We are social beings. While I like my privacy, I don’t like to sleep alone. I don’t like to clean alone, and most of the time, I don’t like learning alone either.
It makes me sad when homeschoolers give their child a stack of workbooks and then leave the room or even the house and expect the student to school herself.
It makes me even sadder when parents are off pursuing their hobbies, and they leave an older child in charge of schooling the younger ones. Your kids deserve more.
Homeschooling is rewarding but also very repetitive and sometimes frustrating work. Homeschooling is a job. We need to take a hard look at ourselves and ask if we are really up to the task.
Maybe we started out enthused about homeschooling and then lost interest over the years. If that is the case, we have to start looking for a better educational placement for our students. Just because our child is not in a brick and mortar school does not mean they are magically getting a superior education. It takes work. It takes planning. It takes consistency and sometimes it takes handholding.
Most people can learn to work independently, and that can be a huge relief, but they still need a teacher of some sort. If we do not have the time or the inclination to be that teacher, we need to find someone who does.
I stay in the room when my kids are doing school. I want to be there for each question they ask, and each teachable moment we encounter.
I’ve had kids who reach the point where they want to learn from someone else. They already know my opinions. That’s when I know they are ready for some outside classes. They are willing to bounce their ideas off of different people with different backgrounds and different points of view. It is my job as a homeschooling mom to find those opportunities for my kids.
Then they become more independent and move on to even larger learning environments. Guess what? There are still going to be times when I need to hold their hands. Sometimes the textbook seems impenetrable, and I need to read it out loud, explaining as I go, while they take notes. Sometimes the research topic seems too large, and I use my Google-fu to help narrow it down, flooding their email with links to relevant articles. But most often, they just need a sounding board. “Does this wording sound right to you?” “Can you read over this email to my professor?” “I’m at the airport. Where do I pay for parking?” And I hold their hand because there isn’t some magic age when kids can be left alone with a checklist to educate themselves. There isn’t a magic age where they should know how to navigate new situations. There is not a magic age when they no longer need a momma who has got their back.
I’m almost 50. This weekend, I need to paint my closet. Maybe I should call up a friend to hold my hand.