Facing Doubt As A Homeschool Mom
Questioning Your Choice to Homeschool
I’ve seen a few posts this morning about homeschool Moms experiencing some doubt and fear about their school choice. When they see all those smiling faces on the back to school pics of their friends’ kids, doubt sets in.
Am I doing the right thing? What is my child missing out on? Is homeschooling the right choice? Am I a bad Mom?
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I think you would be hard pressed to find a single homeschool Mom who hasn’t asked herself these questions. And I think it’s important to face them and overcome them. The voice of doubt is best defeated with the voice of reason.
So how do we answer these questions and how do we deal with the inevitable back to public school slide show of bliss social media barrages us with every August?
Let’s start with the first question: Am I doing the right thing by homeschooling my child?
Well, let’s start with the Science. Since our heart is all in knots while we face this doubt, let’s use our brain alone for a moment here. Let’s look at this data from the National Home Education Institute.
- Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.
- Whether homeschool parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement.
- A degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement.
- Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions.
- Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges.
- Home-educated students participate in local community service more frequently than does the general population.
As moms, we want nothing but the best for our kids. The best education, the best experiences, the best chance, the brightest future possible. Homeschooling is a great way to ensure that our kids get all of that.
Question Two: What Is My Child Missing Out On By Homeschooling?
What My Child Will Miss Out On By Homeschooling
- Being attached to a desk and required to sit still for about eight hours a day.
- Waking up too early to spend an extra hour and a half a day on the school bus.
- Being bullied, or ridiculed for being interested in certain hobbies or beliefs.
- Being hungry most of the afternoon and the bliss of finally getting home and reaching the kitchen where they can gorge on the most convenient and least healthy foods in their desperation to just EAT!
- Having to hope the teacher calls on them when they raise their hand to ask a question. But being unable to ask a question without permission.
- Being able to pee without permission. (Especially a problem when the teacher ignores their raised hand.)
- Peer pressure. (While T has experienced some peer pressure at some of his activities it is greatly reduced by the fact that he is homeschooled. It is absolutely minuscule compared to what I was presented with as a public school student.)
What my child will NOT miss out on by homeschooling!
- A loving and supportive teacher that makes all the difference.
- Friends – T has a lot of friends of every age and demographic division you can imagine.
- Field trips – Please! Homeschoolers take more field trips than public schools by a long shot. A really long shot!
- Sports – Homeschool kids play sports. They play a lot of sports and often it is with the public school kids. T has played on a soccer team for two years and was on the swim team before that.
- Music Classes – I have yet to meet a homeschool family that neglects music. T takes guitar lessons.
- Homework – T does not have extra work outside of his homeschool day.
- Recess – We get outside every day and often hike for over an hour as our recess. We also attend Just Jump trampoline park, go swimming, or practice whatever his current sport is as part of our recess. We ride bikes or go to the park. I am a personal believer that Homeschool Recess Rocks and I even wrote about it here.
Question Three: Am I Doing The Right Thing By Homeschooling?
As parents, we have a common goal. We want the education that our child receives to lead them to succeed in life. We want them to utilize that education to follow their dreams and make a positive impact on their world. We want them to come out on their graduation day physically, emotionally, and mentally, healthy people. We want to make sure they have learned how to make wise choices as well as they have learned their History, Math, and all the rest. We want them to succeed. So let’s put our personal experiences aside for a moment and check the numbers. Back to NHERI.
- The home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development. Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem.
- Home-educated students participate in local community service more frequently than does the general population.
- Homeschool students go to and succeed at college at an equal or higher rate than the general population.
- Taking all things into consideration, 59% of the subjects reported that they were very happy with life, with another 39% declaring that they were pretty happy. Life is exciting for most (73%. When compared to the general population of the United States, homeschool graduates are just more content. (This study can be viewed on HSLDA here.)
Check out this amazing infographic from College At Home that presents the Stats and Facts in an organized way.
So – that clears things up a bit! Yes, we are doing the right thing by homeschooling our children. The numbers are all there. Let’s release our heart from that iron grip of fear and allow it a moment to leap for joy!
Finally, Question Number Four: Am I Bad Mom?
Here are my thoughts on this one. Being a homeschool Mom is a really hard job. It is personally the most self-sacrificing thing I have ever attempted. The pay is also ridiculously low especially considering the hours we put in. You can not work this hard for free without having a true passion and a crazy, deep, love for your kids.
You are a mad success in this field. You, Homeschool Mom, are my favorite kind of rebel. You are blazing your own path, you are pushing through the hard parts, you are putting these little people ahead of yourself day in and day out, you never ever get time off, but still, you smile when your children are near (full smile – the kind that comes from the heart), you are excited to find new ways to teach them the important stuff, you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty or to do things you would never have imagined you could manage before this adventure began. You are a Scientist, A Historian, A Mathematician, A Writer, An Encourager, A Chef, A Homemaker, A Heart Healer, A Spiritual Guide, A Leader By Example! You, Homeschool Momma, are a hero of sorts!
And I love your beautiful heart and your compassion, and your desire to give your all to your children. One day the world will thank you for it. But for now, I am thanking you for it. Thank you! You’re absolutely killing it! Stay the course! This one leads to a happy ending.
Here is my actual response to one of those moms enduring the doubt as a new school year rolls in. It’s for her and it’s for you too! We’ve got this!
We do have traditions of our own for the start of the school year including first-day pictures and a trip to our favorite bakery. But that’s not really what this feeling is all about. It’s the concern we are taking something precious from them. That we could in our efforts to help, hinder. But fear not Momma, you will find your peace about this. Homeschooling has been the very best choice for our family. We are starting our fifth year next week. Let me just tell you this. My son has never been happier, not even on his best first day back at public school. As you watch your child excel academically your heart will soar too. As you find your tribe and your child finds new friends, peace will settle over you. Once you realize the freedom to experience the world hands-on learning and great adventure, you will wish you had started this journey sooner. As you teach about faith and character development and supply your child with a solid foundation that will guide them through the rest of their life you will recognize this opportunity as priceless. As you see the reduction in their stress levels and the benefit to their mental health, you will celebrate. The one-on-one attention and guidance your child is about to get is about to change everything. Homeschooling is hard. You will have doubt. You will have burnout. You will have hard days. But if you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t trade it for the world. And you’re not alone. The homeschool family is immense. We are your family now. And homeschoolers know how to open doors. Take a few deep breaths. Thank God for the opportunity and pray to stand in His strength and carry the kind of peace only He gives, and then dive in! That’s how I handle it when doubt steps in. You’ve got this! Wishing you all the best.”
You are not alone! Every homeschool Mom struggles with something. I love this post put together by Lee Orlian who blogs over at TeepeeJoy.com:
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