Overwhelmed by Homeschooling
I have felt compelled to write this post for a few weeks and finally can’t take it anymore. If you are a mom who has been thrust into homeschooling recently and you feel totally overwhelmed, please hear my heart as I tell you this…
As you already know, this period won’t go on forever. There IS an end to your homeschooling journey.
Whether a school closure has resulted in your new routine or if this is a choice you made for your family that isn’t panning out exactly as you thought it would.
Is Homeschooling Right for You?
The problem that I’ve seen from so many moms both online and in my own life basically boils down to two things…
Feeling overwhelmed and feeling confused.
Overwhelmed by the curriculum or task list set before you and confused about how to proceed.
Confused about how these teachers seem to get your kids to be productive and you’re met with fights about it almost every day.
Worried that your kids will be behind if/when they go back to school and it’ll be all your fault.
If this sounds like you, I would encourage you to take a step back for a minute, take a deep breath, and give yourself permission to reframe how you think about things.
Completely rethink how you define education.
I think most parents would agree that education is important to them when it comes to their kids.
Most parents want to feel like their kids are being prepared for life – either in a classroom or in a homeschool environment.
What actually prepares your child for life outside of school walls?
For me, education shouldn’t be about sitting behind a desk and having as much information crammed into your head as possible as you prepare for the next test.
It shouldn’t mean stressing about how to prepare for an upcoming exam or how to study for a topic your child has zero interest in.
What about when real life happens?
When a new baby arrives or a grandparent dies. Maybe when a parent is struck with an illness.
In these instances, homeschooling is really a gift.
In a homeschooling environment, at least in most states if you’re in the US, you are free to decide what your child studies.
This means you’re able to put any curriculum you’ve been using on hold and deep dive down rabbit holes that light a fire within your child.
Homeschooling means putting off the topics your child isn’t interested in OR in some cases, giving them up all together.
If your child is learning throughout the day, I really hope you’ll take this as your permission to take a deep breath, step away from the long list in Google Classroom, and accept that your child is learning.
The only thing you’re taking out of the equation is stress.
My sincere hope is that when schools open up again, parents will feel more confident in their abilities to play a major role in their children’s education and may even consider homeschooling instead.
What if I’m Not Smart Enough to Homeschool My Kids?
I’ve seen this question literally HUNDREDS of times on Facebook in the last few months.
My first question is, how much do you actually remember from your traditional school journey?
If the answer is “not much” then I want to know exactly what you feel the traditional school system has given you that you can’t give to your own kids.
I write this hesitantly as many of our friends and family members are actually public school teachers.
I truly believe that teachers give their students all of them that they possibly can.
Classes are bigger than ever.
Testing standards are higher than ever before and teachers are burnt out.
Ask any public school teacher and you’ll likely hear the same thing.
There’s very little room for down time and almost no time for exploring a student’s own interests.
If a student needs extra help in a subject, it’s up to the student to find tutoring outside of the classroom in their own time.
Let me phrase this a different way.
If your job suddenly involved geometry or chemistry or perfect grammar, would you be perfectly equipped to meet the challenge without a refresher course?
What Do Your Kids REALLY Need to Learn?
Maybe we need to think of education the way a mom I ran into a park does.
She said she focuses on giving her kids “recipe knowledge.”
They learn to read, write, think critically, and perform basic math concepts.
With these tools alone, they can apply this “recipe knowledge” to any subject they really want to learn.
What are the odds these are the only skills you’ll ever teach them?
Slim to none. But with just these tools, they can learn just about anything else.
It’s impossible to teach your child all of the knowledge in the entire world.
We have to pick and choose what they learn anyway.
What if you choose to home school your kids and get to focus more on their passions?
Instead of whatever lesson comes next in the textbook.
Think of the topic you struggled with most in school.
What would you have given back then for your teacher to notice you struggling and say, you know what?
Let’s take a break and go to the aquarium/park/zoo today instead?
Do you feel better prepared to be an adult because you passed physics or AP History?
I hope by thinking a little outside the box that you’ll find a new freedom you never knew existed.
That you’ll desire to raise kids that beg to read another book or watch another documentary instead of asking begrudgingly “will this be on the test?”
Let’s use 2020 and all of the chaos we’ve all experienced to refuse to extinguish our kids’ fire to learn any further.
Maybe in a world full of unknowns, this is the one thing we can control and use to propel our families forward into greatness.
It’s what we’re choosing for our kids.
I hope you choose the same – and never look back.