As part of our 30 Days of Homeschool series, Jan Burt tells it like it is after more than 25 years.
Taking on life as a mom to five is one thing….but homeschooling all five of them from preschool through high school graduation is something else entirely. Anybody who might tell you that homeschooling is dreamy-awesome and just blessing-blessing-blessing all day long is not telling you the whole truth. It is those things; it is also a whole lot of other things as well.
First, let me tell you about the good stuff.
Homeschooling allowed me to spend approximately THREE TIMES as much time with my children as compared to friends who sent their children to public school. That’s a big deal ~ an enormous deal! I was able to be thankful for all the time I had with them instead of resentful that they grew up and I never got to enjoy them (which often is the case with public education).
My children were free to explore the things they loved…and were free to walk away from the things they realized they thought they loved but realized they actually did not love. The homeschool lifestyle is the ONLY educational option that allows for this type of experience – and figuring out that you really hate something that you thought you would end up doing for the rest of your life while living in the “safe zone” at home is of tremendous value. How many of us wish we had that opportunity?
All five of my children are friends. They range in age from 18 to 25 and they are still very close to one another. This may have happened if they had gone to public school. But I don’t see a lot of evidence of that in the lives of the young adults I know. Don’t underestimate the power of close sibling relationships!
Next, let me give you a whiff of the bad stuff.
It’s hard work. Homeschooling is not joke! All the pressure for your child’s education and character rests squarely on your shoulders and that burden can seem very, very heavy at times. If you think of homeschooling as, say, a hobby….well, you may not be cut out for the job. And it is a job! It’s work! Hard work! Should I say that again, perhaps? Homeschooling is a job – it requires a serious commitment – there isn’t another teacher to take the blame – it’s all on you – and it is very, very hard work. It is worthy work – but hard work is often the most “worth it” work, right?
Home education can be expensive. Yes, it costs you your time. But it also costs money. And depending on where you are at on the homeschool journey, it can be exceptionally pricey. Recognize that it’s not a “free government education” and acknowledge right from the get-go that you will experience some lean times financially. Again, it is worth it – but it’s okay to admit that money will probably be an issue at some point.
If I had to sum up homeschooling the last 25 years, I would just tell you that while many of the days were overwhelming and long, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
It’s very, very hard – but it is so very, very good.
Be encouraged today that homeschooling is so good even at those times when it is simultaneously so terribly bad.
God bless you!
Jan L. Burt
Jan L. Burt is a 25-year homeschooling veteran, mother of 5 amazing children, author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study and The Once-A-Year Homeschool Planner (An All-in-One, All-Student, All-Subject Planning System) printable pdf (to be released summer of 2018). Jan was a speaker at the 2018 Homeschool Mom’s Conference (search for details on Facebook). She blogs atMomsWhoHomeschool.blogspot.com & can be found at her website ~JanLBurt.com where she will be running a members-only Bible study site (starting summer of 2018).