- Teaching our own kids is NOT the same as teaching someone else’s kids. Not to mention that most of us are not trained teachers (though several homeschooling families I know have a teacher in the family). Still, it’s not the same. Kids have a natural ability to tune out their own parents so homeschoolers have to recognize this and provide an interesting and dynamic environment while learning to take nothing personal.
- People may think you’re a freak. You may have already endured this conversation-ender, “Where do your kids go to school?”/”We homeschool.” Many people just don’t know what to say to this. Are they wondering if we are religious zealots? Over-controlling? Lazy? We don’t know. We’re just trying to make the best of things, like every one else. But facing the fact that homeschoolers are a minority may make it easier for us to cope, because most people just have no idea about homeschooling. Surrounding yourself with other homeschoolers can make us feel a little less freakish.
- The majority of homeschoolers in my experience are operating on one-half the average income with one parent at home. These families are still paying the same taxes as everyone else for public schooling, AND paying out of pocket for all homeschooling expenses. This financial part can be a huge strain.
- All the energy in our brains gets completely sucked out each and every day. I’m not sure how else to word this phenomenon but I do know that homeschooling should only be tried at home with a vigorous stress-management regimen included. Extra rest, optimum nutrition, fitness and relaxation techniques can give us the energy to pump up our brains again for the next day.
- It never ends. It’s a lifestyle, right? We don’t stop homeschooling our kids on the weekends. There are still the endless questions, discussions, and learning environments to be tended 24/7.
Like every parent we have challenges to face and it’s important to recognize and honor our ‘different-ness’ and take care of our needs. Then we can be the kind of parent we want to be, and be happy to live the life we want.