I see an alarming trend. Moms who announce to the world that they are trying out the homeschool thing. They post pictures on Facebook each day about all the crafts, activities and worksheets they are doing. Two months later they are singing a different tune; posting in help groups about their children hating every minute of homeschooling. Fighting them at every activity. Crying when asked to write their name on the paper. They want to quit after just a few months and end up putting their children back in school the next year or even semester.
Do you feel like quitting? It is a lot easier to put them in school and have a quieter and cleaner house. It is a lot easier to only have to worry about breakfast and dinner. It is easier to supervise their learning than to facilitate it. Homeschooling is a little harder than the alternative! BUT, the benefits to your children and your family as a whole make the sacrifices seem like specs of dust.
5 Tips for Homeschoolers Who Want to Quit
Here are a few things you should ask yourself and try out before you put your kids back in school.
#1 – Homeschooling for the wrong reasons?
There are lots of great reasons to homeschool, but why did you start? Maybe the reason you decided to homeschool isn’t very important to you? My husband and I made the decision to homeschool because of our religious beliefs and our convictions about school. Our reasons are so strong that basically nothing could make us quit. Before you quit, I would evaluate your reasons, research public school, and decide how important your ‘Why’ is to your family.
#2 – Need to Detox?
If you have pulled your children out of school, they need some time to adjust to their new environment and you do too! My husband worked a full time job for years. He was usually home for just dinner and weekends. Then, he started working from home and we butt heads. We needed time to get used to the new environment and each other! I recommend a total detox from any kind of structured work for a few weeks. Get to know your children’s interests and personality again. Do some fun things together. Bond as a family.
If your children haven’t been to school before, the most important thing to work on is discipline and motivation! If they don’t listen to you when they are young, it will only get worse with age. Motivation is just as important. If they are motivated to learn because you have inspired them, learning will be easier for them. Read a lot. Sing a lot. Talk a lot. Include them in whatever you are doing and they will get used to learning from you!
#3 – From Shutdown to Opened Up
You start doing some traditional structured learning and your children just shut down. You ask them to write down something, anything…TEARS! You ask them to read a couple words… they dramatically wiggle out of their chair onto the floor and groan. You open a math book… don’t even say the WORD math to them. Does this sound familiar?
My kids don’t like to do a lot of things, but they still do it and without tears. Sometimes I get an occasional fuss or grumble, but I think it is good for them to do things they don’t like. Not all the time of course. So, how do I get them to do it? It is all part of my educational philosophy. I believe that how children learn is the same as how adults learn. If you like something, let’s say cooking, you will read about cooking, watch videos on it and practice to get better. If you have a problem, like your toilet handle breaks, even though it’s not your favorite thing to do, you’ll look up how to fix it if you don’t want to pay the money. What motivates your children is key to their learning. Unlock their interests and their dreams and they will do stuff they don’t like to do.
#4 – Slow and Steady Wins the Race
After you detox or establish discipline and find what motivates your child, it’s time to ease them into a routine. Get them up around the same time each day, help them get ready and clean up after themselves. You might just pick out a few things that they have to do at first and let them decide the rest (not necessarily school related). Once they have the schedule down, you can start putting the ball in their court and reward them for doing that routine on their own. The key is to gradually add more tasks and ease them into the kind of structured learning that works best for them.
Maybe you want to take the unschooling approach? The point is that your children don’t need to be bombarded with 4 hrs of school each day right away or ever. Let them learn at their own steady pace and they’ll excel!
#5 – Totally Out of Date
People are going to hate me for saying this because it WILL mix things up in your homeschool. Most people try to recreate school at home. That works for some people, but the current school system, conceived during the industrial revolution, is TOTALLY out of date. There is no reason to learn all or even most of the things that they teach in school anymore. Why? You can just look up the info when you need to know it.
What is the poragorium theorem? I don’t remember because when I got out of school I never needed to use it. In fact, most of what I learned was a total waste of time and time is precious. Just because it is ‘educational’ doesn’t mean it is beneficial. The most important things your children can learn are not in a text book. Faith, communication, reasoning, researching, character; those are a few of the skills that will get you farther in life than any math equation or grammar lesson.
Reading, writing and math will come. There is no rush to meet the so called “standards” of a totally outdated system. So when you start thinking about quitting, remember to reevaluate why you started, take a break from the structure, find what inspires your child, teach them at their own steady pace, and remember that you are WAY ahead of the game because most of what they teach in school is obsolete.
Need more help? You can access a full curriculum for PreK – 6th grade for Free! Sign up for my online library to access over 100 different homeschool eBooks!
Janine LaTulippe is the Mother of 6 blessings. She believes that an elite education begins in the Home. Her sites www.BlueManorAcademy.
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