Making the decision to homeschool, for me, was far more stressful and scary than actually homeschooling. Here’s why.
My husband and I went back and forth on it for months.
We knew we
needed wanted to give homeschooling a try. We knew my oldest son needed wanted to give homeschooling a try.
We decided we were going to begin homeschooling the following Fall.
We agreed to it, but then I debated our decision, questioned our decision, researched our decision, changed our decision, changed it back and then researched our decision some more for a solid seven months.
After all that, I felt even less sure about our decision to homeschool. Looking back, I realize that no amount of planning or research would have made it any easier.
The truth is, making the decision to homeschool, for me, was more difficult than actually homeschooling my boys.
A few weeks ago, I received a panicked message from a mom, trying to commit to homeschooling her son next year.
She knew she wanted to do it. She had a list of all the reasons she and her husband thought it would be wise to do it. But the fear and and anxiety over actually submitting the paperwork to the school district by the deadline was paralyzing.
She emailed me in a desperate attempt for clarity and I felt my jaw tense, remembering the stress.
I tried to encourage her. I tried to remind her about all the reasons that had gotten her to this point in the first point. Then I shared with her a truth that I have never really publicly disclosed –
Making the decision to homeschool was far more stressful and scary than actually homeschooling.
Don’t get me wrong, I worry all the time about my boys’ education. It is stressful and scary, sometimes. But never as stressful and scary as the unknown in that timeframe leading up to actually doing it.
Why Making The Decision To Homeschool Can Be Harder Than Actually Homeschooling
I think this is common for almost all families, especially those who have children already enrolled in a formal school setting.
Pulling the proverbial trigger, and committing to something that is so unknown, is difficult for obvious reasons.
If you are a parent, considering homeschool as an option for your child, I want you to know that this might be the hardest part.
Also, you are not alone in the struggle! Here are some of the most common questions I hear from families struggling to commit to the decision to homeschool.
1. I can’t even get him to do his homework! How could I possibly actually homeschool him?
This is the number one concern I hear from parents on the brink of homeschooling.
This is how I answer, every single time.
You are trying to accomplish homework after your child has already had a long, complicated day at school. You are seeing the absolute worst part of helping your child learn. Even my worst day homeschooling has never once been as bad as the long nights of frustration, tears, torn worksheets and thrown pencils we experienced when completing homework.
2. What If I Can’t Do It?
You can always put your child back in school – it is always an option.
But please know, the truth is, most of us feel a sense of relief when we pull our kiddos out of a school setting that was not meeting their needs. Many of us feel less stressed, less pressured, less crazed than our school days, even though we are taking on the responsibility of educating our children on our own.
3. What About My Child’s Learning Differences and Special Needs?
From the moment we receive a diagnosis, we are told repeatedly about the resources the school system provides. Naturally, it feels counter-intuitive and maybe even a little risky to homeschool a child with special needs.
Because this is such a common concern, I have written an entire post in response. Please join me at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers where I share what I have learned about homeschooling my kiddos with differences.
If you are considering educational options for your child, please know, sometimes the timeframe that leads up to making the decision to homeschool is a lot harder than actually homeschooling.
I want you to know that there are so many resources and support out there, just for you, just for the stage you are in. We homeschoolers – we stick together. Please, let us know how we can help!
Looking For More Support and Encouragement?
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.