So you have been thinking about homeschooling, that is to say, you've been
thinking about how there is NO WAY you could ever do it. You've heard all
the reasons for doing it but the bottom line is you have some great reasons
for why you feel the way you do. At least you think they are great. My
bet is that you have said one or more of these to someone in the past month,
and the truth is: you really believe it when you say it. Well I'm going to
be the friend you never had, and probably never wanted, and get right to
point about what I think of your excuse.cough cough, I mean excellent reasons
for not wanting to teach your children.
- You don't have enough time.
What I am hearing you saying is that you aren't interested in spending time
to teach your kids. Yes, I understand that you have to go grocery shopping
and clean the house and make meals and wash clothes. But I mean seriously,
how could you not have enough time to teach your children? Think about it
this way, you aren't going to have to shove them out the door, or drive like
a maniac to school, at 6:45 in the morning anymore. You are not going to
have to spend two hours, if you are lucky, doing homework at night.
Now I know that some of you are saying you don't have time because you have
to work. You aren't "lucky" enough to be able to live off of one-income.
Let me tell you straight up that "luck" has nothing to do with it. It's
not even a "choice". It comes from a deep conviction that the time we
invest in our children is worth it because our children are one of the most
amazing blessings we receive while on this earth. For most of those who
homeschool, they would rather live in a one-bedroom apartment than have both
parents working. For those who empathize with others, you are probably
saying, "What about single moms?" How could they possibly homeschool?
There are many single parents that homeschool their children. They do it
because they have the conviction.
If this is the reason you aren't homeschool then...my guess is that it isn't because you don't have enough time, but you don't have
the conviction. We all have 24 hours in our day. It's just a matter of how we use the time
given to us
- Your children won't listen to you.
I know I got a bit philosophical during the last point, I probably even took
it way over the line, but I have to tell you that this reason and reason
number 5 are my two favorites reasons because it shows the heart of the
matter. Let me ask you this: Who's responsibility is it to train your
children to listen to you? Are they going to learn to listen to you better
while they are at school? Is it their fault that they don't listen to you?
There isn't a good reason in the world for not getting your children to
listen to you and there isn't a better way to deal with the reasons why they
aren't listening to you than by starting to homeschool them and facing the
Bottom line: You are the parent and it is your responsibility to train your
children to listen to you. Whether you homeschool or not, they should be
respectful and attentive to you.
- You don't know how to teach.
Now that we've gotten the heavies out of the way. Let's focus on a fun one.
The schools and teaching unions have convinced us that we need to leave
teaching to the "trained professionals." I mean, they took one to two years
of intense training on how to teach children. How do you compete with that?
Truth is, easily. A recent analysis at Wheaton College showed that children
who were homeschooled did 58 points better on the SAT than the rest of the
There are roughly 2 million children being homeschooled right now and 47% of the
mothers who teach have their college degrees. Only 8% have a post-graduate
degree. As we climb out of the statistics barrel, we can look around and see that most kids are being
taught by mothers who do not have teaching credentials and they are beating
the students who are taught by credentialed teachers, hands down.
What about mothers who do not have a high school diploma and homeschool
their children? So glad you asked! Those mothers have children who score 55
points better on Math and 49 points better in writing than students who are
taught by credentialed teachers and have mothers who don't have their high
It shouldn't surprise you. Even in the best situations a teacher
has 15 to 20 students to teach. How can they compete with a 1 to 3 or 4
ratio of parent to children? How can they compete with the desire of a
parent for their child to succeed?
Hopefully you'll accept that you don't have to know how to teach. Now not
knowing what to teach is a valid problem. But the problem may not be what
you think. I will tell you that you will have no problem finding a
curriculum to use for your child. A few decades ago finding a good
prepackaged curriculum would have been difficult. Today, there are more
curriculums and programs available than ever before. Your problem won't be
finding a program but instead figuring out which of the hundreds are the
best fit for your family. There are excellent resources available to guide
you toward a good curriculum for your situation.
- Your children won't be properly socialized.
Here's another fun one. People who say this believe that everyone who
homeschools rolls the stone in front of the entrance to their cave and
doesn't come out for 18 years, and that's only because the oxygen system
finally needs servicing and they have to come up for air. The truth is that
homeschooling is very mainstream now and those that homeschool are not
looking to remove themselves from society as much as they are interested in
giving their children a superior education and overall childhood. The same
group that told us that mothers with no high school diploma do a great job
teaching their kids also tells us that homeschool kids on average
participate in 8 out-of-house activities a week. Between sporting events,
church events, homeschool group events, and neighborhood friends and family,
kids have an enormous amount of opportunities to participate in society and
be productive and effective people in their community.
One other thought. Do you really think it is a good idea to have a 13 year
old socializing with your kid? In fact, can you name any other time in your life
when you were grouped together with people that were the same age as you all
day for 5 days week? Do you really consider that natural? Maybe you want
to build character by having your kids go through the trials of school and
bullies and cruel wacky teachers? But is that what you wish your parents
had done for you?...Just a thought.
- You don't have enough patience.
This is my other favorite reason for not homeschooling and I guessing it
won't surprise you to know that this is the most common reason I hear from
parents. If you didn't skip to this reason, and if you did it is probably
because it's your reason, then you have most likely already figured out why
parents feel this way. Most of the time it's because they don't have their
children's respect. If their children are disrespectful, they are going to
talk back and make life difficult. The parents realize there is no way they
are going to be able to control their child and they don't have the patience
to train them how to properly behave.
I have to tell you that homeschooling is the least of your problems if you
can't control your children. Homeschooling or not, you have got to get the
respect of your children. You'll regret it later if you don't. They will
That's the easy underlying reason for not having patience. Another
underlying reason is that the mother does not have the support of the
husband. I often will hear the husband say, "There's no way she could
handle that." I know it can be discouraging when you don't have the support
of your husband. But instead of resigning to the idea you don't have the
patience start doing trial runs on the weekends. Pick a few Saturdays and
spend an hour working on something with your kid. You can pick anything:
grammar, history, writing, reading, math, science, handwriting, or music.
Pick something easy and work on it for an hour. Then do it again a couple
weeks later. Doing this will allow you to prove to yourself, your child,
and your husband that you can do it!
Alright, so we got through the horrible, terrible, lame excuses that you
came up with. Alright maybe they aren't that bad, but still, they really
don't hold water, right? The fact is that if you have gotten this far you
are either angry, don't take it out on the computer, or not sure what to
make of what I just said. All I can tell you is to think about it and think
about why you really don't want to do this. After you take a long deep look
at yourself I'm sure you'll see how I'm right.
Richard - homeschooler and parent 365 days a year!
Richard is the creator of a family integrated
church called Walk of Faith. His church is located in Orange County church and is very supportive of homeschoolers.