Not Everyone Should Home School
by Stephanie Prahl
There I said it. Not everyone should homeschool. It is good that as a group we generally whole-heartedly support anyone’s decision to take the plunge into the homeschool pool. We eagerly dispense advice on the best places to find curriculum and our personal favorites in the textbook world. We easily proffer little knowledge nuggets like learning styles and how to use the library to round out our homeschooling efforts. Sometimes we will ask why someone has decided to homeschool. The reasons for homeschooling vary like snowflakes it seems. However, homeschooling is not a solution to all ills. Homeschooling for the wrong reasons can be like getting married for the wrong reasons and like an ill conceived marriage; homeschooling for the wrong reasons can lead to disaster for parents and children alike.
The next time someone announces with a joyful voice that they too are homeschooling this year feel free to be brave and ask the following questions.
- Do you feel called to homeschool?
- Are your husband and you of one accord with regards to homeschooling?
- Are you ready to completely jump in and embrace the LIFESTYLE of homeschooling?
When I am asked what I mean by embracing the homeschool lifestyle I’ll often reply thusly: “Homeschooling involves your whole life. Your day, how it develops, what activities you attend or decline, everything you do will be summarily affected by the fact that you now homeschool. It is like getting married. When you were married your life changed from when you were single. How you approach everything changed to a degree because you are bonded to another person and out of respect and love you share your life with them. Effective homeschooling is similar. It is a bond you’re creating with your children, that you are promising to prepare them for whatever t he future may hold, to the best of your ability. You’re promising to make sure that they are educated at least as well and with as much interest and time as a brick and mortar school. It is not a hobby to be toyed with enthusiastically for a few months a year. There is sacrifice of time, energy and money.”
As you can imagine this response often gets me “fun” looks. I am not trying to scare anyone away. Homeschooling is a decision that is very scary for some. It is a LOT of responsibility. However, unless all 3 of the above are truly met with a yes then homeschooling can be an albatross tied to you and not the glorious adventure it was meant to be. It should not be a rash decision made when you’re arguing with the school principle over an overdue school library book. A lot of prayer, thought, care and consideration should go into the decision. The homeschool family should pray over this decision every year. Not Everyone Should Homes chool and Not Everyone Should Homeschool Through High School. Make sure the decision is made for the right reasons each year and even in difficult days your family and you will be happy to be homeschooling.
Stephanie Prahl is a veteran homeschooler. Visit 4 Little Penguins
for more information about Stephanie.