I’m fairly new to the homeschool business. I’ve only been homeschooling for a couple of months now, and although the first couple of days (weeks!!) were the hardest, we’ve all adapted to this new life at home and we’re enjoying it.
I want to say that all days are perfect, but that would be a lie. There are days that go by with small hiccups, and there are days where I want to rethink my decisions. There are nights where I can pat myself on the shoulder and say good job, and there are nights where I feel like bursting out in tears as I think back to the failures of that day.
What really helps is finding motivation through others that homeschool; where I can relate to someone else’s life; the good and the bad that goes with being a home educator. I mean, parents who have been doing the homeschool set up for years now still have days that just don’t work the way they want (I secretly enjoy this because it makes me realise I’m not doing something wrong and it’s part of the journey).
While I haven’t yet disclosed my reasons for choosing to homeschool (I will still get around to doing this), I want to give a little overview of how we got here. The company that I had been working for was going through some financial difficulties and eventually closed down. Due to financial disruptions, the boys started staying home with me until I could find something else. During this time, Monster’s play therapist informed us that the best decision we could make for Monster was to homeschool until he was ready to return to a normal school setting again. Hubby Byren and I had some extensive chats about this, and we both agreed that it would be in Monster’s best interests to be homeschooled. Gremlin also stayed home with me because we didn’t want Monster to feel excluded.
I really get that when people who don’t know what our reasons are will come up with assumptions surrounding our decisions. But I can’t say the same for those that know exactly what the reasons are. Some of the reasons I was given I could easily laugh off but others I found a little offensive.
I wanted to share some of the assumptions, with a small explanation under them, so if I ever hear any of them again, I can send everyone the memo.
I’m like a 50s housewife
Just because I’m now a stay at home mama, doesn’t suddenly create the illusion of being stripped away of all my rights, blah blah… I chose to stay at home for the sake of my kids. Hubby Byren even asked if I wanted to go back to work a couple of months back and I still decided to stay. Calling me a 50s housewife and making jokes about me not having an opinion anymore is a little shallow.
I get to clean my house all day
I wish this was true. I tried at first. Including some household chores in-between our lessons, and it was a disaster. That’s why I worked out a cleaning schedule for every day so I can manage my household without interrupting my school schedule with the boys. So no, and to refer to the above point, I’m not cleaning all day, every day.
I don’t have ambitions of a career
I do have ambitions, I do have my mind set on a career but at the current moment, they are on hold. I’m choosing to do that for the sake of my kids. Yes, I’d love to be working again and writing full-time as I did before, but my kids need me now. A few years down the line, I will return to working again, but don’t assume that I have no ambitions because I stay at home.
I don’t trust teachers
The reason behind us staying at home is because of ONE teacher who I believe shouldn’t work with children in any sense, ever! But that doesn’t mean I don’t trust any teachers. Right before we started homeschooling, the boys were in an amazing school with fantastic teachers, and if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have the answers we have today.
To be honest, this has never crossed my mind as the boys were in a Christian school. So no, there’s no need to bring religion into your assumptions.
I’ll deprive my kids from the world
I don’t even know how to answer that… Just because we stay at home, doesn’t mean we’re actually cut off from the world and they have less exposure to the world than other kids do. They still socialize with other kids and adults, we still go to different places and experience life just as any other people do.
My boys will be outcasts
I have to disagree. You can’t assume that my kids won’t have friends because they don’t attend school like other kids do. We see other people, we interact with other people. The options of making friends are endless.
Every day is a success
No, it’s not. I wish it was as such but every day isn’t a walk in the park. There are days where I really wonder why I’m doing this. There are days when one of the boys or both of them just don’t want to cooperate with anything, and there’s screaming and crying. I have had days where I’ve found myself in tears, exhausted, drained out. It’s not as easy as everyone that hasn’t done it thinks.
I love being with my kids 24/7
I’m a human being, with limits and limitations. I also need alone time. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love spending time with my kids. I do… I love being home with our boys. I love teaching them and watching them develop, and playing with them and getting to know them as they grow. But it doesn’t mean that I love it all the time. The days that get crazy, filled with tantrums and screaming, I wish I could step outside and be alone. I wish I could ask someone to watch over them so I can have a moment of quiet. That doesn’t make me a bad mama, just a real one.
I’m built on patience
I’m not even going to elaborate on this one. I don’t run on patience. I don’t have a big supply of patience built into my being. In general, I’m not a patient person. Case closed.
I’m brave?? What does that even mean? If you don’t homeschool your kids, does that mean you’re a coward because someone else is teaching your kids? I don’t call it brave or courageous or being a hero (yet, someone said that to me once!). I call it evaluating my priorities, and deciding what is most important for my kids. That doesn’t make me brave, it just makes me a parent.