When people find out I homeschool, one of the top reactions I get is: "Wow, I couldn't do that.". It truly ticks me off when I hear this because if it's something that's important to you or necessary for your kids, you WOULD. There would be no excuses or reasons stopping you.
I'm no genius. I'm not organized. I'm temperamental. My kids aren't saints. We're not perfect. We made a choice and we make it work. There are many things that you don't know when you start homeschooling or start thinking about homeschooling. I'm sure there's someone out there somewhere that regrets homeschooling their kids but I've never met them or even heard about them. Everyone I know has been at peace with their decision to homeschool. They know that they made the right choice. No, I'm not saying everyone should homeschool and that it's the only way to raise your children. I'm talking about the ones that did decide that homeschooling was what would be best for their children.
I think many times when people tell me that they can't homeschool their children, it would be more correct for them to say that they don't want to homeschool their children. That's fine, just don't give me stupid excuses about not being able to. It's much easier to go to work than to stay home with kids. There are exceptions, of course, but for most of us it's the simple truth. It's hard to get up and do the same things every day without someone on our backs to make us do them. When you have kids home all day, you don't just clean the kitchen, you have to continuously go behind the kids and either make them clean it or do it yourself. It's wearing to have to keep after kids to clean up their messes. It's wearing to keep after kids to stay focused on their school work. It's hard not having the adult interaction every day. It's hard knowing that you'd like to go shopping but you can't because the kids aren't finished with their school stuff yet. But we do it because it's what we feel is best for our kids. We do it because the rewards are so great that we couldn't imagine not having our kids home with us.
The family dynamics change drastically when you start homeschooling, especially if your kids have gone to public school like mine did. I have a hardheaded child. When he was in public school, I would barely be able to hug him or have a conversation with him. That all changed when I started homeschooling. At first, he felt like it was a punishment until I explained that it would have been easier for me to just let him stay in public school. I had to explain that I love him enough to want him home with me and to make sure he gets a good education. (We move around a lot so they were getting behind in school.) I never knew that many of his problems were from emotional issues. He's still hardheaded but we have a great, loving relationship that we would have never had if I did not make the choice to homeschool. I wouldn't trade that for anything!
Homeschooling doesn't have to be expensive. There are many cheap and free options out there. You don't have to be a genius. There are many curriculums out there that are basically "For Dummies" and teach for you. I'm ADD and unorganized but I've managed to find curriculums that work for me as well as the kids. :-) You're not alone out there. There are groups of homeschoolers everywhere (even online) that are more than willing to help you with anything you need! We've all been there! We completely understand the questions and uncertainties. We know the struggle to find the right curriculum and teaching style that will work for your family. We are always here to help others be successful in their homeschooling.
My organization has been the main struggle for me. It's not getting organized to get school done or anything like that. It comes down to getting meals organized. If I can figure that out, I'll be good to go. People are usually shocked to hear that I'm not organized. I've had a lot of help getting that way. FlyLady helped me with keeping the house clean and DonnaYoung helped me with getting my other stuff organized. I'm working on the meal thing. I'll write about that later when I get it figured out.
The bottom line is that most people CAN homeschool. There are always exceptions and extenuating circumstances that would make homeschooling difficult if not impossible but most people simply chose not to homeschool. That's okay! There's nothing wrong with sending your kids to public or private school if that's what you feel is best. There are some great schools out there. There are some good things that schools have that I can't offer my kids. You don't have to explain your decisions on how you've chosen to raise your child to me and I don't expect to have to explain mine. What if I responded with, "I could never send my kids to public school!". Think about it.
The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List - Things we're thinking but are too polite to say.