Written by Lisa Trombley
You are afraid you are not patient enough.
You are afraid you are not smart enough.
You are afraid you are not qualified.
You are afraid your children won’t listen to you.
You are afraid it costs too much.
You are afraid you are going to mess your kid(s) up.
No one is the perfect mom or home school mom. Everyone is afraid at some point that they are not good enough to do something. Don’t let fear stop you! Over and over again in the Bible, we are told “Do not be afraid”, “Fear Not.” Don’t let your fears stop you from homeschooling your children.
I think it’s funny when people assume that because I home school and have a larger than average family, that I must be amazingly patient. NOT TRUE. I am by nature an impatient person, but I have learned patience by the grace of God through parenting and homeschooling my children. If I had waited until I thought I was patient enough, I never would have been able to start homeschooling.
You do not have to have a PHD to home school your children. I have know home school moms who were successful homeschooling their children that didn’t even graduate from high school. I always worried about not being smart enough to teach subjects I had never taken or not had taken in a long time. With technology being what it is today, there are all kinds of options you can use in your home school; online courses, classes via skype, DVD instruction, etc. . . Also you teach your children to teach themselves and be there to support them. I have learned so much through homeschooling my children. If you wait until you know everything to start homeschooling, you never will start.
You do not need a teaching certificate to teach your children. You ARE qualified! As a parent there is no one more invested in your child then you. There is no teacher anywhere who loves your child more than you do. God has entrusted YOU with the care and raising of your child, this includes their education. God thinks you are qualified, should you question HIS judgement?
You are already a parent. Homeschooling is just an extension of parenting. Discipline is part of parenting and therefore part of homeschooling. If you are sending them to school to correct their behavior or because you have a hard time with discipline, it is not going to get better. Children have to respect and submit to their parents or they will never submit to God. If there are discipline issues than you need to work on those whether or not you choose to home school. If you are in a situation where you are bringing them home from school, it might take a little time for them to adjust to seeing you as a “teacher.” When I first started homeschooling, we had our difficulties for the first few months, but once we got into a routine and Chelsea knew what to expect it got better. People ask me all the time how I get the children to listen to me, or to do their work. It’s pretty simple. It’s not a choice. They are required to obey. One of my favorite verses, “Children, obey your parents in all things because this is well pleasing to the Lord.” If they choose not to, their are consequences they face. When they complete their required work on time they earn 30 minutes of media time. My children are not perfect and they do mumble and grumble over their work sometimes (they are kids!) but they know that school is something they have to do. It is just a natural part of their day. If there is a specific issue they have with an area of their work like not liking a particular writing program for instance, I do listen to their “complaints” and if they are valid, will find an alternative. I also find areas to study that interest the children (delight directed learning.) School can be fun and not just a chore!
Cost. I hear from ladies all of the time who are afraid to home school because of cost. If you are already living on one income, or will be going to one income, the thought of adding home school expenses can be scary. The cost of homeschooling varies greatly. You can home school for free if you are determined and have internet and a library card. You can also spend $1000’s if you want to. Generally speaking it is less expensive to home school younger grades and gets a little more expensive to home school high school. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. If you want to home school, don’t let the financial part stop you. God is able and does provide for all of our needs. Sometimes it takes sacrifice on our part to do so. Trim the budget, have a garage sale, start couponing, whatever it takes to do your part and let God do the rest. I have a great story of God’s provision for our home school during a difficult financial time:
” The summer I was pregnant with Lily (#6), our insurance changed and required a whole lot more money to have a baby. Money they wanted up front of course. At the same time, one of our children needed stitches (ER visit), and one needed their tonsils out (overnight hospital stay.) We also had a few other unexpected expenses (something broke) and I had next to no money for home school curriculum. I could’ve probably charged it on a credit card, but we had enough debt with the medical bills. Well, a friend of mine had an entire curriculum (an expensive one) that she wasn’t using for the grade Chelsea was going into to. She offered to loan it to me! Wow! All I had to buy was something for Math which I picked up cheap on ebay. At the same time, she had found some Abeka curriculum at a local thrift shop. The lady had twins so there was two of everything for only $5 for a complete year’s curriculum. She gave me a set and kept a set for herself. Amazing! A few weeks later, a lady contacted me who was moving and no longer able to home school. She had a garage full of curriculum that she had to get rid of. She didn’t want any money, I just had to pick it up that day.”
I had everything I needed to home school that year and more. God will provide for your needs. It may not be the way you think He will, but He will provide.
You will make mistakes. I make mistakes everyday as a parent, wife, home school mom. But, you are not going to mess your kids up by homeschooling them. You may not do things the same way the public school does (NOT a bad thing), they may learn at a different pace then their friends down the road (that’s ok), you may decide halfway through the year that your Math curriculum is not working and switch to something else making them “fall behind ” (that’s ok too.) But, if you have desire and determination to home educate your child, you are not going to” mess them up.” They will be much better off than they would be in school, even with any mistakes that you might make.
Don’t let your fears stop you! You can successfully home school your child!