Admit it. You don’t think you’re doing enough in your homeschool.
Some nights you lie in bed worrying that your children aren’t learning enough or that they’re not learning the ‘right’ things. (And in really bad moments you worry that they will hate you because you ruined their education).
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You know you’re not supposed to, but you compare your children to the children in the homeschool group you go to once a week (but secretly wish you could skip – but everyone keeps asking about socialization and it gives you a response).
You have begun to dread seeing your relatives (in-laws, parents, siblings and their family) because they always ask questions and make ‘suggestions’. They were never this interested in your children when they attended ‘real’ school. And they never ask your brother’s and sister’s children math or history questions.
After every visit, you spend the night researching new curriculum to find the ‘right’ one. Then you’re tired the next morning and nothing seems to go right.
You are doing enough.
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1. Your Children ‘Do School’ For 6 Hours A Day
That’s what people assume homeschoolers have to do because ‘normal children’ go to ‘real school’ for 6 hours a day.
In reality, you ‘do school’ for two to three hours a day – but not on weekends, school holidays – and most weeks you only homeschool four days. (Your hubby comes home early on Fridays and you like to go camping, so the children might miss Monday too).
2. You Force Your Children To Work, Even When They Don’t Want To
When your teenage daughter has an emotional day, you let her take the day off.
When your son was up way too late watching a documentary on Netflix and has slept in, you let him take the day off.
When your pre-teen is in a ‘mood’ you let her take the day off.
Mental health (and physical health) days are important.
3. You’ve Found the Magic Curriculum That Suits All Your Childrens’ Learning Needs
There. Is. No. Such. Thing!
You use bits and pieces from everywhere.
The internet for one or two subjects, worksheets for another, Netflix for documentaries (history, science, geography), Youtube for other subjects.
Your children are all different. They have different learning styles. They have different interests.
And, doing the same thing the same way every day is just boring.
Homeschool is not meant to be boring – it’s meant to be fun!
4. Your Children Go To Every Homeschool Group Meet-Up
They only go if they want to.
One is shy and anxious and has decided to quit – and you let her.
One has sport/dancing/music in the afternoon and doesn’t want to go out during the day.
One has absolutely no interest in going.
You secretly want to stay home and cook/clean/work/do anything else because you don’t fit in.
5. Your Children Know Everything They Need To For Their Age And Year Level
Your 14-year-old still hasn’t grasped her times-tables yet so she’s still working on those every other day. There’s no point in getting an in-depth math curriculum because she only wants to learn things that will help her in life. But, she loves card games so you play them almost daily and have a board game night on Friday.
Your 12-year-old knows so much she’s a level ahead in almost every subject and gets bored easily so you just let her keep advancing.
Your 16-year-old only wants to learn Spanish and play football (soccer), so he’s learning science, geography and history with Netflix, Youtube and pay tv.
Learning shouldn’t be boring. It should be inspiring, exciting, creative and fun – Our Creative Homeschool
6. Your Child Is In Sport, Music, Dancing, Gymnastics
Yeah. And there are 48 hours in every day and you have an unlimited bank balance.
Your child doesn’t play a sport.
Your child doesn’t play an instrument.
Your child doesn’t take dance classes.
Your child isn’t interested in drama class.
Your child just wants to be left alone.
And there’s nothing wrong with that!
7. You Are Following The State Curriculum
Most of what your child learns are actually life skills. Age-dependent of course.
Your amazing homeschooled child can:
- Make dinner (lunch, breakfast, a snack)
- Clean (the house, after themselves, the dishes)
- Shop (write a shopping list for the menu plan, give money at the checkout, work out exact money/change needed)
- Budget (learning how to)
- Maintain a car (check/change the oil, water)
- Change a tyre
- Have a part-time job
But most importantly, your children are polite, decent human beings who make society a better place just by being themselves.
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8. When Someone Questions Your Child They Always Have The Correct Answer
Yes, your children are polite (most of the time), but everyone has their limits (especially Miss 12).
- Your child responds to the question ‘Why aren’t you in school?’ with ‘I am. I’m homeschooled and this is a ………………… lesson.’
- ‘What’s 5 times 7’ with ‘There’s a calculator on your phone’.
- ‘Can you name all the States?’ with a roar and the name of every dinosaur ever discovered.
9. Your Children Have A Strict Routine
- They sleep in every day – who wants to get up early? They get up on time when you’re going somewhere and they will have to get up early when they go to university/get a job. But, right now they are children. Homeschooled children. Sleep. Grow. Nourish.
- They sleep even longer when they’ve been up late watching documentaries (or a few episodes on Netflix).
- You need rest too! And one of the many benefits of homeschooling means there is no bus to catch, no strict schedule to keep.
10. You Never Worry That You’re Not Doing Enough
You worry every day.
You worry that your children are ‘behind’ even though you know there is no ‘behind’ in homeschooling because your children are learning at their own pace.
You worry that your daughter isn’t doing enough math – she’s spending all her time on science. In fact, you’re getting worried she will dissect the guinea pig soon.
You worry about your son because he spends most of his time playing Minecraft and you can never get him off the coding program you found for him.
You worry that your youngest won’t learn anything because all she does is read. All. The. Time. She’s gone through Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, The Divergent Trilogy…
Do you still think you’re not doing enough in your homeschool?
Think back to why you decided to homeschool in the first place. It wasn’t so you could be stressed out and have sleepless nights.
It was because:
- You love your children
- You want what’s best for your children
- You know what’s best for your children and your family unit
- You can take days off when emotions run high
- You know that the best learning doesn’t happen in a classroom or come from a textbook
- You want your children to learn at their own pace
- You want your children to love what they’re learning
Look how far you’ve come.
Go back over your learning plans, notes, diary entries, journals and list everything your children have learned and improved on. Remember to add those documentaries.
Don’t forget to add life skills, the nights they cooked dinner, the time they did the dishes without being asked. And include pet care duties – animal husbandry is a subject too.
Write down every field trip you’ve taken. Include museums, zoos, art galleries, camping trips, concerts, sports events, holidays.
See, you are doing enough.
Enjoy the Journey
Author: Lara Galea
Lara is a freelance writer, blogger, photographer and homeschooler. When not helping others with their journey, she is either reading, binge-watching Netflix or creating havoc in the kitchen.