Wait, what? Did you say June is over already? Julying!
Okay, so that was cheesy but anyways… July is here and my mind has shifted to preparing for our next homeschool year which will start in September. I’m not the only parent thinking about it either, though. Almost everywhere we go people will ask things like, “Which class will your kids be in this year? Is your five year old ready for kindergarten? I bet you can’t wait to have a break with the oldest two in school.”
Then I cheerfully say, “Oh we homeschool.” I would say about 70% of the time the response I get is, “Oh I wish I could homeschool my kids but I don’t have the patience.” I normally smile and nod because, “hello social anxiety”.
I am generally not good at finding words on the spot and I am afraid of stumbling across the wrong ones. But this is what I really want to say. “You don’t have patience to homeschool, but you have the patients to send your kids to public school? How does that work?!”
I Don’t Have Patience For Public School
I want to start out by saying that my kids have never been in public school so just as maybe you don’t understand how homeschooling works, I am not an expert on the current way public schools work. I do know, however, how they worked when I was in school and I have heard it is worse now than then.
If you’ve read my article on anxiety in childhood, you’ll know that public school was not a good fit for me back then and as a result, I do not have the patience for it at all.
I Don’t Have Patience For Early Morning Wake-ups
My oldest brother sometimes had to be woken up for school with ice water in his face because it was the only thing that would force him out of bed. I see loads of other families who stand their children up and dress them for school while they’re still asleep. Images appear on Facebook all of the time showing the tears from the kids who get onto the bus or walk into school not even fully awake.
For our family, if our kids were in public school, I would have to wake up all four children, get them all dressed, walk across the bridge, put two of them on the bus, and then walk back, often times in the pitch dark. I don’t have the patience for that. Add in the fact that so many of these kids are not getting the sleep that they need and I just shake my head no.
I Don’t Have Patience For Homework
Homework is stressful, not just for the kids but also for the parents. I can remember my mother almost being in tears when I was in third or fourth grade when I brought home “stem and leaf plots.” She had no idea what that even meant, and I did not have a good understanding either. There was so much frustration. She had to try to learn all about this just so that she could teach it to me. Hold on, did you hear that? My mom had to teach me what I should have learned in the classroom.
That story is not unusual. I hear parents all the time complaining about having to help their kids with homework because they don’t understand. Does that not sound a little bit wrong to you? I mean, kids go to school for at least six hours a day, and then come home for a parent to teach them the subject again so they can get their homework done. I don’t have the patience for that.
I would much rather learn with my child so I know exactly which methods they’re using and I can help them with struggles with minimal frustration.
I Don’t Have Patience For Bullying
I’m not talking about bullying from kids. We all know kids are cruel, which is a shame, but it’s a fact. I’m actually talking about bullying from teachers. As a child, I was cursed by two separate teachers. I saw a teacher slam a student’s desk into a wall. One student barely missed a textbook that was launched at their head. That doesn’t even begin to list the number of times I was just spoken harshly to, or called names.
Earlier in the year, in Berkeley County, West Virginia a couple of special education teachers were recorded verbally and physically abusing their students. Even once the recording was brought to the attention of law enforcement, the teachers remained in the classroom for quite some time, potentially continuing the abuse. That is not okay. And sadly that is not the only case. I don’t have the patience for that.
I Don’t Have Patience For Fluff
So much of school is wasting time. Pep assemblies, walking from class to class, silent lunches, “busy work”, etc. I always loved when we had a substitute teacher in school because 9 times out of 10 that meant we would spend that period watching a movie and or doing crossword puzzles.
What’s the point?! While the average elementary school child is in school for 6-8 hours, homeschooling of the same age can be done in less than half of that time. Actually, for kindergarten, it can be as little as 30 minutes to an hour. I do not have the patience to waste that much of my child’s day.
I Don’t Have Patience For The Schedule
Planning my life around an arbitrary schedule does not work for me. Throughout our marriage, my husband has had jobs with varying schedules. I can’t imagine the days when he worked noon to nine five days a week, especially weekends, if my kids had been in school. They would almost never have seen their Daddy.
As homeschoolers, we get to pick and choose what days we do school work. That means that if Daddy’s off days are Tuesday and Wednesday we do school Thursday through Monday that week and we treat his days off just like a weekend. We can take a vacation whenever we want without having to worry about excused absences. I don’t have the patience to let someone else dictate 180 days of my family’s lives. They’re only little once. I want to enjoy each and every minute of it.
I Don’t Have Patience To Miss Out On My Kids
Speaking of only being little once, I just have to say that I want to spend as much time with my kids as I can. I want to hear them laugh and giggle. I want to be there when they read their very first word, sentence, picture book, and chapter book. When they get excited because they got all of the answers right, I want to rejoice with them!
Being with my kids all day every day is a great thing in my book! It’s not always sunshine and roses. But I want to be there when they struggle too. I don’t have the patience to miss out on all of that because in no time at all they’re going to be grown and I know I am going to miss it all.
I wanted to also briefly mention some of the other things I hear when I say, “We homeschool” and what my thoughts are on those as well. If you have anything you’d like added to the list, feel free to comment down below.
“I Don’t Think I Can Teach My Kids To Do Anything.”
You’ve been taught to think that. My apologies for being so blunt, but you have taught your child plenty. Who taught them to walk, talk, or use the toilet? Did a trained professional have to teach them to use silverware? No, more than likely, you taught them. Yep, even without a degree, parents homeschool their children from the moment they’re born.
You are a great teacher! Sure, there may be things you struggle with, but that’s the amazing thing about this day and age. There are some great curriculum options to help you along the way. But no one knows your child’s learning style better than you.
I also have to point out that if you went through the 12th grade from a public high school but didn’t learn enough to teach your own child how to read, I think that may just say something about the failure of the United States Educational System.
“There’s This Awesome Thing Called K-12.”
Yes, I know. But no, I’m not interested. K-12 is virtual “public school at home.” Yes, some of the things I listed above wouldn’t happen with K-12, but at this point in time I want to teach my kids my self. I don’t want them looking at a computer screen for hours on end. I want to spend time with them. If K-12 works for your family, awesome! But no thank you, I don’t want to get started right now.
“But What About Socialization?”
For some reason, when typing this I heard it in a really whiny voice. Not sure what that’s about, but anyways… When we first made the decision to homeschool, this was very much a concern of mine. I mean, after all, kids need to be with kids their own age, right? Wait a minute… let’s take a step back.
Imagine with me a new employee coming in to your company. When they get there, they immediately inform the boss that they want to the in the section of the building where people are 25-27 years of age. Furthermore, they want to make sure their break times align with those people as well. In addition, they only want business partners in that bracket too. What would you think? Personally I would think they were a lunatic.
So, if it’s strange for adults to primarily be around people exactly their age, why do we think that’s necessary for kids? I don’t want my kids to socialize primarily with their peers. I want them to learn from older folks and teach those who are younger. My kids are being raised to socialize without limits.
Along those lines, I have also often heard a phrase tossed around among other homeschooling that says, “Forced association is not socialization.” It couldn’t ring more true.
No Judgement Here
I want to end this by saying if you are the parent of a public school child, I’m not upset with you. I don’t judge your decision, whatsoever. If it is working out great for your family, your spouse, and your children, that’s awesome! I am so extremely happy for you. But if it’s not working for you, you do have options. Feel free to contact me or leave a comment below with any questions and I will try my best to point you in the right direction.
I wanted to include a few resources here that may be helpful for you if you’re starting to think that maybe it’s time to take a serious look at stepping out of the public school and into the world of homeschooling.
A book originally written for “Skeptical dads” this book does a great job at showing some of the fallacies of beliefs held about homeschooling. It addresses some of the issues in the article such as not being able to teach your children and socialization, but also discusses things such as the finances required to homeschool, the time commitment, the confusion of getting started, and plenty more. If you have considered homeschooling in the past or are just slightly intrigued, you will get a lot of help here. But especially if you are convinced homeschooling is a great option but you also know it won’t work for your family, give Kent Larson an opportunity to change your mind.
This film seriously changed my view of the public school system. Have you ever taken time to think about why we started having schools in the first place? How about where it came from that kids need to sit in desks to do their work? Why did things change from a one room school age to everyone separated into their own age groups? This video completely opened up my mind to lots and lots of questions I had never considered before. I do want to put a disclaimer that a big part of this film is based around the theory that public schools are purposely indoctrinating children to step away from the Christian faith. So if you are not a believer, be sure to keep that mind when deciding whether or not to view this. If you’re more of a reader than a movie watcher, you can get the book here.
If you are convinced homeschooling is the thing for you, but are saying, “I don’t even know where to start”, you need this book. While in this article I’ve really said that homeschooling is easier than public school, it is still a huge learning curve in the beginning. Knowing how to research the laws in your state, choose a curriculum, and complete assessments if needed can be really daunting and even overwhelming. Judy Sarden did an amazing job covering all of this and a whole lot more in her book. If you still have some doubts, the last half of the book delves into encouraging topics such as chapter 8 which is entitled, “You Do Have The Patience To Homeschool.” She also deals with the socialization factor, deschooling, and even how to homeschool while you work a job outside of the home. So please, if you’re considering homeschooling whatsoever, get this book.
Have You Taken The Plunge Into Homeschooling?
If so, you need to know about this awesome, FREE co-op I’ve found recently. The Homeschool Buyer Co-op is a must for homeschoolers, new and old alike. Joining is free and confidential and gives access to AMAZING discounts on curricula, testing supplies, and more. If you join now you will also get access to a free homeschool ID generator which can really come in handy to get some of the great discounts some companies offer this time of year! Why not give it a try? Like I said, it’s free and there is no obligation. I promise you won’t regret it!
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Curious How We Homeschool?
Check out this post outlining our plans for this school year!