Parenting

Things to Consider Before You Decide to Homeschool

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to let the school bus just roll by while the children slept — and then let them wake up on their own?

Have you ever thought it would be nice to not have to pack lunches in the mornings? Have you ever daydreamed about having no papers to sign, no homework to check, no functions to attend? If this sounds like the pressure-free life of a homeschooler — only a few hours at the kitchen table filling in papers out of a packet — then you have been misinformed.

Or worse, if this is your plan for the upcoming school year, you are about to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.

There are quite a few myths, stereotypes, and misconceptions about homeschooling. If you are considering taking the plunge this year because last school year was such a hassle, here are a few points to consider first:

  • Sacrifice  Homeschooling is like having a full-time job without pay…and while you’re at “work,” someone comes in and trashes your house and empties your bank account — daily.
  • More Housework  When children are home all day, this means three meals to prepare and clean up. Papers, projects, and books fill every smooth surface in the house. Kitchen tables fill with messy projects, books, and papers — hourly.
  • Changed Home Decor  As a homeschooling mother, your taste in home decorating will drastically change. Bookcases are the new diamonds. Timelines will grow across your walls. Save yourself some frustration and make them your new border. But be sure to give them some space, because they grow like Kudzu. Art once reserved for the refrigerator door will spill over and splash onto your dining room walls.
  • Cost  Homeschoolers usually consider buying books on the same level as milk. While Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) says the average homeschooler spends $600-900 dollars per child, per year, that number can swing either way very easily. A plethora of resources is available for parents to choose from. The really good news is that if you choose wisely, each year will cost less as you build your library and resources. Keeping the same curriculum has multiple benefits both in the quality of education you can provide and its cost effectiveness.

Home education is for parents who realize that it is not the responsibility of the state to educate their child. Although good teachers are the lifeblood of our communities, the bloated bureaucracy of state-run education strangles and ties the minds of good teachers, while unions hold our children’s education hostage to contract demands.

Homeschooling is for parents who are willing to completely change their lifestyle.

Home schooling is an answer for only a small percentage of families. Today the home education movement is in its second generation. It has provided a model of innovation, dedication, and parental responsibility that should inspire new homeschooling parents to forge new paths.

“Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.” (William B.Yeats)