I was chatting to a homeschooling friend the other day and we started talking about whether homeschooling is hard. She said it is hard, I said it isn’t. Well, she said that it is hard, and I insisted that it isn’t hard, and this went on until we both dissolved into giggles.
I’ve had this conversation before with friends about homeschooling. I am sure that homeschooling is not hard. I actually know for sure that it isn’t. Yes, there are times when it’s not easy. But what exactly is difficult? It’s not homeschooling that is stressful, it’s things surrounding the homeschooling.
- Living off one main salary is common in homeschool circles and it can be very difficult for some families.
- Coping with negative comments from important people in our life can be uncomfortable.
- The relentlessness of family life can be draining. That never-ending presence of other people, particularly young people, can make the wildest of extroverts long for silence and mistake themselves for extreme introverts.
- Making and keeping friends who are homeschooling or who relate to homeschooling can be hard.
But I think the hardest part of homeschooling is making the actual decision in the first place to homeschool. Some families just know that they are going to homeschool, and other take years to reach the decision, as they consider every aspect and try to project into the future and imagine what life might be like as a homeschooling family.
However, once the decision is made, I don’t think homeschooling itself needs to be complicated or painful. There are times when life is hard. And there are hard things connected with homeschooling, but the general day-to-day life with your children at home should be and can be pleasurable. How can it be a pleasure? Well, if you focus on the right things, it is.
- You get to spend quality time with your favourite people.
- Your child can learn to read at your own knee, not with a stranger.
- Being together can draw you closer as a family and tensions DO get sorted out when you are together more often.
- You get to see your child when she is bright and wide awake, and not just when she is tired at the end of the day.
- You get to enjoy learning together, reading together, playing together.
Life is hard. Life will always have ups and downs and pain. But homeschooling can be a thread of pleasure running through your life, and not another problem to deal with. If you choose to focus on the right things – which are the pleasures and fun of learning together, and keeping a list of all the good things that are happening in your family.
Don’t just ‘teach’ your children, choose to enjoy being with your children this week.
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