Is it wrong to start out a blog talking about the lies homeschool moms believe?
Maybe I border a bit on the controversial side, but if we’re going to only be able to get to know each other in print online, you should know where I stand from the “get go”, right? ;o)
So let’s jump right in to the lies homeschool moms believe…
1. I must do it all, all by myself, or I am a complete and utter failure.
Certainly just by reading this, you know it’s a lie, but why do so many homeschool moms feel like they have to school for 8 hours a day and cover every subject from Kindergarten on up?
Before you put this burden on yourself, try to sit back and remember your personal “why” of homeschooling.
Did you start because your kids weren’t thriving in “regular” school? Did you feel a calling to school at home?
Did the thought of being without your kids for the majority of their youth scare the be-jeebers out of you?
Home education is not “regular” school, which is probably part of the reason you started homeschooling to begin with. Most moms who believe this lie do so because they’re trying to keep up with their neighbors, family and friends who have kids in a more traditional school setting.
Get help with teaching your kids, even if it’s just having your hubby help with grading math problems. Even public and private school teachers have teacher’s aides, for Pete’s sake! Cut yourself some slack and enjoy the journey.
2. If I don’t teach my kids using everything that Sally “Super Homeschool Mom” teaches, they’ll NEVER get into college!
Ok, if you enjoy the comparison game, I want to really, really, REALLY encourage you to STOP that deadly game unless you enjoy self loathing. And if you DO enjoy self loathing, my blog it not one for you.
So many of us get into the habit of trying to use every curriculum our friends are using, spending hundreds of dollars doing it, and end up with closets full of texts and workbooks that are never used.
While I do plenty of research online and asking my fellow homeschool moms about different homeschool curricula they use for their kids, I have to make my own decisions about what I teach my children. My best friend’s kids are NOT my kids, and each of mine have different ways of learning, so I even change curricula each year based on their needs!
Latin is just one of those subjects I refuse to teach, even though most of the homeschool moms I know teach it to their children. You’re entitled to your opinion, but seriously, why not just teach your kids a language they can actually SPEAK with someone?
I grew up in a bilingual home. My mom is from Costa Rica and her mom came to live with us when I was 5. I like to say that I had to learn Spanish so I could know what my grandmother was yelling at me about! ;o)
I am so thankful for that early introduction to a language that I can speak when needed.
I never learned Latin, but did take a medical terminology class in college (see, I did get into college without Latin!) and I did very well, thanks to my knowledge of Spanish.
3. Even though I know mass socialization isn’t great, I still must enroll my kids in at least 3 “outside” activities…each!
Why are homeschool families so doggone busy??? This one really baffles me on a regular basis.
I love my friends, but I just don’t have the energy to trapse around town 5 days a week carrying my quiver full to endless lessons!
Is music important? Of course. Is physical activity essential? YES! Are activities with other children of similar ages beneficial? Often times, yes.
But why does all this have to come at the expense of the homeschool mom’s sanity?
We have 5 children, from 11 on down to 1. We try to find activities that meet the needs of multiple children all at once to minimize the impact on our family as a whole. Our oldest 3 do 4-H. Our girls are part of a “Girl’s Club” at church. Our son is too little to do much besides drool and put everything into his mouth. :o)
We let the children play outside whenever possible for physical activity and they ride bikes, climb trees, take walks, etc.
Music, well, we’re still lacking in that department, but know that when the time is right, the opportunity will present itself. For now, we let the children watch instructional videos and pick up some with playing by “ear” and their Daddy helps, too. (The only thing I can play is a radio…)
Remember, homeschooling starts at “home” and it’s hard to “homeschool” when you’re always en route to somewhere else.
4. I can’t educate my kids unless I cover 7 subjects every day.
Now, some states are more specific as to what you must teach your children, so I advise you to check with your state’s legal requirements first, but few states want you to teach every subject under the sun to your children.
I find history is a great subject to teach just through reading books…and I don’t mean text books, per se. A great series, like the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, is a good way to teach kids about the pioneer age of the US. American Girl books also can teach through fictional stories about the different periods in US history. But please don’t leave out world history! There IS more to history than the US!
Science seems to be one of the subjects that many homeschool moms ignore either because of a lack of good curriculum (believe me, I can relate to this frustration) or because of a lack of confidence.
Don’t let your disdain for science keep your kids from loving science! Aurora Lipper has created some awesome science kits (that are all inclusive, I might add) that teach your kids through DVD’s and supplies. My girls zipped through our first kit and begged for more.
Teaching your kids, I think, has more to do with teaching them HOW to think and HOW to learn, than filling their precious minds with endless facts.
Seriously, how important is it really to know that Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492??? Isn’t it more important to know the story behind the phrase than the date?
5. It’s downright sinful for a homeschool mom to even think about doing something for herself.
Now, this is another one of those lies that looks silly when you read it, but is often held as a core belief by many moms.
PLEASE…show your children that you value the life God has given you and take time out for yourself sometimes.
If you don’t feed your brain, replenish your soul and renew your mind, what kid of teacher can you be for your children?
Even if it’s just a bubble bath and some dark chocolate Lindor truffles (oh my, those are SO yummy), it’s good to teach your children that you’re your own person and your life truly doesn’t revolve around them 24/7. It might seem like it most days, but it doesn’t. They’re only yours “on loan from above” and you need to remind yourself who YOU are without your kiddos so you know yourself when they’re gone.
If you have lost yourself in homeschooling, see if you can remember a goal you may have had before becoming a mom. Start a small business in an area you love. Pick up an old hobby and get it going again. Anything…just make it something for YOU!
Alright…are you still with me? Have I ruffled any feathers? Gosh, I tend to do that when I don’t mean to, but I did want
to stretch you a little through this post to get you to realize that the lies homeschool moms believe are often founded in
nothing more than fear or guilt. And frankly, neither fear nor guilt is a good place to be homeschooling from.
Until next time,