The problems with homeschooling come when you look round and suddenly the cons seem overwhelming. What have we done this week that counts when it comes to school?
Sounds like my children are dashing from one creative task to the next – an ocean diorama here, a hydrogen car kit there, with a few model airplane kits to round it off.
And it's true if you look back over a year I'm always surprised to see how much we've achieved.
But day-to-day it feels very different.
Do you know what I find the hardest of the problems with homeschooling?
When nothing seems to happen.
You've started homeschool and the cons stare you in the face: the kids don't want to DO anything. My daughter Catherine pretty much lay round on the floor for three weeks.
It's tough. You've given them all this freedom and what do they do? Waste it. (That's a joke by the way). Then there's that niggling thought:
If they were in school look at all the things they'd be doing…
I've noticed that voice goes up in direct proportion to how much I've seen teacher friends.
Then there's the problems that come with thinking up a brilliant project which you know the children will love and they're not interested in the slightest.
That's one of the cons of homeschool you may not have expected! (I won't take offense if that happens to you with some of the kids activities here!).
Of course, I know it's unrealistic to expect anyone to know what they want to do all the time. I also accept that play is vastly under-rated.
You only have to listen with a different ear to children and you'll hear math, vocabulary, testing things out, social skills…In fact studies have shown how important play is.
So, if they're playing, they're learning. But the cons are I just can't stand them doing it through the times we're meant to be doing homeschool!
Now from an American perspective all this lying round might sound a little foreign when you’re faced with State homeschooling requirements giving specific homeschool targets by certain dates.
There's obviously more pressure on you to get some workbooks under your belt.
So here comes the biggie: I think you'll face major problems with homeschooling if you try to teach your child just like you were taught in school, as I explain in my page on the disadvantages of homeschooling.
The most important thing to me is to keep a loving, close, relationship with my child. If I start having daily battles with him over work stuff well, quite frankly, he'd be better off at school.
Doing homeschool doesn't mean you can't do workbooks, follow courses, take exams – but if you want to avoid problems, you need a more: 'we're all in this together' type approach.
Isn't it funny how doing nothing brings results?
I hardly seem to have thought about a problem, I go to bed, and somehow the answer appears.
The children seem to spend weeks doing nothing and suddenly they're up first thing in the morning reading needle felting instructions, drawing imaginary maps and playing some complicated math game.
Overall, any cons or problems with homeschooling have to be worth it.