In my opinion, “mommy inadequacy” is second only to “mommy guilt” as the quality we have in abundance. I have graduated three, almost four, homeschooled children and I still wonder if I am ruining them. Idea for a home business: Bottle and sell mommy guilt. Cheap, abundant supply!
You can be assured that public and private school moms as well as homeschool moms all share the worry that we can’t “do this.” And then we get to indulge in guilt for not getting it all done!
When I’m not feeling guilty, I like homeschooling because it is infinitely adaptable. If the current system is not working, I can ditch it and try something else. No IEP meetings. Not power struggles (except against the kids who might resist the change).
I like homeschooling because nothing in the world is better than snuggling with my kids on the couch and reading the stack of books on my lap.
I like it because I get to encourage my kids when they struggle. My son yesterday was attempting some things that were hard for him, and in some ways he could be said to be failing. But I got to notice all his effort, and several times during the day I pointed out his effort, in his hearing, to others in the family, and said how proud I was of him for his hard work and diligent attitude.
I like homeschooling because the moral training is right there in the mix with the academics. This morning before breakfast one son, who should have known better, got physical with his younger sister in a fit of anger. In our house we have an iron-clad rule that the boys never, never, never touch a girl (or a smaller, weaker boy) in anger. Period. Yeah, the kid is mixed dominant, and therefore prone to emotional outbursts. Yeah, she asked for it. But still it is unacceptable behavior for a soon-to-be man. If he was in school, I would have had to limit my correction and training because he needed to catch the bus. But for us the teaching on this became the first lesson of the day. Self-control: part of the fruit of the Spirit. Lack of self-control is evidence that he was not walking with God. How to firmly and calmly (and without anger) restrain a younger sister who was beating him in the chest with a plastic pitcher. All this is important life skill, every bit as important as those “school facts” that I’m afraid I’ll miss.
I like homeschooling because it lets me target my instruction for that child. This year Mary is enrolled in an ASL sign language class with a group of homeschooled teens. She is more than keeping up, she is excelling. I find that our local homeschool community has many opportunities for great classes that offer inclusion, and that are more than willing to accomodate Mary’s unique needs. There has been no accomodation needed for the ASL, but when she took a speech class (as in making speeches) she needed a bit of hand holding. It was no problem at all in the homeschool environment.
I like homeschooling because academics become part of life. The kids in my family spend their days doing household maintenance, building things for the family, working to serve the family or others, practicing new skills and learning things. As a matter of fact, the adults in my family (me, Myron, and my grown kids) spend their days doing the same things! Learning things is part of the natural fiber of who we are. Academics is not something over in a corner.
I like homeschooling because it is so much easier to control the kids’ diet. Now the only place I have to fight the onslaught of empty foods and sugar snacks is church … and the homeschool co-ops…. and the lady at the bank… and from grandparents… Well, ok, it is still a battle, but homeschooling removes one daily source of dietary struggle.
I like homeschooling because ND is so efficient, that it gets the kids neurologically organized and leaves time for life.