Confronting fears is one of the biggest struggles to face when first deciding to home educate. A caveat to that is that the fear looks different to each family. Each family has to overcome the fear or are still overcoming the fear in their respective journeys. If you have concerns about homeschooling, you are not alone. Confronting our biggest fears on how to start homeschooling isn’t easy, but the fears can be conquered.
We face fear on both ends of the spectrum. Sometimes fear is the driving force for us to start homeschooling. For instance, we are fearful of our children getting bullied, we are afraid of our kids joining the wrong crowd, we are afraid of the negative influences, and we fear our kids will fall behind.
These fears drive parents to homeschool, and then once they decide on homeschooling those fears turn into insecurities of not teaching well enough, of not managing their education, or of not having the financial budget to homeschool.
Know that your fears may not completely go away, but they can be faced head-on by the defining reasons that made you want to homeschool initially.
Homeschooling is merely a precious opportunity to join your child in a learning adventure.
By staying informed, we can confront our biggest fears and start homeschooling successfully– and not look back. You can learn how to tackle some of your reservations. Let’s explore a few:
Confronting our biggest fears: UNSOCIALIZED KIDS
This fear derives from the normalized view of how socialization is defined. Healthy exposure to socialization in life comes from the interaction of your child with different types of people, in different situations, and a variety of ages.
Why people think socialization is defined by going to a school of 500 students where you are sitting in a classroom unable to converse with others for more than an hour per day is beyond me.
Your children will be socialized as much as their character allows them to be. Here are just a few opportunities that homeschoolers have to “socialize”:
- Meeting people on field trips more than once a year
- Pursuing hobbies they love with other kids of similar interests
- Local homeschool events
- Learning life skills (visiting mechanics at work, gardening groups, etc.)
- Having get-togethers with other homeschoolers during the day
Note: ALL of these ideas for socialization can be done before dinner time.
Confronting our biggest fears: RUIN YOUR CHILD’S CHANCE AT COLLEGE
The process of applying to college seems utterly complicated. It would give anyone thinking about homeschooling a slight bout of paranoia.
In the public or private school system, students are put on a path to meet the school’s graduation requirements. In a homeschool environment, you can put your child on a path to meet college admissions requirements or career trade requirements instead. In essence, you have a huge advantage of building your child’s education for their end goal.
Research has proven that homeschool students have higher ACT scores, higher graduation from college rate, and a higher grade point average during college years than traditional students. This fear, although common, is unfounded if based on real-life situations.
Confronting our biggest fears: NO MORE “ME” TIME
Letting go of the 8-3 school day mindset can be hard to do. Yet, homeschool allows you the freedom to make your own schedule. There are no “set” times unless you make them yourself.
We dearly love our children, but when we first start thinking about homeschooling, we all have fleeting thoughts about what 24 hours a day, 365 days a year will look like. We tend to believe that every waking moment will be with them.
We can look at this with two different perspectives:
Since you are in control of your homeschool and what time your kids go to bed, just like you make a schedule for everything else in life – you can schedule in “me” time. There is nothing wrong with that. It helps you make time for yourself, and that is OK.
Take it from a mom who has graduated a college student, now living on their own. When looking back, you will appreciate every moment you spent with them: the good, the bad, the ugly. Time goes by extremely fast, so schedule “me” time and enjoy this precious time with your children.
Confronting our biggest fears: YOU ARE NOT SMART ENOUGH TO TEACH
Many women spend many years worried about not being good enough. Add in your child’s education to the weight on your shoulders and your mind can deter you from knowing you can do it.
It is a complete myth that you need a degree in education to homeschool. All you really need is a passion for helping your children learn.
Even if you struggle through lessons, individualized education allows you time to make sure your child “gets” it. This type of teaching is not offered in institutionalized education anywhere. You may feel as though you are not “smart” enough to teach, but there is NO doubt that you are capable.
Should you need help in some subject areas, online courses can be used to supplement or help you to teach your student.
Confronting our biggest fears: FAILURE
I left this one for last because, for me, it was the biggest fear of them all. Many women, like me, know that homeschooling is the best decision for their children. With as many people around you that will doubt, for as many people who will think this is a crazy decision, for as many people that say your degree would be a waste, for as many husbands out there that took years to be convinced to home educate – the fear of failure is the strongest because if you fail… then everyone was right, and you were wrong.
That cloud will follow you through your 18+ years of homeschooling if you don’t let it go. When you find yourself struggling to take that step to start homeschooling, reach out to homeschool moms, reach out to Facebook Groups or websites that encourage moms in their homeschool journey. Just a few words of wisdom can go a long way to boost you right back into focus.
Make a list of the advantages or disadvantages of homeschooling for your family. BUT – do remember, that fear is not your friend, don’t rely on it, don’t keep it close, but do let it go. When it pops back into your mind, let it motivate you. Remember the end goal and remember your “why”, because having the mindset of confronting our biggest fears has resulted in just about any victory you can imagine.
If you are interested in a different educational journey for your child to provide them with new opportunities for learning and to create bonding for your family, then fear has no place in that decision. Only let fear motivate you to give your child the best home education possible.
You don’t even have to do it all on your own. Let online resources help you with mixing in some variety to your homeschool day.
Luma Learn provides a variety of courses to incorporate online learning into your homeschool routine. Starting homeschool with the use of online courses can help ease some pressure off the transition for your family.
Are you looking to start homeschooling soon? What are your biggest fears to confront in making the decision?