The actual "homeschooling" is easy, but some things that come with homeschooling may not be.
First, let's look at some of the things you give up, and then we'll look at some of the things you gain by homeschooling.
1) The first thing you lose is having a tidy house ready to receive a last-minute guest. It's not that your home has to become dirty and disorganized, but your home is now doubling-up as a school. While many parents dedicate one room in the house as the schoolroom, as a homeschooler, learning is not always confined to one room.
Some days you might study fractions by baking a cake, other days you might conduct science experiments in the kitchen. Maybe you decide to do some artwork in the family room or read together in the living room.
Whatever you decide, yours will not be the home where the pillows are always fluffed up, and everything is in its place. Yours is the home that is well-lived in and fully occupied by children.
2) The second thing you will give up may be one of two things: if you are a working mother, you will give up your job and the extra income that comes with it. If you are a stay-at-home mother, you will give up a lot of free time, because you now have a job.
With the former, while you're used to working, you aren't used to working for free. The loss of income in today's economy can be coupled with a loss of dreams, too, such as fancy vacations, new cars, expensive wardrobes, and bigger houses.
You may have also spent a lot of years in school studying to earn a prestigious degree, and to a large extent, your self-esteem and self-image may be tied up in your career. Maybe you absolutely love your work, and the thought of leaving it makes your heart sink. It can be challenging for a woman to give her career up to stay home with her children.
If, on the other hand, you've been a stay-at-home mother all this time, you now have to give up your life of leisure and get to work! Doing with less leisure means your social lunches, your long visits to the gym, and maybe even some recreational activities or other pursuits you enjoy doing during the weekdays may not always be possible. It's not that you have no time to yourself when you homeschool, but your free-time does take a major hit.
There is definitely some sacrifice that comes with homeschooling, and sometimes a lot of sacrifice depending upon how your life was before.
But let's look at the gains now. I mean, after all, you had children because you love your spouse and you dream of having a happy family with him; and you dream of raising children together who grow up to become successful adults, right?
First, there are many ways to raise and educate a child, so understand that the gains I'm suggesting here are based on the way I teach parents to raise and educate their children
1) Your children will be more intelligent by being homeschooled than by going to public school. We live in a dumbed-down society. We all know this, so I don't need to argue this point.
When you homeschool, you will raise your children in an environment that will nurture and develop their intellects.
Studies show that homeschooled children who are taught outside the charter and virtual programs (for the record, the charter/virtual school children are categorized as public-school students and not included in the studies on homeschooling) generally score significantly higher on all the standardized tests.
They're better students because they enjoy learning, they’re inspired to learn, and they know how to learn. They are anything but dumbed-down. Ask any college professor; college professors love homeschooled children. As a teacher, I can tell you that there is nothing more frustrating than a student who is not interested in learning, yet, this is your average college student today.
They are there for the degree, and the degree they'll get. But an education, not.
Because your homeschooler is a good student, he'll have a better chance of doing well in college because that's what the studies show. If he does well in a good college, he'll have a better chance of getting a better job and so forth. We all know how this works.
And if he opts-out of college, then he'll know how to make himself successful whatever he decides this means to him.
Maybe he wants to become a successful businessman, or perhaps he wants to live in a cabin by a lake and write novels, or maybe he wants to help the lower the poverty level; he'll know how to find the thing he was meant to do, and the thing(s) he loves to do.
He'll be able to figure it out because he's been figuring things out his whole life. Homeschoolers generally learn how to spend their time on worthwhile pursuits and make things happen.
2) Your homeschooled child is not going to be perfect, but he'll have a better chance of developing good character if he's homeschooled and has better influences around him.
Do I need to tell you how the public-school environment has become base and decadent not to mention dangerous?
In today's day and age, we have a serious societal problem, too, with the lack of respect towards parents and authority. You cannot have a civil society without regard for parents and authority; instead, you get anarchy. And anarchy is the state of many homes today.
Disrespectful children and desperate parents; a truly tragic situation where everyone is the loser.
But this is much less likely to happen when you know how to create the kind of environment in your home that will support something higher.
What about the toll this modern lifestyle takes on a marriage? We won't even go there.
When you look back, after the years, what will you wish for? Will you wish that you had a bigger house, fancier vacations, more clothes, more time to yourself?
That's not what old people in their last years think about. They think about the people they love. Many of them worry about their aging children they seldom see and wish they had spent more time building a happy family and less time on things that, in the end, didn't really matter.
While you may temporarily give up a career or your leisure time when you homeschool, what you get in its place money can never buy.
Please join the Smart Homeschooler Academy waiting list to be notified when enrollment opens again for its signature course: How to Give Your Child a Private-School Education at Home.
Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, “Love and Leadership” parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.
A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two homeschooled children in college.