All moms worry. Right? Well, in my experience, homeschool moms worry even more. Through the years, I have heard many of their trepidations. If you homeschool, or are considering it, let me ease your mind on three common angsts and tell you what should consume your time instead.
1. Homeschool parents worry about their children's socialization skills. Please don't. Heidi St. John http://heidistjohn.com/ said it best when asked if she worried about her children's socialization. Her response was something like, "Heck, yes! That was why I pulled them OUT of the public classroom!!!" Truly, that is funny, right? Good socialization skills come from the practice of being social, talking with others, building friendships, learning to compromise, etc. These skills can happen anywhere, and not only in a classroom with 30+ other students. I LOVE homeschooled kids. They actually look me in the eye when we talk! Their parents taught them that.
2. Many moms panic and question if they "taught enough" on a particular day. Once when I arrived to meet with a family, the mother opened the door and quickly apologized to me saying it wasn't a very productive learning day. When I asked what she meant, she explained that they got sidetracked. While coloring her assigned phonics page, her kindergartener had asked if crayons would melt in the sun. The mom responded with, "Let's see. What do you think?" And, outside they went. They put some crayons in the sun and then decided to bake some in the oven. Then the daughter wanted to put them in various shaped tins; like circles and hearts, to see if they would take on the form of the pan. I simply smiled and congratulated her. It is not every day that a student is so engaged in learning that science lessons can go from 20 minutes to 2 1/2 hours! A school day does not have to look like it did for us --- sitting in a chair for hours at a time. Your hours of learning in a day can happen anytime, anywhere, all day long.
3. What if I can't make it the whole 12 years? Or, even one year!? These are common concerns. My advice --- just take it a week at a time, then a month, then a year. If you stay with it longer, great. With the right support, I think you can! If, however, you find it isn't working, you are not a failure (and neither is your child). No one knows if she can do it until she tries. That is the journey.
So, what is worth worrying about? You are. A homeschool mom needs to take the time to think about why she is making this choice for her child and family. She needs to talk to other moms who are being successful. She needs to find balance, and supportive people (friends and family) are a must! She needs to take care of herself: spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Your strength in all of these areas will make all the difference. I promise.
Once you have taken care of YOU, you will be far more confident, prepared, and encouraged to do the most important job of your life.