Are you thinking about homeschooling your child?
You will find as you start talking to people about homeschooling that many of them (none of whom have ever homeschooled, of course) will have dire warnings for you. These people may mean well, but in most cases they simply don't know what they're talking about. They will come at you armed with homeschooling myths that may shake your confidence or make you question yourself.
Homeschooling can sometimes be challenging, and it is not the answer for every family, but don't let these myths make your decision for you!
The first myth you may be told is all about that dreaded "S" word - Socialization.
It's so hard to believe this one is still alive and kicking when it's been so thoroughly debunked over the years, but it is. People will tell you, "I know a homeschooler and she has TERRIBLE social skills". I'm sure they do. I'm also sure you have met any number of schooled children with terrible social skills. It has nothing to do with whether they are homeschooled or in school.
Next up is the concern, sometimes from your own spouse, about the financial impact homeschooling may have on your family.
In many cases, any family with children will find that the lower income earner (in most cases, Mom) working outside the home will actually COST the family money, not make them money. Commute costs, daycare, wardrobe, etc., all take their toll.
But let's say it makes financial sense for Mom to work outside the home - she can, and the family can still homeschool. Provided they have a caregiver for young children that is NOT the free public school system, homeschooling can be done any time of the day or night.
One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that there is no wasted time. Nobody has to wait for the slow kids to catch up. Nobody has to wait while we restore discipline to a classroom full of other children. Nobody needs to worry about bells, locker time, bussing, etc. Homeschooling can happen in a couple of hours per day and achieve a better educational result than a full day of school.
The other option is the home business. There are so many wonderful opportunities to work from home that homeschooling may actually HELP the family finances instead of the opposite.
Finally, someone is bound to bring up your lack of teaching experience and/or credentials. This is the one that sometimes stops people from considering homeschooling even if they want to, and that's very sad.
If you can read and comprehend most of this article, you are qualified to teach your child to read and write. There are so many terrific curriculums available (or you can go one better and create your own, designed for YOUR particular child - how great is that?!) that any parent who has him or herself received an adequate education can teach their child as they grow up.
As a homeschooling parent you do NOT need to try to replicate school. If you choose to do so, that's fine, but it is not necessary for your child to learn and succeed.
What you do need to do is provide an environment that is conducive to learning (a library card, an internet connection, and a willingness to be Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and help your children "run and find out!" is a great start). You need to have a love of learning or your children will always see it as drudgery, too.