In the day and hour that we live, people have many ideas about what homeschooling is. Enter the year 2020 and the COVID pandemic, and now we have even more ideas of homeschooling is.
Most of the time though, it’s usually those who aren’t even homeschooling themselves that tend to have this idea of what homeschooling is.
They think they know what homeschooling is, but they truly don’t.
So today, on the contrary, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about what homeschooling IS NOT.
4 Common Misunderstandings of What Homeschooling Truly Is
1. Homeschooling IS NOT: “public school” at home
First and foremost, REAL homeschooling IS NOT public school at home!
Doing “public school” at home is actually called just that, “school at home”.
- Virtual learning (that people can thank COVID for bringing in)
- Draining curriculums that have you glued to a desk or computer to a bunch of hours watching their lessons on the computer/TV or using workbook after workbook
- Textbooks, textbooks and more textbooks….
Are all things that literally feel like public school, but because they are in a home setting, are just simply called pubic school at home.
And honestly, because of the pandemic forcing a lot of public schooled parents to do the whole “virtual” or online learning with their kids, they honestly got the worst perspective of what they thought was to be considered “homeschool”. And that’s such a shame.
I can’t tell you how many parents said to me,
“Wow, I could never homeschool; this is driving me nuts! I cannot do this!! Making my kid sit at the computer all day or finish all their workbooks and worksheets is like pulling teeth. I don’t know how you do it?!”
And you know what, I don’t blame them for thinking that.
I would think THE SAME EXACT THING, if I didn’t know any better.
But dear friend, homeschool IS NOT that. It is NOT public school at home, even in the slightest.
2. Homeschooling IS NOT: A race to see how much you can cram into your kids
Who are we really trying to measure our kids up to? The public school system?
You know, the same institution you chose to NOT put your kids in…🤔
What’s important to you in your homeschool?
- Building relationships
- Teaching them in unique ways
- Watching them achieve goals and make progress in their studies (even if that means getting only 5 words wrong on a spelling test vs 15 words wrong)
- Seeing their eyes light up when they learn about something new and exciting
- Watching them cook a meal all by themselves because you taught them a valuable life skill
- Seeing them help with their younger siblings and know they will be good and loving parents one day
- Seeing your child be so engulfed in a good and beautiful book that it makes you teary-eyed to know that there are still kids who enjoy good books, as opposed to being on electronics all day…
Or is it important for you to…
- “Mark off” the public-school checklist of what our kids are “supposed” to know by age whatever? The checklist from the public school society of people who think they know what children should ALL know by a certain age, and if they don’t know it by that age, they’re dumb, or behind, or have a learning difficulty?
- Have your child cram a million facts into their heads for a ton of hours and call that school because it was for, said amount, of hours?
Figure out what’s important for you in your homeschool, and embrace it. Don’t cram a million things into your child because they didn’t reach that “so-called learning milestone” for their age.
Put it away, and try it again in a month, a few months, or a year. It will be okay!
I have one son who isn’t the quickest at math and doesn’t retain it well because he doesn’t see the point or the connection between certain math concepts and real life.
When he was in 6th grade I had him doing 5th-grade math. And no shame in that at all!
But you see— If I didn’t have my homeschool priorities right, I could have held him back a grade because of this, or made him do summer school to “catch up” to his so-called “peers”.
But at the end of the day, what good is that really going to do in the long run?
Is his potential boss going to ask him one day if he mastered multiplying fractions in 5th grade or 6th grade, and depending on the answer would determine whether or not he gets the job?
If he decides to apply for college one day, will they ask him to fill out a questionnaire about whether or not he understood the order of operations in 5th grade or in 6th grade, and depending on that answer would determine whether or not they accept him into their school?
Will your child who struggled to learn to read and didn’t fully grasp reading until they were 9 instead of the, so-called, “normal reading age” of 6, be held back from getting a job, or not get accepted into a college because of that?
Nope! Now, chew on that for a bit 😊.
3. Homeschooling is NOT: Doing textbooks and workbooks, all day, every day
Instead of cramming my children’s minds with workbooks and textbooks all day, I’d rather my kids learn in different and more effective and retaining ways.
I want my kids to learn in ways such as:
- By sitting down and reading a good book, reading the newspaper, or taking a field trip to a special landmark.
- Gaining awesome facts and knowledge through an awesome Podcast
- Getting together to do a Unit Study with all of their siblings, to learn and work together.
Textbooks and workbooks are fine… in moderation if that’s the route you choose.
But please, please, don’t overdo it on your children’s poor brains.
They can memorize facts, but that doesn’t mean they have gained knowledge.
So just remember— Don’t bore your children out by having them sit and do workbooks all day, read from textbooks, and answer the questions. That is such a dull, dry, and boring way to learn.
4. Homeschooling IS NOT: easy
We cannot lie and say that we love homeschooling all the time because not every day is a bed of roses, full of sunshine, rainbows, and baby bunnies.
In fact, there have been days I’ve looked at a child and said in frustration, “I’m ready to send you on the next school bus to school”. Lord forgive me! 😅
Of course, not being serious, but there are just some days that are rough, right?!
Real homeschooling is hard work. Hard, but so rewarding!
Real homeschooling takes our blood, sweat and even tears, more times than I’d like to admit.
It can get stressful, but again, aside from the bad days, homeschooling is so rewarding and such a blessing.
The good days outweigh the rough ones by far!
So even when you feel like screaming because you’ve explained the same math problem to your child 57 times and they still don’t get it… just know that we all have those days sometimes.
So now that you know what real homeschooling IS NOT, try something new!
Maybe you can stop the textbooks for a while and enjoy something this week to switch things up. Make popcorn, or grab some tea and a treat, get cozy on the couch or gather around the table and enjoy learning through a podcast or a great living book this week!
And remember, friend, it’s time to take the public school out of our homes and bring the HOME back into our schooling. Try and be intentional about that this week.
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