There are many challenges that can come when you make the decision to home school your children. From dealing with state laws, to choosing a curriculum, and finding ways to socialize your children, the challenges are many but with a little planning, thought, and prayer, are easily overcome.
Below are some of the challenges you may face and a few tips of how to address them.
Finding Socializing Opportunities
This is a common concern of families who are transitioning from public schools to homeschool or just deciding to homeschool from the start. It is a common and incorrect stereotype that homeschool children are socially awkward and under socialized. That is an easy problem to avoid!
You can easily find local groups and opportunities to provide social experiences for your child without the concerns that come from socializing at a public school level. Here are a few to consider:
- Sports Teams at Recreational Department or YMCA – Enroll your children into the community sports programs, local dance groups, or other team based activities.
- Homeschool Groups – Check with local parents, Facebook groups, or friends to find a homeschool group in your area. Or, if there isn’t a homeschool group you could create one yourself.
- Local Library – most local libraries have story times for younger children, arts and crafts events, and other such group based activities that are usually free to participate in.
- Church and Neighborhood – Create play dates with families that you know and trust either from your neighborhood or church groups.
Choosing the Correct Curriculum
There are so many curriculum options available that it can often be overwhelming! It can also get quite pricey, especially if you are unsure if the curriculum you are choosing will be the right fit for your family. Here are a few ideas to help in choosing curriculum for your home school:
- Check with Other Parents – Ask other parents either that you know or online to see which curriculum worked best for them and why. Getting reviews from others is a great way to decide if a certain curriculum would work best for your children.
- Purchase Used Items – When you think you’ve found the right fit, look on eBay, homeschool supply for sale groups on Facebook, and other classified based sites to purchase items used for a fraction of the price. Not only will this save you money, but if you learn the curriculum isn’t best for your children, you have less money invested.
- Find Monthly Subscription Services – Many homeschool classes and curriculum have a monthly subscription style service available. This format allows you to pay a smaller amount each month to access online lessons and materials. This way if you decide it isn’t a good fit, you can simply cancel the subscription.
Dealing with Power Struggles
A challenge with homeschool that is often unconsidered is the power struggles between you and your children. Especially if your children are transitioning from public school to homeschool, it can be difficult to make that move from being their parent to also being their full time teacher.
Though these struggles may be something you have to address on a “as they come” type basis, here are a few tips that may help to keep those issues at bay.
- Set Up an Incentive Program – Create a rewards system that will help to create incentive for your child to willingly complete their work. You can look for ideas online or create a chore chart type system that works for your child.
- Mix It Up – There is a chance that a daily routine will become boring and monotonous for your children creating antsy and distracted homeschool days. Try mixing up your schedule to add in an additional recess or play time to break of the monotony of a school day.
- Create Hands On Experiences – One of the joys of homeschool is being able to control the classroom environment. Keep your child interest in his or her studies by creating fun and exciting hands on activities, such as science projects, arts and crafts, cooking lessons, and more.
Concerns from Extended Family and Friends
You most likely will receive a mixture of response when your friends and extended family learn of your decision to homeschool your children. If your social circles are completely supportive of your decision, count yourself lucky! Most likely you will encounter people who are concerned about your decision to homeschool.
Make sure to simply hold your ground and let them know that you are confident in your decision. The truth is that you, your spouse, and your children are the only ones entitled to an opinion on their education. If you feel a need to calm others’ concerns, simply let them know why you reached that decision and even a synopsis of your homeschool plans.
Ultimately, though there will be challenges associated with homesechooling your children, the rewards and joys of doing so will far outweigh the struggles. So, when challenges present themselves, take a deep breath, hug your little ones, and know that you are doing an incredible job.