It has been about eight months now that we have been homeschooling. It has been an eye-opening experience and I have learnt a lot along the way. In addition to learning and exploring new things with my child, I have also learnt a lot about myself. I have learnt that I can be creative when I want to, but then again, I am ashamed to say that I have had to yank myself out of that miserable corner on some days too. I’m only human, after all.
With that being said, I am sure I speak for all homeschoolers out there when I say that homeschooling is definitely a choice that one makes consciously, and while there may be ups and downs, the experience does result in a better person ultimately, for the homeschooler and for the educator. I’ve only had a few months of experience homeschooling, but I know there are countless challenges faced by every homeschooling parent. This one goes out to everyone I know who is homeschooling their child or who intends to in the future.
So next time when you hear of someone homeschooling their child, do remember the following points.
Some Words Hurt
It hurts when we hear people utter phrases such as, “Don’t deprive him of an education.” or “Are you sure homeschooling will be *enough* for him?” I’ve heard people saying these and similar-sounding phrases when they learnt we were homeschooling and it cuts like a knife. My skin has grown thicker as a result though, but it still hurts nonetheless.
As a parent, depriving our kid of an education is the last thing on our minds. We certainly want only the best for our child, and when all other options are exhausted, we, out of love, do what we know and feel is best, which is to provide our child with an education filled with love, patience and understanding.
Are we good enough teachers? Well, we certainly try our best, and we’re sure that is way better than some teachers in school. We learn together and research together, spending precious time with each other, building a bond and relationship that is stronger than anything in the world. Nothing could beat that.
So, please do not imply we are depriving our child of an education. It really really hurts. As a homeschooling parent, we do initially experience self-doubt, but that soon passes when we see with our own eyes, how our child is growing in every aspect.. An exam is usually how a child is assessed but that is not the one and only way. It may be the only way most people are brought up to believe, but it is not THE only way.
Monotony and Boredom
Just like doing anything in the world, we are faced with boredom sometimes too. Doing the same thing over and over again does render one bored, so it’s a challenge to make homeschooling as exciting and as interesting as possible.
When I run out of ideas, my child sometimes offers his inputs to make things interesting and I am thankful for that. So if you ever do homeschool, please be assured that it’s not going to be a bed of roses every day. Then again, it never is a bed of roses all the time wherever we are.
As homeschoolers, we crave the socializing aspect of childhood that is somewhat lacking, some would say. We try to bridge this gap by having playgroups, and taking part in activities that interest us, and it does help somewhat. It’s not 100% the same as seeing friends day in and out in school the whole day long, but we do what we can and it does work to a certain extent.
We realize that this does not substitute friendships formed in school, but we know that the ability to make friends this way is also a success and learned skill in every form. Homeschoolers are nurtured with love and gain confidence the natural way.
With that being said, I still and always maintain that ultimately it is the happiness and wellbeing of the child that we are concerned about. I’ve always maintained a very open communication with my child, and so when he expressed a desire to try out regular school, we obliged. He will still have our full support and I would homeschool again if I ever had the opportunity to.