Many new and experienced homeschoolers let themselves fall victim to 6 myths that can cause anxiety, fear, and frustration. Take a deep breath, extend yourself grace, and reread this as often as you need to give yourself the confidence and peace you deserve to have a terrific year homeschooling!
Myth 1: You need to have all the answers.
You do NOT have to know all of the answers to every question in every subject to homeschool. Reread that statement! Let me tell you about a remarkable resource that comes with almost every curriculum….it is called a teacher’s guide. It will provide a plan for the year and the answers to the questions in the program. If you can read, you are good to go! You will rely on it for that first year or two, but as your confidence grows, you will find it sitting on your shelf more and more. Plus, the best part of this journey, you will get to learn amazing things right alongside them!
Myth 2: You need to “do school” from 8 am-3 pm Monday-Friday in your home.
Especially if you are coming out of a public school situation, do not feel obligated to do school from 8 am-3 pm every day. You do not have to do every single activity listed in the teacher’s guide. Once you start looking at your life through a homeschooling mindset, you will start realizing that your days are filled with endless learning opportunities! You might only do “school work” for a few hours when your children are younger. As they enter their teens, they may not start school until lunch and work on it in the afternoon or evening. Field trips, community service, and participation in extra-curricular activities are terrific learning experiences, don’t discount these opportunities.
Myth 3: You need an education degree to teach your children.
No one knows your children better than YOU! You do not need an education degree to interact with them daily. You will learn everything you need to know as you make this journey. Give yourself some well-deserved credit, and realize what you have already accomplished. You have committed to the process by laying a solid foundation for your year. You have created a vision of your homeschool, researched methods, have decided on materials, and have surrounded yourself with a support system. Your love and willingness to help your children learn are the most important characteristics you can possess!
Myth 4: You need to teach them everything they need to know.
You will NEVER be able to teach them everything they need to know, nor should you. Remember, you are raising children to be independent. You do not want them to rely on you or a textbook for the rest of their lives. You will want them to explore, ask questions, and seek out answers along with you or on their own. You will facilitate this process and develop the joy of learning. Remind yourself often; at the end of this journey, you want them to be independent students who love to learn!
Myth 5: You can’t make any mistakes.
You can, AND you will make mistakes. Go ahead and accept that right now. And realize your children will turn out just fine and maybe even learn something extra from it! Experienced homeschoolers will tell you mistakes are just part of the deal!
We have all chosen a curriculum and then decided mid-year it isn’t working and switched to something else (and our children did not get behind).
We have all been excited to complete a phenomenal hands-on activity and realize we didn’t have the correct materials (so we improvised and created something even better!).
We have all set up the perfect science experiment only to have it fizzle (and had more fun learning why it didn’t work or creating our own).
We have all gotten schedules for events/activities mixed up and completely missed something (and our kids learned to make the best of an unexpected situation).
You are human and your children will be just fine even when you make mistakes. The key is to focus on a learning experience, even when things don’t work out the way you planned. It is keeping that “glass half-full” outlook. Attitudes are contagious! When things don’t go exactly how you planned, your children will learn far more from how you react to a situation than the actual activity itself.
Myth 6: You are going to ruin your kids.
You are NOT going to ruin your children. You will equip your child with character lessons, life skills, and basic academic knowledge-- then let them learn at their own pace. Every child is unique; there is no magic formula. Remember, in public school, there is one teacher for (approximately) every 20 students; in your home, there will be one teacher for 2, 3, or 4 students! You will be giving your children significantly more individual attention every single day. You will see incredible growth! Be patient, and it will happen!
My final advice for protecting your peace is not to compare what you do or the level of your children with the public school or other homeschool families. You will want to take your family members’ needs into account and build a program that works for your family! Allow yourself to embrace and enjoy this extraordinary experience and release that fear, anxiety, and frustration!
And when those feelings start to creep in again--remind yourself of this post.
You’ve Got This!