It seems like yesterday when I started preparing for my first year of homeschooling… making sure I had the space decorated right, the curriculum and lesson plans in place, the supplies neatly organized, and the right mindset. In reality, we are actually wrapping up our fifth year! Wow!
Since the beginning of this journey, I have definitely heard my fair share of positive and negative comments about it. I don’t think people intend to be negative with their comments, suggestions, and questions. But when you are a new homeschooling mom, you may not know how to respond.
The 5 things homeschooling moms wish others would stop saying to them aren’t just for new homeschooling mom, but for the veteran, and the mom who hasn’t started yet. It doesn’t matter how long (or short) you’ve been homeschooling. You’ll most likely hear the following (and more) throughout your entire journey. The difference is how you let it affect you and how you respond…
1. I don’t see how you do it… I couldn’t do it.
People have no idea how much doubt this can create for the mom who has already battled the thoughts of not feeling qualified to teach their children at home. Before making the concrete decision to do it, I’m sure many of us would admit that we had the thought a thousand times… and it doesn’t stop at some magical year.
As the family dynamic changes, the children get older, the schoolwork load grows, and so on. Taking all of this into consideration, you can probably understand how , “I can’t do this” will cross the mind’s of even the most seasoned homeschooling mom.
Instead of saying the doubt-inducing “I couldn’t do it,” try saying something complimentary… like, “I commend you for doing it!” 🙂
2. Is that even legal?
Speaking in terms of people who have no intention of homeschooling, I’m fully convinced that this comment comes out of pure ignorance. And for that, I am willing to take a little time to explain that yes, it’s legal and it’s quite easy (especially in Kentucky). I honestly think people say things regarding to it being a legality issue because they truly don’t have anything else to say.
I’m sure most new homeschooling moms who start this path with no knowledge whatsoever have asked themselves this question as well. But once you start the journey, you quickly find out that yes, it’s legal in all fifty states. The difference is the level of requirements per state. I won’t get into all that here, but I do have some information about that here.
3. How do you know what to do?
This is another one of those cache 22 questions. Again, coming from the person who doesn’t plan on homeschooling, it can seem a little disheartening. It comes off in a way that suggests we have no idea what we’re doing. And you know what, sometimes we don’t! 😉
Seriously though, we figure out what to do as time progresses because there is a lot to figure out and things change over time. From understanding our child’s learning style paralleled to learning our personal teaching styles… not to mention, accommodating to teaching multiple kiddos in varying grades, and so on – you can see how it could become overwhelming, and fast! So as time goes on, we start to figure out just what to do! (But it takes time!)
4. I didn’t know people still did that!
As if homeschooling is some ancient of days practice… LOL! I never wondered if people still homeschooled, I wondered where the homeschooling families were. One quick search and groups, organizations, blogs, forums, etc. started coming out of the woods. Again, I charge comments like these to people’s head and not to their hearts because homeschooling isn’t something you see broadcast on the news or front page paper. But yes, people still do that! 🙂
5. Don’t you need a break from your kids?
Ask my husband this question, and you’ll get a response like this: “So, do you use public/private school to give yourself a break and babysit your kids?”
Keep in mind, I said ask my husband, and you’ll get that response, LOL! My answer is more along the lines of, absolutely I could use a break from time to time from life’s daily tasks… but, when I think about the blessings that come with my lifestyle, I wouldn’t trade it for the highest paying job or best vacations! My children are gifts from Yahweh, and in no way would I take that for granted!
It’s no question that all homeschooling moms encounter some form of stress and resistance, but what we want more than anything is support from “outsiders” and fellowship from other moms who get it. Unless you are homeschooling (or have in the past), you have no idea what all comes with this journey. So, if you are one who is more apt to come with a negative input, comment, or question – try to remember that we are answering the call to teach our children at home, and with confidence. Try uplifting and encouraging us to walk this things out!
That’s also why my most recent book, Just for Today’s Homeschooling Mom, is packed full of tools, resources, encouragement, inspiration from other homeschooling moms, Scriptural tools, and a devotional. We desire these things, and we need one another. The journey isn’t always easy, but it is doable!