Have you ever been paralyzed with fear over the thought of homeschooling the wrong way? Is there such a thing as the wrong way?
Perhaps you’re afraid of picking the wrong curriculum. Or teaching the wrong subjects. Maybe you won’t teach enough subjects. Or forget to teach at all.
There’s no doubt in your mind that when it comes to homeschooling, if it can be screwed up, you most definitely will do it.
I have news for you, my friend. Every mom in the history of the world, whether she homeschooled or not, has thought she was doing it wrong. The only perfect homeschool mom is the one not homeschooling her child. You know Kasey-Know-It-All who has the answer to everything and never makes a mistake? This fictional person doesn’t mean to make you feel like a loser. She’s just compensating for her own fears. So, be like Elsa and let her go.
Homeschool Myth #2: There is a “wrong way” to homeschool.
No, Virginia (whoever you are), there is no wrong way to homeschool. Just like there’s no wrong way to love your kids. Or no wrong way to eat chocolate.
You may have heard that homeschooling is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s like Groundhog Day…the same thing every day of every week of every month for however many years you homeschool – 16+ years for me. Makes the Boston Marathon look like a cakewalk at the county fair.
My favorite analogy, and a bit more cheerful one, is that homeschooling is a journey, not a destination. Certainly, everyone has taken a wrong turn or five on a journey. So, you make the block or backtrack. Wrong turns are not a disaster. You might take a little longer, but you’ll have a story or two and some extra scenery along the way.
Homeschooling is no different. If you struggle teaching one subject, slow down and try again. Get a tutor. Find an online class. Ask for help. It’s not wrong to not be good at everything. And this is the BEST part about homeschooling.
You get to pick the best option for your child.
The solution that meets her needs, not the needs of thirty other kids in a classroom. The tutor that understands his struggle and can break it down for him to grasp. The online class that meets at a convenient time for your schedule and can be reviewed as many times as necessary to finally “get it.”
If you miss a subject or a key principle, is it really the end of the world to add it in, gasp!, out of order? I mean, when you get to the chapter on the American Revolution, it’s not so catastrophic to have to take a little extra time to explain how King George walked himself right into that rebellion. Or how the menu at the Boston Tea Party didn’t include refreshments.
In fact, when I realize I haven’t provided the best backstory on a subject, I make it sound like it’s part of the assignment. “Oh, by the way, why don’t you do a little research on Samuel Adams (the man, not the beer) and tell me more about how the American Revolution started?”
See how I smoothed that over? It’s not wrong to make them dig a little for their own information. For goodness sake, they have Google. I only had a set of Encyclopedia Britannica and microfiche at the library. I still get queasy thinking about scrolling through miles of microfiche film.
Again, there is no wrong way to homeschool. You can do textbooks, workbooks, read-alouds, research papers, nature walks, road-schooling, foreign language cartoons, multi-cultural study, unit studies, biographies, mechanical engineering, astronomy, classical literature, diesel mechanics, animal husbandry…well, you get the idea.
Your homeschooling journey will not look like anyone else’s journey. Yours will have your own adventures and misadventures, highs and lows, successes and failures.
Bust that wrong-way-to-homeschool myth wide open. The only failure is not trying.
What other homeschool myths have you busted lately?