Don't be surprised if you experience some negative effects of homeschooling. Yes, home education offers many benefits, however schooling at home may bring some pitfalls, as well.
I'm not talking about your children not learning, or achieving educational success - a customized, one-on-one education is the best way to learn.
However, even in the most excellent situations, you may experience some negative effects.
Why? Because there are always naysayers. Homeschooling isn't easy. We are human, have fears, and sometimes compare ourselves to those around us.
You may not experience any of these problems, or situations, but it's a good idea to make yourself aware of them before you begin your homeschooling journey.
You may experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, conflicts with unsupportive family, and the pressure to succeed.
Your family and close friends may not understand you or support your decision to homeschool your children. In the process, you may experience unwanted conflict, an unending barrage of questions and constant negativism.
You may think you need to prove to your family that what you are doing, is the best for your child. You then feel added pressure to perform or succeed.
Coming from a family and extended family full of professional educators, the feeling to succeed in homeschooling or prove myself can rear its ugly head, at times.
When we first began homeschooling, my husband and I were told by a well-meaning family member, that we were doing a disservice to our children.
Somehow he assessed that my four year old daughter, who could read at three, was well adjusted, and could carry on an intelligent conversation, needed to be enrolled in regular school because she was so smart.
Sometimes, its best not to say anything. If our family member's think long enough, most will realize that homeschooling works.
The well known proverb, "A quiet answer turns away wrath", reminds us that we don't always need to respond to another person's questioning, nor do we need to have heated discussions.
Your decision to homeschool may cause you to experience some feelings of loneliness or disconnection, as a result of devoting your life to your family and your child's education.
Giving to your children, day in and day out, may cause you to feel empty inside and in need of help, with no one close by to support and encourage you. Because of your family, homeschool or work schedule, you may have little time to get out on your own, to develop and grow friendships.
i. Schedule time for yourself.
As a homeschooling parent, it's important to take time to get away and focus on yourself. Getting your mind off your children, your your schedule or the needs of your family, helps to calm your spirit and refresh your mind.
Many times you will find answers to problems, renewed strength and enthusiasm for life, homeschooling and to overcome the negative effects of homeschooling.
Homeschooling in single parent households is on the rise. If you are a single parent homeschooling your children, you have extra pressure and stress as you tackle parenting, earning an income, and schooling your children.
Find a support group or other parents to connect with to gain encouragement, help and ideas as you homeschool your children alone.
ii. Treasure the friendships you have.
My home school friends have become my closest friends. I love the support and encouragement we offer each other. We think alike, understand each other and share similar values.
Sadly, though, the extend of our support and encouragement is often limited to quick moments snatched while passing each other in the halls during homeschool co-op classes.
Periodically we make an effort to schedule times to meet for coffee, or just to talk. We stay for lunch after co-op classes to chat and catch up on each other’s lives. We enjoy spending time as our kids play or "hang out" before getting back to our homeschooling schedules.
Although brief, I treasure these times together.
iii. Make time for others.
Make time to get to know and to meet other homeschooling families. Getting together to have fun with other families provides a welcome change and break from a monotonous daily schedule.
Get out of the house, and go on a field trip. Have fun and enjoy the time away from home and your homeschool studies. Often, you will find groups of families who plan and go on field trips together, saving you some time and money.
One of the most difficult negative effects of homeschooling, may be the pressure we put on ourselves to succeed.
Raising well adjusted children is difficult in itself. Add the need to prove to others that homeschooling works, results in unnecessary tension and stress on both you and your children.
Relax. Forget about what others think. I know its hard… but do yourself a favor and let go of the need to perform or please other people. Life is too short.
Not everyone is going to agree with the decisions you make in life… especially, in regards to raising your children or how you choose to educate them.
Seek counsel wisely. Finding an older, experienced person who you can go to for advice, provides a different perspective, better insight or much needed encouragement.
Homeschooling is not easy, but it is rewarding. Negative effects and obstacles come with any great decision or worthwhile opportunity.
When choosing to undertake something as life changing as home education, know that some negative effects of homeschooling may occur.
Creating a support system helps when difficulties arise. Developing friendships with like minded people provide the encouragement and camaraderie you need when you face loneliness and discouragement.
Enjoy the many benefits to homeschooling. Value the time you spend with your children each day, as you learn and grow together.
Go, now! Schedule some time for yourself.
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