How Can I Fit Homeschool Into My Life?
Do you work full time? Live in a small space? Do you have lots of children? Are you a single parent? Do you have a special needs child? Are you living on one income? Do you struggle with organization? Are you afraid you won’t know enough to teach your kids? Are you concerned about the social stigma of homeschool? Do you want to make homeschool work but don’t know where to start?
We all face these questions and fears in some way or another when we try to make homeschool work for us. No matter what your circumstances or limitations in life, the awesome thing about homeschool is that it is flexible and individual. When you choose to homeschool you have the freedom to create your own schedule. You decided what social settings to expose your children to and how much to spend on supplies and curriculum.
You can incorporate homeschool into whatever circumstances you already live in. Whether you live in a small studio apartment or in a very rural area. Life is learning, learning is life. Yes, it takes some thinking and work to figure it out, but the good news is it can be done!
Step 1: Determine Your Capabilities
Make homeschool work for you by determining what you can do and what you can’t do. We all have limitations, and deciding to homeschool requires you to face your personal limitations head on. If you get to this point and feel overwhelmed at the thought of what you can’t do you’re not alone.
Take a look at yourself from the opposite point of view. What can you do? What you can do and what your can’t do are two sides of the same coin. Yes there are things that you can’t do, but don’t let these things keep you from doing what you can do. Think of them as two different pieces that make up your whole. Awareness of your capabilities builds confidence. So ask yourself…
What do I have the energy for?
Can I let some less important things drop out of my life?
What space in my home can I use?
How much can I afford to budget?
What can I do for free?
How can I make the most of my time?
What talents/skills/knowledge do I have that will be useful?
Where can I get help for the things that I can’t do that are important?
Our goal is not perfection, it is creation. Choosing to homeschool is choosing to create a different future for yourself, your children and your family. Accepting your limitations and moving forward in your capabilities will keep you from being handicapped by the myth of perfection. Be honest with yourself, successful homeschooling requires honest self-reflection.
Step 2: Delegate Responsibility
Delegation of responsibility is the best way to make homeschool work for you. I love that homeschooling my kids requires that I delegate some responsibility to them that they might not otherwise have. My kids get a more rounded education when they can be at home and learn responsibility through common life skills such as; cleaning, cooking, money management, child care, hygiene, laundry, shopping, household chores, etc..
So ask yourself, “What can I delegate?” and “Who can I delegate to?”. Remember with the right training, patience, and clear expectations from you, your child’s capabilities will increase. They may not be able to do much at first, but I promise you that if you delegate they will grow and mature.
Step 3: Embrace Your Organized Mess
Organization is relative. “Mess” to one is “everything in its place” to another. If you are afraid that homeschool won’t work for you because you are not an “organized person”, then you have the wrong idea about homeschool. In fact if you try to be super organized then I promise you will get stressed out and wonder why you chose to homeschool in the first place.
That’s not to say that developing organizational skills as you go isn’t important. True success will come only with the marriage of perseverance AND flexibility. So make homeschool work for you by finding your happy place between “mess” and “museum”.
In order to homeschool in the same place that you live day to day, you must be accepting of the educational mess that it produces. It’s important to know where your tolerance level lies and to learn how to work with it. Also consider that when homeschooling you share your living/work space all day long with people who are different from you; YOUR CHILDREN. They will have their own definition of organization too. They will need their own space to create their own organized mess, for the support of their own genius.