Blog 16 of Top 25 Homeschooling Moms - 2012
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What do you think are the greatest advantages of homeschooling?
When I left my job to go on maternity leave a little over 3 years ago, I never knew I wouldn’t be returning. Had you told me I was going to take extended leave to stay home full time to care for my baby, I probably would have believed you. Had you told me I was going to stop working outside of the home completely, and start homeschooling my child, I may have laughed. Me? Homeschooling? The thought had never crossed my mind. Now, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I see the path before us, and I am excited. Although I am just at the beginning of our homeschooling journey, the advantages are incredible. For me, the greatest advantage is that I am in my Son’s life, all day long. As he learns new things, I am by his side. When his eyes shine bright as he discovers something new, I am there. When he claps and cheers with pure Joy after he realizes he just figured out how to do something, I am there. As he learns to read and write, I am there. When he has a question, I am there. As he discovers his passions, I am there. Once those passions are realized, together he and I can explore and cultivate them, learning in the way that is best for him. I look forward to being there, to experiencing him evolve. Although I am the teacher, I am also a student myself, learning along the way. As a family, we will learn together. The “classroom” will expand beyond the walls of our home, and into the world all around us. These advantages and many more, are why I have chosen this path, or more accurately, why this path has chosen me.
What advice would you give to a mom who is considering homeschooling her child?
My simplest advice is that when you know, you know. I have shared that I never would have guessed this path for me, and yet here I am. Why? I just knew. I just know. This is how our family is meant to be. This is how my son is meant to learn. I honestly could not see it any other way. Will I always choose homeschooling? Yes, as long as it always feels like what is best for our family. So first and foremost, be sure that it is the best fit for your family. There will be sacrifice, there will be trying times, and it won’t always be fun, but when the decision is made as a family, and you just know it’s what you are supposed to be doing, then it will always be worth it. When a mother says to me, “I could never choose homeschooling, it’s just not for me”, I don’t try to convince her that it is… because when you know, you know.
What's one homeschooling challenge you've faced, and what solutions did you find?
Oh the irony of this question. The greatest advantage being that I am in my son’s life, all day long, is also sometimes the greatest challenge. I am in my son’s life, all day long. For every emotion he experiences, I am there. Let’s be serious, all night long too. No lunch outings with colleagues. No water cooler conversations. Usually I don’t get time to myself at all, much less adult conversation with others. My son is still young; I don’t even get to go the bathroom alone. The solution is simple though, make time. Working together with my husband we carve my “alone time” into the schedule. Does it happen every day? No. Sometimes it may not happen in a week. We make sure it does happen though, and always just when I need it. Honestly, I know that there is going to come a time where my son is not in my life every day, so even this “challenge” is one that I embrace. These will always be the times I cherish, even if I only get to go potty alone once a month :)
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