Homeschooling 101: Staying the Course

I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post.  Today we’re talking about homeschooling kindergarten and elementary level students.

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Staying the course in homeschooling can be difficult if you’re not fully committed to this calling. There are several things that can cause a parent to doubt their choice to homeschool. In this chapter we’ll discuss a few of the things that can discourage families from staying the course when homeschooling.

My intent is to encourage you to persevere through these trials and difficulties that will come. And I highly encourage you to pray for the Lord’s leading as you begin each year.

 

Naysayers

There will always be those who may not support your decision to homeschool, and unfortunately they may also feel the need to express their opinions out loud. The best thing I’ve found to combat these people is to know why you are homeschooling in the first place. Stick to your vision and ignore everyone else. That said, if someone brings up a valid concern, take the time to address it within your family and make changes if necessary.

“Stick to your vision, and ignore everyone else.”

I highly suggest writing out a vision plan for your homeschool. Having it written down is particularly important when you start getting less than positive reactions to your decision to homeschool.  It also comes in handy when you start doubting your own choice!

Click here to download the Homeschooling Vision worksheet

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Most likely you have chosen this path because you feel it is best for your family.  Though it is easier said than done, sticking by this decision is vital to your homeschooling longevity. Having it written down is also helpful to reminding you why you’ve chosen this path. It’s easy to start doubting your decision after hearing others’ concerns. And if you have a solid standing on your choice to begin with, you are less likely to be swayed by others opinions.

And remember they are just those…opinions. If someone brings up something that is truly a concern for you, do your own research on the issue. Then make an educated decision on how to eliminate that concern from your homeschool.

 

Discouragement

The other issue that will come up at some point in your homeschooling journey is discouragement. We all get discouraged from time to time; we all have good days and bad days. And we’ve all seen the flashing lights of that yellow bus and considered for just a quick moment about putting our kids on it.

I want to encourage you…

Hang in there.

You are not alone.

Remember, tomorrow is a new day.

Don’t give up.

Don’t flag down the yellow bus.

Homeschooling is an eternally rewarding process, and the time and energy you have committed to devoting to your children’s future won’t return void. You might have days when it seems like nothing is going well, and your patience will be pushed to the limits.

But you’ll also witness moments when your children are flourishing. You’ll begin to see glimpses of where this journey is leading, and the benefits to your family will become apparent as well. As you witness the bonds created within your family, you’ll be thankful that you took the leap. Homeschooling rewards come in baby steps, but you’ll know when you see them, and they’ll warm your heart and motivate you to persevere.

Click here to see the reasons Why We Homeschool for more information!

 

For more information on homeschooling Homeschooling 101: A guide to getting started!

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11 Comments

  • Brooke September 30, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring the naysayers *ahem*MIL*ahem*

    But have any of your children, particularly the oldest/older ones, expressed a genuine desire to go to school? My oldest is 10 and in 5th grade. He’s adamant about wanting to go to middle school next year. I think his reasons are mostly social. We are involved with an active homeschool group and he goes to a (mostly social) co-op on Fridays. He plays baseball, basketball, golf. He has neighborhood friends. He still wants to go to school. I can sympathize with his curiosity, and I’m about ready to cave. 🙁

    Reply
    • erica October 2, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      hi Brooke,
      It can be hard to keep on course. I would suggest that you discuss everything with your spouse and then come to your child with your final answer. If you and your husband are on one page then it won’t seem so much like you’re the one carrying the weight of your educational choices. I would also take into consideration your child’s reasoning, however I would caution you against letting your child be the determining factor in their own educational choices. Kids aren’t thinking with their future in mind, they’re more concerned with having fun and the “right now”. If you decide homeschooling is what God is calling your family to do, then present that united front to your child. Give them reasons why, and also explain that you can still have fun homeschooling as well as have a social life. For example homeschoolers usually do NOT have homework, and they DO have freedom to go on field trips, and do fun activities that public schoolers don’t have time for or capability to. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s a decision made by you and your spouse, and not by your child. That’s a lot of weight to put on a child when their future is priority.
      Hope that helps!
      Erica

      Reply
  • Vanessa September 30, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Hi Erica,

    I really appreciate your post from today, I needed it!

    Thanks,

    Vanessa

    Reply
  • Karilyn September 30, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    And when we think that the Lord has left us all alone to figure out our weaknesses (messes) we better think it twice because He is and has been in control pf our homeschooling journey all the time!! Thank you so much for following His lead in writing this timely post, I also needed to read it! Today I had a tough day and once again did cross to my mind the yellow bus, but even in my thoughts the idea sounded nonsense! My problem was that for one second I set my eyes on the storm and not onto Jesus ;)! You are a blessing Erica.

    Reply
  • Karen October 1, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Hi Erica & COAH Community,

    Thanks for this post. I have been experiencing a lot of folks who question why we homeschool and the somewhat negative responses. Even from our pediatrician who always expresses that kids need proper socialization and attending school outside of the home is where that need is met 🙁 . I always stand my ground and say we are proud homeschoolers and love it ! Then I go on and mention all the activities that they are involved in outside the home. What else I do not like is when folks start to quiz my children when they find out we homeschool. One lady asked my daughter if she could count to 100 and if she knew her ABC’s? I loved it when both my kiddos belted out loudly there ABC’s and numbers in the check out line at Walmart! We held up the line for an encore of the alphabet song!!!!
    Does anyone have any suggestions or one liners that you say to respectfully combat these naysayers when you encounter negative comments about the choice to homeschool? Or if our children are indeed educated?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Monica Davis October 1, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Karen, thank you for this post. My last straw was attending a birthday party and one of the adults said to me about my daughter – “well she seems to be well adjusted. She plays with the kids. Normally kids that are homeschooled have social issues”. This was a child’s party…..so I bit my bottom lip to keep my mouth shut.

      I am done with trying to prove to folks that I am a “normal mom” just because I home school. I have nothing to prove.

      Here are the normal questions that I get and my answers.

      Q: Why do you homeschool? A: Homeschooling is a personal choice for our family, just like sending your child to public or private school is a personal choice for your family.

      Q: How does your child learn? A: Our child is exposed to all learning curriculum as your child is. Whats so special is that we have a one on one approach which allows us a better focus on learning and a flexibility for learning.

      Q: Do you have to be a certified teacher? A: No
      Q: Does the State allow homeschools? A: Yes, NJ is very flexible.
      Q: Does your child have friends? A: Yes, doesn’t your child have friends?

      There are many more questions that are even more weird. I give quick answers and I don’t explain myself. I am not ashamed to be a homeschool mom…….

      Karen, wear the Uppercase “H” on your chest for homeschool with pride. I do.

      Monica

      Reply
      • Karen October 2, 2014 at 7:31 am

        Monica,

        Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have been growing more vocally with homeschool pride! I also love the t-shirts that HSLDA has for sale in their shop. I am going to order one for each of my kiddos to sport when out and about!

        If Erica ever decides to make COAH t-shirts (hint, hint!) I would order a few and sport them with pride too! 🙂 I love the home school community I found more support here then in any public school setting!

        “Homeschool Pride” t-shirts, let’ do it! Who’s with me?

        Karen

        Reply
    • erica October 2, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      I usually tell them that we feel God has called our family to homeschool. It’s the truth, and very difficult to argue with :o) Whatever God leads us to do, He also equips us to do! Also, thanks for everyone’s other answers, they’re very inspiring!

      And Karen,
      Thanks I’ve totally thought about making some, but I didn’t think people would buy them LOL! Thanks for the inspiration :o)

      Reply
      • Melinda November 6, 2015 at 11:04 am

        This is our fifth year of homeschooling and with all of the ups there are most certainly downs and vice versa.

        I also use the answer that God has called our family to homeschool. Without God’s calling, we most certainly wouldn’t be homeschooling because it wouldn’t have been an option and I most certainly wouldn’t be equipped without Him!!!

        Reply
  • Bekki@A Better Way to Homeschool October 1, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    “Don’t flag down the yellow bus!”

    I love that quote. I think we assume that homeschooling should be a piece of cake and are stunned to despair when the cake hits us half-baked in the face. Even after 15 years of homeschooling a band of 5 brothers, homeschooling can be quite challenging at times, desperately difficult sometimes, and eternally rewarding all the time. It is the “best kind of hard” there is!

    Reply
    • Melinda November 6, 2015 at 11:05 am

      “It is the ‘best kind of hard’ there is!”

      I absolutely 100% agree!!!

      Reply

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