Thursday, January 3, 2013

Prospective Homeschool Parents: Part 2 of 5: Your Homeschooling Fears

This is part two in my five part continuing series of blog posts for parents who are considering the homeschool lifestyle.

Why do I use the word lifestyle?  Because any educational choice we choose for/with our children becomes a ruling force in the life of the entire family.  If you have been in a public or private school, you know how much of your free time (and your pocketbook) it demands of you.  The same can be said for homeshooling.  Your time and money will focus on homeschool now.

But there are other reasons why I use the term lifestyle.  When you get into homeschooling, you will see that learning really never ends at the end of a school day and you will see that your family will all participate in the experiences of your children.  It's a lovely and creative process!

For this series of blogs for parents looking at the homeschool option for their family, I asked many of my homeschooling friends to answer some of the major questions that new homeschooling parents want to know.  Combined, we parents have over 100 years of homeschooling experience.  I hope our wisdom is helpful to YOU.  The question for today:

What was your #1 fear regarding homeschooling and how did you address it?

Cathy, a well-traveled homeschool mom who is very active on on-line homeschool support groups living in California answered:

I had been reading about school reform since age 13, went to my first homeschool conference years before I had any children, and planned to homeschool before I had kids, too. So I didn't really have any fears. However, as a trained and credentialed teacher and an education writer who has been paid to write textbooks and curricula and learning materials, I can tell you that there isn't some magical thing that school personnel know or curricula developers do in order to get kids to learn the right thing at the right time. All you have to do is invite your kids into your world, share your enthusiasms with them, be on the lookout for their passions, and be willing to help them develop those passions.

Rebecca, a neat homeschooling mom of two living in South Africa replied:

My number one fear has always been that they won't have friends - and they don't have many, that's true - but I think they are fine with the few they do have, for now. We live in a very small village so there aren't really other children around, and even the towns near here are really small, so there aren't many activities for kids on offer. I did take them to Cub Scouts and they made friends with 2 brothers, which is great, so 2 more friends for them. How many friends do they actually need, though? I think they have enough.

Darlene, a very wise and funny homeschooling mom said:

I wasn't afraid at all, but what I hear most is that A. "I'm going to miss something important!" and B. "We are going to hate each other!"  My reply to these concerns:  A. If it's important, it will come up and can be addressed at that point.  B. See Number 1, and learn to breath.

Shannon, a small business owner and mother of two living in Vermont noted:

My biggest fear was that I would some how forget to teach them something VITAL. Like that green is green or "a" is "a". I got over it by just jumping in and knowing that if it made me a little nervous that was a good thing as it would keep me on my toes.

 Angie, homeschooling mom remarked:

#1 fear: Socialization. Yes, I let the stereotype scare me. I did everything in my power that first year to ensure my children did not become the weird stereotypical 'closeted' child you remember from your own childhood. 

Korin M., another cool homeschooling mom says:

I had no fears in HSing.

Another fantastic homeschooling mom, Carrie answers:

Having to play “guidance counselor” in addition to teacher and mom. I research. A lot. I’m now extremely comfortable with curriculum planning, record keeping, and high school requirements/college admissions.

And, as for me, I would answer:

My biggest fear was missing things.  What if I forget to teach the capitol city of Minnesota, what if I forget to mention prime numbers, or what if I forget to teach my kids how to sing a song "in the round."  It took me some time to realize the difference between wisdom and knowledge.
AND, when information comes up that is interesting and worth knowing, we learn it.

Upcoming questions in this series:

What are the benefits of homeschooling for your family?
What are the negatives of homeschooling?
What are your fears?
What about Socialization???

If you like this post, you might try this one:
In Retrospect

1 comment:

  1. I'm supposed to have a #1 fear...only one?! I'll try to narrow it down, I was afraid that I would miss the vital piece of information on which all other education was based. We are starting our 6th year, and haven't hit that piece of info yet. I found that the more I trusted my curriculum,and the more people who seem to think at least partially like I do (homeschooling for secular reasons, is one place to share ideas) the more comfortable I become with the lifestyle choices we have made to homeschool. Support, of whatever variety you can get, is a key to putting fears to rest!


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