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Saturday April 19th 2014

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Why Do So Many Parents Think They Can’t Homeschool Their Children?

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Why Do So Many Parents Think They

Can’t Homeschool Their Children?

By Linda Dobson

I’m cutting to the chase. Many parents don’t think they can homeschool their children because their own schooling experience convinced them they’re incapable. Not directly, of course. Instead, it was part of an overall message of incapability that permeated our formative years in school.

Schooldesks homeschool

You learn not to trust yourself.

Move on command of the school bell…move on command of the factory whistle. Don’t talk in class…don’t talk while you work. Acquiesce autonomy to the teacher…acquiesce autonomy to the boss. Don’t think you can learn on your own…don’t think you can build a better business than the one that employs you and needs your hands, not your head.

What happens? In the institution of school you learn to quietly take a place in yet more institutions. You learn that the only one who can solve a problem is an “expert” who has training you don’t. You learn not to trust yourself.

Top 5 Reasons Parents Give to Not Homeschool

Having dutifully learned the lesson that you are not to be trusted, how could you possibly homeschool your own children?

1) You have no degree. You aren’t an “expert” (trained teacher). Guess what? It’s the “experts” who in increasing numbers are turning to homeschooling and who often have a rougher time of making the transition into a homeschool environment. (Remember, they had additional training in the school institution!)

2) You can’t bear the thought of spending day after day with your children. That’s because your children are spending so much time in the institution where they are steadily – stealthily – learning that they can’t trust themselves, either. You’ll be amazed at the different people your children become when removed from this harmful practice.

3) You’re not smart enough. Yes, you are. You just need to do whatever you need to to re-program your thinking. Read. Talk to experienced homeschoolers. Surf the Internet. It’s not easy, but boy is it worth it.

4) Your kids will miss their friends. Besides the bus ride, cafeteria lunch, and recess (if, in fact, your child’s school still provides it), there’s not a whole lot of socializing going on in school. The “real” socializing of kids occur after school, on weekends, on vacations, and in community activities. Not only won’t they miss their old friends, they’ll also make new ones.

5) You don’t want to take your kids away from “the real world.” Here’s a question for you: When has “the real world” of the school institution ever again entered your life? Does your workplace only hire people from a specific zip code? Do you only hang out with people who were born in the same year as you? When children aren’t compelled to sit in an institution all day, they grow up in the real world.

See also “Anyone Can Live the Learning Lifestyle.”

Why Do You Think You Can’t Homeschool Your Children?

This isn’t a question to be answered right away. You need to think about your own schooling, its impact on your life and decisions, and how best to learn to trust yourself.

Here’s a bit of a head start that I hope helps. How did your child learn how to walk? Talk? Throw a ball? Make the Jack-in-the-Box pop up? Give kisses and hugs? Eat with a spoon? Drink from a cup? Ride a bike? Color? Snuggle?

Did you go to college for four years to get a teaching degree to accomplish these things? No. They were accomplished through your loving guidance.

That’s all that homeschool is. That’s everything that homeschool is. And homeschool can be yours.


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Reader Feedback

11 Responses to “Why Do So Many Parents Think They Can’t Homeschool Their Children?”

  1. Cristina says:

    I usually hold my breath and think many of the things you mention when someone tells me they could never homeschool. The other one that gets to me is "I can't afford to homeschool, both [parents] have to work." I honestly believe you can do anything you want to, you just have to want it enough. I wanted children, I wanted my own house, I wanted to homeschool. It wasn't easy to accomplish these goals, we're not rich, but we willingly make sacrifices for the things we truly desire.

    Peace and Laughter!

  2. Kathy D. says:

    Love this!! Love it, love it, love it. Spot on :)

    Kathy D.

  3. grandma_linda says:

    Cristina, yes! It's about priorities. I can't tell you the "things" we did without, but I wouldn't trade what I received for doing without those things for all the money or power in the world. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  4. Kelly says:

    This article is wonderful. Thank you so much.

  5. Traci says:

    Christina and Linda – I would love to hear more on making the money situation work. I am so passionate about homeschooling my boys, I can't imagine any other way. However I do need to replace my salary soon (I was formerly a school teacher) – we are living and spending very simply as it is. Can you point me to any resources on ways to make money from home? Thanks!

  6. grandma_linda says:

    Hi, Traci,
    I wish I had a formula to provide you. Once my kids were old enough, I took part-time work – to which I could bring my youngest, any time it was necessary. Now, this was many moons ago.
    Fast forward to today, w/ jobs non-existent, and I think you have to think more of not spending as opposed to bringing more in. FWIW, I did w/o a car, we lived in a house that cost about 1/3 of what a modest house would have cost. There were no vacation that Grandma and Grandpa didn't take us on…well, I could go on, but I think you get the point.
    If you can write, that's something that can be done from home. But please don't expect a blog to replace a former salary anytime soon.
    Scrimp, scrimp, and scrimp some more. Use coupons, the discount bakery store, Goodwill, ANYTHING that will slash back the amount of cash you need.
    I'm sorry; I wish I could be more enthusiastic, as I once was. But this economy is such a mess, and no one is doing anything about it, it's hard to be enthusiastic.
    Keep your passion in the forefront of your heart, and do whatever is necessary to be home. Be brave, be strong.
    You're in my heart,
    Linda

  7. Eve says:

    Short and sweet and to the point! And very true! I really identified with this post and even though I am fairly confident in our homeschooling lifestyle choice, it is still validating to know that these kinds of doubts are common AND can be overcome. I wrote a post and linked back to this article here:
    http://inchwormchronicles.blogspot.com/2011/04/fe

  8. grandma_linda says:

    Thanks so much for sharing it, Eve…much appreciated!

  9. [...] of “sheltering” your child from the “real world” of public school? I like one of the points in this article, Here’s a question for you: When has “the real world” of the school institution ever again [...]

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