But I know that some of you are reading this site and wondering: What is the downside to homeschooling? There has to be one, right?
Well, yes and no. As with anything in life, there are some drawbacks, of course. But these drawbacks are not horrible things. The ones I have found thus far include:
- No breaks. I love my kids, and I love spending time with them. But I’m also an introvert – I need a little time all by myself everyday, to recharge and feel centered. I don’t get that unless I stay up for an hour or two after the kids are in bed – which I do. But on a really bad day, when we’re all in a bad mood, we can’t really get away from each other.
- Always need a babysitter. This is more an issue if your kids either aren’t old enough to stay home alone or you can’t trust them home alone because they’ll fight with each other. But what I refer to is that you have no set time during which you can schedule doctor’s appointments, or other things that you might need to do without the kids. You’ll always have to find someone who can keep them for you while you do these things – and that can be a bit problematic at times.
- Nosy Nellie. I use that as a polite way of referring to those who will constantly stick their nose into your homeschooling and comment on it – and those comments are never nice. There’s always going to be at least one person who disapproves of your decision to educate your child yourself. And you’ll be stuck listening to him or her express that disapproval on a fairly regular basis, particularly if that person is a family member (fortunately, my family is very supportive!). I would like to point out, however, that if that person is not a family member, you might wish to reconsider the relationship with them, rather than listen to their comments.
- Self doubt. This is not a constant thing, and some people never deal with it at all, while others do find that it eventually disappears entirely. But initially, at least, you’ll likely find that you’ll be filled with all kinds of self doubt: Can I teach my child everything he needs to know? Is he learning enough? Will he remember all this when he’s an adult? Will he be able to get into college? Will he want to go to college? Am I teaching this the right way? Should I try another method? It’s drilled into our heads that only college educated teachers can teach, so it’s natural that when we decide to take over that role ourselves, we’d have doubts about our abilities to do so. When you find yourself drowning in self doubt, remember that you’re not alone. There are countless websites, books, groups, and magazines devoted to homeschooling. If you utilize just some of those sites, books, groups and magazines, you’ll remember you’re not alone, find tips to help you overcome your doubt and see that you can do this.
Homeschooling isn’t all sunshine and roses. But, for me, when I compare it to the struggle that was our life when my kids were in public school, it’s a far sight better. We have our days when we drive each other crazy, we have days when no learning gets done (or so it seems), and there are days when I wonder if I did the right thing by homeschooling. But then, when we get to sleep until 8 rather than get up at 6, when we are done with our school day by noon when other kids are still at school and will then have homework until 4 or 5 (or even later, depending on when they get out of school) – then I know that this was the right decision for us.