We have reached our halfway point in this series! Today we are going to tackle a tough topic. But before we get into that if you missed the last article you can find it here, Insightful Homeschool Room Solutions to Fit Your Space. So far, I have addressed a lot of concrete day to day activities. Now it’s time to talk about the harder side of homeschooling, finding support and dealing with negativity.
You may have already experienced it or at least heard negative jokes about homeschooling. The thing is not everyone is going to agree with your choice to homeschool. It’s sad and can at times be incredibly devastating but just know that you can get past it.
I have had plenty of comments made to me over the years that secretly made me question my ability to homeschool. Comments that made me want to cry as soon as I got away from the nasty person. For some reason people have the inept ability to sense your weakness or that you are struggling and run with it. They will tear you down because it makes them feel better about their choices. I’m telling you, I’m begging you, please ignore them.
Only you know what is right for your child and there isn’t only one right way to educate.
What happens when your spouse isn’t helping or supportive?
When I started homeschooling I felt like it was a necessity for my son. He needed the one on one help and wasn’t getting support from the public school. I decided to homeschool, except my husband wasn’t thrilled with the idea. He had known “homeschoolers” in the past that didn’t really do school and was concerned. Now everyone’s approach to homeschooling is different so he may have only seen one side of it and passed judgment without knowing all the details. But he isn’t the only one. Many people are quick to judge without taking the time to learn about what homeschooling really entails.
So as much as he didn’t want me to homeschool I had a good case to at least try it because of the school situation my son was in. So, I did. Over the years his opinion has changed, and he is now very supportive, but it was hard in the beginning. I think when you are first starting out you need to dig deep inside yourself and find the strength to persevere despite any negativity you encounter.
Comments and Support
At some point, you will gain confidence in your decision to homeschool and comments made by other people won’t matter as much. I guarantee you will hear some of the same comments over and over again.
“I could never homeschool, it’s too hard” “I could never be around my kids that much” “What do you do all day?” ”Are they getting socialization?”
If you feel up to it, you can try and explain but do not feel obligated. You don’t have to explain your choice to anyone. You don’t have to prove anything to other people. Instead, you need to surround yourself with a support system. That could be a local homeschool group, an online Facebook group, your husband, friends, just about anyone that is supportive. Sometimes you will join a group and find that because of religious differences, curriculum choices, or personality differences you don’t really fit in or get along. That is OK just find a different group.
I struggled with this in my area, I found that I didn’t really fit into our local co-op for various reasons. It was hard, but I found other ways to find the support I need. My children are involved in several community activities and I finally reached a point where finding other homeschool families or homeschool kids for my boys to play with wasn’t necessary anymore. I have enough support and love from other people that I didn’t need to search out homeschool families. Of course, when I do find them and get a chance to talk to another homeschool mom it is wonderful. I believe it is because you have an unspoken bond between you. Homeschooling is not for the weak in spirit. You have to find that strength inside of you to guide you through the tough times.
I was once told by a much more experienced homeschool mom that “one bad day homeschooling was better than an entire month of public school.” I think she meant, that you are there for your child, and trying your hardest to do what is best for them. This doesn’t mean you are perfect in teaching them but rather that you love them more than anyone else and your intentions are pure. You are trying to teach them not only about school subjects but about life and are the best teacher for your child. You know what they need more than any paid school teacher possibly can.
Even if all you do on a bad day is watch science videos and call it school, it’s good enough. There is a lot to be said for child-led learning. If your child finds something they are interested in, let them learn about it. There has to be more than studying textbooks and taking tests. Some of the best learning happens hands on. Don’t be afraid to let go of the books a little. Don’t be afraid to embrace a different way of learning. It is awesome to watch a child learn and one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.
Don’t let anyone’s negativity get you down. If you are struggling reach out for help. There is someone out there that is willing to lift you up. I am here. You can leave me a comment or email me if you are struggling. I have been there.
For your homework this time, I would like you to find a support system of some sort. This could be an entire group or just one person on the internet. Whatever it is, find them. You will need it. Leave me a comment about your support system.
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