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Serious Folks Can Bring Too Much School into Homeschooling

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Serious Folks Can Bring Too Much

School into Homeschooling

By Linda Dobson


"What was I thinking?"

Have you heard the old saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy?” This could easily translate into, “If Mama is stressed-out over homeschooling, her children will be, too.” It’s the nature of family that what affects one of us affects all of us, and this phenomenon is especially important to remember during homeschooling.

Serious Students and Homeschooling

We as parents can certainly work to control our own stress and worries about homeschooling so that we don’t unnecessarily pass them on to our children. But many children harbor their own worries about their studies, especially the more serious types.

“The final time I brought my children home from school, Natalie was seven years old, and Travis was eleven,” says homeschooling mom Cindy Allas, of Fairfield, California. “Travis has a more serious personality and continues to have guilt about whether he’s learning enough, forgetting too much, paying enough attention.”

Cindy discovered that in her dealing with Travis’ concerns, her role as homeschooling mom includes becoming his cheerleader or one who must make a point of constantly reminding him of how much he’s learned since he’s been home from school. “It also helps to be involved right away with a support/play group so that the children can see that there are many other children learning this way,” adds Cindy.

Serious Moms and Homeschooling

In many homes, no one is more programmed about the way learning “is supposed to be” than Mom herself. Couple this with a motherly desire to give her child the best, throw in a pinch of pressure from the mother-in-law, and you’ve got all the incentive necessary to bring home too much school.

If you’ve done  much reading on homeschooling, you’ve been warned against this time and time again, as was Peg Sponable of Schenectady, New York. Still, “there was so much public school inside of me, it kept sneaking out,” says Peg. “I was trying to do too much too soon.”

This tendency leads to nagging, pushing, and stress for all, hardly a joyful atmosphere in which to learn. “I was trying to get everything done in a four-hour period, like some books said was an average time,” Peg explains. “What was I thinking? It took trial and error to come to a way that works, and it is a totally different schedule than I had ever imagined.”

What Peg Wishes She Had Known about Homeschooling

I wish I’d known about homeschooling before I ever sent any of my children to public school. I didn’t hear about homeschooling until three years ago. Even though I spent two years researching homeschooling and feel that I could not have been better prepared, there has been a thorn. My eleven-year-old daughter has not adjusted to homeschooling and wants to go back to public school in the fall. My seven-year-old son loves homeschooling and doesn’t want to go back to public school. The familiar scenario of  “longer in public school, harder to adjust” hits right on the money. I know my daughter will resent me if I don’t allow her to at least try junior high, as she feels she is missing out on something. At least I know that she can always come home again if that grass is not greener after all.

Excerpted from Linda Dobson’s popular book, The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start.



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