To Homeschool or not to Homeschool, that is the question!

Trying to decide if homeschooling is the right answer for our family. Weighing the pros and cons is hard when we don't know all of the potential results of either choice. Heaven Not Harvard

To homeschool or not to homeschool, that is the question! Whether it is nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of playground bullies, or to take up workbooks against the common core and by opposing – teach common sense. Oh to wonder no more, and by making a decision, to say we end the heartache of forever scarring our children by choosing incorrectly. . .

Okay, that Hamlet allusion was probably only amusing me. My students either loved or dreaded Shakespeare units. I always started with a Monty Python-esque British accent and Hamlet’s soliloquy, attempting to inspire them to love the bard.

I was a dedicated public school teacher for 17 years. I hope my students look back and feel I was part of a good argument for sending your children to public school.

But myself, I’m not so convinced. We live in an area that has an emerging school system. Things are improving, but not quickly. We’ve really been torn about whether we should homeschool.Trying to decide if homeschooling is the right answer for our family. Weighing the pros and cons is hard when we don't know all of the potential results of either choice. Heaven Not Harvard

Part of me feels like I’m cheating her from the childhood experience of “the first day of school”, making friends, and meeting other adults who might love and nurture her in a different way than I do.

Local pre-registration for next year is already finished. We chose not to enroll her at this time, but I still struggle with the questions of whether homeschooling is the right choice for us, for her.

I feel like I’m sitting on the fence, making my Pro/Con list without really being able to see all the items on either side of the list.

Trying to decide if you want to homeschool? Here's our pro/con list that made our decision… Click To Tweet

Pro Homeschooling

  1. She has recently been labeled as possibly having ADHD. Homeschooling would allow me to build in wiggle time between lessons.
  2. I can also teach her to deal with her attention issues in a way a classroom teacher wouldn’t be able to in a classroom with 30 other unique children.
  3. She can learn at her own pace, allowing for remediation or enrichment activities and additional subjects, like Spanish and art that our area school may not have.
  4. We can schedule piano lessons or doctor appointments during the day, leaving more time for family in the evenings and weekends.
  5. We can create our own calendar and schedule, which allows us to take breaks when her brothers visit, when her dad has a random day off from the army, or when we want to travel to visit family or friends.
  6. We can reduce or eliminate bullying.
  7. We can control her introduction to the adult subjects of the world. I don’t want to shelter her so much as mindfully guide her using our faith to give her the tools to navigate the world.
  8. I get to watch the world unfold for her. Watching her learning to read for herself has been absolutely magical. Everyday she makes a new discovery, like learning she has a super power.
Here is my pro/con list from our decision about homeschool. To homeschool or not to homeschool? Click To Tweet

Con List

  1. She is the center of my attention all day, every day. She doesn’t learn to take turns or be patient with others.
  2. She misses out on the good memories of making friends, giggling on the playground.
  3. As her only teacher, she may not learn to respect or deal with other authority.
  4. As her mom, our relationship is different, she pushes back at structure and discipline with me in a way she wouldn’t at school.
  5. I have to sit with her during every lesson right now. It is time-consuming and challenging.
  6. Can she learn to be independent if she spends all day with the safety net of Mom and home? Will she be too attached to me?
  7. I can’t seek paid employment while homeschooling, which is difficult for our budget.
  8. Will my attempts to create curriculum be successful and meaningful?
  9. Will playdates and co-op be enough to socialize her? Will she learn social skills as a primarily only child being homeschooled?
  10. Will I have the patience and temperament to make homeschooling a fun adventure instead of daily drudgery?

Stepping into this new realm as a homeschooling parent is less terrifying as a teacher, because in some ways I’ve been teaching her since she was born, but it puts so much responsibility on my shoulders for her social and academic success.

Are you a public/private school parent or are you a homeschooling parent? Are you a product of homeschool? Please share your thoughts and ideas for me.

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9 thoughts on “To Homeschool or not to Homeschool, that is the question!”

  1. I struggle with the same cons you’ve listed above. I constantly question our decision to home educate our boys for the same reasons. But…then I see them play with other kids their age. I see them flourish when talking to other adults and older kids. I am lucky enough to have an extensive home school community where I can air frustrations and doubts.

    Have you reached out to your community to see if there are others? I think it would definitely help you as you struggle. I met a woman through my MOPS group who has homeschooled all 6 of her children. She didn’t rush them, she didn’t put pressure on them to learn before they were ready.

    I read this blog post today and it really spoke to me. I needed it as I still question our decision.

    http://simplenourishinghome.com/the-unhurried-homeschooler/ (sorry, I’m not sure how to hyperlink to the site)

    One of my favorite quotes from this post is: “Be a student of your child.”

    Hopefully this helps you as you continue your journey!

    One last thought, don’t worry to much about her making friends and developing her social skills. You are the model and it seems that you have a wonderful community of like-minded parents. The field trips and everyday errands will also help. She’ll learn to converse with adults and not be afraid. She’ll learn to be respectful to all by watching you, learning from you.

    Yes, she’ll miss out on making friends at recess, but she’ll also miss out on the bullying. You’ll be able to explain concepts until she fully understands. You’ll be able to go off on tangents based on her interest.

    From what I have read on your blog (and what I experienced in your classroom) you are doing a wonderful job and I take inspiration from your methods, activities and doubts. It makes you human. It makes you a good teacher and model for your daughter.

    Hang in there and don’t be too hard on yourself. You will have doubts, probably daily like I do. It’s what makes you human. It’s what makes you a great mom and teacher.

    Sorry for the length!

  2. I’m a WAHM now, but I do have my teaching degree and plan to teach public school. My kids will go to private school. We do a little homeschooling in the summer, but homeschooling full time is NOT happening here.

    1. It is such a commitment of my time and hers, but I think I want to at least do it for kindergarten. We can’t afford private school right now or that would be a serious contender.

  3. My sister and I are home schooled girls. We loved it! It gave such an opportunity to LOVE learning and it is something that I will love forever. It gave us a depth of education that I have not seen in public schooled family and friends. I didn’t have any issue with learning to share, take turns, being a friend, being around others, having another adult love me, etc. We were allowed to travel, touch, see, smell, taste history and the world around us and experience those of all ages not just our own. We at three could go in a museum and have people say that we were so good and they enjoyed us. We love history and love to read. We have been able to work at our own pace where we were weak and strong and it made us well rounded. We learned hard work and to reach for our dreams and not live in a box. It has been a great experience and made us who we are today.

    1. But you had each other. I struggle with my lonely only having a close relationship with only me instead of making some real friendships she can carry through her life. The rest of that is exactly why I want to homeschool.

    1. I wonder who I would be if my parents had. The bullying I survived made me who I am, but lots and lots of fallout. I don’t want that for my daughter.

  4. This was a great read! I’m in the same boat. Mentally, at least. My little one is still a baby, but as a massive list-maker myself I really enjoyed reading your Pro/Con list. You thought of some potential “Cons” I hadn’t yet! Keep us updated, I would love to know how this goes!

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