Let me start off by saying that we are 100% sold on the benefits of homeschooling. I think it will give my kiddo a chance to learn at her own pace, fast or slow. It will also give me a chance to focus on character qualities and life skills with her. We can learn about subjects that she is interested in when she is interested in them because the curriculum can be flexible. The schedule is also flexible and our travel schedule will no longer revolve around that blasted balanced calendar. We can do field trips. A lot of them. We can basically do whatever we want as long as we meet the state requirement of 4 hours a day for 180 days and report grades. Easy enough, right?
Well, maybe not. I have lots of concerns about homeschooling and most of them revolve around logistics. Here are my top 10 biggest fears right now.
Schedule. We are a 2-income family and there is no way of getting around that. Mommy works. Daddy works. End of story. How in the world am I going to do my paid job, my mommy job, and still fit in 4 hours of schooling each day? It makes my brain hurt trying to fathom it all. Will I ever sleep again?
Childcare. I’m super blessed to be able to work from home but what about the days that I have meetings at the office or doula clients and hubby is at work? Where will she go? Who will look after her? Most importantly, how much is that gonna cost us?
Entertainment. Speaking of mommy working, how am I supposed to get my job done with a little person around all the time? How will I keep her entertained while I try to grab some uninterrupted time? What if I just end up sticking her in front of the TV during the majority of the 5-6 hours I’m trying to work each day? Won’t people think I’m a terrible mommy and it would have been better to send her to school instead?
Teaching. I went to college, graduated with 2 degrees, Cum Laude I might add, but I’m not smarter than a 5th grader. What happens when we get to a subject that I don’t understand? Long division comes to mind here. And geometry. Lord help me. What if I cause my very bright child to actually fall behind?
Curriculum. Lawd-A-Mercy there are so many options. It’s overwhelming. What if I spend money on a curriculum that we both hate? What if I spin my wheels researching them all and can’t ever decide on a single thing?
Planning. I haven’t the slightest idea how to make a lesson plan. I’m certain it takes time and effort and resources. What if I’m so busy trying to manage the logistics of our life that I never even have time to plan a single lesson for us to work on? What if everything we do is haphazard and fails miserably?
Motivation. How can I motivate this child to do her work on a consistent basis with out fussing? Is that even possible? She will have no side-by-side competition. What will be her driving force to do her work and do it well?
Relationship. What if all this togetherness ends up ruining this sweet relationship that we’ve recently come into? What if we fuss and fight the whole time and get on each others nerves? What if I just can’t handle having another person in my space and I freak out?
Assessment. Again, I’m clueless about how to teach a concept and then grade it. How will I know when she is ready to move on to something new? Wait, back up. How do I even know where she is ready to begin? How to I grade my own child. If she’s failing, doesn’t that mean that I’m failing too?
Socialization. I’ll admit that this is pretty low on my list of things that I’m worried about. I think she gets plenty of socialization outside of school and the interaction she’s having at school is just negative anyway. What if I’m wrong? What if she really does need to be around kids her age on a daily basis?
And because my brain can’t turn off just because I’ve reached the nice round number of 10…. What if my fantasies about homeschooling are just fantasies? What if I suck at being a homeschool mom? What if this isn’t the right fit for our family? What if it’s simply impossible to pull off with our super busy schedule? What if I’m making a mistake?
This brings us to part 6 where I’ll tell you how I plan to overcome these fears. Advice from veteran homeschoolers or general encouragement from the masses is welcome in the comments or on Facebook. 😉