By Judith Jolma
The world has shifted under our feet and nothing is the same. The world you grew up in vanished in a wink and you are in a bizarre land where eggs cost $20 per dozen, two incomes almost pay the utilities, and even public school meets virtually. Like it or not, you’ll be managing the kids’ education from home one way or another.
“I swore I’d never homeschool,” you say. I hear you. You grew up imagining you would give your children a life similar to your own -- only better. But now you can’t. Overnight, the world shifted. What can you do now other than join that weird, stigmatized group: “homeschoolers.”
My mother felt the same way back in 1983 when she felt like homeschooling was the only option left open to her. The first time someone suggested it, she retorted, “No way! Homeschooling is for hippies and organic gardeners.”
Like you, my mother felt she had no choice, so she grits her teeth and dove in. She was unskilled as a teacher, had barely graduated high school, HATED school work, and felt overwhelmed. But somehow she made it work.
If she couldn’t stand the textbooks, she would teach the same concepts in a way that got HER excited.
She knew that for her kids to engage in the work, she had to be authentically enthusiastic about it too.
She was what today we would call an “unschooler” -- choosing to make life the textbook and use every opportunity as a teachable experience.
As a homeschool mom myself, I do not choose to “unschool.” I have found my own method that excites and engages ME. That is the key. Whatever you do in your homeschool, you have to choose methods that authentically draw you -- the teacher -- in and get you excited about learning right along with your students. Your children will reflect your attitudes about the work. If YOU dread homeschooling, they will too.
I’m so glad that my mom chose to homeschool. My siblings share this gratitude. In fact, my mother can boast that she raised a law professor, a successful business owner in the tech industry, a journalist, an accountant, and a machinist. As well as children who speak multiple languages, are skilled musicians, and lead happy successful lives. More to her credit, all of her grandchildren are now homeschooled, which is a testimony to our gratitude for our mother’s sacrifice.
Be encouraged. There is a whole generation who pioneered this lifestyle ahead of you. Yes, many made big mistakes. My mom made big mistakes. There was not anyone to teach them back then and they had to figure it all out on their own. You have a great advantage. Many moms like me who are happy to teach you the best practices, and tricks of the trade and keep you from repeating mistakes our parents made. For example, I offer a whole Masterclass so that you don’t have to feel overwhelmed by all the options.
Are you drowning? So many families are. They feel lost, unsure of how to survive in this new landscape. The new rules are unclear. No one trained any of us for this. Confusion, anxiety, and grief over the loss of expectations overwhelm us. Take a deep breath. Reach out for help. You are not alone.
Sophia Homeschool teaches parents how to homeschool. Learn more about our training at Sophiahomeschool.com
Learn how to create a homeschool method and environment based on your family's needs so you can thrive. My Foundations of Homeschooling Masterclass teaches parents to work with their budget, schedule, learning style, teaching style, and resources so each member of the family has his or her needs met— including yours! Learn to create a peaceful and joyful learning environment that lasts a lifetime. Identify learning differences and adapt your educational plan accordingly. Unlock the mysteries of teaching multiple grades at once. By knowing what your needs are, you will save thousands of dollars, time, and energy on methods that do not work. We will end homework battles and restore your relationship with your child.