extroverted kids. We are child led with a heavy emphasis on read alouds, games, art, nature hikes, and hands-on everything! My kids just learn better when they can use their hands. You can find me at Nourishing My Scholar.
We traded the hustle and bustle of city life for the quiet that only farm life can provide. This creates a wonderful environment for our children, complete with chickens, goats, ducks, and cows. I'm a huge fan of Harry Potter and Gilmore Girls. When we're not homeschooling, you'll find me curled up with a cup of coffee and a good book or possibly enjoying a random dance party in the front yard to the newest Disney soundtrack.