“I wish I could homeschool but……” That is a familiar phrase I hear often. I wonder if it’s just something said in general conversation or do they genuinely mean it? I mean, really considered it? Well, I’m happy to tell you there’s really only two things you need!
Now that most are in full back to school mode, may I ask you how it’s going? Have you and your children adjusted? Have you got in a routine yet? It feels good to have a routine, and I’m looking forward to it myself. How about the teacher? Did your child get the one you wanted? Are they coming home all smiles, ready to tell you what happened during their day? If so, that’s fantastic! I wish nothing but the best and have a great year! Thank you for checking out my post. The rest of this post is not for you.
How about some of you? Has your child been coming home tired and cranky? Do you have a hard time catching the bus? Is the new teacher not all you hoped for? Is your tween swamped with homework yet? Do you just have an uneasy feeling inside while the kids are away all day? Do you miss them? Have you thought or said, “I’d love to homeschool, but…..”?
The things you don’t need.
The #1 thing I hear from friends is “I don’t have the patience to homeschool”. Guess what? You don’t need patience. I have the patience of a gnat. I’ve found that my lack of patience is not really with my kids. It’s with others. Have you seen the video going around of the carpool line? I would be the mom at the 30 second mark!
The #2 thing I hear from those who say they would like to homeschool, is that they’re not a teacher. Guess what? Me neither! Before kids, I was a lab rat in a water quality lab. You do not have to have a teaching degree to homeschool your kids. You became their teacher when you became a mom.
The #3 thing I hear in Christian circles is, “I’m not feeling called by God to homeschool”. Guess what? Me neither! I am a Bible believer, but I did not hear a call or feel something. What I do know is that I have desire and willingness, and that’s why I homeschool. I’m thankful for His written Word. It’s where I find direction and encouragement for many aspects of my life. But, I also know moms who are not believers and do a fantastic job at the role of homeschooling. If this is something you’ve been thinking about, but haven’t gotten a tap on the shoulder or a whisper from God, it’s o.k.
So now that you know you don’t have to have patience, a college degree, or a special calling, let me tell you the two things you do have to have.
The definition for motivation is the reason or reasons one has for behaving in a particular way. It is also the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. A simple example is hunger – a motivation which causes a desire to eat. Everyone has motivation! Motivation is a necessity, and one’s motivator is often different from the others. For me, the flexibility of our calendar, our curriculum that I get to choose, and wanting to be with my kids and learn with them is my motivation. I asked others what motivates them: time with family, ability to travel, the stress associated with testing, learning at one’s own pace, making your own schedule, extra sleep, thriving outside the box, and simply enjoying childhood are the answers I got.
I was driving home the other day after taking the kids to a movie, and the carpool line that I saw would be a big motivator! Seriously, I didn’t even see the school building, just a never ending line of cars! Which makes me wonder why don’t they just ride the bus? Whatever your motivation is, write it down and put it in a highly visible place. Believe me, you will have days that you will need the reminder.
The second thing you need is commitment. You need to be committed. Your spouse needs to be committed. As a reminder, commitment is the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity. The Cambridge dictionary defines commitment as a willingness to give your time and energy to something that you believe in. Successful homeschooling requires commitment. I like that time and energy are part of the definition, because it most certainly is! To me, what better thing would you rather spend your time and energy on than your own children?
The book of Daniel comes to mind, and the phrase “purposed in his heart”. Daniel and his friends had a purpose. The friends made up their mind, and did not bow, bend, or burn! This is how I feel about my homeschooling efforts. I admit, I didn’t always feel that way. I let outside things put homeschooling aside at times. It wasn’t until I realized that this is what we do, I’m totally committed, and my kids deserve my time and energy. It was at that point when I began to feel successful. That does not mean we’re all business all the time. We’re pretty relaxed, but I do make an effort to limit interruptions in our day. I honor our commitment, and that is where I put most of my time and energy.
If you’ve ever said that “I wish we could homeschool” phrase, think about it, and consider it. Have confidence, and know that anyone can do it with these two simple things.