Making the decision to homeschool is a HUGE decision. It's a decision that will forever change your family. I will admit that it has been the best decision my family has ever made, however, I do believe there are families that shouldn't homeschool. Each family dynamic is unique. Homeschooling is not a one size fits all mentality.
If you're on the fence, ask yourself these five questions:
1. Why would we want to homeschool? This should be a very simple question for you to answer. As a matter of fact, most homeschooling families can give you a long list of reasons that they homeschool. What is that reason for you? If you are homeschooling because you think it will “save” your child, make your child a better Christian, or make your child better than another, please dig deeper. These are NOT good reasons to homeschool and truthfully if that's the only basis for homeschooling, your homeschool is very likely to fail. Homeschooling in and of itself will not “save” your child, your loving daily testimony and prayer are what does that. So, grab a piece of paper and a pen, and write your reasons for wanting to homeschool. Then, tuck this paper away in a safe spot because on those tough homeschooling days, you'll want to pull that paper out and remember just why you chose this path.
2. Will homeschooling be a good fit for our family? Homeschooling will completely change the culture of your family. Are you ready for that? Is this a good time to begin homeschooling? There are certain life circumstances that could impede the success of your homeschool. Prayerfully evaluate your current situation. This isn't an area that an outsider can help you discern. Talk to your spouse and your children and pray for God's direction.
3. Can we afford to homeschool? I'm not just talking financially here. Homeschooling can be expensive, but it can also be quite cheap. There are many ways that you can homeschool for free or frugal. Can your family afford the time that it takes to homeschool? Homeschooling affords families with many unique opportunities to spend time experiencing the world together, but it also requires sacrifice and dedication. Friendships with families who do not homeschool could be impacted during this transition because they simply don't understand your new lifestyle. Homeschooling will be a huge time sucker for your family especially in the beginning when you're trying to figure out this whole homeschooling thing.
4. Can we handle the naysayers? Critics are everywhere. Homeschool critics are even more prolific. These naysayers have the power to drag you down if you let them. Are you prepared to defend your decision to homeschool? If not, you better get that way! Click here to find suggestions on how to deal with “homeschool haters”.
5. Is our family flexible? Flexibility is a requirement for homeschoolers. I would even go so far as to say if you don't know how to be flexible, your homeschool will fail. Don't get me wrong. I love lesson plans. I love structure and schedule…but life gets in the way. Just when you think you have it all under control, something will throw your plans off. You'll have three solid weeks of homeschooling, and then bam! The flu strikes. One child after enough falls victim and then it hits you too. Before you know it, you haven't had an entire day of school in two weeks. What will you do? Scenario 2: you've found a homeschool schedule that works perfect for your family, then your husband's work hours are changed and your once perfect plan doesn't work so well anymore. What will you do? Just roll with it. Flexibility is key.
Are you considering the homeschool lifestyle? If so, I'm sure you have many questions. Post your questions in the comment and I'll do my best to help you find an answer!