When you first start homeschooling, you can sometimes feel like you are out on a limb all by yourself. It’s a big decision for any family to make, and most parents want to be sure that they are making the right choice. Sometimes what helps is to know you are not the only one, who has fears or doubts. As a mom who has been homeschooling for many years, I have spoken with parents who have had some of the concerns listed below. In the list below you will see the top five concerns parents have when they first start considering to homeschool. Perhaps by reading some of the fears that others have had over the years, and what you can do to cope with them, you will feel more comfortable about your decision.
Lack of friends
One of the biggest concerns that homeschooling parents have is whether or not their children will have any friends. Especially since some feel that the bulk of friendships are made in school. It’s important to keep in mind however, that your kids will still be able to make friends with the kids who live in your neighborhood, and kids who participate in the same activities that they do. For example do you plan on visiting the local park? If so they will make friends. Or if you sign them up for a club, or at the local recreation center they will have no problem making friends. The key is to get them out as much as possible.
Am I a good enough teacher
Some parents that I have spoken with simply tend to lack confidence in themselves. They are afraid they may miss something important in their child’s education. Or perhaps they will not learn at what public schools consider a “normal pace”. Just remember that you are your child’s best teacher. You know their personalities, and it will be easier for you to find a learning style that fits for them. When you first start homeschooling there is a lot of trial and error. Finding support in your area, is a great way to build up your confidence on teaching your children. There are also many parenting forums that you can sign up for where parents discuss homeschooling topics.
What others think
One of the biggest fears, that you may feel is what will everyone else think about my deciding to homeschool. It can be a difficult decision especially when your family and friends are not supportive. Even if your family is supportive of your decision you have to count on someone not being happy about your choice to homeschool. When you are out with your kids during the day at the store, you will get plenty of questions like, “Is there no school today?” After answering the question you are sure to get a few funny looks from others. The key is to find at least one or two supportive people, and lean on them for help when you need it. If you are not so concerned about what other people think then your children will not be either.
No time for you
Of course if you are spending so much time with your kids, you often wonder if you will have any time for yourself. All parents who homeschool still need a little bit of “me” time. This helps you to stay focused on the task at hand. One thing that may help is giving yourself a little extra time in the morning or in the evening. Or when you need a break take one. The beauty of homeschooling is that when you are feeling a little stressed, you can take a day off. Trust me your kids education will not be ruined if you decided to take a needed break. Just think about how many days the public school get’s of during the year. Some parents have even chosen to work a day or two off per month into their schedule. Of course this can vary based on your states homeschooling requirements, so be sure to know them ahead of time.
Can I afford it
There are some who seem to think that the cost of homeschooling is an expensive one. This however is just not the case. There are plenty of free homeschooling resources that can be found online. Also if you do enough research on curriculum before you purchase it, you should have no problem finding just the right fit at an affordable cost. Books and materials ordered online, can sometimes be found used and at a deep discount. So be sure to shop around.