How Do I Deal with Obstacles to Homsechooling?
The decision to homeschool isn’t one to be taken lightly. As the Bible says in Luke 14, we need to count the cost. However, what you consider an insurmountable obstacle might not need to keep you from homeschooling. You are not alone in facing these obstacles, and the wisdom and ingenuity of many other families just might provide the solution you need when tackling your own obstacles to homeschooling.
Points to Ponder
Here are some of the top obstacles and solutions to those obstacles that might just allow you to homeschool after all.
In today’s society the vast majority of families are two-income families. The thought of going from a two-income family to one in order to have a parent homeschool can be frightening. There are many families who manage to homeschool in spite of a lack of money, but it does take creativity and dedication.
There are two main approaches. One is to reduce your cost of living. Homeschooling does not need to cost a lot of money. Families can use the library and find a multitude of free or almost free materials online. Buying used materials and selling materials you no longer use is another great option. Also, look at your daily life for ways to save money.
The other approach is to find a way to make money while still homeschooling. This takes good time management, but it can be done. You might be able to find a work-at-home job that can be done in the early mornings or evenings. Selling items, either online or during non-school hours, is also an option. Some parents even work a full time job, then homeschool in the evening or on weeks or days off. Any of these options will take planning and cooperation, but they can work for you if you are dedicated to homeschooling.
Opposition from Family
Depending on how close you are to your family, their opposition may be a road block you will need to overcome in order to homeschool.
If your spouse is not on board, homeschooling is probably not a good option for your family. Try discussing your reasons for wanting to homeschool and perhaps your spouse would agree to a trial period.
If your close or extended family do not agree with your decision to homeschool, you will need to decide how firm you are in your decision and if you are willing to stand up against their opposition. Some family members never come to agree with homeschooling, but many do once they have seen it at work. Be diligent in your homeschooling and make sure that you do not complain about it to these family members. If something isn’t going well, find a helpful homeschooling parent to discuss things with instead.
Special needs can be an obstacle to homeschooling, but if you have a special needs child and want to homeschool, there are resources available to help you. There are a number of online and Facebook groups that offer support, as well as a variety of curriculum and other resources parents can purchase to use at home. You can receive some services through your local public school while still completing part or most of your child’s education at home. You can also find tutoring services, utilize online classes, or find help from other homeschooling special needs parents.
A number of studies have shown that the educational level of parents has very little impact on how well homeschool students do on standardized tests. You can work around your own level of education to still offer your children a top-notch homeschool education.
One of the best things about homeschooling is that you can learn right along with your child. If you run into a subject that you don’t feel comfortable teaching, there are several ways around it. You can use online courses, seek curriculum designed for independent study, find a co-op or tutor, or pair up with a friend who is more comfortable with the subject.
Homeschooling requires discipline, both for the parent and for the children. If your home lacks discipline, you will need to get this in hand before proceeding. Make sure you are practicing discipline personally first. Then, spend the first few weeks of homeschooling working on routines and teaching your children time management and discipline. The time you take for this in the early days of homeschooling will save you a great deal of time later on.
Illness or disability in the homeschooling parent can make homeschooling more difficult. In some cases it will be necessary for children to attend a public or private school, at least part time. But there are ways to homeschool around an illness or disability.
Lessons can be taken on the road to appointments. Try doing active or more difficult subjects on days that you feel better and reading aloud from the couch or in bed on harder days. Train students to work as independently as possible. You might be able to hire an older homeschool student from another family to tutor some lessons as well.