In recent years, in light of various problems in the public school system, more and more parents are deciding to homeschool their children. As a veteran in the field of homeschooling, this doesn’t thrill me like you think it would; in fact, it concerns me.
Back when I was just entering the season of teaching my kids at home, only parents who were passionate about having their kids at home, were taking the risk of being ostracized and thought of as socially rebellious.
We researched, we attended conferences, we read everything we could get our hands on and we spent hours upon hours poring over curriculum choices, determined to get the best fit for our child. In other words – we counted the cost before jumping into the water.
Many who choose homeschooling these days, are doing so in response to something negative they are trying to avoid in the schools and they aren’t really taking the time to count the cost of what it takes to successfully teach their kids at home. In other words, it’s not their passion for being with their kids that drives them to their decision – it’s something surface level and it won’t sustain the hard work and dedication of time that it takes to homeschool their kids.
Time is the main element that must be considered when contemplating homeschooling.
What I’m seeing these days, are parents who are reacting to something negative in the school system, pulling their kids out, getting them home with no preparation whatsoever, throwing books at them and then putting them back in school at the first sign of trouble or frustration.
This is not homeschooling.
In order to make the best decision for your child, you must first ask yourself a few important questions:
Are you willing to sacrifice your own time?
Are you willing to forfeit a 2nd paycheck to stay at home?
Are you willing to give up your own social agenda (the gym, Junior League, ministries, lunch with friends)?
Do you have the time to work with your child when they need help?
If you want to be successful at this lifestyle, time must be a priority.
Homeschooling doesn’t just take time – it takes commitment.
Commitment is the second most important factor when considering homeschooling.
There will be good days and bad days and days when you are tempted to call the big yellow bus to come pick them up. And, believe me….that will happen!
There will also be days when you’re sick or they’re sick or the toddler has poured flour over the entire kitchen floor and you’ll have to shelve the Math and spend the rest of the day just getting your house cleaned up.
How will you react?
Will you throw your hands in the air and declare that you’re not cut out for this lifestyle?
Will you give up on all the progress you’ve made, just because of a few bad days?
Well, I’m here to tell you what a mistake that would be!
Kids aren’t yo-yo’s!
They shouldn’t be yanked back and forth, using the school as an alternative when the going gets tough.
Homeschooling takes commitment!
Commitment to what you believe in. Commitment to your children. Commitment to trying hard things and showing your kids that you don’t quit when you hit a bump in the road.
Are you up for that?
Have you really counted the cost?
Another aspect of commitment is embracing the lifestyle, maybe not forever, but for a season.
If you leave your decision open for evaluation year to year, there will always be an easy out and someone will take it at some point. That's just human nature. We always think the grass is greener on the other side.
So, instead of committing for one year, why not commit for all of elementary or all of middle school or high school? In other words, give it a fair chance and stick to it for a season, rather than tossing your child back and forth between you and school?
Even the Bible speaks of not starting something until you count the cost:
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.
Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost
to see if he has enough money to complete it?
For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it,
everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying
‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ ”
Counting the cost of homeschooling means that you take it seriously – not as a temporary fix to a public school problem.
Can you handle it?
Are you willing to go the distance?
Count the cost before you commit.
Your kids deserve it.
*If you are considering homeschooling, feel free to email me any questions you might have.*