“Am I qualified to Homeschool?” “Do I have what it takes to make homeschooling successful?”
These are some of the burning questions that have haunted many first time homeschool moms.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to answer this question.
Whenever someone asks me if they need any special qualification to homeschool, or if they are capable of homeschooling, my answer is always, it depends.
Because, if we are being honest, no one can give you a definite answer because you know yourself and your kids better than anyone else.
While it’s generally true that everyone can homeschool, that doesn’t mean everyone should especially if they are not willing to commit themselves fully.
In my opinion, one of the biggest disadvantages of homeschooling is the potential for abuse and neglect.
The lack of oversight and accountability can be abused unless you have parents who are truly committed to teaching and educating their kids.
I have read so many horror stories of homeschool kids and graduates not being able to read, or in some cases they didn’t have the basic skills to function in the real world.
This is a real concern for me.
Before I go on, I want to say that I know there are lots of children who attend or graduated from public school with the same problems, but that’s beside the point.
This post may contain affiliate links.If you buy anything using my links, I may receive a small commission.
When I signed up for homeschooling,I was making a commitment to provide an education for my kids so I owe it to them to do just that.
It’s a responsibility I take very seriously, and I would feel guilty if I failed to discharge my parental responsibility.
Many of you signed up for homeschooling because you thought you could do a better job teaching your kids at home, and I know many of you are doing just that.
Does that mean homeschooling is easy? Nope! Does that mean I always get it right?
But the thing is, I’m fully aware of my duty and I strive daily to fulfill my obligation, and do right by my kids.
So in case you’re wondering, this is the point I am trying to make.
You’re capable of homeschooling your kids as long as you accept your responsibility and you’re committed to carrying it out to the best of your ability.
You don’t need to be perfect or have all the answers, but you should be committed to learning, growing and equipping yourself so you can fulfill your responsibility as a parent and home educator.
Apologies if I come across as harsh, but this is one truth I don’t like to gloss over. This is also a timely reminder for me since I have been slacking off a bit.
Sometimes we lose track of our reason or reasons for homeschooling. We become complacent or get distracted by other things.
It’s always good to be reminded of our duty so we can stay on track and evaluate how well we are doing.
Talking about reasons for homeschooling, here are some reasons not to homeschool.
REASONS NOT TO HOMESCHOOL
1. Don’t homeschool because you don’t want your kids to be exposed to other ideas and beliefs. I understand the need to protect and shield our kids from things we consider harmful, but that isn’t always a good idea.
If this is your only reason for homeschooling, you may want to rethink things because kids can find things out for themselves if they really want to.
2. Because you want to control your kids. Not gonna lie, there are times when I wish I could make my kids do whatever I want, so in a way I understand the need for control.
But that isn’t what should drive or motivate you.
Just like you, kids have free will and no matter how hard you try to control them, a time is going to come when you’d have to let go. What happens then?
3. Another reason not to homeschool is because everyone you know is doing it and that’s what is expected of you. I know a few moms in this situation and they resent their husbands for thrusting this upon them.
You’ll struggle to do a good job if you resent homeschooling. Heck, I love homeschooling but I still struggle every now and again.
4. Lastly, do not homeschool because you think homeschooling is the ONLY right way to educate your kids (whether or not you do it right). Just like some people think public school is the ONLY right and legal way to educate their kids.
There are different ways to educate your children and I do not believe only one way is right. What may be right for you may not be right for another family.
Does that mean you’re a bad parent if you homeschool for any of the reasons above?
Not at all.
All I am saying is that whatever your reason for homeschooling, making sure your kids actually get an education should be a priority for you.
So, assuming everything is in place i.e, your husband is in agreement, the kids are happy to be homeschooled, you’ve researched the homeschool laws of your state or country, the next thing to figure out is how to be a successful homeschool mom.
AM I CAPABLE OF HOMESCHOOLING? 3 SKILLS YOU NEED FOR SUCCESS
While some states or countries don’t have any requirement for homeschooling your child, some do.
For example some states require you to have a high school diploma while others expect you to be “competent” or “capable.”
I am of the view that anyone can homeschool if they really put their mind and heart to it.
Here are three skills I believe homeschool moms need to help their kids thrive and succeed.
1. How to create a learning environment and facilitate learning
As a homechooling mom, you have the opportunity to provide a well-rounded education for your children. This is one of the biggest benefits of homeschooling.
Since you know your kids better than anyone else, you can tailor their education to enhance their strengths, and give them an opportunity to pursue their interests.
One way to do this is to create an environment that’s conducive to learning, and to make homeschooling fun for the family.
In the early years, you have to do a lot of teaching, but as your kids grow older and become more independent, a lot of what you do is facilitate learning.
One of the most important responsibility of a homeschool mom is to help your kids become independent learners. There’s nothing as cool as watching your kids problem solve, make connections for themselves and think critically!
How do you create a learning environment and facilitate learning?
There are lots of ways to do this including:
- Provide your kids with lots of opportunities to exercise creative and critical thinking.
- Use different methods to teach until you find what works best for your children. A lot of homeschooling is trial and error.
- Respect their unique learning style and giving them the tools and resources they need to excel. Which means providing them with the books, materials and homeschool supplies they need to explore and learn about the world around them.
- Supplement lessons with other activities like field trips, museums, art galleries,experiments or other hands-on activities.
- Have a dedicated and organized area in the home where the children can learn. It’s harder to learn in the midst of chaos.
- Have some sort of structure in your homeschool to make things work smoothly. This doesn’t mean you should run your home like a school. It just means having the basic systems for things to flow smoothly.
- Encourage discussions and further research on topics your kids are interested in.We want kids who are curious and can question the world and things around them.
- Choose the best materials, books and resources for the various subjects you teach. For example, we prefer to use “living books” instead of text books in our home. We also prefer reading the classics instead of modern books. This is a personal choice and it’s enriched our homeschool.
There are lots of other things you can do to create a learning environment for your children, but the list above is a good starting point if you need some ideas.
If you’re a Christian homeschool mom and haven’t read Educating The Wholehearted Child, I highly recommend that you do.
It was one of the first books I read when I started considering home educating my children and I learned a lot.
2. Have a love for learning
It’s possible for your kids to love learning even if you don’t,but I believe you will have a bigger influence on them if you model a love of learning.
Yes, you may have hated school, had bad grades or whatever, but if you want to do a good job homeschooling your kids, you have to love learning.
You must be willing to expand your horizon and ditch limiting beliefs and ideas.
Since I began homeschooling, I have learned a lot of stuff by learning alongside my children. Whilst it isn’t always easy, I try my best to be enthusiastic about lessons.
As a homeschool mom, it’s important to become a lifelong learner so you can stay a step ahead of your children When you’re a step ahead, you can help them with their lessons, answer their questions (or at least point them to the answers).
While I can’t always preread all my kids books, I try to stay at least one lesson or chapter ahead of them. I find this habit to be very useful and it saves me a lot of time when it comes to giving assignments or preparing exam questions.
If you have been less than enthusiastic about learning, I want to encourage you to embrace it. It’s one of the ways to grow your confidence.
I know many homeschool moms struggle with confidence when it comes to teaching because they feel they lack competence or aren’t qualified, but you can change that by investing time and money in your personal education.
If you really want to be a successful homeschool mom, you have to keep learning so you can improve your ability to teach competently..
Learn about different subjects (yes, including those you hated in school),. Be willing to go over and beyond your comfort zone. To stretch yourself, grow and keep learning.
Make sure you’re willing to put in the effort and time to learn and teach your kids. Homeschooling involves making a lot sacrifice. It’s hard to make it work if you’re not willing to make those sacrifices.
It’s hard to homeschool successfully unless you have enough self-discipline to follow through.
One of the reasons lots of homeschool moms struggle with consistency is a lack of discipline.
If you want to be a capable homeschool mom, you have to be disciplined.
So what do I mean by disciplined?
To be disciplined means treating homeschooling as a job and not something you do on a whim or only when you feel like it. A disciplined homeschool mom ensures that school gets done regularly.
Yes, sometimes unexpected things may happen. Life can get messy and you may get derailed from time to time, but ultimately you find a way to get back on track.
When you’re disciplined, you always find a way to get a little school work done each day or most days.
There are days when I am totally overwhelmed with other stuff and there are so many things vying for my attention. While I can’t devote a lot of time to teaching on those days, I always make sure the kids do some schooling.
Sometimes, all we can manage is just math. Other times, we can manage math and some reading. But, no matter the distraction, I make sure my kids read every single day (that’s the one thing we do no matter what).
We do this even when we are on vacation or traveling somewhere. Most times, it’s just their “free read” and not a compulsory school book.
This way, I know my kids are learning something new everyday, and it stops me from feeling too guilty about the situation.
If you’re used to doing things sporadically and seeing little or no progress in your homeschool, it’s time to step back and ponder whether or not you are disciplined.
None of us is born with self-discipline. It’s something we all have to learn. If you have serious problem with self-discipline, you may find this article helpful:
I’m not always a disciplined homeschool mom but there are a few things I have learned to do to make things a bit easier.
- Be flexible. Flexibility is one of the great perks of homeschooling. Use it to your advantage. You don’t have to stick to a particular schedule or routine if it doesn’t work for you. Keep tweaking things until you find a good match.
- Set goals. Make a list of the most important things and discard the rest. It’s easier to be self-disciplined when you know exactly what you need to do.
- Set boundaries. Let friends and family members know the times you’re unavailable. Don’t make phone calls or appointments during “school time.” If you need help with setting boundaries, this book is an excellent book to read.
- Have a dedicated time for doing school work. Pick a time of day that works for you and your family.
I realize that these tips are a small piece of what makes you qualified to homeschool but every little helps.
Before we can even begin to tackle the harder stuff like which curriculum to use, how to teach, it’s good to take a step back to lay a proper foundation for your homeschool.
YOU ARE CAPABLE OF HOMESCHOOLING
You have what it takes to homeschool your child successfully. What you need to do is focus on the basics.
Know your reasons for homeschooling and keep investing in yourself. Be open minded. Never stop learning and embrace self-discipline.
Find ways to inspire and motivate yourself until you achieve your goals. Finally, don’t forget to ask for help if you need it.