Don’t Tell Me You Can’t Homeschool

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Don't tell me you can't homeschool - Columbia SC Moms BlogOne of the most common comments I get when someone learns I homeschool my children is “I could never do that.”

It’s confusing because I’m not sure if I am supposed to take it as a compliment. (Are you trying to acknowledge that my job is hard? If so I sincerely appreciate that!)

Or is it the opposite, a kind of backhanded put down? (Do you mean I’m super weird and attempting something no sane person ever would? If so there are days that I agree with you).

Or are you looking for affirmation that you can homeschool too? If that’s the case let me tell you how I feel and share my experience with you. I’ve been homeschooling for five years and I was homeschooled my entire childhood.

I am not a mom who says homeschooling is peaceful, simple, natural. That’s not us and that’s not our reality. Homeschooling is hard. I have never had to work so hard at anything in my life. But so is parenting, and being in a relationship, and working at a job and learning new things. Life isn’t supposed to be easy.

I read a quote that said, “what if homeschooling is something God is using to change me, rather than my children?” If you are a mom then you know already: parenting itself, is difficult. But at some point I realized raising my children wasn’t supposed to be easy. After I made peace with the fact that parenting is hard, I was better equipped to do the hard work. Homeschooling is no different.

homeschool work

Homeschooling is a struggle; it means we fight to learn, we do the hard things, we make sacrifices and we press forward. But that’s not a bad thing. One of the things I hope my children learn from our experience homeschooling is that they shouldn’t give up on their goals. My goal is for my children to have a wonderful experience homeschooling, and I stubbornly attack that goal every single day. Some days are more successful than others, but we are moving towards that goal.

If your children want to do something, you tell them to pursue their dreams, right? You tell them not to give up, to work hard, and to seek the help and tools they need to conquer their goal. Why won’t you give yourself the same grace and encouragement? It doesn’t mean science magically becomes easy for me. It means I seek out a strong science curriculum and find a way to make it fun for our family. It doesn’t mean I become great at teaching math. Maybe it means I hire a math tutor.

old books

Some of us just don’t feel like teachers. That’s ok! Whether or not, I “feel” like a teacher, I believe that as a mother each of us is empowered to teach our children, and in fact we have been teaching them every single day of their lives. I am not a gifted teacher, however I am gifted to teach.

When I became a mother I was given the single greatest responsibility of my life and it is one that I can fulfill. Giving my children a good education is something I will succeed at. I won’t give up, I won’t quit, and I won’t settle. Whether that means public, private, or homeschooling, I will ensure that my children can thrive and succeed.

Homeschooling isn’t right for everyone. But each and every loving, fit, and devoted parent should feel capable of teaching their children. Because you are.

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Leah Prescott questions her choice of career frequently as she homeschools her 9-year-old identical twin daughters, while protecting her rambunctious 3-year-old son from daily catastrophe. Although it’s a joy to be with her children each day, she often feels ill-equipped to fill all of the roles she has been given; at such times she turns to the Lord and very strong coffee. She has been married to her college sweetheart, Craig, for almost 13 years and they all live together in a too-small house with an adorable beagle who has dedicated her life to barking. A Southern girl, Leah loves to talk, write, craft, treasure-hunt at thrift stores, make lists, and spend time with her family. Her professional background is cobbled from adventures in many fields including legal, food service, advertising, childcare, and customer service. The common thread has always been the drive to write and to connect with others. One day, she would love to pen a book about parenting twins or a reflection on education as a second-generation homeschooler. For now, she blogs about potty-training mishaps, twins with curly hair, thrift store shopping tips, and healthy recipes that can be completed during a half-episode of RescueBots.

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