Time to Decide
Simple advice for those considering home education.
All homeschool teachers have walked, danced, prayed, and trembled in the very shoes you are now wearing. Determining whether or not to homeschool was easy for some; gut-wrenching for others. Some of us decided with conviction; some with much apprehension. We all made the decision and you can too.
There is no magical, universal wisdom that can be given to you. We can give you simple guidance that will bring you closer to a resolution. We can't tell you what is best for your child. You know your child better than anyone. You are capable of drawing your own conclusions. Have faith and trust in yourself and your household.
This first bit of advice is imperative.
Do not place high value on the opinions and statements of others. Do expose yourself to the wealth of data regarding home education. Label nothing as the gospel. What does your heart tell you? Do you have a vision that includes homeschooling? Can you rebuke self-doubt and the possible doubt of others? Contemplate carefully and objectively. Place value on your findings, not those of others.
The media, family, homeschool web sites; they all want to make contributions into your decision. Your neighbor may try and convince you that your children will be isolated from the world if you elect to homeschool. You might read a homeschooling article written by a prolific supermom that says you can't homeschool if your children aren't perfectly obedient. She'll say that if you are not organized, you can't do it. The truth is, you have the power to create an environment, a childhood, that nurtures and prioritizes your child. You can design a favorable course of action.
An informed choice is a battle won. Research home education, weigh the options. Find out as many details as needed to make a resolve. The more knowledgeable your choice, the more successful the venture. Know your state's laws regarding home education. Familiarize yourself with homeschooling approaches and resources. Explore the world of home education. Don't make assumptions; deliberate and make informed conclusions. Keep an open mind and an open heart. Evaluate your child's and family's needs; emotionally,spiritually, and educationally.
List the positives and the negatives.
What do you consider to be the benefits of homeschooling? Many families enjoy having ample time to spend together and closer bonds. Homeschoolers have more freedom and more input into their child's upbringing. Do you like the idea of customizing an education focused on your child's needs and talents? List all the benefits you can think of. Look over your list and put thought behind the value of it all.
What are the things that scare you about homeschooling? What has held you back from taking full responsibility of your child's upbringing? Some parents are afraid that they are not smart enough to teach their children. Some parents worry about what their relatives will say? List what you consider the pitfalls. Examine your list. Can you counteract the negatives? How much merit do they have?
Realizing that you are the ultimate expert regarding your child can calm your concerns of others' reactions. Support groups, sports teams, and clubs might quiet your anxieties that your children will not concrete friendships. Cross off the issues you have solved. What's left? Ponder both sides. Which side are you partial to? Familiarize yourself with the joys and challenges of home education by talking with homeschoolers, reading home education books from the library, or by doing research on the internet.
Evaluate your child's educational needs. Can
home education meet these needs? Can the other options? You have to decide what you want your child's education to consist of and determine how to bring forth this education. Consider your ideas of childhood. Is homeschool harmonious with your ideas?
You will be wise to ignore self-doubts. Some parents want to homeschool, but lack self-confidence.Believe in your judgement! Can you do this? It will be your responsibility. Can you handle it? A trial run is a good way to find out. Try a few practice sessions of homeschooling and evaluate it.
Your child may have a different vision than you. Kids are capable of following the plan you decide upon, even if they insist otherwise. Remember, you are the parent. You are older and wiser. It is your duty to decide what is most advantageous for your child.
Deciding whether or not to homeschool is an important decision. Give it the time and consideration it deserves. Follow your heart. Live your dreams. Stay positive. Research your options. Be honest to yourself. Most of all, do what is best for your child and your family.
For more information, see the home education sites listed on our "Favorite Links" page.